Sign-Up for the September Virtual Event Featuring Past Women of Excellence Honorees

Success through Perseverance: Learning from Women of Excellence Honorees

Event: Success through Perseverance: Learning from Women of Excellence Honorees

When: Tuesday, September 15th from 11:30am – 1:00pm

The road to success is filled with distractions, difficulties, obstacles, and discouragements. Learn from Women of Excellence recipients about how they persevered to their successes.

Join our moderator Dawn Abbuhl, President, Repeat Business Systems as she engages Daquetta Jones, Deputy Commissioner for Administration, NYS Department of Civil Service; Suzie Mookherjee, Cardiologist, Albany Medical Center, and Sabrina Mosseau, Executive Director, New York Oncology Hematology for an armchair discussion that will reinforce the concept that nothing in life is a straight line.

P.S. Please note, the $15 fee for this event is for all members, regardless of your membership level in light of COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding.

To register, please visit HERE!

Member Spotlight: Amy Aldrich, State Farm Insurance Agent

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories. This week, meet Amy Aldrich, an Insurance Agent through State Farm.

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

“With a very active 19 and 17 year old, I haven’t had many 30 minute blocks of free, me time in decades. When I do occasionally find that window, I am overwhelmed with the conundrum of choosing between so many great options: do I watch a movie, do I exercise, do I take a nap, do I meditate, do I eat ice cream???? What should I do???? It takes me 12 minutes to decide. Then I thoroughly enjoy the other 18.”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I love helping customers and community members find solutions to their needs, whether it is protecting their family, or meeting someone who can help them achieve their goals. I love getting to know people; their joys and their struggles. I thoroughly enjoy connecting dots – whether matching needs to solutions, finding out who is related to whom, or learning something new from my last conversation with someone.”

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

“Don’t look too hard for your passion. It will find you, its due time, if you are open to it. Always conduct yourself with Grace. Always treat others with respect and kindness, and meet them where they are. You never know what is going on behind their scenes.”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“The best advice I ever received was how to shake hands from my dad. I can’t tell you how many people have commented on my handshake over the years. Many people – especially men, give you instant respect when you shake their hand firmly and look them in the eye. Hopefully, we will get to do this again soon.”

Virtually Attend Bold in Business 2020

We invite you to join the Women’s Business Council for Bold in Business on October 2, which is going virtual this year!

Our featured speaker is Beth Comstock, author of Imagine it Forward, a candid and personal book that details lessons from her nearly thirty-year career at GE.

Comstock will offer practical advice about how to find the courage to defy convention (and company gatekeepers), the resilience to overcome failure, and the creativity to reinvent what is possible. All participants will also receive a copy of the book!

To register, please visit

5 things I learned from my (home) office mate

From the desk of Karen Lombardo, Owner Put Another Way

If you are like most people, the pandemic has skewed your sense of date and time. WebMD posted an article on May 7, 2020, titled, Today is Blursday: How Lockdown Warps Time. The author, Brenda Goodman, MA, hits the nail on the head:

If it feels like all your internal clocks are melting as your stay-at-home days drone on, you are not alone. Researchers say that people in various levels of COVID-19 lockdown around the world are reporting a distorted sense of time.

Some people say they feel as if their days are sped up and flying by, while others sense that time has slowed to a crawl. An event that happened just weeks ago feels like something that happened years ago. Read more

It doesn’t seem to affect my (home) office mate.

I think we could all use a little bit of levity. In full disclosure, Izzy is my 13-year-old Pug. She is deaf and blind, yet loyal and loving. Zoom is our meeting place of choice, and I am one of those people who thoroughly enjoy seeing my clients and colleagues in their home, with a droopy dog’s face on the desk, a naked little boy streaking past an office door (true story), and a Roll Tide banner in the background.

Izzy is unfazed by this change in our work and social lives. She is teaching me a lesson without saying a word. Here are 5 things I learned from my (home) office mate Izzy:

  1. Keep a schedule. Izzy has a plan, ok, it is an eating schedule none-the-less. She is religious about snack time, lunchtime, and dinner/quitting time. We should do the same. If you were at work, you would eat lunch at the same time, take a walk. Please do it. What’s stopping you?
  2. Order, not chaos. Pugs are very peaceful but creatures of habit. Izzy fluffs her blankets in the morning and settles in for a good day’s ‘work.’ Enter your home working space as if you just arrived at your ‘normal’ office. Set yourself up for the day and begin. Don’t overthink it, just be.

Are you getting the message?

