This is one of a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about our PWBC members.

Sonia wields flower power with flare and finesse . . . and cost effectiveness

Sonia Garcia is the owner of Flowers by Sonia, a Bay Area floral design and plants company centrally located on the San Francisco peninsula.  Sonia has been in the floral design business for 18 years.

Flowers By Sonia focuses on providing floral design services with the highest levels of customer satisfaction and prioritizes understanding and meeting customer expectations.  Flowers by Sonia offers a variety of floral arrangements, designs, and services including holiday and seasonal designs.  Flowers are a traditional and always welcome way to celebrate a holiday, anniversary, birthday, or simply an spontaneous way to show your appreciation and love.

Sonia decided to go into the floral design business because she  realized how beautiful (and expensive) professional flower services were when she needed flowers for her own wedding in the year 2000, she ordered a few delicate pieces from a flower shop and decided to arrange her own flower centerpieces.  Shortly after the wedding she enrolled in the Floristry Program at City College of San Francisco where she learned from some of the best instructors in the industry.

One of many examples of Sonia’s artistry.

Sonia also works in the office plant design, sales and services, housekeeping and organizing business and the catering business for a selected number of clients. Busy lady!

Sonia was born and raised in El Salvador, Central America and moved to the Bay Area when she was 17 years old and now lives on the peninsula with her husband Roberto Gonzalez and children, Daniela who is a freshman at Hawaii Pacific University and 9 year old twins, Camila Jireh and Valentina Jireh and their pup Willow.

So gorgeous you can almost smell them right through the internet!

Learn more about Sonia and Flowers by Sonia at at and


JUNE 13, 2023 – 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.


Just a few of the happy people at our last mixer at MiDiCi!

We will be joined by several other San Mateo County business networking groups on June 13, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location: MiDiCi Pizzeria, 68 Hillsdale Mall, San Mateo, CA 94403 (across from Pinstripes on second floor)

No Host Bar/Hosted Appetizers

Meet the Member: Karri Reiser of Little Owl Design

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members

Karri Reiser is the owner of Little Owl Design, a Bay Area website design, graphic (logo and branding) design, and SEO management company, and a seasoned marketing professional.  Karri started Little Owl Design seven years ago. She has been honored to design the branding and marketing for so many of the amazing businesses and looks forward to designing for many, many more!

The mission of Little Owl Design is to help its clients get more leads and drive more sales. Little Owl Design’s full suite of design services includes website design and eCommerce website design for the WordPress platform, graphic design (both print & digital). Logo, branding, and SEO (search engine optimization) management services are also available.  Little Owl Design partners with small businesses to help them reach their ideal client or customer.

Karri chose the owl as her business avatar because owls encompass the vision she has for her company.  In literature, owls have been portrayed two unique ways.  First, as the wisest animal in all the forest (like “Owl” from Winnie the Pooh, or the owl in the old Toostie Pop commercials). Everyone came to them for advice and to dose of wisdom.  Second, owls are depicted as the deliverer of messages (like Hedwig from Harry Potter).  Wisdom and communication help Karri deliver her clients’ message to their community.

Karri grew up in the Bay Area and now lives in the lovely town of Discovery Bay with her husband and two children.  When she’s not designing she can be found reading mystery or fantasy novels (like Harry Potter, of course!), catching up on her favorite TV shows (House of the Dragon), playing cards or boardgames with her family, and drawing.  Of course, she loves Harry Potter (books or movies) and (surprise!) is a proud Ravenclaw.  ”Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you’ve a ready mind, where those of wit and learning, will always find their kind.” – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Several things guide Karri’s life and business :

“All that I have is thanks to God and all that I do is for his glory.”  – Karri was formerly the Youth Minister at Holy Rosary Church and she and her family have a strong relationships with many of the Western Dominican Friars.

“Service is the foundation I choose to build my life and career on.” – Karri is proud to be a member of the Rotary Club of Brentwood, where the core belief is “Service above self.”

“If you want to build your business, you must build your relationships.”  – Karri has been a member of the Delta Networking Partners for 7 years, is a member of the Peninsula Women’s Business Connection and currently leads the Brentwood Power Network. There are 3 keys to marketing yourself: People need to know, like and trust you. Building relationships encourages that. 

“When the businesses in your community are successful your community is successful.” – Karri serves on the Board of Directors for the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce and recently became the President Elect Nominee for 2024.  Her mission will always be to advocate for the businesses in her community. 

Little Owl Design’s motto is “Your message is unique, let Little Owl Design help you deliver it.”
Learn more about Karri and Little Owl Design at

Donnlynn Polito, Vigor & Trim Fitness, Shares Holistic Ways to Keep the Pain Away

Donnalynn Polito, of Vigor & Trim Fitness, an online exercise membership for those aged 50+

We’re going to look at two holistic ways, according to studies, that you can keep low back pain away to stay away. These holistic approaches focus on the relationships between the spine and its surrounding muscles, as in exercises, and the spine and the nervous system, as in chiropractic care.

Millions of people deal with chronic low back pain, the most common of back pains.

At Vigor and Trim, we like to find ways that’ll relieve pain and allow you have an active lifestyle without drugs or surgery. And while there are many alternative therapies, these are two holistic approaches are shown to be great partners for an active, pain-free life.

Chiropractic care as a holistic approach to stimulate the spine and relieve back pain

Research shows that the manual adjustments and techniques used by chiropractors stimulate changes in the central nervous system, influence biomechanical movement and patterns of the spine and improve the proprioceptive processing (controlling movement and position) of the spine.

A chiropractic treatment of controlled and precise manipulations can correctly align the spine, reduce any swelling or nerve blockages, as well as reducing tension and stress. This allows the nervous system to function properly.

It also works with the musculoskeletal system relieving pain, spasms and helps restore and maintain joint mobility.

Chiropractic care has several positive impacts on nervous system and the ability of the nervous system to communicate throughout the body.

The very core of the nervous system is the spinal cord. The spinal cord receives and transmits information throughout the body. A spine that’s out of alignment, or if there’s an imbalance in the body, it can impact the function of the nervous system causing pain, difficulty with mobility and a whole host of other health conditions.

By opening the nervous system’s pathways, chiropractic treatment helps move along information smoothly and unobstructed, keeping the nervous system working as it should.

How often you see a chiropractor depends on your condition and your goals. To get the most benefits, going on a regular basis might be the prescription to follow. Your recommended number of visits would depend on the recommendation of your practitioner and the pace of your improvement.

To maintain a healthy state of wellness, maintenance treatments are recommended to prevent future risks of injury.

Your lifestyle, however, plays an big and important role as to frequency of your visits. Those who sit at desks for a good portion of the day, or those who are lifting heavy loads throughout the day may want to visit their chiropractor more often with a maintenance program.

Back Pain Exercises

Exercise as a holistic approach to manage your back pain and strengthen the low back

Many studies show the importance of incorporating exercise in managing back pain and strengthening the low back. In fact, and as you know, regular exercise is a crucial part of any healthy living plan.

Patients who receive chiropractic care and who exercise afterward treatment heal faster than those who don’t exercise. Of course, the type of exercises you do matters with rehab exercises being recommended.

Exercise after a chiropractic treatment with these considerations:

· Your goal is to restore reasonable movement in the back

· Stimulating and conditioning the surrounding muscles with stability and strength is vital to recovery

Some examples of rehab exercises would include mobilization, core strengthening and proprioceptive exercises.

Proprioceptive exercises are about improving your body’s ability to know where it is in space, and they’re done by working balance and movement control.

Aerobic exercises for function, back pain relief and mobility

Back Pain Exercise Walk
Donnalynn: Living Her Truth!

Aerobic exercise keeps the spine functional and mobile. Exercises like walking, biking and swimming can decrease the stiffness, lessens stress on the spine. These exercises can improve the blood flow to the spine which in turn, increases the nutrients reaching the spine. Aerobic exercise also burns calories and helps keep your weight in check.

