Women of Excellence Unplugged- What advice did you take away from these women?

At the event on Tuesday, Benita Zahn, the phenomenal moderator, asked the women several insightful questions that provided great advice to the audience made up of both women and men.

One of the two-part questions she asked the women was, “Do you ever think about reinventing yourself and how do you stay relevant?”

It was a question that I asked the lovely woman that I  sat next to, Dorcey Applyrs.  I believe you will see Dorcey on the dais in the future.  To me, she is a woman of excellence.  Briefly, she is currently the 2017 Ambassador for Girls, Inc.  She is the councilwoman for Albany’s First Ward and is the Faculty Program Director for the Public Health School of Health Sciences for Excelsior College.  Her answer below is likely the reason she is so accomplished.


Do you think about reinventing yourself?

“Yes, ALL of the time! I am innately introspective. I constantly think about ways to satisfy those inner thoughts and feelings that challenge me to live my best life and simply be happy. This requires me to think about who and where I am in the context of the present and future. My life experiences have taught me that evolution is a necessary part of living life to its fullest.  Failing to be intentional about change and reinventing myself can only result in stunted growth, complacency and not being fulfilled.”


For me, honoree, Dr. Suzie Mookherjee’s “live your truth” and Dorcey’s advice about failing to be intentional about change can only result in stunted growth are two of the many pieces of inspirational advice I took away from the event.

What struck you as being an eye-opener or made you nod your head in agreement?






Act Now: Fix the Cliff


On September 14th, Whitney Young Health hosted its annual fundraiser at Revolution Hall in Troy. During his opening remarks, President & CEO, David Shippee spoke to our longtime supporters and fellow colleagues about a pressing issue that is going on within Congress that can negatively impact Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) all across the country with Whitney Young Health being one of them.

The Health Centers Fund, which comprises 70% of federal funding for FQHCs, will expire soon without Congressional action. What that means for Whitney Young Health is that starting the new fiscal year on October 1st, we lose a much needed $3.5 million dollars. This affects over 19,000 patients that we provide affordable healthcare to, comprising of men, women and children of all ages who otherwise wouldn’t receive this kind of necessary care if we were not around.

Time is of the essence, and we need ALL advocates to step up and reach out. It’s now easier than ever to respond to this critical call to action – simply click here and enter your contact information to send an e-mail to your Members (it has already been written for you) then pass the link along to your friends, family and work colleagues and ask them to do the same.

Whitney Young Health has always appreciated the support the community has given us, especially the Women’s Business Council. All it takes is one minute of your time to fill out the template email in the link above so our voices can be heard and encourage Congress to act swiftly.

‘Whitney on Wheels’ Coming to North Albany Academy


In celebration of National of Health Center Week, Whitney Young Health is proud to announce that we will be continuing our partnership with the Albany City School District by having our mobile health unit, ‘Whitney on Wheels’ visit North Albany Academy. Starting in September, Whitney on Wheels will provide medical services to students, teachers, and families for the upcoming school year and beyond. The mobile health unit will also be seeing middle and high school students in a new program for refugee and immigrant students that is housed at the school.

Whitney on Wheels will offer health services such as, physical exams, immunizations, health education, screenings, referrals, and other preventive and routine services will be provided.


WYH President & CEO, David Shippee, speaking at the press conference on Wednesday at North Albany Academy

At a press conference held today, WYH President & CEO, David Shippee spoke how this presence will help encourage better health management among the parents and children at the school. Notable speakers and supporters included, new City School District of Albany Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams, Assemblymember John McDonald,Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy, and Mayor Kathy Sheehan, City of Albany.


City School District of Albany Superintendent, Kaweeda G. Adams, getting her blood pressure taken by Kevin Ragnauth, Medical Assistant for Whitney on Wheels


David Shippee & Superintendent Adams outside of Whitney on Wheels

Following the press conference, Kevin Ragnauth, the Medical Assistant for Whitney on Wheels gave Superintendent Adams, the elected officials and members of the media tours of the mobile health unit.

To see more photos from the press conference and tour, head on over to our Facebook page here.

The Bumps Along the Path of an Emerging Female Professional

As we gear up for September’s WBC Program – WOE Unplugged on September 19th at the Glen Sanders Mansion 11:30am-1:00pm (register here), I’m reminded of when I was the awardee for the Women of Excellence Emerging Professional in 2014. As WOE Unplugged was drawing near, I was nervous and excited at the same time. I mean – it’s unplugged – you never know what questions may come from the audience 😉 I remember attending past WOE Unplugged events earlier in my career, soaking up all the advice from past Women of Excellence award winners, and was amazed to hear of their paths and the bumps that they had also endured as professional women to get where they are today.

I remember telling this story because there are things as women we experience that I’m pretty sure men don’t experience in a professional setting. When I first started working after I graduated college, I was a case and data manager for a non-profit. I dressed very professionally every day for work, and even made sure on casual Fridays I wasn’t too casual. My fellow millennials and I get a bad rap that we like to show up in flip flops and inappropriate dress, so I not only had to prove myself as a woman, but also that I wasn’t an unprofessional, entitled millennial either. Even so, my supervisor at the time had a daughter a few years younger than me, so she treated me more like her child than her employee, and would even call me into her office and say she had clothes her daughter didn’t fit into anymore and wanted to know if I wanted them. She would do the same thing – even when I was in her office about a serious matter. I couldn’t believe another woman was treating me like this. Lifting other women up was definitely not in her vocabulary.

