Through their generosity and commitment to our community, these six Show Spotlight Sponsors have made it possible for WAM to offer reduced price tickets to our partner organizations. We thank them for their support in ensuring all audiences, regardless of circumstance, have equal opportunity to engage with our work.
WAM Theatre: Tell us about your business: What inspired you to start it and what keeps you going?
Laurie Ke (Advanced Image Artistry): I am a registered nurse with a very strong art background and this field provided a way to bring art back into my professional life. It is incredibly rewarding working with chemo and alopecia patients because I can really help them. But since I am doing a procedure that is opening the skin and requires sterile equipment, a lot of people will come to me for my medical qualifications and safety training experience as a teacher for OSHA before considering the art. I came to the Berkshires from LA about twenty years ago, although I still maintain a west coast practice and have clients who travel to me in Pittsfield from around the region. I’ve won numerous awards for my work in the United States and internationally, and this fall I will be speaking at a dermatology conference in Paris, highlighting my paramedical procedures.
Patricia C. Begrowicz (Owner and President of Onyx Specialty Papers): Onyx Specialty Papers has been manufacturing technically exacting papers since 1806. We have built our reputation, and our business, by utilizing our wide range of capabilities and collaborating with customers to create custom engineered materials to meet both performance and design attributes. Our customers have highly specific functional and aesthetic requirements for their products. Through a deep knowledge of materials and processes, our team of accomplished scientists and engineers design creative solutions that meet those needs.
James K. Couture and Lou C. Curto (CWM Retirement Plan Services, LLC): With their main office in Worcester, and branches in Concord and West Springfield, CWM Retirement Plan Services is dedicated to helping people navigate one of their largest life choices with cutting edge services. Until recently folks retired with pensions, but that isn’t the case anymore, and there is no college course on how to plan for retirement. So many complicated decisions are left to the individual these days and it is a daunting task. Jim Couture and Lou Curto share the same vision and are passionate about helping you with your investing, planning, and saving.
Billie Jo Sawyer (CPA of Sawyer, LLC): I have been working as a CPA and auditor for 20 years. My firm does primarily audits but we are definitely performing other services such as bookkeeping, payroll services, and tax preparation. I really enjoy the work and the clients I get to meet and interact with because I feel that I help people. I have a super-friendly staff and we enjoy working together to do a great job. It’s more than just work it’s enjoying your company and working together to get a task done. I believe in family and the importance of putting family matters priority and I encourage a great work life balance where my staff knows that if they need to tend to a family matter, we understand. I believe strongly in communication- I talk with my staff continuously about all that we are doing and that helps us to serve our clients better and makes everyone feel important and connected. I may be the “boss” but we are a team we all have great ideas.
Sharon Daley (Zumba Instructor): I have been in the fitness industry for over 25 years and Zumba my passion. I attend the spring fitness conference in NYC every year and that’s where I met Zumba’s founder, Beto Perez, ten years ago. I viewed and participated in his demonstration and the enthusiasm just coursed through my veins. Zumba is so motivating and inspirational, it feeds my soul. I got trained immediately and now I teach public classes at the First Congregational Church in Lee and at Berkshire Nautilus. I am also an adjunct at BCC and my fall and spring classes are open to the public. Everybody, any age, any fitness level can do Zumba because it’s not a cookie cutter class. Everyone is doing it together and having fun. There are options for intensity levels. You can do Zumba in a wheelchair using upper body torso movements.
Farrah S. Wax, Esq. (Wax Family Law): I am an attorney and practice mainly family law. I always knew that I wanted to focus my legal expertise on families and have devoted my career to suiting the particular and complex needs of my clients and their families. Growing up, my mom was the Principal of Special Education Schools and my father was a police officer. Naturally, I was exposed to children and families in need. My career is just a natural extension of my lifelong association with children and families.
As for what inspires me and keeps me going — There are a handful of very dynamic women who have inspired me in life – the main and most important one being my mother. It is critical for me to do the same for my two daughters and any young girl or woman I may have the opportunity to motivate. I want my daughters and all young girls and women to realize what — with hard work, perseverance, dedication a bit of a thick skin, and a sense of humor– we are capable of. And that’s anything and everything.
WAM Theatre: Why is WAM Theatre a good fit for you as a sponsor?
Laurie Ke: I love the work WAM does and am looking forward to seeing The Last Wife. I love the focus on women and girls. I love any organization helping the underprivileged.
Patricia C. Begrowicz: I am pleased for Onyx to support the production of The Last Wife and I look forward to seeing the show. We supported WAM because I like to support local theater, especially when it engages young people as audience members, actors and/or stage crews. I thought that WAM’s mission focusing on women and girls was interesting and unique.
James K. Couture and Lou C. Curto: We know how important it is to give back and we have both served on the boards of many non-profits, so we pleased to be introduced to WAM Theatre, an organization dedicated to giving back. Lou served in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and knows first-hand how amazing Soldier On is and what great work they do. As soon as we heard that the Soldier On Women’s Program would be the beneficiary we knew that becoming a Spotlight Sponsor was the right choice for us. Thank you for supporting our veterans.
Billie Jo Sawyer: I believe in women strong… like Boston strong. I just recently joined the WBE (Women Business Enterprise) through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When I was young I wanted to be successful at everything I did and I didn’t want the fact that I was a woman to be a factor. We all have the ability to do amazing things when we have the desire. I have the desire to be a good business owner, to be a good boss fair strong, I want to be respected, and when someone thinks of me or mentions my name I want them to have a positive thoughts associated with it.
Sharon Daley: When was considering becoming a Spotlight Sponsor I received your 2016 Annual Report I read everything in it and immediately said, “I’m in!” I have always felt I had a greater calling to help women locally and internationally, didn’t know how that calling would manifest itself in my life. WAM provided me with such a wonderful opportunity do something on a greater scale.
Farrah Wax: I am raising two young women, and both me and my husband are passionate that they be strong, healthy, and effective advocates for themselves and others. In my opinion, that’s what WAM does. I also believe in giving back to the community and WAM is very devoted to philanthropy.
More Info & Tickets for The Last Wife