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Complimentary January 2017

Living the Good Life

An Independent Firm

Investing Well, Planning Well, Living Well HICKORY LIVING • JANUARY 2017







from the publisher


Welcome to the January issue. At Hickory Living, we want to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017! Another year is here and with it comes resolutions, trying to break old habits and getting into some new ones. Exercise and losing weight are usually at the top of the list for most folks. Like many of you, I put on some extra weight during the holidays and will work to get this unwanted weight off in January. Good luck on keeping all your new year’s resolutions in 2017! Coming in February! I am excited to announce the launch of Hickory Living Today—a new website featuring local stories, fresh content and advertising opportunities for this place we call home—celebrating where you live, work and play! More on this exciting opportunity next month!

LIVING January 2017

Living the Good Life

Mailing Address - P.O. Box 57 Harmony, NC 28634 (704) 546-5511 E-mail - CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristie Darling • Meredith Collins • Cheryl Grant Lauren Davidson • Karen Pressley COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Shane Greene Photography

Happy New Year, and thank you for reading the January issue of Hickory Living Magazine!

COVER STORY Renaissance Financial Partners of North Carolina, LLC Editorial Stock photography, unless otherwise noted, is from ThinkStock.

Myron T. Gough Publisher, Hickory Living

Find Hickory Living Magazine on Facebook.

W W W. H I C KO RY L I V I N G M AG A Z I N E . C O M Myron T. Gough Publisher/Founder

Kathy Wheeler Marketing & Design

Don Forrest Business Development (704) 546-5511 (828) 238-3224 (828) 244-6538

Linda B. Wilson Advertising Sales

Bob Church Advertising Sales

Lori Cashion Advertising Sales (336) 686-7271 (704) 402-4887 (704) 657-0237

Ashley Stevenson Digital Editor

Hickory Living reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Hickory Living assumes no responsibility or liability for the information, services, products, claims, statements, accuracy, or intended or unintended results of any advertiser, editorial contributors, company, professional corporation, business or service provider herein this publication. All rights reserved. Reproduction (704) 902-5418

in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.







January 2017

8 12

• Renaissance Financial Partners


• Livanta Medical Center


• What's Cooking?!


• Piedmont Plastic Surgery


• Beating The Winter Blues


8 6


• Setting Goals For 2017

Investing Well, Planning Well, Living Well

A New Year, A New You

Comfort Foods For Cold Weather

& Dermatology Proudly Welcomes Dr. Steven Siciliano!


holiday | food | local business




Setting Goals for 2017 By Cheryl Grant


ach year as January first rolls around, many of us make a list of things we are going to stop doing, things we don’t like about ourselves, and bad habits we are going to break. These are called our new year’s resolutions. This year, instead, make a list of things you want to accomplish; things you want to do instead of things you want to stop doing; things that you may have dreamt of doing for years but never acted on. My mother-in-law used to say, “If you live to be 100, life is still short.” There is no time like the present to start bringing those dreams into reality! I went through a period in my life when I felt I needed counseling, an objective opinion, a life coach. I was stuck. Bad things were happening in my life…it seemed one after another…major struggles were presenting themselves to me to overcome. I made an appointment with a counselor, and what I cherished most about that time with her were the questions she asked me and the thought process that led me to the answers. Many times, we need an outside opinion of what we are doing and thinking in order to realize how we are sabotaging ourselves. Most of the time it is obvious to others what our problems are, but we can’t see the forest for the trees. It just takes someone asking us the right questions before the light bulb goes off in our head.



What are you waiting for? What is holding you back? Can you see others living the life you want, but you can’t see yourself fulfilling that dream? Do you feel unworthy? Who made you feel unworthy? Do you need permission? I’m here to tell you, you are worthy of living your dream, and I’m giving you permission to dream BIG! Are you afraid of failing, or do you have a fear of success? Failing is a part of succeeding. So what if you mess things up? That just gets you one step closer to your goal! Are you afraid if you succeed that you will change and leave others behind? Well, change can be really good as long as your value system is intact. Maybe you won’t leave others behind. Just maybe you will inspire them to fulfill their own dreams! The bottom line is this: If you don’t like the direction your life is going, you are the only one who can change it. That change starts in your mind’s eye with what you focus on, what you say to yourself, and what you believe is possible. Write down your aspirations, then start moving toward your goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and reaching your goals will take time, but half the fun is the journey. Action is required to fulfill any goal, and it starts with you seeing the possibilities and not limiting yourself. What do you want in 2017?! © Ingram Publishing | Thinkstock







cover story


An Independent Firm

Investing Well, Planning Well, Living Well By Kristie Darling | Photos by Shane Greene Photography

