Cassie Fohrman enjoys her role as mom to the fullest. She enjoys taking her two daughters out for coffee (or hot chocolate) at Cafe Steam regularly and has a fun Sunday night routine of popcorn and ice cream. Now, isn’t that the coolest mom you’ve ever heard of? 


Cassie was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from Kasson-Mantorville High School and says she has a “big reunion this year!” After high school, she attended Rochester Community and Technical College. 

“I started out doing general classes to get my associate’s degree at RCTC. I was working at Hy-Vee as an assistant manager. I went to the Hy-Vee Career Day in Des Moines, Iowa and met a girl who worked in the pharmacy. When I went back to Rochester, I found out that RCTC had the pharmacy technician program, so I took that opportunity,” Cassie explains. She started working at Mayo Clinic pharmacy and obtained her associate’s degree. She has worked in a few areas of Mayo within the pharmacy and says, “I just love the people I work with.” 



Stages of Motherhood: Who Am I?

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Written by Cheri Deruiter

When you were born I asked myself—who am I? God has blessed me with your presence, and I promise I will care for you, keep you safe and cherish every moment I have with you. I am your mother, and I will love you with all of my heart.


You soon grew into a toddler, and I had a new role to learn. Again, I asked myself—who am I? I am your teacher of all things new. I am your doctor when you are ill. I am your guardian, always keeping you safe. I am your playmate, your first best friend. You can always count on me. I promise I will never give up on you. Together we can conquer any challenge. I am your momma who loves you with all of my heart.


I had tears in my eyes as I sent you off to a place I would only know through the stories you would tell me at the end of the day. I had to ask myself—who am I? I am your fashion designer, your tutor for reading and math, your event coordinator, your lunch lady, your personal baker, your hair stylist, your dentist, the enforcer of rules. I am your protector when you are scared or insecure. I am trying to be a good role model. I am so proud of you. You are my life. I am your mommy who loves you with all of my heart.



Child Care: A Challenging but Rewarding Career Path

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Written by Jorrie Johnson

Choosing someone who will not only watch, but teach my child when he's not in my care is one of the most important decisions, I feel as a parent, I am called to make,” explains Laura Smith. 

Ideally parents find a child care provider that matches their work hours, is located near or on the way to work and meets their quality standards. However, the leading factor for finding child care around Rochester lately has been availability.  


There is a shortage of child care providers in the Rochester area. Smith started looking for child care when she was just three months pregnant with her first child. She contacted more than 100 different providers (both in-home child care and child care centers). According to Smith, “All of them for the most part said the same thing: ‘I feel for you.’”  


The arrival of a new baby is a life-altering experience encompassing a range of emotions. While weeks of preparation go into planning for the birth experience, there is a considerable gap in resources to address the needs of mothers after birth. In a recent report by the International Labour Organization, the United States—one of the few countries in the world without a federally mandated parental leave policy—received a failing grade in prioritizing support for women entering motherhood. 

Allison Loftus, MA, LPC, and Brittany Baker have a vision to fill that gap by providing services to empower and support women through the transition—whether it is first-time motherhood, a repeat pregnancy or even an adoption. 


“The postpartum experience I had in the hospital with my first baby was eye-opening,” says Baker. “There were many gaps in the kinds of care women are receiving.”



Saving Money on Auto Insurance: Discounts for Drivers

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Written by Catherine H. Armstrong

Summer is fast approaching, and high school students will soon begin enrolling in those drivers’ education courses they couldn’t fit into their busy school year schedules. With the addition of new drivers in the household, families may be wondering what type of insurance they must have, what additional insurance comes highly recommended and whether there are any cost-cutting measures.


According to State Farm Insurance Agent Sue Madden, the state of Minnesota requires four basic coverage plans that all drivers must have: Liability, which covers the driver as the responsible party in an accident and pays for the other party’s medical and property damage; Personal Injury Protection, which is a no-fault insurance that covers up to $20,000 of medical bills for those injured in an accident where no “blame” is assigned to the either driver; Uninsured Motorist Protection, which kicks in when the other driver is at fault but has no insurance; and Underinsured Motorist Protection, which—similar to Uninsured—picks up any medical costs that fall above the liability limits of the other driver’s policy.


Megan Halland is from Australia. When her husband was offered an advanced fellowship at Mayo Clinic in 2013, they moved to the United States. They have lived in Rochester for three and a half years. She says, “(My husband) has his dream job here, so we have bought a house and are staying HERE indefinitely.”

