It is an unfortunate truth that while women represent 87 percent of consumerism in the US we are still vastly behind when it comes to financial literacy. While women make the majority of the spending decisions for the family they still seem to be lagging behind when it comes to long-term money investments and creating wealth. It is alarming to find out just how many women are dependent on their spouse to plan their retirement.
I recently attended a forum sponsored by Deborah Bateman of National Bank of Arizona which featured a fabulous panel of female experts to address some of these issues women now deal with today. The event was hosted by Sharon Lechter, international spokesperson and famous author on finance. Attorneys Darra Rayndon and Angela Hallier, were also on hand to lend their expertise when it comes to protecting your wealth in regards to your relationship, divorce and sometimes when losing a spouse.
It still surprises me that many women are not prepared financially in the event of a divorce, considering the divorce rates are well over 50 percent. The panel touched on pre-nups, postnups and the importance of a will.
National Bank of Arizona is affectionately known as the Women’s Bank and has created, WFG short for the Women’s Financial Group. Women live longer and having the right strategies in place for retirement are essential. NBAZ does its best to bring these subjects to the forefront and to apprise women of their options. No one likes to think about wills, prenuptials, long term disability or revocable trusts. However, by the time we usually get around to realizing we need these things it’s often too late.
Personally speaking, I can say that after attending this forum I did find a few holes in my plans for the future that I intend to correct. It has never been a better time to be a woman than it is now. Embrace your independence and take control of your future.
To say that it can be a scary world these days is an understatement…especially for many teenagers. But there are still some heroes out there who do what they can to make a difference. I am proud to say that I have had the honor and privilege to work with Alice Cooper’s amazing team at his recent Solid Rock fundraisers. It is so refreshing to see people come together for the benefit of others.
Legendary rocker Alice Cooper is Mr. Nice Guy. He uses his celebrity status to create a program that keeps underprivileged Phoenix teenagers safe. For years Alice and his wife Sheryl Cooper have championed the cause to create a safe and fun place for teens. That dream was realized last year with the grand opening of Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock in Phoenix, AZ.
In addition to being a rocker, Alice is so also a skilled golfer and he puts together charity golf tournaments to raise funds and awareness for Solid Rock.
Last weekend Hollywood celebrities as well as professional athletes came together to show their support. It was an amazing array of high profile people coming together for charity. Some of the celebrities who attended were: John O’Hurley of Seinfeld, Rob Morrow of Northern Exposure and Numbers, and celebrity Allstate Spokesperson and actor Dennis Haysbert, just to name a few.
This year the ladies were also included in the fun and attended a Rock the Runway fashion show hosted by SmartFem magazine. The theme was 1940s retro/rockabilly with a little edge. The fashions were modeled by Sheryl and Morgan Cooper and the Solid Rock dancers. Lea Haben, publisher of SmartFem was the emcee and the fashions were provided by Stinkin’ Cute Boutique of Mesa, E and J Shoes of Scottsdale, and by Evans Furs and Fine Leathers of Scottsdale. The attendees were all treated to some incredible swag bags which included earrings courtesy of Kendra Scott Jewelry. Rolf’s Salon and Spa also did an amazing job on the hair and makeup for all the models.
The team of winning golfers were each treated to a customized leather jacket courtesy of Evans Furs. It was an exciting and successful event thanks to everyone who attended and showed their support for charity and also to Alice and Sheryl Cooper for their generous philanthropic efforts to make the Solid Rock Foundation a reality.
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I was lucky enough to spend nearly two hours with one of the world’s most famous hairstylists, Rolf Lohse. I admit it was not easy finding the time to interview him as he has an entire company which most people are not aware of. Rolf’s Salon and Spa is actually a global company with multiple locations both here, in the United States, and abroad.
I loved Rolf’s European attitude as he says women are beautiful and any age and he does not seem to buy into the American “youth worshiping” mentality. He coined the phrase, “intelligent beauty,” which I, being over 40, immediately gravitated to. His belief is that a woman can be beautiful at any age and that she becomes more attractive and interesting as time goes on.