“We want you to successfully manage your future,” John Watts told me. “Life is going to happen, you understand. When you’re doing what’s necessary—you’re focused on your objectives—that helps you reach your goals.” John is a principal and founding partner of Renaissance Financial Partners of North Carolina. The firm is one of the Catawba Valley region’s most experienced group of investment and financial advisors. 12


I met with Renaissance’s financial planning team: John Watts, financial planner; his daughter, Beth Watts Rogers, financial planner; and son-in-law, Todd Ashworth, financial planner, in a relaxing conference room in their North Center Street office. They explained to me exactly what they do and why they do it. PLANNING CREATES SOLUTIONS “We’re educators, really,” Beth Rogers shared. “Our job is to help people understand their options, what those choices are, and to help them develop their financial plan for the future. For anyone who walks in the door, we’re ready and absolutely qualified to help them create a plan. We listen to their objectives, clarify goals, and understand their time horizon so that the plan we

develop together comes together at the right point in their life. Some people want to be financially prepared for their children’s college tuition or taking care of family needs. For some, leaving something for the next generation or setting the foundation for a comfortable retirement is critical. Some people want to grow their wealth, some to maintain it. It’s all in the plan.” Indeed, financial planning is more than working toward retirement. The goal at Renaissance is to bring clarity and vision together around all the financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. Individuals, families large and small, wealthy folks, not-so-wealthy, business owners, salaried employees, professionals—anyone with a future—will benefit from this team’s guidance and experience.


On the cover–Left to right–Financial Planners C. John Watts, III, Todd Ashworth and Beth Watts Rogers Opposite page–The whole Renaissance team–Left to right– Diane Fox, registered sales assistant; Diedre Henry, sales assistant; and Financial Planners Beth, Todd, and John Above–The team meets at least once a week to map out plans for clients and the office. FINANCIAL PLANNING: HOW DOES IT WORK? John shared from that a survey of 1,000 retirement savers conducted for Charles Schwab, indicated more than half said they spent five HICKORY LIVING • JANUARY 2017


Photos, left to right:

John Watts, financial planner, shares ideas at the conference table. • Diedre Henry, sales assistant • Diane Fox, registered sales assistant • Todd meets with his client to discuss a plan.

hours or more doing research the last time they bought a car, and 39% said they spent more than five hours exploring vacation possibilities. Meanwhile, a mere 11% said they spent that amount of time evaluating investment options for their 401(k). Around one-third said they spent less than one hour on investment research.* Seems a bit out of balance to me. “We just don’t slow down enough to do the really important work. If you want to retire at 65, you don’t start figuring that out at 60,” he said. “Thirty or forty, even before, is the right time to start planning, no matter your circumstances or goals. If you start early, most can retire at 65 and enjoy all their years.” Amazingly, for the average married couple, the majority at 65-years-old will retire with about $50K, plus Social Security…it’s scary. Todd Ashworth explained, “A lot of people have a 401(k) and life insurance, while planning on Social Security benefits to kick in, too. But, most don’t understand how it all works together.” The Renaissance team helps you look at it all—they assess your assets. How have they performed in the past? Are we on track going forward? Do you know what it takes to manage your money and help it last as long as you need it to? They help you understand how investing works, help you evaluate your risk tolerance, and explain to you just what that means. I learned this: if you’re a conservative investor, not interested 14


