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Finance Talk Opens Women's History Month Celebration

By Glenda Keen

The Bethesda chapter of Federally Employed Women and the NIH Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management opened the 2004 women's history celebration on Mar. 9 by jointly hosting the first of four events planned for the month. Themed "Women's Work and Women's Health: A Celebration of Knowledge and Achievement," the observance kicked off with a presentation by Mary Grate-Pyos, president of Financially Focused, Inc. and author of Wealthy Woman — Wise Choices.

Discussing "The Extraordinary You," she stressed that finances are critical in helping a person move into areas of life where one's true purpose can be realized. Pyos believes women are multitalented and that every woman alive is extraordinary and has skills she can use to help others in the home, workplace, church or community. Women achieve so much in so little time and without rest, she pointed out. They go the extra mile to make a difference.

Even without adequate resources, she added, women still get the job done and are indeed extraordinary, particularly when their finances are in order. Pyos, who worked for 18 years in the federal government, resigned in December 2003 to devote herself full time to empower others "to move from frustration to financial freedom." She mentioned the government's Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) as a good way to start saving, savings that could move into investments. Pyos, an editor and publisher of Money Matters with Mary, a quarterly electronic magazine focused on personal financial issues, made wise choices with her own money and today assists clients in their money matters, helping them accumulate wealth for peace of mind.

She offered six tips for becoming and remaining extraordinary: Remember, the world needs your gifts, skills, talents and abilities; live your purpose and live it well; manage your money — don't let your money manage you; know that failure is not a part of your agenda; decree, declare and affirm daily your positive words — words turn into actions that can become habits; and, finally, start managing your "thought life" — good thoughts should be constant. To contact Pyos, email

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