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Archive for April, 2014

Extraordinary Woman – Kerriann Greenhalgh

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

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An organic chemist, wife, and mother of one son and four rescue dogs, Kerriann Greenhalgh grew up in Tampa. She was one of the first students at Tampa Palms Elementary and was part of the first full graduating class of Wharton High.

She earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees at the University of South Florida. She successfully balanced two passions at USF – dancing as a member of the Sundolls and science – and met husband Dan Opp in the halls of the physics building.

“I owe a lot to always having my parents nearby, supporting me through college and graduate school. My family is such a big factor now in keeping me operational, watching my son Nolan when I have meetings and even helping me with KeriCure as employees!”

What do you think is the secret to your family’s success?

Balance. Long ago we established who is responsible for what around the house. Things work smoothly when everyone is on the same page. Since both my husband and I work in science fields, we’re able to connect and support each other when we’re struggling with something at work; however, we’re in different enough fields that we don’t drive each other crazy. Being able to pick up the slack for one another when we have to work late or have a deadline (and being compassionate when doing so) helps keep the stress levels down so we can enjoy each other and our family during the other times. 

What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is letting down everyone who has believed in me and invested in me to build KeriCure into a successful company.

What advice would you give to other women?

Do not let anyone push you aside. Some people have said of my company, “When are they going to get a real CEO? She is too young and too inexperienced.” All I have to say to women who are faced with this same discrimination: prove them wrong! We can do anything we set our minds to. Find your passion and what inspires you, and go for it!

What is your proudest moment?

When I first saw KeriCure products on display in Publix. It was the culmination of pride, relief, anxiety and fear. We had finally made it to the big leagues and would have our first major income stream. But could I sustain it? Could I get consumers to understand what KeriCure is and why it makes such a difference for people? How will the customers respond to the product? All of these questions still swirl around, but they are becoming clearer each day as we learn more and more about our loyal fans and customers and what they’re looking for in KeriCure.

Each and every day with my son I am incredibly proud. His every accomplishment amazes me and fills me with great joy. One of my favorite moments was the first time he signed “more” to me at 14-months-old. It was absolutely incredible. You can never have too many fruit snacks!

What is your biggest achievement?

Getting my doctorate in organic chemistry has been my biggest achievement thus far. My next biggest achievement will be when we hit $1 million in sales of KeriCure products.

What makes you happy?

My family, dancing, being in the lab, and bringing new, necessary products to people in need.

How do you relax and take time for yourself?

I love to read murder mystery novels, play in the pool, relax in the hot tub, get pedicures and work out.

What kind of message would you like to give women in the area or in this community?

It’s worth saying again. Find your passion and what inspires you. Then move forward with confidence. You can do it! 

What else would you like to share with our readers? About being a mom, about your work?

Everyone seems to be extraordinarily busy with their careers and hectic schedules. I think it’s vital to remember to unplug and enjoy quality time with your family. I fall victim to working too late and on the weekends a lot, but I strive to do better at managing my time during the work day so that I can enjoy my family in the time we do get together.

KeriCure is all about helping people and empowering women to keep their families safe from infections without using harsh chemicals or antibiotics. One of the more recent rewards of being the boss was being able to make the decision to donate over $400 worth of KeriCure to The Spring of Tampa Bay, which is a certified domestic violence center serving Hillsborough County. Providing essential first aid products like ours to organizations that help women and children to get out of bad situations and rise above has been extremely rewarding, and is a relationship that I look forward to growing for many years to come. 

How do you enjoy or draw information from the magazine?

Tampa Bay Parenting is simply a great resource for parents, and it’s given me useful ideas as a relatively new parent (or inspired new ideas) for our household.

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids in Tampa Bay?

We love going to the Glazer Children’s Museum and the farmer’s market at Wiregrass mall. Nolan’s first major outing was to the Florida Aquarium and he absolutely loved it, and it is one of my favorite places to go in Tampa as well.

Who is your biggest inspiration or role model?