Fast forward eight years later when I started as Executive Director of Girls Inc. I’m pretty sure I wore a suit or a suit dress every day for the first three years. I remember when I was attending a Girls Inc conference and one of my fellow Executive Directors told us about a book by John Molloy called New Women’s Dress for Success. She told us “younger ED’s” to make sure we always wore a jacket because of the power of a jacket. In John Molloy’s book he states,

“The jacket has become the hallmark of the American businesswoman. Today it serves the same functions for women that the suit does for men. The jacket identifies its wearer as a serious career woman with power, authority, or potential.

93% of businessmen and 94% of businesswomen assume that women wearing jackets outrank women without jackets.

A woman wearing the most conservative, businesslike dress will be seen as a professional by only 40% of the businesspeople she meets for the first time. If she slips on a jacket over the dress, the number of businesspeople who will assume she has power, authority, or potential will more than double.”

I can’t believe we are still discussing what to wear as women and that there’s still a debate between pantyhose vs. no pantyhose. But I guess one thing is clear – wear a jacket!

Girls Summit

(Me wearing a jacket over my Girls Inc t-shirt at our Annual Girls’ Summit)


What is Business Casual for Women

Let’s face it, times have changed since the Women’s Business Council began over thirty years ago and so has the way women dress for work. Being in the sports industry, there are days I wear khakis and a polo and other days I wear a business suit. As health and fitness is becoming more and more intertwined in the workplace, there has been a shift in the way women dress for work. I thought it would be interesting to ask women in the Capital Region who are in the health industry what their sense of style is in the workplace.

I encourage you to interact with this post and comment below. What is your sense of style? How has it changed over the years? Is less more?

Here is what some Women’s Business Council members said about their personal style:

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Victora Carosella Baecker, Manager, Community Relations & Corporate Events, CDPHP

“CDPHP is causal five days a week. We allow our employees to dress how they feel most comfortable. For me that still means I am dressing each day for work. In my role I am meeting with people in the community mostly every day, so on the occasions I dress down and wear jeans is always paired with a pair of heels and a blazer. I think you can still be casual and look smart, professional and comfortable. My personal style has always leaned more towards the preppy side, so there is certainly a thread of that in everything I wear. ” 

Bo Goliber, Community Relations Fingerpaint Marketing

“I’m fortunate to work in a setting where the dress code is very relaxed, however, my role in community relations has me interacting a lot in public. One thing that’s always a priority for me is to make sure I feel like myself when dressing for an occasion. I’m just not the kind of person who would feel like “me” in a traditional business suit—so if I have to dress up, I always make sure I find the balance between looking professional but still wearing something that makes me feel true to my personality. Thankfully I’m able to have that option! And I also always try to wear a nice blouse or top if I’m wearing jeans so I don’t feel too casual.”

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Jeannine Trimboli, Strength Coach, Weight loss specialist, and Founder real [FIT] life
 “People think it must be great to get to wear workout clothes all the time, but to be honest, I get tired of them. I’m a girly girl even if I do spend most of my days around iron racks, barbells, and covered in lifting chalk.  I like to wear jewelry and I love dressing up.

When I’m working out, I definitely wear fitness clothes that I can move in and that are breathable. But when I’m coaching our real [FIT] life’rs I’ll wear pretty much anything, as long as I can squat in it. Stretchy leggings are perfect. Sandals too. We keep the studio cool for our members so I’ve been known to throw on a sweater or light jacket during our sessions. (It’s their workout, not mine!) I’m not partial to any particular fitness wear brands. If it’s cute, unique, and comfy, I’ll wear it.

I do love to dress up when I attend networking events.  Ann Taylor has been my go to for years. And when it’s open toe season, I’m a very happy girl.”

Deborah Merwitz Ruggiero, MS,RN, CWPM, Associate Director, Clinical Account Management, MVP Health Care

“I’m a big fan of a knit, unstructured dress-think Athleta. I can throw on a scarf or accessories to dress it up for meetings and then grab my sneakers for a walk at lunch.”

Sachi Vines, Director of Marketing and Promotions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Athletic Department

“My attire is business, athleisure wear/ workout attire”.

Women of Excellence 2017: Kathleen Pingelski Recipient of Excellence in Business Award Shares her Wisdom About Resilience in the Workplace

I had an opportunity to gain some valuable insight from Kathleen Pingelski, this year’s recipient of the Excellence in Business Award, Women of Excellence. I am pleased to share it with our readers. kathleeen.jpg

“I think to achieve resiliency it’s important to stay positive in all situations, even when facing challenges. I encourage others to build healthy habits into their lifestyle, such as  meditation and exercise, to practice being present and to disconnect from technology on a regular basis.  Have laser focus on the goal or outcome you want to achieve and keep making forward progress.”

Kathleen Pingelski, President
MicroKnowledge, Inc. Computer Training and Consulting
ProKnowledge, LLC – Professional Development Training and Consulting


Caring Person

One way to help your child become a more caring person is to introduce the practice of doing Random Acts of Kindness for other people. Even the smallest act of kindness such as holding the door open for someone, complimenting a friend or talking to someone new at school can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!

good_deedNeed Inspiration? Here are some ideas to do with your family:

  • Start a Piggy Bank for a cause important to your child
  • Donate used books to a library
  • Donate food to your local food pantry
  • Pick up trash in your neighborhood or local park
  • Write a thank you note to a favorite teacher or bus driver
  • Thank a police officer for their service
  • Donate outgrown clothes or gently used toys
  • Pay for the drive-thru order behind you