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June 2020 BPWNC Newsletter

Our meetings are on hold until further notice due to the current COVID-19 health stay-at-home advise


Dear BPWNC Members,

I am reaching out to you this month not only to say hello but to acknowledge that we are in the midst of the most challenging times in recent memory. I hope all of you are doing well and staying safe and healthy, taking precautions to follow all the guidelines we’ve been given. For all of us, it is a hardship to be unable to meet for our monthly programs and to share dinner and friendship with one another.

It is tempting, too, to refrain from renewing memberships when we are not meeting. I want to ask that you please keep your membership current because it will take each of us to continue keeping our BPWNC strong and active. We are experiencing a pause in our face-to-face meetings, but we are still the same organization that is a strong and vital member of our Sierra Foothills community. So please remember to renew your membership as it comes due and contact one another when you can. I hope it won’t be long before we can resume our monthly meetings and greet each other in person.

Until then, stay well and explore new ways to enjoy this unique time in our lives.
Moving Forward,

Mary Siliva, President


A Fond Farewell
from Becky Goodwin
I am so glad I found you, Nevada County BPW, a couple of years ago, but now I must say goodbye. I am about to retire after 45 years working, 11 in public education and the rest in United Methodist Church leadership. Nevada County has been a sweet place to complete my career years! As I pack the boxes and prepare to move, I want to tell you how I found you, and say a fond farewell.

When I was still a newbie in Nevada County and didn’t know what BPW was, I noticed an article in the Union about you hosting a dinner and a talk by Shelly Covert of the Nisenan tribe. I had never heard of BPW, but I knew a couple of people in BPW. They seemed to be of my “world view,” so I expected to enjoy the dinner and program with you all, a nice night out for me in the midst of my work week. But surprise! Before I left, I decided to join!

As a United Methodist pastor who has served churches in five counties, I have had my share of civic, charitable and community organizations. I have sometimes become overly-involved and burned out, especially if the group’s members weren’t especially nurturing to me with my liberal-feminist point of view. When I moved to work in Grass Valley, I decided not to join anything, just visit and support.

Once I figured out what BPW was about, I knew I had found a group for me in Nevada County where I could be myself, offer something, and be educated and uplifted about causes that align with my radical Christian feminist stance. (Yes, there is such a thing as a radical Christian feminist! There are lots of us around!)

You gave me a warm welcome, and in due time, even elected me to serve on your Board. Wow! I am sad that I have to leave without being able to mingle in person. It’s a sad coincidence to retire in the midst of the global pandemic and quarantine. I will not see most of my congregation in person before I leave. We connect on Zoom for worship and meetings and classes. It works, but it’s not the same, and I know you understand.

We are all sacrificing our preferences and comforts to save lives, and we are imagining a more just and peaceful USA. Personally, I will be advocating for good causes and campaigning for Democrats when I move.

I won’t be far. I am going to live in my house in Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento. My late husband Chuck and I bought that house in 1999 and raised our kids there. It has been rented for 8 years, but I’m taking it back. There I will live full time with my husband Paul for the first time in our less-than four year marriage. We are still newlyweds!

My first official day of retirement is July 1. I will be in and out of Grass Valley through June, working on transition plans with my successor, Cathy Love, to whom I will definitely recommend BPW!

I thank you for all you do, for the women and girls who benefit from the work of BPW. Keep me on your e-mail list, and don’t be surprised if I show up for the holiday auction! Until we meet again, peace be with us all, and let us not give up hope for justice around the world.
Bye bye, fondly, for now.

Emily Scott-Arbough
I was born in Grass Valley in 1983 and lived in North San Juan until I moved in with my Grandma in Nevada City when I was in 5th grade. I went to Oak Tree School, Deer Creek, 7 Hills, and then a short stint at NU and Sierra Mountain. I went on a home study program from my sophomore year and started cooking at the age of 14. I always enjoyed being in the kitchen with my grandma and great grandma, mostly old fashioned down home favorites and pies and candies.

We always had a garden and picked blackberries through the summer. My first job was at the National Hotel, my cousin Kate and I were hired as banquet helpers for the holiday season. From there I worked with more family at Rhythm and Squeeze Locos Burritos, next to Sierra Cinemas, and when a cook position opened at the Northridge in Nevada City I jumped on the opportunity to work under Chef Michael Daley (formerly of Michael’s Garden), I  was 16. I was soon in charge of the ordering, shopping, line cooking, hiring… When the ownership changed, I took that as a sign to move on and I got a job at the Holbrooke Hotel. I was living on my own and taking care of my little brother Danny, he is 3 years younger than me. We had a little place and I had a car and worked full time while completing my high school requirements. When senior year came up I decided to test out by taking the GED. I was able to work more and prepare for college at American River College. I would commute to ARC 4 days a week and go in early to avoid the traffic which got me into the kitchen early and I worked with one of their most trusted bakers.

