January is the month of beginnings. And what better way to kick-start the new year than with start-ups and entrepreneurs and those who help them — financial advisers and lawyers.

January is the month of beginnings. And what better way to kick-start the new year than with start-ups and entrepreneurs and those who help them — financial advisers and lawyers.

We might’ve done this issue back in November as Nov. 19 is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. We have several great women entrepreneurs here. Susanna Herlitz-Ferguson turned her happy place, Martha’s Vineyard, into her second act with the acclaimed MV Salads eatery, inspired by MV The Dressing, a vinaigrette she concocted in 1995 in her Larchmont kitchen. Margaret Wishingrad, a Scarsdale resident, created Three Wishes Cereal, a high-protein, gluten- and grain-free, low-sugar breakfast food, when son Ellis was born. Twins Andreea and Florentina Enica remembered their grandmother’s cakes in their native Romania in opening a Nothing Bundt Cakes in Hartsdale (Peter’s story). And hair stylist Luciana Adornetto has taken coloring and highlighting to new heights with her approach to the balayage process (Debbi’s article).

Other women entrepreneurs are partnering with the next generation, as in Connecticut’s Laura Laaman — a dog trainer, author, speaker and pet business consultant who with son Craig has opened the multimillion-dollar Wiggles Pet Resort in Mahopac.

Meanwhile, Tara R. Alemany, owner of the former Aleweb Social Marketing, has teamed with art director Mark Gerber for Sherman-based Emerald Lake Books, which coaches authors along with producing their books (Phil’s story).

Our lineup of entrepreneurs doesn’t stop there. Like the Enica twins, Ecuadorean cover subject Mauricio Guevara and wife Patricia are living their version of the American dream, in their case with New England Antique Lumber in Mount Kisco and Westport, a company that reclaims and repurposes old wood, transforming it into exquisitely crafted furnishings. As Jeremy reports in another of his stories, Jay and Michael Goldstein run the carefully curated Salem Wine & Liquor (Salem Liquors) in South Salem, which began life as a restaurant back in the Prohibition Era.

Of course, nowadays, everyone is something of an entrepreneur — and everyone has to be, says Christoph Winkler, founding director of the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Iona College in New Rochelle, which is working on a federal pilot program with Syracuse University to help military veterans and/or their spouses get their business dreams off the ground. Entrepreneurship, Winkler says, isn’t about business models and career choices alone. It’s also a state of mind, he adds.

And it isn’t just about initial success and growing the business. It’s also about sidesteps and growing creatively. So when Joe Armentano, whose Rye Brook-based Paraco Gas company has made him a prince of propane, didn’t like the book he commissioned on the history of his family-owned business, he rewrote (and rewote) it, publishing it last month. Robert Siegel, principal of Robert Siegel Architects, moved his firm — whose portfolio includes public works nationwide and around the world — from Manhattan’s Chrysler Building to a Katonah storefront to engage with the community in which he lives. 

Entrepreneurs are persistent, playing to their strengths (Gio’s column). They monetize what they have (Cami’s column on your home as an investment) — and know when not to (Katie’s on art as an emotional investment).

They rely on good financial advice (Peter’s story on The SKG Team at Barnum Financial Group in Elmsford, Phil interview with Barry J. Mitchell Jr., founding managing partner of the new, Harrison-based Next Level Private.) They realize you need not only a financial game plan but an endgame as well. We talk with Pace University law professor Bridget J. Crawford about estate plans, which for the superrich at least are increasingly about less for their heirs and more for charity, a good tax strategy and perhaps a good life lesson about encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation.

New WAG columnist Abbe Udochi, CEO of Concierge Healthcare Consulting in New Rochelle — welcome, Abbe — makes her debut with a piece about financing eldercare, a stressful topic for most of us. Her sidebar is about the pitfalls of late Medicare enrollment, something we experienced when we went to enroll for Medicare Part D (drug coverage). It turns out, there’s not only a penalty for late enrollment, which no one told us. It’s a penalty — forever, based on a mathematical formula that only Einstein could understand. (Abbe valiantly breaks it down for us.)

But, we asked sweetly, even murderers are often paroled. Yes, you may have done your time in the big house. But you’ll always have a timeshare in the doghouse with Medicare (apparently to discourage others from such unforgivable tardiness.)

So we guess we’ll just be fashioning a crimson LEP (for Late Penalty Enrollment), sewing it on our puffer jacket and climbing the scaffold with the adulterous Hester Prynne of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.”

In the end, Mark Twain was wrong:  Death and taxes aren’t the only certainties in life. There are also LEPs. But then, he didn’t have Medicare.

A 2020 YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester Visionary Award winner and a 2018 Folio Women in Media Award Winner, Georgette Gouveia is the author of “Burying the Dead,” “Daimon: A Novel of Alexander the Great” and “Seamless Sky” (JMS Books), as well as “The Penalty for Holding,” a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist (JMS Books), and “Water Music” (Greenleaf Book Group). They’re part of her series of novels, “The Games Men Play,” also the name of the sports/culture blog she writes. 

Her short story “The Glass Door” was recently published by JMS and part of “Together apART: Creating During COVID” at ArtsWestchester in White Plains. Her new story, “After Hopper,” is now available from JMS Books. For more, visit thegamesmenplay.com.

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