Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook eventbright google plus
Categories Menu

Women on the Rise

We are thrilled to feature women from around the country who are living their passions. Each of these women have experienced challenges, overcome obstacles, faced a bevy of fears and have made the choice to create the life they want. As we share their stories, we hope that you will connect with it, taking away what resonates with you.

Do you have a story to share with us? Feel free to email us at

A Grateful Note

Posted by on 6:59 pm in Elevate, Empower, Inspiration, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

A Grateful Note


Dear Friends & Followers,

2014 has proven to be rich with gifts and abundant lessons. We are grateful for both. Part of what makes this organization so special is the work we do behind the scenes to empower women to live their best life, and to amplify the work that you all do every day on behalf of others. All of that is to say that while we do appreciate the light that has been shone on our work, our greatest pride is taken in being a wizard behind the curtain. As we enjoy the remaining days of this year with our families and friends, we want to thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all of the support and love you have shown us in 2014. It’s hard to believe we are approaching our 2nd year anniversary!

As we usher in 2015, we want to share some news that we’ve been keeping under wraps for a bit. With the launch of the next issue of RISE, you will meet new contributors, hear about the hottest and most dynamic events for women in 2015, and meet new Women on the RISE. We will also launch an all new website as our 2nd Anniversary approaches! The new site is designed to engage you, and allow you to connect directly with one another. Our intention is to provide even greater access to the women who have made their mark here at WWR, and those who are out in your communities working hard to advance women in every way. Last, you will also see a growing dialogue surrounding what’s happening for and to women around the world. From Boko Haram to education, Sharia Law to the 2016 election pool.

Finally, we want to thank you for your constant and enthusiastic communication with us! Your stories and suggestions inspire us. We appreciate every referral and each new client that has joined our coaching program. Our journey is, in large part, driven by your engagement. We want to invite you to continue to share your interest and passions with us, and look forward to the introductions that will be made in 2015. For your courage, and all you do for your communities, and women as a whole, we applaud you!

Rising together,

Joanna + Team RISE

A Summer of Firsts!

Posted by on 2:53 am in Educate, Elevate, Empower, Inspiration, Soul Food, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

A Summer of Firsts!


It has been a while since I sat down to write here, instead posting some wonderful stories from our talented team of contributors, and announcing a few really exciting events for a variety of Women on the RISE. This summer has been rich with content, and energy, but it has been shared elsewhere. Let me explain…

Last summer, with WWR in its infancy and a whole lot of sacrifice from my family so that I could build this wonderful company, I was tethered to my computer. Very literally, there were no days spent disconnected. This year has been very different, which has been a great blessing for our family. I have been very deliberate in scheduling my work time and family time, and while I don’t claim to have a consistent balance, I do believe that being intentional in how we allocate our time creates what our family needs.

This summer has been proof of that intention. While the magazine {RISE} continues to grow and we prepare to launch an incredible fall issue, and the community continues to thrive, I chose to take a few weeks, spread out through the summer, and take off with my children to enjoy a few summer adventures! The kids enjoyed their first cruise with their grandparents, and ate their first clams. From Florida to New Hampshire, we have enjoyed dozens of beaches, collected a whole lot of sand & sea shells, hugged more family that we’ve been able to in years, and laughed a lot! My baby turned 5, and decided she’s not a baby anymore. My middle schooler became the navigator in the family, and my 10 year old daughter became my ‘healthy road trip’ partner. She doesn’t cook but she makes really good healthy snacks for the road. We traveled more than 4,000 miles together this summer, sang dozens of show tunes and shared playlists that run the range of Kidz Bop to LL Cool J, Mama Mia to Stevie Wonder. This has been, without question, one of the best summers of my life.

And now, more firsts approach as the summer comes to a close and the school year begins. Maddie starts kindergarten this week. She is both over the moon excited and not so sure she’s ready to be a student all day long. It is hard to believe that this day is here. I am both amazed at all that’s happened in our lives the past five years, and sitting here questioning where the time went. This will be the first fall in 12 1/2 years that I don’t have a child at home during the day. 12 1/2 years friends… that is a long time! I have more time each day to devote to my passion and purpose, which I am more and more connected to as the days and weeks go by. While my children grow and become the young adults they are meant to be, I will continue to build this organization and connect women worldwide.

There are more firsts ahead, but my goal isn’t to just deliver firsts. I appreciate the feedback I get from all of you who read us here and in the magazine! It has been such an evolution this year. Can y’all believe it’s been nearly a year since we launched RISE?! So many incredible women have entered the fold in the past year. The coming issue will blow your mind, and the women who will be featured this fall are truly amazing. I am, every single time, in awe of the women I meet. Women who are building opportunities for others. Women who are turning traditional medicine on its ear and healing people facing the most challenging circumstances. Women determined to change the way our children learn and our teachers are treated. Women who see a need and decide to figure out how to fill it. Here’s the common thread these women share… faith. These women aren’t rolling in money, or Harvard grads {well, a few are}, or connected to everyone they need to know when they make these decisions to create change. What they have is the heart of a warrior and an unshakable faith. They all envision the change. They connect to the result they are seeking and then they wake up every single day focused on achieving that result. Faith gets them through the days when nothing is going the way they hope/need/want. Faith keeps them grounded as they achieve milestones and faith keeps them focused on the big picture.

