Lake Norman Woman Magazine March 2016

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for your guy




lkn MEN

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Flipping through channels the other night, I landed briefly on “The Bachelor.” Don’t you find it strange that millions of Americans tune in every week to watch a bevy of young women compete for the love and affection of a man whom none has ever met? Not only that, isn’t it bizarre that at the end of the season, if they haven’t been publicly rejected by then, two of the “lucky” gals compete head to head for the opportunity to spend the rest of her life with this stranger? If I’m being honest, much of my reason for disliking the show is because watching these desperate women suffer from mass embarrassment and public humiliation in order to win the affection of a good-looking guy reminds me a little too much of myself in my 20s. Over the years, I’ve done some crazy things for the men in my life (Brazilian waxes, juice cleanses, and Godfather marathons come to mind). But after just a few moments of watching the train wreck that is “The Bachelor,” I needed to make an appointment with my aesthetician for more Botox because of all the excessive cringing I was doing. I realize, of course, that reality TV isn’t real— “The Bachelor” is trying to make romance seem, at least for the viewers, magical and mystical (though I’m fairly certain that the bachelorette who performed the failed burlesque routine on the episode I watched would not agree). In my 20s, I didn’t have a clue, but thankfully, I think I’ve finally figured out what is truly magical and mystical about love. It’s not helicopter dives and cocktail parties. It’s not walks on a moonlit beach. It’s not even saying “I Do” in a romantic setting.

the benefit of the doubt and recognizing that nobody is perfect. It’s working together to make your home and marriage the best it can possibly be. It’s facing unforeseen challenges and problems that can only be overcome by trusting each other and working through. It’s cleaning the toilet, taking out the trash, doing the laundry, and mowing the lawn, even when you really don’t want to. It’s demanding jobs, not having enough time in the day, and conflicting schedules, but making time for one another anyway. It’s deciding to love even when you don’t feel very loving. It’s giving up a little bit of what you want so that you can put a smile on someone else’s face. The only magic and mystique on “The Bachelor” comes in the form of private jet rides to enchanted island dates or a surprise $100,000 necklace to wear to dinner. But true magic is out here in the real world. I find my husband extremely magical and mystical—and not just when he puts the seat down, lets me hold the remote control, or agrees with my opinions. He creates magical moments every day by recognizing my true nature and meeting my emotional needs so that I feel secure and self-assured. I’ll take that instead of a rose any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. This is our annual LKN Men! issue—and within, you’ll find the stories of some exciting local guys, as well as some fantastic husbands who, thanks to our readers’ suggestions, get a much-deserved pat on the back. Also, we owe a huge thank you to Stein Mart in Cornelius for providing the fashions for our men— they look great!


Magical and mystical is supporting each other’s dreams. It’s giving each other




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MARCH 2016







in every issue 42 5 TH I N G S TO




LKN Men Apps For Guys


Fantastic Husbands


LKN MEN: Dr. Wissam Nadra


LKN MEN: Kent Pike


LKN MEN: Bill Baity


LKN MEN: Dr. Steven Austin


LKN MEN: David Traugott


LKN MEN: Chris Durant


LKN MEN: Dr. Matthew Zimmerman


LKN MEN: Dr. Todd Hamilton

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LKNW STAFF’S: How Have You Been Influenced By A Man, To Whom You Are Not Related?


How To Select Your Guy’s Tie


How Should A Sofa Fit?


Making Decisions And Sparing A Meltdown


Train Travel: An American Adventure


MIND BODY SPIRIT: Praying Is Believing

Thank you to Courtney O’Leary & Tina Westphal at Stein Mart in Cornelius for providing terrific fashions for our featured men. And thank you to Stein Mart’s Jamilla & Dani for styling during the shoot. Stein Mart is located at 20601 Torrence Chapel Rd.You may reach them at 704.895.8477 for information about any of the styles you see in this issue.

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w How have you been influenced by a man, to whom you are not related?




While many may think of Jimmy Buffett’s songs as drunken debauchery and careless escapism, it is not. He has taught me to live live life with laughter, love, and a heart full of appreciation. He Som saved me thousands e o m f i a of dollars in therapy, g t’s i c of ; s LOL! I want my om it but ’s tra e headstone to read: good I had gic; ‘Some of it’s magic; a l some of it’s tragic; the ife al but I had a good way l ! life all the way!’”


“My very first boss taught me a lot about customer and employer-employee relations by showing me what not to do. I worked in his shoe store for only five months, but that time remains fresh in my memory because of all the tears and frustration I experienced. He was a bully and overly critical, so the work environment was ripe with mistrust and fear among his employees.” S T E P H A N I E S U L L I VA N

“When I was in Le Cordon Blue Culinary Institute, I was around mostly men. I was really nervous as I was choosing my externship—I felt like I wasn’t going to fit in. But these chefs made me feel I could do anything they could; and they encouraged me to go to one of the biggest externships, Boca Raton Resort and Club in Florida.” C H E LS E A B R E N

“As a lifelong soccer player, I’ve been coached by a lot of men. One in particular, Coach Anthony Baez, gave me my first opportunity on an ‘All-Star’ team. His belief and encouragement for a rising 8-year-old soccer player propeled my own confidence, and ultimately, my soccer career.” AMY HALLMAN

“Grand Oak Elementary School principal ‘Mr. G.,’ AKA Ray Giovanelli, gives me faith in our education system. I’ve seen him not only go out of his way for my son, but also encourage and inspire many other children (on the bball court and in school), teachers, and parents. That’s not easy to do!” ELIZABETH BUEHLER

“I’ve been volunteering at the hospice home, Serenity House, in Mooresville for over a year and a half. One of the nurses, Jack Sanlstad, inspired me to become CNA-I certified. He gave me confidence in my abilities.”


