March 2012
SSWBN Newsletter:
The Compass 



Thank you for  subscribing to the SSWBN Newsletter.  Our mission is to provide you with Contacts, Coaching & Collaboration.


Let us help you grow your business!
See our Events Calendar here.


Pay It Forward - A message from our President
I just
Janet LaBerge
Dirty Deeds
got back from a funeral today. Once you hit fifty, these types of gatherings seem to happen with increasing frequency. It doesn't really make me sad, because death isn't really unexpected, but something we will all face eventually.


It does usually make me think of what I'd like for my going away party (I think that sounds more upbeat than funeral, don't you?). When viewed in those terms, it becomes more about your legacy. Our bodies may have expiration dates (although 20 years from now that may change, too); but how we have changed the world does not. We each are creating our legacy daily by the choices we make.


How will the world have viewed your stay on this earth? I hope that my legacy both in this Network and on this earth will be of a person who is kind and wicked funny, because I believe both make this world a better place. Have you thought about what you want your legacy to be?


The legacy of this Network really goes back to the goals that the original founders set 21 years ago. At that time, not as many women were running their own businesses and when they attended the networking groups that were available, they weren't really greeted with open arms. When you attend one of our networking events, you'll see a lot of open arms (also referred to as hugs) and feel a lot of open hearts.


One of the basic goals at that time was for women in business to help each other succeed. Nowhere have I seen this legacy more evident than at the end of the breakfast meeting last week. Probably 40 different "thank yous" rose from around the room. Stacey Shipman of Healthy South Shore, my predecessor, said it best and said it while getting choked up, "Every speaking engagement, every important piece of business I have had, I can trace back to this Network." I noticed a few tears in members' eyes after she spoke because she is true to her legacy, speaking from the heart. I also noticed a few tears - of a different kind -- after I told my joke in the morning; but then, that's my legacy. Leave 'em laughing.


I leave every SSWBN event with a full heart and jazzed for the rest of my day. I hear those same sentiments from our pleasantly surprised guests who describe our members as "welcoming," "friendly" and "helpful." I can still remember the first meeting that I attended and how nervous I was because I didn't know anyone and didn't even know what "networking" was! Paula Harris of WH Cornerstone Investments walked over to me and introduced herself with a big smile. That alone put me at ease -- but she then took me around and introduced me to people whom she thought might help me. That feeling of acceptance has never changed for me at this Network.


If you are reading this newsletter and you're not a member, what are you waiting for? Are you serious about having your business be successful? If you are, then it's worth investing in this Network with your membership and your fees at events. Like Stacey Shipman, I can trace all of my success right back to SSWBN.


I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to play a leadership role in this Network and contribute to its legacy. What will your role be? How can we help you shape your legacy?


Happy to lead with fun and humility,




Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap

Email Janet:



Pay It Forward Tip for March: If you have been in business awhile and are successful, you might be upgrading to a newer version of QuickBooks or ACT. Why not donate the old software to one of our members who is just starting out? Every dime counts when you're in startup mode, and I bet that person would appreciate your kindness.




Executive Director's Column

Katie Howard


Dear Members and Colleagues:


Did you know that SSWBN has marketing opportunities available?

Consider a sponsorship or partnership with SSWBN. This is a great way to "expose" your brand and let people know who you are.


Thank you to South Coastal Bank and New York Life for Sponsoring our Lunch & breakfast in February.


I have listed affordable breakfast and lunch packages for you to consider. We have many other opportunities available as well.


SSWBN Breakfast and Lunch sponsorship packages:


A Breakfast Sponsorship for $200 entitles you to the following benefits:

  • Company name/logo featured on all e-mail blasts promoting event.
  • Company name/logo featured on the event website page.
  • Five (5) minute spotlight speaking opportunity at the event. (Please send me a bio for us to read for your introduction)
  • Marketing materials placed at each seat (if you choose to do so).
  • One breakfast ticket (Value $25)

Open dates include: May 24 Networking, July 18 Speaker, August 30 Networking, September 27 Speaker, October 25 Networking, December 6 Holiday Shopping event


A Lunch Sponsorship for $200 entitles you to the following benefits:

  • Company name/logo featured on all e-mail blasts promoting event.
  • Company name/logo featured on event website page.
  • Five (5) minute spotlight speaking opportunity at the event. (Please send me a bio for us to read for your introduction)
  • Marketing materials placed at each seat (if you choose to do so).
  • One Lunch ticket (Value $25)

Open dates: March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20 (real estate topic), July 18, August 15, September 19 (technology topic), October 17, November 14 (healthcare topic), December 19


Let's do business with each other!


Thank you,



781-696-9901 *

Dedicated to the success of our members through Contacts, Coaching and Collaboration - our mission.

Business Tip of the Month By Bernie Heine of Professional Business Coaches, Inc. 