I continued to work and go to school, eventually getting a job at Citronee and being the only woman in the kitchen. I was on a culinary competition team and we competed in Las Vegas for a chance to go to the Culinary Olympics in Germany, we took home the bronze medal. I also enjoyed competing at the California State Fair and in Ohio for a Shrimp cook-off. I did cooking demos for an RV company and towards the end of my program, I decided to move to Sacramento to be closer to school and to expand my work experience. 

I had a great little place in Land Park and I could ride my 138 Montgomery Wards Cruiser to my classes at Sacraments City College and also to work at Taylors Market or to Downtown/Midtown Sac. This was a big step and it was so worth it, I learned so much at the many places I worked and made friendships that I will cherish forever. I was part of the team to open Restaurant 55Degrees and worked as part of a strong and brigade of chefs at the fine dining restaurant. Chef Luc Dendvile was the owner and my mentor and he arranged to send me to Belgium to work with and live with his best friend, Fredrick Blondelle. I was so excited for a solo trip to Europe and had a full Bon Voyage party at my grandmas to send me off. I worked at the chocolate factory and loved living as a local for a few weeks. From there I rode the Eurorail and picked my destination as I went, basing my next location on the food/cheese, scenery, and art. I came home in the late fall and settled back into life in Grass Valley. I worked at a handful of restaurants and bakeries before opening Emily’s Catering the following spring of 2007. 

Nevada County has always been special to me and I have lived in North San Juan, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, and Alta Sierra.  I always knew I wanted to settle down in Nevada County, I am truly thankful to be able to grow my family and my business here and I could not imagine doing it anywhere else. It’s the small town sense of community and super nice people that I would miss the most. 

I have always loved food and how it brings people together. Somehow, I was able to follow my passion and find the one thing that was an extension of me, as long as I have my hands in food, I am happy!  This includes growing and learning about produce, connecting with and supporting farmers, creating new recipes, cooking from scratch, feeding others, helping those in need and having fun sharing my passion for all of this with others. 

We have started really by building upon experience, one event or one lesson at a time. We started off small and have adapted with different circumstances to always fill a need and find our niche. We have maintained our focus of seasonal, local, organic foods made from scratch and it has just grown and taken different shapes over the years. We have had a private event space, a café at Sierra College, a fully operating bakery, and have remained a full service catering company through it all. We want to serve food that we want to eat and that we are confidant tastes as great as it looks.
The uncertainty is the hardest part since the Power shutdowns and now with the Corona Virus. We like catering because we know how many guests, what they are eating, and when they are eating it. That’s how catering works, otherwise it is a gamble and we are waiting for the ever changing guidelines or unexpected power shutoffs. Now are finding it hard to obtain items so planning is rough and we are being very flexible.  We are used to catering for large groups and those events have become nonexistent, basically from March to the end of the year. We are pivoting to a to go menu on Thursdays and Fridays, a free lunch program, and a new meal program for seniors through the state, Great Plates. We are working so much to think about how to keep our biz afloat and to keep our girls educated and to maintain self care, all while running at 90% below average the same time last year.

If I could choose a chef to have dinner with, I might choose Ruth Richel, an amazing writer and chef who I have loved following over the years, or maybe Martha Stewart, such an icon and innovator for women in the food industry and someone who would have so many stories. But the person I would likely choose would be my chef mentor from ARC, Roxanne Obrien. Any time I have with her is time I cherish and we have the best time eating, cooking, creating, and just visiting.

My advice for young women getting into the food industry would be to follow your dreams and to put everything you have into your work. I have found that the more I put into my work the more I get out of it, that equation never disappoints. The key is balance and gratitude, things I try to grow every day.

In 5 years, my girls will be 12 and 16, and I see myself being there for them and supporting them both however that looks. I hope to have my eyes on a bed and breakfast/wedding venue so that we can own a full service outdoor wedding location where we will offer the most exclusive farm to table catering. We want to plan ahead and be here for the long term, one step at a time we will make it there.
Club Business
Now that we have more home time help get the word out. Please send names and email addresses of your friends and family to Phyllis to receive the BPWNC monthly newsletter. This will give them a great idea of our organization that you are involved with.
Thank  you
~ Membership, Deb Armanino 415-786-1160

Thank you members for voting.
Our 2020-21 slate of officers are:

Mary Sivila, President
Vice President - open
Shirley Hall, Secretary
Shirley Zeff, Treasurer

*** Please add Phyllis Orzalli e-mail ( to your address book to ensure it does not go to junk!
Mission Statement
The mission of the Business and Professional Women of Nevada County
is to support and promote equity for women in all aspects of their lives.
~To promote personal and professional development for working women.
~To advocate on National, State, and Local legislative issues of importance
to working women.
~To support the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
~To promote the education of our members and the community in matters of women's equality as it relates to economics, employment, health, education, housing, civil rights, and other issues of equal opportunity.
Scholarships Still Available!

BPWNC is still accepting applications for our Dolores “Dee” Eldridge academic scholarship as well as our Helga Rohl Encouragement Award. The “Dee” award is anywhere from $500-$2000 and the Encouragement Award is usually $500 with occasional exceptions depending upon finances. Even though we have not been able to have regular meetings, we are still encouraging women to apply.

Last month the Scholarship Committee was pleased to give an Encouragement Award to Devin Eliason, a student studying to become an Ayurvedic Health Counselor (CCA) at the California College of Ayurveda. Devin is an integrative nutrition health coach as well as a cook and server at Meze and Brew Bakers Café. Devin wrote a very fine essay on how important it is for women to support each other instead of comparing ourselves negatively to other women within the patriarchy. The Scholarship Committee congratulates Devin!

Remember, if you know if anyone who could use this support, please tell them about our scholarship. If you would like a flyer, please let us know. We’ll forward it to you. Contact emails are listed on the website and in this latest newsletter.

Remember to Pay Your Dues!

Now more than ever in these uncertain times it is important that we support our mission that aids and promotes equity for women in all aspects of their lives. We are looking forward to meeting with like-minded women again soon.

It's time to renew your BPWNC membership!
The $25 dues for the year 2020/2021 are due this month.

If you have already paid, thank you!

If not, here's what to do:
Please make your treasurer's job easier.
Renew online now by clicking here.


Send a check to us at:
BPWWNC Treasurer
P.O. Box 291
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Interested in joining our dynamic group of women?
Want to take on a lead role in our organization?

We need active members who have time and interest
in being a board member: president, vice president, secretary,
treasurer or program committee.

For only a few hours a month you can guide future endeavors of our great group. Please contact Mary Sivila at 530-346-7192 or email her at to discuss the great possibilities!

What the heck am I doing tomorrow?

As a lifelong introvert I was made for reading during the shelter in place. I am catching up on a large pile of books that I have accumulated over the course of the past few years. Achieving life balance is one of my goals so I have been alternating fiction and non-fiction books. Here you see me reading A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton. Because I usually choose my audio mysteries through the library, I had listened to numerous of her books but they were later in the alphabet series so I decided to start at the beginning. Kinsey Millhoun is Grafton’s detective and I love seeing her character development over the series.  Sue Grafton died before she completed the series so now fans say the alphabet ends with Y.  Kinsey is a loner with a difficult past who approaches each mystery with a set of notecards in the old school way. There are numerous delightful supporting characters and a person can really lose themselves in the stories.

The non-fiction book that I read recently was Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Susan Ware. I have read many books on the history of American Women but this one really dug into some individuals I needed to know. Nineteen women are featured including a woman who toured the countryside on horseback, a polygamist Mormon woman , and a labor activist. I particularly appreciated the illustrations which included many editorial cartoons and posters from events. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to expand their knowledge of this segment of history.

Read on! Introverts unite: we have nothing to lose but our social anxiety!
Shirley Zeff



Looking for interesting things to do? The OLLI program at Sierra College will have 68 different programs in their Summer Session starting June 15, and you can attend as many as you want for one flat tuition fee of $50. Our member Susan Rogers will be teaching four genealogy classes, and other topics include history, politics, fitness, travel and more. Every Monday you will get an email listing all classes for that week with their handouts attached.  See below for how to register (there is a $10 summer registration fee for those who are not already OLLI members this term).

Lindy Horwitz and Susan have enjoyed many OLLI classes this spring. The Summer Course listing is here, and the Summer Registration Form is here.


Create a small (10-15 recipes) cookbook for your families and or friends  favorite recipes. Add photos, draw or add in small collages in your cookbook. Great idea
for a gift.

Our meetings are on hold until further notice.
Mary Sivila - 530.346.7192
Vice President
Becky Goodwin
Shirley Hall - 916.826.8944
Shannon Cotter - 530.798.1192
Deb Armanino - 415.786.1160
Our members - Submit an idea to the board.
Lynn Wenzel - 530.477.0746
Judy McCarrick - 530.478.0677
Elaine Sierra - 530.274.0738
Phyllis Orzalli - 530.913.8473
Phyllis Orzalli - 530.913.8473
Patricia Wolf - 530.273.0605
BPWNC Facebook
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Business & Professional Women of Nevada County · P.O. Box 2642 · Grass Valley, CA 95945 · USA

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