This cover image reminds me of that faith. First of all, it took incredible faith to get it. This was not taken from a plane, but from the top of a mountain. Eleven hours with two of the best people I know… that’s what it took to reach the top. There were many moments of “we could turn back now” and even more of “what on earth were we thinking?”. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but one of the greatest joys I have every experienced. A lot happened after this climb, and when I think of the faith that it takes to live a bold life, connected to your calling, ignoring the naysayers and the talkers, and staying faithful in your walk as your pursue your purpose, I am reminded that when you keep your faith focused on what you are called to do, your life shifts in powerful ways. The hour that my friends and I spent at the summit, talking & praying together, changed my heart, and my perspective on what we are all capable of. I hope that the view helps you realize how great the possibilities truly are.

Maybe your fall is rich with firsts as well. Or perhaps you are a woman who is ready to take a leap of faith of your own. We are always looking for women to connect with and feature. Please reach out if you are ready to share your vision for the future, or a project you have been giving your time & heart to for a while now. Are you the next Woman on the RISE? We look forward to meeting you!

xo – Joanna

Designerlebrities, the Hottest New Design Show!

Posted by on 5:02 pm in Elevate, Inspiration | 0 comments

Designerlebrities, the Hottest New Design Show!

Designerlebrities ™ are on Barbara Viteri’s Radar

She is smart, bold, quick witted, and doesn’t mind being underestimated. Barbara Viteri is the founder and owner of Viteri Style Management, a consulting firm that provides business management solutions to interior designers and creative support services to the design industry. She made RISE Magazine’s first cover and now has sealed a deal with The Design Network to executive produce and host her own talk show called, Designerlebrity ™ Talk with Barbara Viteri.



What made you want to take on online media and television?

“Social media is an amazing thing. It’s not like I was actively perusing to be the next Chelsea Handler with a talk show. You never know whose watching or paying attention to your posts, but if you follow me on Facebook and Twitter you’ll see my life and career play out like an entertaining show anyway. I honestly believe this is how I caught the eye of The Design Network and a few others.

“I wasn’t actively perusing to be the next Chelsea Handler with a talk show.”

One day I’m saying yes to speak at events to get over my stage fright, the next I’m saying yes to create and executive produce my own talk show. It’s pretty surreal.

You have a way with words, how did you come up with the title of the show?

I’ve always been a fanatic over interior designers since my first job at age 18 working for a high profile antique store called Howard Kaplan Antiques. That was 20 years ago, but back then designers in NY were socialites, had entourages and carried themselves just like Hollywood celebrities. I wasn’t starstruck when major celebrities like, Mariah Carey, Madonna or Sigourney Weaver came to the store, (well maybe a little) but when their designers did, like Mario Buatta, David Easton or the late Mark Hampton, I practically made them sign my autograph book. They were the celebrities to me. They were Designerlebrities ™. I coined that phrase years ago, but glad I trademark it. It always makes me giggle when I hear or see the industry use it.

You just entered your second year of business, how did you negotiate such an opportunity?

I use to work in real estate and enjoyed structuring deals. I notice when I was not emotionally attached to a deal I did great, but when I fell in love with one, I lost big. I decided in business I will never get emotionally attached so I could see the opportunity clearly and negotiate a deal I would pull a pen out for. The Design Network was not the only network pitching me. I had two other deals on the table from big networks in NYC. Both networks wanted me to do design reality TV type shows. It required me to put my family on TV and it was scripted. I have a cornel rule to never put my children on television and as much as I would have loved a free home renovation out of the deal, I wasn’t in LOVE with the concept of exploiting my family for viewer entertainment. I’m not a “Real Housewife”; I’m more of an Andy Cohen. My deal with TDN just made sense. The network will have new content and a full season of ready to broadcast shows, while I have complete creative control and an all access pass to designers I have stalked for years. Not a bad gig if you ask me.

“I’m not a ‘Real Housewife’; I’m more of an Andy Cohen.”

Give us the goods on what Designerlebrity ™ Talk will be about?

Well you and the viewers are in for a real treat. The show highlights fun conversations between Designerlebrities ™ and me. They are coming armed and ready to talk about specific projects they worked on, what they are up to now and give their expert advice to a few lucky viewers who sent in design dilemma questions through my social media request. I may not be an interior designer, but I have great taste in them. I hand selected designers I wanted to shoot the breeze with on the show.

“I may not be an interior designer, but I have great taste in them.”

I love that each and every one of them are coming on the show to play. They know I don’t shy away from questions and have no qualms to give my opinions, but they also know I’m a loyal fan who admires what they do and hold them in the highest regards. I want the viewers, to be entertained and educated at the same time. It’s a feel good show to inspire and give design enthusiasts like myself a fun fix to their day.

How do you plan to balance the new talk show and your growing business?

Though medication! (Just kidding.) I’ve given up on trying to hitch a ride on the Balance Train. It never pulls into my station. I think the odds are more in my favor as I love to manage things. I mean I’ve created a company to help interior designers learn how to manage their own business. So it comes a little easier to me to put my great managing skills to good use, especially taking on such a huge project like this talk show and recently the development of my new website. I’ve always been a go hard or go home kinda chick in everything I do. But my secret weapon to get things done has been to embrace the word NO. I turn down opportunities others may jump at the chance to get because I can’t give 100%. I say no to wonderful social networking events to say yes to one on one meetings with valuable people I want to build professional relationships with. I’ve given up on blogging to make time to grow other areas of my business and spend more time with my family. I say NO with conviction so when I say YES to something it is with passion and drive that is a force to be reckoned with. This is still no balancing act, but I promise you it never feels wrong or exhausting. It never feels like work.

