Discrimination Linked to Increased Stress & Poorer Health

American Psychological Association Survey Finds Stress in America™ poll shows many who experience discrimination live in heightened state of vigilance due to anticipated discrimination.

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nearly half of U.S. adults report they have experienced a major form of unfair treatment or discrimination, including being unfairly questioned or threatened by police, being fired or passed over for promotion or treated unfairly when receiving health care. These acts of discrimination are associated with higher reported stress levels and poorer reported health, according to the survey Stress in America™: The Impact of Discrimination released today by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of APA among 3,361 adults in August 2015, found that nearly seven in 10 adults in the U.S. report having experienced discrimination, and 61 percent say they experience day-to-day discrimination, such as being treated with less courtesy or respect, receiving poorer service than others, or being threatened or harassed.

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Black adults are among the most likely to report experiencing some sort of discrimination. More than three in four Black adults report experiencing day-to-day discrimination and nearly two in five Black men say that police have unfairly stopped, searched, questioned, physically threatened or abused them. Black, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native adults report that race is the main reason they have experienced discrimination.
“It’s clear that discrimination is widespread and impacts many people, whether it is due to race, ethnicity, age, disability, gender or sexual orientation,” said Jaime Diaz-Granados, PhD, APA’s executive director for education. “And when people frequently experience unfair treatment, it can contribute to increased stress and poorer health.”

For many adults, even the anticipation of discrimination contributes to stress. Three in 10 Hispanic and Black adults who report experiencing day-to-day discrimination at least once a week say that they feel they have to be very careful about their appearance to get good service or avoid harassment. This heightened state of vigilance among those experiencing discrimination also includes trying to prepare for insults from others before leaving home and taking care of what they say and how they say it.

The results from this year’s Stress in America™ survey also suggest that there are significant disparities in the experience of stress itself, and that stress also may be associated with other health disparities. The nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of adults who report that their health is only “fair” or “poor”  have a higher reported stress level on average than those who rate their stress as “very good” or “excellent.”

Certain populations consistently struggle with stress more than others, such as Hispanic adults, who report the highest stress levels on average. Younger generations, women, adults with disabilities, and adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender also report higher average stress levels and are more likely than their counterparts to say that their stress has increased since last year.

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“Stress takes a toll on our health, and nearly one-quarter of all adults say they don’t always have access to the health care they need,” said Cynthia Belar, PhD, APA’s interim chief executive officer. “In particular, Hispanics—who reported the highest stress levels—were more likely to say they can’t access a non-emergency doctor when they need one. This year’s survey shows that certain subsets of our population are less healthy than others and are not receiving the same level of care as adults in general. This is an issue that must be addressed.”

The report uncovered some good news about stress management related to discrimination. Despite their stress, the majority of adults (59 percent) who report experiencing discrimination feel that they have dealt quite well or very well with it and any resulting changes or problems.

In addition, many adults report having a positive outlook, and survey findings point to the strong impact of emotional support. Having someone they can ask for emotional support if they need it, such as talking about problems or helping them make a difficult decision, appears to improve the way that individuals view their ability to cope with discrimination. Adults who experienced discrimination and had emotional support are twice as likely to say that they coped quite or very well compared with those adults who experienced discrimination but did not have emotional support (65 percent vs. 37 percent of those who report not having emotional support).

Since 2007, the survey has found that money and work are consistently the top two sources of significant stress (67 percent and 65 percent in 2015, respectively). This year, for the first time, the survey found that family responsibilities were the third most common stressor (54 percent), followed by personal health concerns (51 percent), health problems affecting their family (50 percent), and the economy (50 percent).
While average reported stress levels in the United States have increased slightly in the past two years (5.1 in 2015 and 4.9 in 2014 on a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”), adults are more likely than in past years to report experiencing extreme stress (a rating of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale). Twenty-four percent of adults report these levels, compared with 18 percent in 2014. This represents the highest percentage reporting extreme stress since 2010.

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To read the full Stress in America report or download graphics, visit www.stressinamerica.org.