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apps for


can still find some men to be somewhat of a mystery—too bad there’s not an app for that! But we found some apps that we thought most fellas out there would enjoy. These useful, fun, and free apps (some do have in-app purchases) are available for all major mobile devices. A D M I T T E D LY, W E W O M E N

SAS SURVIVAL GUIDE This app not only contains the full text of bestselling book by former soldier and survival instructor John “Lofty” Wiseman, it also has survival tip videos, photos of edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants, animal tracks, snakes (and more!), Morse Code signaling device, sun compass, extreme climate survival guide, comprehensive First Aid section, and a search tool, among other features. This app costs $5.99, but there is a free “bare bones” version called SAS Survival Guide—Lite.

GOLF GPS & SCORECARD: SWING-BYSWING GOLF With a digital scorecard for every course in the world, this free mobile


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golf app has a GPS rangefinder that gives you distance to center of green and indicates obstacles on the course. You can check wind speeds, elevations, actual and “plays like” distances, and more. With an in-app purchase, you can track fairways hit, sand shots, and penalties, and also track each of your club’s distances and stats.

WEBER’S GRILLS Gentlemen, start your grills! This app, which also works on your Apple Watch, offers 250+ recipes with full-color photos, grilling tips and guides. With this app, you can even set multiple timers for various foods, which is critical for grilling pros. With cuts of meats, marinades, rubs, knife skills—and even grocery lists—this app is all you need.

MEN’S HEALTH FITNESS TRAINER The free version of this app includes videos and step-by-step instructions of 1000 exercises. Upgraded versions, via in-app purchases, include nutritional and training tips, saved workouts, and individualized-routines capability.

UNTAPPD: DISCOVER BEER Beer lovers unite! Share the craft of brew making, or discover local ales and pubs. Untappd offers beer recommendations based on your and your friends’ profiles. Another fun feature, this app lets you earn a certain number of “badges” for trying new and unique brews.

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We have proof! Chivalry and romance aren’t dead—they’re alive and well, right here in Lake Norman. We asked you to tell us about your fantastic husbands, and you responded with nominating essays that were heartfelt, thoughtful, and appreciative. We wish all our couples many more years of wedded bliss! JASON & AMBER


“Jason has made married life better than I ever dreamed it could be! He is so thoughtful—always willing to help with household chores and proactively fix whatever needs attention without me having to remind him. He works full time, has several side businesses, and does so much to provide for our family so I can stay at home with our two boys. Somehow he still manages to make time for us! I love how actively he pursues Christ and all he has done to help and encourage my personal walk with the Lord. Jason truly takes his role as spiritual head of our household seriously and he is someone I am so proud to follow.”


ECKLES “Many have asked me if running a business with my husband is difficult; and while it has its moments, my husband makes the season that we are in right now—building our brand— the most fun that we have had to date! He empowers me by allowing me to build the vision of our business, Clean Juice, while encouraging me with endless support. He has made my dream become a reality, and he works with unwavering determination to now turn that reality into a success. More importantly, he is God fearing, leading our family in our walk with the Lord, and he loves our four children fiercely. I am blessed to have this strong, driven man by my side!”


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© Ian Andreiev |

c i t s a t FHUaSnBANDS

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BRAWLEY “Almost 44 years ago, I signed up for the most exciting life any woman could have asked for—I married my husband C. Robert Brawley! Any marriage has its ups and downs, but I can honestly say my husband has been a man of more ups than anything else. He is a man of great integrity and honesty, a husband and father who stands behind his family 100%. He has always been a great provider, a true partner in rearing our children and grandchildren, and he never forgets our birthdays or our anniversary! God has always been first in his life, then family and community. How does one describe an outstanding husband who has countless honors heaped upon him over the years for all his hard work? Wonderful!”




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“Above all, Jason loves the Lord. He lives his life to honor God and those around him. This is evident in every part of his life. At home, he is a leader of faith, a champion for my success as a business owner and mother, and a superhero to his two young boys. He shows us what love is— that it is an action or a decision, not only an emotionally driven feeling. Jason and I are partners in life, and he builds me up, so we can both be our best for our boys. He thrives in his role of "Daddy." He routinely gets the boys up and ready for school every morning. He enjoys coaching their ball teams, nightly wrestling matches, and bedtime stories. They have the best role model of a good man in Jason, and I have the best friend.”

“Danny is the best husband in Lake Norman for so many reasons. After 10 years of marriage, he is still my best friend. His laid-back personality is a nice dichotomy to mine, and he is always ready to have a good time. I call him the “Karaoke King” because he is a great singer; Elvis and Bon Jovi are his go-to artists for his basement performances. His entrepreneurial spirit pushed me to purchase my practice, Lake Norman Eye Care. As the owner of Harris Alarms, he is also an entrepreneur. His job is more flexible than mine, which allows me to run my business and know that our 8-yearold son is well taken care of. He even coaches his basketball team. Not only is he a wonderful husband, he is an awesome father. I’m so lucky to have him as my husband!”






“Austin is from New Orleans and lived there until he was 15, when Hurricane Katrina hit. He and his family lost everything. His aunt, who lives in Lake Norman, took them in and local churches donated clothes and supplies. Yet, he stayed positive. He joined the East Lincoln football team and became center captain. As a student, he won the Mustang Award and the Citizen Award. He has worked at Safari Miles Restaurant for 10 years and has regular clients who come into the restaurant just to hear his contagious laugh! Hurricane Katrina created a humility in his heart that will never fade; his joy is to see others happy. He is an outstanding husband. He’s made me a better person and brought out many good traits in me that I didn’t know I had. He has always shown me nothing but love!”



“Mitch is my rock. I am extremely blessed and​very​spoiled to have such an incredible man in my life. We recently welcomed our first child, Bowen, and at the same time, Mitch opened up his own chiropractic office. This was a huge, simultaneous undertaking, and Mitch has never wavered. Even with his busy schedule, he finds the time to make dinner from scratch almost every night and then omelets and pancakes on the weekends, too! No matter how exhausted he may be, he always offers to help with Bowen, whether it’s changing diapers, feeding, bathing, or playing. He’s a great husband, too. He always stays positive even on the roughest days, always reminding me and encouraging me to take time for myself, making me feel beautiful. He amazes me every day with how much he can accomplish, while still being the most amazing husband and daddy!”