An interview with Rolf is really more of an experience as he is so gracious to all of the guests that come into the salon. He believes that all women deserve to be treated special whether they are regular customers or are single moms who have saved up to come in for a special treat. I went to meet him at the Gainey Ranch location and was impressed with the décor and ambiance Elegance is the word that comes to mind the colors and textures are a mixture of old world and contemporary. (Rolf even designed the gorgeous concierge desk.) His commitment to excellence is second to none and his staff is absolutely the best at what they do.
One of the things that I truly love about Rolf and his staff is their compassion and commitment to giving back to the community. I recently had the opportunity to work with several of his staff at the Rock the Runway Fashion Show that I hosted For Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock charity last week and it was absolutely amazing. Audrey organized everything as Tracy did all the hair for our models, the Solid Rock dancers, as well as Sheryl Cooper, Morgan Cooper and yours truly. Our makeup artist, also a Morgan, was absolutely phenomenal. Words cannot describe the transformation as our show was a retro theme, 1940s, with hair and makeup. The show was a complete success everyone looked beautiful and once again Rolf donated his staff, products and gifts to the swag bags, something he does on a regular basis. If you have not had the opportunity to experience Rolf’s yet, I highly recommend it.
Every woman deserves to feel special and I cannot think of a better way to reward yourself.
The quest for the Fountain of Youth has been going on for centuries and it still seems to elude us most of the time. The whole purpose of SmartFem magazine is to protect, serve and educate women and only work with people and companies that operate with the highest integrity. It delights me when I find strong, intelligent women who are passionate about what they do and who share their gifts with others.
Cherylanne DeVita is one of these women and she was kind enough to share her story. I, like many women I know, have an entire drawer full of skin creams and serums that claim to erase the hands of time. I once spent as much as $150 for a wrinkle cream with “guaranteed results and proven clinical studies.” The only thing it erased was my bank account. I am very skeptical when it comes to lotions and potions and so-called anti-aging products. In addition to the products not working, or irritating the skin, several of them contain toxic ingredients. Having had a near fatal bout with skin cancer I do know first-hand, that what you put on your skin definitely makes a difference.
Cherylanne created DeVita Natural Skincare, a vegan and Paraben free line of skincare and cosmetics for women. She shared with me her story and pain of having to deal with cystic acne all of her life. Cherylanne actually cured her own acne with a formula she made on her own. (She is a master chemist, did I forget to mention that?). Her own esthetician told her to keep doing what she was doing as the results were remarkable. I really enjoyed my time with Cherylanne… so much that my interview ended up being three hours long. I was impressed with Cherylanne’s passion and commitment to women and to the environment. All of her products are all-natural, 100% Paraben free, PETA Certified Vegan and despite the gorgeous Chanel-esque packages, they are all recycled and Earth friendly packaging.
I asked Cherylanne for a tip for women about how to know that they were getting a safe product and she said to read the label, the active ingredients are mentioned first and if you need a dictionary to know what the ingredient is… it probably is not natural and may not be safe. Despite how progressive the US is, it is still about 30 years behind when it comes to regulating our cosmetics. Most of our cosmetics would not be allowed to be sold in Europe or in Canada due to many of the toxic ingredients of our manufacturers. Most people would be horrified if you knew what was in your mascara (bat excrement), another toxic ingredient still found in red lipstick is lead. The list goes on, if you knew what ingredients companies use in baby products you would be outraged.
It is good to know that there are women who will go the extra mile and take on these big companies to make sure that people have safe and healthy alternatives. It is for this reason I am so happy and honored to feature Cherylanne DeVita as our SmartFem Woman of the Month.
As a cancer survivor I can tell you that despite its terror, there are some good things that have come about because of it. I can also tell you that cancer supporters can come in many different forms. When I was stricken with it myself some of the people I thought would be there for me– were not, and some I never would of dreamed of came to my side.