Designerlebrity ™ Talk with Barbara Viteri will make its debut online and on syndicated television this Fall. Checkout The Design Network ( for further information. You can also watch it on Time Warner Cable in the North Carolina Market. Check your local listings.


The Downside of Profit

Posted by on 8:00 am in Educate, Elevate, Inspiration, Resources | 0 comments

The Downside of Profit

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul… (Matthew 16:26)

written by Anne Riley, Author

In my newest book, Aerie, which came out in June, I included some important thoughts about business inside a suspenseful summer read. An underlying theme relates to the true definition of business success. In a previous article I suggested a business is truly successful when it provides customers quality service at a fair price.

We live in a complicated world, and many, if not most, of the products and services we buy today are so complex we have no hope of understanding them. Cars. Computers. Cell phones. This ‘knowledge gap’ between supplier and user leaves open the possibility that businesses can exploit their customers. Unfortunately, many businesses today do exploit not just their customers, but others as well.

There is a reason for this unhappy situation. This is another major theme I explore in Aerie. Today businesses operate in an environment that places too much emphasis on profit, and such focus on profit drives out quality.

I know what you’re thinking. This statement doesn’t make sense. We have been taught profit is good. Profit means success. Profit means wealth. Profit means happiness. How can profit be bad?

As in many areas of life, too much of a good thing can present problems. Profit is no exception. Reasonable profits are a necessary aspect of good business. But too much emphasis on profit hurts everyone: the customer, the business, and the economy as a whole.

To explain such a counterintuitive position, I need to start with the basics. We need to visit the accounting world for a brief moment.

Profit is an accounting concept, and is defined as the difference between revenues earned (money coming in) and costs incurred (money going out). Thus the term profit is an artificial construct.

To be honest, the whole accounting field is an artificial construct. It is nothing more than a set of rules put into place to allow us to compare the financial activities of businesses across industries. Artificial or not, accounting is useful and definitely has a place in the world. That place is just not always accurate or complete.

Accuracy: There is an old joke in the accounting industry:

Client: What is two plus two?

Accountant: What do you want it to be?

This joke is more true than I would like to admit. The accounting field is not intentionally inaccurate, it just contains so many intricate rules that it becomes difficult to understand the true financial status of a business. For example, a business can legitimately account for inventory in at least four ways, each of which result in different costs, which in turn, result in different profit figures.

The same thing is true for estimating the value of investments, or predicting bad debt loss or calculating the costs of a pending lawsuit. This wide variety of rules makes understanding a business difficult and assumptions about its performance dangerous. What I am saying, to be a little more blunt that is considered tactful, is  that profit, the final figure achieved after the accounting rules are applied, can be . . . well . . . manipulated.

Completeness: Accounting is useful for tracking the financial activity of a company, but the line is drawn there. A company is not required to account for any impacts outside its direct revenue and expenses.

For example, a company is not required to identify any costs related to polluting the environment, or creating dangerous working conditions, or making a dangerous product. There is no easy or fair way to account for such effects, but those effects may exist nonetheless. The practice of accounting just ignores them. The point here is not to berate the field of accounting for its incompleteness, but to understand its limitations: profit does not include ALL the costs or impacts related to the activities of an organization. Profit only includes those transactions directly affecting the finances of the business.

Despite these major drawbacks, accounting is still the best mechanism to allow comparison of businesses across industries. Profit has another advantage as well. It is easy to understand. This is why profit is the preferred tool for the finance industry.

Which is where things go haywire when the whole quality issue comes up.

Okay, time for a short history on the finance industry. Vast quantities have been written on this subject, so I will leave you to research further to your heart’s content. I will stick with the Cliff-Notes version.

1. The purpose of the finance industry is to do one thing: bring people with money (investors) together with people who need money (businesses). The finance industry earns its fees as the middleman between these two parties.

2. Investors desire high returns. Generally, the more profit a business makes, the higher the return for the investor.

3. It wasn’t long before the middlemen in the finance industry became swayed by one side, in this case, the investors.

4. Once investors controlled the finance industry, profit became not just the key measure of business success, profit became the key factor in determining  who received funds to start or grow or operate a business.

5. How did businesses respond to this situation? How do you think? They focused on profits in order to obtain the capital they needed.

6. In the 1930’s, the finance industry ran amok with corruption and ultimately collapsed, bringing on the Great Depression. The federal government stepped in and tightened the rules. The feds forced businesses who wanted to sell their shares on public exchanges (the New York Stock Exchange, for example), to comply with strict accounting rules and undergo annual audits. This was the true beginning of the public accounting industry.

The feds also forced banks to comply with strict lending rules, in exchange for federal deposit insurance. The results are quite startling. Between 1836 and 1945, the United States endured 26 recessions or depressions with an average duration of 21 months and an average decline in economic activity of 22%. After 1945, when the federal rules were fully in place, the U.S. experienced 12 recessions lasting an average of 11 months each, with an average decline in GDP of 3%.


7. Some investors chafed at the federal banking rules, and over time, many non-banking investment organizations were formed. These were riskier by nature than their federally insured counterparts because they operated outside the federal banking rules and were unprotected by federal deposit insurance. Because the risk was higher, the focus on profits was . . . you guessed it, even more intense.

8. Regulated banks started to lose business to these non-regulated financial organizations, so starting in the 1980’s, the feds began relaxing the rules for the finance industry. The results were predictable. The non-banks didn’t change their behavior. But federally protected banks did. They began to focus more on profit. Today, the finance industry focuses on profits to a greater extent than all other considerations, even after the recession of 2009.