BLITSTEIN “Bryan brings us balance. He is a phenomenal surgeon, an outstanding father to two teenage boys and twin 3-year-old girls, and an awesome husband. We decided seven years ago to expand our family, but it was a long journey. After three years, we were blessed with twin girls. Having twins was a surprise, but he couldn’t be happier now that he has two beautiful girls to balance out our two sons. He makes it a point to spend time with the kids every evening, doing homework, riding bikes, even playing dollhouse with the girls. He also makes sure that he tucks them all in for bed. He also sets aside at least one evening a week for date night with me to keep our relationship alive. He’s an awesome husband and dad because he never gives up, he never complains, and he adds balance to our lives!”

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deciding how warmly to dress the kids, what to do about that not-so-happy client, whether or not to sign up for that training course, when will be a good time to visit the in-laws, where the family vacation should be this year, whether or not the budget will even allow for a family vacation, when you will find the time to write up that employee, whether or not to increase your pricing….


You’ve spent all day making decisions about your clients, your family, your friends, your business, your pets. So, when your man comes home from work, beaming and says, “What’s for dinner?”…you lose it. Like, totally lose it.

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It’s a simple question, really. It’s fair. But, the thought of making one more decision, regardless of how small just makes you blow your top. Now the hubs looks confused, wondering what he’s done, and the tone is now set for an unpleasant evening. Women are hardwired to be excellent multitaskers. The problem is that while we can juggle 37 things at one time, each little performance wreaks havoc on our stress levels. Some hide it better than others, some are constantly on edge, and some revel in it. But at some point, it inevitably builds until a simple posed question is the dart in our balloon. Let’s try to avoid the meltdown: T ELL YO U R S I G N I F I C A N T O T H ER W H AT YO U N EED.

He may not see your stress-limit warning signs, and it isn’t fair to expect him to know something if you aren’t willing to tell them. Men are great problem solvers, so if deciding what’s for dinner keeps you from boiling over, he may just go one step further and order takeout! P L A N A H E A D.

And, not just dinner. If you can spend a few minutes planning out your day, your week, your menu, then you eliminate that decision making, as it’s already been done. F O C U S O N W H AT ’ S I M P O RTA N T.

It’s often hard to do, but use this little trick: imagine your life in one year. Will this decision make an impact on your family or business? If it won’t, it isn’t worth the stress.

Our best times should be spent with the ones we love, so when the stress of decision making interferes, it’s time to change strategies. It is unrealistic to say you’ll never have days when one more decision sends you over the edge; but for those days, employ a backup plan (AKA a drawer full of menus).


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Tammi Murphy is the owner of Blarney Stone Marketing and Design and For more information about social media, sales, and marketing strategies or design, contact her at 704.584.9505 or visit

© Onigiriwords |

Making Decisions AND Sparing A Meltdown

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in which it’s easy to get lost and disoriented. But not for Dr. Wissam Nadra of Lakeshore Pediatric Center—he lives life more as if it’s a labyrinth. There are no wrong turns in a labyrinth, only a definitive starting point with one path to follow. Even if it isn’t straight, the path will eventually lead you to where you’re supposed to be.

Dr. Nadra’s pathway to pediatrics had an unlikely genesis: From ages 5 to 11, he was a child celebrity in Dubai, hosting a children’s TV program. During this time, he met children from all over the world, many of whom were affected physically and psychologically by discord within their homelands. Because of this experience, he decided to help children overcome illness and strife—pediatrics seemed the logical route. “My job is fun because I truly can make a difference,” he explains. “I understand it’s not funny being sick, but children generally have disease processes that respond to therapies and get better!”

A G E : 52 HOUSEHOLD: Wife Widad, daughter Nahi (14), sons Edouard (13) and Nicolas (7), & mother Najia LKN TOWN: Denver

With medical school as the ultimate goal, science classes filled Dr. Nadra’s curriculum early on. However, as often happens in labyrinths, he circled back to his beginning. He performed in his high school dance troupe and relied on the arts to help him through the rigorous work of post-graduate studies. “If it weren’t for drama and voice classes—to cut the monotony—I may not have gone to medical school!” he asserts. Dr. Nadra faced a grave obstacle along his journey with the death of his father. Fortunately, his mother, along with his aunts, kept him on track. His mom was left to raise three teenage boys, with the much-appreciated love, affection, and financial support of her sisters. “If it weren’t for my mom’s perseverance, love, and hard work, we wouldn’t be the successful men we are today,” Dr. Nadra says. “I am lucky to still have these wonderful women today. Because of them, my love and respect for all women is infinite.” Perhaps that is why Dr. Nadra is a good listener and knows how to make patients at ease. He adjusts his approach according to the patient and listens for both verbal and nonverbal clues. “I like to kneel and examine infants while they’re on their parent’s lap so they feel they’re in a position of power,” he notes. “As patients get older, we talk about toys and phone apps or about movies and sports, things of interest to them.” And perhaps his patients can read the children’s book he plans to write one day—that is, when his path turns him back toward the arts. Life’s pathway is rarely straight, and its winding roads seldom reveal the final destination. But just ask Dr. Nadra; if you stay the course, it will take you to the place you need to be. BY: DANA NIETERS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN


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DR. WISSAM nadra

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WHEN KENT PIKE WAS 18 YEARS OLD, his mom was diagnosed with cancer. Kent already shared his mother’s tenacity, zest for life, and faith; but in watching his mother go through this journey, he found strength. I noticed above everything else that she had an incredible will to survive. She could not be beaten,” Kent says. “God is my true north. He has a plan for all of us. It’s not up to me, but I know I have to take every day and make it the best I can. I am here for a reason.” A self-proclaimed people person, Kent says he is happiest when helping others and, because of that, his profession sort of found him. Even in elementary school, he was chosen to be a “buddy for kids” for those with mental and physical disabilities. “I realized early on,” Kent shares, “that just a simple smile or talking to someone could change his life.” That innate respect for others shines in his professional life as well. Kent has received several national awards and finished in the top three in both health and Medicare agents in the nation; he has also been the top agent in the state for the past four years. “I am a humble guy providing for my family,” Kent smiles. “My greatest reward is giving them all the opportunities they want.” Kent also has that mindset with his clients: “I know how all these crazy laws work. I do my homework so clients don’t have any surprises. I ask questions and design a plan for each individual—not only for health but for financial futures as well.” Kent grew up in Lenoir, and attended Appalachian State University where he met Joanna. With an interest in radio, Kent worked for a station in Philadelphia after college but eventually returned home. “I came back, paid my dues, and ended up in advertising sales and management at CBS Radio in Charlotte,” he says. “As the economy changed, so did that industry.” In 2012, Kent became an independent broker for Health Markets, located in Mooresville. Even though Kent works long hours, he gets to enjoy an occasional hunting trip and plan family vacations. “We love the Disney cruises,” he says, “and we try to do that every year. Also, working with Health Markets, I have been awarded trips to Hawaii and Cancun the last two years.”

A G E : 36 HOUSEHOLD: Wife Joanna, daughters Abby (9) and Taylor (7) LKN TOWN: Mooresville

With a grateful attitude and a caring heart, Kent acknowledges his blessings and truly embraces life. Whether it’s helping someone prepare for her future or taking his family to the beach, Kent’s advice to himself might bode well for us all— “Keep your mouth shut and listen, let people tell you what they want, and help them find it.” BY: LESLIE OGLE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN


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BILL baity BILL BAITY IS A MAN OF MANY TALENTS. For one, he has an essential skill for excelling as a criminal defense attorney: intuitiveness. Bill has a sixth sense when it comes to understanding how various personalities think. “Most attorneys fail to understand how everyday people think,” Bill explains. “Yes, an attorney has to be scholarly in the technical aspects of a case, but a good attorney has to be able to guide others in visualizing the evidence and understanding why that evidence—or the lack thereof—warrants a verdict of not guilty.” Because his mother worked in the legal system nearly his entire life, Bill began honing his intuitive skills as a child, growing up around the Iredell County court system. He has now been practicing law—and mastering that instinct—for 19 years: “I enjoy helping people navigate one of the lowest points in their lives. And because I understand the criminal court system very well and appreciate the respect of my colleagues, I am able to skillfully navigate it and deal with all the various personalities, while advocating for my clients’ rights.” And make no mistake, Bill’s priority throughout the process is his clients. Understanding that they are in a stressful situation, he strives to treat them how he would want to be treated if the tables were turned. “If you do not develop a comfort level and sense of confidence in your attorney’s ability to handle your case, then you need to seek other counsel,” he advises. In addition to the courtroom, Bill also knows his way around the kitchen. Just out of high school, Bill attended Johnson and Wales University (then located in Charleston, South Carolina) with plans to become a professional chef. As often happens in life, Bill’s journey eventually took him in a different direction, but his culinary skills have not gone unnoticed among his colleagues: “I’m the go-to person for party ideas and recipes!” Bill says. Bill has another talent—a quite unexpected one at that. He has been trained as a layman to do eye exams. Bill uses this skill on mission trips (So far, he’s been to Kenya and Honduras) as a team member of his church’s mission outreach program. On these trips, he tests and fits with eyeglasses patients who otherwise would not have access to optometric services. More importantly, Bill provides his patients with a new outlook on life. Bill plans to return to Kenya in June to once again help others who are facing trying circumstances—which, of course, is how he spends much of his work day in the Lake Norman area. The people he helps both as an attorney and on his mission trips couldn’t ask for a better prepared advocate, though. His father instilled in him the understanding that all that was required to turn vinegar into lemonade was hard work—yet another skill that Bill has mastered. BY: DANA NIETERS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN


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A G E : 47 HOUSEHOLD: Chocolate-colored cat named Hershey LKN TOWN: Troutman




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DR. STEVEN austin


is a greater staff,” Dr. Steve Austin, of Austin Orthodontics in Denver and in Lincolnton, says. “My team treats each patient as their own child.” The future Dr. Austin grew up outside Lincolnton. “I gravitated to the sciences in college, double-majoring in biology and chemistry and minoring in mathematics,” he says. “My senior year, I decided to pursue dentistry and specialize in orthodontics, eventually earning a doctorate in dental surgery and a master’s in orthodontics. During residency, I taught and worked in the dental facial deformities clinic helping children with cleft lips and palates.” He adds: “I think I always knew I wanted to be an orthodontist, but the thought of eleven years of post-high-school education was sometimes overwhelming!” Dr. Austin is board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, and is a member of the Gaston Dental Society, where he served as president from 2013 to 2014. And he’s also involved with the community. In 2011, he was named Rotary Club of Lincolnton’s Rotarian of the Year (He currently serves as past-president.). “This service organization allows me to serve in a capacity I couldn’t have imagined,” he explains. To be part of an organization that will eradicate polio from the Earth and help millions obtain clean water among other projects is humbling. Locally, our Auction for Education has funded millions of dollars for students. As auction chair, I had the distinct honor to help raise over $100,000 for county students.” Dr. Austin also served on the Lincoln County Coalition Against Child Abuse and Child Advocacy Center board, and has been its president. Dr. Austin helped start the North Carolina PANDA project (Preventing Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness). “We funded two individuals’ training to teach dental practitioners and staffs to recognize signs of human trafficking and abuse and neglect in children, adults, and the elderly,” he says. “With the help of the Center’s current director, Sherry Reinhardt, we qualified for a Rotary Foundation grant to begin this important project. Every 33 seconds, a child becomes a victim of abuse or neglect. It’s our responsibility to protect all our children, to save every child.”

