Women of Influence

Women of Influence

Photos, (L) Becky Xepoleas, (R) Susan Wood Courtesy Susan Wood Photography

Independent Sales Director, Becky Xepoleas finds meaning in the adage, “Help enough people get what they want and you’ll automatically get what you want!”

Becky’s skills and experience in what she does are truly magical! She really can bring the best out of each woman. I got so many compliments after leaving Becky, from friends commenting on how great I looked, regardless of the fact that I hadn’t slept for two nights in a row prior to meeting with her! ~ Eli Sedaghatinia, Creative Director, Alive Magazine.

Mary Kay Cosmetics Entrepreneur, the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce and a Top-Notch Photographer Begin a Totally Unexpected and Inspired Journey . . .

It was late November when the dreams started. There was restlessness—a kind of awakening that was moving me to “do something big” with my life, my time and my expertise. I’d made the decision, with the support of my husband John and both our kids Nick and Sophia, to take my Mary Kay Cosmetic business National. This decision caused me to think of ways to make things happen quickly, in an empowering way, for every woman I would be coming into contact with. I knew that I would have to create a high level of momentum.

Having been an entrepreneur for many years; first as a successful real estate agent and for the last 11 years as one of the top Independent Sales Directors with Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc., I felt confident that my next step to National Sales Director would happen. Yet, I was hearing about the recession more and more and something within me was stirring. Why wasn’t I feeling the impact of the recession? Was it that my career choice had blessed me with a “calling” rather than a job? How can I be instrumental in creating a positive outlook during these times of subtle unrest? As I thought about these questions, in my ‘awake’ hours, I began to have discussions with others about their experience during this tough economic time. I quickly realized that the honesty and candidness of the women I was meeting was something beautiful and refreshing.

Then the questions changed!
How can I get what I want for my life while giving back in equal proportion? What can I create that would include other women in a fundamental way? I remembered the profound feeling of support and empowerment I felt when being mentored during the first stages of my Mary Kay career and the feeling I get each and every time I watch a woman I’m mentoring become more; more financially free, more confident, more empowering of others. And as life will do, the following day I was sitting at an Ambassador’s Mixer, hosted by the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, with Susan Wood, a renowned local photographer and friend. I was telling Susan about my plan to go National within the next 18-24 months and she said, “Why don’t we do a photo journal of what you do, so you can share it?” As if that wasn’t enough, Charley Daley, Executive Director of the Pleasant Hill Chamber piped in with, “Why don’t you schedule a Ribbon Cutting? I’ll email you a list of ‘Influential’ women to help you get started on your project.”

It is clear to me that you are sharing one of your gifts with women when you work with them.  Not only do you know colors and contours and what works and what doesn’t work, you bring it all together with such a loving and elegant touch – it was a pampering and transformational experience. ~ Veronica Wolfe, ACC, CPCC – Coaching « Consulting

Please consider being a part of this wonderful event.  Becky did a beautiful job with my make-up, and then Susan worked her magic and took some great photos.  This is really a powerful concept, celebrating wonderful women just like you.
~ Christine Sampson, Broker – State Farm Insurance

Then it hit me!
The women who mentor me are influential, I consider myself to be influential, Charley Daley was happy to refer me to influential women in the community. My questions and goals associated with those questions had now, it appeared, turned into a “project.” What project? Well, how about Women of Influence? Oh, my God, it was my answer and little did I know, but my “project” was about to take on a life of its own.

Susan and I started right away, photo documenting my business activities. Charley Daley, a man of his word, sent me a list of influential women in the community. I called Maria Woodrow, my Marketing partner, and told her about the project and the same day, I had a theme, a logo and a mission statement for the project. The Project: Women of Influence. The Mission Statement: To promote Women of Influence and their businesses and To Empower future generations of women through the creation of a Women of Influence Wall, to be revealed at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mary Kay Ash, the Founder and Legacy of Mary Kay Cosmetics built her empire on the concept of the Golden Rule. It is my intention to make sure that her influence is always my guideline while building my National area and while promoting The Women of Influence.

Fast forward, to the first week in December. I began making the calls from the list Charley had provided. Ingrid Rancuret of the Pleasant Hill Chamber graciously agreed to distribute an invitation to Chamber members inviting women of influence within the community to join forces with Susan and me on our “journalist adventure.” Soon, a new “culture” was born. Women of influence in businesses throughout the Community were participating, referring and, as a collective group, were forming new friendships and networks. A new community, within our community, has been built and new friendships have been forged. These relationships will have a lasting and awe-inspiring impact on the community and its future.

I’ve learned many things during this journalist adventure. These women are more than influential; they are influential because they are generous with their time, resources and expertise. They are influential because they are supportive, kind and beautiful in spirit. They are influential because they are their word and because of their honest appraisal of hard work and wholesome ethics.

I truly believe in the adage “help enough people get what they want and you’ll automatically get everything you want.” This has been more than an adventure—it has been a gratitude journey; a life changing, exciting and miraculous journey with 100 other women of influence. I simply do not have the vocabulary to express myself fully, except to say, thank you, thank you so very much!


I can hear you applauding! The Women of Influence make me proud to spell my name, W-O-M-A-N!!

From the moment I met Becky I could feel her hunger to learn and her commitment to create a life that has a positive effect on others. Her commitment to her faith, her family and her career, in that order, is non-negotiable. Her example of professionalism and excellence has been a model to countless others inside and outside of our organization! Becky is purposeful in using and sharing her many creative gifts. Her generosity of spirit is only matched by her brilliance in dealing with people from all walks of life. I consider her a dear friend and I am blessed by her example each time we’re together personally and professionally. I believe that she’s headed straight to the very top of our company!~ Thea Elvin, National Sales Director – Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.

Ribbon Cutting Chamber Mixer and the unveiling of the Women of Influence Wall will take place:

DATE: April 21, 2010
TIME: 5:30 – 7:30 pm
PLACE: Back Forty Texas BBQ Roadhouse & Saloon
100 Coggins Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA

If you are interested in attending the event, please contact Becky Xepoleas at 925 947-2068

Helping Families Make Healthy Transformations

George Papageorge

George Papageorge

“Once people find out what I do, it’s not uncommon for them to open up to me, at a party or my kids school, with some of the most personal details of their lives,” says George Papageorge. “My wife and I joke that sometimes I should just say I drive a beer truck.” It might be easier to picture the easy going George Papageorge as a truck driver, but in reality he is a successful marriage and family therapist and highly sought after seminar and workshop leader on parenting and family issues. His practice emphasizes “family systems” psychology. To understand the person he first tries to learn about the family system they come from. Spending time with George, it’s easy to see why people would feel comfortable sharing intimate details of their family life with him. George has an affable beer truck driver smile, an engaging style of communication and a hearty laugh. Whether he’s speaking to a crowd, coaching youth sports or having coffee with a group of friends, people appear comforted by George’s warm and vivacious, Greek nature.

Growing up in San Francisco, George was “technically” the youngest of five children. That is if you consider his identical twin brother an elder. George, who will be 50 on April first, shared with me that resolving playground conflicts was a way of life growing up. “From a very early age I connected with people and just became the person others came to when they wanted to resolve an issue,” he says. While attending college, George worked as a volunteer with inner city kids in the Mission District of San Francisco and with middle and high school kids in the East Bay. After graduating from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where he obtained a degree in Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family counseling, he settled in Danville. George has been in private family therapy practice, in Pleasanton, for over 20 years.

George’s counseling style focuses on evaluating and solving problems. He uses the term “incarnation” to describe one of his methods. “I want people to leave their own frame of reference to see another person’s point or view,” George says. “I try to help patients identify the context of the problem. That’s when the healing and resolution takes place.” With his adolescent patients, George regularly takes on topics such as self esteem, depression, compulsions, addictions and divorce. With additional degrees in literature and the New Testament (Greek), he uses stories, exercises and practical approaches that his patients can immediately apply when dealing with the real life problems they are faced with every day.

George regularly speaks at community functions, schools, churches and to a wide variety of groups. He recently recorded a video, Connecting with our Kids, during one such appearance. His video offers techniques, tools and parenting principles for raising healthy kids without resorting to quick-fix fads or having unrealistic expectations. “Curfew, peer pressure, sex, alcohol and house rules have been parent/child issues for ages, but kids today are dealing with more serious and complex problems than we ever did growing up such as the internet, cyber bullying, dangerous drugs, terrorism, war, violent and sexually graphic messages in music, videos and the media not to mention a troubled economy that has put many families into a financial crisis.” It’s no wonder George has never been busier in his professional life.

“Being involved with someone’s life story is an honor and a privilege,” George proudly states. “I take great satisfaction when I can successfully help a person or family navigate through a difficult passage and transform their lives.” Being part of the process of moving issues from the problem column to the solutions column is what George strives for in his sessions. “I love assisting with the transformation individuals and families go through, but it’s important for therapists not to work harder than our patients”, George acknowledges. “You have to know when to back off and let the patient step forward and do what they need to do to facilitate change.” Visiting George’s office it is easy to see how patients would feel comfortable and at ease. The walls are lined with pictures of his family and his interests in life.

When not in the office or at a speaking engagement, George is a true renaissance man enjoying mountain biking, skiing, traveling, attending Giants games and playing tennis with the family. He takes simple pleasure in doing yard work. He coaches his daughter Olivia’s softball team and his son Petros, soccer/baseball/basketball teams. George lists “Date Night” with his wife of 19 years, Kimberly, as a special treat. One of his goals is to do more writing and a book on understanding the emotional lives of our kids and how they are wired is in his future. “Bringing emotional health to the family system through education and the right tools is a powerful way to bring wellness to a child who is confused or hurting,” George states with heartfelt compassion.

One of his favorite quotes is, “To see ourselves as we really are is a miracle greater than raising the dead”. With all of the challenges every family faces, George Papageorge is a compassionate member of our community committed to helping parents and our children tackle the issues that arise. I have no doubt that George the beer truck driver would’ve been equally as supportive and a great friend to have if Papageorge had chosen a different line of work.

To learn more about George’s practice visit his website at www.georgepapageorge.com