 

Source: www.prnewswire.com

Taste Moment

TravelingWineSandy, you are invited to Debbie Indoe’s Wine Tasting/Buying event with the Traveling Vineyard! This was my introduction into the traveling wine world. Carrie Ruggiero, our Wine Guide led us on a complimentary 5 bottle tour of the world of wine and taught us the 4 steps to wine tasting and how to properly pair food and wine, plus much more!  The much more is what I’m going to write about.  Debbie Indoe was the perfect hostess, as she introduced the more than a dozen who attended, into food flavors that complimented each wine.  Every wine was paired with something extraordinary; pumpkin chocolate treats, beef jerky with exotic flavors, aged artisanal cheeses, jewel-like chocolates shipped from Miami and to me the most interesting Piedmontese beef.  Never having heard of Piedmontese Beef I had to research this sublime tasting beef.  I learned a small group of select Piedmontese Bulls were imported into Canada in the late 1970s, and into the United States in the early 1980s.  Piedmontese Bulls and cows originated in the North West area of Italy called Piedmont in the 1800’s. The beef is exceptionally lean and incredibly tender and paired well with the Malbec wine.  I love learning new Food Facts.  Each chocolate had an intriguing name; Pistache, Scarlett Caramel and Galaxy Way. We tasted a selection of whites, reds, and sweet all exclusive to the Traveling Vineyard.  All of the wines tasted (and then some) were available for ordering. Tasting the wines gave us the opportunity to “Try Before We Buy.”  It was heart-warming catching up with old friends and making new ones.  For a foggy dreary winter night it was a great way to have a first-class vineyard experience indoors!

 

Taste Moment

Taste(4)‘The Best Of The Medina Chamber’ event held yesterday at Weymouth Country Club is referred to as the tastiest member meeting all year. Paul & Tara the new owners of Dan’s Dog’s debuted their new Chili Hot Dog Sauce at this member event. The Chili Hot Dog Sauce is made in house using fresh local beef from Beaver Meats in Smithville. Paul was quick to say there are no preservatives and no nitrates in the beef or any of the ingredients. The sauce is slow simmered for 6 hours in their famous in-house root-beer. The sauce is slightly sweet and when smothered over a Dan’s Dog’s was an Oh My moment. Paul is soon adding his version of a Fire House Dog Sauce to the menu. If it is anything like his Chili Hot Dog Sauce we are in for a taste treat!  Dan’s Dogs is located just off Medina Public Square.

Are Your Holidays Happy?

Celebrating…Shopping…Making Cookies…Decorating…Worshiping…

By Sarah Toman, Ph.D., Psychologist

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, many of us can struggle with the countless demands of making the holidays happy for others in our lives. We can experience joy in finding that perfect gift for someone special, or in creating the most delectably scrumptious treats wrapped in unique papers and ribbons. There are countless holiday concerts, parties, pageants and services intended to bring us closer to the spirit of the season. So much to do in so little time!

As a psychologist, I frequently hear about the joys of the holidays. However, I also hear about how holiday preparations can create exhaustion, stress, and even depression. Below are a few suggestions for helping you make your holidays as happy as you make them for others.

EXHAUSTION: SLEEP! Of course, that’s an easy one. Just SLEEP! Easier said than done for those with sleep visited by To Do Lists running through their heads and worries about the dinner where Aunt X sits across from Aunt Y with only a turkey between them. Maybe putting those To Do Lists down on paper could get them out of your head. Maintaining a sleep schedule could help regulate the body and brain to relax for sleep. Avoiding the use of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, as difficult as that is in social gatherings, cutting back may help the exhausting energy swings.

STRESS: Avoiding stress is difficult, but not impossible. Planning ahead, not overspending, limiting extra obligations, walking slowly instead of rushing rushing rushing might make all the difference. Overwhelming stress might lead to panic and anxiety or feeling a racing heartbeat, sweating, shallow/rapid breathing, headaches. You might consider taking care of yourself with a relaxation tape, a massage, a walk in the snow, a chapel prayer, or a quiet lunch with a good friend. Counselors and psychologists are trained to support your experience and help you practice stress-reduction techniques.

DEPRESSION: Norman Rockwell has painted for us the perfect American family experience. We all hope our families will match his depictions, yet sometimes our family members don’t share our picture. If we have lost a loved one or are geographically separated from someone we love during the holidays, we may experience grief or depression. Some of the best anecdotes for depression are physical activity, gathering energy from being around others, putting in place distractions from depressing thoughts and monitoring sleep and eating. Since the holiday months also include gray skies and cold temperatures, Northeast Ohioans are prone to increased depression. Physicians, counselors and psychologists are available to help you knock out the winter and holiday blues.

