May 2018 Soto’s Chronicles
Protecting your most valuable asset — your family
Happy May! There are lots of holidays this May. As you prepare for the long weekend, be mindful that summer is near. To have a relaxing summer, make sure you have all your affairs in order. Planning your vacation isn’t enough; your health and financial powers of attorneys are an absolute must. Of course, your trust and will must be in place as well. As an estate planning attorney, I have seen unfortunate situations this quarter where people did not have their affairs in order and had not planned for the unthinkable. Don’t let your family or your clients go through painful life situations. Our educational workshops are fast and easy ways to educate you, your family, or your clients! Are you interested in learning how to protect your family and loved ones? Visit thesotolawgroup.com/workshops to see a schedule of all upcoming free workshops. Happy Mother’s Day to the loving and caring moms of the world — even moms of our furry friends! Until next time, Many Blessings, FROM THE DESK OF DeDe Soto
T he H istory B ehind the C elebrations
Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are perhaps the most widely observed holidays this month. Cinco de Mayo celebrations are less common and often confined to bars and restaurants, which entice customers with specials on margaritas and Mexican cuisine that day. But Cinco de Mayo is much more than an excuse to have a few drinks — it’s a holiday steeped in culture, tradition, and national pride. When we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we celebrate the spirit and heritage of Mexico. Many people believe that Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in honor of Mexican Independence Day, but that isn’t the case. Mexico declared its independence on Sept. 16, 1810, 50 years before the event that lead to the celebration of Cinco de Mayo — the Battle of Puebla. In 1861, Benito Juárez, the president of Mexico at the time, declared that the country was far too poor to pay its debts to France, Spain, and England. While Spain and England reached an agreement with the country, France invaded to claim Mexico as a territory. French troops fanned out across the country, claiming city after city, until May 5, 1862, when they reached the small town of Puebla. As the troops advanced toward the town, they were met by a group of Mexican soldiers. The fight lasted nearly three hours, and despite the odds being 2-1 against them, the small Mexican army won the battle. France lost nearly 500 troops, while Mexico lost less than 100. THE MYTH BEHIND THE HOLIDAY
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This didn’t stop the French from taking Mexico City and gaining control over the country in 1863. But the victory gave the Mexican people a sense of pride and served as a symbol of defiance against French imperialism. After the United States helped push the French out of Mexico, restoring Juárez back to power, the celebration of Puebla, or Cinco de Mayo, spread into the states. People of Mexican heritage who were living in the United States saw the victory as a source of pride and strength. During the Civil War, they used it as inspiration to fight. Today, the holiday is celebrated largely in the United States and Puebla, but not throughout the rest of Mexico. People living in Mexico believe that celebrating Mexican Independence Day in September is a better way to express their patriotism. TRANSITION INTO THE STATES
Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted and celebrated throughout the United States as an appreciation of Mexican culture and heritage. After the battle, word of the victory spread throughout the states. Today, huge celebrations take place in some of the larger cities in the U.S., including Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Houston, and New York City. These might include parades, dancing, and large amounts of food and alcohol. ABC News states that in 2013, 30.6 million cases of beer and 87.3 million pounds of avocados were sold during the week of Cinco de Mayo. This created a revenue of $658 million for the alcohol alone and 349 million servings of guacamole. Learning about the past and why certain holidays are celebrated encourages and inspires people to celebrate. This year, celebrate Cinco de Mayo with newfound knowledge and understanding.
Moms make the world go round. After running the gauntlet of childbirth, they raise and guide us throughout our lives, shouldering the tremendous burden and responsibility of motherhood. Mothers are in turn formidable, kind, powerful, gentle, wise, fierce, patient, supportive, empathetic, driven, and full of love. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three historic moms who never stopped fighting for what they believed in. Before she escaped from New York slaveholder John Dumont, Sojourner Truth had at least three of her children sold away from her. When Dumont went back on his promise to emancipate Truth and her infant daughter in 1826, she took the girl and fled to an abolitionist Quaker family, but she was forced to leave her other daughter and her 5-year-old son, Peter, behind. Soon after, she learned that Peter had been illegally sold by Dumont to a slaveholder in Alabama, so she went to court and secured his safe return. It was the first successful case brought by a black woman against a white man in American history. Truth went on to become a prominent abolitionist and a speaker for women’s rights, delivering her famous impromptu speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” in May of 1851. Mothers Shape theWorld 3 of History’s Bravest Moms SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797–1883)
IRENA SENDLER (1910–2008)
When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in September of 1939, Irena Sendler, a 29-year-old social worker and mother of two, hatched a scheme to rescue Jewish children from the brutal ghettos. Along with many friends and colleagues, she smuggled out nearly 2,500 Jewish orphans, hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and guiding kids through a labyrinth of secret passageways beneath the city. Despite being a wife and the mother of five children — two of whom died tragically young — Emmeline Pankhurst became one of the fiercest advocates for women’s suffrage in the late 19th century. After founding the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903, she and her cohorts adopted an aggressive strategy to raise awareness for the issue; they began by buttonholing politicians and staging rallies, then progressed to vandalism, window smashing, and arson. She was instrumental in the movement. Pankhurst lived to see women gain the right to vote in 1928. EMMELINE PANKHURST (1858–1928)
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Put the Alkaline Diet to the Test
GAME-CHANGER OR ANOTHER MOLE TOWHACK?