So ends the history lesson. What is the result of the emphasis on profit dictated by the finance industry?

A business can increase profits in only two ways: increase revenue or decrease costs. Increasing revenue is risky and expensive. To increase revenue, a business must expand production and marketing and complete with other companies; in other words take on many more costs and add risk. Cutting costs is much easier. Drive down labor rates. Cut employee benefits. Use cheaper materials in production. Discharge waste from production processes into the air or water rather than spend money on equipment to prevent or clean up pollution.

Do you see the insidious effects of over-emphasis on profits? It’s a race to the bottom. If a business needs capital from the finance industry, and the finance industry demands high profits, a business has no choice but to dance to the finance industry’s tune. And everyone else pays. The employee who breathes in asbestos. The child who gets cancer after ingesting hexavalent chromium in the drinking water. The family that needs food stamps because the minimum wage job held by a parent doesn’t cover both food and rent.

Today, the economic situation is out of balance. Businesses earning high profits, understandably, want to keep those profits, despite the impacts on the broader economy or citizenry. These businesses use their considerable economic power to influence elections, write laws, and lobby legislators in order to retain their advantage. This keeps the focus on profits in place, and pushes the broader community toward a riskier, less livable world.

There is a solution that can avert the race to the bottom. It’s simple, proven, and effective. It’s also attached with so much venom and emotion that, these days, its mere mention will set off a firestorm of vituperation and anger. So here it is. I’m going to lay it on you. Let the screaming begin.

Progressive Income Taxation.

All right. Go ahead. Let it out. Scream. Cry. Wring your hands. Vituperate. Whatever. Take as long as you want.

Now. Listen.

A progressive income tax rate is the most effective way to deter the focus on profit and put the emphasis on quality back into business. Here’s how it works:

1. The progressive nature of the tax rate is the key to change. Progression means small, less profitable businesses will pay very low tax rates, moderately profitable businesses will pay slightly higher rates and VERY profitable businesses will pay even higher rates. In the 1960’s, the highest marginal tax rate was 91%. That rate is a little steep. On the other hand, those were the days when schools were fully funded and our infrastructure was superior to the rest of the world. Still, a marginal tax rate on net incomes of over $500 million should be about 75% to generate the proper impact on businesses. Today’s top rate is 39.6%.

2. Many businesses dislike paying taxes. So, when the marginal tax rates are very high, managers often opt to re-invest earnings into their business where they can control what happens to the money and earn a tax deduction This is exactly what is needed to create jobs and expand the economy. Re-investment injects funds straight into the economy, and often improves the quality of products or services the company provides.

With the low tax rates of today, little incentive exists for businesses to re-invest. The incentive instead is for the company to take the money out of the company and squirrel it away. This money goes out of the economy and doesn’t help the business or the broader community.

3. Highly paid individuals should pay equivalently high marginal tax rates. Such rates will prevent companies from re-investing only in their highly paid management.

4. Tax loopholes and special tax breaks should be eliminated so that all businesses are subject to the same rules. Often very large corporations receive tax breaks that small companies can’t hope to get. This makes a very uneven playing field and forces smaller companies to focus even more on profit just to survive.

Unfortunately, in today’s partisan environment, taxation carries a bad reputation. But bad reputation aside, taxation plays a proper role in keeping capitalists from turning into monopolists. Profit-driven capitalism naturally gives advantage to the profitable entities. After awhile, the power that comes with wealth will be used to keep the advantage in place and remove competition. This is the definition of a monopoly. Monopolies are never good. Under monopolies, prices always rise and quality always goes down. The role of government and taxation is to keep profitability at a reasonable level so capitalism and competition can flourish.

Moderation. Balance. Reasonableness. We strive for these things in our personal lives. It is no different in our lives as members of businesses, communities and society. Think about this as you run your business. Profit is fine, within reason. Quality is the thing to strive for. And don’t be afraid of taxation. If you are paying taxes, you, by definition, have a successful business. And you are actually making the economy stronger. Well done!

Rise With Us! Zen Odyssey 2014

Posted by on 7:30 am in Elevate, Empower, Inspiration, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Rise With Us! Zen Odyssey 2014


Are you ready to be spoiled awesome?

Unparalleled luxury + Celebrity Style = Zen Odyssey

I’m so looking forward to meeting all the amazing women joining us at Zen Odyssey October 19 – 22, 2014 in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina and I know you want to be there with us too!

You will be in the perfect space to recharge, relax and reconnect with your passions, desires and ambition. You’ll create a roadmap that will get you where you want to be. You’ll work with talented, wholehearted women who are living their dreams and know what it takes to create the life your heart desires.

Here are the details:

  • This odyssey is on sale NOW! Registration will remain open until August 30th.
  • This is an all-inclusive* trip, save your travel to and from. All meals, snacks, beverages, daily spa treatment, yoga lessons, coaching & accommodations are included.
  • Complete the inquiry at this link , and one of our Zen ladies will be in touch immediately to answer any questions you have and to get you all set.

Imagine daily spa services, a personal chef, health & wellness coach and life changing conversations with world class coaches. This is the most intimate environment you will find for your personal growth coaching with extraordinary coaches!. Confirmed coaches for the fall Zen Odyssey is Elyn Rahman, Laura Schwartz-Muller and Hedy DiCarlo and Camden Hoch. Two surprise guests will be joining us… register now to find out who they are!

I am excited to see you there if this speaks to your heart and let’s be honest who doesn’t need a little pampering and retreat. It’s good for the soul!