in taking too much risk, you’ll need to save more to achieve your goals. Makes sense, but alone, we might not plan it that way…it’s one area where a professional can guide you. WITH OR WITHOUT A PLAN, LIFE HAPPENS There are critical life hurdles we all experience, and a solid, modifiable financial plan keeps you moving through it all with your goals always in place. Areas that can impact your financial health might be career or marital changes, extended illness, death of a loved one, investing in your child’s, grandchildren’s, or even your own education, starting, buying or selling a business, managing your estate for future generations, or establishing a charitable giving plan. You don’t have to face these decisions alone. “We believe that three perspectives pooled together gives our clients an advantage. We’re not minute-to-minute with clients when it comes to stocks and bonds. Planning gives our clients longterm stability,” Beth explained. “What happens in the market, from one minute to the next, shouldn’t impact our long-term plan. We have incredible resources within the Raymond James organization to help us resolve our clients’ concerns and provide solutions. And, we work in tandem with your CPAs, attorneys, and other professionals, so we’re all on the same page. If everyone’s working toward the same goals…no surprises.” A TEAM YOU’LL RELATE TO Renaissance is a very successful family-run business. They know what family means. John “Bear” Watts and his bride of 47 years, master gardener Celeste, have four lively grandkids, from eight to two: Watts and Ivey Rogers, and Mackenzie and T.J. Ashworth. John is Beth’s dad, and Beth’s younger sister,

Kate, is Todd’s wife. Got it? When you’re in the office, any one of them will proudly show off family photos that clarify everything! “My perspective hasn’t really changed in my 44-year career in financial services,” John shared. “Our clients are the most important part of the business, and they are the heart of our work. I’ve opened accounts with both $25-a-month savers and investors who started by putting $250,000, or more, in my care. Most critical thing I do? I listen.” Beth is Mom to Watts, aviation and military enthusiast, and Ivey, a budding performer. Beth is married to attorney Matt Rogers, and the whole family enjoys walking, hiking, and special times at Lake James. “I work hard to help my clients see the Big Picture,” she shared. “I love helping others, guiding them on their path to financial freedom. The most rewarding part of my work? I educate.” Todd Ashworth joined John and Beth in mid-2009; he’s the newest financial advisor with Renaissance. He’s an outdoor enthusiast who loves to fish. His wife, Kate, is a physical therapy assistant, and their children are Mackenzie, who loves art and two-year-old T.J., who is into everything! “What I love most about my career? The opportunity to serve my clients and make a real impact in their lives.” GIVING BACK—COMMUNITY PARTNERS When I met these three amazing people, I took four pages of notes detailing their community and charitable work in the Hickory area. A more giving and committed family you will not find. From John’s work on city council and school board, his board of director roles at Hickory Community Theatre,

Catawba Arts Council, and Partnership for Children, to Todd’s service to Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center, Habitat for Humanity, and the Catawba County Chamber, and then Beth’s PTA work at Oakwood Elementary, SALT Block Foundation, and the Catawba Valley Community Foundation, they each serve generously. “We’ve worked with clients from all backgrounds, and we understand the challenges everyone faces and the values you cherish,” John said. “We may all be different, but everyone needs a lifelong financial plan to create security for today, tomorrow, and for whatever comes next.” Give these fine folks a call. You will be well served.

An Independent Firm

Renaissance Financial Partners is an independent firm. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC

1887 North Center Street Hickory, NC 28601 828-322-1111 • Any opinions are those of John Watts, Beth Watts Rogers, or Todd Ashworth and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Raymond James is not affiliated with any of the foundations or organizations mentioned in this article. Investing involves risk, and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. *Per HICKORY LIVING • JANUARY 2017






Photos: Left–Livanta Medical Center owners Dalan & Jennie Garcia

Opposite Page–Left to right: • Clients are excited to get on the scales when they are losing weight! • Dalan Garcia, PA-C, providing Botox therapy. • Jennie discusses achieving weight loss goals. After Dalan’s weight loss and lifestyle change, he and his wife, Jennie, decided they wanted to help others do the same. “Livanta is very personal to us,” Jennie said. “We saw how much this change benefited Dalan, and we wanted to offer the same kinds of results and satisfaction to others. We are not like other clinics; we want each patient to feel they are a part of the #LMC family.”

A New Year, A New You By Meredith Collins | Photos by Shane Greene Photography

With a new year come new year’s resolutions. Many people choose weight loss as a resolution, but unfortunately, after a short time, some will be back to their old habits. Instead of another year with another failed resolution, get the support system you need to succeed. In 2017, Livanta Medical Center wants to help you live happier, healthier. Owners Dalan and Jennie Garcia know first-hand what struggles you are going through. Dalan, an orthopedic physician’s assistant, has seen what obesity can do to your body and joints. Many 18


people struggle with chronic pain that usually coincides with obesity. “Not only am I the owner of Livanta Medical Center, but I am also a client,” Dalan said. “I have struggled with being overweight for several years and was looking for an effective way to lose weight. The Livanta HCG weight loss program was exactly what I needed. I lost 36 pounds in 30 days and I feel great. I have more energy, less joint pain and swelling, decreased blood pressure, and a better quality of life!”

