Rediscover You! A Women’s Retreat in the Illinois Countryside!

September 11th, 2015

I want to share an opportunity to reflect, revive and renew in a fall setting at the Wellwood Farm in Gridley, IL. Co-sponsored by my new friend and associate Jackie Wellwood, the event is from 8 am – 8 pm Saturday, Sept. 26.

Enjoy a peaceful day, take time to slow down, walk around the farm, visit the chickens and horses and stroll along the country fields. Reflect about your life journey, revive your energy and renew your soul with presentations by Jennifer Cross and Jackie.

During the morning, Co-host Jennifer will help participants reflect about where they are and where they want to be in her program, “The Hero’s Journey To Self-Discovery!” Jennifer is the founder of Authentic Living & Wellness, a health educator and food addictions expert who leads clients to new heights of self awareness, self-love and happiness.

Lunch and a rest time will be followed by the awe-inspiring story about how Jackie revived her soul as she discovered the beautiful within while raising and homeschooling seven children and writing three books. Jackie is an author, speaker and life coach who left her house in the suburbs to make a home on the farm.

“The day will be comprised of many relaxing, reflecting, peaceful and energizing moments. Reflection and group discussions will be interspersed with image journaling, vision boards and Mandala coloring,” Jackie said.

“Or participants may prefer to nap, meditate, practice yoga, enjoy tea with friends, explore or wander the country and breathe in the fresh air as they choose their way to reflect, revive, renew,” Jackie added.

Cost is $75 and includes three meals, snacks and tea time. A special sunset event has been planned to wrap up the day. Participants are also welcome to stay for a fireside/bonfire visit.

Jackie said space is limited and suggests you register soon at


Women at 50 Likely Have Different Career Objectives than Men

August 14th, 2015

50As women reach the half-century mark, they frequently are eager to ramp up their careers. Their last child may be off to college and for once they can rise, shower and make just one breakfast … theirs. If they pack a lunch, it’s for them to take to the office so they can control their calories and know what’s really in their food. And they can stay late at the office because no one is waiting in the driveway wanting to know, “What’s for dinner, mom?”

Women often have intermittent careers earlier on, riding the Mommy track for a year or two here and there or waiting to go back to work until the last child is in school full time. Men (except for those who take paternity leave or are a stay-at-home dad) have been working for about 30 years by the time they reach the 50 mark. They may be eyeing retirement … at least a little.

Women are now ready to put in extra time in the office, go for the promotions and work harder to reach the executive level.

Ah, here’s where there can be a rub.

Women who were once on the Mommy Track may still be perceived to be there long after they have returned to work full time. Perception can be a hard thing to shake. In fact, they may have to consider changing jobs to shake it entirely … which also means they have to start over accumulating benefits and building their internal network.

Women also have to overcome the perception aspect in another way. Men mature as they reach 50. Women’s wrinkles receive more attention. I like to call them “wisdom lines,” and give women credit for the knowledge and experience they have gained. Women need to keep their look current else some may think their skills are also out-of-date. An image advisor, wardrobe coach and an astute hairdresser can help a lot.

Another obstacle women may face as they seek to rise is an ole girl network. They simply are not as prevalent as the ole boy networks. Having more than 90 percent of corporations run by men means that men just naturally have access to more powerful people who are more like them.

Women who are eager to learn how to overcome some of these very real challenges can find answers at the Chicago’s area first Boomer business women’s conference, “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50” Aug. 28 at DePaul University/Naperville Campus. Produced by Duoforce Enterprises, Inc., it is a day-long event jam-packed with great speakers and the opportunity to network with like-minded women to bolster that ole girl network. Exhibitors will share information for Boomer business women.

Cost is $116/person or $98/person when three people register together. Details are at or you can contact Duoforce President Lillian Bjorseth at or 630-983-5308.


Female and 50? How to re-kindle your career

August 5th, 2015

Daily Herald Columnist Jim Kendall shares why you should attend the “Maximize Your Career: Business Tools for Women over 50″ conference Aug. 28 in Naperville IL. This column originally appeared in the August 3, 2015 Daily Herald

MYCsmallestyetFemale? 50ish, or at least somewhere in the Baby Boomer 51-69 age range? Business owner? Wannabe a business owner? Planning to return to the workforce? Already there?

Wherever you fit, if you’re ready to re-kindle your career, Lillian Bjorseth wants to talk with you. You probably should listen.

Bjorseth, president of Duoforce Enterprises Inc., Lisle, is a highly respected networking-communications-let’s-get-this-done professional. What she’s most likely to talk about is the full-day conference she has created for Boomer-age business women.