If you, or the children, adolescents, adults in your life need some support during the holidays, please contact us at Therapeutic Associates of Medina for psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, energy work, massage and Reiki. We are here for you at 330-607-1560.

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How to Look & Feel Years Younger to Live An Active Full Life

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

Fitness trends come and go, but weight training in particular never seems to come into style. Part of the problem is that most people associate it with bodybuilding culture and women in particular are reluctant to join the guys at the back of the gym. But as the latest studies show, strength is a key factor in longevity and an extended healthy life. And in fact, resistance training may be the single most important thing you can add to your fitness regimen. Here’s how getting stronger will help you enjoy your life to the fullest as you age!

Gradual muscle decline
Simply put, we get physically weaker as we get older. Most people tend to reach the apex of their physical strength during their 20s and 30s, and it gradually declines from there. Exceptions to this rule exist, however, including genetic outliers and people who begin their resistance training later in life.

But once our strength starts to go, so do other things. For most people, extreme declines in strength tend to happen in their 80s and 90s. Frailty as a condition results in lower levels of physical activity, decreased muscle strength, increased fatigue, slower walking speed, and unwanted weight loss. It’s also associated with adverse health outcomes, an increased dependency on others, decreased mobility, disability, institutionalization, and even mortality. Weaker elderly people also tend to fall more frequently and have greater difficulty standing from sitting or lying positions.

Gerontologists place the blame on our defective mitochondria—the powerhouses of our cells. As we age, our mitochondria start to degrade, resulting in weaker cells and muscle fibers. We experience this as decreased levels of endurance, strength, and function.

Muscular strength and longevity
As a consequence of all this, muscular weakness is indelibly tied to not just our quality of life, but our life expectancy as well. And the science proves this. Two recent studies published in the British Medical Journal revealed that muscular strength is a remarkably strong predictor of mortality—even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other health factors.

This conclusion was reached after an analysis of over 30 studies that recorded physical attributes like bench press strength, grip strength, walking speed, chair rising speed, and standing balance. What the researchers found was that poor performance on any of the tests was associated with higher all-cause mortality, anywhere from a 1.67 to a threefold increase in the likelihood of earlier mortality.

Now, here’s the good news: To a non-trivial degree, and despite the inexorable effects of aging, physical strength is an attribute we can control. As the science is increasingly showing, resistance training can literally add years to your life, and the earlier you get to it, the better.

Resistance training and rejuvenation
Weight training offers innumerable positive effects on our physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Taken as a whole, exercise has been shown to add between six and seven years to a life span, if not more.

Hit the weights, everyone
As these studies indicate, not all exercise is equal. Resistance training (like lifting weights), in conjunction with high intensity workouts (like aerobics and running), are key. And it’s never too late to start; and yes, ladies, this means you, too. (“Bulking up” is a myth; moreover, it’s arguably more important for women to lift weights on account of a higher propensity for osteoporosis). Seniors also need to lift weights. Actually, they really need to lift weights.

Studies show that elderly people still experience the benefits of gene shifting, even if they’ve never lifted weights before. It also results in an increased production of growth hormone and testosterone, and lower levels of dangerous cholesterol. It can also stave off the awful effects of neurodegenerative disorders and depression.

If you haven’t yet started a strength training program and would like to reap all of the benefits above by only spending 20 minutes twice a week, go to www.maxstrengthfitness.com or call us at 440.835.9090 to request your FREE initial consultation and demo workout TODAY!

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Max Strength Fitness
440-835-9090
www.maxstrengthfitness.com

Anti-Aging through Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry should not just be about white fillings in teeth.

Dr. Rose Photo By Dr. Scott L. Rose

The first person one thinks about when talking about improving ones’ looks is the plastic surgeon. And while they really do offer some wonderful options, most people fail to look at other options. A dentist who is well trained and experienced in the combination of Cosmetic and Neuromuscular Dentistry can also achieve amazing “facelift like” results without surgery. While it is great to have nice skin, it is just as important to have a nice smile and a proportional lower 1/3 of the face. Cosmetic dentistry should not just be about white fillings in teeth.

