Three Stories of Successful Women in Business


Mom and Entrepreneur: Minuteman Press Franchisee Renee Mansour Increases Gross Sales by 341 Percent, Celebrates Two Years in Business in Bend, OR

In February 2015, Renee Mansour bought an existing Minuteman Press franchise for sale in Bend, OR. Since then, she has worked hard on behalf of her growing customer base, followed the Minuteman Press program for success, and has increased gross sales by 341 percent.

Renee Mansour owns the Minuteman Press franchise in Bend, Oregon located at 235 SE Wilson Ave, Suite 100. She decided to purchase the established business in February 2015 after spending a few years as a mom and entrepreneur who taught cycling classes and helped run national events in Bend. Today, she celebrates two years in business with Minuteman Press. Renee has successfully managed to more than double the business, increasing gross sales by 341 percent.

Meet Renee Mansour, Mom and Entrepreneur

Minuteman Press in Bend, OR is a design, print, and marketing center that meets the needs of today’s business professionals. Renee says, “Minuteman Press provides all of the marketing and branding materials needed to promote and increase one’s business. Our products range from print to promotional items, as well as branded apparel. We at Minuteman Press listen to your needs and help direct you to the avenue that will best give you the desired outcome.  Our goal is making the process easy with no printing minimums, while providing quality products in a timely manner.”

Prior to owning her Minuteman Press franchise, Renee Mansour was working as a mom and entrepreneur. She did have some printing industry experience as a major account sales representative for IKON office solutions. After taking the time to raise her family, Renee decided it was time to get back to business. She says, “As our children became teenagers, my desire to do something for me became stronger.  I took a position working for a local company full-time, and I struggled with the lack of satisfaction I felt.  I am a committed person that gives 100-plus percent, and when that wasn’t received by my employer I started to feel that I would be better off putting my energy towards my own business.”

Why Buy a Minuteman Press Franchise?

Renee decided to buy a Minuteman Press franchise because of the ongoing local support that the company provides as well as the Monday-Friday working hours that a b2b franchise like Minuteman Press International can offer owners. “We still have teenagers at home and I want to be present in their lives,” says Renee. She adds, “Those reasons coupled with the fact that Minuteman Press is the only franchise I researched that offered a cap on royalties made it an easy decision for us.  The more I sell beyond the cap, the more I am rewarded.”

Another huge benefit of owning a Minuteman Press franchise is the industry knowledge and expertise that executives and regional support teams provide to owners. Renee explains, “When needing to update equipment, the corporate office is there to help me find the best pricing as well as read through any contracts prior to signing anything.  Minuteman Press International has worked hard to provide us with the best pricing and sources for any and all items we need to be successful.”

Renee also appreciates that Minuteman Press has a local support team that is there for her: “With any business, you have employee turnover. Minuteman Press is here with each new hire training them on how to utilize the tools we have to make their job successful.  This takes the burden off of me and other staff. During this time, I am able to continue marketing while providing service to our customers.  Our Regional Vice President Chris Jutt and our field representative are just a phone call away and here to help with any and all matters.”

Growing the Business and Keys to Success

In just two years, Renee Mansour has more than doubled the business and has increased gross sales by an impressive 341 percent. She says, “The success I have had comes from being a sincere, kind, energetic person as I market to businesses in Central Oregon.  Making marketing calls is the number one key to my success.  I have a set follow-up plan I use after providing quotes to potential clients.”

Renee also cites several other keys to her success, such as utilizing Minuteman Press International’s postcard marketing and Internet marketing programs, being a member of local networking groups such as BNI and Opportunity Knocks, using social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, and driving a vehicle that is branded with Minuteman Press graphics and branding. Most importantly, Renee says, “Last but not least, the key to my success is the support of family and friends, as well as the entire community.”

Making a Difference in Bend

Getting involved and giving back to the community is something Renee Mansour takes great pride in doing. She says, “As a local business owner, it is important to help improve the lives of those in our communities.  We have provided all of the printing, at no charge, for the fundraiser for Charlotte (a sparrow child here in Bend).  We have discounted printing rates for non-profit organizations.  It is important for non-profits to be able to get the word out on ways that they can help those in our community, and what better way than to put it in print. We are a supporter of Bend Film which brings thousands of visitors to our community, which in turn helps our local businesses. Pints for Polio is another organization we support, amongst many others.”

Renee also appreciates the connections she makes while networking. She says, “In terms of other organizations I belong to, BNI is one of them. BNI is a big part of our success.  Over 6% of our sales have come from BNI.  We are members of the Chamber and support COBA and COAR.  By attending these meetings/functions, I am able to meet people in our community and increase the awareness of what Minuteman Press has to offer. I am in an Opportunity Knocks group. Opportunity Knocks supports me and helps me grow as a business owner.  Being a locally owned business, we as a family support local and do business not only with our customers but with local companies.”

Business Goals and Advice for Others

After successfully growing her business over the past two years, Renee Mansour is far from finished when it comes to setting goals: “My goal for 2017 is to help educate our current customers on all that we have to offer so that we can be the source for all of their printing and marketing materials.  I also want to spend more time marketing the materials that we print for our customers, therefore creating awareness of what we offer while increasing their business at the same time. I will be doing this through Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.”

She also has these words of advice and encouragement to other aspiring business owners: “My advice to any entrepreneur or small business owner is to get out of the office and market your business.  Be that kind, energetic face that people want to do business with.  Then follow it up with great service and quality products. Join BNI as well as Opportunity Knocks.  You need to not only work in your business but on your business.”

For more information, call Renee and her team at (541) 749-2900


Minuteman Press Franchise Celebrates Grand Re-Opening in Johnston, RI

The Minuteman Press franchise in Johnston, RI recently held its grand re-opening event and ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially welcomed new owner Kimberly Sherman-Leon to the Johnston business community. Kimberly took over the design, print, and marketing center located at 1999 Plainfield Pike in November 2016 from retiring owners Linda and Dave Buttery, who owned and operated the business for 17 years.

Minuteman Press is the modern printing industry, offering essential products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals. “We offer everything to help build and promote your business from brand identity development, print on paper, and promotional products to mail stream and digital platforms,” notes Kimberly. She continues, “We take every idea and bring it to life in whatever format our clients need!”