Titled “Maximize Your Career, Business Tools for Women over 50” and set for August 28 at the DePaul University campus in Naperville, the conference is intended to help businesswomen 50 and older enhance their workplace opportunities. (

It’s probably because I’m not a 50-year old female that I paused when Bjorseth answered my first interview question: Why a full-day career conference for women over 50? After all, when men hit 50, we tend to consider ourselves at the top of the business game – although we may peek ahead and begin to contemplate selling the business and kicking back.

But women, says Bjorseth, look at their 50s differently.

Part of Bjorseth’s answer to my question is almost rote. “Women at 50 face two major challenges,” she says. “Gender and age. Perception plays a big role (in a woman’s success). Men age, they look mature. Women age, they get wrinkles.”

Bjorseth’s full answer is far more insightful. Baby boomer women, she says, “finally have an empty nest. They can look at ramping up their careers. They can go to work without worrying about responsibilities at home.”

The Mommy Track days are over, giving businesswomen the opportunity to enhance, or perhaps discover, the resources they need to jump start careers.

“We have to expand the business woman’s mindset,” Bjorseth says. One way to do that, she continues, is to “increase networking with like-minded women.

“People like to work with people (who are) like they are. Men still have their old boys’ network, but women still have to work their way in. We want women talking to women on an equal level.”

Those connections clearly matter in the entrepreneurial world, but they matter in the corporate sector as well. Sarah Donahue, a CPA and retired Allstate vice president in Long Grove, has an interesting conference role: To explain the corporate world, where, she says, “Networking, both internally and externally, is really important for women hoping to move ahead.”

The relationships women can establish via networking make a difference, Donahue says.

She also offers ways women can gauge their acceptance. “Look for the signals the company is investing in you,” Donahue suggests. “Are you being selected for such things as higher exposure assignments? Industry committees? Additional training? Maybe not-for-profit committee work?

“You may have to advocate for yourself,” Donahue advises – which, she adds, is something women don’t typically do.

© 2015 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Listen to Jim’s Business Owners’ Pod Talk at


The 3 Most Common Mistakes People Make With Their Health

August 3rd, 2015

This blog first appeared on It was written by Paul C. Dukovac D.C., L.Ac., owner and founder of Integrative Health, a sponsor of the “Maximize Your Career: Business Tools for Women over 50″ Aug. 28 conference in Naperville, IL.

    1. Most people put their healthcare decisions in the hands of other people. We do what doctors tell us without hesitation or question. Knowing your body can be the difference between adding more healthy years or having nothing to look forward to but less than quality years. When it comes to your health, you should know your body better than anyone else!

    2. Most people don’t take advantage of the newest, most accurate technology to learn and know what is really going on with your health. We are currently using ancient, invasive, obsolete means to gather health information. Today there is technology available that can gather vital health information in a matter of minutes. This technology is non-invasive, affordable and looks at the body in real time, in live operational mode.

    3. Most people don’t invest nearly enough time and money on their health. Our health is our most prized possession and we should treat it that way. When we lose our health, nothing else matters. The misperceptions that if you don’t have any symptoms you are healthy or that your health is a product of your genetic make-up are dangerous views. Cancer, heart disease and other disease processes are just that, “processes” that develop over time. By the time symptoms are present, the disease process has usually been going on for some time. Typically the first sign of heart disease is a heart attack and 1/3 of all heart attacks are fatal. Your decisions over time shape your health. Just as disease processes are brought about by your decisions over time, health and healing are brought about by the decisions that you make over time. Decisions that you are responsible for.

Chronic stress seems to be the norm in our American Society. Our healthcare system use to be ranked one of the best in the world but today it ranks as the worst. Diabetes and heart disease are at epidemic proportions and nearly 1 out of 2 people will get cancer at an early age. There are many reasons how and why we got to this place. But make no mistake; it was our own decisions, emotions and perceptions that got us to this point. No matter how unhealthy or sick you are, true health and vitality is within your grasp, but it is up to you to choose this path. No drug, surgery, diet or even work-out regiment will get you there. Make today the first day you give yourself the gift of more quality years through the decisions and choices that are truly in your best interest!


Integrative Healthcare to Sponsor Chicago Boomer Business Women’s Aug. 28 Conference

July 15th, 2015

drpaulIntegrative Healthcare in Naperville will sponsor the Chicago area’s first Boomer business women’s conference Aug. 28, 2015 at DePaul University/Naperville. “Maximize Your Career: Business Tools for Women over 50” is being created and produced by Lillian Bjorseth, networking and communication skills speaker, coach and author.

