News + Views

It’s You!


ROI by Frank J. Rich







By Frank J. Rich



More than any other question is the one that defines each individual, each effort toward the achievement of the next planned goal—the simple definition of success. In advising others, we occupy sacred ground. How do we help without giving over to a simple expression of the way we are, as though our way is the answer for everyone who asks: What should I do with my life? Today, the most quoted answer is engineering, healthcare, or government. These are the high-growth areas. We must first, and foremost, take stock of who, in the most essential guise, is the asker.

Once a common understanding of this quality joins our thinking, we may ask the second essential question: How good do you want to be… at something? Same question in different words: How hard are you willing to work to achieve it? The answer helps to clear the way for the potential in the asker. We may all be “able to prepare” for the outcome we seek, but few are willing to do the work. The so-called work begins with a realistic self-assessment, the stuff that begins the process of self-esteem building. The last, though not least among its building blocks is “personal accomplishment.” Without these, one can only imagine a brighter future. The idea is more the “Hollywood Effect,” or the mistaken notion that if others, their apparent success as witness, can reach great heights, so can we. Unfortunately, one may only move from one place to another by taking individual steps. Some things we alone must accomplish. Good luck—where preparation and opportunity meet—may appear given of little personal effort, but the experienced would deny it.

The people you work with are the incredible resources necessary to a brighter future. When we invest ourselves in their success, and they do likewise, the results are astounding. Join with those that are going somewhere, with purpose, and for the good of all, and personal dreams come into focus. This is how one engages others and how many become the vehicle to personal dreams. This level of fulfillment is not only personal, but also delivers the energy that fuels collaborative work.

We gain fulfillment when actively engaged in meaningful work. When joined with others of the same mind, financial and corporate results soar. Organizations with strong financial results have employee engagement levels that are twice those with poor financial results. The numbers are similar for those organizations that have better customer experiences, which relate directly to the attitude of the organization’s most valuable resource—people.

The limbic system of the human brain informs much of how we feel about things and the decisions we make. Few elements of brain function provide more direction than this system to realize one’s personal aspirations. Although there is much to do in exercising the healthy use of it, the limbic system benefits greatly from an outside/inside view of the world. That is, how we see it as an extension of ourselves.

When one sees another living out a core value of the group or society, engagement jumps by double digits, according to studies. It is no wonder that the very powerful sense of belonging (to others) that is in each plays such a significant part in the achievement of life goals. Fulfillment may be just two levels above, but requires that we first grow a healthy model in addressing our sense of belonging. In the pursuit of our personal best, we must do a few simple things:

  1. Find Clarity: Know where you are going, how it feels to imagine it, and write it down. Thought becomes behavior. The simple act of acknowledgement begins the process called “knowing,” the total body immersion in the person you want to become.
  2. Commit to Action: Envision the steps along the way. Include the hard parts, such as a long educational commitment, or apprenticeship. Map out the sequence of events, and add the flexibility necessary to adjustments (not excuses) along the way.
  3. See Your Dreams Moving “Toward You”: See all things as puzzle pieces to your goals, as though each has purpose and fits well. Take a position as one who claims the things that happen daily as necessary to your ultimate goals. Watch them coming toward you.

We have little more important to do than to grow with every tick of the clock. We must be ready and available as growth opportunities arise. It is not only our desire to fulfill our personal dreams; it is also our birthright.


March 24, 2017 |

Westchester Community College Hosts Fifth Annual Grow Conference on May 19; Business Leader John DeCicco, Jr. Provides Keynote Address



Westchester Community College’s Gateway to Entrepreneurship (G2E) Center will host its annual GROW Conference on Friday, May 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference that empowers and inspires Hudson Valley entrepreneurs and business owners will be held in the college’s Gateway Center. It will feature a variety of workshops and a keynote address by John DeCicco, Jr. – one of the most successful business owners in Westchester County.

The GROW Conference, organized by G2E and the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, is the region’s largest gathering of business owners and professionals for the purpose of training for small businesses. Last year’s event attracted more than 300 participants. GROW brings together local professionals through networking, mentoring, business development and marketing sessions for the purpose of building relationships to further their company’s growth.

DeCicco, President of DeCicco & Sons, is the newest generation of leadership in the premier supermarket’s forty-year history, retaining its mission statement of “Quality First” and its core values of superior quality products and service, a commitment to a healthy environment, and an allegiance to enhancing the lives of the individuals and families in the seven communities where their stores are located: Ardsley, Armonk, Brewster, Harrison, Larchmont, Millwood and Pelham.

“We are excited to have John DeCicco share his experience and insights into building a thriving business in this quickly changing economy,” says Belinda S. Miles, President, Westchester Community College. “This presentation by one of the County’s most successful business leaders is an excellent way to usher in our fifth GROW conference,” she says.

