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National Association of Professional Women’s Sacramento Chapter has summer meeting

Garden City, NY (Vocus/PRWEB) February 24, 2011

The Sacramento Chapter held two meetings this month, both a lunch and a dinner, to accommodate the busy schedules of the members.

Sharon Darrow, Chapter President, opened each meeting with a short welcome and a brief speech about the NAPW and its unique features as an organization. Sharron distributed information regarding the various membership levels and brochures for non-members. She reminded everyone that the NAPW gives free annual renewals to members who refer new members. Sharon also distributed website sample pages to instruct members on how to use the Community Wall, Bulletin Board and Message Center features. Sharon also distributed an updated local chapter list to illustrate the enormous growth that the Sacramento Chapter has experienced. She finally reminded all members to click on “Join This Chapter” from the Sacramento page so that the website will accurately reflect the membership of the group.

Sharon introduced the guest speaker, Sara Lopez.

“Sara will be talking about Diabetes from both her personal perspective as a long-time board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and as the mother of a teenage child who has needed insulin replacement since she was an infant,” Sharon said.

Sara is an active member of the Sacramento Chapter and an expert on the subject of Diabetes. Diabetes is known as the “silent killer” because it can devastate almost all of the organ systems in the body. Sara’s daughter has Type 4 Diabetes which means her body stopped producing insulin and she had to have her pancreas removed as a baby.

Diabetes is exploding in our society, in large part because of our diets and sedentary lifestyles. Type 1 is growing at a rate of 5%, while Type 2 is growing at a 40% rate and is very common in children.

Diabetes can strike anyone so it is important to know the symptoms: rapid unexplained weight loss, lack of energy, increased thirst, increased urination, and fruity smelling breath. It is also important for everyone to know what to do if someone around them suddenly experiences low blood sugar levels. If they act or look like they are drunk or on drugs (slurred speeck, lack of balance, ), if they experience changes in vision such as lack of peripheral vision, it is important to give them something to raise their blood sugar level. They can be given about 4 oz. of juice or soda, or a spoon of jelly or even table sugar.

Managing diabetes well can make a huge difference in the quality of life and is becoming easier with new scientific advances. Advances in the testing materials and techniques, as well as insulin pumps make it must easier now. Research is ongoing, and the next steps will be implantable systems to measure and manage insulin delivery — and hopefully a cure.

After Sara spoke to the group and invited members to share on their own philanthropic efforts, each member had an opportunity to brief the chatper on their current professional endeavors.

Deborah Finn, Artistic Staging and Redesign, stages homes that are on the market for a faster, more profitable sale. She is also an expert in redesigning furniture layout and accessories to increase both the effectiveness and comfort level through proper placement. In addition to people selling their home, she also works with anyone dissatisfied with their layout. Deborah works with Make A Wish as part of the Wish Team. She meets with the children and their families as they work to make the child’s wish come true.

Linda Melody, PrePaid Legal, exlained that their services help individuals and companies increase their peace of mind by providing them with access to legal help when they need it. They also offer access to full repair services to address the incredible damages caused by all types of identity theft. Linda works with the non-profit Carmichael of Commerce. She is passionate about helping the 61 year old chamber stay viable and successful. It is an important part of a 101 year old community.

Sharon Donat is both a Customer Service Representative and a licensed agent for Farmers Insurance at the Carlin Agency. She is active with the March of Dimes, which helps children with birth defects. Sharon also has an autistic grandson who benefits from M.A.P.S., a Montessori autism program that works in conjunction with the Folsom School District.

Rebecca Ward recently passed her California Interior Design Certification exam. Rebecca owns Rebecca Ward Design and handles both residential and commercial projects. She is interested in expanding her work with restaurants. Rebecca works in her church’s childrens’ ministry and reminded the chapter that it is extremely important for children to have a consistently safe place to go, particularly while many families are struggling with a diffucult economy. Rebecca also participates in various runs for different causes.

Marilynn Irvine, Executive Management Consultants, is a Psychotherapist that works with many different types of people and groups. She also works for Wonder, Inc., a thriving mentorship program for foster kids. This program was developed to provide foster children with continuity and consistency through regular interaction with a caring adult.

Sara Lopez, of SGL Enterprises, has on online mall where she markets consumer products from head to toe and for the home. She handles Amway Global products, as well as products from over 700 partner companies. Sara is thrilled by the opportunity to mentor young women.

Wendy Bell, owner of a new business “It’s a Peace of Cake!”, was a guest attending for the first time. She makes cake balls and cake pops from scratch and from the best ingredients. Wendy is marketing her products online at and by email. She brought samples that were very much enjoyed by meeting attendees. She works with her childrens’ school, a Waldorf School, that is part of the Sacramento School District. She is active in securing donations and supplies for the school, which provides a unique educational environment for students.

Helena Fish, who is part of the Sacramento S.B.D.C., Small Business Development Center, has been instrumental in helping more members of the Sacramento chapter than anyone else. The S.B.D.C. offers their services at no charge, has a great website and staff, and is the consulting arm of the Small Business Administration. Helena is part of the Mercy San Juan Medical Guild as well and helped run their gift shop for years.

Avon Burgess, who has been in residential real estate in Sacramento for 33 years, is now part of a networking business, XanGo Juice, which markets juice from the mangosteen fruit. Her company has recently added new products. She became part of the business after personal success with the product. Several years ago Avon became interested in Genealogy, which turned into a membership in the D.A.R., Daughters of the Revolution. This group is very active in supporting members of our military and their families and promoting patriotism.

June Azevedo, owner of Azevedo Print & Design, neither prints or designs — but after 30 years in the printing industry in Sacramento she can get anyone’s projects done efficiently and at the best prices available. June is an active supporter of Loaves and Fishes, and helps them in any way she can. Recently she received a call that they were in desparate need of water, since the temperature was in the 100’s and the homeless people they serve were in dire straits. She solicited donations from a local grocery store, filled her van with bottled water and took it down to help people who truly cannot help themselves.

Kristie McKee attended the Sacramento meeting as a guest. Kristie is undergoing a new journey of self-discovery since she is unemployed for the first time in many years. She is experienced in retail, technology, software, hardware and services related to the communications industry. Kristie is also familiar with F.E.A.T., since she has an autistic nephew whose mother is part of the organization. She has a 20-year old nephew with dwarfism, which has taught the whole family a great deal about dealing with physical disabilities. In addition, Kristie also works with the Cancer Society.

Bonnie Terry, of Bonnie Terry Learning, utilizes her business in helping parents help their kids. The kids her company helps have all types of different special needs and conditions, and come from all over the country, but her program helps the parents help their own kids in their own homes. As her children were growing up Bonnie worked with both Girls and Boys Scouts on all levels. Now that her children have grown out of scouting she is very active with a group that helped her back to life after she was widowed. Bonnie is active in Contra Dancing where anyone who can walk can dance. Families and people of all ages and conditions participate.

Lois Skidmore is a martial arts instructor and partial owner of Dragonfire Martial Arts. Dragonfire offers a wide range of instructional programs for all age groups, including after school programs for children and Self Defense Seminars for adults. Dragonfire also is part of lots of events for different groups and local schools, including a kick-a-thon they just did for Muscular Dystrophy.

Marissa Eldreth, owner of BizWiz Consulting & Marketing, was originally working for businesses that needed help to be profitable. Since surviving cancer for the second time in 2008, Marissa has decided to use her business to help non-profits get whatever they needed. She loves to help others succeed, and has particited in many different events for different groups. Now Marissa is bringing together a consortium of non-profits and businesses so they can help each other.

Lisa Cox, a guest attending for the first time, works in the mortgage industry. Through the years she has worked every aspect of mortgage lending, from loan origination through escrow through servicing, but now she facing losing her job at the end of the month due to a company buyout. Lisa’s passion for several years has been the Shriner’s Hospital in Sacramento. She explained that the Sacramento Shriner’s is one of the few that take care of all four types of patients helped by the organization: burns, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic (lost limbs), and cleft lips and palettes. For two hours a session, on two nights a week, she plays with the children so that they can just be kids instead of patients.

Mary Collins, also attending for the first time, is a published author and owner/manager of McCollins & Associates. Her most recent book, “He Lifts Me Up!” is about personal miracles. Mary is also a cancer survivor, but she is still dealing with the disease since her husband has 3rd. stage colon cancer. Mary works extensive with cancer research, and her goal is to develop a national directory of cancer survivors as a resource for others.

Helen Dang, attending for the first time, is a Realtor and Real Estate advisor, with Home Shop Realty. She also has a new project, El Dorado Development, a resort in Baja, Mexico near the town of San Felipe. Helen hopes to open a small design and art school for children. Helen’s favorite charity is My Sister’s House, which offers a safe haven for battered minority women and children.

Sharon Darrow, of Travel ID Cards, spoke last. Her business has several unique products, KidsTravelCard, TeenTravelCard, AdultInfoCard, and the PetTravelCard, but she also creates custom plastic cards. Her newest product is designed to help individuals network more effectively by creating a plastic nametag badge, with a strap clip, that looks like a business card. This is much classier than a paper name badge and helps new people associate the individual with the company, as well as “branding” the face with the badge.

Both Sacremento meetings each month have the same subject matter, but different women in attendance make each meeting a unique experience. There was not a single attendee who does not give her time and gifts to help others; not one who does not contribute to an inspiring cause and to help other people. The sharing this month allowed all of the members to take pride in the tremendous accomplishments, goals, and vision of an incredible group of people.

For additional information regarding the Sacramento local chapter and/or NAPW, please visit

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