Cardio exercises produce endorphins that act as natural pain killers, while they elevate mood and help to relieve symptoms of depression.

The recommended cardio workout has a duration of 20 to 30 minutes done 3 to 5 times a week. With more severe back pain, reduce the duration to a comfortable level with gradual increases over time.

Strength training to condition and strengthen your back

To better support the back, muscles need to be conditioned and strengthened. Strong muscles can hold up the back and relieve pain. These exercises concentrate more on the core but also include the glutes and hips.

Strength exercises for the back can reduce the stress on spinal discs and joints and help with better alignment of the spine. They also help improve posture. With stronger, more conditioned muscles, you’ll be better able to mover more comfortably and easily.

The recommended amount of workout time for strength is 2 to 3 times a week.

Contact Donnalynn at to learn more about Vigor & Trim Fitness.

Nicole Watson, DC: The Doctor Is IN

The doctor is IN. Dr. Nicole Watson – ready to help!

Dr. Nicole Watson has owned Belmont Advanced Chiropractic (1601 El Camino Real in Belmont) since 2008.  Chiropractic physicians deal with the nervous system and its relationship to the spinal column and all body systems.  Dr. Nicole takes care of patients of all ages with a huge variety of conditions and even those folks that want to maintain their health.

Dr. Nicole recently spoke about the incidence of shoulder dysfunction which has increased a lot during the pandemic and is probably due to the increased prevalence of sedentary work.  The shoulder joint is one of the most commonly dislocated and dysfunctional body part. We use our shoulders all the time (to move heavy objects and do repetitive daily tasks like combing our hair, brushing our teeth, tying shoes, picking up objects) and don’t appreciate their importance until an injury occurs.  Falls are a common cause of shoulder injury since we often try to catch ourselves with an outstretched arm and the shoulder joint takes the weight of the entire body as it falls.  In addition, shoulder injuries can occur due to damage from accrued use over time due to daily repetitive tasks.

Shoulder Injury Hurts!

Common types of shoulder dysfuction:

●Bursitis (inflammation of one or more bursa sac around the shoulder).  Many Chiropractors can employ modalities like Cold Laser to decrease inflammation and once the inflammation is under control chiropractic manual adjustments can bring down inflammation even further and start restoring Range Of Motion   Bursitis can become chronic if not treated promptly. 

●Tendinitis (inflammation of one or more tendons – the tissue connecting muscle to bone).  This condition can be very painful, to the extent that the shoulder cannot be moved without pain.  Chiropractic care can address the problem, as can use of cold laser therapy, in tandem with exercises to continue the healing process once the shoulder is stable.

●Frozen shoulder, a/k/a adhesive capsulitis (tightening and thickening of the connective tissue in the shoulder joint) is another great candidate for chiropractic resolution.  It is important to address this problem before it worsens and moves to other joints.

●Damage to rotator cuff (inflammation of the muscles around the rotator cuff).  Rotator cuff injuries do not necessarily require resolution by surgery; it depends on extent of injury.  Strains and sprains may be treated very effectively with chiropractic care and massage therapy, and use of the cold laser.

Most shoulder injuries can take a minimum of 2-12 weeks or longer to get resolved but also require long term maintenance and upkeep to retrain the brain and get/keep the inflammation down.

To address your chiropractic needs and get adjusted for life, contact Nicole Watson at Belmont Advanced Chiropractic, 1601 El Camino, Suite 301, Belmont, California 94002: (650) 596-5657;

Gloria Guzman: Director of FUN!

Our Travel Specialist, representing Club Seacret and Seacret Direct

Gloria Guzman is a representative of Club Seacret, a travel membership with world class benefits. Club Seacret will whisk you away from the everyday … and make every day special. Gloria is the Director of FUN and she has your passport to the good life! A Club Seacret membership allows so many different travel planning options, and opens up new vistas and experiences you never knew you were missing!