A G E : 47 HOUSEHOLD: Wife Shannon, daughter Halle-Grace (8) LKN TOWN: Denver & Lincolnton

In his spare time, Dr. Austin enjoys fishing competitively. “It can be difficult to win, but it’s always a great time,” he laughs. “Everyone practices catch-and-release to preserve our fishery. My Denver office displays replicas of many fish I’ve caught, measured, and released all over the world. One particular Galapagos Islands Striped Marlin weighing just under 300 pounds broke my rod, but we still tagged and released this beauty.” Later this month, Dr. Austin will add husband—and father—to his title. He is marrying Shannon Cornwell. Also, he will become an instant father, to a girl he affectionately calls “Miss Magic.” Shannon’s daughter, Halle-Grace, was adopted from North Vietnam before she was a year old. “Halle-Grace is the most amazing young lady,” he gushes. “Both have my heart and soul; I’m so blessed to have them in my life.” BY: AMY HALLMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN


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to the Lake Norman area two years ago when he became the owner of State Farm Insurance and Financial Services in Mooresville. He did not always live in the Tarheel state, though. After majoring in finance at University of Central Florida, David attended seminary. He was a pastor for 11 years. Throughout his pastorship, David also found that he enjoyed helping people with their finances. It was the best of both worlds.

When his wife, Kelly, became ill, they left Florida for Arizona, so Kelly could receive treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. Meanwhile, David started working at State Farm, and was still able to minister through his work. He connected with his clients’ needs, recognizing that no matter your profession, people still need your help.

A G E : 36 H O U S E H O L D : Wife Kelly; daughters Alyssa (12), Meredith (11), and Brooklyn (9); and son Isaac (5) LKN TOWN: Mooresville

Strength and endurance are other qualities someone needs during trying times. They also make for a pretty great insurance and financial services agent, who must be able to connect with clients. When he was 21, David lost his brother, Daniel, who was just 13. And, recently, his sister lost a daughter. These tragedies have strengthened David’s compassion for others. “If someone has to use their insurance, it’s because one of the worst moments in life has happened,” David says. His job requires that he be invited into sensitive, overwhelming and sometimes, delicate situations, and he is there to care for his clients in their time of need. David is an advocate for his clients. “The biggest question in your mind is whether your agent is recommending what is best for me or for his commission structure,” he says. “I make it clear to all my employees that we are there to assist clients at the worst of times; and the company is not there to put the employee first.” David’s commitment for helping others emulates the devotion he has in all aspects of his life. Outside work, he can be found enjoying the outdoors. He was an Eagle Scout and still goes on backpacking trips with friends in the Appalachian Mountains. David has brought his love of the outdoors to his family. They all have their own paddleboards and often go out on the lake together. The Traugott family loves to camp and hike, too. His family is also heavily involved with Life Fellowship Church in Davidson. Kelly and David were high school sweethearts. He told her father when he was only 16 that he wanted to marry her. “Just because you are older does not necessarily mean you are wiser,” David says, who works in the office with his wife. “Being older wouldn’t change my mind. Older folks often tell young people ‘You’re too young to understand love.’ But we both just knew.” The couple married four years later and never looked back. Together, they work in the office and also at home with their four children. BY: ELIZABETH BUEHLER | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN

MARCH 2016 |




“BRINGING PEOPLE HOME” describes Chris Durant’s mission in life—whether it’s through his real estate business, Real LKN Living, or via SEAL Swim Charities (SSC), where he serves as executive director and pledges much of his passion. “Swim Charities is a 501(c)3 foundation that serves as the parent/ umbrella for our mission and numerous events,” Chris explains. “At the center is our flagship event—the LKN Navy SEAL Swim, now in its fourth year. For anyone looking to get involved, we have many volunteer opportunities. And for anyone who’d like to ‘Swim with the SEALs’ we have a 1.2-mile community leg on July 15, this year. Last year, we were joined by 35 civilians.” Much like the veterans they help, SSC’s mission is strong and unwavering: To serve those who served us. “I met a young Army veteran two years ago,” Chris shares. “His story—where he had come from, what he had experienced, the turmoil and pain that he had suffered—changed my life. It made me realize that we (SSC) could make a potentially life-or-death difference in veterans’ lives. I want to help grow SSC into a national foundation, expanding our ability to heal and save veterans who suffer in their daily lives.” It is a fact that more military personnel die by suicide than from combat. SSC aims to stop that. The nonprofit was created to raise awareness and funds to help veterans cope with the very real, and often devastating, aftermath of returning home. One-hundred percent of net funds go to veteran programs.

CHRIS durant A G E : 47 HOUSEHOLD: 1-year-old Pitbull rescue, Mac LKN TOWN: Denver


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Swim Charities is also able to touch lives of others within the community. Recently, in a rare situation, local teen B.J. Correll, who is battling leukemia for the second time, became an Honorary SEAL. “One of our SEALs spearheaded this effort,” Chris says. “Through time spent with B.J. and his family and understanding his struggle and his strength, it became clear that he, at 14, already exhibits many characteristics of a U.S. Navy SEAL. That is as real as it gets.” Although Chris grew up in Gainesville, Florida, he has called Lake Norman home since 2009. Through Real LKN Living, Chris is able to further the cause of aiding vets and other public safety personnel. His Military and Public Safety Incentive Program is another facet of his commitment to those who protect us and our way of life. “We return 15 percent of our gross commission back to qualifying military and public safety clients,” Chris says, “and we will give an additional five percent to SSC.” Chris’ enthusiasm to keep “bringing people home” is inspiring. “Life is full of ups and downs but at the end of it all, if you focus on the ‘ups’ you realize exactly how blessed you are,” he says. “I look forward to the mystery of tomorrow and making the absolute most of it.” Follow B.J. Correll’s story at “Cure for BJ Round 2” on Facebook. BY: LESLIE OGLE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN

MARCH 2016 |




DR. MATTHEW zimmerman

WHEN YOU ASK DR. ZIMMERMAN about his life, a large smile emerges on his face. While much of that joie de vivre can be attributed to the love and commitment he has for his work and his patients, his children are always at the heart of it.