See you there!

xo – Joanna

P.S. Early Bird ends July 15th so it’s your time to take the plunge and take advantage of the bonuses until this time.

*Airfare is not included.

Woman on the Rise – Julie Cimity

Posted by on 7:00 am in Elevate, Empower, Inspiration, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Woman on the Rise – Julie Cimity










Branding Monster

Founder’s Name & Title: Julie Cimity, Owner

Best contact email:

Web URL:

Facebook Page: | Twitter Handle: @brandingmonster

Your 140-character pitch: I’m an easy-going, motivated entrepreneur with a million ideas, a huge love for my family & a sarcastic sense of humor to get through it all.

Your Elevateher pitch! {your 90 second pitch about your brand}: Unlike most marketing companies, I don’t have set “cookie cutter” packages. Every brand is different, so I treat them as such. I create a customized package based on each client’s exact needs, leaving out all unnecessary items that don’t benefit their business. Pinterest can be great for some, while pointless for others, so it’s great to speak with each client at the very beginning to find out their goals and their unique story to get a full grasp on who they are. Otherwise, they aren’t able to be successfully branded!

Your immediate region {within 100 miles}: Southern California

Featured products &/or services:

Social Media Marketing
Public Relations (PR)
Digital Ad Campaign Creation and Management
Content Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Marketing (Pay-Per-Click Advertising)
Web Design and Development
Brand Development
Graphic Design
Print Design

What do people think you do for a living?

Post on Facebook

What do you actually do for a living?

I focus on marketing. I take time to create a complete marketing strategy, posting on all social accounts with a premeditated purpose for each and every one of my clients. That’s just the beginning of my day. I also do extensive blogger outreach daily to notable and distinguished blogs, continuous engagement with followers of all accounts, content creation, and other daily tasks that arise. There aren’t 3-6 month campaigns anymore. There are 365 day campaigns. Before, there were ads that lasted 3-6 months, using the same picture. Now every account is different and requires new content each day.

Tell us about your passions!

My top passion is spending time with my family and friends. I have such an amazing support system. I love traveling with them and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Another passion of mine is getting results with my marketing skills. To get attention from a large account and brainstorm new out-of-the-box ways to gain traffic and exposure is the drive that pushes me harder every day. I am lucky to have found a team that has the same passion.

Who|what inspires what you do?

My biggest inspiration would have to be Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a very famous social media marketer that took his father’s wine shop to a new level by creating which led the store to grow from a $3 million company to a $45 million business, which then led to Wine Library TV. Listening to him speak is incredibly motivating because he explains things in ways that make you stop and ask yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” His drive and passion for what he does inspires me to learn as much as I can every day. The marketing world is always changing and his advice has been a huge stepping stone in creating my business. I highly recommend his book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”.

Was there a turning point in your life that led you to your current career?

Definitely. In 2005, I was working as a receptionist for a promotions company. I was tired of having such a limited position and making $10/hour, so I decided to go to MySpace and reach out to local bands to offer our services. I put together a template letter introducing myself, explaining that I would be able to put their band name on any products they’d like for the lowest cost out there. I sent out about 100 emails and by the end of the day, I had over 50 responses. So I went back to work after dinner and I responded to all of them, including quotes with pricing and options. That was the beginning of my social media career. The next year, I had a son and wanted a job closer to my house so I didn’t have to spend over 2 hours in traffic every day. I started working for an online party and wedding planning guide, selling ads to vendors.
In 2009, I went through a divorce and was completely unhappy with where my career was going. The ad sales were declining and I was barely able to pay my bills. I was trying to start my own baby gift business on the side, using social media to help gain more exposure. I was even thinking of getting my real estate license. I was completely lost.

The night of September 11, 2009 changed my life. I was in a car accident that flipped my car and broke my neck. I was in the hospital for 1 month and in a halo for 3 months. I lost my driver’s license for a year and was out of work as well, which prevented me from paying my bills and being able to fully take care of my son. I was living in my parent’s house again and felt like I would never get my life back because of how many bridges I had to cross just to be able to feel like a normal human being again.
In December 2009, I met the love of my life. He inspired me to be the best person that I could be. He gave me hope and made me push to get more out of my second chance at life.

Once I was able to work again, I started looking for social media marketing positions because I knew how to get results and wanted to focus on a job I knew I was naturally good at and actually enjoyed. The first company I worked for was a complete joke. I was there for 11 months before I found a better job, after months of searching. I still wasn’t making a sufficient income, so I began to look for clients to work for on the side. On weekends, I would meet people at Starbucks to teach them how to use social media. I found 2 clients that I would work for from home which helped out a bit more. Then at the end of September, my boss called me into his office. I thought he was calling me in because my 90 days were up and I was promised a raise. Instead, he explained that he was letting my position go and was going to give me my vacation pay and benefits until the end of October. I knew I had to do something.

The next day, the owner of GrooveBook called me. He had found my ad and asked if I could come in for an interview. He offered me a full time job while working from home. I already had the other 2 clients, so I was now making more than I was at my full time job at the office. I bought a website domain and here I am, 1 ½ years later, happier than I’ve ever been. I am able to work from home and spend time with my son. I hired someone to help me for the first time in December 2013 and that has gone better than I ever could have imagined. I am now able to take on more clients and advance my business into a comprehensive marketing team.

If money weren’t a factor, what would you be doing?