Bespoke Places - Your Extraordinary Life Awaits
Your extraordinary life awaits …

Gloria is not a travel agent but she can coordinate and inspire, and the Club Seacret booking engine can get you some unheard of deals just about anywhere and just about anything. For example, Gloria was attending a friend’s event near Gilroy, California. She used the Club Seacret booking engine and got $40 savings on a hotel in Gilroy (a lovely town but not exactly tourist central!). The Club Seacret booking engine allows you to customize your own trips, including travel to and at the destination, hotel, and excursions, and realize and maximize savings in each of these areas. Club Seacret also has curated trips, planned for specific destinations and times.

Club Seacret membership pays for itself if you are someone who travels a lot. The membership benefits extend far beyond the usual travel and vacation savings to broadway shows, restaurants including Doordash and Postmate, movies, theme parks, and clothing and accessory stores … even telemedicine and health procedures. Club Seacret membership has something for everyone!

Contact Gloria at or 415-760-8202 to learn more about Club Seacret.

Club Seacret website:

Meet the Member: Donnalynn Polito

Donnalynn is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, Exercise Physiologist, Master Exercise Nutrition Coach, and a Corrective Exercise Specialist. You can find Donnalynn at Vigor and Trim, a Health and Fitness Membership site for 50+.

Knowing how to take care of your body, how to obtain and maintain fitness and health, should be something everyone should know. Since that’s not the case, I have set out to teach people, particularly middle age and older adults, how to do just that so that they can enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle so they can do the activities they love to do in a body they can do them well in.

I’m one of those life-long learners.  I particularly dwell in the arena of food, nutrition, how to personally effect your body’s health.  It all fascinates me, and I love sharing it, from how to grow your own food, to identifying and use culinary herbs; how to source your foods and how to cook food in ways that absorb the largest amounts of nutrients.  It’s interesting, fun and all a part of what keeps us healthy and vibrant.

I’ve been training adults in fitness and health for more than 4 decades.  I take my work seriously but have a lot of fun doing it. It’s particularly a joy to guide clients toward what I call “Practicing Euphoria”. This is the liberating and empowering magic we feel when we move our bodies and minds together in a series of movements and patterns.  Perhaps, at some point, I can look forward to practicing it with you.

Watching clients work on a movement and then, one day, they achieve it.  It delights us both!  And it’s the best motivation to continue perfecting the fundamentals with each more challenging move.  I have to say, it gives me goosebumps and sometimes I even do a momentary happy cry when they achieve something we’ve been working on for a while.

I work with middle-aged and older, busy adults whose schedules keep them from achieving the level of health and fitness they desire.  I have three-prong approach that teaches people how to better understand their bodies from a more holistic approach.  Closely examining their whole-body movement pattern, we can identify imbalances and compensations.  We then look at how they are fueling and nourishing the body for its systems to be able to harmonize well.  And third, we learn and apply methods of recovery, building as we relax and healing to create more.

My primary focus is to provide tools, techniques and information that inform and enables clients to work confidentially and more successfully with life’s transitions, to recognize the beauty of strength and to ultimately have a sustainable, healthy, and active lifestyle that allows them to feel good, move well and look good.

As an older, active adult who through the years has had a number of injuries, it is through my own experience that I recognize the possibilities and the rewards of a sustainable healthy lifestyle.  My students benefit from the many years of study and experience I have tallied up.

My clients can rely on me as a resource for them as I answer their questions and provide options they perhaps hadn’t considered.  It also allows me to work closely with them and their healthcare providers to resolve issues that may come up.  This gives my clients a great base of support, relieves some of the stress and saves them time.  They move forward confidently and efficiently.

No matter how locomotion is accomplished, or the maintenance of the body’s beautiful, intricate systems dancing harmoniously together, it requires intention and attention, making space to put your mind towards that which we value most, good health.

People often ask me what’s my motivation to be doing the work I do for so many years.  My answer is always the same.  I know everyone wants to be healthy and wants to be fit.  So, I teach the skills, the drive and the appreciation of beauty in strength.  People are able to gather up the know-how to be able to move about meeting the demands of their environment while creating memorable experiences throughout their lifetime.