  • Take a break. Nature calls, and Izzy soaks up the sun for a few extra minutes. She senses a nearby bunny rabbit but dismisses the thought of expending the energy. Izzy need creates a break for me too. The weather is lovely here in the Capital District, so take that extra moment to get some sunshine. You don’t need Izzy to enjoy the fresh air.
  • Huddle up. Izzy is my only office mate, but years ago, I had two poodles, Nikki and Sukki. They were buds, and after they ‘did their thing’ separately, they huddled up and together found peace and relaxation in that small dog bed. My version? I have a squad. Yup, Rita, Sabrina, and Lauren. We keep each other up and running, virtual hugging when needed, and a lifeline when things get crazy. Find your squad and huddle up. You will be better for it.
  • Take a vacation/staycation. Izzy is retired, so the vacation option does not apply, but I am telling you, time off comes in many shapes and is beneficial. As mentioned before, take a walk. Read a good book on your front porch, deck, or lazy chair and choose a book that will ‘take you away’ for a while. Email me, and I will share some great titles with you.

I hope this post made you smile. The picture you see is Izzy in all her glory. Let’s be a little more like an office mate some days, and the boss will be happier, healthier, and more productive.

Karen Lombardo is the founder of Put Another Way LLC. Karen has been creating websites and relevant content for businesses for over a decade. The company culture is relaxed, our office mate is an old Pug named Izzy, and our philosophy is to listen first, create later.

Member Spotlight: Megan Baker, Founder, CEO & President of Baker Public Relations

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Megan Baker, Founder, President & CEO of Baker Public Relations. “Located in Albany, New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Baker Public Relations, a New York State Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), is committed to providing the highest level of personalized service to its clients since its inception in 2007.” Their creative public relations and marketing campaigns tackle the challenges of an ever-changing media and social landscape.

Megan herself has been a communicator for more than 20 years and specializes in developing and leading media training programs for high level CEOs and executives, using her skills honed as a reporter to prepare clients for live events and aggressive media questioning

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

“Self-care is most important. When I have 30 minutes of free time, which is usually early morning before my kids wake, I meditate outside in my backyard next to my Koi pond. The sound of the waterfalls soothes me and helps to set the tone for the day. During the winter months, I make use of my sunroom where I can sit and focus on breathing and do some light stretching.”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I am a people person. What I love most about being an entrepreneur and communications professional is nurturing and growing a team, working with organizations and brands to help meet business goals and objectives, building long-term relationships in the community and mentoring young women. I also enjoy supporting my team professionally and personally. When they’re happy and find what they do meaningful, it brings me great satisfaction. I also enjoy sharing individual stories and am happy to be doing this through a video podcast series we launched over a year ago at Baker Public Relations called InfluenceHER. It’s a platform for women in our local communities to share stories about success, failure, overcoming obstacles, etc.”

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

“What I would most like to tell myself at the age of 13 is to have confidence in who you are. I have four beautiful daughters and a son and I worry so much about what we/society are exposing them to at such a young age. In other words, don’t get wrapped up in what you look like, your shape or what you have, but build strong relationships and enjoy being a kid. Get dirty, feel the earth beneath your feet and don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh and explore as much as possible.”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to never take no for an answer. This advice came from my mom who spent years in sales in a male-dominated industry. It’s something that helped me as a young broadcast news reporter and anchor and translated to private business. Persistence is important and there’s always a way to reframe what you’re asking for. Sure, I’ve failed, but it made me work harder. Rejection happens and not everyone is going to cheer you on and that’s quite alright. It provides you a new opportunity to refocus on moving toward your goals.”

Virtually Attend the WBC’s “Wellness in the Workplace” Event in August

Article: Top workplace wellness trends that will dominate in 2020 ...

Feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or burnt-out? Let’s talk about it. Join us to discuss topics that focus on mental health and overall wellness.

The event will begin with a mindfulness exercise, followed by an armchair discussion with four distinguished speakers who will share their personal experiences. You will leave with strategies and tools to use in your day-to-day life, not to mention the peace of mind knowing you’re not alone!


Virginia Golden, CEO of Equinox, Inc.

Angela Pearson, President/CEO of OD Synergistics Consulting, LLC

Jennifer Bashant, Ph.D., CEO of Building Better Futures, LLC

Audrey Maiello Cunningham, Esq., Project Director, Regulatory Affairs for the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board


Jeannie Thomma, Senior Director Infant & Toddler Project at The Early Care and Learning Council

This will be a Zoom webinar. Information on how to log in will be emailed to you no later than 12 noon on Monday, August 3 after you register. To register, please visit HERE.