I would be doing the same thing I’m doing now. I have such a passion for getting results and helping small companies grow. Helping GrooveBook get on The TODAY Show in January 2013 was such a huge accomplishment for me, I am constantly looking for more opportunities to help my clients, in addition to growing my own company.

How does your brand benefit your community and|or a greater purpose?

I think my brand speaks to small companies because they don’t have a huge marketing budget when they first call me. They know they need to be on social media, but they don’t know how to do it themselves. Most marketing companies have huge packages that are already put together without initially speaking to the client and I think that’s where Branding Monster stands out. I take the time to listen to their story, customize a marketing campaign and create their voice to help build their brand. Again, watching companies grow from something small is so inspiring to be a part of. I fully understand the challenges, financial aspects and time it takes to market your business because I am a small business as well.

What’s in your Bucket List?

I would give anything to explore Europe. That has been at the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember.
I would also love to become a larger agency with a larger team that has the same goals and beliefs as I do. I want to build a fun office that people look forward to waking up and going to every day.

Knowing all you know now, what would you tell your 20 year old self?

You don’t think things will happen to you, but you never know what curve balls life is going to throw at you. Life could be gone in an instant. Live life to the fullest every single day because tomorrow is never promised.

What’s you go-to stress reliever?

I have to admit, I’m a huge fan Disneyland. Because I live in Los Angeles, having a season pass makes it easy because to go for a few hours of the day to escape everything. Taking my son there brings back so many memories of my own childhood and seeing the huge smile on his face puts a huge smile on mine. No matter what is going on, I know I can go there and forget about stress and be a kid again.
Going for a run also helps clear my head. I brainstorm while running and think of ways to grow my business as well as my client’s.

What is your strategy for turning a negative into a positive?

I always try to think back to my accident and realize that things can be so much worse. You have to take a step back and realize how much you have right in front of you, the things that really matter in life.

How do you perceive retirement?

I can’t imagine myself never working. I think I will always be trying to keep myself busy somehow. I want to live near my children and have a sustainable income to still be able to travel with my husband. I never want to be reliant of my children. My 98 year old grandmother lives on her own and still makes dolls for a foundation called My Stuffed Bags. It’s a foundation for children that are rescued each year from abuse, neglect and abandonment and don’t have anything of their own. They fill the bags with items such as blankets, toiletries and my grandma’s dolls for the younger children. She is such an inspiration still making these dolls, 2 years away from turning 100 years old. That’s how I picture my retirement; helping the community in a way to make a difference in someone’s life.  My grandma is an incredible role model.

Do you have a personal philosophy you’d like to share?

Make the most of each day. I know that I am repeating myself, but I can’t put it any other way. My car accident was a wakeup call. To imagine myself not living to watch my son turn into the amazing person that he has become is inconceivable. Make sure everyone knows how much you care about them. Work hard and do something today that your future self will thank you for.

What would you like your legacy to be?

I want to be remembered as someone that made a difference in people’s lives. Whether it’s by helping them achieve their American Dream or helping inspire another person to take their first step in creating it, I want people to look back and remember me as part of that journey.

Rise with Mrs. Florida America!

Posted by on 7:00 am in Elevate, Empower | 0 comments

Rise with Mrs. Florida America!


We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with the Mrs. Florida America family. From this partnership you will learn more about the phenomenal platforms represented by the current Mrs. Florida America, Courtney Shaw, who will be writing a column for RISE, our popular quarterly digital magazine, as well as the powerful work being done within the organization itself. To learn more about this new partnership, please refer to the details below.

WWR Press Release 6.6.14

Woman on the Rise – Hedy DiCarlo

Posted by on 3:00 pm in Elevate, Empower, Inspiration, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Woman on the Rise – Hedy DiCarlo


What do you get when you ask God for the most dynamic Public Relations Director imaginable? Hedy DiCarlo. She is our very own, brand spankin new, people ninja and Public Relations Goddess. Hedy is the perfect storm of Lucille Ball humor and Martha Raddatz laser beam brilliance. #TheOriginalJerseyGirl has taken charge of this brand and has big plans… just ask her. It is hard to meet someone with more gumption & moxie than I have, but Hedy has both in spades. She is the real deal… read on and learn a little more about Hedy’s RISE story!

2014-06-02 08.54.32


Organization Name:  Women Who Rise

Hedy DiCarlo, Director of Public Relations & Featured Contributor

Best contact email: | Web URL:

Facebook Page:/hedy.dicarlo | Twitter Handle: @hedydicarlo

Your 140-character pitch:  I am the original jersey girl. I love Sundays & I write to expose the negatives in me & others so the world might be better for our kids.

