Hampton Graduate Achieving Her Dreams in California

Elizabeth Cardillo has come a long way since moving from Hampton to Los Angeles. She earned her fashion merchandising degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles and works in a bridal store, Glamour Closet, in LA.

Liz competed for the first time last year in Miss Malibu USA. Since then she has competed 3 more times, placing in the top 20 out of 300 girls in the Miss California USA system. She went on to win Miss California Intercontinental, and placed 1st runner up in the Miss United States pageant in Houston TX. Liz will be heading back to Miss California USA in January 2013 with dreams of competing for Miss USA!

“Competing has completely changed my life; I have made incredible friendships and have booked many modeling jobs. I’ve become confident in my abilities and a better public speaker! I’m hoping to venture into more commercial work and even some television hosting.”

Growing up in Hampton gave Liz a solid foundation; her family and the school district are at the base of who she has become. Liz states, “I take the values of the small town I grew up in and use them in this big city of Los Angeles. I miss my family very much, but I know I have found my home in California. I love it here!”

About the Author….Autumn Edmiston, CEO of the Edmiston Group and writer for The Hampton News, brings corporate level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. The Edmiston Group specializes in business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. Our strengths in leadership, message consistency both graphically and by written word, experience and strategy guide business owners in making strong decisions. We bring fresh ideas for YOUR growing business!

Identity Theft… Are You At Risk?

Remember when you were little and it was fun to pretend to be someone else traveling to far away places, and experiencing adventure you never thought possible. There are people today that continue to play the game and they imagine that they’re you!

Identity Theft goes beyond the normal purse snatching and pick pocketing. The Internet, on-line shopping, electronic medical records, and multiple electronic databases for credit card companies all present opportunities for someone to tap into your information. Phone scams and door-to-door predators who particularly target the elderly are on the rise.

According to Steve Zinger, Regional Investigations Manager at Huntington Bank, many fall prey to unsolicited mobile media (text messaging) and work from home scams that issue fraudulent checks or establish new account relationships in your name. He offers this advice, “if it sounds too good to be true, it is.”

Zinger states, if you receive an unsolicited call or e-mail from your bank requesting information over the phone – it’s very likely a scam. Huntington’s website offers “10 Tips for Accessing Your Accounts Safely On Line” under its Identity Protection area of its website www.huntington.com.

Theresa Goeller, a Pre-Paid Legal Associate, states, “Identity Theft Shield is an affordable solution to combat a growing crime that knows no boundaries. Because of increasing identity theft in children, the Identity Theft Shield program recently added child ID theft protection for children under the age of 18. www.prepaidlegal.com/hub/thresagoeller.

Steps you can take to prevent others from targeting your information.

 Purchase and use a shredder to destroy financial documents, credit card solicitations and other information sent to you with your name and address tied to it. This prevents dumpster diving from would be predators.

 Don’t carry our social security card with you. Put it in a safe place and if you need to give it out verbally for someone to verify the account – ask that they give you the piece of paper they’ve written your number on.

 Never click on links sent through unsolicited e-mail. Predators will send email messages that look like they are from your bank, asking you to visit a web site that looks like the bank’s in order to confirm account information. This is called “phishing.”

 Don’t provide personal information to unsolicited phone calls.

 Be alert when using an ATM that someone nearby is not capturing your numbers.

 Create passwords for your accounts that include a string of lower and upper case letters, numbers and/or symbols.

Be vigilant and monitor your credit report at least annually.
Individuals are entitled to one free credit report per year. You can request your free report online, by phone or by mail. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or fill out the Annual Credit Report Request form and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

If you notice regular monthly bills not arriving on time, are denied credit, or charged a higher rate when you know you have good credit, these could all be signs that someone has stolen your identity.
What do you do if you’re your identity is stolen?

 File a police report – it legitimizes your claim to the credit card companies.

 Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name.

 Notify the Social Security fraud line number. The alert will notify any company that checks your credit to know your information was stolen. By doing this, the company will have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. The numbers are below – keep a copy of this in your wallet, in a safe place at home, and one in your desk.

• Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
• Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
• Trans Union: 1-800-680 7289
• Social Security (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

How can you reduce your personal exposure?

According to PrivacyRights.org you may:

 Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Call 888-5OPTOUT or go online to www.optoutprescreen.com. This will limit the number of pre-approved offers of credit that you receive.

 Sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry. Your name is added to name deletion lists used by nationwide marketers. You may also need to register for your state’s “do not call” list, if it has one. National Do Not Call Registry, www.donotcall.gov, (888) 382-1222

 Opt-out of the sale or sharing of your financial information when given the opportunity by your bank, credit card companies, insurance companies, and investment firms.

Be aware of the personal information you provide others. Be alert to changes in routine with bills and bank statements. Be assertive when asked for information you don’t feel necessary for someone else to have. You are the best advocate for protecting your identity.

ZONTA THREE RIVERS PITTSBURGH NORTH CHAPTER INSTALLS NEW PRESIDENT

WEXFORD, PA….Catherine Montague has been named President of the Zonta Three Rivers Pittsburgh North Chapter of Zonta International. For 90 years, Zonta International has been working to advance the status of women worldwide through an international fellowship of executive and professional women who share a common commitment to promoting and protecting women’s rights.

In her new leadership role, Montague’s goals are to focus on empowering members with the tools and ability to serve others, grow the chapter membership, provide hands on projects within our communities that are also inclusive of all family members, and lastly to promote Zonta and its mission through out the media channels to create awareness of the service organization.

About Catherine Montague…..She is an International Interior Designer and Principal of Green Design Innovation. Catherine collaborates with architects, builders and craftsmen to create superior designs for discriminating homeowners and businesses. Designs from around the world created in your unique style for distinguished clientele and corporate accounts. As the founder of Become a Pittsburgher, Catherine utilizes her international flare to provide customized concierge services helping families acclimate to Pittsburgh.

Montague envisions taking her leadership skills utilized in running her businesses and continuing to guide the Zonta Three Rivers Pittsburgh North Chapter to new levels of advocacy serving local communities, assisting women to achieve their goals and ensure a more successful life for themselves and their families.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group ~ bringing corporate level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies.