Feedback: October 2016

by Debora Gallo-Capaldi, Michael Cocanower, David Racich

Question: Stress has a tremendous impact on a person’s well-being. How do you address workplace stress among your employees?


debora-gallo-capaldiDebora Gallo-Capaldi

Pucci Salon
Sector: Beauty Salon

During particularly stressful times — such as when a stylist is running behind schedule or two clients are waiting — that’s when I’m hands-on. I’m at our salon every day to help and show support to everyone.

Interacting with and listening to my employees is an essential part of my daily routine. I keep a hanging punching bag in my office. We call it “the stress reliever.” If anyone is feeling overwhelmed, I encourage taking a whack at the bag to let it all out. When the blood and oxygen begin moving around, relief sets in. It’s amazing what a little breathing will do.

As part of our continuing education, we bring in motivational speakers. Our last guest was author Sara Regester, R.N., who wrote about ways to de-stress and uncover the underlying lifestyle patterns that open the door to health problems related to stressful living.

I try to turn stress into success. It starts at the top. I have to have balance and harmony in my own personal life to project this energy successfully to all my employees.

Twenty-five years later we’re still here and thriving!

Debora Gallo-Capaldi and her husband moved to Arizona more than 30 years ago after falling in love with Fountain Hills during a rush-through visit. Moving from the East Coast, her husband first opened an automotive business in the Airpark, and, when he sold it four years later, Gallo-Capaldi opened her salon. She christened the salon Pucci after the affectionate nickname she was given in childhood by her favorite aunt.


michael-cocanowerMichael Cocanower

Founder and President
Sector: Technology

Our firm has 10 employees who deal with cyberattacks and other complicated client IT issues around the clock. So, as you can imagine, it can be very stressful. That’s why we include “fun” as a core value of our business. If you don’t smile and laugh with us at least once every day, then we have failed you. This goes for our customers and each other.

I value the importance of good health, so each of my employees has a sit/stand desk, giving them the option of sitting or standing while they work. Part of the fun includes a regular competition where we all try to get a small drone through a hoop in the office. And I have to brag that our snack cabinet is pretty impressive.

I also encourage flexibility, giving employees the option of working remotely. We also participate in fun outings, like a chili cook-off, or spend time volunteering for St. Mary’s Food Bank. Spending time together in non-working environments helps us achieve our core value of having fun.

Michael Cocanower founded itSynergy in 1997, and, under his leadership, the company has experienced exponential revenue growth. A long-standing Microsoft Partner and Gold Midmarket Solution Provider, itSynergy provides strategic technology management services for small and mid-sized organizations on a fixed monthly fee. Cocanower has received widespread industry recognition, including being named one of 20/20 Visionaries in ChannelPro Network magazine’s May 2016 issue


david-racichDavid Racich

Chief Executive Officer
Brokers Alliance
Sector: Insurance

We understand the importance of having a work-life balance, and, for that reason, we try to create an environment that allows us to decompress and alleviate stress during the day. We’ve created a multi-purpose training center that moonlights as a theater, with a set of matrix TVs that interface with four Xbox One consoles.

Our game room also houses arcade games such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Galaga and pinball in addition to our glass ping pong table and indoor putting green.

These activities allow employees to detach from their desks and clear their minds without ever leaving the building.

We’ve also created a diverse menu of lunches and snacks offered throughout the work week, free of charge, for staff.

We have seen that creating this balance in the workplace speaks not only to the overall morale in the office but, most importantly, the well-being of our valued employees.

David Racich is a business owner, entrepreneur and financial executive with more than 15 years of experience in eBusiness, product development, marketing and technology advancement. He is president and CEO of Brokers Alliance Inc., Outlook Advisors, Launch Financial, BDR Holding Group and WiredUp Installation, all based in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Racich is also an active supporter of several local nonprofit events and organizations.

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