Dalan and Jennie’s passion for this was so strong that they decided to leave their current jobs and unite forces to open Livanta Medical Center on December 5, 2016. Dalan Garcia, PA-C, is the practice provider bringing his orthopedic background, and Jennie is the weight loss consultant and counselor. “I’m the cheerleader,” Jennie said. “I’m the support group. I manage everyone’s progress and see patients for follow-ups. Our clients can contact me 24/7. We aren’t just available during business hours, but anytime, day or night.” Livanta provides free consultations to discuss an appropriate weight loss pro-

gram. From there, clients can purchase a package that best fits their weight loss goals and needs. The weight loss program includes treatments such as medical HCG injections, appetite suppressants, Lipo Plus B12 injections, nutritional counseling, and testosterone therapy.

sone injections, and lifestyle changes.

With Dalan’s background, he also provides pain management treatment options, including prescribing medications, physical therapy orders, corti-

It’s very personal for the Garcias. “We really want to be able to help others,” Jennie said. “We want this to be a personal experience. When you become

Dalan is also trained to provide Botox injections for aesthetics, as well as migraine headache treatments. “It really is a wellness center,” Jennie said. “We want to focus on all aspects of health so people can live happier, healthier.”

a patient at #LMC, you become part of our family. We are passionate about what we do, and helping others change their lives in the same way has changed ours.”

Livanta Medical Center 711 Fairgrove Church Rd SE #102, Conover, NC 828-482-1040 Find us on Facebook #LMC #LivantaMedical









What's Cooking?! Comfort Foods for Cold Weather

When the weather is cold, there is nothing like a hot meal. Warm soups and stews are great comfort foods and make perfect leftovers!

Stew Beef with Carrots and Potatoes

2 pounds of stew beef 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, divided 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon of salt ½ teaspoon of pepper 1 pound bag of baby carrots 4 large potatoes cubed into 1 inch pieces ¼ cup of flour Water


In a large pot, brown beef in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add enough water to more than cover beef by 1 inch. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and carrots. Bring to a boil. Cut heat to medium and lightly boil for 1 hour and 15 minutes, adding water as needed. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add flour, stirring constantly until brown. Add 1 cup of water to make a gravy, stirring continually until smooth. Add gravy and potatoes to beef stew and simmer another 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve in bowls with warm bread.

©Fudio | iStock | Thinkstock

Directions ©rez-art | iStock | Thinkstock

Don't waste your leftover rotisserie chicken! Use it to make chicken noodle soup!

Left-Over Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

Debone the remains of a rotisserie chicken, set meat aside and keep the bones and juices 2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced 2 stalks of celery, finely sliced ½ cup sugar ½ 12 ounce bag of No Yolks dumpling noodles ½ teaspoon of salt ¼ teaspoon of pepper ¼ teaspoon of dried basil

After you debone your rotisserie chicken, set meat aside. Throw the bones and juices into a stock pot. Add salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil and cook for 40 minutes. Strain the bones from the chicken stock and return the chicken stock to the pot. In a separate pot, boil water with salt for the dumpling noodles according to package. Add noodles, carrots and celery to the water and cook all at the same time. Drain. Add noodles, carrots, celery and chicken to the pot of chicken stock. Add dried basil and salt to taste. Heat and serve. HICKORY LIVING • JANUARY 2017






PIEDMONT PLASTIC SURGERY & DERMATOLOGY Proudly Welcomes Dr. Steven Siciliano! Along with Dr. Swank, other physicians at the Hickory/Tate Blvd. office include board-certified dermatologists Drs. Charles Johnson, Bethany Bergamo, and George Magel, and PA-Cs Casey Johnson and Jessica Curtis-Yount. Our newest PA-C is Michael Sabol, who joined us in November. Michael was previously associated with the Polley Clinic in Fayetteville, NC. PPSD has a second office in the Hickory/Viewmont area with board-certified dermatologists Dr. Dori Hunt and Dr. Jerry Pruitt. PPSD also has five additional offices in Gastonia, Charlotte, and Shelby. Pictured, left – Dr. Steven Siciliano and Dr. Gregory Swank, board-certified plastic surgeons • Above, Michael Sabol, PA-C Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology wants you to be healthy and comfortable in your own skin. Offering a unique approach to complete dermatologic, cosmetic, and plastic surgical care, PPSD is the only practice in the region where dermatology, Mohs surgery, and plastic surgery specialties are combined under one roof.