For most dentists who say they do cosmetic dentistry, that is just what they do. That’s O.K. if all the other parts of your face are in balance. But my personal philosophy is that Cosmetic Dentistry is about creating or restoring the harmonious balance between the size, shape and color of the teeth with facial features and facial profile. It takes into consideration your bite position, the muscles of your face, and the proportion of the components of your face. A bite position that is placed in a neuromuscular relaxed position has many benefits. This usually results in a facial profile where the upper, middle, and lower 1/3 of the face are in proportion and balanced, a much more pleasing and natural look. It helps minimize wrinkles around the mouth. Teeth that are the correct color and shape help restore a more youthful “vibrant” appearance. Another benefit is that a bite restored to a more muscle balanced position reduces muscle tension and strain in the face. It helps improve headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain.

So what I consider real cosmetic dentistry is not just about looking good, it is also about feeling good. Both go hand in hand in improving and preserving our quality of life as we get older.

Rose Ad

Evaluating a Job Offer: The Financial Perspective

When evaluating a job offer, it’s important to keep an open mind, as well as a firm idea of your priorities.

 

johnPresented by Jonathan S. Merckens, CFP ®

Receiving an offer for a new career opportunity can be an exciting event in your life. But even if a prospective employer promises an attractive salary, other benefits can make a big difference in whether or not you come out ahead financially. To decide if a job switch makes good financial sense, you need to evaluate the full compensation package.

Here are some key areas to consider before you sign on with a new company, as well as important steps to take if you do opt to change jobs.

Health and Wellness
• Medical/dental insurance: How do the new coverage options compare with your existing plans, and how much would the employer contribute? With your current plans, are you paying for more than you really need? Now is a good time to review your coverage needs and consider making a change, even if you end up staying with your current employer.

• Other benefits: Does the new company offer subsidized child care or allowances for dependent care? What about tuition reimbursement? And don’t forget about a fitness subsidy, which may seem minor but can really add up over the long run.

• When would you be eligible for these benefits? Depending on your start date, there may be some lag time between coverage under your old employer and coverage under the new employer.

Before you leave: If necessary, discuss the process for continuing your health care coverage under COBRA with your current company’s HR department. Also be sure to cash in on any unused benefits you can’t take with you, such as fitness reimbursements and company discounts for goods and services. Be aware, however, that certain benefits (e.g., tuition reimbursement) may have a repayment requirement.

Paid Time Off
• Will you be gaining or losing time off ? How long will it take you to accrue the amount of time off you have now?

• Are all paid days off lumped together or separated into categories (vacation, sick leave, and so on)?

• What is the company’s culture and policy related to life events such as the birth of a child, illness, and bereavement?

Before you leave: Take stock of your accrued vacation time, and keep a written record of the amount you should be compensated for upon your departure.

Retirement and Investments
• How do your current benefits stack up with the new company’s options in terms of:
o 401(k) match
o Pension
o Stock ownership
o Executive benefits

Before you leave: Consider how much money you might be leaving on the table if you’re not fully vested in your current employer’s retirement plan. Depending on the situation, you may want to negotiate for a later start date or some other type of compensation to make up for lost retirement funds. Also, explore your options related to executive benefits or non-qualified compensation plans, including potential tax implications.

Annual Bonus
• Does the company offer a bonus program?
• Is the bonus fixed or variable? What is it based on?
• What were the average payouts over the past couple of years for someone in your position?
• Would you be entitled to a bonus in your first year? Can you expect a prorated payout based on your start date?

Commuting Costs
• Would the commute add costs or savings compared with your current situation?
• Is working from home a possibility?

Making a Smart Choice
When evaluating a job offer, it’s important to keep an open mind, as well as a firm idea of your priorities. If you decide to accept a new job, you want to be sure that you’re getting more than you’re giving up—both financially and in quality of life.

Jonathan Merckens is a financial advisor located at 11925 Pearl Road, Suite 403, Strongsville, Ohio 44136. He offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/ SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Contact Jonathan at (440) 638-4757 or
Jonathan@GrahamAssoc.com

© 2015 Commonwealth Financial Network®

Eat Right, Sleep Tight???