I recently attended the Wellness Community Red Carpet Event hosted at Saks Fifth Avenue. The event was full of beautiful women coming together to support this non-profit organization that is “An Affiliate of the Cancer Support Community.” I was touched to see so much corporate support for such a personal issue. National Bank of Arizona was one of the corporate sponsors as well.On hand to show her support was Deborah Bateman, the Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Strategies for the National Bank of Arizona.
The co-chairs of the event were Maritza Braga-Brown and Susan Williams. The event highlighted Juanita Francis as the annual Hope Awards Honoree recipient. The elegant bistro breakfast was provided by Benedict’s and Nothing Bundt Cakes added a little take home treat in the swag bags.The fashion show hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue was fabulous and the styles were retro, circa 1960.
Saks Fifth Avenue donated $25 gift cards and a generous portion of all proceeds from the event went to the Wellness Community.
From my perspective as a publisher for a women’s magazine, I am often privy to many of these red carpet events and I must say that often times I get to see and meet with amazing women and they always inspire me. They are always gracious, forward thinking and have the biggest hearts. (A couple of them have fabulous shoes too!)
I hope that someday I too will be able to inspire young women the way these amazing women have inspired me.
March 14th, was a special day for those who attended the 11th annual Teaming up for Girls Luncheon at Florence Crittenton of Arizona, a foundation that provides a residential home for girls and young women in need. The event, hosted at the Biltmore, was an afternoon filled with inspiration.
Hope and Inspiration was the theme of day’s events. A very well deserved Hope Award was given to former Police Officer Jason Schechterle, who was burned extensively after his patrol car was rear-ended. Jason reminded us that with each day brings new hope.
International Journalist and author Laura Ling was the keynote speaker and inspired the audience as she recounted her harrowing tale of being held hostage in North Korea along with fellow journalist Euna Lee. There was not a dry eye in the house as she spoke of her darkest moments and some of the thoughts she had as she was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. I was touched during her story of how she said she would focus on one good thing a day. One day it was that a beautiful butterfly flew by her cell another time it was that her cell guard who was normally mean took a moment to be nice to her on a very bad day. Her story made me think of how my day to day problems are really insignificant compared to the hardships of others.
Laura told the audience how former President Bill Clinton was instrumental in her rescue in 2009 when he travelled to Pyongyang and personally negotiated their release. On the plane home she asked the former President how it came to be and that he was the one person able to come to her rescue. President Clinton mentioned that the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Il had once expressed an interest to meet him as the former President was the very first person who called him to express his condolences after his father had died.
Also presented at the luncheon; Sleep America’s Founders Len and Debbie Gaby were brought to the stage and recognized as honorary chairs. The Gaby’s have been on the board for years and have spent their time in the Valley giving back to the community through their philanthropic efforts with their Sleep America charities.
Written by Lea Haben.
I feel very blessed doing what I do, as I have the opportunity to meet and interview so many amazing people. I recently attended a charity luncheon for MASK (Mother’s Awareness on School-aged Kids) and heard Catherine Anaya, news anchor at CBS 5 News, speaking to the audience. Catherine shared with us what a day looks like in her hectic, high profile life and made me appreciate my own life a little more. Catherine, like so many of us, is juggling a busy career and still trying to be the hands-on mom who makes dinner, drives to soccer practice and helps with homework.
What impressed me with Catherine was the fact that the children come first. She moved from Scottsdale to be closer to work so she could make and spend the dinner hour with her children. It’s so funny to know that she rushes home to make dinner, sometimes changes a light bulb, and plays referee with the children only to get back in the car, drive to work and deliver our nightly news perfectly. She makes it all look so very easy, but her schedule is one that only a superwoman could endure. I think I also forgot to mention that she runs marathons… Seriously is there anything she can’t do?
Catherine has an organization she started a few years ago called Sisterhood of the Superwoman which hosts a monthly luncheon and brings women together to help out smaller charities who don’t have the big names and big budgets of the larger well-known organizations.