GROW workshop topics include: Branding: How to Get Positive Brand Engagement in a Multi-channel World, Financing Your Small Business, What Are Your Numbers Telling You?, From Manager to CEO: Experiences that Matter, Digital Marketing for the Real World, How to Effectively Manage Employees: Improve Motivation & Retention, Legal Strategies: How to make your contracts more profitable and more, including several workshops in Spanish.

Broadcaster Joe Connolly of WCBS News Radio 880 and host of the Small Business Breakfast will be joining us and conducting interviews of small business owners during the event.

Entrepreneurs and business owners may register by visiting us at Tickets to attend the all-day event are $35 per person before April 15 and $50 after April 15.

The annual GROW Conference is Gateway to Entrepreneurship’s signature event and is the go-to conference to achieve rapid growth and put dreams into action. The full-day forum offers the details of growing your business and maximizing success, with a focus on networking, mentoring, business development and driving revenue. Attendees are able to tap into a network of like-minded business leaders, potential partners and resources, and hear from marquee-name professionals and innovators from Westchester and beyond.

GROW Conference sponsors include: PepsiCo as our Platinum Sponsor, and the Westchester County Office of Economic Development as our Gold Sponsor. Associate Sponsors include A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp., the Business Council of Westchester, the Martinez-Lopez Family, Tompkins Excavating and Tompkins Mahopac Bank. “We are grateful to have these wonderful organizations contribute to this special event,” says Eridania Camacho, G2E Director.

March 22, 2017 |

Overcoming the Opioid Epidemic


To Your Health








(Family Features) America is in the midst of an ongoing opioid epidemic affecting families across the country. Reports show that there are almost 80 opioid-related overdoses a day, amounting to more than 28,000 deaths annually.

This figure continues to climb as over 2.1 million people in the United States suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Additionally, the rise of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, W-18 and carfentanil are threats to those already using opiates as the epidemic worsens.

Where do opioid overdoses occur?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 77 percent of opioid overdose related deaths occur outside of a medical setting and 56 percent occur in private homes, meaning family or friends must often be the first to take action in an emergency situation. Accordingly, it is increasingly important that responders understand how to prevent death from overdose, including knowing how to use naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication.

What does naloxone do?

Naloxone, the antidote that reverses an opioid overdose, works by neutralizing the opioid receptors in the brain, allowing an overdosed person to breathe again moments after it is administered. It’s been used in ambulances and hospital settings for decades and is now available for people to use in their homes or other remote areas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 reversals of overdoses with naloxone are conducted by non-medical bystanders. Without having a solution in the hands of those closest to opioid-related overdoses, lives are left hanging in the balance while waiting for emergency medical services. However, there is an FDA-approved naloxone nasal spray designed for use by laypeople, like friends and family, who are not medically trained. It’s needle-free and requires no training or assembly to use while providing a strong enough dose to help reverse opioid-related overdoses. Naloxone is only effective in opioid-related overdoses and does not affect a person without opioids in their body.
What can you do?

A majority of states have issued standing orders for FDA-approved naloxone products, which permit pharmacies to dispense the nasal spray without a physician’s prescription. If you or someone you know is susceptible to an opioid-related overdose, whether caused by illicit drugs, like heroin, or prescription painkillers, it is important to prepare for an emergency overdose situation. By having naloxone on hand, you can save a life when every second matters.


Learn more about naloxone at



Photo courtesy of Getty Images


March 22, 2017 |

Ramp Up Breakfast with Morning Protein


In Good Taste









Add milk for simple, high-quality protein to help start your day right

(Family Features) Families across America want to make sure that they’re starting the day strong, and getting enough high-quality protein in the morning is a simple way to do so. A breakfast with protein is a great way to energize the morning, and adding it to your family’s routine doesn’t have to be complicated.

Simply add an 8-ounce glass of milk with 8 grams of natural protein plus other essential nutrients to your favorite breakfast foods for an easy, delicious way to help meet your morning protein goals.

Kids already love milk and it’s a naturally nutrient-rich, wholesome food that moms can feel good about pairing with breakfast. Plus, experts recommend 25-30 grams of protein for adults at every meal – so getting a high-protein breakfast, including milk, gives moms the energy they need to cross everything off their to-do lists. Parenting expert, pediatrician and mom of three, Dr. Tanya Altmann, recommends serving milk at breakfast for a source of high-quality protein in the morning.

“The morning is a great time to bring the family together and start the day off with a tasty breakfast. As a mom of three, I need breakfast options that are quick and easy but also nutritious,” Dr. Altmann said. “Serving my children whole-grain cereal and milk, healthy oatmeal with fruit or a smoothie made with milk guarantees that my family will get high-quality protein and other essential nutrients to start their day off strong.”