Megan explains how she met her husband, “My husband is from Norway. He moved to (Newcastle,) Australia following high school to study medicine. We met at university there.” Megan was working for the department of health and undertaking postgraduate studies. “We had an evening epidemiology lecture (where we met). Magnus waited at a friend’s house one evening to purposely arrive late to the lecture so that he could make sure he arrived after I did and come and sit next to me. He invited me on a date, and we have been happy ever after.” That was in 2003. They got married in 2005 and have three children: Isobel, 8, Lochlan, 6, and Sofie, 5. 


One Monday afternoon in October 2016, Megan scheduled herself for make-up by Katie Kirckoff at Glam Beauty Lounge. Then she had her photos taken in Peace Plaza by Tracey McGuire. 


What are your financial goals? Do you want to travel? Buy a car? Donate money to a charity you love? Be able to gift money to your children or grandchildren? Do you own a business and are thinking about succession planning? Do you want to buy your first house or a new house? Do you want to make sure you don’t have to worry about money when you retire? Saying “having enough for retirement” is vague. As with all goals, be specific.


Kari Douglas, financial advisor with Echelon Wealth Partners, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., helps women identify their values as they create financial goals. Kari says, “It is never too late or too early to start planning for financial well-being; it all begins with identifying your personal goals and objectives.” 

Kari encourages women to set goals, do their homework, admit they don’t know about investing, ask for help, take appropriate risks and focus on the long term. She says, “Women who have a financial plan feel the most confident and in control, are 10 times more likely to achieve said goal and are also more likely to feel at peace with their financial choices.”



Health, Wealth and Happiness: Your Guide to Getting What You Want

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Written by Emily Watkins Photography by Mike Hardwick Photography

What do you really want in life? That’s a hard question. We are so busy taking care of others that we lose sight of who we really are and what we truly desire. Rochester Women magazine wants to change that for you in 2017. This series will provide expertise from local professionals and give you “homework” that will guide you to DISCOVER your best self. 


How do you know what you want? LuAnn Buechler, certified facilitator of the Passion Test, coaches by “helping people to reach deep inside and determine what is most important to them in their life.” She helps people identify their top five passions and then provides them with tools to stay on track. 

LuAnn works with individuals and organizations to do goal setting and planning. This is great for someone who needs help getting started. The S.Y.S.T.E.M. (Saving Yourself Time, Energy & Money) LuAnn uses can be used for any challenge or obstacle that you are facing. She says her coaching “comes from the heart with love and support, to help people make the changes they want in life.”


2016 was the year of changing faces. We saw celebrities plump their pouts, nip those noses and tuck tummies. Sometimes we noticed, and other times changes were done so well that it just looked like a fantastic Snapchat filter. Things aren’t slowing down in 2017, and we have the resources and expertise to make sure we look our best right here in Rochester.


I sat down with Dr. Jacobson of Jacobson Plastic Surgery—the first private practice surgery center in Rochester—to discuss facial injections. Dr. Jacobson has a unique approach to aesthetics and strives to be efficient and easy and go beyond all patient expectations. He says, “Really well-performed plastic surgery doesn’t look like it happened; you just look better.”

Aging gracefully on our own terms has never been easier. There are several options for people looking to boost their confidence and enhance their appearance. You can be in your 20s and want to slow down the aging process or in your 50s and want to add youthful volume. Plastic surgery enhances the features that already make us so uniquely beautiful. 


Our intention for I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman this year is to help women feel beautiful. Rochester Women magazine partnered with Katie Kirckof, owner of Glam Beauty Lounge formerly BB Makeup and Cosmetic Bar, Dawn Sanborn Photography and Tracey McGuire Photography to give women mini-makeovers and their own photo shoots. We WILL share a Beautiful Rochester Woman in each issue of Rochester Women magazine throughout 2017.


Renee Thoreson is the daughter of Maxine and Orlo Thoreson. She says she was almost born in Honolulu, Hawaii, where her dad was stationed, but they made it back to Minnesota for her birth. She has lived in Minnesota since the early 1960s. 

Renee has been working for Mayo Clinic for 31 years. She is a prospect researcher in the Mayo Clinic Development Department. She says about her work, “I love research, writing and my wonderful
co-workers. I am inspired by the generosity of grateful patients who want to make things better for others seeking healing and answers.”      

Renee enjoys Norwegian artisan crafts of fine hardanger embroidery and rosemaling (see “Uff-da! The Sons of Norway” on page 19 of this issue). She finds pleasure in making Norwegian desserts and attending Scandinavian festivals. She loves singing and is a member of the choir at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.


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