Through the years, I danced, jogged, hiked, practiced Kung Fu, Judo, taught Aerobics and did a little swimming.  I continue to be active lifting weights, practicing yoga, walking, and teaching.   I’m excited to get back into my garden again.

I loved then and still love learning and experiencing those things that offer an opportunity for fun, expansiveness, and growth, both physically and mentally.  I continue to study, adding to my college degrees and certifications. In addition, I’m writing a book having fun with the grands, and, yes, still teaching.

Ellen Brook: Bringing Color and Creativity to Walls, Wardrobes & Workplaces

Ellen Brook is an artist and designer bringing color and creativity to walls, wardrobes, and workplaces.  Her works transform outfits as well as states of mind.  These are unique, and often, signature pieces.  Her artistic adventure began at the age of 40 following a career in corporate and non-profit communications.  Ellen maintains an art practice, creates “luxuriously down-to-earth” apparel and interior goods, and hosts workshops.  Her work has been featured in art shows and the media, and modeled on Bay Area runways.  She is also on the Advisory Board at Canada College’s Fashion & Design Department.  Ellen’s website is at

Ellen Brook

Currently On Display.  Ellen now has a number of the hanging artworks at the UCSF China Basin Medical Building lobby, which will be in place, cheering patients and healthcare workers alike, for the next six months.

Existing Portfolio Availability.  Ellen has an existing portfolio of silk works, both in fashion and interior artwork.  In addition to silk, she also works with a variety other “feel-fabulous” fabrics and artistic media.  Much of her work can be found at her studio at Art Bias at 1700 Industrial Road in San Carlos, California.  Her clothing and other artworks are also on sale at Ivy Boutique in San Mateo (55 E. Third Avenue in San Mateo, California) and at its new satellite space in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

Luxuriously Down to Earth Apparel!

Current Focus.  Ellen’s current focus is on both working in mixed media and acrylics and on printing wraps in modal and cashmere based on her paintings.  Over the past few years, she has developed a series of mixed media and acrylics called “Message in a Bottle.”   The theme for “Message in a Bottle” emerged when Ellen’s father passed and she discovered his letters, and her grandfather’s letters, and incorporated aspects of their messages into her work.  The shape of a bottle emerged in one of the first paintings she did with the letters, and since then, she has been exploring the idea of a message in a bottle sent through time. 

Message in a Bottle

This is a whimsical and beautiful series of works and resonates with a lot of people!  She is just finishing a series of these paintings called “Take me out of the blue”, which is based on letters that her grandfather (whom she never met) wrote to her grandmother when he was stationed in Europe in 1919 and feeling terribly lonely.  She’s also creating “mini bottles,” which are paintings sized 6″x 6″ that can be hung singly or in groups.  Ellen is having a great time with these little mini-bottle paintings!  These paintings are very affordable and volume purchases are discounted.  These make great gifts, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up.  

New Workshops and Collaborations in Development.  Ellen is also developing some workshop and collaborative ideas around this theme of a message in a bottle. Using art –whether it’s the experience and process of making it – or the visual itself, helps bring people together and elicit emotions that organizations can use to make connections internally or communicate about their products and/or services.

Meet The Member: Jeannie Twomey

Jeannie Twomey of Key Ventures, Inc. develops innovative and thoroughly researched real estate investing opportunities.

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members.

Jeannie Twomey is a real estate investor who has been a member of the PWBC for nearly ten years. She is passionate about sharing her investment experiences with others and explore a wide variety of real estate investment opportunities, from residential rentals to mobile home parks.

Jeannie grew up on her family’s farm in the Central Valley of California where her parents and other family members still live today. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento with an accounting-focused business degree. After earning her CPA with Deloitte, she spent her early career in banking. This eventually led her to the bay area, working for Wells Fargo at their headquarters in San Francisco. Although there was a big contrast between her farm roots and her city life, she felt equally at home in both places and enjoyed the diversity and cultural events offered in the San Francisco bay area. In addition to working at banks, she and a group of leaders started a finance company and then she was recruited away to be part of a team to spin off a division of Nomura Securities in New York. Afterwards, she found herself back in banking, this time on the peninsula. Deciding the commute was taking up too much of her time, she decided to call Redwood City home.