Meet Kimberly Sherman-Leon and Family

Kimberly Sherman-Leon is a dedicated entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three children ages 17, 13 and 4. She previously worked at the Minuteman Press franchise in Johnston, RI as a graphic designer before venturing out to start a design business of her own. When Linda and Dave Buttery were ready to retire after 17 years in business, Kimberly jumped at the opportunity to take over a business that she put her heart into and truly loved.

“I worked at Minuteman Press in Johnston as a Senior Designer and Store Production Manager for 5 years and it was one of the best work experiences I ever had,” says Kimberly. She adds, “It was very hard work and I always needed to stay on my toes and be sharp no matter how many jobs I was doing at once, but working at Minuteman Press helped me grow as a person, learn the business, expand my skillsets, and become a very well-rounded professional. I am very grateful to have had that experience and two great employers to work for.”

Kimberly is also thankful for her husband Jorge’s support and is excited to begin this new chapter for her family. She says, “My family is very excited and my oldest children remember me working there and can’t believe we own it now. They look forward to being part of it. My youngest just loves the print shop! She is learning how to makes copies, print from the computer, use some of the smaller bindery machines and very interested in the offset press! She even goes in the lobby and talks to the customers! Let’s just say she is a mini me!”

She adds, “My husband is very supportive of everything I do. We have been together for 20 years and he has been nothing but supportive. I am just very excited that we can do this together. He will join in the business later as he still works at AutoZone (18 years and counting). But he comes every day after work to help, learn, make deliveries, and start taking on the management role. It is all exciting!”

From Entrepreneur to Franchise Owner

Kimberly Sherman-Leon left her position at Minuteman Press in Johnston in 2008 to venture out on her own as an entrepreneur. She explains, “I had my own design business on the side (as most designers do) called KS Designs, LLC and it was growing rapidly. So I took the leap to work for myself full time. During this time, I grew tremendously as a person and as a professional. I still worked with [Minuteman Press] owners Dave and Linda and brought a lot of my print work there through the years up to the very day he asked if I would be interested in taking over the business since they wanted to retire.”

In November 2016, the time had come for Dave and Linda Buttery to retire, and so they asked Kimberly if she was still interested in taking over the business. Kimberly didn’t hesitate, saying, “I was always business-oriented and at this time, I was looking for a storefront to grow my design/print/digital/publishing agency. It was all timing and a blessing! It worked out. When I left in 2008, I told Dave that if he ever decides to sell, to contact me because who knows where I will be at that time. Timing is everything!”

Training and Support from Minuteman Press

After buying the business, Kimberly attended Minuteman Press International’s two-week training program at their world headquarters in Farmingdale, NY. She also receives ongoing local support from the company right here in Johnston. Says Kimberly, “During training, I really enjoyed being in a room with like-minded business people and being surrounded by print! It felt like where I belonged and enjoyed learning all of the business materials needed. It was very motivating. I get a lot of support from Dave and Linda, the previous owners, on a weekly basis. I also get tremendous support from Ed Connelly, the Minuteman Press field representative for the area and Ron Rubin, Minuteman Press International’s New England Regional Vice President.

Grand Re-Opening

The grand re-opening event for Minuteman Press in Johnston was attended by community members, friends, and family. Mayor Joseph Polisena was on hand to welcome Kimberly to the Johnston business community and Minuteman Press RVP Ron Rubin attended to show his continued support for Kimberly as well. She says, “The grand re-opening was wonderful! We had the best day of the week. Cold and rainy on Monday and Tuesday, 65 degrees on Wednesday for our Grand Re-Opening day, and then we had a snowstorm the very next day with freezing temperatures in the teens. We were definitely lucky!”

Kimberly continues, “On our beautiful day, we had local businesses who we do printing with contribute food, desserts and coffee. This helps bring the community together and celebrate small businesses! Our local sign company installed our new storefront sign and window graphics. We had a small crowd witness the ceremony and it was a very proud moment for my husband and me.”

“I have worked for corporate companies and it doesn’t even compare.”

When asked about the most rewarding thing about owning her business, Kimberly Sherman-Leon lights up before she answers:  “I always liked working for myself. I am a creative person and an entrepreneur. We can’t be locked in a ‘box.’ We need to breathe and move around outside our limits and reach for the sky. Working for someone else is okay but it wasn’t something I would settle for. It was a steady paycheck and it allowed me to build my empire on the side without worrying about money. Yes, I have been sleep deprived many times running on coffee and few hours of sleep and let’s not forget I have 3 children and a husband! But I wouldn’t change it for anything!”

How does Kimberly successfully manage her business and family lives? She explains, “People would ask me, ‘How do you do it?’ I just say put a Nike symbol on me, I just do it! I have passion and drive and I am determined to achieve my goals and ambitions I have for myself. I can now say I feel accomplished and that I am happy where I am because this is where I belong. If there is one thing I learned on my journey in life, everything comes full circle, it all happens when it does for a reason. This opportunity came at this time in my life because it was the right time! Working for myself is wonderful, fulfilling and rewarding. I have worked for corporate companies and it doesn’t even compare.”

Making a Positive Impact in the Community

For Kimberly Sherman-Leon, owning her very own Minuteman Press franchise means she can continue to make a difference in Johnston and advocate for both a community and an industry she loves equally. She says, “Giving back to the community is very important! I am very involved in giving back, lecturing at networking events and classrooms in high schools and colleges. I work with interns and students from all areas. I am on the Board with a few schools and printing industry organizations in RI. I am an advocate for this industry. For a better idea, you can visit my website for Rhode Island Creative Magazine which is a magazine I publish for the creative arts community in RI!”

Business Goals and Advice for Others

In Kimberly’s own words, a typical day for her is “very busy” and “non-stop,” which is not surprising considering all she has already accomplished as an entrepreneur, wife, and mom. She is far from done, however, and has plenty of new goals to strive for as she continues to work on her business. She says, “My goals are to finish the transition, get organized, build a marketing strategy and hopefully grow the businesses a little more from last year. Most importantly, I will be creating a day to day work flow that is feasible for me and my staff since I am a one-person owner at this time.”

As for others who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur or owning a Minuteman Press franchise, Kimberly offers these words of advice: “Stick with it, don’t give up, it all takes time! Breathe, take one thing at a time and it will all come together. Keep going, keep building, always look forward and up!”

These are wise words from a remarkable modern businesswoman.

