Issue VIII

Summer 2015

Inside this Issue

Presidents Corner

New EPWNG Tagline

Sleeping With the Enemy

The 18 Year Old Adult Child

Life Hacks


We have given Wendy some time off this quarter. Please enjoy this update by Catherine Schager.

Fellow EPWNG members, it is the Newsletter Committee’s privilege to introduce you to our exciting new format! Together with the board, we have formulated a plan for fresh content and a more flexible format that we are unveiling in this edition. Instead of focusing solely on EPWNG-related news, we are going to incorporate helpful advice for running your business and personal life as well.  We’ll be sprinkling each edition with handy tips, or Life Hacks as we like to call them. We welcome contributions of tips by members, so please send them to us and offer them at meetings!  Here are some of the other ways we’re striving to make the Insider even better:

•    We’ll be highlighting the varied industries represented in our membership and tapping into members’ expertise to help us gain deeper insights into their fields.

•    We’ll be adding guest authors so that content is not limited to what our committee knows about. Do you have something to share that you think the membership at large would be interested in? Feel free to approach the committee with your thoughts on an article you’d like to write!  

Share your thoughts and tips with us by emailing me at [email protected].  We hope these changes will make you excited to open each new edition of The Insider to uncover insights that can enhance your personal life, business life, and EPWNG membership!

Catherine is the owner of Catherine Schager Designs, which offers residential interior design services, specializing in Kitchen and Bath renovations. Let us help you discover the comforts of home.


By Vicki Gerson

Two creative EPWNG members developed the tagline used for the recent EPWNG In Bloom event ...Dedicated to the Growth of Women.

The title and tag line came to Debbie Tucker and Maureen Larson very quickly. Both Social Committee members, they knew the venue would be the “Ivy” room, and they wanted to have the event in the Spring. “We wanted the event to be about networking and members showcasing their products and services in a relaxed atmosphere, which would ‘grow’ their businesses,” says Tucker who has been an EPWNG member for two-and-one-half-years. Because they thought the women in EPWNG are always growing and evolving, the event name and tag line made sense immediately.

The EPWNG in Bloom event was so successful that both ladies hope this will be an annual event. In the meantime, the Board members felt their ingenious tagline transcended the event and really encapsulated EPWNG’s purpose succinctly. So now Dedicated to the Growth of Women is the official tagline for EPWNG and you will find it proudly displayed on the front page of the re-designed site.

Larson is a partner in The Ivy Room event venue and Vice President of Sales for the Private Dining and Special Events division for the parent company. She was able to make sure this event got the personalized attention it needed. “I’ve been with Lettuce Entertainment Restaurants for 23 years,” she says. “I’ve also been a member of EPWNG for four years.” While Larson wanted to showcase her new venue, Tucker, who owns special events company Eventure, L.L.C, wanted to learn about new venues for her clients. Both thought this would be a perfect place for the event.

EPWNG allows me to engage with smart women in different industries and feel connected to the business world,” adds Tucker. “Being a mom of three teenage athletes keeps me busy enough, but I really enjoy meeting new people and creating events (mitzvahs, weddings and corporate) for clients that are important to them.” While Tucker relaxes by going to her teenagers’ sports games, she also enjoys walking, going to exercise classes, and entertaining at home for family and friends.

Meanwhile, Larson loves to travel to Europe and has visited Greece, France multiple times, and is going to Italy this September. Portugal is next on her list. At home, she spends time with her family, loves reading historical fiction and dining out.

Vicki Gerson, president of Vicki Gerson & Associates, Inc. is a web/print writer and public relations consultant. She writes ghost blogs, websites, press releases and much more to get her clients the visibility they need for their business.


