<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022 11:57 AM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    Inspiration: Seeing how many brilliant, highly-qualified small business owners are out there with an incredible expertise, but struggling to market themselves simply & effectively. It doesn’t have to be SO HARD. We get to do it our way - we get to design & run our businesses - and that requires us to see where we want to go, know ourselves, and take baby steps every day. 

    How I started: I left a high school & college teaching career to start a fitness studio with two partners. After learning “how to do business" from the inside out (and making every mistake possible), I decided wanted to help other entrepreneurs stop banging into the wall & start seeing traction from their efforts. So I jumped out of the fitness world and into the business coaching realm, and I’ve honed my expertise to focus specifically on making content easy for you!

    How I’m different: There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for creating content and “doing” marketing. It’s imperative that we find OUR voice, speak to OUR audience, and do it in a style that works for OUR personality! So instead of a “here’s the RIGHT” way strategy, I show people how to design a “THEIR WAY” strategy. Especially when it comes to content marketing: if it doesn’t feel good to you or right for you, it won’t be sustainable for you!

    Advice: Find a welcoming community of other entrepreneurs. Ask questions. Don’t try to DO everything. Take care of yourself and take a break (because there’s ALWAYS work to be done.) Most importantly, hire help before you think you need it. Too often we wait until we’re burned out to get help. Need an assistant? Start by hiring one for 2-3 hours a week. It will change your life. 

    Biggest Life Challenge: Overworking. I did it as a teacher. I did it as a fitness studio owner. I’ve done it as a business coach. I’m on a mission to integrate ease & relaxation into my entrepreneurial life, because as much as I know that working hard is important, it’s not everything. The work will ALWAYS be there. Taking time to rest, relax, and take care of my health - oh, yeah, and have fun too - is a goal I have to be very intentional about.

    Favorite Non-Business Activity: Traveling. I try to get out of town at least once a month, especially now that life is much more open again for moving about the world!




    Syracuse, NY 





  • Sunday, September 13, 2020 8:23 PM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    We kicked off our 2020/2021 Program Year with a much-needed inspirational & positive presentation by member Cindy Ormond.

    A screen shot of an open computer sitting on top of a television Description automatically generated

    Photography by Courtney Seamans of Sweetly Grown Photography

    In 2020, Cindy was about to have the best year of her LIFE! She…

    Made plans to grow her entertainment business…

    Had finally put herself on the LIST of things to take care of…

    Was going to celebrate her 50th birthday on an amazing cruise, then spend a week in Italy.

    In other words, she’d gotten all her ducks in a row…

    And then…well, you know what happened. The same thing that happened to all of us.

    COVID. It forced her to stop. Look around. Take a breath – and because she literally had no choice – she had to stop working on weekends.

    She started sleeping. Cooking. Meditating. Being unscheduled made Cindy realize she was missing out on so much because her business was ALWAYS in a busy season.

    She could finally see her favorite people…

    Go floating down the river with her brother – 

    Spent time with family she NEVER gets to see.

    But HOW is she so happy? Even though all this good news is happening – isn’t her business being decimated killing her? 

    NO. She’s figured out that – though it sounds cliché – there’s more to happiness for her than financial success ever could bring her.

    She has happiness hormones coursing through her body now. She’s engaging in activities that bring her great JOY - 

    Her secret sauce? A book called The Art of Extreme Self Care. And Cindy shared a guide she uses in her daily decisions about what’ll make her happy – even in times of great trouble. (See it at the end of this email)

    WBOC’s theme this year is EVOLVE – we are all adapting right now. The journey we are on is constantly changing.

    But are we happy? Are we energized? Are we filled up?

    We want to help you stay filled up, energized, and happy – so we hope that even during this incredibly difficult time, you’ll join us for our next month’s program:


    Keynote Speaker Cheryl Wood will teach us how to Unleash the Profitable Power of Our Voice!

    A close up of a person Description automatically generated

    Come for the regular Weds, October 7th Program & learn a ton – and if you can swing it, join us for the follow-up workshop on Thursday!

    Both are included for Members! Non-Members & guests are welcome - $40 for both days; $25 for Weds only.

    Register & learn more here

    The power of your story is one only you can tell – and knowing how to harness it will help you grow your business and impact more people in the world!