PPSD has several main areas of focus: Cosmetic Surgery By Karen Pressley | Photos by Shane Greene

Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology (PPSD) is excited to announce that Dr. Steven Siciliano, a board-certified plastic surgeon, has joined the Hickory/Tate Boulevard office. Dr. Siciliano has been practicing in Hickory for over 23 years at Hickory Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Center. Dr. Siciliano has extensive experience in all areas of plastic surgery with a special interest in surgery of the breast, including breast augmentation, reduction, and reconstruction after mastectomy. He also has expertise in body contouring and reconstruction of facial defects after skin cancer removal. Dr. Siciliano is well known in the area for the quality of care and the compassion he shows his patients. “We are proud to have Dr. Siciliano as the newest member of our team. He has been a member of the Hickory medical community for over 20 years,” said Dr. Gregory Swank. “Dr. Siciliano is very well respected and will bring an invaluable amount of experience and knowledge to the treatment of our patients.” 26


Breast Augmentation Breast Reduction Breast Lift Breast Reconstruction Facelift Liposuction Tummy Tuck Body Contouring

Dermatological Care Treatments for: Acne • Eczema • Dermatitis All forms of Skin Cancer

Cosmetic Dermatology Botox • Fillers • Laser Therapy Chemical Peels

Mohs Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is performed in their AAAASF-certified outpatient surgical suites. PPSD offers Vectra 3D Imaging, the newest technology allowing patients to preview how they will look with a variety of aesthetic procedures, particularly breast augmentation. The office is located at 315 19th Street SE in Hickory, NC. Visit to learn more or call 828-325-9849 to schedule your appointment.





Beating the Winter Blues By Lauren Davidson

©AlexRaths | iStock | Thinkstock

The holidays are over, and winter weather has fully set in. Mornings are cold and dreary, and your bed seems so warm and inviting, making it hard to set a productive start to your day. It’s easy to slip into a gloomy mood this time of year, but the sun will come out again! It’s important to keep your head up and your smile intact until spring rolls around again. Here are some things you can do to keep your spirits up: Look on the bright side. Sure, it may be cold and icy outside, but that doesn’t mean you’re trapped. Look at your home as an oasis instead. You can watch your favorite movies, make hot cocoa, or finally get around to reading that book you’ve been meaning to pick up. Get creative. I like to use these days as beauty days, and try out homemade masks and remedies. If you start to feel stir crazy on the weekends, go outside and take in the crisp, cold air. Maybe take a walk, skate, or if there is snow, make a snowman or go sledding.

Add thought to your emotions. It’s easy to become blue when you don’t see the sun for awhile. Sometimes, you just need to let it out. Put on a sad movie, get out the ice cream, and allow yourself to tear up. Don’t allow yourself to wallow, though. Another day grants a new opportunity to live the life you love. A day-to-day technique that can greatly help, even throughout the rest of the year, is meditation. There are free apps to delve into and many books. Even if you just start for five minutes a day, focusing on your breathing allows you to choose which thoughts you want to focus on throughout the rest of the day. By replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, it becomes a habit to be happy. Use this opportunity to clean up. Whether it’s people, situations, or clutter, take stock of what you need and what is holding you back. For example, if you’re waiting on that promotion but it would really help if you had a certain skill, start learning it. Nothing is holding you back from

learning something new, especially with the vast amount of free content on the Internet. You just have to have a cando attitude. When it comes to letting things go, sometimes it’s easier to start with physical belongings. Although spring is typically the time to clean, it’s a great time to get rid of all those unwanted items and clean out your junk drawer. A clean house will make you feel organized and capable. Count your blessings. If you have a roof over your head and a warm meal that you can count on, you are extremely fortunate. Think of those who don’t this time of year. Volunteering your services to those who need it will make you feel good and help others—try volunteering at a soup kitchen. Simply observing the needs of those around you is sure to help you discover opportunities where you can help. Being kind to others has a ripple effect. Try it.



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Welcome to Hickory Living Magazine's January issue. We invite you to read our cover story featuring Renaissance Financial Partners, and visi...

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