THANKSGIVING IS A TIME FOR REFLECTION, GRATITUDE AND GIVING. This is especially true for Jean Voxland, her husband, Andrew, and her birth parents, Dennis “Denny” and Karen Vinar. With a new and profound appreciation for each other, they continue to get to know one another.
The couples are inspiring others through recounted experiences in their recent book, “How Did You Find Me…After All These Years? A Family Memoir.” Jean explains, “We documented our story for future generations. We felt it was important to write down how we felt at this point in our lives and how far we have all come in getting together.”
Denny and Karen began dating when he was 15 and she was 13. They fell in love, but when Karen became pregnant at the age of 15, she went to a home for unwed mothers. Baby Denise (later named Jean) was born in August 1961 and placed for adoption.
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME, WOMEN HAVE BRAVELY AND TIRELESSLY FOUGHT TO ASSERT THEIR POSITIONS AS EXPERTS, TRAILBLAZERS AND INNOVATORS. FROM COCO CHANEL TO MARIE CURIE, NORA EPHRON TO ROSA PARKS, MAYA ANGELOU TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, THESE INSPIRATIONAL LEADERS SHARE A COMMON BOND: THEY DID NOT LET FEAR, DOUBT OR CONSEQUENCE INHIBIT THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
From elementary school class elections to the race for the White House, people want to understand what ensures success as a leader. But what often goes unrecognized is that there are many different visions of what constitutes a successful leader.
Imagine if each of the women above had followed the exact same – path to “successful leadership.” They may not have achieved all that they did or have as much of an impact on the world. What made them incredible leaders were their unique dreams, talents, goals, influences, opportunities and many other qualities that each possessed and shared with others.
THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY OFFERS EXCEPTIONAL CAREERS FOR WOMEN, PARTICULARLY WOMEN WANTING TO MAKE AN IMPACT IN THEIR COMMUNITIES WHILE CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE. A CAREER IN REAL ESTATE OFTEN COMBINES PERSONAL INTERACTION, SALES, INTEGRITY AND BUSINESS SKILLS. REAL ESTATE IS A SERVICE INDUSTRY THAT REQUIRES CURRENT SKILLS, LEARNING ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE FIELD
While many first think of real estate agents when considering the industry, there are numerous other careers in real estate. Appraisers, inspectors, loan officers and attorneys, just to name a few, are essential to the transaction.
Real Estate Agent
Guiding a client through the home buying or selling process is the general job description of a real estate agent. The career focuses on helping people and getting to know what clients want to achieve by buying or selling property. Real estate agents help buyers find the perfect home and sellers find the right buyer. It is through agents or attorneys that buyers and sellers work out agreements for a property.
“AS A MOTHER, I WANT MY KIDS TO BE HAPPY, IN VIABLE RELATIONSHIPS AND PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY,” SAYS ROCHESTER MOTHER OF TWO, BARB ERICKSON. ERICKSON ADDS THAT HER CHILDREN, NOW ADULTS, HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TRUE TO THEMSELVES. THIS IS ONE OF THE MANY THINGS SHE LOVES ABOUT THEM, AND THESE ARE SENTIMENTS MOST PARENTS CAN RELATE TO AND RALLY BEHIND.
When her daughter came out as a lesbian in high school, Erickson asked blunt, clarifying questions to understand her daughter’s reality. She was seeking to understand, support and learn. Erickson adjusted her expectations. “Raising a daughter sets us up for eventually ending up with a son-in-law. Well, OK, no son-in-law, but that’s fine,” she remembers thinking.
Later, when her daughter’s girlfriend came out as transgender in college, Erickson again asked blunt, clarifying questions to understand the reality of their lives. Listening to the couple’s struggles and undeterred hope for the future was a turning point for Erickson. The revelation gave her an opportunity to re-evaluate her thinking around transgenderism and what she expected of her children. When the couple announced their engagement to be married, Erickson realized that she would have a son-in-law after all. “It was very emotional,” remembers Erickson. She was assimilating into a world that can be filled with hate, disbelief and pain. Soon married, her daughter and son-in-law were already in that world.
YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THE MIRACULOUS STORY ABOUT A LOCAL WOMAN NAMED JENNIFER JONES. IF NOT, WE’LL CATCH YOU UP: 11 YEARS AGO, AT 30 YEARS OLD, JONES WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS. IN JUNE 2017, SHE WAS ADDED TO THE LUNG TRANSPLANT WAITING LIST, AND BY MID-OCTOBER HER LUNG FUNCTION WAS JUST OVER 10 PERCENT. FORTUNATELY, JONES RECEIVED A DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLANT LATER THAT MONTH.
There’s no question, Jones’ transplant story would be worthy of featuring in Rochester Women magazine. However, Jones is passionate about photography and her fiancé and father helped set up a photography studio for her. Recently, we began talking about photos she could take for Rochester Women magazine. As a result, we scheduled a fun photo shoot for our writers and photographers at Silver Lake Park.
WOMEN HAVE VARIOUS FINANCIAL GOALS AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF THEIR LIVES. BUDGETING, SAVING AND INVESTING SHOULD BE CONSIDERED. ROCHESTER AREA FINANCIAL EXPERTS PROVIDE A FEW WAYS YOU CAN CREATE A BUDGET, PLAN SAVINGS GOALS AND DETERMINE INVESTMENT STRATEGIES.
FOR YOUNG WOMEN
Women’s goals for budget and savings can vary at different life stages. Brittany Schultz, paraplanner for Kari Douglas of Echelon Wealth Services, a private practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, explains that young women in their first jobs might have savings goals for things like a home, a wedding or retirement. She notes they might want to create a budget, establish an emergency fund and build credit.
Getting out of your head and into your heart.
The Passion Test is a process that helps people identify their top five priorities and use them as guidelines for decision-making in their lives. It is a philosophy, a way of life, focused on living those things you care about most.
DISCOVERING THE POWER OF PASSION
LuAnn Buechler, master trainer, coach and transformational speaker, was introduced to “The Passion Test” book in 2007. She fell in love with the concepts and became certified as a Passion Test facilitator in 2010.
Buechler now helps people live their lives with intention and purpose to find joy and fulfillment. She says, “I wanted to live the philosophies of the Passion Test, and I knew teaching it to others was the perfect way to implement it for myself.” During the training she found “peace of mind, a true state of calm and peace with myself. I finally knew who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.”
Sarah Halverson came across the I Am a Beautiful Rochester Woman article in a prior Rochester Women magazine and thought it would be a fun. She loves to get dressed up, but she never had a makeover before. She says, “It was fun getting to chat with Katie Kirckof at BB Make-up. She did a great job!”
Sarah was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her family moved to Pine Island when she was 8 years old. She lived there until she went to college. Now, she lives in Byron.
There are four children in Sarah’s family of origin. She is the second oldest. Her family is spread across the country now. “I have an older brother who lives in Cleveland, a younger brother who lives in town, a younger sister who lives in Salt Lake City, and my parents live in Maine. We go visit them when we can.”
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?
BEGINNINGS AND CAREER
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.”
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.