Your Elevateher pitch! {your 90 second pitch about your brand}:  This is a call to ACTION. 200,000 of our sisters will sleep tonight not in their homes with their children tucked safely nearby but in a jail cell. This group may seem so far from your reality yet your tax dollars fund billion dollar corporations fees to keep them jailed, in often far less than humane conditions. Your taxes go to pay multi-billion dollar organizations in a system that becomes more privatized and more corrupt and financially driven by the day.  You may be led to believe you are being kept safely away from these “criminals” but how can we rest with people like some I’ve met, a stage 4 cancer patient, on probation for bouncing a $60 check; her house burned to the ground and her officer violated her for not living there. She received an 11/29…a sentence of 364 days in county jail. You fund the $180 paid to the company that runs the jail she occupies, per day. Their cost is about $4 a day. Don’t think too long on the final costs and numbers there, they don’t supply her with her cancer meds she had in the outside world, they give her enough to keep her alive within the minimum standards of care. She won’t make it there for her full sentence. She will likely die in jail. The innocent and kind sister adopting her sisters baby who will be born to her in state prison. She’s seeing a lactation consultant right now to figure out how to bring her own breast milk back in from her child she nursed over a year ago. There is no system to allow her sister to pump milk to feed her innocent child. A proper attorney for the women with cancer, an organization with a system to get that breast milk to that infant could change lives not only of incarcerated women who you may feel rightfully belong there but to the lives of the innocent family around them. Simply put, agree with it or don’t agree, Nelson Mandela himself showed us that there are many in our jails who simply do not belong there. They are slipping through the cracks of a financially driven, hugely profit based system. The days of the sheriff and justice in the hands of the people are quickly slipping and with an incarceration rate of 1 in 100 adults in United States. It is only a matter of time and numbers before this epidemic of “justice” for profit directly effects you or someone you love. Through my call to action I seek to produce a venue equipped to look at cases one by one, to find stories of injustice and correct them as quickly as possible and to shake and challenge our system to represent the fairness and justice our country was founded upon.

Your immediate region {within 100 miles}: Tampa – Sarasota – Naples, FL

Featured products &/or services: Women Who Rise has a broad range of services and contacts through our large network of amazing and talented women. From life coaching to life changing retreats for women. We can help lend a voice to a call of action, supply a broad reaching platform for your cause…the possibilities of a partnership with this dynamic and motivated group of women are endless.

What do people think you do for a living?  “Best Mom in the World”, according to my kids, who are the only ones I have asked.  (Note to other mamas – please do not take offense, at press time they had read only my bio)

What do you actually do for a living?  I am a writer and Director of Public Relations for Women Who Rise & Rise Magazine. That is to say, I string together words; sometimes they make sentences; sometimes those sentences actually make some sense :)

Tell us about your passions!  My kids of course.  I love being involved in their sports activities and school activities.  Personally, I am passionate about scrapbooking, DIY projects…addicted to HGTV and super passionate about the brand I represent and what we can do to truly change women’s lives and elevate their brands!

Who|what inspires what you do? Foremost, God and my family.

Nelson Mandela is a person who I find very inspirational; here you have this inmate that the world knows nothing of, he is insignificant, yet he becomes one of the most significant and inspirational figures of our time, by harnessing this powerful and amazing spirit within him.  I believe that power and spirit exist to some degree within each of us. I have seen it in people in the darkest places and moments of their lives. It’s there to harness and my motivation is to help expose it in those around me.

I tend to look for inspiration in the faces I see around me daily, in their struggles.  Having empathy and being able to walk in the shoes of others is what enables me to write about some very difficult life topics.  I find inspiration in things and people that might seem ordinary or even invisible to other people.

Was there a turning point in your life that led you to your current career?

On the sidewalk, outside of Tampa International Airport on September 1, 2009.  My kids greeted me and we hugged and cried and literally fell to the ground holding each other.  They were 8 and 6.  I had just spent almost 3 months away from them, in jail.  My heart, which was so broken, somehow melted back together in that moment.  I got happy – I got angry – I got to writing.  Five years later, I spend a lot of time getting deeply into that entire experience.  It is a path I am blessed to walk and through my call to action it is inspiring, I know we will make a difference in correcting injustices for a voiceless many.  Had I not gone through all of that, I would never have come to this point and maybe my one experience helps to prevent injustice for many.

If money weren’t a factor, what would you be doing?

The exact same thing I am doing now only with a personal chef, an assistant and a pilates coach!

How does your brand benefit your community and|or a greater purpose?

Working with the magazine has enabled me to begin work on my call to action, giving much needed attention to the injustices within or justice system. Giving a voice to a voiceless many who have fallen victim to a profit driven system. From organizing a movement with La Leche League to provide breast pumps to lactating women who are incarcerated to creating funds for legal defenses for some of the most deserving and under represented amongst us…there is no limit to the changes we can facilitate within our system, our world and our sisterhood.

What’s in your Bucket List? 

A visit to The Great Wall of China…and of course I would like many large Thanksgivings & Christmases with my children and their families…lots of little grandbabies running around.

Knowing all you know now, what would you tell your 20 year old self?

Keep a really detailed journal! Be strong, and I promise someday you won’t need to be so strong anymore.  I wouldn’t change a thing because I am so completely happy with where and who I am now and that just could not have come about without the walk to this place.

What’s you go-to stress reliever?

Wine!  (Ask me next year when I plan to change that to pilates!…but I have been saying that for the past few years…hmmm) Truly, getting down on the floor and rolling around playing with my infant son and my older ones too…there is nothing better than that except maybe when we do that at the beach!

What is your strategy for turning a negative into a positive? 

I don’t think in terms of negatives, only positives.  I am not omniscient but I have tremendous faith, I know my ship is steered by someone who is all knowing.  I don’t get “down” or negative ever.  I always think to myself, “I have seen far worse than this (generally true in my case!) and I am certain no matter how bad this looks it is simply God protecting me from something far worse.”  Anxious people are living in their future self…negative people are in the past…I try to remain worry free and just do the work and let God do the magic!

How do you perceive retirement? 

I don’t have a traditional work place so I guess I look at it like I will probably be doing the same thing I am now; working from my laptop, still writing.  I think we will probably be traveling around to stay involved with the kids lives and wherever their path leads them.  Maybe in a winnebago! haha…do they still make those?

Do you have a personal philosophy you’d like to share? 