My dad is my biggest role model. He is an amazing businessman and father to three kids, and our family revolves around him. If it wasn’t for his faith in me, KeriCure would not be where it is today.

Extraordinary Woman Pamela Janecki

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

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Originally from El Paso, Texas, Pamela Janecki has lived in Tampa for 16 years. A few years ago the technical theater teacher was introduced to the term “teaching artist.” Today, that is how she thinks of herself.

“I am a teaching artist. Art and creativity are the driving force behind everything I do. I am fortunate to be able to share that with my students at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Arts.”

What do you think is the secret to your family’s success?

My family’s success comes from independence and understanding. If there is anything to agree on about families, it is that no two are the same. My family’s biggest challenge is being so far from one anther. My family is spread across the country from South Dakota to Texas to Ohio to Florida. We celebrate each other’s successes and are a shoulder for each other to lean on. We understand that vicinity does not equal love. We always embrace distance as a new place to visit — always a new adventure. There is not a single plan that works for everyone, but I believe one of the keys is being involved in each other’s lives no matter how far apart we are. That means asking questions about each other — specific questions that lead to conversation and more questions. It’s not only about asking questions. Knowing when to listen is equally important. I enjoy making my family feel loved and important.

What is your biggest fear?

Other than sharks, bees, and spiders, I have no fear! I’m a teacher (just kidding). I am actually very shy and ironically have a fear of being on stage, public speaking and talking to strangers. I have realized as I get older how irrational most of these fears are and manage to muscle through them with humor. Maybe this is why I understand my students so well. Having a love for something, like theater, does not always an actor or actress make.

What advice would you give to other women?

Do what makes you happy. Just like no two families are the same no two women are the same. What works for one may drive another woman crazy. If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, do it. If you want to have a career, have it. If you want to have both, you can. That is the beauty of being a woman.

What is your proudest moment?

Most of my proudest moments involve keeping in touch with former students and watching them become as successful as I always thought they would. I have been blessed to have several former families stay in touch with me long after they have left my class. I love seeing former students start careers or families of their own. I love seeing them become outstanding young men and women. One of the best things that can happen for a teacher is having a former student find you and thank you for the role you have played in their lives. Teachers would do what they do even without the thank yous, but they are magical, heartfelt and sincere when they happen. It always reminds us of the why behind the what that we do. 

What is your biggest achievement?

I have been proud of many achievements in teaching and out. Most recently, I was one of five teachers selected from the state of Florida to receive a STAR (State Teacher/Artist Residency) at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in partnership with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. This was an amazing four weeks in Manasota Key, Florida, where I was given the most precious gift that every teacher desires — the gift of time. The residencies give artists (who also are teachers) the opportunity to focus on their art. I was lucky enough to attend as a writer and photographer.

What makes you happy?

Friends and family make me happy. With my family being spread out all over the place, my friendships are more like family.

How do you relax and take time for yourself?

I love to travel. Even the smallest towns have something to say. Even the largest cities have quiet and peaceful moments. It is a bonus that I have family and friends almost anywhere I go in the U.S. If I choose to travel outside the U.S., I know that there is always someone willing to go on an adventure with me.

What else would you like to share with our readers? About being a mom, about your work?

I may not have children of my own, but I have mothered many. I always say I have 100 children every year. I may not tuck them in at night, but I am there to share their dreams and inspire them. I celebrate their successes, and I pick them up when they fall. I am there to keep them safe, physically and emotionally. I deal with mood swings and different personalities on a daily basis. I have given out lunch money. I have purchased school supplies. I have paid for field trips. I have given advice. I have been yelled at, and I have been hugged. My students make what I do worth every minute.

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids in Tampa Bay?

I don’t have children (besides my students). My 5-year-old niece Avery and I highly recommend the beach at sunset. There is nothing like watching her pick up seashells and build sandcastles.

Who is your biggest inspiration or role model?

My biggest inspiration is my mother. She has such a calm and peaceful demeanor. I always say I wish I could be more like her. I’m still trying!