    See you there – and please share this workshop with your friends & colleagues…

    ~Your WBOC Board

    Amy DoylePresident
    Dianne RizzoVice President
    Anne NotarthomasTreasurer
    Rhonda CabrinhaSecretary
    Jen LiddyMarketing Director
    Tracee Young OrzechMembership Director
    Elizabeth AllenPrograms Director
    Cindy OrmondDirector at Large

    A screenshot of a cell phone Description automatically generated

  • Sunday, February 09, 2020 7:30 PM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    Something’s going on that’s moving faster than anyone can keep up with! 

    Cyber Security.

    Here’s the highlights of what we learned about it at our last meeting - in case you missed it OR need a reminder to take some action. 

    First of all…thank you to Dawn Lanouette & Stacey Axtell from Hinman, Howard & Kattell.

    These incredible experts generously shared their time & deep knowledge about how to protect our businesses. 

    Honestly, we cannot cover all that we learned in this email...But there are a few shifts you can make right now!

    FYI: Ineffective protections can cost you in a big way, even if you’re a small-to-medium businesses. The average loss is ~ $2500. The highest ransom paid in a data breach? $950K - and that didn’t even include data recovery!

    So! A couple things you can do right now for yourself:

    • Take your birthday of Facebook today. (Yes, seriously!) At the very least, take off your birth YEAR. And PRO TIP - stop posting your vacations while you’re on vacation!!

    • Use reasonable measures to protect you and your clients: Password protect EVERYTHING - phone - desktop - files. 

    • Level up passwords! Stop using your kids’ names & birthdays (Are you guilty of that?!) and change ‘em regularly - 

    • Have a plan in place that your team is trained in: a standard of conduct, clear policies, and a roadmap will help everyone know what to do in a breach. Prevent yourself from having to deal with everything all at once!

    Sound overwhelming? BREATHE! And seriously, don’t try to do this yourself. There’s PEOPLE to help you!

    Thank you again to Stacey & Dawn! Use their brilliance to help you plan & save yourself from the headache of a Cyber Attack!

    ~Your WBOC Board 

    PS: See you at our next meeting, when we’re celebrating 100 years of women having the right to vote!
    Register here - and bring a young woman who you’d love to celebrate with!

  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:36 AM | WBOC Admininistrator (Administrator)

    2020 is here - which is perfect because our 1st program of the year was all about CLARITY -

    Clarity on where to get support for our businesses right here in CNY!

    Here’s the quick recap to help you get what YOU need this year!

    If you’re looking for…

    • Free, confidential business counseling to help start & grow your business, then seek out the Small Business Development Center! The SBDC can point you in the right direction if you have questions, need funding, or are curious about MWBE certification! A big thank you to Joan Powers for sharing your experience & expertise!
    •  Connections with women from all over the region to expand your network and your marketplace, then check out Women Ties! Tracy Higgenbotham’s mission is to promote & publicize women in business to create strong economic relationships. Thank you, Tracy, for your commitment to helping women grow at any stage of their business!
    • Effective leadership development & training, then Gwen Webber McLeod of Gwen, Inc. is someone to connect with! Gwen says, “Whenever women gather, great things always happen” - that’s why her mission is to support women on the rise, developing leadership skills to achieve success! Gwen was a delightful & entertaining facilitator, helping us sort through these CNY resources - thank you, Gwen!
    • Encouraging support & collaboration from women at all stages of business, then WBOC is a fantastic resource for you. WBOC is designed for women who see the value of networking in the local area - to collaborate and grow a business together!  Thanks to WBOC President, Amy Doyle for your work in the organization and participation in the panel discussion!
    • Navigate the complex world of building a business, then get thee to WISE (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship)! Director Meghan Florkowski is committed to creating an encouraging environment where women can learn the ropes & get started with unique programs built for the emerging entrepreneur! We so appreciate Meghan’s excitement & participation to share WISE’s mission.
    • Strategic networking & collaboration with & for minority entrepreneurs & business owners, then you MUST check out UMEA. Me’Shae Rollins, Interim Executive Director, brought her vast experience & knowledge to the room - explaining how UMEA provides huge value to its members by harnessing the economic power of minority business owners! Thank you Me’Shae for sharing your passion & expertise!

    We encourage you to explore the resources available - and bring that friend or colleague with you who’s looking to grow her business too!

    See you next month on Weds, Feb 5th when we’re discussing how to keep your business Cyber Secure - no matter what kind of business you own! Register here now -Cyber security... Should we be concerned? Informed? Yes!

    Happy 2020!

    Your WBOC Board

  • Wednesday, October 09, 2019 6:30 PM | Anne Notarthomas (Administrator)

    Dr. Christine Allen - October Program AnnouncementHave you ever been held back from a goal you’re dying to achieve?

    • Maybe you want to publish a book but somehow never carve out the time to write those daily pages.
    • Or you want to hire a manager - because it’ll make life so much easier - but you never make the time to write the job description or start interviewing candidates.

    It’s kind of like driving with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake - we get nowhere!

    If this reminds you of you, don’t worry - you’re not alone! Dr. Christine Allen - our October Program Facilitator - taught us to stop judging ourselves about these patterns…

    And how to start taking action!

    Dr. Allen helped us dive into what’s underneath our choices…what’s really keeping us from our goals?

    What unseen, invisible commitments do we have to staying where we are right now?

    For example - maybe you want to write that book, but you have a deep, hidden commitment to staying safe. And becoming a public figure doesn’t feel “safe”.

    So - you never take action…because we all have an “immunity to change”. It’s subconscious.

    But we do have the power to change our subconscious beliefs.

    It was deep and it was gooooood! And many at the meeting saw ourselves in a new light that evening!

    If you missed the program, we missed you! Dr. Allen has generously shared the handouts from that night; access them here.

    And learn more about her work on Facebook.

    Lastly: Don’t miss next month when we take our ONE Big Goal, our ASSUMPTIONS, and learn how to fast track our success with ACCOUNTABILITY!

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 9:51 AM | Anne Notarthomas (Administrator)

    September speaker, Jen LiddyWere you one of the 60+ magnetic, engaged women our last meeting? If so, how are your goals coming along?

    AND! If you missed our September program, we missed YOU!

    Let’s catch you up…

    September’s program, You Haven’t Come This Far to Only Come This Far: What’s Your Next Step, helped us each create a personalized plan to achieve ONE BIG GOAL that’s been chasing us for a while.

    Each of us left the room having outlined our personal Micro-Steps showing us HOW to make our goal a reality!

    GOOD NEWS in case you missed it - or want to take yourself through the exercise again!

    Jen Liddy, our presenter, recorded the training & gave WBOC members access to it and the accompanying handout. Find it at www.jenliddy.com/wboc.

    The best part? Our October program picks up right where Jen left off - with Dr. Chris Allen helping us Uncover the Hidden Roadblocks to Success: Accomplishing Your Next Big Thing.

    Chris, Workplace Psychologist & Executive Coach, will help you create a personalized road-map to uncover your hidden roadblocks and move your business forward in this interactive workshop!

    Remember - first time guests are only $10 - so bring a friend or colleague you know would love this topic. Register here.

    See you in October!

  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019 4:06 PM | Anne Notarthomas (Administrator)

    Thanks to everyone who attended our last meeting, and if you weren’t there - we missed you! Here’s what happened so you can use the awesome gems that were shared that night.

    Wednesday, June 5th was our Annual Meeting, where we spotlighted the journey of some incredible women among our membership!

    Four women shared stories of what they’ve learned as successful business women.


    Theresa Cangemi, longtime entrepreneur, owns Medicare Made Simple. She clarified the vital nature of building relationships. One tip she shared was how far the simple gesture of a thank you can go, bringing her referral after referral, and keeping her business vibrant.


    Belinda Porter shared her journey of becoming a sexuality & relationship coach in her business  Heat Effect Life Coaching, Inc. She shared the bravery it took for her to turn into who she’s become - and we were all blown away by her vulnerability & authenticity! She reminds us to be who you are in your business.


    Melissa Killeleagh, of Arbonne International, reminded us of how when we show up for our community, it’s like compounding interest! Consistent action in alignment with who we are is what makes us successful. Keep moving forward and be yourself was her take-home message.


    Michelle Wolfenden, owner of Wolfenden Law Firm, PLLC grew her business intentionally, with her busy mom as her role model. Michelle learned that  anything can be done, if you plan for it and work around obstacles!  She encouraged us to integrate our priorities so that we can create the business of our dreams.

