You don’t have to look far in Plattsburgh to find amazing women, taking on business and performing an on-going balancing act with family, work and well-being. Our Body, Mind & Spirit Winter Series audience was truly inspired by the authenticity and joie de vivre of Deena McCullough, Dena Archer and Deb Cleary. The Champlain Wine Company is the perfect setting to have a glass of wine and listen to the easy dialogue of excited women sharing their passion for “having it all”! If not “having it all”…then certainly living full and rich lives. All three are business owners, have a longing for adventure and navigating unexplored territory, and are extremely devoted to family and friends. We decided to share some of their qualities and beliefs with you in this week’s Scene in Plattsburgh.
What personal characteristics do you have that made you want be in business for yourself? What qualities have you cultivated/or continue to cultivate to be successful? DEB CLEARY, President of ETS and co-owner of Urban Soles, is a ‘do-er’. She gets an idea, and says “I DO IT”…it may not always work as well as she had planned, but it is action oriented and she is never left wondering, ‘what if?’ She had just come from a day of working with a photographer to really capture the essence of her business and employees in the design of a new cutting edge website, designed by Deb, of course! She comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so her background, support, and experience laid the foundation to be well prepared to lead ETS into the next generation of growth.
DENA ARCHER, owner of ARCHER BODY WORKS and Licensed Massage Therapist, responded that she is always “skidding in sideways”, but (almost) always landing on her feet. You’d never know that by her easy presence and poise! She was effervescent in describing all aspects of her life and managing the ongoing growth and expansion of her spa business to add employees and expand services. In addition, she is single-parenting two daughters, encouraging their growth into strong young women, and making room to stay healthy during these intensely busy years. Her dad was a local business owner and emulating him comes naturally. She believes that being flexible, having an artistic, creative vision and a high, constantly developing sense of self-awareness are crucial characteristics to making it all work.
DEENA MCCULLOUGH, President of Northern Insuring, also stepped into a family business, believing that she has a great legacy of excellence to carry on. She describes herself as “fiercely independent, resilient and having a strong desire for excellence”. Her belief in open, honest communication and strong staff development activities has certainly given Northern Insuring great results; they recently won a 2014 Best Companies to Work for in New York State award that was voted on by employees. She believes that continuing to develop her business and personal self are essential and belongs to a like-minded nationwide group of women leaders. They share, encourage and challenge each other on retreats that include physical challenges as well!
On understanding and maintaining well-being, the women agreed that knowing, honoring and accepting yourself first leads to the best results in personal and professional life. Taking care of what they CAN control is crucial in this process; healthy diet, sleep, exercise and surrounding themselves with positive, inspiring people are the building blocks of staying strong and happy.
Finding the “sweet spot” between work and play is something they are always striving to achieve. Creating organized, clean and esthetically pleasing environments helps them in both getting work accomplished and then relaxing when it is done! Quiet time, which includes a ‘turn off of technology’, is crucial to all three in this overall equation of balance.
Our last question reflected on what they thought young women should be taught outside of school to become balanced, independent and successful. All of our speakers share a unique and special blessing; they came from backgrounds of love, acceptance, and high expectations. In spite of this foundation, they each live and work in a spirit of gratitude rather than entitlement. Having gratitude and being kind are essential aspects of well-being that, they all expressed, cannot be ignored. These women reminded us of a very important life lesson – we are all given unique gifts and it is our responsibility to attend to them. We all have the power to nurture or squander these gifts. Dena, Deena, and Deb are living examples of how to live full and meaningful lives, with style, substance, and success! Thank you!
Don’t forget to join us for:
body, mind & spirit
keep the winter blues at bay!
Champlain Wine Company on City Hall Place
5:30 TO 7 p.m.
Wednesday March 12 Mary Duprey & Julie Reidy of Empower Fitness and Yoga
Wednesday March 26 Diane Miller on Creating a Beautiful Environment
Email us with questions and appointment requests at firstname.lastname@example.org