Bucks Businesswomen to Watch
Turn to these leaders for their respective expertise in matters of Health, Family Law, Finances and Real Estate
by Bill Donahue

In Bucks County, four prominent businesswomen— Lisa Bodine of Penn Wealth Planning LLC; Susan Levy Eisenberg, Esquire, of Susan Levy Eisenberg, P.C.; Dawn M. Rickert, D.M.D., MAGD, of New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry; and Hazel Smith of Keller Williams Real Estate—have taken the lead in helping residents succeed in four essential aspects of life: Health, Family Law, Finances and Real Estate. Here are their stories.

Lisa Bodine
Formerly a stay-at-home mom, Lisa has for 18 years been a professional financial consultant and partner in Penn Wealth Planning LLC, an independent wealth management firm based in New Hope. (Securities and advisory services offered by LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.) Lisa co-founded Penn Wealth Planning in 2003 with her husband, Frank R. Policare, and the firm has flourished under her leadership. 

In her practice, Lisa works primarily with high-level executives in the pharmaceutical industry and other affluent individuals with a net worth of $2 million to $10 million. Although she addresses all aspects of a client’s finances through comprehensive financial planning, she specializes in executive compensation and helping clients evaluate prospective employment opportunities.

“As a firm, we pride ourselves on our level of service, and we take a holistic approach so we can address every aspect of a client’s financial life—education planning, estate planning, tax planning, intergenerational planning, etc.—because it’s all interrelated,” she says. “We wrap our arms around their entire life, not just investments.”

The approach appears to be working well. Lisa was recently named to the 2015 Financial Times Top 400 Advisors list*, and she also earned a place on the 2015 LPL Chairman’s Council; this honor is reserved for the top 2 percent of the 14,000 advisors in the firm, based on annual production.

“I think I’ve been successful because I genuinely want to take care of my clients, and I think that goes back to me being a mom and carrying that over into the business world,” she says. “I want to educate my clients. I work very hard at what I do, but I also have a great team. I think if you do the right thing for people, it proliferates.”

Aside from her business, Lisa is involved in causes that are close to her heart. Inspired by her son, Brian, who has intellectual disabilities, she works closely with organizations that help individuals affected by mental health issues, as well as their families. She sits on the board of directors for Lenape Valley Foundation, a which is Doylestown-based organization that provides mental health services, information and support to Bucks County residents in need. She was also appointed by the county commissioner to sit on the advisory board of Bucks County’s Department of Mental Health/Developmental Programs.

Susan Levy Eisenberg, Esq.
A family law attorney based in Newtown, Eisenberg has spent more than 26 years helping her clients through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Eisenberg represents clients in matters of divorce, custody, child support, alimony, property division and pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

“I’m very involved with my clients in the entire litigation process, because that’s what they need to get through it,” says Eisenberg. “A divorce can be as difficult, or even more difficult, to deal with than a death because it affects every aspect of your life. That’s why I am so hands on and nurturing with my clients.”

To help clients recover in the aftermath of a divorce, Eisenberg has amassed a network of allied professionals—from stress management and therapy to psychology and real estate. She also works closely with forensic accountants and financial planners, as well as attorneys in other areas of the law, such as personal injury and business law.

Eisenberg maintains active memberships in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Bucks County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. She is also a member of the Bucks County American Inn of Courts, through which she works with judges and other attorneys to organize continuing legal education classes for other lawyers. She also gives back by performing pro bono Custody and Protection from Abuse work for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

With more than 26 years of practicing family law, her extensive trial skills, and her work as a leader in the community, Eisenberg aims to be a valuable source of information for her clients. In addition, she strives to provide accessible and prudent legal advice in an understanding manner, as well as to provide the best possible representation, in helping clients move forward in their lives.

“Working with clients who are going through a divorce requires sensitivity, compassion and the ability to be truthful,” she says. “You also need to be able to give clients the information they need to help them make decisions that are not based purely on emotion. Those characteristics can be difficult to come by, and that is why it is important to choose an attorney who specializes in family law.”

Dawn M. Rickert, D.M.D., MAGD
A healthy smile goes a long way, yet many people settle for less than a perfect smile due to a deep-seated fear of the dentist’s chair. Dr. Rickert, owner of New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, has cultivated a soothing practice designed to effectively treat even the most phobic patients.

“We try to make our patients feel comfortable here, with a welcoming environment that puts them at ease,” says Dr. Rickert, who has been at the helm of the practice since 2001. “Most of our team has been a part of the practice since its inception, and our patients take comfort in seeing the same faces at each visit.”    

With every patient who comes to see Dr. Rickert, the relationship begins with a simple yet vital task: listening so she can understand the patient’s wants and needs.

“If a patient comes to me for cosmetic reasons, I ask them to explain the result they are looking for,” she says. “Some patients come to the practice thinking they want veneers, but what they are really asking for is a straighter, whiter smile. Most times this can be achieved through the use of traditional orthodontics or Invisalign and a whitening procedure, all which can be done in our office.”

Dr. Rickert has modernized her office with new technologies such as digital X-rays, which expose patients to less radiation than traditional X-rays, and VELscope, which she uses as a tool for the detection of oral cancer. 

Having earned her dental degree from Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry, Dr. Rickert stays at the forefront of the industry through continuing education. “Continuing education is important to me,” she says. “It allows me to stay on the cutting edge of technology and procedures.” She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, where she earned her Fellowship (2005), Mastership (2008) and Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition (2014). Currently, she is serving as president of the Pennsylvania Academy of General Dentistry, which allows her to help other oral health professionals improve their patient care. She is also a member of other organizations such as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the International Association for Orthodontics.

“I’ve watched a lot of my patients grow up, get married, and start to have families,” she says. “Knowing I’ve played a part in their oral health and their lives has been very fulfilling.”

Hazel Smith
“Everything I touch turns to … SOLD,” as Hazel says. Hazel has been selling real estate in Bucks County since 2000, and in that time she has become one of the tri-state area’s leading home buying and selling agents. Considering her expertise and commitment to helping clients achieve their goals, Hazel’s success comes as no surprise.

“Selling a home takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s also a very emotional process,” she says. “It’s very rewarding helping people get out from under the stress of selling their home so they can improve their lives. I want my clients to be happy, and I see that as a huge responsibility that I take very seriously.”

As a Realtor with Keller Williams Real Estate, she has been representing buyers and sellers throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey for the past 15 years. Her business is rooted in Bucks County towns such as Buckingham, Churchville, Doylestown, Newtown, Upper Makefield and Richboro, as well as some parts of Montgomery County. 

“People are looking for the best house for the best value—that’s what sells—so sellers need to position their house in a way that’s going to get the best value,” she says. “That’s where I come in.”

Hazel knows exactly what buyers look for in a potential home, as well as what turns them off. Her flair for home staging has helped scores of sellers improve the marketability of their homes through the acts of de-cluttering, depersonalizing and modernizing spaces—“editing the home,” as she calls it. “Of course,” she adds, “new light fixtures and a fresh coat of paint can also make a huge difference.” Apart from Hazel’s success in using home staging as a way to produce quick turnarounds and higher resale values, this essential service represents just one piece of the puzzle in preparing a home for potential buyers.

“Right now I specialize in houses that didn’t sell the first time around with another listing agent,” she says. “My job is to help home sellers identify the potential hang-ups that might hold up a sale, as well as to help them prepare for the move mentally and emotionally, because moving represents a big life change.”

For more information on each of these women, reach out to them through the contact information listed below.

Lisa Bodine
Penn Wealth Planning LLC
4 Gazebo Place
New Hope, PA 18938
215-862-7080 | lisa.bodine@lpl.com

Susan Levy Eisenberg, Esq.
Susan Levy Eisenberg, P.C.
117 S. Sycamore Street
Newtown, PA 18940
215-860-9700 | eisenberglaw@comcast.net

Dawn M. Rickert, D.M.D., MAGD
New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
135 N. Main Street
New Hope PA, 18938

Hazel Smith
Keller Williams Real Estate
12 Terry Drive
Newtown, PA 18940

* The Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors is an independent listing produced by the Financial Times (March, 2015). The FT 400 is based on data gathered from firms and verified by broker-dealer home offices, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s performance in six primary areas, including assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, experience, credentials and accessibility as identified by the FT. Neither the brokerages nor the advisors pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 400.

Photograph by Allure West Studios