    Thank you to each of our speakers for your effort in reminding us all that we can handle anything because there is nothing a determined woman cannot do!

    We’ll miss you this summer as we take a break from scheduled meetings, but we look forward to seeing you back on the first Wednesday of September. Get September 4th, 4:30 - 6:30 in your calendar now!

    Happy Summer!
    Jen Liddy
    Marketing Director

  • Saturday, January 19, 2019 5:16 PM | Anne Notarthomas (Administrator)

    Sharon Owens, Deputy Mayor of the City of Syracuse, speaking to WBOC about the importance of Nonprofits in Syracuse

    Our January 2019 Program, Connecting through Philanthropy, received an overwhelmingly positive response from our membership. WBOC is a volunteer organization and we depend on our membership’s generous spirits. Each one of you brings something special to the organization with your time, talent, and treasure.

    There was lots of positive energy in the room and we are grateful to everyone who attended. Many of you asked for the contact information for the Non-Profit Organizations that were present at the January program. We are happy to share that with you below. It is humbling to know how many of our members actively work to make the world a better place.

    This list is a work in progress. We thank you for your patience as we wait to hear back from a few of our Non-Profit friends. We will send out an email when the list is complete. 

    Erin’s Angels
    P.O. Box 443
    Phoenix, New York 13135

    Primary Contact to Volunteer: Connie DeShaies at cdeshaies@phoenixcsd.org or at 315-409-9293

    Time: Volunteers needed to distribute lunches
    Talent: A CPA founding Board Member
    Treasure: Donations for Raffles


    The KEYS Program
    308 Sherrill Road, Suite 100
    Sherrill, NY 13461

    Primary Contact to Volunteer:Colleen Bennett at colleen@thekeysprogram.org or at 315-363-6446

    Time: Committee members, special event volunteers
    Talent: Marketing, Website Design, Hospital/Site Partnership Coordination, KEYS Family Outreach
    Treasure: Seeking grants, donors, sponsors and individual donations


    JDRF - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
    6320 Fly Road, Suite 104
    East Syracuse, New York 13057

    Primary Contact to Volunteer: Dara Harper at dharper@jdrf.org

    Time: Become an advocate for Type 1 Diabetes
    Talent: JDRF is a fundraising organization, contact Dara Harper for more information
    Treasure: Attend one of JDRF’s signature fundraising events


    It’s About Childhood & Family

    Primary Contact to Volunteer: Michael Gilbert Psy.D. at mgilbert@iacaf.org

    Time: looking for new board and committee members
    Talent: Architect, CPA, lawyer, marketing/social media, illustrators (we are writing some children's books to raise funds), artists/musicians
    Treasure: we are raising funds to provide free yoga to children/families throughout Central NY and for community center project (building/renovations/etc)


    The MOST
    500 South Franklin Street
    Syracuse, New York 13202

    Primary Contact to Volunteer: Emily Stewart at 315-425-9068 ext. 2146

    Time: School Programs for Grade K, which will begin in early March (Monday and Tuesday mornings) and continue until mid-May, and Special Events volunteers
    Talent: Friendly faces to greet visitors, School Program Aids, Summer Camp Aids and many more opportunities

    Visit Most.org/support to learn more about how to support the organization.


    CNY Diaper Bank

    Primary Contact to Volunteer: Michela Hugo is the founder and president. Her email is michela@cnydiaperbank.org

    Time: Volunteers for wrapping diapers as well as getting diapers ready for delivery to partnering agencies, ie, Samaritan Center, Vera House, etc. Volunteer opportunities during weekday AM’s and some evenings, as well as Saturday AM. Also need people to brainstorm for fundraising events.


    United Way


    The Gifford Foundation




    100 Women Who Care CNY

    Primary Contact to Volunteer: Jennifer Savastino at 100wwccny@gmail.com


  • Friday, October 28, 2016 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    Author:  Allison Zales, Owner and Professional Organizer at Choose Change
    WBOC Director at Large

    On October 5th, the WBOC gathered at Pascale’s at Drumlins to honor one of our champions, Tracy Higginbotham. This was an especially significant event to us because it continued our celebration of  25th years as an organization supporting women in CNY. Our guest speaker and honoree was a huge part of us being here today.