Bernie Heine
Bernie Heine,
Professional Business Coaches, Inc.

   Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Leadership Skills

Whether you're consciously aware of it or not, on some level aren't you continually leading yourself and others? Does it make sense that you strive to improve your leadership skills and get the most out of life for everyone in your sphere.

If you desire to lead a passion-filled life wherein you are a positive influence to everyone, you will enjoy incorporating the following practices which are designed to assist you in consistently living your life as a conscious and strong LEADER.

1. Have a clear vision of yourself, your business and the world.

2. Know and utilize your strengths and gifts.

3. Live in accordance with your morals and values.

4. Lead others with inclusiveness and compassion.

5. Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans.

6. Maintain a positive attitude.

7. Improve communication skills.

8. Motivate others to greatness.

9. Be willing to admit and learn from failures and weaknesses.

10. Continue to educate and improve yourself.


John F. Kennedy said: "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." To continue to be a great leader you must continue to improve yourself in every possible way. Given the nature of our world as one in which every person, creature and thing is constantly changing and evolving, you, too, must evolve and grow. The person who thinks he is an expert, has a lot more to learn. Never stop learning. Be receptive to everyone's perceptions and information from around the world and beyond.


For a more details on each of these 10 tips with several additional resources, please download the complete white paper at:

Professional Business Coaches, Inc. 
Bernhard Heine

About the Law - Barry Gordon, GMO
Barry Gordon

What Your Parents Forgot to Tell You - Or What You Forgot to Ask!

Recently a client asked us for help. A simple matter, her father had died, and before he died he told her that she would get the proceeds of his $300,000 life insurance policy.

Our client filed the form only to be told she was not the beneficiary. The beneficiary was her father's former girlfriend. What we did we do for her? Nothing. Her father never changed the form and the daughter and her children received nothing. Sad but true. Stories such as this are quite common.

The moral? Never, ever rely on your memory or your parent's memory. Before you actually need to read the documents, look at them, and verify their accuracy with the appropriate company, agency or bank. Even the documents kept at home might not be last ones signed.

The same caution applies to wills and trusts and deeds.

Discuss your documents with your family and let everyone know where all the secrets are buried before you are buried. If you are thinking, "I'll do that next week (month, or year)," just think about how many dollars and valuables are "buried" somewhere, and have never been found! Think about how many safety deposit boxes are turned over to the state annually.

Okay, so this is all reality far outdoing fiction. If you do not want to create your own reality TV show, please call me, Barry Gordon. I will work with you to write a better script.




SSWBN Connections



Kristen Ford- Hernandez


Hello Members!


Thank you, to all who take the time every month to send me Connections to share! It's great to see the Network working for so many of our members!



Janet Laberge of Dirty Deeds wants to thank Jennifer Moran of Home Instead in Norwell for hiring Dirty Deeds to move their offices from the second floor of their building to the first floor. "Not something we traditionally do, but we will do small jobs like this, especially to help out a fellow SSWBN member," said Janet.


Janet also sends out a thank you to Patty Dunigan of BizChecks. "Dirty Deeds is growing and needed to hire staff. I had no idea how to pay my guys and make sure I was following the many laws for deductions. My first, and only, call was to my friend Patty Dunigan of BizChecks. She walked me through the paperwork to get me started. There are still a myriad of reporting requirements, but BizChecks takes care of all of it. My responsibility? I Email in the hours and make sure there is enough money in the checking account for the automatic withdrawal. It couldn't be easier. I knew I'd have to grow up some time and not just always be riding around in the big, black van. Thank goodness for friends like Patty and BizChecks, who are making the transition for me so easy."


Lynn Feingold of Songs of the Colonial Days wishes to thank Susan Peters of Mount Vernon Mortgage "for helping me SAVE MONEY by refinancing my home mortgage! Her patient, professional assistance was just what I needed to guide me through the process painlessly - and I was so comfortable working with her because we've connected at many SSWBN events! Thanks Sue! You're a STAR!"


 Also thanking Susan Peters,Patty Funder of LaserLight for Men and Women told us that "Susan put to work many of her resources at Mount Vernon Mortgage, and helped me to make the right decision about refinancing my house." With the advice that Susan gave Patty, she went to Real Estate Rocks star Kathleen Keegan for a Market Analysis. "Kathleen stepped right up, and within a few days she had toured my house (and graciously agreed to not open any closets or go down into the basement), and gave me a report detailed above and beyond the call of duty!" Patty said.


Patty also thanks the entire gathering at last month's SSWBN Networking Breakfast for singing Happy Birthday.-- especially to Cheryl Terrill of Comfort Keepers for starting it all! And NO THANKS to Dirty Janet for revealing that I am really 71! J


Stacy Mafera of Errands, Etcetera submitted a number of thank yous!