Americans know a thing or two about diets. It seems like we’re constantly playing whack-a-mole with nutrition plans — as soon as we knock one down, two more pop up begging for their validity to be debunked. It can be more defeating than productive. Many of these nutrition plans come with promises of paradigm-altering revelations that will reshape your future. But most “new” diets are just slight variations of old plans with new names. With that said, an alkaline diet could be a game-changer that overthrows nutritional trends. Its adherents tout its ability to reduce inflammation and help you maintain a healthy weight. A few even go so far as to claim it can cure cancer, though there is no research to support this. Learn more about the alkaline diet, and decide if it’s right for you. Before you rule out this diet because it eliminates meat, it’s important to look at why. The plan focuses on eating alkaline foods (foods with a higher pH). Acidic foods (foods with a lower pH) negate the positive effects of an alkaline body. Meat is widely believed to promote acidity in the body, so the diet suggests avoiding all beef, poultry, and fish. MEAT
Alkalizing vegetables such as broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, kale, and spinach are pivotal to this diet. But things get tricky when you try to explain nightshades. Nightshades are a family of flowering plants that include potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. Even though these are in fact alkalizing vegetables, they are thought to promote inflammation because they contain an inflammation- inducing alkaloid called solanine. Alkalinity has even gone all the way to water. You can now find bottled “alkaline water” fortified with calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate at the grocery store. It’s advertised as offering anti-aging properties and immune system support, and it claims to offer superior hydration and water retention. It’s important to understand that the basic and acidic nature of your food is really about the way it interacts with your body. There are plenty of acidic foods that actually promote alkalinity. Whether or not this diet will be one more mole that needs to be knocked down, we’ll have to wait and see. WATER
Take a Break!
SAUTÉED ZUCCHINI AND SQUASH WITH FETA
Zucchini and summer squash are arriving on grocery store shelves. Here is a great way to take these humble, delicious vegetables to the next level.This easy dish is perfect for early summer.
2 teaspoons fresh thyme 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese Salt and pepper to taste
1 zucchini 1 summer squash 1/2 medium red onion 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Season with salt and pepper; cook 4–5 minutes until squash barely begins to caramelize.
1. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch- thick semicircles. Dice onion. 2. Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add olive oil, onion, and thyme. 3. Once onion is soft (about 2 minutes), add zucchini and squash.
4. Place in serving bowl and top with feta.
Recipe courtesy of LoveAndLemons.com
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of DeDe PAGE 1 The History and Celebrations of Cinco de Mayo PAGE 1 3 of the Most Formidable Moms in History PAGE 2 What an Alkaline Diet Can Do for You PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Sautéed Zucchini and SquashWith Feta PAGE 3 Don’t TakeThis Crucial Business Relationship for Granted PAGE 4
RETAIN EMPLOYEES, RETAIN CUSTOMERS One Relationship You Don’t Want to Take for Granted
is where in-depth exit interviews can provide valuable data. Know exactly why employees are leaving, and you can fix the problem. Additionally, consult with current employees on what the business can do better. The more you know, the more you can do. Right now, there are people on your teamwho are thinking about leaving your company. A 2017 Gallup survey found that 51 percent of workers are thinking about leaving their current company. The biggest reasons include a lack of advancement opportunity, poor work-life balance, and high stress. A 2017 Mercer Global Talent Trends study found that 34 percent of employees plan to leave their current position within the next 12 months. Realizing the value of your employees contributes to the success of your business. When you’re proactive and willingly cultivate a positive work environment, you retain employees. All you need to do is remember this simple equation: Happy employees = happy clients.
good idea. The costs associated with replacing an employee are high. You have to find the right candidate and train them. Couple that cost with the cost of losing a client, and you lose a significant amount. According to a 2015 ERE Media study, to replace an entry-level employee, it costs about 30–50 percent of that employee’s annual salary. Need to replace a midlevel employee? It costs about 150 percent of their annual salary. Get to senior or highly specialized employees, and the cost reaches about 400 percent of their annual salary. On the customer side of things, a Bain & Company study found that it is 5–25 percent more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain a current customer. Considering all of these costs, why wouldn’t you do everything you can to retain good employees? Employee retention is critical for morale. When you lose one employee, it’s not uncommon for others to follow. Of course, it’s also critical to understand why employees decide to leave. This
When you have high employee turnover, chances are that you have higher-than-average customer turnover. This is a detail that too many companies overlook. If your business is customer-facing, your employees must build relationships with customers, and these relationships are key to retaining your customers’ patronage. When a customer-facing employee leaves your company, customers have to start over and build a relationship with someone new. Not every customer will be willing to do that. Their sense of loyalty has been eroded, and it gives the customer the perfect opportunity to look elsewhere for similar products or services. While employee retention is not the sole factor in customer retention, it does influence it, so examining your staff turnover rate is always a
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