I am happy to say that Catherine is just as compassionate, fun and caring as the persona you see on the news every night. I really enjoyed my time with her and wanted to let women know about her Superwoman lunches and how to be a part of them. It is so wonderful to see a woman of influence who gives back so much and inspires other women as well.
I asked her for one piece of advice for new mothers and her answer was to take time for yourself. In order to be the best mom and career woman, you need time to recharge your own batteries. As a busy mom of three I can’t say how right she is about this.
If you want to do something for yourselves ladies I would suggest that you attend one of the Sisterhood of the Superwomen lunches, as you will meet some fabulous friends, help a charity in need and you might just find a little inspiration like I did.
To find out more information check out Catherine’s website at www.sisterhoodofsuperwomen.com
Residents of the Valley rocked the red carpet on the 24th of February at the Camelback Inn. Phoenix guests were treated like movie stars roaming the red carpet. The evening was elegant and fun filled. Rolf’s Salon style lounge was there to ensure that everyone was ready for their close-ups. The event was definitely attended by Phoenix’s A-listers.
ABC15 was the television partner for the evening and ABC news anchor Connie Colla was the hostess of the evening.
Connie’s hair and make-up was done by Rolf’s Salon. She looked elegant and vintage Hollywood. Her gown was so beautiful it was actually auctioned off for the Arthritis Foundation.
The evening was that of a fairy tale as the women in their beautiful ball gowns gathered together to support the Arthritis Foundation as well as view the nominated films. Oscar night generates so much excitement world-wide, but it is refreshing to see Phoenicians come together to enjoy each other and come together as a community to support the amazing philanthropic work right here in Phoenix.
The Arthritis foundation was the charity tied to the Black tie event. Arthritis strikes about 50 million adults and 300,000 children and is the leading cause for disability in this nation.
all photos by SmartFem
February 15th was a special day for the Women of Scottsdale as it honored Pam Gaber of Gabriel’s Angels as it’s Woman of the Year. It was a wonderful to see so many women come out to honor Pam. Pam was also featured last year right here as SmartFem’s Woman of the Month.
In 2000, with the help of her young Weimaraner puppy named Gabriel, she established the nonprofit organization called Gabriel’s Angels. Gabriel began his canine career by visiting the children residing at the Crisis Nursery in Phoenix. Gabriel’s job came naturally for him, to give unconditional love and support to these abused and neglected children. Pam was so touched by this that she was compelled to do more. Gabriel’s Angels has triumphed with Pam’s determination, development and leadership as CEO. Gabriel’s Angels now has 156 Pet Therapy teams and serves over 115 agencies which reaches over 13,000 children annually.
The Women of Scottsdale is an impressive organization that brings women together every month so that they can network and connect. Members form friendships, encourage and support one another and share information and opportunities. The Women of Scottsdale was formed in 1998 by Wink Blair and Linda M. Herold.
SmartFem is dedicated to working with local Phoenix female friendly companies that operate with the highest integrity. I recently had a new dishwasher that was installed incorrectly and needed a plumber in Phoenix to correct the problem. My experience with Plumbing Masters was phenomenal. The company called to set up the time and then let me know that they would be sending a picture of the technician who would be coming to my house so I would be able to recognize him when he arrived.
What really impressed me was the fact that the owner and founder of Plumbing Masters, Patrick Cosgrove, does a thorough background check on all of his employees. They are all very well dressed and polite. They wear booties when they enter your house and put a mat down on your clean floor before they begin work.
They left me with a beautiful folder with their company information and a complete detailed description of everything that they did on the service call. Very professional.
About an hour later someone called to ask how everything went and thanked me for my business and told me to have a great day.
As a southerner I grew up around companies that embraced hospitality and customer service, it is so refreshing to know that SmartFem can whole-heartedly recommend Plumbing Masters as our SmartFem Plumbing Expert. I am thrilled to know that our readers have a safe and reliable plumbing service in Phoenix to call.