Integrative Healthcare offers a menu of more than 10 alternative wellness solutions that provide you with vital information on your current state of health and screen you for possible health challenges that may present in the future.

“We help you look younger, feel better and gain more energy. Our experienced and dedicated practitioners will provide you with the tools to maintain the healthy lifestyle you’ve been striving for,” said Paul Dukovac, D.C., L.Ac, director and owner.

Patients say:
“I don’t feel my age because I’ve received these awesome therapies from Linda and Dr. Paul for years.”

“Integrative Healthcare is the whole package when it comes to everything from the beauty aspect to the wellness picture. I love the acupuncture facelifts, lymph therapy, biofeedback for stress, the signature massages and the Synergie Skin®cellulite reduction. They make me feel and look younger.”

Dr. Dukovac is a graduate of Cornell University and National University of Health Sciences. He opened his first practice in 2000 and has cared for babies as young as 2 days to elderly patients to professional athletes. Dr. Dukovac has dedicated a large part of the past 10 years researching and implementing state of the art technology in the areas of health monitoring and health potential optimization. A culmination of all of these efforts saw the opening of Integrative Healthcare in 2012.

He has worked in many different healthcare settings, including Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, Chicago Lakeshore Geriatric Clinic and Chicago Salvation Army Freedom Clinic. He has also served as a wellness consultant to corporations.

You can learn more at


Rodan + Fields Consultant Chicago-area Boomer Business Conference Sponsor

July 7th, 2015

levinPamela Joy Levin, an independent consultant for Rodan + Fields skin care products, will be an exhibitor at Chicago’s first Boomer Business Women’s conference. “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50” will be from 8:15 am – 4 pm Aug. 25, 2015 at DePaul University, Naperville campus.

As a consultant, Pamela has access to the Rodan + Fields Multi-Med® Therapy products “designed to deliver the right ingredients, in the right formulations, in the right order to transform your skin.” she said. “They are game-changing,” she added.

Rodan + Fields was founded by Dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, creators of Proactiv® Solution, America’s #1 selling acne system. The founders were included in Forbes’ list of 50 of America’s Top Self-Made Women.

Pamela also is an international recruiter building her own Rodan + Fields team. Find out more at Plus she is expanding her business to include original jewelry designs.


Chicago-area Boomer Business Women’s Conference Emcee Discusses to Dye or not too Dye

June 5th, 2015

trishaThis blog first appeared on the “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50″ Aug. 28 conference site.

To dye or not to dye – that is the question.

As a human resources consultant, I have been asked many times over the past few years by women and occasionally by men, “Should I dye my hair as I begin a new job search?”

Competency is not based on any color, hair or otherwise, but there is such a thing as bias that can come into play in the interview process for any applicant over 50. A few years ago in Silicon Valley, a male CEO over 50 was being turned down for position after position. He would leave an interview feeling confident that an offer was going to result only to find it went to a less-experienced younger person. So he decided to change his interview tactic. He shaved his gray hair, traded in his loafers and business suit for sneakers and casual wear, and he got the next job.

As a search consultant, I had one executive say to me, “Don’t you think women past a certain age should dye their hair, and pay more attention to their appearance?” This coming from a guy with a head of gray hair and a paunch.

So back to the question, “Should you dye your hair?” It is an individual decision; however, if it is gray, or white, I would suggest that it be professionally cut and styled.

Other things that can date women are pantyhose. Princess Kate may have helped to revive the pantyhose industry but unless you are a princess and hanging in that circle, I would lose the pantyhose as well. There are great over-the-counter bronzers if you feel your legs are not suitable to bare legs, and pants suits are still very much in style.

Competency isn’t biased but some of the people making the decision may be.


Is Courtesy Losing Importance in Face-to-Face Communication?

June 1st, 2015

warn[1]Eye contact is a vital ingredient of in-person communication whether one-on-one or in meetings and seminars, at least I haven’t seen research that that has changed. Its absence is particularly noticeable in small meetings. It’s obvious when people are looking down at their laps or keep glancing sideways toward the phones they perpetually have lying next to them … even at one-on-one breakfast and luncheon meetings.

I think it’s common courtesy to make eye contact with a person whom you have engaged in conversation by offering or accepting an invitation to meet or at an event or in the office.

Is there a new form of courtesy (or lack thereof) that says you can interrupt the flow of the conversation and obviously look away to text, read an email or accept a call when you “hear” your phone?

Do you make the person you are with feel less important than an email or phone call from someone you have not engaged to meet with you? Is it okay for the person to be frustrated by the interruptions or in the guise of changing communication rules, does that person also begin checking emails and texting?

