About me I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and have lived all over New York. My dad is a Methodist pastor. I lived …
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I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and have lived all over New York. My dad is a Methodist pastor. I lived there until I was 37 years old. My husband, Mike Bertocchi, a surgeon at Parker Adventist Hospital, brought us here. I'm a physician assistant by trade. He's a general surgeon and a trauma surgeon and we met in Queens when he was doing his residency in Jamaica (Queens, New York). It was very high energy, very busy, we saw some truly awful things related to violent crime, and one day we decided to get out of there. When you work in the medical field, you can get a job anywhere pretty much, and when we found Parker, we knew it was the place for us. We came to visit a couple of times and moved here about 13 years ago.
We have two girls, 9 and 10, and a son, who is 22. I've been out of the medical field for about 10 years. I was a stay at home mom for a while, then I opened a little furniture painting store, located on Parker Road and Mainstreet. I was a co-owner over there for six years and that was my hobby when my children were growing up. We owned that place until about three years ago, when I sold my half to the woman who owns it now, Connie Brown. The reason I sold it is because I wanted to bring something a little more exciting and fun to Parker to have a place my children can grow up in and have a local, family-owned spot.
We racked our brains what the niche in Parker would be — what we could do that hasn't been done before. We spent a little time researching what was down there and what was needed. One day, we were in Boulder with the kids and walked into Kilwins on Pearl Street. We walked in and ordered ice cream and said it was the best ice cream we've eaten. We went back inside and saw they were making their own fudge and caramels and their own waffle cones. We walked out of there and on the way home we knew this is what Parker needed, so we pursued becoming a local franchisee for Kilwins.
Finding new passions
I had a passion for being a physician's assistant, but my real passion was relating to people and building relationships. I just love meeting people and talking about them and finding out more about them. When I sold my business Simpler Times, somebody from my church asked if I'd be interested in doing counseling at the Parker Task Force. I walked in and spoke with Steve Budnack, took a tour, and ended up working there for two years prior to opening Kilwins. I used to work there about 2-3 times a week as a volunteer counselor, and that was probably one of the most fulfilling times of my life. I've only not been there since November.
The volunteers there are the best co-workers you will ever work with because no one has an agenda. Everyone is there to serve. It's a 100% service place to be.
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