  • To Kat Ogar of Infinite Health & Wellness for the speedy delivery of Shakeology to the breakfast last month!
  • Thanks to Lisa Marie of Lisa Marie's Boutique for the picking up of my pants at the breakfast last month- extra points for having everything tailored and ready for pick up in less than 2 hours!
  • To Jane Barry of TD Bank for hiring Errands Etcetera for the bi-weekly housecleaning. Thanks to Alison Schirone of AC Associates for hiring Errands Etcetera for the bi-weekly housecleaning, and for the two great additonal connections you referred to EE!
  • Thanks to Connie White of REMAX for hiring Errands Etcetera to make and deliver dinner to her neighbor, post-surgery!  What a great friend!
  • Thanks to Stacey Shipman and Healthy South Shore for hiring Errands Etcetera to help with the taping of your interview with Laura Lewis!
  • A big thanks to Megan Stewart of Acupuncture & Homeopathy of Hingham, and new member, John Henry of Mindsleights for hiring Errands Etcetera for a little Social Media training- check them out on FaceBook!  
  • Thank you to Loraine Fields of The Flower Mill for taking time out of your busy day to talk weddings with me!  I'm looking forward to working with you!
  • Thanks to Terri Martini of Front Street Gourmet for the beautiful birthday gift basket you provided on such short notice, and on camera!  What a good sport you are!  I'm sure the recipient will LOVE the Not Your Sugar Mama's chocolate!


Kristin Foristall of Sweet K Cookies submitted a heart-felt thank you to Terri Martini, Front Street Gourmet for connecting her to Not Your Sugar Mamas, who will be supplying their amazing raw organic cacao for her chocolate sugar cookies. Also, to Anna and Matt Linzi of Lightheart Enterprises, thank you for your wedding cookie order. It was a pleasure to work on such a fun project and I appreciate the order. Lastly, thank you to Alison Schirone, AC Associates, for trying out my new chocolate cookies for a Thank You gift. I appreciate your order!


Thank you all for these great submissions. Please email me any Connections and thank-yous by the 20th of the month.


Kristen Ford-Hernandez

Premiere Pros




It isn't just what you know, and it isn't just who you know. It's actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living. Bob Burg


Movin' on up
Roberta Sousa
Roberta Sousa, Rockland Trust

Every month I look for exciting accomplishments and milestones from among our members who have used their SSWBN Contacts, Coaching and Collaboration. If you have something for which you can claim 'bragging rights,' then please send them along, as these members did!


Congratulations to Courtney Newcomb of Marshfield and Nancy Frates of Quincy on the announcement of the second anniversary of their professional organizing and move management company, Arrange Boston.


"Whether it is a newly married couple, or a couple rearranging space for a child in the home, or an older family looking to downsize, our clients are always on the move! Our older clients are downsizing, typically squeezing the contents of a single family home into a small, one-bedroom apartment. This is an overwhelming task, and we take the stress out of the equation by focusing on the client's needs first. They decide what stays and what goes. We do the rest," said Courtney.


Nancy added, "We enjoy helping people to make those decisions that ultimately simplify their lives, enabling them to live in comfortable, safe and organized surroundings."  


Arrange Boston provides professional services including: organizing, preparing and conducting onsite estate sales, packing, unpacking, furniture arrangement, distribution of items, consignment arrangements, donations and recycling. They proudly serve the Greater Boston area, South Shore and Cape Cod.


Do you have an accomplishment or award you would like to have published? This is a great place to let us know. Give us the opportunity to celebrate with you! As always, I look forward to receiving your announcements and sharing them with the members. Please email them to me by the 20th of the month.



Roberta Sousa






Networking Nova
judy weston
Judy Weston - Coldwater Creek
Each month the SSWBN Membership Team recognizes a member(s) who exemplifies the qualities of a Networking Nova, a person(s) who embodies the Network's core values of coaching, contacts and collaboration; someone who is visible at many SSWBN events and who treats others with respect and dignity. In addition, this person(s) utilizes the Network to build his/her business and helps others do the same. 

Congratulations to Judy Weston from Coldwater Creek 

Massachusetts Educational Foundation, Inc. 
MA Ed Foundation 

Are You Adding More Value?

By Susan C Hammond


Are you here to add more value than you're using up? It's a question generated by a recent Harvard Business Review blog post authored by Tony Schwartz (The Way We're Working Isn't Working). It's such an appropriate question for the Network with its emphasis on "paying it forward."


I remind myself almost daily of these eternal words: "To whom much is given, of him much will be expected." Many of us of a certain age would ascribe these words to one of the Kennedy brothers. They actually come from the Book of Luke in the Bible. However I do reflect often on other Kennedy words..."Ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country ..." or "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." You could say they all form the mantra of my life.


With these thoughts in mind I joined the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Educational Foundation in the fall of 2011. I was intrigued by the idea the organization was approaching its 15th anniversary and had set an ambitious goal of giving out 15 scholarships.


