Who knew?

I walked out of the American Red Cross heroes breakfast this morning, at the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.

Who knew we lived among so many courageous heroes who didn’t hesitate to help — an injured friend, entire communities, a family, a stranger, veterans, orphans, warriors, abused children, victims of disasters — in times of need?

Next Friday, the heroes breakfast takes place at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport, where another list of honorees will be feted.

This event was put together by Annie Smith, communications director for the north and central pa region chapter of the American Red Cross, and her committee. The Lewisburg event was emceed with style and humor by Sunbury Broadcasting’s Mark Lawrence, and a host of business and education sponsors helped make the event a reality.

Do you know a hero? Someone who has stepped out of their comfort zone to assist others in need? If so, contact Annie at Anne.Smith@redcross.org to nominate him or her for the organization’s hero award. There’s nothing else like it.

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It’s an Exciting Time

It’s an exciting time, here at Susquehanna Life magazine. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary, a milestone for any business but particularly significant for a high-risk venture, of which magazines are one.

At significant milestones, it’s common to assess where you are and what’s ahead. I can honestly say I get as much — and probably more — satisfaction and joy out of producing each issue of Susquehanna Life magazine as I did the very first issue. That component of my life is satisfying and flourishing.

However, at this juncture, I want to give back to the region that has been so good to me. The hard work and energy I put into the magazine has borne fruit, but I can’t take all the credit. The people who have worked/do work for the magazine, the communities in which the magazine circulates, and of course the readers and advertisers that support us have been instrumental to our success.

So what, besides a magazine, do I have to offer?

Knowledge. Enthusiasm. Passion. Information. Cheerleading. Mentoring. Support. Encouragement. Ideas. Business savvy. Advice.

These concepts are playing a role in the development of the Women’s Professional Partnership (formerly the Women’s Business Collective). I, together with Liz Furia of Elizabeth’s An American Bistro, are putting together an organization to support women and help them succeed.

To quote from our Mission Statement: Women’s Professional Partnership is the lead organization for helping women take responsibility for their own success.

Our Business Strategy is to hold monthly meetings and organize educational events, match mentors with mentees, direct women to helpful resources, and more.

But, more importantly, we want to change the business dynamic/climate in this region to be more about mentoring and support than ostracism and exclusion.

As such, we are putting together a business conference — for men and women, because women don’t exist in a vacuum —  dubbed Empowering Our Community Through Mentoring and Leadership.

The purpose of the conference is to be a first step in creating a “mentoring community–”
— a community wherein professional people feel compelled to help one another,
share and build strengths, and empower each other by helping address and strengthen
perceived weaknesses. To encourage those with more experience and power to reach out to those with less with support, encouragement and mentoring.

We view “our community” as stretching to Williamsport, State College and,
as possible, Harrisburg. And, in fact, we have connected with a women’s business group
in Williamsport headed up by Janet Harris (executive director of the Williamsport Sympony) and Jill Morrissey (Compliance Specialist II at The Muncy Bank & Trust Co.) to extend our sphere of influence.
More formally, we have partnered with Bucknell University — including the management dept, alumni relations, HR, career development and the BU SBDC — to put this event together. A steering committee has been meeting since Oct. 2013.
Stay tuned to learn more!