After a layoff, and because she was raised by entrepreneurs, she launched her own consulting business in 2003, focused primarily on helping public companies with their regulatory filings. About this same time, she started exploring network marketing in the health and wellness area. While her network marketing business did not lead to big wealth, it did give her a great education in personal development and a taught her the importance of focusing on purpose and resilience. It also led to travels and friendships around the country. The motivational speakers who spoke at conferences she attended gave her a refreshed open mindedness to possibility, opportunity and learning new skills.

When she and her husband decided to rent out their second home in 2015, she realized there was much to learn and know about operating a real estate business to do it successfully. They chose Elite Legacy’s program with multiple courses in everything from Foreclosures to Creative Financing. The network of other real estate investors and program affiliates she met in this program resulted in a variety of investments, including single-family home rentals outside of California, flip investments in Florida, an airbnb in Arizona and financing of mobile homes.

When not working on real estate, Jeannie can be found out in her garden or spending time with family and friends. She loves to read, travel, meet new people and enjoy a glass of wine while teaching herself to paint with watercolors.

Essential Oils by doTerra are Clean, Green, Pure, and Powerful

Adrienne Fink knows her essential oils

Adrienne Fink is an essential oils Wellness Advocate with doTerra Essential Oils.  She started her journey with essential oils in December 2014.  She is certified in “Aromatouch Technique” and “Symphony of the Cells” topical essential oil applications.  Adrienne is a strong advocate for using certified pure therapeutic grade oils to change your life. 

DoTerra emphasizes purity in its products.  The Essential Oil industry is not officially regulated so other brands that profess to sell essential oils can include all manner of nonessential additives.  In contrast, doTerra IS 100% pure and the company believes purity is the most important factor. At  doTerra  the product lines are tested and sampled for purity and effectiveness.  DoTerra searches worldwide for the best ingredients and conducts over 50 tests on a single batch of oils to prove they are pure, potent, and effective.  The bottle even reveals all the testing that is conducted.  DoTerra also cares about the sources from which it gets the ingredients for its essential oils.  DoTerra does not own any of the farms but buys from selected sources and invests in the infrastructure of the locations and in the people where good sources are located.  Do Terra does “co-source impacting” which means, for example, doTerra will go in and build a well or a school or finance better education but leave the property ownership to the people who live at the location.  DoTerra is all about heart and helping others. 

DoTerra is changing the world one drop at a time.  DoTerra’s mission is to “change the world one drop at a time.”  You don’t need more than one drop of doTerra oils to realize an effect.  DoTerra’s mission of change extends to its own carbon footprint.   DoTerra no longer uses bubblewrap in its packaging, and only uses sustainable packaging, which will significantly reduce its carbon footprint over the next 2-5 years.  “DoTerra” means the gift of the earth and it lives its mission!

DoTerra Abode product line.    DoTerra has a new product line called Abode.  Abode represents a new formula with new scents using eleven different essential oils , known for their cleaning qualities.   Abode features multi-use products including a surface cleaner, dishwashing liquid (machine and hand), laundry soap, handwashing liquid, and hand lotion.  Of course, like all other doTerra products, Abode does not include any harsh chemical ingredients, only essential oils.  You do not need harsh chemicals to clean your environment.  More people are realizing that harsh chemicals that are included in a lot of cleaning solutions can have negative health effects over time!  The Abode product line uses clean, green ingredients and sustainable packaging and is just as effective at cleaning as the products with harsh additives.  The Abode product line comes in recyclable aluminum bottles that can be decanted into the glass dispenser bottles.  As with all DoTerra products, responsibility and sustainability are important.

DoTerra Holiday Products.  Some new and holiday doTerra products are available starting November 1, 2021.

For more information about how doTerra natural oils and products can change your life, reach out to Adrienne at 650-302-3899. She is more than happy to share her personal experiences and knowledge about how essential oils can improve your life. She can also be reached by emailing her at