“My life can be broken down into two things,” Dr. Zimmerman says. “My obsession with health and chiropractic care and the depth of love I have for my children—my kids are my life.” Originally from Winter Park, Florida, Dr. Zimmerman attended Florida State University; he later transferred to Life College (now Life University) in Georgia to pursue his chiropractic degree after his brother urged him to attend a seminar. “I attended this conference,” he recalls, “and I was immediately struck by how positive, healthy, happy, and grounded all these people were. I knew from that moment what I wanted to do. You have to have passion to fuel the fire, and I found my passion that day.” After growing a successful business in Charleston, South Carolina, a North Carolina friend suggested he look into the Lake Norman area, and it only took one drive through Davidson to know he was home. “What an incredible place,” he smiles. “My kids and I are very athletic and we love the outdoors, so this area is perfect for us; the entire state is one big playground. And you never meet a stranger … seems everyone is your friend here.” Nearly 20 years in the business, the doctor is loving life and embracing all it has to offer. With a Certified Chiropractic Extremities Practitioner, Dr. Zimmerman is able to work on athletes—from NFL to NASCAR. He also devotes a lot of time to wellness and chiropractic for children through his Chiro Kids program. “I just adore the children,” he shares. “We had this one child who was just 4 months old and was always leaning his head to the side. The top bone of his spine had shifted during birth, so we gently put it back into place. Right there in front of the mother, the baby raised his head for the first time. We were all bawling!”

A G E : 45 HOUSEHOLD: Daughter Bella (14), son Jack (12), & Black Lab Dave (4) LKN TOWN: Davidson


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The importance of family certainly shows in Dr. Zimmerman’s practice and in his everyday life. He just wants to educate and help people become healthy, happy individuals. From newborns to 90, he strives to send the message health by choice, not by chance. When asked the question, “What do you know for sure?” he humbly says: “I know that the power that made the body heals the body; and I know that I love my children.” BY: LESLIE OGLE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN

We want your child to be as comfortable with us as you are! Drs. Benson and Malloney are Board Certified Pediatricians dedicated to offering the highest level of pediatric care. • Routine health maintenance for healthy children • Providing a medical home for children with complex health conditions and/or who are medically fragile • Diagnosing and treating childhood illnesses • Sports and back to school physicals • Managing the physical, mental and emotional well-being of patients in every stage of development


S. René Benson, MD, FAAP Stephen J. Malloney, DO, FAAP Pediatrics

Accepting New Patients & Most Insurances

128 Medical Park Road, Suite 200 Mooresville, NC 28117 704.696.2085 MARCH 2016 |





Taking on difficult situations. Collaboration. Seeing the big picture. Thinking on your feet. Creative. Fun loving. Energetic. These are all certainly characteristics that Dr. Todd Hamilton possesses, and more importantly, embraces every day in his work at Hamilton Orthodontics in Denver. After 30 years of doing orthodontics and with cutting-edge technology and an experienced team, creating beautiful smiles is the easiest thing he does each day. “The day is fun, challenging and productive,” he says. It’s easy to see why patients have fun at Hamilton Orthodontics. The office has a video game room, a children’s play area “Norman’s Nook,” iPads, and a 180-gallon saltwater fish tank. They also hold fun contests to keep patients motivated. This work environment is perfect for Dr. Hamilton’s personality, as well. “I’m a little ADD and in orthodontics no two days are alike. Each patient’s needs are different, so I have to be able to shift gears quickly. Part of the fun is seeing our patients regularly and connecting with what is happening in their lives. I am able to go from patient to patient throughout the day, shifting gears, and making those connections. I love my job and never dread going to work. It’s hard to call something you love to do ‘work.’” Dr. Hamilton gets his love for his profession naturally. Growing up the son of an orthodontist, he knew from an early age that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. “I saw firsthand his love for his patients, his community, and doing orthodontics,” he recalls. “I’ve never regretted my decision. It has allowed me to give back to the community in ways that are very rewarding. I especially love supporting the local schools. Where better to invest than in the education of the next generation?” Orthodontics is not Dr. Hamilton’s only love, though, and not even a close runner-up to the most important: his wife. “I married the love of my life,” he says. He and Betsy have been married for 34 years and have three grown children and three grandchildren. A self-described homebody, it is with Betsy that Dr. Hamilton enjoys spending his time when he is not working. “We’re best friends and who better to marry than your best friend?” he asks. Dr. Hamilton attributes to his marital happiness active listening and being intentional in his loving well daily. Spending time together occasionally involves overseas travel. In 2014, they traveled to Israel; and this year, they will travel to Turkey, Greece, and Rome to follow the apostle Paul’s missionary journeys. Dr. Hamilton does have one other love: his orthodontic team: “I have four team members who have been with me over 27 years, and they anchor the rest of the team. I believe that how I take care of my team is reflected in how they take care of our patients. We’re not just in the orthodontic business; we’re in the people business. We all love to do life together.” BY: DANA NIETERS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN


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A G E : 57 HOUSEHOLD: Wife Betsy, and dog Bentley LKN TOWN: Denver

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MARCH 2016 |





Your Guy’s Tie W E A L L K N O W T H AT A C C E S S O R I E S can make or break an outfit. With men, it’s no different. One important men’s accessory is the initial focal point of his entire ensemble. And if it’s too long, too short, too wide, or too garish, all the other pieces will suffer. It’s the necktie, a deceivingly simple piece of cloth, which can determine your guy’s look. A tie breaker, if you will.

Men’s ties are no longer an easy gift to just pick up any more. Back in the day, men’s suits and the coordinating dress shirts were basically the same. Only the color—or the occasional addition of a pinstripe—would vary. Now, with nearly every fabric at their disposal, designers’ imaginations are the only limit. Consider these points when choosing a tie for your man:

$$ What’s his style? Is he a traditional

What’s your budget? Depending on the brand, the fabrics, and the stores carrying them, the price range can be staggering. Do your research first, and then go to the store and actually touch the ties. If it feels rough to your fingertips, image how it will feel knotted around your guy’s throat.