    Tracy Higginbotham was president of WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connections) from 1996-2005. During those years, membership had grown from originally starting with eight women to 150 members. Under Tracy's leadership the first bylaws for WBOC were created and board positions were put into place. She was influential in establishing a solid organizational foundation in which future WBOC volunteers have sustained and evolved.

    From the podium on Wednesday evening, Tracy reminded the current membership of WBOC that, “We are women. And we are entrepreneurs… But we are women first.” She looked out to a room of 50+ knowing expressions and nodding heads. She urged that without hesitation or guilt, we should prioritize the care our children and our families when they need our time and attention. “Business will always be there,” Higginbotham assured.

    Tracy also shared some inspiring throwback stories of WBOC from years ago. She mentioned a few WBOC founders by name and talked about their “why” for establishing a professional network of women. Overall, there was one message she offered that bridged the then and now: as women entrepreneurs, we can truly “have it all.”

    To get that, I see that we have two equally incredible options: confidently blaze our own path – or – take the lead of others who have already paved the way; women like Tracy Higginbotham.

  • Friday, October 07, 2016 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    Author:  Allison Zales, Owner and Professional Organizer at Choose Change
    WBOC Director at Large

    On October 5th, WBOC members met at Pascale’s Italian Bistro at Drumlin’s to take an inward look at Leadership in Action. Kathy Adams of Cognos Performance Consulting, Inc., challenged the group early into her presentation. She asked participants: “Who are you being in the midst of carrying out your leadership role? Think about your intent the last time you showed up to “do” a leadership task. Were you focused on bringing your best self to this event?“

    Kathy gave her audience the opportunity to reflect on their own circumstances and allowed participants to explore their own leadership persona and inner voice. She urged the room to recognize their most powerful, generous of spirit, confident, clear, loving inner-voice. Then said, “Put that voice in charge now.“   

    Throughout the program, Kathy merged two leadership perspectives – Being and Doing. The sources she credited within her presentation were Leadership from the Inside Out by Kevin Cashman and The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner.

    When Kathy was talking about Being, she was talking about the self—the character of the self that shows up to do the job of leadership – the same self she called forth in her opening activity. On the being side of “effective leadership” realm, Kathy identified authenticity as a core theme. She used Cashman’s definition of leadership – “authentic influence that creates value.” In Being, Kathy pointed to balance –

    “the need to be deeply aware of ourselves as well as others. Without the other, we are not balanced.”  

    Kathy explained that some say that when it comes to the issue of being, we operate out of two motivations: fear and love. She explained, when our sense of being is operating out of love, “then that light shines through.“ When we operate from the perspective of fear, “we are harsher, meaner and more judgmental than we need to be.“ This theory was one that the group discussed and broke down more together. Kathy assured that fear can come from a legitimate place, but acting in fear doesn‘t often result in a positive impact on our leadership persona.

    After giving the group an opportunity for some written personal reflection, Kathy then segwayed into the other, always present, side of leadership: Doing. Doing, Kathy explained, refers to behaviors of leadership. She used examples from Kouzes and Posner’s research that proposes great leaders do 5 things pretty consistently: Model the Way; Inspire a Shared Vision; Challenge the Process; Enable Others to Act; Encourage the Heart.

    As a final call to action Kathy urged, “You own this… and you owe the organization that you are leading the best version of yourself.“ She identified some options for next steps that will further extend a leadership development journey: taking stock through a personal leadership assessment, enlisting support of a qualified coach and participating in formal leadership development trainings.

    Kathy Adams program presentation was information packed and offered so much insight on effective leadership, but at every WBOC program there is always a particular ah-ha that I can identify as my greatest takeaway. On Wednesday, it was this – Next time I enter a leadership task, I will take a moment to slow down, to physically pause, and to consciously call forth my best most loving calm self. Then I will be her.

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 

Blog posts

Contact us

Women Business Opportunities Connection

Mail Address: Meeting Address:
4465 East Genesee Street, #225
Syracuse, New York  13214
SKY Armory*
351 South Clinton Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

* Check Program details to confirm location of meeting.


Sitemap  |  Programs  |  Directory  |  Join  |  Blog  |  About Us  |  Privacy Policy

Copyright © Women Business Opportunities Connection.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software