Live like the emergency instructions on an airplane…you must put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others – you are simply no use to anyone here if you are dead so take care of yourself!…and… You have a gift God sent you here to give out – don’t return home with it still in the box!

What would you like your legacy to be? 

I would like it if my life all made sense in the end, like some large jigsaw puzzle; it comes together in a beautiful picture of success, love and happiness for my children and even the bad, odd looking pieces, make the picture pretty in the end for them.

It would please me greatly if my tombstone would read “Here lies Hedy DiCarlo…she was done, so she died.” and that those words would be true.



No, We Will Not “Calm Down”

Posted by on 5:55 pm in Educate, Elevate, Empower, Inspiration | 0 comments

No, We Will Not “Calm Down”


I just received a private Facebook message from a woman who asked me when we were going to “calm down” with the posts about the stolen schoolgirls from Nigeria. Rather than respond privately, I want to share my answer with you.

We aren’t going to calm down. We will not stop posting stories, images and #BringBackOurGirls. Not until every single one of those girls is back where she belongs, safe and unharmed. Because if it were 300+ American girls, there would be armed citizens out there searching for them. They would not sleep, or eat, or stop to rest until they were all brought home. Our National Guard, first responders, multiple agencies and other armed personnel would be sweeping streets, listening to calls, filtering through interwebs and searching homes and businesses. We would be vigilant and unapologetic about our pursuit of both the kidnapped girls, and those who perpetrated such an atrocity. So why should these girls be treated with any less energy or enthusiasm or fervor?

Because they aren’t First World children. Yes, the media is giving it sound bites, but certainly not the same level of attention, again, that American girls would receive. Or any other First World nation for that matter. You, the woman who asked me to calm down, get to enjoy your civil liberties. The ones that were {and are} given to you freely. You get to enjoy the technology that you sent me the message on from the comfort of your home with your pretty granite countertops and your white vinyl fence. You’ll get in your car in a few hours and drive to the carpool line to pick up your children, knowing that they will come out of the school unharmed and ready to head to their next activity. You’ll go home tonight and feed them, help them with their homework and tuck them into bed, without a worry of anyone coming in the night to snatch them. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your 16 year old daughter will be sold into slavery and used as a pawn in an increasingly rabid human trafficking enterprise. {Though statistics support that 1 in 100 children in the United States will be a victim of human trafficking before the age of 18.} Those girls are your girls, they are my girls, and they are our future.

I am left to wonder if you have even a tiny grasp of the gravity of what these girls are facing. These faceless, nameless girls that you clearly don’t consider important. What value you place on their lives, or the media attention they receive, or the actions taken by any nation to help rescue them from their captors, is a direct reflection of the value you place on your own life. As a human, as a woman. Yes, we may still make .30 less dollar for dollar, but the women in this country are collectively raising their voice, increasing their opportunities and broadening the vision of what we are capable of. We are taking on bigger roles, fighting bigger fights and affecting masterful changes. What you asked of me, and this organization, diminishes that effort. It shows me how little you think of women, and of yourself.

And to that I say, join us. Join us in being a voice for change. Join us in playing a bigger role in creating solutions, rather than asking others to shrink. Join us because when you are feeling small, we will help lift you and you will RISE. It is why we are here, among so many exceptional female led organizations working to make a difference. Join us in shouting from the rooftops until these girls are safe! Your voice matters. Please, I ask you, use it for something meaningful. Repeat after me: #BringBackOurGirls


Introducing Marji Scott!

Posted by on 3:58 pm in Elevate, Empower, Resources, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Introducing Marji Scott!


Margie Scott for KS

Marji May Scott, mother of two children, living alone on the banks of a beautiful river, near Eugene, Oregon… in a quiet, wooded vale of the Pacific Northwest, is content and happy with life. Over the past several decades, her artistic gifts and reputation as an artist have grown exponentially. She is a sculptor, jeweler, a painter in mixed media, as well as a professional colorist for products other than her own. Truly a modern day Renaissance woman: “It’s all about exploring, capturing, and expressing a journey with the Original Creator of all good things. My desire is to discover, reveal and honor the divine, by reflecting nature and beauty in everything I do.”

As an artist in many venues, talented with paints and finishes, Marji preserves the past and proclaims the present. She loves design and form… especially where coloration is required… rustic furniture (layered with paint from countless previous owners) lovingly faux-painted in tints, tones, and stains, tastefully executed for any decor; enchantingly colored metal sculptures of steel; cast silver jewelry, and of course, her thoughtful and elegant creations in lost-wax bronze castings, bearing patinas of rich browns and mottled greens… Each piece comes to life, like never before… ideas and inspiration garnered from wherever life occurs.

Add to the above, high-energy and happy hands, a love for writing and gardening, warm hospitality for family and friends, and she obviously stays on the move, in a life fully-engaged. Originality is the by-word and desire the “buy” word for those fortunate enough to acquire her art.

Marji Scott’s style and sensitivity show forth in forms rustic, contemporary, avant-garde, entirely sweet and totally irresistible, by artists and clients alike. Her work is proudly represented in the beautiful town of Sisters, Oregon.. the consummate setting for nature and rugged terrain… where blessings resonate from the Three Sisters Mountains, appropriately named: Faith, Hope and Charity.

There you may visit Ken Scott’s Imagination, “Where the heart finds the art and the arts find a home.”   An over the top gallery, unfolding with fresh ideas and inspiration daily… featuring not only Ken’s work, but that of Marji and many other very talented artists…

Visit:  or e-mail:


KS banner Ad