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June 2016

From the President


Summer is finally here!

This past week, the NAPO-NY board met for strategic planning. This planning session gives us the opportunity to focus on our members and how we can best deliver member benefits. The first initiative we will be rolling out is a member survey this summer. Stay tuned for more details.

If you attended our June chapter meeting, I hope you were energized by the conference recap. If you missed this meeting, don’t forget you can always get caught up by reading the meeting minutes.

And that brings me to NAPO2017 – join me in Pittsburgh next April 26-29! I just registered using the pre-sale option for just $198 down. The balance of the $695 registration fee for conference will be due by December 31. The pre-sale is only available until June 30 and allows you to lock in this year’s registration fee – cost may increase after June 30. Visit the NAPO2017 website for more information.

See you in July!

Collette Shine, NAPO-NY President

First Step: Mid-Year Volunteer Recap

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we are well on our way to meeting our 2016 goal of helping more than 100 women in the First Step Job Training Program. Members Lisa Engstrom, Klara Carames and Dona Goldberg conducted our third workshop of the year. So far this year, we have helped approximately 60 women learn general organizing, paper management and time management skills to help prepare them to succeed at work and in life. 

In addition to our organizing workshops, we also sorted through countless bags and boxes of donated professional clothing and served as "stylists" to help program participants find clothing to wear to job interviews. Volunteers included Lisa Engstrom, Tonia Gaudiuso, Lindsay McLoughlin, Jody Kahn and Dorothy McNeil.

Click here to learn more about the First Step program. Check the NAPO-NY calendar or contact Dorothy McNeil, our new First Step Liaison, to learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Meetings and Events

July Chapter Meeting: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Recycling
Monday, July 11, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Cicatelli Associates, 505 Eighth Avenue at 35th Street, 20th floor

When we’re helping our clients get rid of things, they look to us for advice about what can be recycled. Are we guiding them appropriately? Nicholas Circharo, a Community Affairs Liaison with the NYC Department of Sanitation, will clear up your uncertainties. Topics covered will include:

  • Common household items that are recycled by the NYC Department of Sanitation
  • Items that can (surprisingly!) be recycled
  • Items that don’t get recycled, even though people think they do
  • The proper way to put the recycling out with the building trash, and what NOT to do
  • Places to recycle items that aren’t handled by the Department of Sanitation
  • Common violations made by residences and businesses, and how to avoid them

Book Club Meeting: "The Power of Habit"
Saturday, July 16, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Barnes & Noble Cafe, 33 East 17th Street, north side of Union Square

This quarter, the NAPO-NY Book Club will be reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg. Read the book, then join us for a fun, informal discussion! For more information, contact Mary Reed.

Save the date! Mini-Workshop: Small Business, Big Online Presence
Wednesday, October 26, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
WeWork, 205 East 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
Cost: $28.00

Join NAPO-NY for a unique evening of online marketing tips, tricks and strategies every small business should focus on to attract new customers and increase revenue. Speakers include Michael McKay, digital entrepreneur; Susanne Schropp, owner of Diva Design; Paige Wilhide, owner of Paige Media; and Mona Sharaf, personal shopper and image consultant.

This event is open to the public and space is limited. All attendees MUST pre-register online no later than Friday, 10/21/16.

June Meeting Recap: Helping Clients Maximize Use of Their Closets

This month’s program was a panel on closet design, organization, and space utilization, featuring NAPO-NY members Gail Furgal of OuttaSight OrganizingSarah Roussos-Karakaian of Nestrs, and Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers. The full meeting minutes can be found in the Document Library, accessed from the Members Only menu on the NAPO-NY website. (You must be logged in for Members Only access.)

Welcome New Members

Anne Bode
Michael Daley
Elise Goyette
Kim Thompsen
Sarah Weingarten
Katie Wong

Member Media Mentions

Deborah Gussoff’s business In Order was featured in “19 Decluttering Tips That Will Save You Money and Give You Peace of Mind” on the Garage Cabinets website.

Sharon Lowenheim was featured in “5 Quick and Easy Decluttering Tips to Get Organized” on The Fill.

Lindsay McLoughlin was featured in “Professional Organizers Help Seniors Enjoy Clutter-Free Lives” on the blog of Select Care Home Services.

Linda Samuels was featured in “Excuses, Excuses: Why We Keep Things We Don’t Need” on the SpareFoot Blog.