What’s the point? Are you trying to

What kind? The tie fabric should complement the shirt material. Solid colors and simple stripes work well with formal suits. If your guy only wears synthetic shirts, a designer tie, while nice, may have the opposite effect: it can make the cheaper shirt more noticeably cheap. These days, bow ties are all the rage. They can be elegant or festive. But they can be very tricky to tie. If you plan to buy one that fastens (rather than actually ties), check for well-constructed hooks. If the tie sags, all hope is lost.

What’s the occasion? Not for the

Are you out of options? If you’re

Johnston & Murphy type, or would he be able to rock the Psycho Bunny brand? Would he want to? You can select all the eye-catching patterns you want, but at the end of the day, he’s the one who’s got to wear it—and feel comfortable doing it.


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gift giving but for the tie itself. Holiday ties are limiting. And just because your son’s kindergarten teacher wears a tie doesn’t mean he wants to fasten some unbreathable, scratchy material tightly around his neck with a large crayoncolored pattern emblazoned across it. Or his favorite baseball team.

buy a tie that works for every season? Does he flash his summer style in a seersucker suit? Or does your guy only have a “funeral suit” that really works best in the winter months? It helps to know what’s in his closet before you hit the store; don’t assume.

buying a tie because you know nothing else to buy this man, perhaps reconsider—or at least include a gift receipt.

© Taigis |



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MARCH 2016 |




© Candybox Images |



AN AMERICAN ADVENTURE! T H E R E ’ S S O M E T H I N G A B O U T T R A I N S —guys just love them! Perhaps it’s the hours they spent as youths building their Lionel sets and getting lost in the dream, the adventure. With an Amtrak station in downtown Charlotte, traveling by train offers a unique and cost-effective alternative to yearly beach trips. There are even discounts for kids, seniors, military, and students. So next time you want to surprise your family, check out the rails!

Amtrak’s Carolinian train will take you to New York’s Penn Station with stops in Raleigh, Richmond, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. With a café car, Wi-Fi, and other amenities, you can find roundtrip tickets for under $200. If you are really up for an adventure, travel crosscountry. You can select trips, such as the Sierra Nevadas, the Rocky Mountains, or the Grand Canyon. With many routes to choose from, you can select your stopovers, as well. We are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad ( will show you that firsthand. Roundtrip excursions leave from Bryson City, and the train journeys through the stunning North Carolina terrain. Various event packages also include rafting adventures or gourmet food and wine trips. Prices and schedules vary, depending on the excursions and time of year.


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For more information on train travel, visit the American Automobile Association at or Amtrak at | MARCH 2016

MARCH 2016 |




How should a sofa BY: STARR MILLER

I H AV E T H E B E S T H U S B A N D .

He’s kind, funny, generous—and very handsome! When we married, he came with all the typically manly items: a glass and travertine coffee table, a TV, a bottle of good Scotch, golf clubs, and a long saddleback leather sofa. Sound familiar?

We were young and just getting started, so that sofa stayed with us for quite a few years. Thank goodness he’d bought one well-made and covered in a high-grade leather. For his new sofa he has the following checklist: Comfortable and long enough to lie down on. Give him leather, and I earn bonus points! Starr Miller is the president and principal designer at StarrMiller Interior Design, Inc. Contact her at 704.896.3321 or visit


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H E RE I S MY CH E CKLI S T: Outside Width = 105” maximum for our space I measured the space to understand what size sofa would fit properly, leaving room for side tables, a chair, and an ottoman coffee table. Before you go shopping, measure your own space. 1

Inside Width = 78” between arms How tall is the husband? Mine is 75” tall. He likes to throw his arms over his head when he naps, so add 5”. 2

Sofa Arms The measurements above help me decide what kind of arms I can choose for this sofa. If I subtract the inside width of 78” from the outside width of 105”, each arm can be maximum of 13.5-inches wide. The slim, tuxedo arms range from 6 to 12”. The wider arms, such as scrolled or rolled arms, take up more space, but can be low enough for a headrest. Check the arm and seat height prior to counting on this advantage. 3

Back Style This overall height is usually 36 inches.You may go higher with tall ceilings. I like boxed cushions. I will not choose saddleback. 4

Number of Cushions Three cushions typically work on a sofa


7 feet or longer. It allows you to move them around and allows three people to share the sofa comfortably. Cushion Depth Typically, 19 inches is standard; but my husband is tall so I chose a deeper sofa. I look like Edith Ann in it, but it’s not meant for me. I just curl up and yell, “Roll Tide!” 6

Nail Head Yes, but note there are many choices. Have fun—and more is not always better. 7

Construction The best sofas have springs that are 8-way, hand tied inside a hardwood frame. While you can buy sofas at any price point, you get what you pay for. 8

Leather If the salesman says grade of leather doesn’t matter, turn and leave. The better the leather, the better the feel, look, and durability. As it is a natural product, it may take dye differently and have variations or scars. Do your homework to decide what works best for you. 9

Don’t forget the door! Check overall dimensions to ensure the sofa will fit through your door and up or down the stairs. 10

Photo credit: OLEZZO


just a tip: This furniture is a sofa, not a couch because in the interior design world, a couch is a fainting couch or chaise. So not appropriate for our guys!


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MARCH 2016 |










ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE 3 p.m. Downtown Mooresville This 5th Annual parade, including Irish pipe bands, Irish dancers, and more, will wind along South Main St. from Iredell to Center Avenues. Take the family and get a great street-side seat.


SIP & SEEK BRIDAL SHOW 1-4 p.m. Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Rd., Huntersville


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PICTURES WITH THE EASTER BUNNY (OR DUCK!) 1-3 p.m. Holbrook Park, 100 Sherwood Dr., Huntersville


THE LATTA CELTIC FESTIVAL 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Rd., Huntersville Tickets: adults $8, seniors & students $7, children 5 & under, free

The Easter Bunny, and his friend the Easter Duck, will make appearances. Bring your cameras and family to enjoy the free playground, balloon twister, face painter, and bounce house. SweetCakes Bakery will offer cupcakes for sale. In case of rain, the event will move to the Robert B. Blythe building at 102 Gilead Road.

Celebrate the Celtic culture throughout history. Enjoy food and beverages, live music, Scottish dance performances, historical demonstrations, vendors, and Scottish clans. Kids’ activities include games, storytelling, visiting farm animals, and more!



HOP INTO SPRING 2-4 p.m. Robbins Park, 17738 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius This annual, free, family event is designed for children ages 3 to 12. Participants can enjoy arts and crafts, inflatables and balloon twisters, face painting, concessions, music, egg-themed activities, and photo opportunities with Peter Cottontail himself!

© Evgeniya Tiplyashina |

The 3rd annual bridal show includes complimentary wine, food, and door prizes and gives brides the opportunity to meet vendors personally. Some vendor discounts are available for those who attend. To register (and receive free attendance), email lauren@ruralhill. net; or plan to pay $1 to attend without registration.


MARCH 2016 |




“ Scene”




LKNW’s Dana opening birthday gifts

BE SCENE LAKE NORMAN WOMAN is getting out and about each month, looking for great events and the fabulous and exciting Lake Norman people who are making them happen! So next time you’re at a chamber event, a new business in the area, or just out having fun, look for Lake Norman Woman and our camera. Who knows, you just might find yourself in next month’s


LKNW’s Amy, Dana, Chelsea, Stephanie, and Sandy at Red Rocks for Dana’s birthday celebration

LKNW’s Stephanie with On Point Carolinas Realty’s Kim McBee at dinner before Davidson College basketball game LKNW’s Stephanie with Shasta Webber, of Children’s Orchard

View more Scene photos & more at our Facebook page: LakeNormanWoman

SteinMart’s stylist Dani adjusts March Men’s Chris Durant’s jacket SteinMart’s stylist Jamilla adjusts March Men’s Dr. Matthew Zimmerman’s shirt


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better me

better you

better world

Mind Body Spirit The mind, body, and spirit are intimately connected. Because unhealthy thoughts and emotions can create a vicious cycle that leads to unhealthy physical patterns, we can choose a victorious path that includes a positive, healing, uplifting spiral. By mixing the ingredients of attitude and action, we can change the flavor of our own lives. Learn to nurture your body and soul to lead a more balanced life.

Praying Is Believing BY: AMY HALLMAN

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 I ’ M T R Y I N G TO B E intentional in

prayer. I thank God when I’m walking my dog and even sitting in that dreaded school carpool. It’s becoming natural to say thank you for the ladybug reminding me of my blessings. Sometimes, my entire prayer is a thank you. For the first time, I recently said my own prayer believing God for something. Until two years ago, I’d never even heard this kind of prayer. At church, I’d study my prayer group, like a curious student in a chemistry demonstration. Believing God for something means already having an expectation for that “thing” because it’s within God’s will. That expectation is key. Only by studying God’s word can you have a true expectation within His will. It’s not enough to pray, even with all my might, if I were at all doubtful. This can be difficult because typically what you’re praying so hard for has you doubtful to


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begin with (Would you normally pray the store has stocked the tomatoes?). My “thing” was a C as my son’s final math grade. While some may think this is a terrible—or at least superficial—thing to waste God’s time with, I know that isn’t true. God knows my son’s backstory, his current story, his future story. This was within His will. I needed to sincerely believe and verbalize that this C—the best current possibility—would happen. Had already happened. Is done. Just wanting it to happen would not make it so. This wasn’t the first time God was hearing about this math struggle. Months before, I’d prayed, on my knees, for my enemies— another first—to soften their hearts and to move them from blocking my son’s blessing. I’d even prayed that if the grade weren’t to be, then I’d accept that God had another plan. I actually said, “God, I don’t know what that is—and I’ll be back to ask, if that’s the case—but I’m confident that

what will happen, what has happened, what is already happening, is within Your will.” My believing prayer came after tutoring two days before finals. But, I wasn’t yet calm. My son’s impending exam seemed to weigh heavily only on my mind. After someone recommended he take the exam on the makeup day and buy more time, I knew this needed to end. I was hurt, and I was hurtful. That night, I prayed, “I am believing God for a C as Cole’s final math grade.” There were no bargains, no conditions, no promises, no panic. I wholly gave it over to God. Calm washed over me. Afterward, Cole felt great about the exam. He actually checked online for his score three times a day. Six days later, he said, “Mom, I bet they’re regrading it because they can’t believe I did so well.” Finally, we learned: He’d made an 86—nearly an A—on the final exam, and a 72 for the year, a C. All year, he’d not made within 30 points of an 86 on any unit test but one. Only retests. Our faithful God is good; He knew all the characters, their hearts, their intentions. And when I was ready, He heard my prayer.

©Andybor |

MARCH 2016 |




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Meadowbrook - Concord

2 Story Colonial style home in outstanding condition. 4BRS/2.5Baths - Cabarrus County Schools! MLS # 3132078

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The Sanctuary – Charlotte

Lovely 5+ acre home site in a prime Southwest Charlotte community. 1300 acres with a 17 acre amenity site including Lodge, tennis, swimming and nature trails. Convenient to uptown and the airport. MLS # 3145124



Beautifully wooded 1.152 acre cul-desac home site in this popular Lake Norman area community. Great amenity package and facility w/full time Activities Director. Boat storage within the community.

Falls Cove - Troutman $40,000 each


The Farms – Mooresville

WATERVIEW .89 acre wooded home site in this sought after community. Unlimited timeframe to build. Easy access to Lake Norman. MLS # 3145038




The last 3 remaining Developer owned home sites. Sites #31, #32, and #61.

MLS # 3118361

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MLS # 3145108

Dominion Village - Charlotte

3BR/2 bath ranch townhome. Custom details. Handicap accessible. Move in ready!

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The last 4 remaining Developer owned home sites in this stunning community. Sites #123, #137, #147, and #150. $64,000 to $72,000


Northview Harbour - Sherrills Ford Developer owned lot with inc. boatslip. Borders common open space. MLS # 3042247


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