Kimberly Sherman-Leon’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1999 Plainfield Pike, Johnston, RI 02919.

Minuteman Press Franchise Celebrates Grand Opening in Upper Marlboro, MD

Juanita Glenn is the proud owner of her brand new Minuteman Press design, print, and marketing franchise located at 892 Largo Center Drive in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. “We offer a myriad of services to people who are interested in business cards, banners, signs, postcards, notary, web development, mobile apps, and more,” says Juanita. She adds, “With two graphic and web designers at our location, we can put together any type of design that a person can dream or imagine.”

Prior to joining the Minuteman Press franchise family, Juanita Glenn worked as an administrative assistant at a local university in the Washington, DC area. Her passion for web development and graphic design then led her to pursue a degree in computer studies. “Afterwards, I landed a job as a Technical Specialist and Web Developer which took my career to another level.  With that, I focused a lot more on graphic and web design.   I became more passionate about this profession and I continued to enhance my skills.”

While working full-time, Juanita decided to start her own web development, graphic design, and computer training company. Her experiences as an entrepreneur led her to Minuteman Press, as Juanita explains, “As I was outsourcing work to be printed for my clients, I was oftentimes dissatisfied with the online printing service I was receiving.  I started wondering what it would be like to have my own printing shop.  I prayed that God would allow this to happen for me one day.”

Juanita continues, “As faith would have it, in 2015, I happened to be working on a logo design for a client in Brooklyn, New York and she mentioned Minuteman Press as the company she uses for printing.  To my surprise, I had never heard about Minuteman Press.  After I got off the phone with my client, I went in research mode.  I found out so many wonderful things about Minuteman Press that I had to contact the office for more information.  Although I was not ready to start becoming a franchise owner just yet, I wanted to do my homework so that when I was ready I had all of the information needed to make my decision.”

Franchise Research Pays Off

When Juanita’s job was downsized in 2015, she knew she had an important decision to make: “I felt that after 27 years of service at my previous job, it was time for me to change careers.  After praying and seeking advice, I took a leap of faith and left my job.  Once I completed graduate school in 2016 with a degree in management, I felt ready to hone in on what I had learned from school and the skills I had obtained over the years.  I wanted to be my own boss and I knew Minuteman Press was the right franchise for what I wanted to do.  I was comforted in knowing that Minuteman Press had been around for over 40 years and the company was well-established with a great business model and structure.”

Along with the business model, Juanita also appreciated the training and ongoing support Minuteman Press offered her on both the corporate and local levels. She says, “There are several things that impress me about Minuteman Press, but the one thing that I am most intrigued about is the support from their corporate headquarters in New York.  During my training in New York, Mike Jutt, Minuteman Press International Executive VP and Director of Training, was very helpful in making sure that I received the equipment needed for my new shop. I hit an expected bump in the road and Mike Jutt stepped in to help the process move forward.”

As for the local support she has received back home in Upper Marlboro, Juanita Glenn could not be happier. She explains, “Bob Heimbuch, Regional VP for Minuteman Press International and Eric Shank, Field Representative, have been so helpful in making sure my Minuteman Press store was up and running as well as keeping me on track with the setup and marketing.  Bob made sure he found the location I was looking for to start my Minuteman Press franchise.  He was instrumental in keeping me abreast of the things necessary to help with the operation of the store.  Afterwards, Eric Shank was able set up the store, organize it, establish accounts with the vendors and assist me constantly with marketing the business.  I am totally grateful for their help because I would not have known what to do if I was out there alone.”

Satisfaction from Running the Business

When asked about the most rewarding thing about being her own boss and running the business, two words stick out to Juanita Glenn: Satisfaction and teamwork. She comments, “What I get the most satisfaction from is being able to interact with all types of people.  I am very people-oriented and it gives me great pleasure to meet people from all types of background.”

Juanita elaborates, “Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to have a family-friendly environment where employees would love to come to work.  My employees are very loyal to the business and I consider them as my team.  I don’t throw my weight around because I’m the boss and I let them know that we are a team, but every team has a leader.  We make sure that we all help each other out as much as possible in order to keep work flowing in an expeditious manner.  One of the things that I am proudest of from my team is that we exude professionalism and it is evident when people tell us that from the way we answer the phone to how we treat them when they come into the store.  I have always felt that a business should be run by treating people with respect and professionalism and that is what makes me most proud of the team that I have working with me.”

The support she received from her parents and church family also makes this experience especially rewarding for Juanita: “I am grateful for my parents and church family who have given me lots of love and support as I was getting the business started.  My father who has his own company, Jones Construction Company, was the person that helped me during the renovation of the store.  I am grateful that he was a part of the process and I get many compliments on how beautiful the store looks.  I feel so proud and thankful that my father was a part of this great process.”

Getting Involved in the Community and Giving Back

Being a business owner gives Juanita Glenn a chance to really make a difference in the community, and she has already received positive feedback from clients that have welcomed her with open arms. She says, “It is so important to give back and I believe that we are on earth to help one another.  It feels good to help someone who needs my type of service.  I oftentimes hear from clients that I was needed in the community.  Hearing that gives me a great feeling!”

She expands, “I am very passionate about church and youth activities.  This helps to keep me grounded and humble.  Also, I recently became a part of a networking group called the Business Leadership Council of Prince George’s County Maryland.  This opportunity came from a client who felt that I would be a good fit for the organization.  I am very excited to become a part of this because it will give me more exposure and bring about additional opportunities for the business.”

Typical Day

For Juanita Glenn, a typical day as a Minuteman Press franchise owner consists of managing and marketing the business: “The typical day for me at Minuteman Press in Upper Marlboro is making sure that all of my clients get their work completed in a timely manner.   I make sure my team is not stressed out and that things are flowing orderly in the store.  It can be hectic at times when we get bombarded with lots of projects, but we all work very well under pressure.  When I am not out marketing, I am in the office helping the team as well as following up with those I have previously marketed to.”

When she is not working on the business, Juanita enjoys her time at church and with her family. She says, “I love to attend bible study and church service because it gives me so much peace and fulfilment. I also like reading things that are very meaningful, spending time with my husband and our dog Eli. While I have been extremely busy since starting Minuteman Press, I enjoy every bit of quality time I can spend with my husband.  He has been my greatest supporter during this entire process and I am thankful for his love, support and encouragement.”

Business Goals and Advice for Others

Like any business owner who is just starting out, Juanita Glenn is working hard to grow her business. As for her immediate goals for the business, she states, “My goal for 2017 is to elevate the business to another level by networking with other groups and organizations.  I plan to get government and local contracts by registering with those agencies that need this type of service.”

When asked about what advice she would have for other aspiring business owners, Juanita answers, “My advice to anyone who is looking to own a franchise is that Minuteman Press is an A-1 company.  It’s no wonder they are rated the #1 Marketing and Printing Franchise within the industry by Entrepreneur several times over.”

Juanita thoughtfully concludes, “Being your own boss is so rewarding in so many ways because you have the freedom to do what you love and be creative. The cost to start up the company is nothing compared to the support that you get from headquarters and locally.  I am so thankful and blessed to be a franchise owner with Minuteman Press.”

Juanita Glenn’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 892 Largo Center Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.

About Minuteman Press International

Minuteman Press International is a number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to over 950 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 14 years in a row and 25 times overall, including 2017. We are the modern version of the printing industry, providing high quality products and services for businesses that go way beyond just ink on paper. Today our stores produce promotional products, custom apparel, direct mail advertising, large format printing (banners and posters), signs, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.

Learn more about Minuteman Press design, printing, and marketing franchise opportunities by calling 1-800-645-3006 and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at

Widowed Mother Of Four Begins New Chapter With No. 1 Home Inspection Company

Sherry OConnor poses outdoors wearing a brown vest and gray sweater

In 2009, when the U.S. economy had taken a down-turn, Sherry and Mike O’Connor were looking for options. They decide to purchase a small machine shop, and moved with their four children from northern Michigan to Nashville, TN. Together they manufactured machines for the tire industry – until 2014 when their world was turned upside down. Mike O’Connor was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

“At that point, we had to sell the business and spent the better part of the next two years learning about and dealing with Mike’s illness,” reflected Sherry. “When Mike passed in 2017, I sold our Nashville house and moved ‘home’ to Northern Michigan, where I had spent every summer of my life and had lived since graduating from college in the mid 80’s. It was the familiarity that brought us back, but I knew that I needed a fresh start in business.”

Over the years Sherry had developed quite a resume. She spent time as a travel agent, restaurant owner, bookkeeper, graphic artist, and real estate agent. “It is my time in real estate that led me to Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, and I know it will prove invaluable to my professional home inspecting business,” Sherry said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked as the top-rated home inspection company on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its 19th year in a row on that list.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report that is printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

“When I was selling homes, I often said that I was more like a frustrated home inspector. It’s true what they say, ‘no home is without some problems, but every problem has a solution’, and I look forward to easing the process for prospective home buyers.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 19 years in a row. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit To inquire about a franchise go to

Co-Parenting Tips Every Divorcing Couple Needs to Know

Co-parenting couple arguing in front of their child

It’s well known that nearly half of all marriages in the country end in divorce. The rate is even higher for subsequent marriages.

What many people are not as focused on are the children involved and how to best go about co-parenting in a way that will help them grow into well adjusted adults. July is National Child-Centered Divorce Month, making it an ideal time to place the focus of divorce on the children, and what can be done to help ensure they come out of the situation in healthy manner.

“Divorce may seem like it’s something between the adults, but it is really something impacts the whole family,” explains Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert, licensed educational psychologist, and author, who offer virtual workshops. “Children need parents who will commit to working together for the health and development of their child.”

In a study published in the journal called The Linacre Quarterly, researchers shared their findings of reviewing three decades worth of research regarding the impact of divorce on the health of children. Their research found that divorce has been shown to diminish a child’s future competence in all areas of life, including family relationships, education, emotional well-being, and future earning power. Parents can help to counter the negative impact that divorce has on the children by focusing on effective co-parenting that will help ensure their success throughout life.

Children who see their parents continuing to work together are more likely to learn how to effectively and peacefully solve problems themselves. They will also have a healthy example to follow. It’s important for parents to remember that their feelings about their ex does not, and should not, dictate their behavior. It’s better to focus on being a positive example, putting your child’s well being in the spotlight.

Patel offers some tips that will help with ensuring co-parenting success:

  • Commit to making co-parenting an open dialogue with your ex. Arrange to do this through email, texting, voicemail, letters, or face-to-face conversations. In the beginning, it may be hard to have a civil dialogue with your ex. There are even websites where you can upload schedules, share information and communicate so you and your ex don’t have to directly touch base.
  • The key is consistency. Rules don’t have to be exactly the same between the two households, but you and your ex should establish generally consistent guidelines. They should be mutually agreed upon for both households. For example, meal time, bed time, and completing homework need to consistent. This helps create a sense of belonging and creates a sense of security and predictability for children. Discuss and come to an agreement about each of these issues.
  • Don’t give in to guilt and try and outdo your ex by gifting you child with things, instead agree on discipline. This includes things like behavioral guidelines, rewards, and consequences, so there is consistency in their lives, regardless of which parent they’re with at any given time. Research shows that children in homes with a unified parenting approach have greater well-being.
  • Keep in mind that children will frequently test boundaries and rules, especially if there’s a chance to get something they may not ordinarily be able to obtain. This is why a united front in co-parenting is recommended.
  • Be flexible and update often. If there are changes at home, in your life, it is important that your child is never the primary source of information.
  • Speak in positive language about your ex. Remember, often times, the marriage is what was the issue, not the parenting style. Each of you has valuable strengths as a parent. Remember to recognize the different traits you and your ex have – and reinforce this awareness with your children.
  • Children exposed to conflict between co-parents are more likely to develop issues such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD. Keeping this in mind, strive to keep conflict around them to a minimal or none at all.
  • Keep the conversations child-focused. This will leave out problems that you and your ex have with each other. The focus now needs to be on the children.

“Effective and healthy co-parenting may be difficult at first and it make time some time to work everything out,” added Patel. “But getting this part right in the long run is going to have a huge positive impact on your children, so it’s worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help to put a plan together or determine how to best put co-parenting into action.”