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

Eat Right, Sleep Tight??

SleepMost of us have heard that we need less sleep as we age. So when older people spend hours awake in the middle of night or wake before the sun comes up, they tend to accept it as a normal part of ageing.  I know I approach sleep as the enemy, something to be conquered.

But do you actually need less sleep as you get older?  Most research says we need as much sleep as a twenty year old. What does control our sleep?  Your “body clock”, which is actually the circadian centres in your brain, dictates your propensity to sleepiness and wakefulness across day and night. These centres are generally influenced by light and darkness, but can also be affected by other aspects of your daily routine, such as what you eat.

Our body clock also controls the production of a hormone called melatonin, which promotes sleep. As you grow older we produce less of this hormone, which may make it more difficult for you to sleep.  Certain foods can produce melatonin.

Snack foods that can promote better sleep.

But even though difficulty sleeping may be a part of aging, that does not mean men and women over 50 cannot take steps to improve their sleeping patterns. For example, certain snack foods may help to improve quality of sleep, especially when these foods replace less healthy snacking options. While men and women over 50 should always consult with their physicians before making any changes to their diets, AARP notes that the following are a handful of snack foods that promote better sleep.

  • Almonds: Magnesium is a mineral with muscle-relaxing properties, and almonds contain enough magnesium to help men and women get a better night’s sleep. A small amount of almonds before bed might be enough to make falling and staying asleep easier.
  • Bananas: Much like almonds, bananas provide a substantial amount of magnesium. Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which many people associate with Thanksgiving turkey. While tryptophan might be most often associated with the sleepiness people feel after eating a holiday meal, it also has been linked to better sleep quality, so a banana shortly before bed might be just what you need to fall and stay asleep.
  • Cheese and crackers: One more traditional snack may just help you get a better night’s sleep. Cheese and crackers contain tryptophan and carbohydrates, which can induce a better night’s sleep and help you fall asleep sooner.
  • Cherries: Cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin, and the AARP notes that recent studies indicated that participants who drank tart cherry juice on a daily basis fell asleep more quickly and slept longer and better than participants who did not.
  • Hummus: The primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are loaded with tryptophan, folate and vitamin B6. Folate has proven especially beneficial to older men and women who need help regulating their sleep patterns, while vitamin B6 helps the body regulate its clock.
  • Peanut butter: Peanut butter is another snacking item loaded with tryptophan. Spread some peanut butter on a carbohydrate, whether it’s a slice of toast or some crackers, before going to bed, and you may enjoy a better, longer sleep.
  • Walnuts: Like cherries, walnuts contain melatonin, which can contribute to a longer, more restful night’s sleep. Walnuts also can help regulate stress, which is a leading cause of sleeping difficulty.

Many men and women experience difficulty sleeping as they age. But the right foods may just help combat such problems and help men and women get a more adequate night’s sleep.  I’m willing to try!  Let me know if you have success sleeping better by eating right at night.

 

2 Great Book Reviews

Have you had a chance to check out the two great book reviews we have in our East edition? If not, here’s your chance!

doreenConstantly Running
By Doreen S. Dunn-Berts

Were you ever bullied as a child or young adult? Do you know a child who is being bullied? Buy this book – read this book – then pass it on to someone who is being bullied. Constantly Running is a true story about a ninth grade girl, Constance, who was being bullied by Medusa and her girl friends in high school.

Constance was too afraid to tell her mother or her sister about the bullying. Her solution was to “run” home from school as fast as she could. That only delayed the bullying. Medusa and her friends would steal her supplies during class. Medusa even took her completed homework and turned it in as her own. The teacher seemed to be oblivious about what was happening and Constance was afraid to tell the teacher for fear that punishment of Medusa would lead to even more bullying.

Constance cried a lot. Her life was miserable, yet she held it inside and told no one. She didn’t want to fight back because her mother always said, “Violence is not the path to corrections.” So she took it day after day, feeling helpless. Then Ross moved into her neighborhood and they became friends. Ross had been a bully until he realized how his actions were negatively affecting others. Ross was a bully because he was unhappy with his own life. When he found out what was happening to Constance, he asked her, “Aren’t you tired of running?”