Granted there may be periodic urgent calls; however, are so many people today really that important … or do they believe they are and want you to have the same perception? Or do they need to be in 24/7 contact with multiple people simultaneously?

I have yet to meet a multi-tasking communication skills expert!

Last week I attended a small meeting where the unstructured discussion was on a potential leadership gap down the road since Millennials have different values than Baby Boomers, the experts on that topic say.

An example was brought up of a company that changed a rule because Millennials didn’t like it … it was an inconvenience. The conversation than lead to a discussion that the lack of courtesy might need to be accepted since it is becoming acceptable to handle emails and texts during meetings.

Before I ask what you think, I want to share what the other meeting attendees said when I asked them why they (and they were either Boomers or very near there to) had their phones lying on the table by them:

    • My jeans are tight, and I needed a place to put my phone.
    • I’m meeting someone afterwards, and I wanted to see if he was on his way.
    • To see the time … although I realize now there is a clock on the wall in front of me.
    • Habit.
    • I needed to see if anyone was cancelling this morning

And so now I ask you, is common courtesy less important that it used to be?


Over 40 Females is new Chicago-area Boomer Business Women’s Conference Sponsor

May 27th, 2015

Over40FemalesLogoThe “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50” (MYC) conference is delighted to welcome Over 40 Females as a new sponsor. The event will be from 8:15 am – 4 pm Aug. 28 at DePaul University/Naperville.

The Chicago Chapter of Over 40 Females headed by Managing Director Shannon Bednowicz was launched in April of 2013. The parent organization was founded in 2010 by Judy Goss after meeting and listening to the needs of thousands of women as an editor and national TV spokesperson for More Magazine.

“We are not just another networking group,” Shannon said. “We focus on helping employed women and those in transition further their careers, start a business, build relationships, increase confidence, improve health awareness and gain information about fashion and beauty.

“We specifically connect a community of women over 40 to increase awareness for our demographic on an international scale and create a higher standard of pride and confidence
for the generations of Over 40 Females to come,” Shannon said.

“We are especially pleased to welcome this community of women over 40 to the conference,” said Lillian Bjorseth, MYC creator and producer. “We want to share what Boomer women are experiencing in the work place to better prepare those who will reach that age in the next 10 years.”

The Chicago Over 40 Females chapter meets the first or second Tuesday of the month in the northwestern suburbs and alternate the third or fourth Wednesday of the month between the western suburbs and downtown Chicago. To learn more about the group, visit

For details about the Chicago area’s first Boomer business conference, visit or email


Executive Presence – Important Ingredient of Leadership

May 21st, 2015

IW3I am a staunch believer in the importance of executive presence in the business world, and it has served me well. Since it will be one of the topics at my Aug. 28, 2015 Boomer business women conference, “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50,” at DePaul University/Naperville, I decided to join colleague Vicky Austin Tuesday for her monthly book review at Wheaton Public Library. Her choice was Executive Presence: The Missing Link between Merit and Success by Sylvia Ann Hewlett.

Sylvia’s basis for her book is that you can have the experience and qualifications of a leader, but without executive presence (EP), you won’t advance. EP is a combination of qualities that leaders project. Sylvia and the Center for Talent Innovation conducted a nationwide survey of college graduates working across a range of sectors and occupations, and discovered that EP is a dynamic, cohesive mix of three essential ingredients: gravitas, communication and appearance.

Sylvia helps you identify those qualities and how to exemplify them so that others perceive you to be a leader. For many people, it sounds easier than it is.


It’s word that I don’t use a lot so in case you don’t either, here’s a definition: “Seriousness or solemnity in demeanor or treatment, strength of character, self-esteem, confidence.” It may be difficult to describe yet you know it when you see it. It’s the most important of the three ingredients. Specifically, the author means:

    • Confidence and “grace under fire”
    • Decisiveness and “showing teeth”
    • Integrity
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Reputation and pedigree
    • Vision or charisma


Here’s Sylvia’s definition of what communication entails.

    • Superior speaking skills
    • Ability to command a room
    • Forcefulness and assertiveness
    • Ability to read others
    • Sense of humor and ability to barter


Sylvia shares that it is the least important ingredient, percent-wise, yet it is the one that can almost immediately cause people to think you don’t have EP.

    • Polished and well groomed
    • Good posture
    • Simple, stylish clothes
    • Fit and slim

EP is one of the three topics that will be covered in the “Promote Yourself Effectively over 50” panel at the Boomer business women’s conference Aug. 28, 2015. Other panel topics are using social media successfully and networking in the right places.