Ann Sullivan and Lisa Zaslow were featured in “11 Best Professional Organizers in New York City” on SpareFoot Moving Guides.

Member Benefits

Benefit Spotlight: Get Involved in NAPO-NY Social Media!
Twice a month, NAPO-NY posts members’ tips on Facebook and Twitter to help promote their businesses. Have a particularly interesting blog post? Highlight a tip to share with our followers! Created an infographic? We’ll share that too! Send all tips and links to Sarah Roussos-Karakaian for consideration. All content will be posted with the member’s name, business name and website attached.

Volunteer Opportunities
Want to make some quick connections and fast friends? Volunteer for NAPO-NY! To find the right volunteer position for you, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Sharon Lowenheim, at

Hanging Out With: Colleen Lonergan

This is a recurring series of interviews with NAPO-NY chapter members. Interviewees will answer a variety of questions about their lives and businesses, and maybe offer us a few tips along the way! This month, Colleen Lonergan talks about the transition from owning her own business, Colleen Lonergan Studio, to working for a NAPO corporate associate member, Top Hat.

NAPO-NY Times: Hi Colleen! Tell us about the work you’ve done with your business.

Colleen Lonergan: My business focused on color consulting for interior painting and wallpaper, and some space consulting from my feng shui background. I still do some consultations, but I no longer work as the contractor for those jobs; instead, I recommend contractors that I know.

NNYT: How did you get started, and how did you get into feng shui?

CL: My college degree is in fine art; I specialized in color theory and painting. Friends and acquaintances started asking for my help with color in their homes, and I saw a business opportunity to be a color consultant and also act as the contractor for painting jobs. I became interested in feng shui as a natural progression of working with color and creating rooms with colors that flowed into each other. 

NNYT: Can you recommend any resources that you used to learn more about feng shui?

CL: The books Feng Shui and Health by Nancy SantoPietro and Feng Shui Your Life by Jayme Barrett. I studied with R.D. Chin; I’m certified through his school of feng shui.

NNYT: How did you get involved with NAPO?

CL: A friend of mine thought that the feng shui I was doing might be a good fit for NAPO. I was also participating in other networking groups at the time and looking for other resources. NAPO was good for meeting other entrepreneurs who work with clients in their homes. It was also a breath of fresh air for networking - a place to build relationships, especially with other women who owned their businesses.

NNYT: You recently transitioned from working for yourself full-time to working for Top Hat, a home management and maintenance service geared towards New York townhouse owners. How did your relationship with the company come about?

CL: I met Gary, the owner of Top Hat, at a networking event called Adrian’s Network. He was also a member of NAPO, and we reconnected when I joined NAPO. I did some painting jobs with Top Hat as a contractor. I had known Gary for about four years by the time I joined Top Hat as an employee. Running all the aspects of my business had become exhausting, and I saw it as an opportunity to continue working with his business, but as a manager instead of as a contractor.

NNYT: What is the role you occupy within Top Hat?

CL: I’m the assistant manager to the field services manager. We manage about 20 contractors in the field on various projects for members of Top Hat (around 120 homeowners in New York City). Members have annual contracts with Top Hat, so we know the clients and their homes well.

They also brought me on to increase their client base and grow the business, with my resources of subcontractors and my expertise with contracting work. I’ve loved working there since I started, it’s a great fit! I love the people I work with and it’s nice to work with a lot of people, as opposed to working alone, which you do a lot when you own your business. It’s nice to have good working relationships!

NNYT: Was there a transition between working for yourself and working for someone else?

CL: It was really natural. I was putting in so many hours at my own business, never really able to take time off. Now, at the end of the day and on the weekend, I’m really able to unplug and not have that pressure. It’s a big relief!

NNYT: What’s your favorite type of job to work on?

CL: Painting! Both working with the contractors and getting to see the final space. It’s such a transformation. It’s so much fun to make things beautiful (as opposed to necessary but less-exciting jobs such as replacing the boiler!).

NNYT: What’s the best advice you have for anyone interested in owning their own business?

CL: When I started, I think I was under the impression that it would give me more free time. If your business is your baby, and it’s all you want to do with your free time, you should do it. With social media, having your own business has become a 24/7 job. Uou have to be able to make that sacrifice.

Thanks Colleen!

Have a suggestion for a member who would make a great interview subject for an upcoming newsletter? Email Mary Reed.