Ross confronted Medusa and her friends and they backed down. He suggested a school project where everyone determines what they liked and disliked about themselves and tells the class. When Medusa spoke, she revealed that both of her parents were sick and she was responsible for their care. She was angry and jealous and this was why she was a bully. Every bully has a story. Perhaps this book will help not only the person being bullied, but also the bully.

book1Constantly Running can be purchased at www.doreenberts.com, on Amazon (book or Kindle), or by phone 216.916.9410 Ext. 2212.

 

 

 

 

mellisaThe Naughtea Housewife
By Melissa Gallitto

This “Culinary Guide for the Modern Day Seductress” is so much fun to read! It is a helpful cookbook using foods and spices that claim to have aphrodisiac effects. As someone who has been married 21 years, I’ll gladly try something to “spice up” my relationship with my husband! Although there is no medical evidence to prove that certain foods increase sexual desire or performance, we all love to eat so why not experiment and cook a great meal at the same time.

The Naughtea Housewife is a culinary lifestyle for the contemporary woman who can learn to put a seductive spin on their boring old recipes. Naughtea is an attitude—mischievous with a passion for life. If you love your man (or men), this book will help you find “the way to a man’s heart through his stomach.” Aphrodisiac is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust and beauty. Whether they’re mythological or magical, several foods purport to have aphrodisiac effects: Fruits: Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Cherries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Dates, Figs, Mangos, Papayas, Peach, Pineapples, and Tomatoes. Vegetables: Arugula, Artichokes, Asparagus, Carrots, Celery, Chili Peppers, Cucumbers, Spinach, Squash and Sweet Potatoes. Seafood: Lobster, Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon, Scallops, and Shrimp. Then there is a list of Alcohol, Aromatics, Herbs, Nuts, Spices, and Miscellaneous. “These vibrant and diverse ingredients have been adding flavor and temptation since the beginning of time.”

There are wonderful recipes from drinks to desserts with easy to follow instructions. These “Recipes for Love” aren’t just about the food, it’s also about how you serve them, the smell coming from the kitchen, the taste, and your conversations as you enjoy them. Melissa’s final thought, “Where there is love, there is life. Being loves gives you strength, and loving unconditionally gives you courage. Plan a date with the person you love, prepare an amazing dinner, and see where the night takes you…”

book2The Naughtea Housewife can be purchased through Barns & Noble, Amazon, or visit her fun website: www.thenaughteahousewife.com and put in code XP4DJK3V for a $5 discount.

Meet the 2014 The Women of Our Community Award Recipients & ATHENA Award Nominees

The Medina County Women’s Journal is hosting The Women of Our Community Award and ATHENA Award Dinner program on October 1, 2014 at Williams on the Lake in Medina.

Visit www.Womens-Journal.com/athena for more information and to register.

Meet Meet the 2014 The Women of Our Community Award Recipients & ATHENA Award Nominees listed below:

Lynda Bowers has been Lafayette Township Trustee since 1998, has involved herself in many community organizations. Lynda strives to make a difference in the lives of families, women and children throughout Medina County. Her leadership roles have included organizations but not limited to: Leadership Medina County Founding Board Member, HANDS Foundation Board, Medina County Emergency Management Board, Medina County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute for Women, Medina County Animal Rescue and Evacuation Team. She also has served on the Medina County Farmland preservation task force and was a trustee and advisory board member of the Medina County Land Conservancy. Lynda also works aggressively to increase the number of competent women in public and community service leadership roles by providing extensive training and support as they pursue their leadership goals through the JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute for Women. Lynda has received the 2002 YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

Arlene Kay Bowman resided in Wadsworth, Ohio most of her life. Prior to her retirement, Kay was employed as Assistant Manager of Old Phoenix National Bank in Wadsworth. She is a widow, has two daughters and five grandsons, and is enjoying her retirement by increasing her involvement with civic programs at the local level. At present, Kay is actively involved in Wadsworth’s Bicentennial celebrations, including chairing a committee for the Bicentennial Ball. Serving on the “Tea Committee,” Kay has helped to plan five Teas to be held in historic homes in Wadsworth. Kay Bowman has served her community for many years. As the Vice President of the Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce in 1988, she was among the first women in the Chamber’s 33 year history to hold this position. She is an active member of the Bud and Bloom Garden Club, the Wadsworth Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, and the Wadsworth Lion’s Club where she holds the position of Lion Tamer. Kay also volunteers her time at First Christian Church and the Y in Wadsworth.