Bring a smile to your child’s face with this charming twist on a breakfast standard. Simply make instant oats with familiar flavors – cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar – and top the bowl with a friendly bunny face. For more recipes and ideas, visit

Bunny-Faced Microwave Oatmeal

Recipe courtesy of Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb


1/3             cup instant oats13606

3/4             cup fat free milk

1/4             teaspoon cinnamon

1/4             teaspoon vanilla

1             teaspoon brown sugar

2/3             small banana

2             fresh blueberries

1/2             small strawberry

chocolate syrup (optional)


In microwave-safe bowl, stir together oats, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Microwave on high 30 seconds-1 minute and stir.

Cut banana in half crosswise. Cut 1 1/8-inch thick coin slices from flat end of each banana half. Place slices in upper-third of oatmeal bowl, side-by-side, to make eyes. Top with 1 blueberry on each banana slice.

Place remaining banana halves at the top of the bowl, hanging off edge, to create ears.

Place strawberry in the middle of the bowl to make the nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers.

Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 2 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 59 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 190 mg sodium; 550 mg calcium (60% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.


March 22, 2017 |

Little North Salem Comes Up Big


Slater's Slant by Chuck Slater






By Chuck Slater



That was quite a basketball season the boys of little North Salem completed recently. The second seeds won the Section 1 Class C championship at the County Center for only their fourth time ever and first since 2008, beating Number 4 Hamilton, 61-57, in the final. The Tigers then closed out a 17-7 season by losing to Section 9’s Millbrook, 59-54, in the State Regional semifinals, leaving veteran coach Henry Sassone one shy of 400 career victories. “A great season,” the coach said.

Chris Alterio first shot hoops on the basket in his yard. (PHOTO COURTESY OF HENRY SASSONE)

And there’s more than an outside chance of another great season next year. Of the 13 players used in the playoff run, just four seniors are graduating, including regulars John Martabano and Miles D’Alessandro, one of the team’s two high scorers.

But returning for his fourth varsity season will be the team’s other top point-maker, Chris Alterio. The 6-foot, 1-inch forward has already totaled 1,029 points in his three seasons and was more responsible than anyone else for the gold-ball defeat of Hamilton. He scored 29 points —to go over the 1,000-point mark — and grabbed 12 rebounds in winning MVP honors. “He should be our scoring leader,” Sassone said, looking ahead to his 33rd year at the North Salem reins. “Chris? Yeah, definitely,” added the 6-foot, 2-inch D’Alessandro, who will continue his pursuit of baskets in college at Macalester in Minnesota on an academic scholarship. “You know, Chris was even our top scorer as a sophomore.”

Alterio started organized basketball in the 5th grade and soon was onto AAU play, but he was shooting hoops earlier on a basket in his yard with his dad, James, who had played for Panas.   “We still fool around in the yard at times,” said the son, who plays his sport year-round and hopes to continue in college.

Alterio, who scores a lot of his points from in close on layups and rebounds, can also shoot from a distance. He takes a few three-point shots a game and makes almost half of them. And he’s a strong rebounder. “I’ve always played forward,” he said. “I’ve always been a big guy.” And he and his teammates came up big. “We knew we had a lot of experience and a lot of talent,” Alterio said. “Then when we started winning (often against larger schools), we knew we could go a long way.”

“They will be good next year,” D’Alessandro predicted. “We’ve got a couple of young kids coming up.” The senior was referring to eighth grader Christian Norberto and ninth grader Mike Horan, both of whom contributed late this past season. They figure to help Alterio and North Salem bring Sassone a lot more than his 400th victory.

March 22, 2017 |

The Circus — Another Iconic Memory Fades Away

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel


As a child, for me spring not only signaled warmer weather and budding flowers, it was when the circus came to town! Each year we went to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden. As we sat in our seats, I didn’t know what to look at first with all the action going on before us! It was a three-ringed event with so much to see, both on the ground and on the high wire.

Flash forward to 2017, and the TV news announced that the circus is now in its final stages of touring. Reports stated that declining sales, transitioning the elephant acts out of the program and mounting operating costs all contributed to this major decision. Now, before the last show, our daughter plans to take her children ages five and seven for a visit. She purchased tickets to a show when it comes to her state in April. Remembering her excitement at seeing the circus as a child, she wants her children to have that same experience before it closes. On another level my daughter shared a thought in the literary sense, as she always likes to increase the children’s vocabulary with new words and idioms. She laughed and said to me, “if they don’t go to this multi-faceted three-ring show, how will they understand the expression, it is a real circus in here?”



Think back to your childhood and the activities you recall that still leave a warm memory in your heart. Even simple pleasures like making a campfire on the beach and toasting marshmallows, or going apple picking in the fall impress children. My mother still talks about how her father took her to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees when she was only five years old. They lived in the Bronx at the time and could walk to the stadium, “but would take the trolley back home after the game.” Now some 80 years later, mom recalls how a hot dog was only ten cents at the time and a soda was a nickel. Everything we do with our children is a memory created for them to cherish.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has two traveling shows that will be appearing around the country till the end of the year. To see their schedule, visit:

March 22, 2017 |
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