Member Spotlight: Jennifer Hendricks-Fogg of Aflac NY & the Logan Strong Foundation

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Jennifer Hendricks-Fogg, a Benefits Consultant at AFLAC NY and President of the Logan Strong Foundation, an organization with a mission to raise childhood cancer awareness and provide items of comfort and support for children and families while they are fighting cancer in and out of the hospital.

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

“Between working full time, having a special needs toddler, President of the Logan Strong Foundation and a Rotarian, I don’t get free time very often. So when I do, I like to do NOTHING! Sit on the couch or the deck with a nice glass of wine and just relax, or at least try to!”

What do you love most about what you do?

“Helping people! My entire life has been about helping people and paying it forward and now I get paid to do that. It’s a cliche but it’s true….do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. I LOVE my “job!” I get to meet new people all the time and help protect them from life’s mishaps!”

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

“The two biggest things I would tell my 13-year-old self is to worry about yourself and be kind! It sounds like a contradiction but if you think about it; it means to worry about what’s important to you and focus on your life AND be kind to others and respect and appreciate our differences.”

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

“Mentors, friendships, support! Women helping women is AMAZING!!!”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“‘Make a change or make a change!’ Basically, get out of your own way. If something isn’t working, change it….it’s not going to correct itself.”

Submit Your Story for Voices in the Crowd 2020

No alternative text description for this image

The Chamber’s Women’s Business Council wants to hear from you for this year’s Voices in the Crowd program!

The theme this year is “The Journey Through the Lens of Race, Class, and Culture; Inspiration for Hope and Change.” We are sharing stories from people in our community who have overcome adversity, seen something and said something, didn’t think they had a voice, and finally felt heard, or went from feeling invisible to being seen.

If you have a story to share, please click here for submission details:

Member Spotlight: Nicole Snow, Darn Good Yarn

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Nicole Snow, Founder & CEO of Darn Good Yarn. Nicole “founded Darn Good Yarn in 2008 when she wanted to combine her passion for creating, and her dedication to helping others. Nicole has brought Darn Good Yarn from being a company run out of a small basement in Maine, to #599 on Inc. Magazines Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies of 2017.” Darn Good Yarn serves the $44B craft market by providing beautiful, lustrous handmade yarns and clothing to the creative lifestyle community.

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

“I like to paint with my daughter or make massively awesome tents with her. I also have a little bit of an obsession with online art classes.”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I love that I get to use my artistic creativity to solve complex problems that incorporate helping people and the environment while aiming for profitability. I also love tying systems together to create efficiencies or creative uses for them.”

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

“Save and invest your money like crazy. Do not try to fit in. Just aim to get great grades.”

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

“Insight and commonality amongst members. Authenticity is critical and experience shares are vital for personal development!”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“‘It’s going to be survival of the fittest’. Told to me by my CFO, it was a call back to basics. Trimming fat in the business and being much more tactical as we traverse into the future.”

5 Things You May Not Know About a Food Pantry

From the desk of Karen Lombardo, Owner Put Another Way

Food Pantries Amidst the Pandemic | WFUV

I have been honored to write the 5 things blog series for the Women’s Business Council for the past year or so. I have compiled 5 things lists from interesting interview questions to 5 ways to clean your office. Today, I would like to introduce you to our 5 things guest blogger, Natasha Pernicka, Executive Director of The Food Pantries for the Capital District.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District believes we can do more together than any one of us can alone and function as a coalition of more than 65 food pantries in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties. The Food Pantries’ vision is to end hunger in the Capital Region. Last year, their member pantries provided more than 65,000 people with enough food for over 3.9 million meals. Yet with more than 89,000 people (including 27,000 children) affected by food insecurity in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties, there is more work to be done.

We thought we would take this opportunity to shed some light and share 5 Things you did not know about a food pantry:

  1. Most pantries in The Food Pantries’ network have fresh produce available. Many also have meat, dairy, and eggs on hand.
  2. There are no income eligibility requirements for visiting a pantry. Many use pantries on a short-term basis in or in a crisis. Pantry use is based on expressed need.
  3. Food pantries and food banks are not the same. A food bank serves as a warehouse where food donations are sorted, stored, and distributed to front-line organizations. Food pantries are front-line organizations that distribute food directly to individuals and families in need. Food pantries order much of the food they need from food banks.
  4. Although food drives are essential, most pantries receive much of the food they distribute from their local food bank. Most food banks use a cost-share model. Much of the food available to pantries is obtained at $.16 per pound cost-share.
  5. Charitable contributions largely support food pantries. There is limited federal and state funding available. Donations from local individuals and companies are vital to funding food pantry programs.

To learn more about the Food Pantries and reach out to donate time or donations, visit the website at .