Bethany Dentler has served as the Executive Director of the Medina County Economic Development since 2008. As workforce is a serious issue for Medina County, Bethany has pulled together a team to research ways to increase the availability of skilled workers to fill the need of new businesses in the county. She has recruited representatives to MCEDC’s Workforce Development Education Committee who are proactive in addressing workforce needs. In addition to her professional endeavors, Bethany actively volunteers her time working with the Medina Church of the Nazarene, God’s Bible School & College, Leadership Medina County, Medina Salvation Army, and the Medina County Transportation Improvement District. She is the recipient of the 2010 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, one of the top 3 finalists for the 2012 “Excellence in Economic Development Innovation” Award, the International Economic Development Council’s 2008 Category Winner in Business Retention and Expansion, and has been honored by the Mayor of Norwalk, Ohio by declairing November 13, 2008 “Bethany Dentler Day.”

Amy Demlow, attorney with Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd., has consistently been involved in the community providing legal and business perspectives to boards, committees, and special projects. Amy is selected for her expertise in guiding non-profits in the formation of new programs, tax-exempt applications, as well as guidance on numerous boards and committees. Amy has been appointed to and accepts the challenge of serving in a variety of leadership roles – both in the community and law firm. Her service in community organizations and initiatives include: Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce, Medina County Economic Development, Leadership Medina County Finance Committee, Main Street Medina, United Way of Medina County and Medina County Estate Planning Council. She was also chosen as the statewide Recipient for the Community Service Award for Lawyers 40 and Under. Amy serves as a mentor for new attorneys who join Critchfield. She is often sought after to speak on various topics and also speaks to Junior Leadership classes about career paths and regularly invites high school and college students considering the field of law to discuss various paths, opportunities and challenges they may face in their education choices.

Carole Kowell, Director of the Medina County District Library since 2008, has skillfully led this large public agency through cuts to State Budgets for Libraries, the consolidation of Library Branches and the creation of Friends of the Medina County District Library, and the rebuilding of the Lodi Library. Carole is a member of Leadership Medina County (LMC) Class of 2002, and she served two, three year terms as Trustee of the LMC Board. She has also served as trustee for the Main Street Medina Board, American Red Cross Board, and Brunswick Area Chamber Board. Carole is a member of Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio. As Library Director, Carole became the founding mother of Leadership U, an employee in house training program intended to nurture and develop library professionals with an eye on benefiting the library and the community. Carole has also supported five staff members going through a leadership experience with LMC, either in the signature program or the new Young Professionals program.

Pieri Levandofsky, owner of PC Computing, established the Lunch ‘n Learn Program offering one hour tech seminars with a local business to help empower consumers with technology issues. To assist women learn more about Windows 8 and iPad Tablets, Pieri organized a Women and Tech Seminar in March of 2014. Pieri was instrumental in bringing the federally funded grant “Every Citizen Online” to Medina County and helped to teach computer courses and create the curriculum to assist consumers about computers and the Internet. Additionally, as a member of the Medina County Chamber of Commerce, Pieri volunteered to hold several tech seminars for members. Pieri is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), through which she has helped empower, support and educate women. Pieri is also a member/advisor to the American Association of University Women, the Medina County District Library, Medina SeniorNet, and Working Women Connection. Pieri Levandofsky is the recipient of the 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award, the Pathways to Excellence Award IAAP Medina in 2008-2014, and is currently a Library Ambassador.

Pamela Miller a graduate of Northwestern University, Pam and her husband have resided in Medina since 1976. Pam was on the Medina Board of Education for eight years and was a member of City Council for 13 years where she was a strong proponent of reaching out to surrounding communities and to the county believing that collaborative efforts make
a stronger community. As the owner of Gramercy Gallery since 1989, Pam has been involved with the historic preservation of downtown Medina and served on the Historic Preservation Board for 18 years. As a member of Main Street Medina since its inception in 2007, Pam has helped to promote the City’s uptown shopping and restaurant district. Pam has served on the Medina Hospital Board of Trustees since 1987, where she has dedicated her time and talent to elevate the level of medical care provided to the community. Her most important accomplishment was the role she played in securing a 2009 agreement with the Cleveland Clinic that would enhance medical services to the
community, bring substantial financial investment to Medina Hospital and to preserve the hospital’s local board.