As many of you know I am a co-founder of the Network and another organization serving women in business. Due to the gracious nomination of Bill and Paula Harris of WH Cornerstone Investments, in 2006 I received the President's Call to Service Award. This award is bestowed on individuals with 4,000+ hours of community service. As a board member now of the Foundation I thought an appropriate topic for my column would be explaining why I give. Give of my time, talent and treasure whenever possible. So here it is.


I give because I am grateful to have never wanted. I received the education I desired. I was raised in a stable home with three wonderful sisters and great parents and I am married to a generous man who supports my efforts. This scenario is not the life that many of the Foundation's scholarship recipients lead. Many are often scraping by with the hope that one day they will earn a degree to make their dream of comfortable self-sufficiency a reality.


Today I ask you why are you here and what value are you adding? I know my answer. I hope in your answer you find a way to support the Foundation's goal of awarding 15 scholarships in 2013.


The Massachusetts Educational Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of women over 35, enabling them to transition to a more rewarding career, by providing scholarships for education. Donations are tax deductible to the extent of IRS regulations.




In This Issue- Click to go to:
Pay It Forward
Executive Director's Column
Monthly Tip from Bernie Heine
About the Law - Barry Gordon
SSWBN Connections
Movin' On Up
Networking Nova
MA Educational Foundation
Featured Business


Comfort Keepers 

watch all 2011

Eastern 2009

Patricia Funder of
LaserLight for Men and Women serves as your Managing Editor
of the SSWBN Compass.

E-newsletter designed by Kristen Ford-Hernandez, Enterprise Marketing

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Featured Business
Kristen & Joe Hernandez
Joe Hernandez & Kristen Ford-Hernandez

Name: Kristen Ford-Hernandez

Business and title/role:Owner & Partner of Premiere Pros Painting & Carpentry

Address:  Braintree, MA and online

Love of New Marketing Strategies Drive Success

How did you come to be in this line of work?

I had been working in Sales and Marketing for 12 years, when I decided to hire a home improvement company to complete a few projects in my home. It was then that I met and ultimately married my husband, Joe Hernandez, the owner of that company. After some time and much discussion, we both knew that what we could bring to the table if we combined our skillsets and created our own home improvement business, Premiere Pros, we would be very successful.


What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?

First, the personal touches we add to each and every job, such as helping our customers with colors along with offering ideas on layouts for rooms (rearranging furniture). We understand and appreciate the joy that comes from a happy customer!  


Second, we truly enjoy working with people and getting to know our customers personally. Our intention and goal is to develop long-term relationships.


Third, I would also say it's our enthusiasm and passion, to be able go to work each day and be excited about what you do is something that we are truly grateful for, and it shows in our work.



Describe your dream/perfect/best customer.

Customers who understand how much goes into a quality job, and appreciate the talent and effort it takes to maintain a high level of service from start to finish.


What changes are happening, or can you predict happening soon, within your industry?

First, there are always new and innovative products coming on the market in terms of paint. For example, Benjamin Moore has a new line of colors called "Color Stories" which are colors that contain no black or gray base, thereby producing a fuller, richer and truer color. Second, there has been a big shift in the economy and it has become apparent from a business perspective, that homeowners are getting comfortable again spending money on their home improvement projects -- and that is a great thing!


What do you regard as your greatest achievement in business to date?

Taking risks with new marketing strategies, and seeing the return on our investment. There comes a great sense of accomplishment when we see direct results from our efforts.


Where do you want you and your business to be in five years?

Developing new and long-term strategies is ongoing and critical to the continued success of our business. As such, we are currently updating our two-year business plan and marketing strategy, and we designed it to take our business to the next level over the next several months! We are very excited about it.


What benefit(s) have you received through your networking efforts?

The camaraderie and support I have received has been amazing. The business opportunities provided by the Network have been key to our company's growth and success. The knowledge I have gained has been limitless, and of course, the wonderful friendships that have developed since joining have been terrific!


What is/are your one or two toughest challenges?

Because we are the owners as well as married to each other, we struggle with balancing and separating our work life and home life. We are committed to the business and are passionate about what we do, so it can be difficult to "close the office" when we should.


What motivates you on a day-to-day basis?

Developing and then executing new marketing strategies, and receiving the wonderful feedback from our customers, are the most satisfying parts of this job. I love it!


What is something that members may be surprised to learn about you?

I'm a grandmother ... although by marriage. I love being called "Nana Kristen" but I must admit, it took some getting used to.


What do you do in your spare time for fun?

Believe it or not, painting! I love to change the color of a room. The joke at our hardware store is that our rooms must be 5' x 4' now because of how many times I've changed the colors. I also love decorating, home crafts and gardening.



Thank you!

SSWBN I P.O. Box 577, Hingham, MA 02018-0577 I  781-924-5160 I