WBC Member Spotlight: Kim Siciliano, YWCA of NorthEastern NY

Kim Siciliano is the Chief Executive Officer of YWCA NorthEastern NY. Serving as the organization’s top leader since December 2016, she has been an employee of YWCA NENY since 2001. During her 19-year tenure at the agency, she has overseen all program areas, including child care, fitness, breast cancer awareness and prevention, housing, and domestic violence. As CEO she provides guidance and supervision to six Program Directors and 70+ employees. Siciliano firmly believes in YWCA’s mission work of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Outside of work she is currently the Secretary of the Schenectady Kiwanis Club and a Past President, the Immediate Past President of the Capital District Child Care Coordinating Council Board of Directors, the Vice President of Crossroads Center for Children, and a member of the Schenectady Business & Professional Women’s Club. Additionally, she is a member of the Schenectady County COVID-19 Coalition leadership team and co-chairs the Housing and Shelter Focus Group for moving forward/re-opening. 

What do you love most about what you do?

For 16 years, I was part of the YW team as a Program Director and as part of the Leadership Team steering the destiny of our organization. Now, in year 20 as the CEO, I work with an incredible group of professional staff members who all support the mission work we do at the YW every day. For 132 years, YWCA NENY has thousands of people who came together to support our community. The rich history of the YW reminds me that whatever I do, whatever we do, as a team and as individuals, creates our legacy and our place in history here. I am proud knowing how successful we have become in just three years of my assuming the core leadership role. Our team has struggled, been in despair, found solutions, succeeded and overcome challenges together. That is an amazing feeling. Walking in and being greeted by staff, residents and clients alike, is as if this is our home away from home and we are neighbors, friends and community change agents all in one. 

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Stay sassy! Always be yourself. Never try to be anyone else. Your success in life is directly connected to channeling the person you are meant to be into everything that you do. Trying to fit into someone else’s picture or mold of what or who you should be will only stifle your growth.  Try new things, meet new people and stand up for what you believe, even if you’re the only one talking. This too shall pass.  Life is a series of ups and downs, good days and bad days, stay the course and know that wherever you are right now is temporary. Whatever you do, do it with pizazz!

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Can’t think of just one thing! Some of the best advice I have received is that remember how you affect others, as the things you say and do may change their life and yours.  Always give support, a listening ear, and an open mind to any discussion.  Leave behind negativity and toxic situations and focus on your goals, but find time to recharge.

For more information about the YWCA, please go to: http://www.ywca-neny.org

The Food Pantries of the Capital District is Here2Help!

According to Feeding America, in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady county, over 89,000 people are food insecure. Out of that number, 27,000 are babies and children. With the occurrence of COVID 19, the Food Pantries of the Capital District is now more than ever motivated to help. They are working hard to ensure that our local food pantries are prepared for these circumstances that are devastating to our most vulnerable community members. Please consider helping this amazing organization by one of the following:

  • Make a cash donation 
  • Donate food, personal hygiene, household products, and diapers to your neighborhood pantries.  Find your neighborhood pantry here. Please call ahead of time – that way they can tell you exactly what they need.
  • You can find their donation link here : https://thefoodpantries.z2systems.com/np/clients/thefoodpantries/donation.jsp?campaign=75&&test=true
  • Volunteer
    • ​They ARE still accepting individuals and groups looking to support our work via volunteering.  Individuals can submit your volunteer application here.  
    • Corporations, organizations or other groups looking to lend a hand, you can connect with Kathy Marco at 518-458-1167 x104.

If you’d like to learn more about the Food Pantries of the Capital District, please visit https://www.thefoodpantries.org/home.html.

Who’s Ready For March 8th?

Mark your calendar ladies and gentlemen because International Women’s Day is coming up!

In 1908 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Two years later, a woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) at an International Conference of Working Women, tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. Zetkin proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, and working women’s clubs welcomed Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result!

Since then, on March 8th we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and continue to demand for gender equality all around the globe.

If you’d like to learn more about the history of International Women’s Day, click on this link > https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About

Also, if you’d like to be a part of something empowering on this day, then please check out The Beltrone Living Center International Women’s Day event! https://colonieseniors.org/event/calling-young-and-old-mark-your-calendar/

WBC Member Spotlight: Rita Cox, Cox Marketing Solutions, LLC

Meet Rita Cox, Founder of Cox Marketing Solutions, LLC! Founded in 2017, Cox Marketing Solutions helps businesses make sense of today’s complicated marketing options with strategic plans, detailed execution, and most importantly – measurable results. https://www.coxmarketingsolutions.com

Read about what inspires her, how she spends her free time and what she has gained from being a member of the Capital Region Chamber’s Women Business Council.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

Walking our two rescued pit bulls. They never get enough attention and it’s a great break for all of us!

What do you love most about what you do? 

I absolutely love working with a wide range of clients and finding new ways to grow their businesses.  The greatest reward is a client who says that their business is up!

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13? 

I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t doing a lot of listening at 13, but I wish I had understood that doing homework was important.  

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

My dad always said two things “If you’re going to do it, do it 100%” and “Things don’t get done by themselves.”  He’s still one of the smartest guys I know.