Fallon’s Remarkable Women

Lana Robards

Lana Robards

Meet the nominees for Fallon’s Most Remarkable Women. Awards will be given in the following categories in an upcoming edition of the Lahontan Valley News: Business/Entrepreneurship; Mentor to Others; Community Involvement; Medicine/Health and Corporate/Finance.

Nominees are:

AmyJo Grissom (Double Heart Healing)

Betsy MacDiarmid (Banner Churchill)

Ivy Ward, (Ivy Land)

Janis Wood, (US Bank)

Jolene Bryant

Karla Kent (Kents)

Kelli Kelly (Fallon Food Hub)

Laura Howard (Howie Loo Photography)

Ruth Perkins-Caudill (The Homestead)

Sara Champneys (CEDA)

Shawntay Fredericks (Cosmetologist)

Teri Buchanan (H & R Block)

Two Sisters Boutique

Jo Petteruti (Jo’s Tea Room)

Michelle Bynum (Country Health)

Dallia Herring (Edward Jones)

Meet some of Fallon’s most Remarkable Women

Dr. Lana Narag

MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician at Narag Fallon Family Clinic, PC.

Who am I?

I am a Filipino, a board certified doctor of medicine who graduated in the Philippines, a pediatric specialist and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1998. I completed my pediatric residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa. and graduated with an award for being voted as the best Medical Resident Student Teacher.

I started practicing pediatrics at the Eastern Sierra Medical Group in Reno in 1998. I was then offered a pediatric practice at the Banner Churchill Community Hospital in 2000, served as chief of Medical Staff, vice chief of staff, Secretary of Staff and was committee chair of Pharmacy and Therapeutics and Quality Improvement of BCCH.

In 2006, my husband, a specialist in adult medicine, and I started our own medical practice, the Narag Fallon Family Clinic at the hospital. BCCH was gracious to allow us to start our practice in the hospital. We built our own clinic and relocated to where it is currently situated, 1077 New River Parkway.

My family?

We are Catholics. I have two children, a 21-year-old product manager for Procter and Gamble in Boston, and a 19-year-old junior at the University of Nevada, Reno.

We love traveling, cruising, hiking, snorkeling, diving, paddleboarding, visiting family in the Philippines, karaoke singing and dancing. I never traveled outside of the country without my husband, so far.

What I like about Fallon?

It’s a fairly safe community; it takes minutes to get to your destination without the aggravation of having to deal with traffic. At my age, sometimes leaving the house door and car door unlocked is not anxiety-provoking. No pickpockets. I love Soda Lake, my loving friends, employees, patients and their families. The children being raised to appropriately address adults and authority, “Sir, Ma’am, Mr., Mrs...” is also one that I have not observed when I was in Reno and Philadelphia.

Why did I move to Fallon?

I used to take care of my patients in three hospitals at Reno, i.e. NNMC, Renown and St. Mary’s. Waking up at 4 a.m. to travel and move from one institution to another every day and then take care of my clinic patients at 8 a.m. became exhausting, let alone take care of my growing children. Hence, I accepted the offer of Banner for a pediatric position in 2000.

Advice for women?

Regarding career: Love what you signed up for. Be grateful and keep yourself focused. If you are employed, in order to get noticed, you have to go above and beyond what you are hired to do. Respect your employers and those above you. You cannot expect a bonus or a job promotion if you disrespect any one of these people because these will be the same people who will either commend or block your potential opportunities in the future. It is human nature. Also, focus on your responsibilities, not on your cell phones or someone else’s post on the Internet. In doing so, you will avoid committing mistakes and you’ll be happier when you see and interact with the people around you.

Regarding marriage: Do not expect to change your spouse or you will be miserable if he doesn’t; change yourself if you must so that you will enjoy the same things together. Also, you share the same blessings and concerns; therefore, pray together everyday. It is our secret!

Jo Petteruti

Owner/president of Jo’s Stillwater Tea Room Inc.

How long have you been in business?

We opened the business on Friday, March 13, 2015.

Where are you originally from?

Paul and I grew up in RI and after about 50 years of living there, we moved here.

What made you decide to open your business?

We recognized a need in Fallon for a nice place that was non-smoking and comfortable, especially for ladies.

What do you love most about your job?

Far and away, our customers who are now also like family.

What is your favorite success story?

We’ve had three romances spark at the Tea Room, where we were the meeting place for the first dates and those couples are now married. They even come in to celebrate their anniversaries — both their first date and their wedding date.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

To not take work life home with you — maintain a solid separation between work and home.

What do you feel are the keys to success?

Dedication and consistency.

What inspiring advice would you give to the next generation of women in business?

Chase your dream, be strong and be willing to take a shot on yourself.

What are your hobbies?

Driving sports cars, making stained glass panels, researching new liquors and concocting new cocktail recipes, memberships in and positions with various community-based associations.

What do you love most about Churchill County/Fallon?

Definitely the people. I’ve never experienced so much kindness, caring and compassion within a community as this one.

Anything else you would like to share?

This is home, forever...

Felicia Conklin and Shelli Buchanan

Two Sisters Boutique

How long have you been in business?

Just over a year

Tell us about your family:

Felicia: We are a blended, happy family. My husband, Curtis Conklin, has 2 children, Gabrielle, age 14, and Garret, age 10. I have 2 boys, Michael, age 16, and Jack, age 14. And, we as a family, adopted our 4-year-old, Trayvon.

Shelli: I have been married to my husband, Randy, for 12 years and have two boys, Titan, age 13, and Raeden, age 10.

Where are you from?


What do you love most about your job?

Felicia: Meeting new people. I always knew there were great people living here, but until now, I was never actually really given the chance to talk to them. This job allows me to do that.

Shelli: Being able to help women feel and look beautiful!

What is the best advice you ever received?

Felicia: Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react.

Shelli: Forget all your doubts and go for it. If you don’t succeed at least you can say you tried.

What do you feel is the key to success?

Felicia: First, you need to believe in yourself and be willing to take challenges. And last, but never the least, have the family to back you up 100%.

Shelli: Start small and take baby steps. Success doesn’t come overnight. It takes hard work and determination. The support of your loved ones and having faith in yourself!

What inspiring advice can you give to the next generation of women in business?

Felicia: If you want it, go and get it.

Shelli: Don’t fear failure. Without it, you wouldn’t grow to be the person you were meant to be. Always give it your all, never give up on yourself and stay humble.

What are your hobbies?

Felicia: My hobbies include anything and everything my children would like to do that day.

Shelli: Anything and everything outdoors with the family, supporting my boys in their sports.

What do you love about Churchill County?

Shelli: I love how the community has supported us.

Debbie Ridenour

HR Director for New Frontier

How long has New Frontier been in Fallon?

Since 1971

What is your job title?

HR Director

How many women are employed at New Frontier?


What is a favorite success story?

We had a lady that had lost everything, job, family, self-worth, and was in the legal system. She completed our program successfully and went back to school. Got a good job in a management position and has continued with school to go on and help others who are struggling like she did. She regained her relationship with her family and is doing well today. There are too many stories like this to tell! We are so proud of our staff who make a difference in people’s lives each and every day!

What is the best advice you have received?

Listen to your heart and a counselor once told me, “Pick your battles.” I have learned to follow both of these.

What do you feel is the key to success?

Communication and forgiveness.

What inspiring advice can you give to the next generation of women in business?

Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. You can accomplish anything if you want it badly enough.

What do you love best about Churchill County?

Caters to families. Supportive Community. People care.

Amy Jo Grissom

Massage therapist at Double Heart Healing Massage and Body.

Tell us about your family

My family is very well known around Fallon and I have a lot of family. Lyle and Maria de Braga (grandparents), Jaime Dellera and Dennis Acorda (parents), Tiana Theodosis (sister), Lail and Truman Casey (aunt and uncle) Bruce and Mitzi (uncle and aunt), Joe and Angie de Braga (uncle and aunt).

Where are you from?


How long have you been in business?

Two years.

How long have you worked here?

Two years.

What is your job title? What do you do?

Massage therapist/owner.

What do you love most about your job?

Helping clients, being able to hear what’s going on with a client - helping them heal on their journey. Have them walk out after their session telling me how wonderful they feel.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

My grandpa always told me if the sun is up, you’re up. Success comes with work. It’s hard, but the harder you work, the better off you will be in the future.

What do you feel are the keys to success?

Love what you do. Trust your instincts. Care about and who your clients are. Organize. Stash money. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it.

What inspiring advice can you give to the next generation of women in business?

If you dream it, you can achieve it. If it’s something you really want, don’t let anyone tell you, “You can’t do it.” Always trust your heart. If money is an issue, start small and build, but don’t ever give up what you want to do in life.

What are your hobbies?

Photography, dancing, building old things out of barnwood. Being with family.

What do you love about Churchill County?

Community! When tragedy or a major event happens, we pull together and give a helping hand wherever we can.

Lana Robards

Executive director, New Frontier.

What is your favorite success story?

Success Story is the impact our Parent Child Assistance Program (PCAP) has on our young mothers and their children. Seeing a baby born clean and healthy.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Don’t give up.

What do you feel are the keys to success?

Key to success is team work.

What advice would you give to the next generation of Women in Business?

Advice for next generation: Learn everything you can about the business you want to enter.

What do you like best about Churchill County?

The sense of family.

Teri Buchanan

Tax associate with H&R Block

How long has H&R Block been in Fallon?

They have been in Fallon for over 50 years. I took over the franchise in 1983. I have worked for them for over 40 years.

Tell us about your family.

Married to Cliff, two children, daughter, Danielle, son, Randy, and four grandchildren.

Tell us about your job.

You come here to get your tax questions answered and your taxes done. We never turn anyone away. There is never a tax return that can’t be done!

What do you love most about your job?

I love taxes and being able to help people with theirs. I enjoy working with people. We want to work with them on their taxes and be their solution.

What do you feel are the keys to success?

Be willing to always help each other. Enjoy your work!

What inspiring advice can you give to the next generation of women in business?

Be educated and “life smart.” Keep up with life skills and constantly learn!

Anything else to share?

Starting first week in January, H&R Block will be open to 7 days a week preparing for tax season! We will be ready to meet you and help you with your tax questions!

The Homestead

Ruth Perkins-Caudill, Executive Director

Barbara Apodaca, Business Office Manager

Leah Espil, Director of Sales and Marketing

Candy Foster, Director of Health and Wellness

How many women employed at The Homestead?

Approximately 35 women work here.

Brief description of business

Residential facility for elders, veterans and dementia care.

Desribe your job:

Ruth Perkins-Caudill: I love my job of taking the best care possible of elders and veterans in their last years. Try to make them feel comfortable, take the best possible care of them.

What is the best advice you received?

Ruth Perkins-Caudill: It was from a 98-year-old woman who said, “You spend your whole life getting ‘stuff.’ Get to my age and you realize that all you needed was a bed and a chair.”

Whare are the keys to success?

Candy Foster: Work hard, be dedicated, be fully committed to your job!

Barbara Apodaca: Find the job you enjoy and enjoy doing your job!

Is there anything else about being a woman in business that you would like to share?

Leah Espil: Always empower other women. This is so important and it is fulfilling for both.


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