Did you know that chewing gum or eating mints that contain xylitol helps prevent the growth of bacteria that causes cavities? There’s no substitute for brushing your teeth regularly, but chewing  gum that can help prevent cavities between brushings is a bonus! Some popular items that include xylitol are Trident gum and Ice Breakers mints. Check out more information and products that contain xylitol at


By Tina Tranfaglia

Many people do not realize that, once your child turns 18, your parental rights to information about them and your ability to help them is limited to the powers they give to you. That’s right…even though you may not think of your fledgling as ready to run his/her own life, the state of Illinois considers your 18year old to be an adult, who is assumed to be capable of managing his own healthcare and finances (except when it comes to paying college tuition, of course!). That means that you no longer have rights to see their medical and financial records or make decisions on their behalf, unless they have granted you the right to that information through various legal documents, including:

•   Power of Attorney for Healthcare
•   HIPAA Authorization
• Durable Power of Attorney for Property with FERPA provisions
•    Living Will Declaration

At this point, you might be thinking that the college had your student sign some paperwork…so you are probably covered while they are still in school. Most likely your child did sign something granting permission for you to receive their grades (that’s right, the university won’t even share grades without the student’s permission). The student also would have provided your name as an emergency contact, so you may receive medical information to which the college is privy (in other words, anything that happens on campus or in the university’s health services). If your child is taken from campus to the local hospital, the college may inform you that your child was transported to the hospital, but won’t know his current medical state. And if your child is not conscious, he cannot give his authorization to reveal any personal information to anyone…including his parents.   
When I first became aware of this issue through an estate planning attorney several years ago, I wondered why I had never heard of it before, since I work with rising college students as a college admissions consultant. She replied that, in her estimation, fewer than 5% of 18 year-olds have the right paperwork in place as they head off to college. It is an issue families are either not aware of or don’t make time for in the frenzy of preparing to send a child off to university. I have made it my mission to educate all of my client families about this issue right after we complete the college admissions process. And of course, it doesn’t only apply to college students.

Board member and estate planning attorney Sheri Warsh learned firsthand the importance of this documentation. Five years ago, when her oldest son was a freshman at Michigan, she received a frightening call from his roommate that Joe had been curled up in pain for hours and that an ambulance was being called. Her son was taken literally across the street to the university hospital, and the roommate provided Sheri’s contact information to the doctor immediately. The doctor refused to talk to her. Luckily, her son could still talk in between the pain and his grandparents were able to rush in from where they lived nearby until Sheri could get there. Like most parents, she too was unaware of the need for a healthcare Power of Attorney for a child/student, even though she is an estate planning lawyer. Now she has also become an advocate for ensuring that others have the proper documentation before there is an emergency.

The experience of my friend’s daughter demonstrates why a Durable Power of Attorney for Property is essential as well. Joanne’s daughter headed off to a semester abroad in Italy, only to find her ATM card swallowed by the machine in the first week. Of course, the daughter was panicked and turned to her parents to solve this locally. The bank refused to deal with the parents and said the only thing they could do was send a replacement ATM card to her last known address, which was her previous year’s dorm room. Many anxious days later and after numerous long-distance calls from Italy, the issue was resolved. Lesson learned…put the parents’ names on the student’s bank account at least during the time they go abroad and have Power of Attorney documentation.

If you need help getting these documents in place for your 18 year old (or older) child, contact one of the many great estate planning attorneys within EPWNG. It is an inexpensive way to gain peace of mind, and hopefully you will never even have to deal with such an emergency.

Tina is the owner of College Knowledge Admissions Consulting. She helps parents and students navigate all aspects of the complex, competitive, and ever-changing world of college admissions through customized one-on-one coaching. [email protected]


Need a little touch up in between visits to the salon? Pick up some root concealer to temporarily cover up the gray. Convenient and effective, it’ll help your hair look great and maybe extend the time between colorings. Check out:  TouchBack Instant Root Touch –Up ($30,, Color Wow Root Cover Up ($33.99, Ross) and ColorMark wand touch up ($21.95, Ulta and Sam Martriano Salon)


By T-Ann Pierce

Feminism is making a comeback.

Not long ago, I was a guest at a women’s empowerment luncheon. We gathered to honor the long and winding road of a successful, North Shore businesswoman. The honoree told stories of her struggle to be taken seriously in a man’s world. She overcame men talking over her, interrupting her, ignoring her and asking her to make coffee. She powered through men stealing her ideas. She fought for equal pay and respect. She earned both.

Yet no matter how seasoned she became, she has never been able to overcome the pain of being undermined, sabotaged or stabbed in the back by other women. Sadly, for all of feminism’s successes, we continue to hear stories of woman undermining one another.

Recently, as part of an entrepreneurial class, two Lake Forest College students were tasked with examining my life coaching business. When we sat down together, one of the first questions they asked was, ‘Tell me about your most direct competitor.’ I laughed. EPWNG’s Lisa Kaplan and I share life coaching styles and a similar client base. We both write for the same online magazine and, coincidentally, share an editor. There is no one we would trust more with our friends and family, so if it makes sense to refer clients to one another, we do so without hesitation. We also share an irreverent sense of humor and a loathing for Spanx. I don’t look at Lisa as competition. I see her as a friend and mentor. We bounce ideas off each other regularly.

While Lisa and I know what we have is special, we know it is not unusual. EPWNG’S Catherine Schager and Elizabeth Lisk are interior decorators and competitors. They are also friends. Together, they are happy to talk trends and best business practices. They, too, refer clients to one another.

When asked why they bother collaborating with competitors, Catherine and Lisa both cited the Abundance vs. Scarcity model of thinking. “I believe there is enough business out there for all of us.” states Catherine. Lisa agrees.

The Abundance model, seeing the world as resource-sufficient and power as shareable, creates a healthy environment. People and organizations who adopt this way of thinking tend to be better at conflict resolution, communication, and teamwork. They promote trust and confidence. Abundance model thinkers foster creativity, loyalty and productivity.

Scarcity leaders, on the other hand, work from fear and control. They often struggle with communication and have trouble delegating. They feel powerless. Negative energy deflates those around them. People who come from a scarcity model are difficult to work with and they create unhealthy work environments.

JFK frequently remarked that “A rising tide lifts all boats.” How do you view the rising waters?

Scarcity thinkers are not doomed to a life of gloom and angst. Tweaking our habits can create new, more open ways of thinking.

Four ways to shift away from scarcity thinking and reinforce abundant thinking:

1.    Learn to appreciate. Gratitude goes a long way in refocusing your attention. When you retrain your brain to appreciate all that you have, all the things that are going well and the people who make a difference to you every day, you create a more open, positive way of thinking.

2.    Stop taking things so seriously. Tough times are a part of life, but opportunity always knocks. You’ve created a flow of success based on a lifetime of good decisions. You’ll continue to do so no matter what is thrown your way. Concentrating on the negative only makes you more nervous. Relax. You’ve got this.

3.    Give it away. Afraid of losing your money? Give some away. Afraid there isn’t enough love to go around? Give it away. Stingy with praise, recognition, or joy? Lavish it on others. Sharing your abundance is a good way to acknowledge you have enough. It is hard to feel like something is scarce when you are able to give it freely to those around you.

4.    Create win-win situations. Not every situation requires a winner or a loser. Seek out solutions that are mutually beneficial to both parties. By holding tight to the idea that you must win an argument, let’s say, you can easily alienate people. Reach a consensus instead of competition. Strive for collaboration instead of crushing.

T-Ann Pierce is a life coach and owner of TAP into Purpose. She works with successful women and young people as they create inspiring lives. This is not a dress rehearsal. Create a life you love living.



Check out the app/website SpotHero for the best deals. It can be used to secure hourly, daily, or even monthly parking spots. You can plan in advance or book last-minute. It’s easy to use- just type the address of where you need to be and SpotHero presents parking spaces nearby with pricing. Once you select your spot and prepay, it provides you directions for parking lot entry.



Did you know that the electronics you purchase at Costco come with a concierge service for the life of the product? If you have any problem setting up or operating the item, simply call their 800 number and you will receive live tech support to walk you through the steps to fix it. Costco also adds a year to your manufacturer’s warranty. There are some limitations, but it is like having a free help desk at your disposal.

The tips scattered throughout the newsletter were provided by Leslie Berkowitz. Leslie has owned and operated her personalized gift business, Kidoodles Inc. and More, for 13+ years. Kidoodles and her new business, Initial It Gifts, not only offers a wide variety of unique gifts for every occasion, but also truly personal service. Visit or to learn more.