Patel has a new debut radio show on Dash Radio, North America’s first mainstream South Asian radio station, which premiered in April 2019. The station was founded by Rukus Avenue Music Group, and can be heard 24-7 on the Dash Radio app, as well as on the on the Dash Radio platform at

Patel is the founder of AutiZm& More. As a licensed educational psychologist and guidance counselor, she helps children and their families with the use of positive behavior support strategies across home, school, and community settings. She does workshops around California, and virtual workshops globally where she provides this information to health professionals, families, and educators. She also offers concierge parenting services, helping families to reach specific goals, such as focusing on college admission. She is also the author of a book that helps children with anxiety coping strategies called “Winnie & Her Worries,” and author of a book about autism awareness and acceptance, called “My Friend Max: A Story about a Friend with Autism.” Both of her books are available on Amazon. To learn more about her services, visit the website at

About Reena B. Patel
Based in the San Diego area, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a renowned parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. For more than 20 years, Patel has had the privilege of working with families and children, supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. She works extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development.  She was recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” To learn more about her books and services, visit the website at, and to get more parenting tips, follow her on Instagram @reenabpatel.

The Linacre Quarterly. The impact of family structure on the health of the children: Effects of divorce.

UPS Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Women Exporters Program Workshops In The U.S.

UPS representatives at the UPS booth during the WBENC Business Fair 2019

As part of its continuing efforts to create an inclusive business environment and growth opportunities for women, UPS (NYSE:UPS) has announced the launch of the Women Exporters Program workshops for U.S. businesses.

The program will help women business owners and leaders to gain access to the vast global marketplace, comprising 95% of the world’s buyers.

In the U.S., there are nearly 12 million women-owned small businesses, yet women-owned businesses comprise just 12% of U.S. exporters. Providing training to enable small- and medium-sized businesses owned by women to export would help propel those companies onto the world stage. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, “In a ‘full potential’ scenario in which women play an identical role in (global) labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.”

To provide a pathway for cross-border business opportunities, the U.S. launch of the Women Exporters Program  began at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference & Business Fair, one of the largest events of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. At WBENC, UPS hosted a series of workshops and offered one-to-one coaching sessions, providing:

  • Insights and training on export strategies;
  • Tools and resources to enter new markets;
  • Insights on how to build an export-friendly digital presence; and
  • Guidance on package flow and preparing an export shipment.

UPS experts also provided tips on targeting, research, documentation and shipping processes to help build confidence and competence. The workshops are the first step in the U.S., with additional training sessions being planned for the future.

The U.S. launch is part of a global deployment of the program, which began in May 2019 in Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and Vietnam, with planned expansion to the United Arab Emirates in September 2019 in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of the SheTrades initiative. The business training will help women entrepreneurs expand their potential customer base and growth potential, while strengthening communities. According to independent research commissioned by ITC conducted in 20 developing countries, women in those locations tend to invest up to 90% of their income in their children’s health and education. Helping women entrepreneurs build export skills has the potential to reduce intergenerational cycles of poverty.

“As a leading global logistics company, we have deep insights into how businesses move across borders and grow,” said Eduardo Martinez, UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer and president of The UPS Foundation. “Delivering this knowledge and expertise to women entrepreneurs to help expand their business opportunities is just one of the ways we’re helping to catalyze economic prosperity and inclusion across our value chain of customers, suppliers and communities. Our collaboration with ITC, and the launch of the U.S. program with long-time partner WBENC, are demonstrations of the power of public-private partnerships which will advance women entrepreneurs all over the world.”

Kathleen Marran, UPS VP of Diverse Market Segments, confirms the demand for the program, “No matter where I have traveled this year, from the UAE at a SheTrade event, to DC with the National Association of Women Business Owners, to the Women Presidents’ Organization national conference in Charlotte, to the WBENC Women Exporters Program lab, I am so encouraged by the energy, commitment and innovation coming from these women-owned and women-run businesses. Sharing UPS tools, approaches and expertise to help them achieve their objectives is not only worthwhile because it’s smart business, it is meaningful because of the progress we’re able to create.”

In March 2019, UPS was selected for WBENC’s Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) Hall of Fame. While UPS has been recognized previously as a WBENC Top Corporation, this marks the inaugural year for this new, pinnacle designation, and UPS is one of only nine companies selected.

Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, said, “UPS has been a strong partner and consistent leader in increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion sets the example, and we are so proud to have inducted them into our inaugural Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises Hall of Fame. The UPS Women Exporters Program launching at our National Conference & Business Fair will truly help move the needle for women-owned businesses by expanding opportunities to new markets and providing opportunities for exponential growth.”

UPS’s commitment to empowering women business owners is part of its broader diversity and inclusion efforts focused on employees, customers, suppliers, and communities. UPS recently announced a collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote women’s economic empowerment and improve women entrepreneurs’ ability to export. UPS’s Supplier Diversity commitment enables women- and minority-owned businesses to gain access into UPS’s global purchasing of products and services. UPS’s employee programs focused on diversity and inclusion help foster an inclusive environment that enables each person to learn, grow and contribute.

About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Fortune magazine’s Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at or and its corporate blog can be found at The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at Learn more about our sustainability efforts at To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.

About The UPS Foundation

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2018, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $114.9 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at and @UPS_Foundation on Twitter.

Want That Promotion? 6 Tips to Get You There

professional woman sitting at desk in office smiling

Whether you’re dreaming of a higher salary, greater professional challenges, or both, the following tips will help you get the promotion you deserve.

1 Find a Mentor Within Your Company

A mentor can help guide all facets of your career, including your journey up the professional career ladder. You can make your mentoring relationship a formal one obtained through a mentoring program or an informal one. Choose a mentor you feel comfortable with so that you can talk openly and honestly. Your mentor should also feel comfortable enough with you to point out your weaknesses and how you might work on them.

While any mentor can help you, the most beneficial ones are senior professionals within your organization. In addition to providing insight into the company and its expectations, your mentor can put a good word in for you with people who occupy significant leadership positions within the company.

2 Maintain a Positive Attitude

You might find staying positive difficult as deadlines loom and roadblocks hamper your professional efforts. But it’s worth doing whatever you can to keep a smile on your face. According to CareerBuilder research, employers say that having a negative or pessimistic attitude is the top obstacle standing in the way of workers getting promoted.

When you feel angry or frustrated at work, remember to take a few deep breaths and keep your composure. Maintaining your upbeat attitude, even when faced with adversity, can pay off.