Mary Jo Morse has been a member of the Ohio State Bar Association since 1983 and served on a joint committee of the Ohio Banker’s Association and the Ohio Bar Association in 1986 reviewing the Probate Statutes for the State of Ohio. In 1985, she joined the Trust Department of Old Phoenix/FirstMerit National Bank where she was a Trust Officer until 1995. Mary Jo joined the law firm of Palecek, McIlvaine, Paul & Hoffman Co., LPA as an associate attorney in 1995. She became a partner in 1998. Mary Jo has been a member of the Medina County Bar Association since l983, serving as Vice President in 1999 and President in 2000. She has served for 19 years on the Board of Trustees of Medina General Hospital, Medina Rape Crisis Center (2 years), United Way of Medina County (9 years), Leadership Medina County (7 years) and Hospice of Medina County (12 years). Mary Jo Morse was awarded the Medina Jaycee’s Distinguished Service Award in 1990 and the Medina County YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 1999. She is currently acting as an approved Mentor for two new lawyers under the Ohio Supreme Court Mentoring Program.

Janice Skeen ThD, Owner/Founder of the National Wholisticenter, where she provides alternative health options for clients looking to improve and achieve overall optimal health.   Dr. Skeen supports the at-risk children of Medina, Akron, Copley-Fairlawn and Barberton by providing back packs full of school supplies and by providing weekend snacks for children who rely on school lunches as their nutritional mainstay through the “Fortify our Children” Program. Dr. Skeen is an international speaker. She conducts “Empowering Women, You Can Have It All” workshops, which teaches women how to budget their time, money and work responsibilities.  Her books, workbooks and workshops are supported by major corporations such as Goodyear. She also holds classes to teach food preservation and nutrition. Dr. Skeen’s “Victory Gardens” have provided healthy food to many Medina County families in need. Finally, Dr. Skeen is the Pastor of the World of Truth Ministries.  She is a Provost of World of Truth Bible College and is a spiritual educator and counselor.

Carol Sterrett as an oncology nurse with Summa Health Center, Carol Sterrett exemplifies the Summa Health System’s mission of “providing the highest quality of compassionate care” and “contribute to a healthier community.”  Her breadth of experience and knowledge in healthcare and oncology nursing is widely lauded by her co-workers and viewed as admirable role model. She currently serves as the Medina representative on a Summa-wide policy and procedure board. Carol motivates those around her with a seemingly effortless and endless abundant energy. She has a unique quality of being forthright in such a way that encourages one to recognize one’s inner strength and seek possibilities without fear.  Carol goes beyond the call of her nursing duties to help and support her colleagues and patients.

Tami Smith and her partner opened in February, 2008 their Allstate Insurance Agency in Grafton, Ohio. Recently, the Agency opened a second office in LaGrange.  Smith & Schmidt is recognized as a Premier Agency with Allstate each year, qualifying for higher award recognition.  In developing a solid customer base, Tami and her partner created Working Women Connection, a networking group whose philosophy is to Inspire, Motivate and Celebrate women in business. This group provides an organized format for women to support one another through business referrals.  Between Allstate and Working Women Connection, Tami consistently immerges herself in the community by organizing and participating in community events, giving back to those in need.  Through the Allstate Agency Hands in the Community grants, Tami’s agency has made sizeable donations to the Grafton/Midview Library and to the Midview Endowment Fund.

Heather Taylor, Executive Director of the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce, is focused on assisting small businesses succeed.  In 2009, she founded the Greater Akron Business for Breakfast (GABB) Group giving small business people in the area a great place to network.  This group thrives today with over 55 active, monthly participants.  To assist Chamber Members with changing ideas and technology, Heather created and conducts continuing professional development classes on specific topics.  Additionally, Heather formed the Weight is Over group in Wadsworth, whose weekly meetings assist members in reaching their weight loss goals.  Heather serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Network, volunteers at Stewart’s Caring Place, is on the Board of Directors for the Bloom Society, is in the 2014 class of Leadership Medina County, and runs the Weight is Over in Wadsworth.

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