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Community Movers & Shakers

5 Local Women at the Top of Their Game

Sando Sheena

Owner, Home Instead Senior Care

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

I love so many aspects of my job but the most rewarding is seeing the bond our caregivers have with their clients. It is so much more than a working relationship; they are an extension of our family.

Do you have any self-care rituals that help you decompress after a stressful day?

We talk a lot about self-care with our caregivers and families. I’m a huge believer that if you aren’t taking care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of others. I enjoy coming home and having dinners with my family. My son Trew is quick with a joke, so we end up having quite a few laughs. A glass of Pinot Noir and a bubble bath doesn’t hurt either!

What's one piece of advice you'd like to give the women in our community?

Do everything that scares you. We hear it all the time that “fear holds us back,” and truly it does. It holds us back from learning more about ourselves, experiencing more in life and building new relationships with others.

What kind of legacy or impact do you want to leave?

I want to be known as a woman who achieved balance, unconditional love for my family and achievement and empowerment for others in our community.

Katherine Kiernan

Broker/Owner, Aspire Realty

What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?

People would never guess that just months ago, depression and an unintentional prescription addiction nearly ended my life.

What do you hope to accomplish by sharing your story with others?

To bring awareness to prescription drug abuse. One of the major contributing factors in this epidemic is the misprescribing, or overprescribing, of easily abused medications. If I can help by telling my story to one person, by offering to be a lifeline to one person, then every single thing that I went through will be worth it.

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give the women in our community?

To listen to your gut, and to speak up when a doctor or a medication does not feel right for you. To ask for help before it is too late. And to always, always, show compassion—because you never know what battle each person you meet is fighting.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

I always thought I had to leave my kids a legacy of a big, successful business and a larger-than-life lifestyle, and that's not what they need. The legacy I want to leave for my kids is that it's okay to ask for help. It's okay to lean on others and have others lean on you. You don’t need to be superhuman; you need to be alive, strong and happy. For others out there who are struggling, that’s the number one thing.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your recovery?

Continued personal growth in all ways—mind, body, and spirit. I also look forward to being a beacon of support for others who may be struggling the way I did and to lend support long before their situation becomes as dire as mine unfortunately did.

Learn more about Katherine’s story at KatherineKiernan.com.

Jodi Plecity

Executive Director, People’s Rising Academy

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?

That I was very suicidal and wanted to end my life multiple times about 6 years ago and I lost 150 pounds through diet and exercise, and now power lift.

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

I love getting people excited about taking back control of their lives so they can be happy and live without chronic pain and suffering. To drive them to their own personal passions and crush their fears!

What's one piece of advice you'd like to give the women in our community?

Don’t be a victim of old ways of thinking. Do what you want, as long as you aren’t harming or hurting anyone else. What kind of legacy or impact do you want to leave? I want to change the way people look at their health and care of themselves in order to help them live their best, healthiest autonomous lives, and I want them to be able to look in the mirror and say "I love you!"

Kelsey Rasco

Owner, Dash & White

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

Hearing my kids talk about working at Dash & White one day. It’s fun to see them engaged with the customers and teaches them the foundation of work ethic and professionalism.

What makes you feel the most confident?

When customers ask if I’m part of a chain; it tells me that people recognize how unique my store is and that’s so satisfying!

What's one piece of advice you'd like to give the women in our community?

It’s important that we don’t live inside the lines that society tries to create for us. Love where you are and don’t be afraid to color outside the lines.

What kind of legacy or impact do you want to leave?

Most importantly, I want my kids to have the opportunity to follow in my footsteps. I also want to have an impact on the community. My store isn’t just about selling fun boutique furniture, it’s also about enjoying special moments with my customers.

Donna Block

President of Lux Communities, An Enclave Company

What do you do?

I lead our property management division by analyzing all areas of the business and communicating a strategy to achieve success. Overseeing a team of 40+ people committed to delivering an exceptional experience to our residents, I develop and present trainings, create processes for efficiencies, and communicate each day to our partner development and construction entities on design and market research.

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

I am intentional about “being present” wherever I am. When I’m at work, I’m focused on being as productive as possible. The same goes for my family. When I’m with them, they have my undivided attention. I understand what I need to maintain balance and have learned that there are times when I need to say “no,” and that’s okay to do.

What's one piece of advice you'd like to give the women in our community?

Don’t ever second guess yourself! Women tend to over-analyze mistakes or decisions. Make your choice, have your reasons, and stick to it. It is okay for someone to disagree, but never discredit why you made that decision in the first place.

What kind of legacy or impact do you want to leave?

If I could choose anything, I would want to be known as a humble leader. Every person I impact in my life should remember me as a genuine person that truly cared for their interests and stepped up for those interests.

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