3 Maintain Professional Standards

Maintaining professional standards is immensely important. But you might be surprised by how often workers let those standards slip when they’re comfortable in their workplaces.

Additional employer turnoffs reported to CareerBuilder include all types of professional faux pas including the following: regularly arriving to work late or leaving early, using vulgar language within the workplace, and taking an excessive amount of sick days. At minimum, break these bad habits, then add some new ones: Dress smartly at all times, even on casual days. Ask questions when you’re unsure about something. Avoid whining or complaining when something doesn’t go your way; instead problem-solve a way to fix them.

4 Start Promoting Yourself

We’re taught from an early age that modesty is a virtue, but humble will only get you so far up the corporate ladder. If you’re leaning toward a promotion, you need to know how to promote yourself first.

Chat with your manager about your career aspirations and how your supervisor thinks you’re tracking to meet them. Don’t be afraid to take credit for your role in the company’s successes. Get into the habit of writing monthly emails to your manager detailing your recent role in helping sales managers with their work, for example. Keep a personal record of your achievements so that you can easily recall them if you’re asked why you deserve a promotion.

5 Volunteer for More Responsibilities

You might feel like you’re busy enough with your own tasks, but if you can take on extra responsibilities, you’ll show that you’re a valuable member of the team and one worthy of promotion. Consider volunteering for jobs not only within your department but also in other areas of the company. The tasks you’ll receive from other related departments will give you an opportunity to understand more about the business and potentially gain new skills.

6 Gain New Knowledge

In the modern business environment, qualifications matter. The good news is that in the digital age, these qualifications are easier to get than ever before. Many credible colleges offer online courses that allow you to pursue your bachelor’s degree or advanced degrees from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you. You might also consider enrolling in seminars and conferences that deepen your understanding of your industry and the latest technology used within it.

Don’t keep your educational studies a secret, though. You’ll likely impress your boss by your initiative, and your employer may offer to reimburse you for some of the tuition costs involved with your academic studies.

When you combine the right professional skills and professional attitude, you’ll have the qualities and the mindset you need to impress your boss when you ask for that promotion you know you deserve.


After Careers With U.S. Armed Forces And Fema This Couple Opens Their Own Business

McDuffie,Sharron, Rodney, Lee's Summit, MO

After Rodney and Sharron McDuffie retired from long and successful careers that included both the U.S. Armed Forces and the U.S. Government, the Raymore couple was looking for an attractive business opportunity to bolster their pension income.

So on April 15, Rodney, “61 years young,” and Sharron, “59 years younger,” as they note, officially opened for business as franchise owners with Floor Coverings International, whose representatives visit customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International Lee’s Summit serves customers throughout greater Kansas City.

Sharron retired after 30 years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where she was a Technological Hazards Specialist assigned to several nuclear power plants throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. Rodney retired from the U.S. Navy with 25 years as a Yeoman Administrator before joining the Department of Immigration, where he spent more than a decade before retiring as an Immigration Supervisor this past February. “We had started talking about what we would be doing in life with retirement approaching and looking forward to living the lifestyle we were comfortable in after more than 30 years working for the government,” Sharron said. “And we were not sure that once we retired on a government pension, if it would be enough. We are still pretty young and in good health, so we started looking for a business we could purchase that also offered plenty of flexibility, such as being able to work from home when we wanted to.”

In Floor Coverings International, the McDuffies found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.

The McDuffies are also very excited about having the opportunity for their children to play a role in the business. Their oldest son, who just earned his master’s degree in Public Affairs, is “more excited than my husband and myself,” said Sharron, while their youngest son, who just graduated from high school, is looking forward to joining one of their flooring installation teams where he will gain the necessary experience to later become a Project Manager or Design Associate. A daughter, currently a middle school biology teacher, might join the business as an office manager or Design Associate while her husband is assisting with local marketing. “Since we have been up and running, the whole family is seeing what a great opportunity it is by joining or just participating in this family business,” Sharron said.


Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2019. For franchise information, please visit and to find your closest location,

Susan Olsen Shares Insights on Owning a Minuteman Press Printing Franchise in Leesburg, Florida

Minuteman Press printing franchise - Susan Olsen and Team pose in store

Once an independent print shop, Minuteman Press in Leesburg is now a full-service Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise.

The Minuteman Press franchise in Leesburg, Florida is in good hands with Susan Olsen. Susan brings with her a 20-year retail career and a passion for helping others and getting involved in the community. Susan says, “We are a full service, locally owned and operated print and marketing center. We offer everything from offset/digital printing in-house to all types of promotional products that you can imagine. We are fast and friendly, and we are here to help you create and design anything you need to help your business grow.”

Like many people who felt stuck in their careers, Susan decided to become her own boss. She says, “My last job was as a General Manager at Staples. I got tired of making money for other companies and decided it was time to do my own thing.” Susan was able to take full advantage of Minuteman Press International’s conversion program and buy an independent print shop that is now her full-service franchise in Leesburg.

Why Minuteman Press? Susan explains, “It is really funny how it happened actually. I was horseback riding with a friend and talking about how I just wanted something different and was not really happy with my current job. We were talking about different things I could do and I told her my favorite part of Staples was the print and marketing. I was at home the next day looking at franchises for sale online and Minuteman Press popped up. I contacted Minuteman Press International and my Regional Vice President Jeff Robey reached out to me. He arranged for me to speak with other franchise owners right away. Talking to them got me more motivated and to dig deeper about the company. It has been a great experience from the beginning. I love the customers we service. I love the industry and I love how there is something different every day.”

Taking over an existing business means that Susan has hit the ground running and jumped right into helping her clients. Susan says, “The most rewarding thing to me is being able to come to work every day and plan out what I think are the priorities, meeting the customers when I am out in the field, and meeting other business owners through the different organizations I am in. I am in the local BNI and the Chamber of Commerce. I love volunteering and helping out in the community.”

Since Susan is a new business owner with no prior experience, she credits Minuteman Press with giving her a new career path that helped her become comfortable with becoming an entrepreneur. She concludes, “I went with owning my Minuteman Press franchise instead of buying a small mom and pop shop because I love the fact that I have their ongoing support. I believe there are a great deal of benefits to being with the Minuteman Press franchise as they continue to help me as I help my clients.”

Susan Olsen’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1417 E. Main St., Leesburg, FL 24748. For more information, call Susan and her team at (352) 728-6333 or visit their website:

Click here to learn more about how to sell your independent printing business with the help of Minuteman Press International.

