WBOC’S LEADING WOMAN: Ann Marie Stonecypher
“It is not all about business,” said Ann Marie Stonecypher, president of AMS Models and Talent, a talent management company that covers the Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany areas. Ann Marie, who’s been running her own business for the past 13 years, has had Women Business Opportunities Connections by her side the whole way. And they haven’t just been supportive in regard to her business, they’ve become lifelong friends that have helped her through personal hardships.
It all began with a Pennysaver. “I was walking my Pennysaver to the recycle bin and on the front of it was a picture of a bunch of businesswomen and a little thing underneath that said WBOC,” explained Ann Marie. “I took it back out of the recycle bin and back into the house because I had just started my business.” Almost immediately, Ann Marie took the opportunity to use WBOC to network, meet people and make friends.
It wasn’t all about “making the green” for Ann Marie, however. Although WBOC is a great way to not only make connections, but to develop some clientele for your business, Ann Marie saw it as more of a way to meet women who could relate to her. She’d meet women who were single moms, running their own businesses, and making a better life for themselves and their kids. “I think it’s nice to have a sounding board,” said Ann Marie. “You can sit down and have a conversation and talk about all your kids and how you had a hard time with your business because you had to go to a ball game. You’re talking to people that understand where you’re coming from.”
And the women she met at WBOC weren’t just relatable, they were supportive. Nine years ago, Ann Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer. During that difficult time, the WBOC crew stood behind her the whole way. “I got a lot of nice notes and offers from members to help me out if I needed it. It meant a lot to me,” she said. To this day, Ann Marie sends out a monthly “Pink Circle Ribbon Reminder” to members to encourage them to complete their monthly self-breast exams.
Most recently, Ann Marie was elected to serve as a director-at-large for WBOC. She looks forward to giving back to the organization and helping it develop. “I’d like to see continued growth and more membership and people discover what a great little jewel of an organization it is. And how charitable they are,” she noted. Ann Marie’s daughter just received a $500 scholarship for college from them. “They do a lot for the community.”
Outside of her modeling agency and the organization, Ann Marie dedicates herself to her children. “My biggest thing in my life really is my children,” she said. And she uses WBOC and the inspirational women who belong to the organization to teach her kids life lessons. “You really have to be a good person and give back to the community. I try to teach that to my children. And that you have to run your business with integrity. So many of the women that I know from the WBOC are those kind of people, and it’s really important for me to be setting that example for my kids.”
The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for 20 years. Whether running our own business, working for an employer or launching a new endeavor, women are connected through their entrepreneurial mindset. Syracuse Woman Magazine is a WBOC signature sponsor that aims to promote a common mission. For information on how to become a member, visit www.wboconnection.org.