About Minuteman Press International

Minuteman Press International is the number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to nearly 1,000 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur 28 times and 16 years in a row, including 2019. Independent franchisee satisfaction firm Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2019 Top Franchises, 2018 Top Franchise Leaders, Top Franchises for Women, and Top Franchises for Veterans lists thanks to positive reviews from our owners.

At Minuteman Press, We Are The Modern Printing Industry™ providing high quality products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals and go way beyond ink on paper. Today, our centers offer innovative branding solutions and produce custom designs, promotional products, branded apparel, direct mail marketing, large format printing (banners and posters), signs and graphics, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.

To learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and speak with one of our experienced franchise representatives at no obligation, call 1-800-645-3006. Continue your franchise research, watch exclusive owner videos and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at

Latinas on the Rise

Successful Latinas pictured in a collage

The Congresswoman-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (pictured bottom left)

Until about a year ago, Puerto Rican Bronx native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a bartender at a Flats Fix taco and tequila bar in New York City’s Union Square. Now at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, winning 78 percent of the vote. The young congresswoman told NowThis News, “Our district (14th District) is 70 percent people of color, and we have never had a person of color represent us in American history.”

The Wellness Influence-Liz Hernandez (pictured top left)

Liz Hernandez, former journalist and correspondent for Access Hollywood, MTV, and E! News, launched her YouTube series Wordaful in 2016. The series, which brings awareness to the impact and power of words, was founded when she saw how much her mom was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, losing most of her speech. “A lot of times communicating is taken for granted and we become reckless with how we speak to each other,” Hernandez said to Forbes. “My mom losing her speech made me want to be more responsible with mine.”

The Beauty Tycoon-(pictured bottom right)

CEO Katia Beauchamp launched Birchbox in 2010, a beauty subscription box that now has more than 2.5 million active customers. Birchbox redefines the way people discover and shop for beauty and grooming by pairing a monthly subscription of personalized samples with relevant content and a curated e-commerce shop. Birchbox’s innovation isn’t the simple concept of delivering a box of beauty samples—it’s understanding that although not every woman is passionate about beauty, every woman deserves to have a great experience buying it.

Latina Business and Education Stats

Latina-owned businesses represent nearly half of all Latino businesses.

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

As of 2015, the number of Latino firms owned by females grew by 87%.

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

About 4.4 million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. contribute more than $700 billion to the economy annually.

Source: U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Article Source: Birchbox

Afro-Latina actress Tessa Thompson saves the world in ‘Men in Black: International”

Tessa Thompson seen on the Men in Black movie set

By Arturo Conde

Tessa Thompson considers herself Afro-Latina, a black woman, a person of color, and Latinx. But when fans go to see the sci-fi action blockbuster “Men in Black: International” this weekend, she hopes that they will only see her character, Agent M, on the silver screen.

“I hope we can get to the space in Hollywood where it’s not noteworthy for a woman, and particularly a woman of color, to top line a franchise film,” Thompson, who has Afro-Panamanian and Mexican roots, told NBC News. “I hope we can get to a place where we don’t have to congratulate it, or comment on it because it happens with such frequency. But we are still really far away from there.”

“Men in Black: International” partners Agent M with Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth) in a globetrotting mission that will take viewers on a fun and exciting adventure through Western Europe and Northern Africa to find a murderer, expose a mole, and ultimately save the world.Tessa Thompson headshot

Fans first meet M as the six-year-old Molly who has an unexpected encounter with an alien. This exposes her to a new world that is inhabited by unearthly beings. And after the Men in Black erase her parents’ memory, M dedicates her life to tracking down the organization and pursuing the truth.

“Memory is huge for M,” Thompson said. “She doesn’t want to live a lie, and she feels that because there’s this organization [Men in Black] that can go around wiping out memories, the only way to relive the truth in terms of the universe and its underpinnings is to be a part of this organization.” In playing Agent M, the critically acclaimed actress tapped into her gender and ethnicity as a way to understand what drove and tested her character.

“If you’re a woman, and particularly a woman of color, and you’re trying to get access to any space that has been historically white and male, you have to work harder,” Thompson said. “This was an inspiration for me when I was thinking about M because she’s so ambitious. She wants to be good, but she also knows that she has to be good — especially if she wants to get to where she wants to go.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Minuteman Press Franchisees in Rhode Island Lead the Way for Women in Business

minuteman press franchise owners

Throughout Rhode Island, Minuteman Press franchisees are making a difference for their clients and their communities. Each of these Rhode Island-based franchises are independently owned and operated by strong women in business. They have unique insights to share about how they became entrepreneurs, why they chose Minuteman Press, and what it’s really like to own a business.

Dynamic Duo in Warwick and Providence: Meet Karen Fraielli and Valerie Chanoux

For 20 years, Karen Fraielli and Valerie Chanoux have been business partners. They have owned and operated their Minuteman Press franchise in Warwick since 1999, and then bought a second franchise in Providence in 2002. Before Minuteman Press, Karen was a CPA working for a public accounting firm in Providence for ten years, and Valerie worked as an operations manager for UPS and Airborne Express.

Why did they choose Minuteman Press? Valerie says, “In looking at different options and franchises, we knew that we wanted a business with longevity, to work on a business to business level with skilled, trained employees.  We didn’t want to be in the food service industry or a retail business with high employee turnover.  In looking at franchises, Minuteman Press International stood out as fitting those criteria as well as the support that they provided to the owners.  Also, the potential customer base was vast in that every business needs some type of printing done.”

The ongoing support from Minuteman Press has also been a huge help. “Minuteman Press is always there when we need them.  Twenty years ago, the support was more technical in nature, and now the amount of support they provide in the research of industry trends, equipment, and outside vendors has been a great help in getting us to where we are today.”

Karen and Valerie have proven themselves with customers and in their community for two decades. Valerie says, “When we first opened our Warwick location, we had Karen, Valerie and one press operator. Today, we have a staff of 10, a logo wrapped delivery vehicle, two locations and we provide a full range of marketing services to our customers including large format posters and banners, a full range of offset printed stationery, promotional items and full color marketing materials.  And now we even offer custom dye sublimation.  Now our production time is as soon as same day service.  The fact that we have stayed up on technology is how we provide these services, and do so quickly.”

Karen adds, “Being involved in the community is important.  Not only as a business owner, but as a person.  People do business with people.  If you are recognized in the community by some sort of involvement, business will come organically.  I have been a mentor to a young student for many years, providing not only time, but teaching skills, developing trust and building a relationship that will help a young girl grow up successfully.  Rhode Island Mentoring recognizes me not only as Karen Fraielli, but as Karen Fraielli from Minuteman Press.  We are happy to donate to this organization.”

Valerie has been involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for over 18 years.  She says, “Minuteman Press designed marketing materials for local events, including t-shirts, posters, etc.  Just recently, the Susan Komen Cancer Foundation reached out to Minuteman Press to design a new logo and print marketing materials that are distributed in the Northeast.”

Ron Rubin is Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for New England. Ron says, “Karen and Valerie have been very focused on running the business the way Minuteman Press is designed to run. They don’t reinvent the wheel and their hard work has paid off.”

Karen and Valerie echo that sentiment, saying, “Hard work and a determination pays off, that’s for sure!  We are fortunate to have a business partnership and friendship in which respect for each other is our first priority.”

Looking back on 20 years, they reflect, “Running a business takes hard work.  When looking back at the years – we have worked hard, together, to build a strong reputation in the industry that we care about our customers, take pride in what we do, offer a quality product, and we have a staff that does the same.  Most of our staff has been with us for over 15 years.  We take pride in this and truly believe that our customers trust us to be the best for them.  Our business has grown because of our reputation and through referrals.  To say that we have been in business for twenty years is rewarding in itself.”

Their advice to others is this: “If you really want it – do it.  Plan on working hard and take nothing for granted. Always plan for the future and don’t be complacent.”

Continue on here to read the complete article.

To learn more about Minuteman Press in Warwick and Providence, visit and

What it Takes to be a Successful Woman in the Field of Architecture

Gretchen Callejas poses for headshot in an outdoor setting

By Gretchen Callejas

Frank Lloyd Wright. I.M. Pei. Those are the familiar names of two of America’s best-known architects.

Wright’s distinct prairie-style homes dot the American landscape while Pei’s large but elegantly designed urban buildings and complexes are among the world’s most famous architectural works. Pei’s projects, among others, include the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the controversial glass pyramid in Paris’ Louvre Museum courtyard.

But have you heard of Julia Morgan, who designed California’s famous Hearst Castle?

Or trailblazers such as Marion Mahony Griffin, the first woman to be officially licensed as an architect, and Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize?

It isn’t surprising if you haven’t. According to a January 2019 article in ThoughtCo., which listed 20 famous female architects, the role that women have played in architecture and design often go under the radar.

While architecture has been a male-dominated field, that is not the case at Felder & Associates, where I have worked since its inception in 2012. We have four women and three men on staff. The forward-thinking leadership of the firm’s managing principal, Brian Felder, has played an extraordinary part in making our workplace a gender free oasis in an otherwise industry-wide testosterone-filled desert.

Why is architecture, like so many other professions, such a tough profession for women to crack?

According to a 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times, only 18 percent of licensed practitioners are women although they make up nearly half of U.S. architecture school graduates. This disparity sometimes is referred to as “the missing 32 percent.” Unfortunately, females leave the field in disturbingly high numbers after they’re confronted with lower salaries, given fewer career-building opportunities or find a lack of mentors, who champion for them.

Full-time female architects earn 20 percent less than their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Plus, architecture’s history as a male-dominated profession has contributed to an all-consuming workplace culture that leaves little flexibility for women expected to balance work and family. According to the Times article, 75 percent of female survey respondents had experienced sexual discrimination on the job, and 83 percent believed having a child would hurt their careers.

My personal observations and experiences have confirmed some of these disparities, but I consider myself lucky.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to maintain a successful professional career while balancing family because I have a husband who shares responsibilities and encouragement. Without his support, it would be more challenging to continue with a professional career.

And while I have quite a few female friends who are architects, I have never worked for a woman nor had a strong female mentor. Contractors and clients often assume I need to ask my male boss for help in understanding construction, codes or a design issue. When I approach a problem with the same assertiveness as a male architect, I’m sometimes labeled with the “B”-word.

Since I was a kid, I dreamed of designing buildings before I knew what that encompassed. And now as an adult would I encourage young girls to enter architecture? Absolutely. I would tell young women (and men) entering the field that determination and passion go a long way. You will be successful if you work hard, tune out the negativity and chase your goals with perseverance. If you want to be an Architect, then go be one.

I finally believe that I am in a position to give them a hand. I’ve been around enough to help guide them and try to be the mentor I never had. I’m pleased we have two young women working with us at Felder & Associates. Alma Johnson and Cathryn Sinclair graduated with architectural degrees from the Savannah College of Art and Design last year and are interning with us as project associates.

Sinclair says she believes the playing field is more level than ever before but there is always room for improvement.

“I hope to continue to see the gap close,” she says.

For Johnson, success is based on how hard you work.

“Now, the gender gap does exist, but I think that the world is evolving on a more modern idea of a woman in the workplace. I don’t see gender. I see what skill sets I need to acquire to be as successful as the candidate next to me,” Johnson says.

I hope their perspectives will remain true and their positivity high after spending 15 years or so in the industry. I suspect they will reflect on their early days as a time when they had to deal with an old and outdated set of standards.

One thing I know for certain. They are in a wonderful setting to avoid bias and discrimination working at Felder & Associates. We are, thankfully, treated equally regardless of our gender, and we treat one another with mutual respect and understanding.

My hope for young women in architecture is that they will continue to mentor the next generations of women architects, have equal opportunities and respect. One day we will be as well-known as Frank Lloyd Wright and I.M. Pei.

Gretchen Callejas is a project architect at Felder & Associates, where she specializes in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, small scale commercial architecture and high-end residential design. She is also LEED-accredited from the U.S. Green Building Council. Callejas earned Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from Ball State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.


  1. Craven, Jackie (2019, January). 20 Famous Women Architects. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from:
  2. Stratigakos, Despina (2016, April). Why is the world of architecture so male-dominated? LA Times. Retrieved from:
  3. Newman, Caroline (2019, January). Three Generations Of Female Architects Seek To Bring More Women Into The Profession. UVA Today. Retrieved from: