Durham Magazine April/May 2024

Page 1


a gallery on
Black Wall Street. The Area’s Top Dentists 38 G A Design Pro’s Renovation Revelations 80 G Where to Spend Your Golden Years 118 G
Linda Shropshire went all in on her dream of owning
page 51
annual G G
Celebrating artists, entrepreneurs, caregivers
Issue our 12th
Vibrant living. Continuing care. In the heart of Durham. 800-278-9729 / forestduke.org/TheTerraces KEEP GROWING SM New contemporary apartment homes for retirement. Learn more at forestduke.org/TheTerraces. HURRY — PRESALES HAPPENING NOW! TERRACES The Redefine retirement. BECOME A CHARTER MEMBER TODAY!


APRIL/MAY 2024 VOL 17 NO 2



Amanda MacLaren amanda.maclaren@durhammag.com



Jessica Stringer


Morgan Cartier Weston


Renee Ambroso



Anna-Rhesa Versola


Alana Bleimann, Holland Bodner, Ryan Christiano, Izabella Counts, Celia Funderburk, Sinclair Holian, Avery Householder, Natalie McCormick, Lena Miano, Leah Paige, Lauren Rouse, Katie Scherner, Liza Smith and Emma Unger

ART & Production


Ashlin Acheson ashlin.acheson@trianglemediapartners.com


Kevin Brown


Lindsay Scott


Khadijah Weekes-Nolan


John Michael Simpson


For advertising inquiries, email advertising@durhammag.com

Melissa Crane melissa.crane@trianglemediapartners.com

Sarah Davis sarah.davis@trianglemediapartners.com

Lauren Phillips lauren.phillips@trianglemediapartners.com

Lucinda Poole lucinda.poole@trianglemediapartners.com


Dan Shannon


Ellen Shannon


Rory Kelly Gillis


Amy Bell


Cassady Orsini


Chris Elkins chris.elkins@trianglemediapartners.com


Jenna Parks


Sally Scruggs


Lizzie Jones


Brian McIndoo


Morgan Cartier Weston


Renee Ambroso


Matt Bair

Durham Magazine is published six times a year by Triangle Media Partners Subscriptions, $38 for two years, are available at durhammag.com. To purchase copies, call 919.933.1551.

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Service Lane Manager

Dennis started out as a porter in 1999 in the automotive industry working with various auto brands. In 2014, he decided to exclusively work with Subaru as he found value in the brand and our clients. His vast years of experience coupled with his commitment to deliver an extraordinary customer service to each, and every customer is a winning combination. Dennis prides himself on being a servant leader and understands it takes a village to succeed. He values and appreciates each client and longs to build a lifetime committed and personable servicing relationship. When clients arrive to drop their vehicle off, they often times, know who he is and feel comfortable leaving their vehicles with a longtime friend.

This spring let our Subaru factory trained technicians perform an evacuate and recharge of the refrigerant for the A/C system, leak test the system, and inject tracer dye to get the system operating to its peak performance.

Our technicians will then evaluate the system for proper operation. This service includes replacing cabin air filter.

When Dennis is not taking care of our clients, you can find him visiting The Best of Durham restaurants and sharing recommendations with others. He also enjoys working out and taking long walks with his Chocolate Pekingese Coco. By the way, ask him about his Robert De Niro impersonation!


april/may 2024



52 Cicely Mitchell Co-owner, Missy Lane’s Assembly Room

54 Linda Shropshire Founding gallery director, Ella West Gallery

56 Janet Lee Founder and owner, ZenFish Poke Bar

60 Dr. Alisha Benner Palliative medicine physician, Duke University Health System Assistant professor, Duke University School of Medicine Program director, Duke Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

64 Barbara Lee Smith Mixed media textile artist

68 Tiffany Griffin

Co-founder and CEO, Bright Black

70 Vicky Garcia

President and CEO, Latino Community Credit Union

72 Dr. Desiree T. Palmer Dentist and owner, Bull City Dental and A New Reason to Smile

76 Suzanne Rousso Artistic director, Mallarmé Music

78 M. Letitia Hubbard

Instructor of engineering and mentorship research, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics


80 DIY Delight

An inside look at a design pro’s remodel of her own ranch-style home

98 New to the Neighborhood Nanas’ most recent iteration embodies culinary excellence amid an elegant and glossy interior design

104 Growing Greener

Tips from local experts on eco-friendly home and gardening practices


108 Better With Age

Local programs and offerings designed to engage with and empower older adults

118 Directory of Assisted Living, Continuing Care, Independent Living, 55+ Living and Cohousing Retirement Communities


126 Biz Briefs

130 Navigating the Golden Years

Vital strategies, expert insights and community resources for successful aging


8 Letter from the Editor

10 Go.See.Do. Spring’s top events

14 Noted.

What we’ve heard around our city …

38 Our Top Dentists

134 Engagement & Wedding Tying the knot, Bull City-style


16 Book Harvest’s Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration

18 Caring House’s Benefit Gala at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

20 Meals on Wheels Durham’s Feed the Need Gala

22 NC Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting at Durham Athletic Park


23 The Big Give

Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved

91 Adopt-A-Pet

Meet two adoptable pets waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham

Our Innovative Light Therapy Options Are The Perfect Essential-Care Solution. In just 40 minutes you can cleanse, refresh and renew in a refined, spa-like setting. We also offer a 15 minute red light session in our studio as well. beemlightsauna.com/durham | 919.737.2183 1034 Yunus Road Ste 120, Durham NC

Having It All

Alot came out of my conversation with Dr. Alisha Benner, a palliative medicine physician within the Duke University Health System who is also a wife, mom, friend, outdoor and exercise enthusiast, dedicated elections volunteer and foodie, among many other titles. We talked about our shared love of hiking the Eno River and Duke Forest, as well as our rescue pets – hers are pups Harper and Cleo and cats Sadie and Noah. In fact, the only point we really disagreed on was whether or not you could have too many animals.

One topic in particular hit that latent part of my brain where I bury thoughts until I feel like I have some actual time to think about them – if you’re a woman, I imagine you might know the feeling. Well, editing this issue brought these thoughts to the forefront.

The mental load is real. I look at women who I perceive to have an unfathomable amount on their plate, and who appear to balance that weight much better than I feel I ever could – how do they do it? I revere them, and think, “If that’s how they handle life’s pressures, why can’t I manage my inbox better?” It’s an enduring, cyclical struggle.

Dr. Benner – Alisha – spelled it out much more succinctly and eloquently than I could ever hope to: “The biggest obstacle is time and the challenge to do it all,” she told me. “There’s only 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and the reality is you can ‘do it all,’ but not all at the same time. If you want to work a lot, you’ll have less time at home with kids, if you have them. If you work less, you’ll rise slower through the hierarchy and have fewer professional accomplishments. Women still have to constantly balance and make choices that most men do not.”

There was a pause, while I wrote down the quote while mentally snapping my fingers. Then she added, “That should be on billboards.”

Her testimonial barely scratches the surface of the nuggets of wisdom, truth and courage that you’ll find in the stories of our 12th annual women’s issue, beginning on page 51. I hope that, like me, you’ll uncover insights that resonate in these inspiring interviews, or advice that can be applied to your own journey. 



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Nominate a Woman of Achievement. We’re always accepting nominations for women who deserve to have their stories shared.

8 | durhammag.com | April/may 2024 letter
Photo by John Michael Simpson.
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Library Fest

APRIL 8-13

Durham County Library hosts this fourth annual community celebration of National Library Week with events that encourage discovery, literacy and connection. This year’s nature theme features keynotes from experts including Leah Thomas, John Francis and Matías Murano. Visit with animals from Piedmont Wildlife Center and Wild Tails NC, create art with Duke Health and much more at this family-friendly festival.

Invent the Night Gala: A Stellar Affair


Don your most festive space attire and enjoy an out-of-this-world evening with live music, dancing, interactive activities, and food and drinks at the Museum of Life and Science while supporting its mission to create a place of lifelong learning. Bid on unique experiences and prizes in silent and live auctions while exploring special interactive activities throughout the 84-acre campus.

do see go

Earth Day Festival


Joshua Redman Group


Duke Arts Presents hosts the 11-time Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz saxophonist and composer as he performs works from his newest album, “Where Are We?,” showcasing a musical journey across the United States alongside New Orleans-based vocalist Gabrielle Cavassa and a talented band at Page Auditorium.


Compiled by Celia Funderburk

Durham Parks & Recreation hosts this annual celebration at Durham Central Park with a multitude of Earth Day-based activities, educational resources, live music, vendors, culinary offerings and more. Bike Durham and GoDurham offer a sustainable transportation expo, plus valet bicycle parking and complimentary bike tuneups, while Durham County Library’s Bookmobile provides free document shredding and take-home books.

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Socks & Undie 5K



Run, walk or jog this 5K to help raise funds for the nonprofit Note in the Pocket, which works to provide quality clothing to impoverished children and families who are experiencing homelessness. Take off from the starting line at NewHope Church along Fayetteville Road to help the organization meet its goal to clothe 12,500 children and families in the Triangle this year.

‘The Lion King’

MAY 15 - JUNE 9

Immerse yourself in the classic story of love, loss and redemption at this six-time Tony Award-winning Broadway performance. Director Julie Taymor transports audiences at the Durham Performing Arts Center to the Pride Lands of Africa with powerful singing, mesmerizing dancing and stunning visuals.

54th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival

MAY 18

Celebrating African and African American history, culture, arts and traditions, Durham Parks & Recreation hosts an afternoon of live music, arts and crafts, food and family fun at Rock Quarry Park. The festival, which is free and open to the public, was established in 1969 by a group of local students and community members to honor the West African celebration of harvest that includes dancing, feasting and more. Remember to bring a lawn chair or blanket to secure your spot!

Durham Blues and Brews Festival

MAY 18

Bring your loved ones and your lawn chairs to the eighth annual blues music and beer festival at Durham Central Park! The event, organized by the Exchange Club of Greater Durham, offers a fun-filled evening with unlimited 12-ounce pours from close to 20 North Carolina breweries, cideries and wineries, plus entertainment from Johnny Sansone, The Nighthawks and the Otis Kings. Plus, enjoy a photo booth, prize drawings and fare from local food trucks on site. Proceeds from ticket sales help support local charities.

Dancing With the Carolina Stars

MAY 21

Get ready for a night of glitz and glamor as the Carolina Theatre hosts its third annual flashy fundraiser, which kicks off with a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres by Chef Paris Catering followed by performances from local celebrities and their professional dance partners. The event concludes with an after-party featuring live music, drinks and an opportunity to meet the stars.

Walk for the Animals


Bring your furry, four-legged friends to Duke University’s East Campus lawn for a 1.5-mile walk to benefit the Animal Protection Society of Durham, which cares for nearly 4,000 homeless and neglected pets annually. Enter your pooch in contests; watch agility demonstrations; visit dozens of vendors, from doggy day cares to vets and other animal-supportive businesses; meet adoptable dogs; and more. Last year’s walk raised more than $126,000 – a number APS aims to surpass this year.

12 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024 Go See Do
(Credits, clockwise from top left) Page 10 Library Fest photo courtesy Durham County Library; Joshua Redman Group photo courtesy Duke Arts Presents; Earth Day Festival photo courtesy Durham Parks & Recreation; Invent the Night Gala photo courtesy Museum of Life and Science Page 12 Socks & Undie 5k Rundie photo by Ian Graham; Dancing With the Carolina Stars photo by Anna Norwood; Walk for the Animals photo by Amy Stopford Prager; Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival photo by Jean Calixte; 'The Lion King' photo by Matthew Murphy

All Durham County Library branches are supported by Durham donors who are helping build our world-class libraries. Join Us!

Learn more

- Small business center

- Baby lap time

- Spanish lessons

- Public computers

- Research

- Book clubs

- Resume assistance

- Sewing circles

- Entrepreneurial network

- Humanities

- Adult services

- Bookmobile

- Meeting space

- Job Search

- Storytime

- Collections

- Teen services

- Bingo

- Crafts – all ages

- Special programs

- Warming centers

- Voting

- Computer literacy

To name a few

people &places

Pages of Promise

1 Book Harvest founding CEO Ginger Young and Durham Mayor Leonardo Williams.

Children’s literacy nonprofit Book Harvest hosted its 13th annual Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Golden Belt Campus. The event brought dozens of community partners – including The Bull City Woodshop, Durham Parks & Recreation, Communities in Schools of Durham, Durham‘s Partnership for Children, Gift of Knowledge Academy, More To Learn Tutoring, Museum of Life and Science, The Wonder Lab and GoDurham – and more than 2,000 visitors to the historic campus, honoring MLK’s legacy of service to others and vision for all children to have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Community members were asked to contribute new or gently used children’s books for Book Harvest to distribute to families across Durham; the event gathered 20,435 donated books, adding to the 63,636 total number of books donated during the entirety of the drive, which ran from December through January. Attendees also had the chance to meet Wool E. Bull, enjoy a performance by the Bouncing Bulldogs jump-rope team, participate in a Paperhand Puppet Intervention parade and more. The Mad Popper and B3 Coffee served up popcorn and hot chocolate, respectively, while the Poetry Fox wrote poems on the spot for guests, and families harvested 1,995 children’s books to take home and keep forever.

2 Book Harvest team members Alisa Miller, Gisela Mora Hernandez, Anneke Oppewal, Gia Parker, Emma Beeler and Amy Franks.

3 Book Harvest COO Jeff Quinn and Book Harvest Director of Advocacy Mary Mathew.

4 Museum of Life and Science Program Manager of Community and School Engagement Stepheny Hine-Laverack and Julia Dorn.

5 Book Harvest Donor Relations Manager Zarria Bratts.

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Taking Care

Caring House – a nonprofit that provides Duke Cancer Institute patients with affordable housing, a healing environment, and a positive and supportive community – hosted its annual benefit gala at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club on Jan. 27. More than 400 guests enjoyed dinner, heard from nearly a dozen guest speakers, including Caring House Executive Director Sasha Zarzour and former Caring House guests Nancy Thompson and Larry Thompson, and participated in a live auction and dancing at the end of the evening. The gala raised more than $340,000 for Caring House, which also announced its $8.5 million “Making Room to Heal” Capital Campaign for Expansion, an endeavor to double its capacity and serve more patients.

1 Kurt Euler, Caring House board chair Robinson Everett Jr., Ian Niedel, Jen Niedel, Betsy Euler and Elizabeth Everett.

2 Joe Saleh, Laina Womble, Stephen Hampton and Michelle Hampton.

3 Caring House campaign co-chair Jeff Howard and State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation board chair Chris Ayers.

4 Antwan Lofton and Rhonda Brandon.

5 Former Caring House guest Nancy Thompson.

6 Caring House Executive Director Sasha Zarzour.

18 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024 People & Places
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april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 19 At Ritter Endodontics, your dental health is our passion. Our priority is to deliver the highest quality Endodontic care (root canals) in a pleasant and compassionate environment to ensure an outstanding experience everytime. 501 Eastowne Dr., Ste. 155, Chapel Hill, NC • 2900 Croasdaile Dr., Ste 1, Durham, NC • 919-403-5000 • ritterendo.com •  Dr. Alessandra Ritter, Dr. Lisiane Susin. Dr. Sarah Hussain Now Offering Two Convenient Locations - Chapel Hill and Durham! Our New Durham Office Opens Spring 2024! Dry Cleaning • Laundry (Wash & Fold and Wash & Hang) Alterations • Gown Preservation • Shoe Repairs Complimentary Pickup & Delivery Durham 1810 MLK Jr. Pkwy Carrboro 101 Two Hills Dr. Raleigh 4040 Ed Dr. 919.438.0450 • deluxecleanersnc.com     With Deluxe Cleaners, it’s not just about the clothes. It’s about giving you back your time and tranquility. Trust us to handle the details, so you can focus on what matters most. Choose Deluxe Cleaners. Choose peace of mind.

On a Roll

Meals on Wheels Durham held its fifth annual Feed the Need Gala at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club on Feb. 17. More than 200 supporters enjoyed a cocktail hour, three-course dinner, silent and live auctions and a paddle raise with auctioneer Scott Williams over the course of the evening. The celebration culminated on the dance floor with live music by Irresistible Groove. The event raised $156,322, which will go toward delivering meals and providing other life-enhancing services for Durham’s homebound older adults.

1 Durham County Board of Commissioners Chair Nida Allam and Towqir Aziz.

2 Meals on Wheels Durham volunteer and keynote speaker Chris White.

3 Zweli Williams and Mayor Leonardo Williams.

4 Maisha Peace, Meals on Wheels Durham Executive Director Jason Peace, Michael Williams, Michael Crispin and Jaifanon Jackson.

5 David McNeill, Diana McNeill, Lisa Amaya-Jackson and Scott Jackson.

6 The Forest at Duke staff: Anita Holt, April Ravelli, Nathan Summers and Sharon Pitt.

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The challenges facing today’s retirees are unique. Higher inflation, sky-rocketing healthcare costs, longer life expectancies, and complex Social Security rules all make much of the conventional retirement wisdom of the past obsolete. In this new era, it’s crucial that you take a fresh look at the challenges ahead and create a comprehensive plan to address them.

For 30 years, we’ve been working with people like you to address the challenges of the transition from accumulating their nest egg to using it to support their retirement lifestyle. Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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2828 Pickett Road, Suite 170 Durham, NC 27705

Big Brew-Haha

The 12th annual NC Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting at the historic Durham Athletic Park drew hundreds of attendees eager to indulge in a selection of nearly 160 brews. Among the offerings were selections from Durham’s own Fullsteam Brewery, The Glass Jug Beer Lab, DSSOLVR, Hi-Wire Brewing and Ponysaurus Brewing Co.

“I started this using my industry connections as a local taproom owner as a way to do something good while sharing my passion for beer,” says event founder Daniel Kulenic, “and it worked.” Beer lovers sampled new and exciting brews and discussed their thoughts and reactions with the people who produced it. Proceeds from the event benefited the Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing & Distilling, raising nearly $15,000 for the organization, which is dedicated to fostering opportunities for Black, Indigenous and people of color within the brewing and distilling trades by advancing technical education and carving pathways to success for marginalized communities.

“We think of it as a large bottle share rather than as a ‘beer fest,’” says tasting co-organizer Dean James of The Wooden Nickel Public House, “and each year, we’re thrilled that so many industry artisans whose products we greatly respect make the trip to Durham to be part of it.”

22 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024 People & Places
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1 Shalon Johnson, Deanna Johnson,  Brooke Daye, Orlando Daye and Hailey Miles. 2 The Glass Jug Beer Lab’s Chris Creech and Danny Steis. 3 Sarah Beard and Fullsteam Brewery’s Director of Tavern Operations Ari Sanders. 4 Triangle Media Partners’ Renee Ambroso, Jessica Stringer and Amanda MacLaren with NC Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting organizer Dean James (center) and Evan Menchini (right). 5 Tyler Cranfill and DeVaero George.

Community Impact

Thanks to our generous donors, this past year the Foundation made a significant impact on student success by:

• Distributing 50,000-plus pounds of food to more than 900 students through the College’s Campus Harvest Food Pantry In addition, thanks to community support, the food pantry won the Food Lion Feeds Collegiate Hunger Challenge for collecting the most donations in the community college division.

• Providing more than $75,000 in emergency financial assistance to students.

• Providing more than $260,000 in scholarships to 185 students.

Wish List

• Earmark your gift for the Durham Tech General Fund to support a wide range of college programs.

• Choose specific programs that provide student success supports, including the Campus Harvest Food Pantry

• Remove barriers to academic persistence with the Student Success Fund, which assists students facing unexpected financial crises, such as housing and transportation.

• Invest in the Durham Tech Scholarship Fund to open the door to education and upward mobility through wraparound services that lead to successful outcomes.


The Durham Tech Foundation is committed to the belief that education and a pathway to well-paying careers should be accessible for all who aspire to them. The Foundation raises resources to support the Durham Technical Community College with a mission to advance opportunities for students, the College, and Durham and Orange counties through bold strategic partnerships, resource development, zealous advocacy, and wise stewardship.


Since its inception in 1982, the Durham Tech Foundation has partnered with mission-driven corporations, foundations, and individuals to secure resources to support students, provide equitable access to education, and strengthen the College and community. The Foundation helps expand job training and tools in growing industries through private support; cultivates strategic partnerships to address our community’s needs; and provides resources to Durham Tech to ensure that all students develop the knowledge, skills and networks needed to be successful.

Get in Touch!

1637 E. Lawson St. Durham, NC 27703 919-536-7200, ext. 6007


Sponsored Content
Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved
Scan here to donate today! 


Since 1994, Durham’s Partnership for Children, a partner in the Smart Start network, has served our community by identifying needs and mobilizing partners to benefit the 23,000 young children in Durham. We invest more than $11 million annually through Smart Start, Durham PreK/ NC Pre-K, Early Head Start, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and other collaboratives, including Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Ending Family Homelessness, Transition to Kindergarten, and NCCARES360.

Our Mission

To ensure every child in Durham enters school ready to succeed, we lead community strategies for children birth to five and their families that promote healthy development and learning and enhance access to high- quality care.

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High-quality early education experiences lay the foundation for school readiness by providing children with dependable, nurturing relationships and safe, stimulating environments that support healthy development. The Partnership engages families, expands access to early education in a culturally responsive manner, improves childcare, supports teacher compensation, and mobilizes community partners. As a result of our efforts DPfC’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading program received the 2019 Pacesetter award for strengthening support services and parent success. DPfC is the only Partnership in the state with an apostrophe in its name. We don’t just operate in Durham, we belong to Durham.

Wish List

• Learn about the value of investing in young children – the return is incredible and lasts for generations (first2000days.org)

• Sponsor Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – $35/year provides 12 new books mailed directly to a young child

• Support Durham PreK — distribute more PreK registration materials

• Make your voice heard — get involved in our early education advocacy efforts

• Invest financial resources and intellectual capital through a board committee or work group

• Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

• Apply for Durham PreK at durhamprek.org; applications for the 2024-2025 school year are now open

Upcoming Events

• Apply for Early Head Start programs for pregnant women and children from birth to two years of age by August 31

• Join DPfC at the Early Head Start Spring Fling on Sat., April 6, 2024 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Solite Park for free food, bouncy houses, a photo booth, Italian ice and more!

Get in Touch!

1201 S. Briggs Ave. Ste. 100 Durham, NC 27703


Website: dpfc.net

Email: mail@dpfc.net

Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved Sponsored Content
Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved
Sponsored Content

Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved

Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved


In 2004, Monica Barnes, Bill Kalhkof and George Stanziale founded Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) in partnership with the City of Durham and Durham County to promote the beatification of Durham. For 20 years, KDB has joined with Durham communities and businesses to remove thousands of pounds of litter, plant trees and community gardens, and bring people together to take care of Durham’s environment. KDB believes that everyone in Durham should have access to clean, green, and beautiful outdoor spaces.

Mission Statement

Keep Durham Beautiful builds environmentally just, resilient, and beautiful outdoor spaces in cooperation with Durham communities.

Wish List

• Volunteer at one-time service events, such as litter cleanups, community gardening, tree and pollinator planting, invasive species removal, and trail maintenance

• Join in long-term and skill-based volunteer opportunities, such as:

• Adopt-a-Street: Groups commit to removing litter along a 1-mile stretch of Durham roadside once a month for a year

• Litter Leaders: Join our dedicated team of volunteers trained in litter cleanup safety and operating procedures, then help organize and lead groups in environmental stewardship

• Tree Keepers: Join, learn together, and lead small groups of volunteers in tree planting and tree care activities

• Apply to join the Board of Directors or a committee

• Order a litter supply kit to start picking up litter you see around Durham

• Sponsor a litter kit for a school

• Dedicate a tree

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In 2023, Keep Durham Beautiful:

• Engaged 5,637 volunteers in 11,543 hours of beautifying Durham, including picking up more than 79,000 pounds of litter

• Expanded the Litter Kits in Schools program to 32 schools, connecting 2,448 youth with litter cleanup supplies and waste education

• Planted 352 native trees and distributed 277 trees for residents to plant in areas with low tree canopy

• Trained 52 new Litter Leaders, who lead litter cleanups and advocate for litter prevention

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Burroughs Welcome Fund employee trail cleanup

Upcoming Events

• Merrick-Moore Garden Workday on Saturdays, April 6, 20, and May 18, 2024 from 10am – 12pm at Samuel Green Sr. Community Garden: Activities will include mulching, planting, harvesting, and composting.

• Plant & Seed Swap on Sun., April 14, 2024 from 2-4 pm at The Glass Jug Beer Lab (RTP location): Bring seeds or rooted plants grown from seeds, cuttings, or divisions to swap or select from extra plants and seeds available. Plus, gardening enthusiasts and vendors will be on-site to answer questions.

• Durham Garden Tour on Sat., May 4, 2024 from 11am – 4pm, attend the inaugural Durham Garden Tour! Visit distinctive examples of gardening across Durham. Tickets will be $30, with need-based scholarships available at durhamgardentour.org.

Get in Touch! 2011 Fay St. Durham, NC 27704 919-354-2729 keepdurhambeautiful.org
Former Mayor Elaine O’Neal joins a group of volunteers for tree planting on Arbor Day 2023 in partnership with Duke’s carbon offsets initiative

Mission statement

Books for every child, support for every parent and literacy for every community: this is Book Harvest’s audacious goal. With programs that are grounded in evidence, Book Harvest believes that literacy starts at birth, in the home, powered by parents and nourished with books.


Headquartered in Durham, Book Harvest is a recognized anchor of childhood literacy in North Carolina and beyond. Since 2011, they have provided more than two million books to families, ensuring that parents have the tools to ignite and strengthen their children’s literacy, starting at birth. Book Harvest’s vision is of a world in which reading, learning and access to information are considered rights, not privileges, so that all children thrive.

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Book Harvest’s innovative ventures focus on two core approaches:

Early Literacy: They focus their work on direct service to children and their families, providing individualized literacy coaching and unfettered access to the tools and support they need to embark on the road to reading from birth.

Book Abundance: They create book-rich environments throughout the community – in school settings and in informal learning spaces –so that wherever families go, they have access to free, culturally-inclusive books.

Wish list

• Donate books: Run a book drive, clean off your child’s bookshelves or purchase new books to donate.

• Donate: Help Book Harvest fulfill their big dream of books for every child, support for every parent and literacy for every community. Your tax-deductible donation to Book Harvest helps to build brains and spread joy for every child – starting at birth!

• Volunteer: Nothing gets accomplished at Book Harvest without the help of hundreds of hardworking volunteers each year!

• Spread the word: Follow Book Harvest on social media (@bookharvestnc) and subscribe to their monthly newsletter available on their website.

• Get books: Book Harvest provides books for every child. Visit their headquarters in Durham or find a book hub location on their website.

Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved Sponsored Content Our local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved Sponsored Content
Get in Touch! 2501 University Dr. Durham, NC 27707 252-497-BOOK (2665) bookharvest.org Upcoming events • Summer Block Party: July 2024 • Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration: Jan. 19, 2025


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At Caring House, we deliver an integrated approach to healing through therapeutic guest programming such as art therapy and oncological massage, a volunteer-based meal program, and most importantly, a positive, uplifting community. While it is difficult to quantify the benefit of a stay at Caring House to our guests, we consistently hear from physicians, social workers, and most importantly, from our guests that their time at Caring House was integral to their mental, physical and emotional well-being during their cancer treatments.

“Ithinkthatwhenyou’re dealingwithcancer, it’s scary enough.Andyou know,taking awaythatfear ofbeing alone is important.You need people.You need support.”

- Former Caring House guest

Our Mission

Caring House provides patients at Duke Cancer Institute with peace of mind through affordable housing, a healing environment, and a positive and supportive community.


Founded in 1992, Caring House provides comfortable, supportive, and affordable housing to Duke Cancer Institute adult outpatients and their caregivers. It is a 12,900 square foot home that has 18 private rooms, each with a private bath, phone and television. In addition to our 18 bedrooms, Caring House has a threebedroom apartment serving adult bone marrow transplant patients. Guests are encouraged to bring their caregivers, who may be a spouse, other family member or close friend, during their stay.

How to Help

• Provide a Meal: Now, more than ever, WE NEED YOUR HELP. Our goal is to provide dinner every weeknight (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) to our families. Please contact Robin Rogers, Director of Operations, at (919) 490-5449 or operations_manager@caringhouse.org for more information.

• Make a Gift: We rely on the generosity of many individuals, foundations, businesses and corporations to help us keep our nightly rates low ($45 per night) for our guests. Your gift is greatly appreciated! Donate at: caringhouse.org/donate

Get in Touch!

2625 Pickett Road

Durham, NC 27705 919-490-5449




local nonprofits, how they support the community and how you can get involved
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Imagine a hometown and county where multiple pathways to prosperity exist for all residents, a robust pipeline of talent exists for businesses, and our whole community thrives. at's the vision driving Made in Durham's work to create local partnerships among educators, businesses, government, and nonprofits for aligning resources build career, life, and business prosperity.

Over the past five years, Durham County and its partner, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, have recruited more than 4,000 Life Sciences jobs to Durham. Companies like Eli Lilly, Merck, GRAIL and Beam Therapeutics (among others) have located in and around the Research Triangle Park and Treyburn Corporate Park, where they create life-saving medications.

Nearly half of the announced jobs are entry-level positions that exceed living wage standards, offer great benefits and provide career advancement in meaningful fields. For Durham County’s Board of Commissioners, it was essential to better prepare more Durham residents, particularly underserved populations, to compete for these career opportunities.

Nearly a decade ago, a group of intrepid residents came together to survey Durham's Education-to-Career system. Born of this localized data and insights, Made in Durham came into being through the support of Durham County to address the gaps and needs identified in this initial study. A systems-based approach was employed to reduce obstacles and increase opportunities for residents and businesses. Engaging both ends of the employment cycle produces stable, prosperous pathways for all, and in particular younger, traditionally under-represented populations in our city.

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To this end, Durham County has invested $3.75 million in the BULLS Academy thus far. The most recent investment, supported by the American Rescue Plan, will scale the BioWork coursework and certification to serve more Durham residents. Additionally, funding will establish an additional pathway for Durham residents with the selection of a second BULLS Academy industry.

what does that look like? In the case of the BULLS Life Sciences Academy, Made in Durham created a comprehensive approach with our partners that guides students through essential milestones to attain industry-specific BioWork certifications. ese credentials make Durham's young residents eligible for living wage opportunities in the biomanufcturing and Life Sciences industry.

So what does this look like? The BULLS Academy is a pathway that guides residents through a curriculum to attain industryspecific BioWork certifications, leading directly to promising career opportunities in Life Sciences industries. The comprehensive Academy system was developed by Made in Durham in close collaboration with Durham County, Durham Technical Community

The sixth cohort of BULLS students recently graduated at Durham Technical Community College, where they attended classes and laboratory instruction. BULLS offers educational support toward industry-specific certifications in Life Sciences industries, but it also creates a clear roadmap toward successful employment and career advancement.

e BULLS experience is about more than curriculum. From the moment prospective cohorts are introduced to Made in Durham and BULLS, they are exposed to opportunities in Life Sciences by our community engagement teams and local partners. ey begin learning about Life Sciences before they receive an application through a host of information sessions and community events.

While graduation and certification are pivotal milestones, that's not the end of students' journeys. BULLS alumni and corporate engagement includes post-graduation counseling and support targeted at job opportunities, employment, and career advancement. e teams work on behalf of students and alongside corporate partners to align their skills to fit the needs of BioWork employers. By offering life stipends, wraparound support, optimized curriculum, and academic support, the BULLS initiative equips Durham's young residents with the necessary experience, knowledge, and skills to succeed in the competititve Life Sciences field. Ultimately, they're prepared for a career and a more prosperous life in science. SPONSORED CONTENT

From the moment prospective cohorts are introduced to BULLS, they are exposed to opportunities in Life Sciences by Made in Durham’s community engagement teams and local partners. Before cohort students receive an application to BULLS, they begin learning about the Life Sciences field through a host of

Once enrolled, youth engagement teams comprised of success coaches and resource specialists prepare cohort students for interviews and professional environments. Additional partnerships create wraparound support including childcare. Life stipends are a critical component that help create the space for students to excel their work and preparation for a life-changing career.

In doing so, BULLS helps shape the talent landscape in Durham's Life Sciences sector. e systems-based work is pointed toward a vision where employment opportunities for all residents and a productive workforce for local businesses.

In doing so, BULLS helps shape the talent landscape in Durham’s Life Sciences sector. The systems-based work is directed toward a vision in which Durham thrives because of increased career opportunities for its residents and a productive workforce that supports local businesses.

Once enrolled, youth engagement teams comprised of success coaches and resource specialists prepare cohort students for interviews and professional environments. Additional partnerships create wraparound support, including childcare. Life stipends are a critical component that create the space for students to excel in

And it's working. e efficacy of the initiative continues to grow, as evidenced by our most recent and sixth cohort. As momentum builds, opportunities expand. e current BULLS class has increased to thirty students and ongoing progress toward a new

While graduation and certification are pivotal milestones, they are not the end of students’ journeys. BULLS teams engage alumni with post-graduation counseling and support targeted at job

%The BULLS Academy teams work on behalf of students and alongside corporate partners to align students’ skills to fit the needs of BioWork employers. By offering life stipends, wraparound support, optimized curriculum and academic support, the BULLS initiative equips Durham’s young residents with the necessary experience, knowledge and skills to succeed in the competitive Life Sciences field. Ultimately, they’re prepared for a career and a more prosperous life in science.

Learn more at: madeindurham.org they studied and attended instruction. BULLS o ers educational support toward industry-specific certifications in the Life Sciences industry, but it also paves a clear roadmap toward successful employment and career

The percentage of BULLS students who graduated from the most recent cohort, making them eligible for employment in the Life Sciences industry.

And it’s working. The efficacy of the initiative continues to grow, as evidenced by our most recent and sixth cohort. As momentum builds, opportunities expand. The current BULLS class has increased to thirty students and we’re excited about their ongoing progress toward new careers.

90% (18 of 20 students)

The percentage of BULLS students who graduated from the most recent cohort, making them eligible for employment in the Life Sciences.

Learn more at: madeindurham.org




Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina awarded $1 million to 38 regional and community partners, including Sisters Network Triangle NC, Elizabeth Dalton Averett Foundation, Families Moving Forward and The Center for Child and Family Health, which focus on impactful programming in employment, education and life enrichment. “Providing financial resources to organizations acts as a mission multiplier across our territory, reinforces our commitment to serving others and ensures communities continue to have access to needed services,” says GIENC CEO Christopher Hash

Independent living community

Emerald Pond completed its recent renovation project targeting design and amenities upgrades, which included expanding the fitness room and renovating the game lounge, salon, library, dining room and atrium. General Manager Eric Robertson

and Durham Mayor’s Chief of Staff Derrick Stanfield

opening celebration on Jan. 25.

“Social engagement –whether that’s sharing a meal with friends, group fitness classes or movie nights – is a critical component to our residents’ physical, cognitive and emotional well-being,” Eric says.

Discover Durham, the city’s tourism marketing organization, unveiled the findings of the first long-term Destination Master Plan in March. This 37-page document outlines Durham’s development needs for the next two decades, crafted from a community-driven vision for the city’s future. More than 60 recommended initiatives aim to bolster economic growth while enhancing Durham’s status as a premier visitor destination and a great place to live and work. The plan envisions that Durham will be the most welcoming, inclusive, innovative and vibrant destination in the United States by 2044.

“Discover Durham has been a driving force for our local economy, helping generate billions of dollars from visitors to support residents and businesses here in Durham,” says Mayor Leonardo Williams.



MilkShake Factory, renowned for its housemade ice cream and handspun milkshakes, is set to make its North Carolina debut at 359 Blackwell St., Ste. 120, in the American Tobacco Campus this summer. Franchise owners Alex Chandler and Kindall Palmer chose downtown Durham for its vibrant atmosphere and unique food scene. “We’re thrilled to welcome MilkShake Factory to the American Tobacco Campus – and Durham,” says Mark Stanford, vice president of real estate at CBC Real Estate. “This community loves sweet treats, and we look forward to seeing the joy and connections their space will bring.”

Design firm

Blackwell & Jennings, led by principal interior designer Heather Jennings, renovated the Planned Parenthood –Durham Health Center. Heather introduced modern, light-filled spaces complete with warm accents, curved lines and thoughtful integration of signage

and technology. The design aimed to reduce stress levels, improve health results, aid in pain management and foster an overall sense of well-being for patients.

Triangle Land Conservancy transferred ownership of Catawba Trail Farm to Urban Community Agrinomics on Jan. 12 in one of the region’s largest transfers of property from a land trust to an African American-led nonprofit. The organization held a celebration and open house on Feb. 24 to mark the occasion and honor the rich African American history

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(left) (right) cut the ribbon during a grand PHOTO COURTESY OF HOLIDAY BY ATRIA PHOTO BY KRISTEN ARAY


• Mexican restaurant Fonda Lupita opened its second location in Brightleaf Square Feb. 6. Its Sanford spot was named a Best New Restaurant in America by Eater in 2021, and it serves a range of stews, tacos, tortas, and hot and cold Mexican beverages.

• Cocktail bar Kingfisher reopened Feb. 27 after closing temporarily to make improvements, which included increasing its staff-to-guest ratio, debuting a new drink menu, expanding its food menu and making reservations available for all party sizes. Kingfisher is also partnering with Southern Smoke Foundation to provide mental health care for North Carolina food and beverage workers. For every drink sold, a portion will go to jumpstart Behind You, a no-cost mental health program that, as of press time, is slated to begin in summer 2024.

• Nosh is moving to 717 Broad St. this spring after 20 years on Erwin Road

The eclectic, Southerninspired restaurant closed the Erwin Road location and is currently operating out of Grub Durham

• Chinese eatery Five Star closed its doors at American Tobacco Campus in February.

• Zweli’s Kitchen reopened its Zimbabwean cuisinefocused restaurant at its new location in Brightleaf Square on Feb. 28.

noted embedded in the land. Visitors toured the gardens, trails and historical structures and enjoyed music from African drummer Johnny Roots and TAVE (The Ancestors Voice Ensemble). “For 245 years, this property was known as Snow Hill Plantation,” says Triangle Land Conservancy Executive Director Sandy Sweitzer. “Now, we are proud to officially update the records and hand over the 176acre Catawba Trail Farm to Urban Community Agrinomics.”

Boutique eco bouldering gym

The Durham Regent senior living community hosted an artsand-crafts-making program on Valentine’s Day during which residents made cards for their loved ones, painted their own artworks and received roses from staff. Resident Marcella Jerdon, pictured below, demonstrates love for her fellow residents by shopping four days a week for several residents, depending on who needs help, and managing a community store twice a week.


Chapel Hill-based Ritter Endodontics is projected to open its satellite office at 2900 Croasdaile Dr., Ste. 1. on April 2. “Our dedicated team is ready to provide expert care for all your endodontic needs, with the highest quality of service and a comfortable environment tailored to dental health,” says Dr. Alessandra Ritter.

The Boulder Garden is set to open this fall at 328 Roney St., transforming the 4,700-squarefoot historical Durham Brazing and Welding Works building into a hub for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. The gym, a project derived from Acorn Climbing, a Raleigh-based hangboard designer and crafter, champions healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship. The project is also slated to expand in the neighboring lot, with a long-term vision that includes outdoor classes, gardens, art and entertainment venues that welcome everyone, says Acorn Climbing Founder Johnny Davis

A Paddywax Candle Bar location opened at in Brightleaf Square on March 22. As a part of its grand opening, weekendlong festivities, guests enjoyed complimentary mimosas and a 20% discount on all items, including candlepouring workshops.

Rachel Manning, who became a registered nurse in 2018 and was an established intensive care unit nurse at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, opened Restore & Rejuvenate Hydration – one of the few Black-owned medical spas in the state, she says – off N.C. Hwy. 55 in March. Rachel’s 15 years of health care experience fueled her mission to explore wellness

education and IV hydration toward the end of 2020, particularly in underserved communities. Her vision extends beyond aesthetics, aiming to uplift and educate through blogs and community partnerships.

The multisport simulator bar State of Golf is slated to open in a former office space at American Tobacco Campus at 318 Blackwell St., Ste. 240, in May. Guests will be able to play virtual golf on top courses and enjoy 30 other sport simulations in addition to a full-service bar with beer, wine and craft cocktails inspired by the iconic 19th hole. “Whether it’s sinking that winning putt, hitting a home run in baseball or scoring a goal in soccer, State of Golf is designed to appeal to sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities,” says State of Golf owner Brandon Baker.

Oak City Hemp hosted a grand opening party on Feb. 24 at its new storefront and lounge at 4422 N. Roxboro St. with infusion tastings, giveaways and live music by Xylem. “We’re bringing in a powerful new concept,” says Oak City Hemp owner Aaron Puryear. “A consumption lounge [with] zero-proof beverages with intentional and therapeutic ingredients, a relaxing, inspiring atmosphere and with all our traditional cannabis products and supplies.”

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Cara Lewis assumed the role of senior communications manager at Triangle Land Conservancy in July after working in marketing communications at NC State’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.

Denise Stroud was appointed project and data manager for the Durham Arts Council’s American Rescue Plan Act program. Drawing from her extensive experience across business, nonprofit and creative sectors, Denise will assist applicants to the program and manage the review, contracting and reporting procedures.

Exchange Family Center announced former executive director Kelly Thompson’s departure from the organization in October, along with Jeffrey Hawting’s appointment to serve as the interim executive director for the organization. Leah Santibañez (pictured) assumed the role of executive director on Feb. 6. “We are hopeful and excited for the Exchange Family Center’s next

chapter as we continue our work to build a community where all children are safe, and their caregivers have the resources and support that they need even in life’s difficult moments,” Board President Kevin Griffin said in a statement.

Durham Public Schools appointed Catty Quiroz Moore as its interim superintendent in February following the resignation of Pascal Mubenga. Catty previously served as the Wake County Public School System’s superintendent from 2018-2023 and currently serves on the North Carolina State Board of Education. “I am excited to lead alongside our dedicated educators, staff and community partners,” Catty says. “I know that together we will navigate this transition with grace and remain focused on our mission to educate students,” At press time, the school board was searching for a new superintendent.

NorthStar Church of the Arts welcomed Lauren Garcia (pictured above right) as its new interim executive director and Matt Phillips (pictured below right) as its new venue manager in January. The pair have worked with NorthStar since February 2023.


Joe Newberry. He also won the International Blues Challenge in the solo/duo category in 2019.


Singer-songwriter, producer and teacher Jon Shain released his latest album, “Restless Soul Syndrome,” on April 9, marking his 10th solo album. The album showcases his musical style of combining improvised Piedmont blues with bluegrass, swing, folk, Americana and ragtime. In addition to his solo albums, Jon has also released two duo albums with FJ Ventre; a Jon Shain Trio live album; and an album of co-writes with

Wallace Wade Stadium. Jerry, known for his iconic sitcom and stand-up career, is also the parent of a Duke alumna and a current student, serving as a national chair of the Duke Parents Committee. “Jerry is a pioneering entertainer and producer and a gifted observer of human nature who has an extraordinary ability to bring people together through humor,” says Duke University President Vincent E. Price. “I look forward to the insights and wisdom he will share during our celebration of the Class of 2024.” Five notable figures will recieve honorary degrees: Claudius

Ten Durham Public Schools magnet schools earned accolades from Magnet Schools of America for meeting rigorous standards. Five schools – Burton Elementary School, Durham School of the Arts, George Watts Montessori Elementary School, Southern School of Energy and Sustainability and The School for Creative Studies – were honored with the prestigious “Schools of Excellence” title. An additional five schools received a “Schools of Distinction” recognition: City of Medicine Academy, Lakewood Montessori Middle School, Lowe’s Grove Middle School, Middle College High School at Durham Technical Community College and Neal Middle School

“Seeing the impact on kids and learning is an honor and joy,” says George Watts Principal Jennifer Aguilar. “Knowing the data aligns with our experience is an incredible affirmation.”

Duke University announced comedian Jerry Seinfeld as the commencement speaker for its May 12 graduation ceremony at

“C.B.” Claiborne, Duke’s first Black student-athlete; Grammywinning musician Rhiannon Giddens; former Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario; and voting rights advocate Desmond Meade. Jerry will join them in receiving an honorary doctorate of arts.


The Museum of Life and Science staff announced the passing of Gus, an 18-year-old American black bear who had been a beloved member of the museum family since 2006. During an examination by veterinarians from the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, an inoperable cancerous mass was discovered near Gus’ heart and lungs. As a result, Gus was humanely euthanized on Jan. 31. “His behavior with other bears, young and old, as well as what he did on his own, has made many of us smile, laugh, moan, roll our eyes and just look at him in awe,” says Sherry Samuels, senior director of animal care.

april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 33 noted

• All Triangle-area locations of PDQ Chicken closed permenently the first week of March, including Cary, Durham, Raleigh and Wake Forest locations.

• Thai restaurant Thaiangle opened in the former Dos Perros spot at 200 N. Mangum St. in early February.

• Craft cocktail bar Alley

Twenty Six brought back its late-night menu. Guests can enjoy the Alley Burger, caviar and tots, deviled eggs and more until closing every day.

• The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association hosted its 2024 Stars of the Industry Awards on Feb. 12. Durham-based restaurant leaders who received recognition include: Russ Jones of Loden Hospitality, which manages Aloft Downtown Durham, who received the Lodging Operator of the Year award; Mayor Leonardo Williams of Zweli’s Ekhaya, who received the Ken Conrad Award for Service to the Community; Troy Stauffer and Diane Tighe of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, who received the Restaurant Manager of the Year and Lodging Manager of the Year awards, respectively; and the late Cecelia Saleh of Neomonde Mediterranean and Sassool, who’s family received the Lifetime Achievement Award on her behalf.



Brittany J. Green, a Duke University graduate composer in the department of music, was among eight recipients chosen by the American Composers Orchestra for a publishing contract via EarShot Publishing, a new initiative by ACO. She received recognition for her piece, “Rencontres,” which expands on a string quartet, capturing chance encounters through brevity, tension and euphoria. EarShot Publishing, in partnership with classical music publisher Boosey & Hawkes and supported by the Sphinx Venture Fund, will administer worldwide rights for orchestral works developed through its programs.

Durham School of the Arts educator


MonserateLindsay secured a sponsored seat from the Verizonauthorized retailer Victra and attended the world-renowned Ron Clark Academy immersive training in Atlanta on Jan. 25. Sabrina benefited from the hands-on workshops and innovative teaching techniques, and aims to bring them back to help both students and fellow teachers.

The Museum of Durham History’s History Grove program honors the late Rabbi Steven Gary Sager of Beth El Synagogue with the dedication of a history grove, featuring a bench and a plaque, at the synagogue’s Amen Garden. This program acknowledges strong community leaders with a space where Durham citizens can visit and reflect. Beth El Synagogue plans to celebrate Rabbi Sager’s life and his lasting influence on the Durham Jewish community and beyond at an event on April 7.

Tripadvisor ranked the Museum of Life and Science No. 1 on its list of the 10 best children’s museums in North Carolina. The museum was founded in 1946 and provides innovative science education and learning.

Hillside High School senior Scarlett Bermudez was named Durham Public Schools’ only Morehead-Cain scholarship recipient, a competitive, meritbased scholarship that covers full tuition to UNC for exceptional student leaders. “As I embark on my journey into college, my aspirations are rooted in creating supportive environments where Latinx individuals can flourish alongside a steadfast commitment to serving my community through initiatives like Morehead-Cain,” Scarlett says. She plans to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology in the pursuit of a career as a child psychologist.

Youth Mentoring Collaborative held its second annual Champions of Mentoring Awards Ceremony and Reception at the North Carolina Executive Mansion on Jan. 16. N.C. Rep. Zack Hawkins (left) and Monique Holsey-Hyman (right) received the Public

Sector Advocate awards, and the Rev. Dr. Warren L. Herndon (center), received the Lifetime Achievement award.


Nonprofit Keep Durham Beautiful hosts its inaugural Durham Garden Tour, inviting guests to visit distinctive examples of gardening in the city during a self-paced tour on May 4, with a rain date set for May 5 and May 18. Ticket proceeds will support the environmental organization’s mission, which is focused on waste reduction, litter prevention and community greening programs.

Durham Ballet Theatre presents “Peter Pan” May 17-18 at the Carolina Theatre. A special audiences performance will be held on May 17 at 6:30 p.m. and is free for persons with disabilities, their caregivers and those facing economic hardship.

Durham Performing Arts Center released its 2024/25 Broadway season lineup, starting off with “Clue” this September. Other shows include “& Juliet,” “A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical,” “Shucked,” “Kimberly Akimbo,” “Back to the Future The Musical,” “Some Like It Hot” and “The Wiz.”

Durham Bulls Athletic Park will host the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship for three out of the next six years, according

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april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 35 Investments Financial Planning Risk Management Chapel Hill, NC Fiduciary Since 1982 919.968.2977 2023

noted to an announcement made by the Durham Bulls and the ACC. The championship will alternate between Truist Field in Charlotte and Durham, beginning in 2025. “No venue has been the home of the ACC Baseball Championships more frequently than the DBAP,” says Durham Bulls General Manager Tyler Parsons. “We’re excited for the ardent baseball fans of the Triangle, the business support of the tournament, the economic boom for the Bull City and of course, the great competition of the elite baseball teams in the ACC.”


Sarah Pai selfpublished a children’s book, “Coco the Miracle Rescue Dog,” a heartwarming story celebrating senior dogs and the power of animal rescue, after raising $20,000 for its production on Kickstarter. Since 2015, Sarah has fostered almost 100 senior dogs with Hope Animal Rescue, igniting a passion for advocating for the adoption of older pets. The book is available for purchase at The Regulator Bookshop, Oliver’s Collar and Fillaree.

afoot, and two sisters must journey through it in this classic fairy tale with modern heroism. The book is available for purchase at Blackbird Books & Coffee in Raleigh.

Durham native Cora Darrah published “A Story of Durham: Told the Wright Way,” a historical tale set in the late 1800s about Cora’s distant ancestor, Richard Harvey Wright. Orphaned at 14, Richard’s dream is to build a tobacco empire business from a unique angle, following the success of the American Tobacco Company and W. T. Blackwell and Company.Cora spent many hours looking through archives stored Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to construct the story.

Retired appellate criminal defense attorney

Durham resident Michelle Elder released her debut children’s book, “Magic in Marigold Meadows,” a tale inviting children to immerse themselves in the world of Marigold Meadows, a place where enchanting creatures are

Paul M. Green released “The Thief, the Senator and the Knight of the Bleeding Heart: John Stephens and the Ku Klux Klan in Reconstruction North Carolina” in August. The true crime novel, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal in January, explores the murder of John Walter Stephens in Caswell County. Part biography, the book also dabbles in period history and legal analysis, exploring propaganda, voter intimidation and electoral fraud to crack open this local case.

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A True Tale Coco The Miracle Rescue Dog Sarah Pai Mike Rosado Sarah Pai Written By Mike Rosado Illustrated By


FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS, the practice of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates has been trusted to provide specialized care in the Chapel Hill, Durham, and Sanford communities. Our four board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons provide the highest quality of patient care with the latest diagnostic and treatment tools available to assure patient safety and comfort.

Drs. Sacco, Vandersea, Ruvo and Serlo practice a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from corrective jaw surgery to wisdom tooth removal.






501 Eastowne Drive, Suite 110 Chapel Hill 27514 919.929.2196

DURHAM 2823 North Duke Street Durham 27704 919.479.0707

SANFORD 109 Dennis Drive Sanford 27330 919.775.1615


our top dentists

For the 15th straight year, Durham Magazine commissioned a peer-to-peer survey of the local dental community – from endodontists to prosthodontists. The following listing is the result. Dentists and specialists were asked the telling question: “If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer them to?” and also asked to take into consideration years of experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies and, of course, physical results. Respondents are asked to put aside any personal bias and to use only their knowledge of their peer’s work when evaluating the other nominees.

The Durham area is well-served by the dental community. Hundreds of dentists, specialists and support professionals have made this city home, and the overall quality of dental care in our communities is second to none. What good dentist wouldn’t want to practice here?


The Top Dentists list for Durham is the result of a rigorous evaluation process consisting of peer-to-peer surveys of area dentists and professionals. This survey was conducted and managed by the nationally recognized third-party firm topDentists LLC of Augusta, Georgia. This list is excerpted from the 2024 topDentists™ list, a database that includes listings for nearly 60 dentists and specialists in Durham. The list is based on detailed evaluations of dentists and professionals by their peers. The complete database is available at usatopdentists.com.

topDentists management has more than 60 years combined experience compiling peer-review referral guides in the dental, medical and legal fields. Working from this experience, along with the input of several prominent dentists from throughout the United States, topDentists created a selection process that has earned the respect of the country’s leading dental professionals. For more information, call 706-364-0853; write P.O. Box 970, Augusta, Georgia, 30903; email help@usatopdentists.com; or visit usatopdentists.com. The purchase of advertising has no impact on who is included in the Top Dentists list.

Brent L. Blaylock

3206 Old Chapel Hill Rd., St. 300 919-493-8036 (current patients); 984-213-4695 (new patients) generaldentistdurham.com

Debora Bolton

Bull City Smiles

2705 N. Duke St., Ste. 100 919-381-5900; bullcitysmiles.com

Jason W. Butler

Croasdaile Dental Arts

2900 Croasdaile Dr., Ste. 5 919-383-7402; croasdailedentalarts.com

Scott M. Donner

3719 University Dr., Ste. A 919-490-3015

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april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 39 2711 North Duke Street, Durham, NC 27704 919-220-1416 www.dukestreetsmiles.com Martha Ann Keels, DDS, PhD Erica A. Brecher, DMD, MS M. Gentry Byrd, DDS, MPH We want to keep your child’s smile healthy for a lifetime! The world always looks brighter from behind a smile TOP DENTISTS magazine 2020 We are accepting new patients! DURHAMENDO.COM PRACTICE LIMITED TO ENDODONTICS AND ENDODONTIC SURGERY
ur team realizes the importance of your dental health and strives to provide all your endodontic needs in a clean, comfortable and stress-free environment. We utilize state-ofthe-art technology to ensure you are receiving the specialized care you deserve. Using the most advanced knowledge and techniques available today, we can perform many different endodontic treatments with ultimate precision and comfort. ROOT CANAL THERAPY | RETREATMENT APICAL SURGERY | TRAUMATIC INJURIES CBCT IMAGING PATTERSON PLACE 5324 MCFARLAND DRIVE, STE. 120, DURHAM NC 27707 A. K. BOBBY MALLIK D.M.D. DIPLOMATE, AMERICAN BOARD OF ENDODONTICS

top dentists

For over 30 years, Dr. Brent L. Blaylock has been a trusted dentist in Durham. Continuing education is important to Dr. Blaylock, and he has completed many courses in the principles of complete dentistry. His focus has been identifying and treating problems with the TMJ and occlusion, and the impact of oral inflammation and disease on the heart and rest of the body.

Mark Donoway

Stead Willis, DMD Family & Cosmetic Dentistry 1212 Broad St. 919-286-2235; steadwillisdmd.com

Alex Fleming

Fleming Dental 1020 Broad St. 919-682-5327; durhamncdentistry.com

Mary V. Gaddis

Park Place Dental

245 E. N.C. Hwy. 54, Ste. 204 919-484-8088; dentistindurham.co

Elizabeth A. Grooms 1212 Broad St. 919-286-4439

Esther Vice Hanson

Sunrise Dental 8128 Renaissance Pkwy., Ste. 203 919-493-3355; dinahvice-sunrisedental.com

Brittanie Harris

105 Newsom St., Ste. 204 919-471-9106; anewreasontosmile.com

Stephanie Q. Jenkins

5317 Highgate Dr., Ste. 118 919-361-0500; drjenkins-dds.com

James Jorge

Bull City Smiles

2705 N. Duke St., Ste. 100 919-381-5900; bullcitysmiles.com

Shirin Mashhoon

Ninth Street Dental 811 Ninth St., Ste. 280 919-286-9090; ninthstreetdental.com

Kevin P. Matthews

4210 N. Roxboro St., Ste. 130 919-479-1970; kevinpmatthewsdds.com

Lionel M. Nelson

3325 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Ste. 303 919-489-0497; nelsongentledental.com

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Desiree T. Palmer

Bull City Dental & A New Reason to Smile

106 W. Parrish St., Ste. 1 919-680-3531; bullcitydentaldowntown.com

Alicia Ramos

1515 W. N.C. Hwy. 54, Ste. 260 919-493-5714; drramosdentistry.com

Catherine D. Ray

3310 University Dr. 919-489-5380; catherinedraydmd.com

Grant H. Service

2711 N. Duke St., Ste. B 919-220-6553; durhamdentistgrantservice.com

Harold S. Speight

2711 N. Duke St., Ste. C 919-220-4200; haroldspeightdds.com

Michael A. Tapper

Croasdaile Smiles

2900 Croasdaile Dr., Ste. 2 919-383-8619; croasdailesmiles.com

april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 41 top dentists For the Smile Of a Lifetime... We welcome new patients. 919.489.1543 DurhamPDO.com 121 W. Woodcroft Pkwy Durham, NC 27713 Dr. John R. Christensen Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Robert T. Christensen Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Jamie L. Molina Pediatric Dentistry

WJerry Ter Avest 2515 Hwy. 54 E. 919-544-6080; jteravestdds.com

William Turner

Croasdaile Dental Arts 2900 Croasdaile Dr., Ste. 5 919-383-7402; croasdailedentalarts.com

Stead Willis

Stead Willis, DMD Family & Cosmetic Dentistry 1212 Broad St. 919-286-2235; steadwillisdmd.com

Pediatric Dentistry

Erica A. Brecher

Duke Street Pediatric Dentistry 2711 N. Duke St., Ste. A 919-220-1416; dukestreetsmiles.com

M. Gentry Byrd

Duke Street Pediatric Dentistry 2711 N. Duke St. 919-220-1416; dukestreetsmiles.com

Robert Christensen

Durham Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

121 W. Woodcroft Pkwy. 919-489-1543; durhampdo.com

Jenny Citineni

Smile First Dental 3616 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. 919-493-2569; smilefirstdental.com

Amy C. Davidian

Southpoint Pediatric Dentistry 249 E. Hwy. 54, Ste. 300, Durham 919-354-6220; southpointpediatricdentistry.com

Martha Ann Keels

Duke Street Pediatric Dentistry 2711 N. Duke St., Ste. A., Durham 919-220-1416; dukestreetsmiles.com

42 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024 top dentists Debora Bolton DDS James Jorge, DDS 2705 N. Duke Street, Suite 100, Durham, NC | 919.381.5900 bullcitysmiles.com NEW PATIENTS AND DENTAL EMERGENCIES WELCOME
strive to work with the patient in an environment of caring, compassionate and quality dentistry where our patient makes informed choices about their care.
Welcoming New Patients William W. Turner, DMD . Jason W. Butler, DMD . Eric T. Cole, DMD 2900 Croasdaile Drive, Suite 5, Durham, NC 27705 919.383.7402 . croasdailedentalarts.com 2010-2024 Professional & Attentive Team Preventive, Restorative, & Cosmetic Dentistry Personalized Patient Care

top dentists

Jamie L. Molina

Durham Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

121 W. Woodcroft Pkwy. 919-489-1543; durhampdo.com


Hong Chen

RTP Endodontics

5318 N.C. Hwy. 55, Ste. 201 919-237-2818; rtpendo.com

Deborah A. Conner

922 Broad St., Ste. B 919-416-4200; debconnerdds.com

Linda Levin

Levin Endodontics

3624 Shannon Rd., Ste. 106 919-401-4827; levinendodontics.com

A.K. Bobby Mallik

5324 McFarland Dr., Ste. 120 919-493-5332; durhamendo.com

Roger A. McDougal

McDougal Endodontics

245 E. Hwy. 54, Ste. 201 919-806-8667; mcdougalendo.org


John R. Christensen

Durham Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

121 W. Woodcroft Pkwy. 919-489-1543; durhampdo.com

Tyler Hart

North Carolina Oral Surgery + Orthodontics 3020 S. Miami Blvd. 919-246-3350; ncoso.com

Gavin C. Heymann

Smith & Heymann Orthodontics 2919 Colony Rd. 919-493-4911; durhamorthodontics.com

J. Gina Lee

North Durham Orthodontics

4301 Ben Franklin Blvd., Ste. 201 919-797-2300; durhambraces.com


3325 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. Ste 303 919.489.0497 | nelsongentledental@mac.com

Look out for our new space in 2024 less than a mile from our current location on University Drive!

Dr. Nelson and his wife, Nicole, reside in Hillsborough, NC and are the proud parents of 3 sons and one daughter, Lionel II, Lorenz, Leland and London. He earned a B.A. in chemistry from Miami University (Ohio) in 1995 and received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from Temple University in 1999.

Dr. Nelson and his team of caring dental professionals keep the patient first by administering comprehensive treatment focusing on each patient’s overall health. They give the best of themselves and the best that dentistry has to

offer by continually furthering their personal and professional growth. And they make every effort to show patients they are honored and appreciated.

Dr. Nelson offers a full range of services including preventive care, root canals, cosmetic dentistry, single visit porcelain crowns, implant placement and restoration, professional teeth whitening, dentures and partials, toothcolored fillings, 3D imaging and digital dentistry.

Dr. Nelson and his team have been voted one of Durham’s TopDentists for the 15th consecutive year.

Julie H. Mol Mol Orthodontics

5726 Fayetteville Rd., Ste. 104 919-405-7111; molorthodontics.com

Pedro E. Santiago Duke Surgery

3475 Erwin Rd. 919-660-0320; surgery.duke.edu

Katya Skillestad

Smith & Heymann Orthodontics 2919 Colony Rd. 919-493-4911; durhamorthodontics.com

J. Dempsey Smith

Smith & Heymann Orthodontics

44 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024
DENTISTS magazine

Your Smile, Our Passion

Cutting-edge Orthodontics:

In the ever-evolving world of orthodontics, Dr. Lee stands out as a beacon of innovation and personalized care. With a deep commitment to enhancing smiles and improving lives, she brings a wealth of expertise, experience, and a compassionate touch to every patient she serves.

Through the integration of stateof-the-art technology and advanced techniques, Dr. Lee strives for nothing less than perfection for all of her patients. She holds patient desires and concerns as top priorities in guiding their journey towards the perfect smile, employing a comprehensive range of solutions from traditional braces to cutting-edge alternatives, such as clear ceramic braces and clear removable aligners like Invisalign. In addition, she has been trained in the use of advanced alternatives to surgery, using lasers and tiny bone screws to optimize tooth movement, which would otherwise require surgery.

She received her dental degree from Columbia University in New York City in 2000, where she also served on the faculty of orthodontics after completing her orthodontics specialty training before moving to North Carolina in 2005.


Brier Creek Orthodontics 9650 Brier Creek Parkway, Suite 101 Raleigh, NC 27617 919-544-9700 • BrierCreekOrtho.com North Durham Orthodontics 4301 Ben Franklin Boulevard, Suite 201 Durham, NC 27704 919-797-2300 • DurhamBraces.com
DENTISTS magazine

top dentists

Michael J. Wilson

Wilson Orthodontics

2900 Croasdaile Dr., Ste. 3 919-383-7423; wilson-ortho.com


Geoffrey R. Cunningham

Durham Prosthodontics

3709 University Dr., Ste. D 919-489-8661; mydurhamdentist.com

R. Kyle Gazdeck

Durham Prosthodontics

3709 University Dr., Ste. D 919-489-8661; mydurhamdentist.com

Rosanna V. Marquez

Triangle Restoration Dentistry

1920 E. Hwy. 54, Ste. 410 919-544-8106; trianglerestorationdentistry.com

Mark S. Scurria

Triangle Restoration Dentistry

1920 E. Hwy. 54, Ste. 410 919-544-8106; trianglerestorationdentistry.com

Dental Anesthesiology

Rachael D’Souza

Triangle Implant Center

5318 N.C. Hwy. 55, Ste. 106 919-806-2912; triangleimplantcenter.com

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Jeffrey S. Jelic Jelic Center Functional Aesthetic

Maxillofacial Surgery

5501 Fortune’s Ridge Dr., Ste. G 919-419-9222; drjelic.com

Aaron Park

Triangle Implant Center

5318 N.C. Hwy. 55, Ste. 106 919-806-2912; triangleimplantcenter.com

D urham P rostho D ontics

s P ecialists in aesthetic oral restoration

Geoffrey R. Cunningham, DDS, MS, FACP R. Kyle Gazdeck, DDS, MS, FACP

Drs. Geoffrey Cunningham and Kyle Gazdeck are Board Certified Prosthodontists serving the Triangle region. They specialize in creating custom smiles with dental implants, crowns, veneers, and dentures. Their board certification achievement makes Durham Prosthodontics stand out as the only prosthodontic practice in the RaleighDurham area with dually Boarded Specialists. In addition, Durham Prosthodontics is proud to be honored with the American College of Prosthodontics Private Practice Award. This award is only given out to four prosthodontic practices in the nation annually.

David B. Powers

Plastic, Maxillofacial & Oral Surgery

40 Duke Medical Circ., Ste. 1F 919-681-7043; dukemedicine.org

Andrew T. Ruvo

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

2823 N. Duke St. 919-479-0707; omsanc.com


Arnold T. McClain

5015 Southpark Dr., Ste. 130 919-484-8338; gumsandimplants.org

Samantha Robles

4301 Ben Franklin Blvd., Ste. 101 919-383-6611; drsamperio.com

46 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024
Conveniently Located Book Your Appt.
LOCATED CLOSE TO I-40 & I-85 3709-D UNIVERSITY DRIVE, DURHAM 919.489.8661 MYDURHAMDENTIST.COM Award-Winning Dental Specialists!
beyonddentaldurham.com | 919-439-8999 3917 University Dr. Suite 150, Durham, NC Our Team Is Excited To Make You Smile! OUR SERVICES INCLUDE: Up to Date & Down to Earth At Beyond Dental, we believe your best self starts with great oral health. That’s why we’ve built a practice out of going above and beyond for our patients.
• Wisdom Teeth Extraction • Snap-on Denture/ Fixed Dentures • Kör Whitening • IV Sedation • Clear Aligners • Cosmetic Veneers/Crowns • Dental Implants
Dr. Lei Cao, Dr. Sutasinee Liu

Scar Reduction at Aesthetic Solutions

Aesthetic Solutions is known for expertise in aesthetic medicine, providing a comprehensive array of aesthetic services such as injectable treatments, laser resurfacing, body contouring and medical grade skincare. They pair clinically proven treatments with a highly skilled, compassionate team of healthcare professionals. Learn more about our advanced therapies and combination treatments to help with scarring.

What type of scars can be treated with lasers?

On a daily basis we see a variety of patients looking to reduce the appearance of unwanted scars. From animal bites and motorcycle burns all the way to the everyday surgical incision – we’ve treated it all. Acne scars, MOHs scars, surgical scars and traumatic scars are among of the most common we see. Our goal is to make the scars more blended with the surrounding skin in tone, texture, and depth. While it’s not completely erasing the scars, we are able to achieve dramatic results.

What are some at-home things we can do to prevent scars?

When an injury or surgical incision is healing keeping the area covered and out of the sun is key. Sun protective clothing is a great option and has come a long way in recent years! We often get asked about overthe-counter scar creams – and truthfully they do an “ok” job. If you want to go this route, look for something that’s silicone based. If you can find it in a plastic surgeon’s office - that’s a good sign. If you want to start laser treatment for scars the earlier the better. Young scars respond better

5821 FARRINGTON RD #101, CHAPEL HILL, NC 27517 GIVE US A CALL 919 296 8787 | SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS info@aesthetic-solutions.com

to lasers, while older scars may require more sessions. For patients undergoing elective surgery we advise they begin treatments four to six weeks from the time of surgery. For all other scars, it is best to start treatments once the injury (cut, active acne, burn, etc) has fully healed.

What in-office treatments do you use for scars?

Typically a combination of treatments work best for scars. The exact laser or device is determined in a consultation. We try to find the treatment that fits best with a patient’s lifestyle, goals, and expectations. Other factors to consider when crafting a treatment plan are contraindications, available downtime, budget, number of sessions needed

Under the direction of Aesthetic Solutions Founder and Medical Director Dr. Sue Ellen Cox, both Corynn Newman PA-C and Garrett Forrest PA-C perform treatments for scars

Follow Us For The Latest! @aestheticsolutionsnc

and pre/post care. The age, color and depth of the scar will all play a factor in treatment selection. The Fraxel, Vbeam, RF Microneedling and CoolPeel are a few of our go-to treatments – among many others!

Q: How does Aesthetic Solutions work with new patients to set them up for success?

With so many options out there, we often meet patients who are suffering from information overload. The most important thing for new patients is an initial consultation that focuses on their main concern and all options, both inside and outside our office, that can help. A thorough consultation will set the stage for personalized solutions to address your specific concerns.



 

w omen RU n d URham G º J c 3 w

Trailblazers, innovators, icons – the 10 women highlighted on the following pages all are leaders in their respective fields, making waves and championing change in our vibrant community. Get to know them and celebrate their achievements with us. 

april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 51

an event held on East Main Street outside Missy Lane’s last year that celebrated the 20th anniversary of hip-hop duo Little Brother’s debut album, “The Listening.”

c cicely mitchell

icely Mitchell’s day starts before sunrise, at 4:45 a.m. She’s at the gym by 5:45 to enjoy some personal time – no texts, no calls, no emails. “I fully dedicate this time to myself,” she says. By 7:30, she’s on a call with her executive assistant to figure out the plan of action for the day. During the week, she’s a senior director of biostatistics at Syneos Health. By night, Cicely dedicates her time to her downtown music venue, Missy Lane’s Assembly Room.

Cicely has called Durham home for 23 years. She came to the Triangle for graduate school, earning her master’s and doctorate in biostatistics at UNC. This path not only laid the foundation for her career, it also enabled her other ambition to blossom. “My hobby has become quite a popular thing,” she says.

Cicely started curating music events nearly 13 years ago; she launched the Art of Cool Festival, an annual event celebrating progressive jazz and alternative soul music, with trumpeter Al Strong in 2014. The project was sold to the DOME Group in 2018, and Cicely embarked on her own consulting journey, producing music programs for venues around the Bull City including the Mill Stage at Golden Belt and Boxyard RTP as well as Made in Durham,

Don’t limit yourself. The universe would not give you these gifts if you weren’t supposed to use them.

Your gifts will make room for what you need to do.

– cicely mitchell

aToday, Cicely is proud to do what she loves in her own space, living a dream she has carried for a long time. “It came from the need of not wanting to hop around promoting shows anymore, but to put down some roots and have a music venue that’s fully dedicated to the genre of jazz and improvised music,” she says, adding that she was waiting for the right place at the right time. One day, it all lined up. Cicely and her partner, Marcel Mercer, were at dinner with friend Nish LeBlanc and learned that Nish was seeking a tenant for the space formerly occupied by Old Havana Sandwich Shop. “It was serendipitous,” Cicely says. She knew a downtown location would be the ideal home for her business. “In the time I’ve been doing music events, whether it was renting out Motorco, The Pinhook, the Carolina Theatre, DPAC … that’s the market I know,” Cicely says. She needed a seasoned team to execute the concept, another facet made easier thanks to her industry experience. “It felt like ‘Ocean’s Eleven,’” she says, “… you’re calling up the gang and saying, ‘We’re gonna do one more.’ Most people working on Missy Lane’s have been my production people from the beginning.”

Missy Lane’s launched its first concert series in January, billing itself as a beacon for cultural enrichment and a social hub for music lovers. “It’s got the vibe of an intimate living room,” Cicely says. “I want people to interact with the space in a way where you can come get a coffee in the morning or a cocktail at night. I’m hoping it will change people’s concept of what a music venue can do.” Cecily also wants Missy Lane’s to be top of mind when folks want to have a great night out. To that end, she and the team are busy compiling a second season of programming and planning exclusive members-only parties. “The level of talent we present is on the level of what you would see in New York at a legendary jazz club,” she says.

Her days are busy and her time is precious, but the diversity of Cecily’s two passions have made her who she is today. She’s living her dream – both of them.

– by Leah Berry 

Cicely emphasizes the power in becoming your own role model. “You have got to become that person,” she explains, noting that sometimes you won’t find a mentor who looks like you or who shares the same experiences as you. “Become that person who you want to be the trailblazer, and the next thing you know, you are that person.”

of achievement
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G a
april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 53

linda shRopshiRe

The building at 104 W. Parrish St. – which formerly housed Seven Stars Cycles – was acquired by Amos Cooper Jr. of Black Robin Ventures, Linda’s good friend and “co-collaborator.”

“Immediately I could see the possibility,” Linda says. “With that enthusiasm, I told Amos I would commit to the property. We put together a letter of intent that Amos was able to take to bankers and investors to anchor his position for funding. It was a win-win. I am forever grateful for the timing, and for Amos, who believed in my dream. We like to say, ‘We are taking back Black Wall Street.’”

galleRy diRectoR, ella west galleRy G


he commercial district of Parrish Street was a site of Black community building in the late 1800s, where Black entrepreneurs provided essential businesses for their patrons. Today, Linda Shropshire carries on the legacy of Black Wall Street in the heart of downtown at Ella West Gallery

An NC State alumna, Linda originally had her heart set on becoming a veterinarian, but her creative instincts eventually led her in another direction. She moved from Raleigh to Durham in 1995. “I realized [Durham] was … a place of inclusion, a place of belonging,” Linda says. Here, she raised her two daughters, Taylor Grissom and Sydney Grissom, who graduated from Jordan High School and Durham Academy Upper School, respectively. She worked at Cisco Systems Inc. for several years before it went through a restructuring in 2020; she took advantage of the opportunity, deciding to step back from the company and instead pursue her master’s in business administration at UNC, which she’s still in the process of completing. She says she has “been a student of learning ever since.”

It was during her classwork that the notion of a gallery began to form – “It’s something I had buried deep for a long time,” she says. “By the time I got to a critical mass, where I’d done some marketing, accounting and operations work on this fictional gallery, along comes this opportunity of a lifetime for a space – where? – on Black Wall Street, my dream location. I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, am I ready? I have to be ready.’ Sometimes the opportunity presents itself, and you have to take a leap of faith.”

Linda is not alone in her decisions and greatly relies on what she likes to call her “kitchen table cabinet,” a group of four women steeped in the art and business world: Teka Selman, cultural and contemporary art advisor; Jes Averhart, author, career development speaker and creator of the Reinvention Road Trip; Michelle Lanier, historian, folklorist and current director of the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites; and Carly Jones, CEO of Artspace. With the gathered experiences from her trusted advisory board and curated financial planning, Linda opened Ella West on Aug. 19, 2023.

Linda continues to build relationships while meeting photographers, speaking with artists, consulting with curators and planning future exhibitions – the next will debut in early May and focus on a few major female artists. Linda’s mission is to uplift marginalized voices and bridge intergenerational gaps through the collection and admiration of art in all of its mediums. The latest exhibit, on display through mid-April, is a prime example:

“Stephen Hayes: Reclaiming the Discarded” is a collection of artist and Duke University professor Stephen Hayes’ works depicting the adverse effects of capitalism and consumerism and the true implications of transatlantic slave trade, embodying themes meant to shift the cultural perceptions of Black subjectivity. On March 1, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Ella West Gallery along with Gov. Roy Cooper and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Treasury Wally Adeyemo to view the showcase as a part of the administration’s Investing in America tour aimed at supporting small businesses.

The gallery itself is named after Linda’s mother, Ella Wynn Douthit, now 83, who was often called only by her middle name, “West.” She, too, was an entrepreneur at heart who, as a single mother, went back to school, got her associate degree and went on to own and operate a successful hair salon. “I inherited a work ethic that is generations deep,” Linda says. “My mother gave me the ability to put love at the center of my life. And so, I wanted to look at that … every single day. When I am doing business, it’s a reminder that I want to put people over transactions, and community above and beyond anything else. That is Ella West.” – by Leah Paige 

“It is powerful to see guests who are college students and senior citizens appreciating the art and the importance of Ella West Gallery on this historic street and at this moment in our history,” Linda says.

women of achievement a 54 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024
april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 55

janet lee

anet Lee first came to Durham 11 years ago as a grad student at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business after transferring from Columbia University. Her path to that point wasn’t easy. She’d attended three different high schools and struggled with depression for much of her youth, but after the shock of earning a 0.7 GPA at San Diego State University, Janet says she finally focused on her mental health and “started working hard.” She went to community college in Santa Monica and eventually transferred to UCLA, graduating with honors. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something with the community and give back,” Janet says.

After graduating from Fuqua, Janet gave the corporate world a shot as a project manager at a pharmaceutical company, but “it wasn’t fulfilling,” she says.

A yoga lesson at Threehouse Studios changed everything, Janet says. The instructor shared a simple message with the class – “You only have one life, so do what makes you happy.” It was exactly what Janet needed to hear. “I put in my two weeks notice the very next day, impulsively, without a plan,” Janet says. “Of course, that probably wasn’t the wisest choice, because it takes at least a year to open up a business.” 

56 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024
Women of achievement
foUndeR and owneR, Zenfish poke baR
april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 57
Three of ZenFish’s signature bowls are aptly named “Kindness,” “Courageous” and “Compassion” –“words we try to live by,” Janet says.

That business was ZenFish Poke Bar, a 700-square-foot restaurant Janet opened on Ninth Street in 2016. The concept was suggested by her brother; poke was one of Janet’s favorite foods growing up in California, and she has fond memories of Hawaiian poke, specifically, from travels to the islands with her family.

“I knew I wanted to create a space of inclusivity and kindness,” Janet says. She was bullied as a child for not speaking English, and she often ate lunch alone. “Selfishly speaking, I wanted to create a space where I felt like I belonged, because I never really felt like I belonged my whole life, in a way,” she says, adding that Durham was a perfect choice for her restaurant. “The people here are all so kind and so genuine,” Janet says. “We’re progressive, there’s a lot of diversity, people are always rooting for one another, … there’s a sense of Southern hospitality. It’s the best of all worlds in such a small area.”

Janet and her husband, Bryan Wylie, are now the parents of two young boys, who she often brings to work. “Even with kids, I want to put 110% into my business,” she says. “I want to incorporate my family in my business.” That includes her chosen family – her employees – too. “I’m the type of owner where everyone has my cell number,” she says. “They can text me in the middle of the night for advice, a ride, anything … we’re really a family.”

The fast-casual restaurant, which operates a second location at Homestead Market in South Durham, prioritizes sustainability by using compostable materials to reduce landfill waste. Janet ensures no plastic is used, and the restaurant opts for sustainable protein sources, whether line-caught or responsibly farmed, as well as fair-trade produce like avocados, cucumbers and organic salads in addition to local ingredients such as watermelon radishes from Cottell Organics and MamaSprings Farm’s microgreens, among other in-season fare.

“We aren’t financially able to do everything local, but every item we serve is a mindful, conscious decision,” Janet says. “We’re always looking for ways to be more sustainable … to me, bringing quality items to my customers is most important. We don’t cut corners, and I’m very proud of the food that we serve.”

ZenFish clientele clearly appreciate it. “I’ve never met customers who are this kind,” she says. “We have awesome people coming through our doors … customers who have invited us to their weddings, given us Christmas presents, baked us cookies and brownies. There’s never been a day that I wasn’t excited to be at ZenFish or see my customers.” – by Leah Berry 

If you do something that is actually fulfilling for you, then the hard thing doesn’t feel that hard. I feel like this is meaningful work: It’s building a community, building a family, promoting kindness, promoting mental health awareness, human rights, etc. … it’s more than serving poke bowls.

– janet lee


Janet is also a real estate agent; she originally started in California, but picked the work up again in Durham four years ago to create an additional stream of income for ZenFish. The restaurant also recently added another income stream by bottling its house-made sauces. “We donate a portion of every bottle to a different nonprofit that advocates for human rights and the environment,” Janet says. “Our vision is to be able to get these bottles into grocery stores … the more bottles we sell, the more we have to be able to give back.” You can find its sauces in Durham at Bulldega Urban Market, LocoPops and The Common Market G

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“Now being a mom of two, it’s hard,” Janet says. “But I think it’s worth it. I love it, and I love what I do.”

Dr. Bolton received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of North Carolina Dental School at Chapel Hill. With patient feedback in mind, she designed Bull City Smiles, to create a dream office for herself and her patients. Her philosophy is conservative and she loves helping people restore and maintain their dental health through patient education, a gentle touch, and lots of TLC.

Dr. Bolton is currently a member of the American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, and Academy of General Dentistry. She has been voted Best of Durham for many years (thank you!). She is happily married and is the proud parent of two daughters, Jessica and Julia. When she is not treating patients she enjoys camping, hiking, working on their organic farm in Rougemont and spending time at Hyco Lake.

I love dentistry and treat ALL our patients the way I want to be treated! Starting by ASKING patients what their wants and needs are, then SHOWING patients what I see, and we work on a plan of health TOGETHER. I am proud to provide the best oral health care possible to my patients.
" "
—Debora Bolton DDS
Sponsored Content
919.381.5900 | bullcitysmiles.com

dR. alisha benneR

palliative medicine physician, dUke UniveRsity health system

assistant pRofessoR, dUke UniveRsity school of medicine

pRogR am diRectoR, dUke hospice and palliative medicine fellowship G

mid the bustling corridors and near-constant hum of activity at the Duke Cancer Center, Dr. Alisha Benner knows the value of two important tenets that can be rare to find in modern medicine today: silence and time.

“You should never speak more than 50% of the time in any patient interaction,” Alisha says of providers of palliative care, a relatively new medical specialty with expertise in treating both physical and emotional symptoms for those with serious illnesses.

Palliative medicine clinicians work intimately with patients and the rest of their medical team to help them navigate their health care in all its stages and understand treatment options with the goal of providing expert symptom management and emotional support for them and their loved ones along their medical journey. “Silence is actually one of our most important tools; it’s in that quiet space that we can learn a lot from our patients – how they’re feeling, their insights into their health status, what they are worried about, the important, hard questions they have, and really allow them to consider their options.” 

G Women of achievement a 60 | durhammag.com | April/May 2024
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Alisha emphasizes mentorship, particularly for women navigating the challenges of medical professions. “It’s important to find good mentors – female mentors – and then become a good mentor,” she says. “Pay it forward.”

The focus on time with patients is what initially drew Alisha to the field, which was still in its early stages as a speciality when she went back for a fellowship in palliative medicine training at UNC after working as an internal medicine hospitalist at WakeMed in Raleigh for 10 years. “The thing I really enjoy about the hospital setting is I can spend as much time with patients and families as I need,” she says. “There’s nobody saying, ‘Your 15 minutes is up, you have to move on;’ it lets me have time with patients and build those relationships, and I really value that. At the end of the day, these are people, and the more you get to know them, the better we’re able to take care of them.”

She’ll spend a half-hour with a follow-up patient, and an hour with new patients, learning about their needs – emotional and physical – and what is most important to them while “taking the temperature of the room to mold our discussion in a way that feels right for how they are feeling that day,” Alisha says. She helps them and their loved ones –“Disease is not an individual patient experience,” Alisha emphasizes. “It’s a family experience, whether biologic or the family you create.” – understand what the trajectory of their diagnosis is likely to look like so that they can make decisions on how to spend their time.


The main difference between palliative care and hospice is that palliative care is a subspecialty of medicine, similar to seeing a cardiologist or oncologist, and can start at the time of diagnosis for advanced illness whereas hospice is an insurance benefit only for those diagnosed with a terminal illness and are predicted to have fewer than six months to live and who wish to focus on comfort at home.

“I’ll say to patients, ‘Sometimes people just get really sick and tired of being sick and tired,’” Alisha says, “‘and they nod, and say, ‘Yeah,’ and they need to hear that it’s OK to feel that way, right? There are often times that patients feel they just have to be fighters – their family wants them to be fighters, society wants them to be fighters. But I think that’s a very tough burden to place on a patient, because with disease, particularly for cancer, improvement or decline is made at a molecular level. It’s not based on the will of the fighter.”

Alisha frequently reminds her patients that the goal of their meetings is to ensure that they have as many good days – whatever that looks like for them – as possible, and it’s her job to help them have that kind of day.

“The rewards are frequent in the work that I do,” Alisha says. “A lot of people say, ‘I don’t know how you do what you do; I could never do that,’ and I would share that, the reality is that nobody lives forever. And so if we can help people have a good journey and a soft landing, that’s a big deal.” – by Amanda MacLaren 

‘Don’t kick the joy can down the road’ – nobody knows how they’re going to feel later, so I encourage my patients to do the things that are important now. I always want people to say, ‘I’m glad I did,’ not, ‘I wish I had.’


Alisha practices what she preaches to her patients, taking time to find joy in the “good days.” She seeks solace in nature – “I’m very much into being outside; exercise gives me a lot of relief, it fills my bucket” – and advocacy work like registering people to vote and encouraging voter turnout, underscoring her commitment to social responsibility beyond the realms of medicine. “I’ll go wherever the need is,” she says of her volunteerism with organizations like the Durham County Democratic Party and Orange County Democratic Party. “I’ve written postcards. I’ve done phone banking. I’ve done canvassing. I’ve done it all. I find helping people get to the polls to be the most rewarding.”

She and her husband, Dr. Eric Benner, a neonatologist at Duke, have three sons – Jack Benner, 14, who attends Duke School, and twins Ethan Benner, a first-year student at UNC, and Gavin Benner, 19.

“My twins were born three months premature, which is how Eric actually got into neonatology,” Alisha says. Ethan, a chemistry major, is taking a bioethics class, and recently asked his mom for a bit of advice. “They were doing a unit on patient-doctor communication, and he messaged me saying, ‘I really want to get your input as a palliative medicine physician,’” she says. “My heart swelled 10 sizes. I was like, ‘Nothing would give me more joy.’”

Gavin has what is commonly titled “typical autism,” Alisha says, and is minimally verbal, requiring 24-hour supervision. She notes the issues related to the under-recognition of the needs of intellectually disabled (IDD) adults, especially in supported employment (aides hired to provide 1:1 supervision at the job site) opportunities and safe, quality residential options. Around 0.5% of the US population, roughly 1.7 million people, have severe IDD, Alisha says, adding that she believes concepts such as tax benefits for businesses offering supported employment; government grants to encourage innovative residential options; and low-cost or free housing for students interested in health professions to live with IDD adults, providing companionship and gaining valuable experience while reducing their financial burdens, would greatly alleviate some of these challenges.

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baRbaR a lee smith

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arbara Lee Smith grew up to defy the expectations of her post-World War II generation when women were not encouraged to become independent professionals.

“The idea that at some point in my life I would travel around the world to teach and show my work – I hadn’t a clue that that would ever even be a possibility,” she says. “So, I look back on it and think, ‘Wow, I got lucky along the way.’”

Barbara uses various materials – paint, collage and stitching – to create her abstract artworks. Her favorite textile is Lutradur, an industrial interfacing material used to back automobile upholstery as one of its different applications, which is made in Durham by Freudenberg Performance Materials

“It looks like rice paper,” she says. “It’s tough as nails.”

Barbara finds inspiration in liminal spaces where edges meet and colors mingle, like when tides swell and retreat, and she walks along wet sands and sees what is left behind. 

Barbara says she is still experimenting with art, still learning and growing. If she had a chance to visit her younger self, she would have shared this advice: “Have more faith in yourself. Have more faith in your abilities. Make sure to engage others in what you want to do, and do it. Make mistakes, have some fun.”

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She translates her feelings of connection to nature with layers of painted and fused nonwoven fibers.

“I’ve just found that the materials and color are very important to me,” she says. “One of the things I love about working with textiles is that you have extraordinary variety in colors because of different kinds of threads, different kinds of interactions of the threads with the painted fabric.”

Rather than use a paintbrush, Barbara “draws” with the needle of a vintage Legacy 1 quilting machine she calls “the monster.” She considers the different painted scraps “brushstrokes.”

“The machine is a huge part of the construction of the work, because it both literally and visually holds everything together,” she says. Barbara has lost count of the miles of thread she has used for her projects over the years. The effect can be mesmerizing, like a topographical map of color and depth.

“People want to get close to [see] the work, and that’s the way I construct the work,” she says. Like the ebb and flow of water, Barbara approaches her studio wall, pins a painted fragment and steps back to have a look.

Oh, to be surrounded by art; I am surrounded by friends.
– baRbaRa lee smith


Barbara was the youngest of three siblings born to a minister father and a church secretary mother. She grew up in different cities where coastal landscapes imprinted on her subconscious. One memorable home, originally built as a private gambling clubhouse, was a 23-room Victorian manse just six blocks from the ocean in Cape May, New Jersey. Her parents bought the home in 1949 and converted it into a summer rooming house. That same year, Barbara saw a Life magazine article about Jackson Pollock. “That left an impression,” she says.

After raising a blended family with her late husband, John Melvin “Mel” Smith, Barbara earned her master’s in mixed media at Northern Illinois University. In 1991, she published a book, “Celebrating the Stitch: Contemporary Embroidery of North America.” Her finished pieces hang in many esteemed places, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

She repeats this dance until her composition speaks to her. “And that’s the way people do,” she says. “They come up, and they go, ‘Oh, wait a minute, it’s not paper. Oh, it’s not painting, what is it?’ And then they back up. I like that.”

Inside her light-filled loft apartment at the American Tobacco Campus, Barbara experiments with ideas and compositions, pulling scraps of material from her extensive collection of leftovers from earlier works. A large, finished piece covers the wall above her sofa. Light from the window reveals the texture of layers held together by sinuous lines of colored thread. “Go ahead,” she says, encouraging a tactile connection to the piece. “You can’t hurt it.

“Some works lend themselves to look more like water or sand or rocks or hills or grasses or sky,” she says. “I work to share my ideas about life in general and the importance of nature and healing, and to get people out of whatever is going on for a little while, and allow [them] to have a whole different moment or two, or three, of engagement. I mean, taking a deep breath, just seeing something in a new way. I think it’s big; it’s important.”

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april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 67 Simply the best. Brightleaf Square courtyard 905 West Main, Durham NC 919.683.1474 HamiltonHillJewelry.com The Thirteenth Annual

tiffany g Riffin

co-foUndeR and ceo, bRight black G

what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a candle?

Warmth? Glow? Fragrance? The sense of smell is closely linked with memory, which means scents can be powerful tools for storytelling. That’s why Tiffany Griffin has built her company, Bright Black, around designing specific aromas that evoke Black narratives and recollections.

“The thread that has tied everything together professionally for me is this passion for storytelling in general and, more specifically, getting at and or sharing accurate stories around Blackness,” says Tiffany, who initially aspired to make documentaries. “As a young person, 17 years old, it was pretty clear to me that people had very inaccurate information around Blackness.” Tiffany earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications at Boston College in 2002 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in social psychology with a focus on racial identity, discrimination and public policy from the University of Michigan. She then served as a postdoctoral fellow in UNC’s psychology department, which helped her realize her passion for work that motivates influence and change.

Tiffany then worked as health staffer in the Senate for six years during both the Obama and Trump administrations.

“That work was really great … but once the administration changed and it became clear that I didn’t have the same levers of change that I had under the Obama administration, I decided to leave,” she says.

Tiffany revisited candle-making – a fun couples activity that she and her husband, Dariel Heron, started doing together in 2014 – in an effort to create more freedom in her life. She wrote a business plan for a candle company in 2018, and the pair took the leap and launched Bright Black in November 2019. They converted the finished basement of their home into a studio and began producing a collection called “Diaspora:” candles crafted from natural materials and distinctive fragrances that pay homage to five cities known for Black excellence that also hold special meaning for the couple. For instance, “Kingston” has scents of rum and sugarcane inspired by Jamaica, where Dariel’s family is from.

Bright Black opened its storefront in the Lakewood Shopping Center in late October 2022, creating a physical space for Tiffany to connect with her customers beyond mere transactions, fostering engagement through scent workshops, showroom activities, art talks, story hours and more. They’ve also built an audience online via social media and newsletters –time well spent for a business without a big marketing budget.

Looking ahead, Tiffany plans to expand the store’s offerings to include products sourced from small, women- and Black-owned businesses, like Ethiopian honey to pair with their “Addis Ababa” candle and Jamaican coffee for their “Kingston” candle, aiming for a more comprehensive gift shop experience. The company also plans to continue to partner with local and national organizations – from NBA player CJ McCollum’s wine company, McCollum Heritage 91, to the San Antonio Spurs, to Durham’s Ella West Gallery – to design custom scents. Tiffany further hopes to lean into multisensory experiences with respect to art by partnering with exhibits rooted in different facets of the Black experience at museums across the country, such as the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution and The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. “Having an opportunity to really integrate scent into these more visual, sometimes auditory … exhibits, I think could be a real game changer with respect to how people take in information,” Tiffany says. – by Holland Bodner and Leah Berry 

“My favorite scents depend on the moment,” Tiffany says.

“The one constant – it’s going to sound cliché – but it is ‘Durham.’ ‘Signature’ is a close second and, most recently, my other favorite is ‘Resist,’” a candle where 50% of net sales support the BIPOC Therapy Fund run by Inclusive Therapists/Mental Health Liberation.

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vicky g aRcia


icky Garcia envisioned a career in industrial engineering when she went off to study it at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. But a finance class reshaped her perspective when her professor recommended her for a position at a Colombian bank, ushering her into money management.

Vicky honed her skills at the bank for eight years before relocating to North Carolina with her husband, Alejandro Lutz, in 2001 so he could obtain his master’s from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Vicky, too, later graduated from KenanFlagler in 2007, drawn to the university’s resources, supportive environment and diverse community – a perfect fit, as she describes it.

A friend introduced Vicky to the Latino Community Credit Union the same year she and Alejandro moved to the U.S., and Vicky soon began volunteering as a loan officer at the downtown Durham branch, helping prepare loan applications and educating others on the significance of credit building and history. She transitioned to a full-time role as a lending director in November 2003.

Vicky finds passion for what she does in every family she helps move into a home and the compound effect that financial stability has on those individuals. “Once you give that access to members, they flourish,” she says. “This industry affect[s] people’s lives directly. … If the credit union wasn’t there, that person wouldn’t have the opportunity.” Among the many members she encounters, Vicky treasures the relationship she developed with one who she still occasionally meets while running on the Al Buehler Trail at Duke University. His was among the first loans approved when LCCC launched its mortgage program, which gave him the opportunity to send his kids to college. She also recounts how the credit union supported him in securing a car loan for his painting business after a traumatic robbery incident.

Vicky’s personal and professional mission became clear over time: to advocate for the financial stability and accessibility of low-income individuals with little to no credit history while also expanding the credit union’s reach across North Carolina. When Vicky became CEO and president of the credit union in June 2023, LCCU board chair David Brehmer gave her a piece of treasured advice: “You have to be you.” She took the words to heart, and emphasizes the importance of women embracing their own unique leadership styles, proving that authenticity can drive exceptional results.

Vicky’s commitment to community service is unwavering; she’s a past board member of Self-Help Credit Union, Museum of Durham History and Habitat for Humanity of Durham, and currently serves on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic/ Latino Affairs where she advocates for those seeking economic opportunities in the state while also applying the knowledge she gains from seeing government impact on communities firsthand to enrich her leadership at LCCU.

Latinos in our community are forging their own paths and asserting their presence more and more, Vicky says. She believes it’s essential to ensure everyone feels welcomed and valued in Durham and advocates for inclusivity, urging others to recognize and embrace the diversity that enriches their surroundings. – by Katie Scherner 

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pResident and ceo, l atino commUnity cRedit Union
Outside her professional endeavors, Vicky finds solace in running throughout the Bull City: downtown, the American Tobacco Trail and the trails close to where she lives near Woodcroft are a few of her favorites, and she’s even conquered the Bull City Race Fest and RDC half-marathons a handful of times.
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ake sure you get to know and respect everyone,” Desiree T. Palmer’s mother reminded her before she left home in Washington, D.C., to attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, “not just the ones in charge, but also the area workers, custodians, the front office people. Everyone is important and plays a key role.” 

Desiree finds fulfillment in building and maintaining longtime relationships, including mentorships. “If I were talking to young women who are going into this career now, I would say, ‘Build a support network, both personally and in business,’” she says. “If you get involved, you [have] an opportunity to become integral to the community, but it’s also making you visible, too.”

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dentist and owneR, bUll city dental & a new Reason to smile
april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 73 Jump in on the Fun BOUNCING BULLDOGS FUN + FOCUS + FRIENDS For more information and to register, go to: bouncingbulldogs.org | 919.493.7992
Jump rope classes & camps for all ages

One day, a dean of students stopped Desiree, a biochemistry major intent on becoming a teacher like her mom, and asked Desiree to consider dentistry as a profession. “She says, ‘I want you to look at that field, I think it’d be a great career for you,’” Desiree recalls. “‘As a dentist, you still would be an educator, because you’re educating your patients.’” After completing her bachelor’s, she earned a doctor of medicine in dentistry from Tufts University and began her professional career in Massachusetts as a public health dentist.

Desiree says her life changed course again in the mid’80s when an old family friend Dr. Thomas B. Bass extended an invitation to join his dental practice in Durham as he transitioned to retirement. She was familiar with the Bull City; her family would often stop there on the way to visit her grandparents in western North Carolina. “At the time, there were not very many women [dentists],” Desiree says. “In fact, when he invited me, I was actually the only African American female [in Durham] who went into private practice in 1985.”

Desiree opened her first private solo practice in northern Durham in 1992, and by 2015, she established her second location, Bull City Dental, downtown on Parrish Street Becoming a dentist was fairly straightforward for Desiree, but running a private practice requires business acumen as well. “You think you get a dental degree and just start practicing dentistry, but if you open up a private practice, you really want [the skills of] an entrepreneur,” she says. “You have to learn about building a business. I think that was probably the most challenging [aspect].”

She grew up with a deep sense of serving her community and strives to give back. “When I first got here, I worked at the Lincoln Community Health Center one day a week,” Desiree says. “That public health clinic experience was rewarding because patients so appreciate the services you’re providing, particularly if they’re not in a position to always compensate you for it.”

Desiree also sits on three community boards – the Community Health Coalition, the Durham Library Foundation and Local Start Dental, a nonprofit dental clinic for underserved communities. She also gives back through service organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and the Durham chapter of The Links, an international women’s volunteer group. And she exercises regularly at The 360 Approach, another Black woman-owned downtown business.

Desiree and her husband, Michael J. Palmer, have three adult sons – Austen “Shambo” Palmer, Brandon Palmer and Colton Palmer. The couple enjoys bowling and spending time with their granddaughters, Brianna Lillie Palmer, 13, and Solyn Aya Palmer, 4.

Desiree plans to join her husband in retirement eventually, but “I love being a dentist,” she says, “working with the women on my team and serving our patients. Ultimately, my goal is to ensure my practices will continue to be recognized as prominent Black-owned businesses, as I pass my baton to the next generation.” – by Anna-Rhesa Versola 

74 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024 What We’re Eating: News from our restaurant community Durham, Chapel Hill, & Chatham Weekenders weekly updates on local people, places and events Home & Garden monthly look at some local renovations and latest trends Eat & Drink monthly local foodie news, events and recipes STAY CONNECTED Durham Magazine • Chapel Hill Magazine Chatham Magazine • Heart of NC Weddings Triangle Digital Partners GO HERE TO SIGN UP: durhammag.com/join chapelhillmagazine.com/join chathammagazinenc.com/join Durham Inc. monthly run down of the local business pulse in Durham Weekly Wedding Planner wedding planning tips, inspiration and local events Special Offers & Promotions events, offers and deals from our local partners Editor’s Picks: What to do this weekend! PLAN YOUR WEEKEND HOME &garden Delivered monthly by DurhamMagazine ChapelHillMagazine & ChathamMagazine Local renovations Professional advice Latest trends G women of achievement a

Our leadership stems from an unwavering commitment to image quality, patient safety, advanced technology, compassionate care, and trust with area healthcare professionals. That's why we've earned and consistently maintain the highest accreditations from the American College of Radiology.


sUZ anne RoUsso

aRtistic diRectoR, mallaRmé mUsic


uzanne Rousso discovered her love for the viola when it came time to choose an instrument in her third grade music classroom on Long Island. “It seemed to fit my personality,” she says. “I’m kind of an introvert, and I think that’s the role of the viola.”


Suzanne infused the organization with her own vision while preserving its core values when she took over the role from Mallarmé’s founder, Anna Wilson, in 2008. “We still abide by that basic premise of chamber music, which is an ensemble of two or more people without a conductor, … but also try to expand the definition of chamber music,” she says. Expect to hear Bach from the pews of NorthStar Church of the Arts or Duke Chapel; a program of Cuban dance music at Motorco Music Hall; or a family-friendly concert at the Durham County Main Library. “We’re a nomadic group, so we don’t have our own space, and that’s part of the charm,” Suzanne says. The group also does not have a core of musicians, instead hiring local instrumentalists based on the repertoire. “We try to be diverse, and I think we do a good job at that – everything from early music on period instruments to … the brass concert we did [in early February] with contemporary American music.”

As Mallarmé’s sole full-time employee, “there’s a lot of things to do, as with any nonprofit,” Suzanne says. “You’re arranging concerts, you’re securing venues, getting pianos tuned, organizing musicians. That’s the day to day as far as the artistic part. But there’s a bunch related to the administrative side – finances, grant writing. How do you sell your tickets on your website? How do you build a website? That’s time consuming, … and most of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned along the way.

“I love all our concerts, but I am especially looking forward to our 40th season anniversary celebratory concert on Friday, May 24, at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw,” Suzanne says. “Violinist Jennifer Curtis, cellist Caroline Stinson and pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute will perform Franz Schubert’s monumental B-flat Trio, Op. 99. I am excited to have such a stellar group of musicians playing a traditional chamber music work in a distinctly nontraditional venue for classical music … it kind of sums up what Mallarmé is all about!”

Her passion for playing blossomed from that point, taking her to a Juilliard pre-college program as a high school student and on to several roles as a freelance orchestral musician. She moved to North Carolina in 1989 and played for the North Carolina Symphony, eventually taking on the role of its director of education, which she held for nearly a decade. She moved to Maine and worked for the Portland Symphony Orchestra for several years before she and her son, Charles Manker, “missed North Carolina so much” that they moved back when a job for chamber music ensemble Mallarmé Music opened up. This season marks her 15th as artistic director of the Durham institution, which also celebrates a milestone anniversary of 40 years this fall.

“One thing that’s great about my job is that I still get to perform on my instrument,” Suzanne says. “Performing is really the best part, honestly – having concerts that people love and are excited about.” And if you think the movements, pieces and notes are rote by this point, Suzanne is quick to negate that notion. “I still have to practice every day on my instrument,” she says. “I try to do at least an hour. You can’t ever stop.”

Mallarmé itself embodies that doctrine. “I think 40 years is a pretty respectable number,” Suzanne says. She and Mallarmé board chair Andrea Edith Moore are excited for what the future holds for the organization. “It shows that classical music, chamber music and the type of programming we do has longevity,” Andrea says. “[Suzzane’s] really a jill-of-all-trades – she’s able to lead and be in that role, but also be an artist and a performer. She’s one of the busiest performers I know.” – by Natalie McCormick 

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Mallarmé often books venues like NorthStar Church of the Arts for concerts. “Durham has changed immensely over the years, and there are so many more organizations, performers, musicians, artists – it’s a great place to be,” Suzanne says.
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m. letitia hUbbaRd


letitia Hubbard embodies a blend of academic prowess and unwavering dedication to STEM education, combining her expertise with a relentless passion for nurturing young minds.

“She engages with students and colleagues daily and champions the skills necessary for all students to see themselves as engineers and researchers,” says Katie O’Connor, provost and vice chancellor of academic programs at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

“Not only does she exceed expectations in the classroom, she does it with incredible integrity and professionalism.”

Born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Letitia’s journey into the world of engineering and academia was set in motion early on. “I have always been interested in science, even as a child,” Letitia says. Her formative years in a four-year pre-engineering magnet program at her high school helped set the foundation for the trajectory that lay ahead.

She moved to Durham in 2004 and attended Duke University for her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, graduating in 2010. After also completing her postdoctoral at Duke, she began to think about next steps.

“I spent a lot of time working with students as a teaching assistant at both the undergraduate level and at the K-12 level [while] at Duke,” Letitia says. “When I came across the job posting at NCSSM for an engineering and research instructor, I did not know much about NCSSM, but it seemed like the perfect fit for me. I love to work with students early in their career trajectories, challenge them and open their eyes to the many possibilities in STEM that they may have never even considered.”

Her nearly nine-year tenure at NCSSM bears witness to a litany of transformative initiatives, from helping to develop the school’s online biomedical engineering course to spearheading groundbreaking research projects – like in 2020, when her team of students and faculty developed an app that used artificial intelligence to discriminate between recyclables and non-recyclables in order to prevent recycling contamination for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. The project was selected among five national winners, and the accolade came with a $100,000 prize for NCSSM. “Given my early experiences attending a preengineering magnet program in high school, working at NCSSM in an engineering department has been truly a full-circle moment,” Letitia says.


Letitia made history in 2022 when she was named a Faculty Fellow by the University of North Carolina System’s Division of Academic Affairs – a first for any NCSSM faculty member. It’s “a competitive process, and one that denotes her exceptional impact on others,” Katie says.

Make a difference in your sphere of influence, and your influence may extend further than you ever thought possible. Doing small things with extraordinary passion helps small things to become extraordinary things.

a“Her impact on students goes far beyond the classroom,” Katie adds. “She continues giving as a teacher in NCSSM’s summer programs, specifically the Step Up to STEM and the Eastern North Carolina STEM programs, to help ensure equal opportunity for students across North Carolina. I am equally impressed by the time and effort she dedicates as a faculty advisor to the National Society of Black Engineers Jr. club.”

Letitia strives to foster a vibrant culture of innovation, inquiry and inclusivity, and encourages all who are interested in STEM – but women and underrepresented minorities in particular – to stay the course, even if the road ahead seems rough. “Don’t be afraid to try hard things even if you are not good at it at first,” Letitia says. “It can be easy to get discouraged and isolated. … This is compounded for those who cross boundaries and have many different lived experiences and often feel as though they don’t fit in anywhere. It is important … to have good role models who can provide motivation and insight into how to be successful in a STEM field and how to carve out unique opportunities to make an impact.”

Luckily for NCSSM’s engineering students, they don’t have to look far to find one. – by Ryan Christiano

“It is an honor to work at a high school with a reputation for excellence,” Letitia says of NCSSM, which was recently named the No. 1 college prep public high school as well as the No. 2 best public high school in the nation by ranking and review site Niche.com

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instRUctoR of engineeRing and mentoRship ReseaRch, noRth caRolina school of science and mathematics


Outside of work, Letitia enjoys attending shows at the Durham Performing Arts Center and spending time with her husband, Lemuel Hubbard, a lieutenant in the Raleigh Fire Department, and her two children, Lemuel “Alex” Hubbard, 7, and Lance Hubbard, 2.

“They keep me busy, but they have brought so much joy and depth to my life,” Letitia says. “My oldest son, Alex, is active in youth sports including i9 Sports’ youth basketball league, and we love to visit East Regional Library, which is in our neighborhood.”

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ABOVE Jennifer Hutton and her husband, Gabe Hutton, use the large banquette and pedestal table when hosting dinner guests; it’s also one of Jennifer’s favorite places to enjoy the light and view while working on current design projects.

DIY Delight

An inside look at a design pro’s remodel of her own ranch-style home

When Gabe Hutton first showed a home listing to his wife, Jennifer Hutton, she immediately dismissed it in a “hangry” haze.

“Then I got to looking at the pictures,” Jennifer says. The creative director and principal designer at

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Grau Design Studio later reconsidered her initial reaction to the J.P. Goforth ranch-style home in the Falconbridge neighborhood, only a mile from her office and “close to everything,” she says.

“The minute I walked in the front door, I just cried,” she says. “I was like, ‘This is the one; it works. This is where we’re going to end up.’ It was kind of like love at first sight.”

They purchased the 1,700-square-foot home, which was built in 1986 on a .35-acre corner lot, in 2022. The original floor plan included three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, den, living and dining room with an enclosed porch that extended their living space into a large backyard with a separate storage building.

Jennifer and Gabe, who met while working part-time jobs at Home Depot in New York, are comfortable DIYers and have

What’s life, if not edgy?

BELOW A stereo system and workout equipment and accessories are stored neatly in a corner of the home gym.

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ABOVE The Huttons converted one of the bedrooms into a custom home gym that they use daily. An infrared heater in the ceiling raises the temperature for Gabe’s hot yoga practice. LEFT Gabe and Anka, one of the couple’s two Australian shepherds who often keep him company in his home office.
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renovated nearly all their past homes themselves. So far in this home, the couple has converted one of the bedrooms into a sleek gym; turned the dining room into an office; updated both bathrooms, the laundry room and kitchen; and transformed the family room into a sweeping dining and entertainment space.

“A lot of the features of this house really spoke to me,” Jennifer says. “For instance, these massive windows that overlook the front yard – they just have a really good view. And, I’m a big entertainer. I like having people over and hosting large parties. The banquette here offers great seating for that. There were a lot of features I was salivating over.”

Jennifer remembers how she and Gabe pulled up the thick, high-pile carpet in the family and dining rooms, revealing slab concrete, and put down wideplank, white oak hardwood. “We started with tearing up carpet the weekend we closed on the house in January,” Jennifer recalls. They moved in in April, and then replaced the linoleum flooring in the kitchen with porcelain tile. “The renovations are still ongoing; we’re 65% done. It’s been a little over a year and a half, and we just finished the last hard surface in the powder room. Now, we’re gonna move on to the guest bedroom, [primary] bedroom and living room.” 

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ABOVE The updated kitchen features stylish storage spaces, a porcelain tiled vent hood and plenty of lighting, including under the cabinets. BELOW Jennifer and Gabe love to entertain; having guests over gives Gabe a chance to show off his mixology skills.
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Gabe and Jennifer, who met when working at the same Home Depot store in New York, regularly put their DIY skills to use, enjoying the benefits of customizing their home to suit their own preferences.

1,700 square feet

3 bedrooms

2 bathrooms

1986 year built 2022 year bought 2022 updates began

Jennifer says renovations can be memorable, especially when it involves taking a sledgehammer to old cabinets or scraping up old linoleum by hand. “We’re happy to be through most of the dirty work,” she says, “and can now focus on the soft surfaces in our remaining rooms, but the long hours and [the] grind of the demo finds a way to stick with you.”


Jennifer loves under-cabinet lighting and placed LED strips wherever she could, creating a distinct and trendy vibe in the kitchen. A vent hood completely encapsulated in dimensional corrugated tile hangs over the stove, nooks stow away smaller appliances, and a display cabinet reveals a collection of well-curated mixology supplies.

“This is the first house where I am not really paying attention to resale

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The primary bathroom features a steam shower with programmable settings and a tile “rug” with arch designs that echo the arched frame above the lighted mirrors.

value,” Jennifer says. “This is for me. We’ve found such a good location and a good footprint that I don’t see us leaving in the near future. I’m really just doing things how I want them. And this was one of them,” she adds, gesturing to the tiled hood.

Jennifer says she often reminds her clients that their style choices are for them, not for others. “I design for other people all day long, and this is what I hear a lot from them: ‘How’s this gonna look in five or 10 years?’” she says. “What I tell them is, ‘You’re the one footing the bill. You have to live with it, … so stop worrying about what the next [homeowner] is going to think. They can always rip that out if it really bothers them.’ You want to enjoy what you’re looking at every day until the time comes to sell the house. That’s the same stance I take when I’m the one physically

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ABOVE The toe-kick drawer in the bathroom shows how Jennifer maximizes storage space to keep countertops clutter-free. LEFT Jennifer says the guest bathroom’s leather details on the sconces mixed with brass hardware complement the paint and paper to create a rich, eclectic vibe. BELOW She curates her home with special pieces like this vase she found at a gallery on a brief weekend getaway in Wilmington.
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The glass globe suspended by leather straps is the sole item Jennifer kept from their first home in Durham. It now hangs in the foyer, marking the spot where she fell in love with the house.

doing the demo, running the electrical, putting these cabinets in – I better love them.”

Jennifer and Gabe transformed one of the spare bedrooms into a home gym, where they can change the color of the overhead LED lights to fit their mood during exercise sessions. The couple also installed an infrared heater in the ceiling to raise the temperature of the room when Gabe wants to practice hot yoga. Jennifer makes daily use of her Peloton bike, too, so they consider the

Home Builders Association, Housing Solutions specializes

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Bam Bam

This snuggly, charming cat is timid, but brave, and ready to pack his bags and move in with you. Because Bam Bam is feline leukemia virus (FeLV) positive, he will need to be the only feline friend in your home and may need additional TLC. But don’t let that stop you from coming to meet this stellar fellow and giving him a loving forever home.


This handsome guy is the perfect gentleman: He is fully house-trained, does well on the leash, takes treats nicely and loves to ride in the car. Bono makes human friends everywhere he goes. He is a lover of chew toys, comfy beds and being your shadow, never letting you forget a long belly rub at the end of the day.

Adoption fees for cats are $95 and $50 for the second cat when adopting two together. Dog adoption fees range from $125 to $175. Fees for other animals vary. The shelter, located at 2117 E. Club Blvd., is open Mon.-Tue. and Thu.-Fri., 10:30am-5pm; Wed. 10:30am-6pm; and Sat. 10am-2pm.

For more information, call 919-560-0640 or visit apsofdurham.org.

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april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 91 SPONSORED CONTENT
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design decision a wise investment.

“It’s incredibly functional, because it eliminates the cost and travel time associated with a studio membership,” she says. “We are child-free, so we didn’t need a second guest/extra bedroom; for us, that space being used as a gym makes the house much more livable.”


Gabe shares his office with the couple’s two Australian shepherds, Orson and Anka. They each have their own dog beds flanking Gabe’s modular standing desk. Opposite the glass French

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LEFT The laundry room is filled with additional storage. RIGHT A framed print by artist Katie Gamb called “Nesting” reflects Jennifer’s contrarion ethos for unexpected details.
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doors, which were installed in the original framed case opening, the focal wall is covered in an unusual pattern – snakes.

“This particular wallpaper is elegant yet edgy,” Jennifer explains. “When I saw this paper, I knew it was the one. I really wanted it all throughout the room, but my husband didn’t want to be the ‘snake guy’ in his video [meetings]. So we agreed that it was going to be on the wall where [the people on] his video calls don’t have to look at [it].” 

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Jennifer is fond of vintage and timeworn pieces, like this carved console she found in an antique shop.

Did you know the average American spends 176* hours a year on yard maintenance? In Epcon’s low-maintenance communities, we handle the yard work, so you can reclaim those 176* hours for the people and activities that matter most to you. With 176* hours you could…

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Whether you’re mastering the art of Italian cooking or cheering on your grandkids at a soccer game, becoming a regular on the pickleball court or indulging in more weekend getaways, life at Epcon means every hour is truly yours.

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Jennifer says the snake wallpaper is a good example of her personal taste: “You’ll find very elegant pieces that have a lot of detail to them and are vintage and time worn, and then you’ll get snakes and spikes. And there’s really no in between.”

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After all, Jennifer says, that is the nature of design and art – what matters most is what resonates with the individual. “It’s just whatever speaks to you. That’s what I tell my clients when I’m designing [with them]. If you can envision yourself using [a piece of art or furniture], and you can mentally see a spot for it in your house, you’ve done a good job.”

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Gabe offers Jennifer one of his homemade cocktails, crafted with Durham Distillery’s Conniption Navy Strength Gin.

new to the neighborhood

Nanas’ most recent iteration embodies culinary excellence amid an elegant and glossy interior design

The long-anticipated revival of Nanas in December 2023 made quite the splash in Rockwood’s dining scene. The new Nanas, under the skilled guidance of chef and owner Matt Kelly, promises returning patrons a blend of fresh takes on elevated Southern comfort dishes – with a few surprises.

“We are taking a similar approach to cuisine but paving our own way,” Matt says.

The menu includes a few nods to the spot’s decadeslong run under former owner Scott Howell, including the ever-popular shrimp risotto as well as fun additions like the oxtail mezzaluna, a hand-shaped pasta in sage brown butter.

“Scott has made many visits to the kitchen,” says Nate Garyantes, chef partner at Nanas. “[Our] food is so approachable … but so much time, effort, energy and technique go into each dish to make it delicious.”

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Matt says the team is committed to carving out a distinct culinary identity while paying homage to the restaurant’s roots, inviting guests to discover the nuances of this new era and influence its continued evolution. “We love Rockwood and want to grow alongside the community,” he says. “How we best serve the neighborhood is ultimately determined by our locals over time.”

The team also appreciates the support from its predecessors as they carry on Nanas captivating blend of innovation and tradition. “It was really special to have Ben Barker [former owner of award-winning Magnolia Grill and Scott Howell’s mentor] come in to eat,” Nate says. “He loved the grits soufflé.”

Some of the most significant changes can be admired before you even take your seat. The dining room received a meticulous, thoughtful redesign that plays on the past and paves the way for its future. “In the project’s early stages, Matt

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LEFT Brian Owen and his team at ShopBot Tools customfabricated all of the curved wood trim. “Without them, the curved walnut back bar would not have been possible,” says Shaun Sundholm, creative director and designer of the new Nanas space.
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BELOW We kicked off our most recent dine-in experience with a round of expertly crafted cocktails: The spirit-free Orange Ya Glad refreshed with blood orange, lime and ginger beer; Grandad’s Old Fashioned impressed with its Old Grand-Dad bourbon base and Nanas bitters blend; while the Pisco Sour left a lingering sense of satisfaction.

expressed a desire for the restaurant to feel like a walk in the North Carolina woods,” says creative director Shaun Sundholm

Shaun took that directive to heart; the updated space exists at the crossroads of rustic charm and modern elegance, where natural materials like leather, wood, brass and wool combine to evoke the feel of a lush wooded retreat. “We drew inspiration from nature, particularly evident in the deep emerald green tiles at the entrance and the curved wall topped with vertical black walnut slats leading to the bar,” Shaun says. Blue velvet benches were inspired by swimming holes found deep on a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, while other choices were made in homage to the former Nana’s vibe. “We aimed for callbacks to the previous incarnation,” Shaun says. The bright orange bench and deep purple stripes in the plaid carpet are reminiscent of the blaze orange and eggplant purple walls (and, perhaps, your own grandma’s house).

The restaurant’s design aspects are also reflected in the menu itself. During this meal, our server, Beza Seyoum, notes that the beet discs atop the creamy buffalo milk ricotta gnudi are meant to emulate the

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ABOVE We took a culinary journey through the flavors of North Carolina ingredients, like the whole black sea bass that Southern Breeze Seafood owner Johnathan Mallette brings from the coast to the restaurant, in addition to the wide variety of produce, including hakurei turnips and spinach from Red’s Quality Acres. RIGHT The buffalo milk ricotta gnudi was a standout dish, with its creamy texture and earthiness of the beets, which were perfectly balanced with notes of native citrus.
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First timer? “You can’t go wrong with a dish that is specific to Nanas,” chef and owner Matt Kelly says; he recommends the scallop milanese, grits soufflé or yellowfin tuna carpaccio.

Whatever your order, wine director Eric Harris can provide recommendations that will maximize your culinary experience. Be sure to save room for the hot chocolate soufflé – it’s topped with a decadent house-made bourbon caramel ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

polished circles above the light fixtures. Local artisans infused the dining areas with an added sense of community and craftsmanship. Each detail reflects a dedication to the artistry and tradition synonymous with the Nanas experience, from the black walnut millwork by Jay Jergensen of Jergensen Construction and Bun Sui to the bespoke brass accents that ARP Design Studio’s Andrew Preiss added to the tobacco leaf tables and curved bar. The draperies were custom made by Walker’s Draperies & Interiors. “We want returning regulars to feel welcomed back to a more comfortable yet classy version of the old stalwart,” Shaun says, adding that he hopes new guests enjoy a sense of relaxed sophistication when they take a seat. “It’s all the little things,” Nate says, “that add up to an incredible dining experience.”

Nanas is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 2514 University Dr. Reservations are recommended.

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ABOVE The creme brulee with cookies is one of the many stars of the dessert menu – we asked for our cookies on the side to enjoy the dish gluten-free. RIGHT The ceramic pots found throughout the restaurant were made by Garry Childs out of Rougemont, North Carolina. BELOW The succulent and tangy wood-grilled oysters from N Sea Oyster Company out of Hampstead, North Carolina, paired perfectly with the Pisco Sour. PHOTO BY LISSA GOTWALS

Growing Greener

Tips from local experts on eco-friendly home and gardening practices

What are some key initiatives or programs aimed at promoting sustainability in homes and gardens in Durham? There are great tax credits available through the Inflation Reduction Act [of 2022] that can cover 30-50% of the cost of some home retrofits. Duke Energy also has programs and rebates to help defray the costs. ... The N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Durham County Center has a program where you can send in your soil sample, and the [staff] will tell you how much and what type of fertilizer to use to make your soil healthy … The Durham County Master Gardeners can help you increase biodiversity in your yard and keep it healthy.

– Tobin Freid, sustainability manager, Sustainability Office of Durham County

What are the most pressing environmental concerns in Durham, and how can individuals address them through their homes and gardens?

Tobin Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the most pressing environmental issues facing Durham and the world. Climate change is caused by greenhouse gases like carbon monoxide, which is emitted when fossil fuels are burned to make electricity or power vehicles, and methane that comes from waste and livestock. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in Durham with more intense heat in the summer, changes in the growing season and more flooding from heavier storms. … Addressing biodiversity loss is another global problem with some local solutions you can put to use in your own yard, [including] reducing how much lawn you have and replacing it with native landscaping; reducing pesticide and fertilizer use; and removing invasive species like Japanese stiltgrass, wisteria, English ivy and privet.

Given Durham’s specific climate conditions, are there any tailored recommendations or strategies for gardeners to adapt their practices effectively?

Xeriscaping – the practice of landscaping with drought-tolerant plants – for Durham’s often hot, dry summers, is a great solution to adapt home landscapes to our changing climate. Select droughttolerant plants, use plenty of mulch [and] reduce lawn space in favor of native perennial plants, shrubs and trees. Plant perennial and woody plants in the fall to allow them time to establish before the summer arrives. … Try to reduce grass in favor of native meadows, shrub borders and even small trees or mulched areas to create a more sustainable home landscape. It benefits Durham’s air and water quality and increases biodiversity.

– Tania Dautlick, executive director, Keep Durham Beautiful

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What native plants thrive in Durham’s climate and soil conditions, requiring minimal water and maintenance?

When chosen correctly, native plants can be used in all types of gardening situations, including high and dry or low and wet conditions. The key is to understand your site and the needs of the plant so that you are not causing more work for yourself in the future. NC State University ’ s plant database and Durham County’s Extension service are valuable resources available to all citizens of North Carolina. The Extension Gardener online tool will even let you filter your search and recommend native alternatives to non-native plants that the search returns.

What are some benefits of maintaining a garden in terms of sustainability?

Keith Each square foot of non-native turf grass that can be replaced with plants that work for the environment is a benefit to a goal of sustainability. If the plant is being visited by any insect or wildlife, it has become a part of the local ecology. Every creature matters and, like us, they must have food and shelter to thrive. Having a diverse mix of plant types welcomes many species to the garden, whether for food, cover, nesting materials, etc.; … the ones that eat our plants are integral to the local ecology when they are native species.

What are some eco-friendly options to consider when remodeling?

Most often we will take a building down to the studs and re-create an open concept living area instead of tearing the existing building down. This can be done by re-engineering the building structure

to include steel support beams in order to remove interior walls. Preserving the original structure reduces construction waste.

– Daryl Mejeur, operations director, CQC Home

What are some of the latest trends in home remodeling when it comes to utilizing sustainable materials?

Daryl Full Lite stacked exterior doors allow much more natural light to come through, [which means] less electricity [is] used for interior lighting. The doors are also energy efficient, [generating] additional savings on heating and cooling.

* Responses have been edited for length, style and clarity.

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Local programs and offerings designed to engage with and empower older adults

ommunity centers and organizations across Durham offer a diverse array of programs and services tailored to older adults that promote active aging and inclusivity within the community.

Downtown’s Durham Center for Senior Life, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, has an extensive team of medical staff, program coordinators and nutrition specialists, as well as volunteers, who collaborate to provide free services, resources, fitness programs, caregiver support, health care, support groups and events.

The center offers more than 60 regular classes accessible to older adults of all backgrounds and abilities. Members can also take part in celebratory gatherings, cultural events, workshops and presentations on topics such as physical therapy and fraud prevention, among others. DCSL also offers a support program for caregivers with services like respite care along with an adult

day health program and educational and counseling programs.

“Overall, the 75th anniversary serves as a pivotal moment to celebrate past achievements while inspiring renewed commitment and vision for the future of the Durham Center for Senior Life,” says Mika Bukowski, the center’s marketing and communications specialist, adding that center staff hope to expand its program and service offerings, and enhance its engagement and outreach moving forward.

Meals on Wheels Durham similarly seeks to build community in the way it supports our county’s older adult population. Volunteers from across the city witness firsthand the profound impact of delivering a nutritious meal and providing a friendly check-in. Its “More Than a Meal” initiative offers supplemental items and services to combat social isolation and improve the overall well-being of clients, including its holiday gift program that brings joy to older adults through thoughtful presents donated by individuals, businesses

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and faith-based or civic organizations. A partnership with DEGA Mobile Veterinary Care ensures free basic veterinary services for clients’ beloved pets. “We’re actively seeking volunteer drivers to deliver meals in the mornings, as well as volunteers to help us pack and load meals into vehicles and individuals to make remote check-in calls on Wednesdays and Fridays,” says Nia Richardson, Meals on Wheels Durham’s communications and special events coordinator, adding the organization’s volunteer cohort, many of whom are older than 50,

benefit from the health advantages of volunteering, including stress reduction, enhanced mental health and physical exercise, while feeling connected to the community. “Whether you can spare a few hours or more, we have a role for you.”

Older adults looking to connect with others while also exploring new concepts of interest should seek out the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers 12 areas of study – from literature and languages to science and technology – with both in-person and virtual formats. 

april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 109
Durham Center for Senior Life member Charlene Taylor grooves to the music among her peers during one of the center's dance classes.

These engaging weekly courses are led by experienced experts in their fields, such as wine industry veteran Thomas Thorne and retired professor Richard Melanson, who presents seminars on global issues.

The program brings connection and meaning to its participants. “One physician, who retired and later began teaching courses for OLLI, told us that OLLI saved [their] life,” says OLLI Director Chris McLeod. Others who are actively caregiving find its online courses to be a welcome outlet. “[Another] member shared that her weekly poetry writing class with Jane Seitel was a lifeline when she was caring for her husband; … she organized her whole week around making sure she could attend.” OLLI also records some of its lecture-based courses, so it is easy to keep up if you miss a class due to an appointment or family conflict.

Durham Parks & Recreation is also adding opportunities for older adults this year, like its Doggone Good Time Potluck that promises tasty fare and quality time for fellowship at Forest Hills Park this summer. (Check DPR’s site, dprplaymore.org, later this spring for the date and to register.) DPR is also partnering with Grouper to offer a free 10-punch monthly activity pass, which covers activities that typically incur extra costs but that are eligible for Medicare coverage, specifically for individuals aged 65 and older.


Ensuring your nutritional needs are met is paramount to a happy and healthy life. DCSL Support Services Manager Niya Carrington says members often discuss health concerns such as maintaining strength

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ABOVE "Our members are curious and interested in learning, and that extends to meeting and connecting with others," says OLLI Director Chris McLeod. Members are invited to visit and connect with instructors, OLLI staff and their fellow members over free coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the lobby of its classroom facility before and after classes. BELOW Many of the instructors who teach for OLLI are retired faculty from colleges and universities in the area or across the nation. Others are artists, writers and community leaders. PHOTO COURTESY OF OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE PHOTO COURTESY OF OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE
 Managed by Owned and operated by The United Methodist Retirement Homes, Inc. 2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway | Durham, NC 27705 croasdailevillage.org | (919) 384-2475 Celebrate Senior Living Your Way Contact Us to Learn How Croasdaile Village can be a Place to Call Your Own 25 Of Enjoying OUTDOORS Of Staying ACTIVE Of Making FRIENDS Of Loving LIFE Celebrating Years

The center partners with local organizations – including the Durham Farmers Market, Black Farmers Market, Durham’s Innovative Nutrition Education program, InterFaith Food Shuttle, Durham County Cooperative Extension, More in My Basket and Meals on Wheels Durham – to provide resources and support for older adults who are experiencing these challenges.

Meals on Wheels Durham, for instance, plays a crucial role in promoting active aging and healthy lifestyles for older adults through its daily meal delivery and regular volunteer contact. Working to enhance the lives of homebound adults, the organization delivers meals that provide one-third of the recommended daily allowances of essential nutrients for older adults, all while being low in sugar and sodium.


Duke Integrative Medicine Center

and balance, and having sufficient energy throughout the day. Niya recommends a diet rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants to combat these concerns: Greek yogurt and salmon are both high in protein and antioxidants, whereas beans and quinoa offer plentiful protein and fiber. Protein shakes, lentils and lean beef can add protein while chickpeas, oatmeal, almonds and broccoli are a few common high-fiber options. Add in dark green leafy vegetables, blueberries, carrots or Brussels sprouts to any meal for more antioxidants.

“The key takeaway is that many nutritious foods provide overlapping benefits,” Niya says, adding that this age group is particularly vulnerable to health complications as well as facing difficulties accessing or making meals themselves. “The task is to choose food that promotes healthful living, while minimizing the consumption of processed and fast foods.”

Nurse Coordinator Alexandra Norris says daily activity like walking, hiking, Pilates and strength training can prevent older adults from developing chronic illnesses like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and arthritis. Age increases the risk for these diseases, as well as other heart conditions and stroke, so it’s important for older adults to practice health and healing techniques every day. Older adults can better understand and listen to their bodies when incorporating movement into daily routines, she says, with the added benefit of building muscle mass and strengthening bone health.

Alexandra also recommends that older adults focus on balance training, in part to help prevent falls, by using the sit-to-stand technique. Begin by sitting in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the ground, and try to stand up without using your hands, repeating the exercise as much as you are comfortable with. She also advises those seeking a more challenging workout to incorporate single-leg deadlifts – try them on a balance board to increase difficulty –using light to medium weights, but, as with any new exercise regimen, make sure to consult with your primary doctor first. 

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ABOVE DCSL Technology Connections Coordinator Phyllis Massenburg leads a “Tech Talk, Smartphone & Computer Questions” class to acclimate older adults to the ins and outs of their devices. RIGHT Virginia Davis designs a thank-you card during one of several weekly DCSL Open Art Studios, which supplies members with craft materials from glittery decorations and markers to paper and paint.


We’ll help you make sure they’re healthy and safe.

Whatever help you need, whenever you want it, day or night, 7 days a week. Our courteous, caring and reliable nurse-managed staff are specially trained to help your loved one live better at home. Services available include:

Personal care and hygiene, medication management, household chores, shopping and meal preparation, and much more. QR code for more information.

Hillcrestnc.com/inhome •

Duke Integrative Medicine Yoga Therapist Carol Krucoff says older adults should also be aware of the threats of lung disease, cancer and chronic pain. Regular physical activity can relieve and even prevent these and other conditions. Carol says the recommended guideline is to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week, which can be easily fulfilled with regular yoga practice. A few movements highly beneficial to older adults include: tree pose, a position essential to the practice of yoga that involves balancing on one leg; and chair stand, another yoga-specific posture that builds leg strength and enhances function. Older adults can practice these and other balancing exercises while standing next to a chair or by keeping the ball of their foot on the floor.

“Combining aerobic exercise, strength training, balance and flexibility is critical to aging well and preventing falls,” says Duke Health & Fitness Center Exercise Physiologist Cheyanne Oakley, adding that exercise is considered a positive stressor that develops strength, endurance and agility, all of which help manage chronic conditions. She, too, suggests older adults engage in squats and sitto-stands to address the increased risk of falls by developing lower body and core strength. Tandem walking, single-leg stands and heel

raises also improve balance. The Duke Health & Fitness Center offers flow and gentle yoga, meditation and Pilates as well as a variety of group exercise classes. It also hosts a “Balance & Function” program during which participants can learn more about falling safely and getting up from a fall.

OLLI’s Chris McLeod also advocates that strength training and flexibility are important to ensuring its members build balance and mobility to help maintain their independence.  The organization offers two online courses –Vivo and tai chi – as well as an in-person yoga course. “Vivo is a very good exercise solution for those who dislike the gym experience,” says OLLI member Marion Jervay. “Because it’s online, you can participate in the program from wherever you might be at the appointed time. If you live alone, the program is structured to make certain that you are safe as you participate and that you will be able to get emergency assistance, if ever needed.” OLLI staff are also working to create more experiential learning opportunities, like improv. This spring’s course, “Exploring the Piedmont Arts,” includes short trips and visits to cultural institutions across the state. And in fall 2024, OLLI will begin a travel program to take members to destinations across the U.S. and abroad.

Those looking to put their activity levels to the test can also join in Durham Parks & Recreation’s annual Durham Senior Games April 15 - May 2. This Olympic-style event for participants aged 50 and older holds competitions in croquet, table tennis, basketball shooting, swimming, shuffleboard, pickleball and more. Speaking of pickleball, DPR’s new pickleball facility at Piney Wood Park features 12 brand-new courts where fans of the popular sport can participate in a tournament or brush up on their skills in one of DPR’s many indoor pickleball classes.


OLLI invests in advertising in specific publications to attract diverse audiences online and in print, and has also developed a programming partnership with an African American congregation in Durham. OLLI teaches courses on implicit bias and structural racism, which led to the formation of a special interest group to continue the learning outside of class and build friendships across differences.

OLLI also ensures it is accessible to members – it provides American Sign Language interpreters upon request and wireless microphones to in-person instructors while hosting courses in first-floor classrooms that are easily accessible and nearby to ample parking, including handicap parking. Its online classes offer closed captions and AIgenerated transcripts for those that are recorded, about half of its online programming. DPR, for its part, encourages participants to share their

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Barbara Paradise stretches out in DCSL‘s “Yoga Your Way” class.

The Duke Health & Fitness Center offers personal trainers to assist older adults through fitness assessments, functional training, athletic conditioning and more during private 30- or 60-minute sessions.

opinions and accommodations with staff to ensure activities are inclusive to all, no matter the activity. The organization makes certain it is safe to travel to its events and programs, and that they are accessible and clear of any trips or fall hazards, so everyone can enjoy.

Durham Center for Senior Life similarly prides itself on inclusivity. Daniel Lightheart, DCSL’s volunteer and program coordinator, says the fitness classes – including line dancing, tai chi, yoga, aerobics, Zumba, African and belly dancing – are designed to accommodate all levels of strength and endurance and often include education on modifications for exercises, as well as how to safely incorporate weightlifting into fitness routines. The center also offers personal trainers who specialize in one-on-one and small-group fitness plans. “One of our main goals with fitness and wellness programs is to keep people moving by making all our classes a positive, supportive experience,” Daniel says.

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1305 Capstone Dr., Durham

Entrance Fee Call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Monthly rate includes personalized care, dining, activities, laundry and housekeeping

Refund Options 14-day notice required

Medicare Certified N/A

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required, but accepted

Minimum Age N/A

Contact Information avendelle.com


2220 Farmington Dr., Chapel Hill

Entrance Fee One-time community fee, call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Month-to-month

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Contact Information 984-363-6069; brookdale.com


2230 Farmington Dr., Chapel Hill

Entrance Fee One-time community fee, call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Month-to-month

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Contact Information 984-363-6069; brookdale.com


4434 Ben Franklin Blvd., Durham

Entrance Fee One-time community fee, call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Month-to-month

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Contact Information 984-363-6069; brookdale.com


100 Lanark Rd., Chapel Hill

Entrance Fee One-time community fee, call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Month-to-month

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Contact Information 984-363-6069; brookdale.com


4214 Guess Rd., Durham

Entrance Fee Application fee required, call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Monthly rate includes care, dining, activities, laundry and housekeeping

Refund Options 14-day notice required

Medicare Certified Not applicable

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required, but accepted

Minimum Age 60

Contact Information 919-471-0091; calyxseniorliving.com


140 Brookstone Ln., Pittsboro

This all-inclusive four-star community, which has served Chatham and neighboring counties for nearly 20 years, is a 90-bed assisted living community with a 38-bed memory care wing that offers both private and semiprivate rooms and award-winning activity programs.

Entrance Fee Call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing; veteran discounts offered

Contract Options None. Requires 14-day notice before moving out

Refund Options Prorated for the first month from the move-in date

Medicare Certified No; Medicaid accepted

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Minimum Age 65

Contact Information Ronda Stubbs, 919-545-9573 or ronda@silver-thread.com; cambridgehillsal.com


4523 Hope Valley Rd., Durham

Entrance Fee Call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Month-to-month, two weeks’ notice required before moving out

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Minimum Age 62

Contact Information 919-892-6688; carolinareserveofdurham.com


114 Polks Village Ln., Chapel Hill

Entrance Fee One month’s rent

Monthly Fee Range Starting at $4,750

Contract Options Month-to-month

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information 919-883-9767; navionseniorsolutions.com/communities/chatham-ridge


72 Chatham Business Dr., Pittsboro

This 140-bed facility in a serene setting near Pittsboro caters to both short- and long-term guests who work with the care team to organize a plan that’s specific to their needs. The memory-care unit and specially trained staff provide assistance to those with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments. The staff strive to give the highest quality of care alongside recreational programs and outings to provide enrichment.

Monthly Fee Range $8,190 – $11,640

Medicare Certified Yes; also accepts Medicare HMO, commercial insurance and Medicaid

Long-Term Care Insurance Not accepted

Contact Information Facility: 919-542-6677; Admissions: 919-302-7862; laurelsofchatham.com


1999 S. NC Hwy. 119, Mebane

Entrance Fee One month’s rent

Monthly Fee Range Starting at $4,005

Contract Options Month-to-month

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information 919-737-7251; navionseniorsolutions.com/communities/mebane-ridge

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5660 Durham Rd., Roxboro

Entrance Fee Call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Refund Options Requires 14-day notice

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information 336-598-4697; admissions@roxboroassistedliving.com; roxboroassistedliving.com


1911 Orange Grove Rd., Hillsborough

Entrance Fee $2,500

Contract Options Month-to-month

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information 919-732-9040; terrabellahillsborough.com


750 SE Cary Pkwy., Cary

Entrance Fee One-time community fee, call for pricing on cottages, oneand two-bedroom options in independent living; one- and two-bedroom options in assisted living and private apartments in memory care

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Year lease

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Contact Information 919-460-7330; waltonwood.com



100 Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill

The 166-acre campus includes a nine-hole golf course, pristine walking trails, tennis courts and pickleball, community gardens and more. Residents enjoy seven distinctive dining venues, a state-of-the-art wellness center and an auditorium that offers fascinating lectures and performances.

Entrance Fee Range $140,300 – $839,000

Monthly Fee Range $3,376 – $5,553

Contract Options Fee for Service: Housing, residential services and guaranteed access to health-related services in exchange for entrance fee and monthly fee. Health-related services are provided at per diem rates, which vary. Home Care services are also available. Equity: See below. Refund Options Predictable 75% Return of Equity refund option offered for all independent living homes on campus. The refund is based off of your original entrance fee and made payable while you are still a resident of the community.

Medicare Certified Yes, Medicare Part B

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required, but welcome

Minimum Age 62

Contact Information 919-942-4014; 800-458-6756; carolinameadows.org


750 Weaver Dairy Rd., Chapel Hill

Entrance Fee Range $106,000 – $545,500

Monthly Fee Range $2,680 – $6,191

Contract Options Modified: Entrance fee and monthly payments cover housing, residential services like meals and housekeeping and some health-related services. Health-related services are provided at a discounted rate.

Refund Options Declining Refund: Pay entry fee; full refund in first 90 days; refund declines at 2% rate each additional month; after 50 months, no refund.

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required; could help pay for discounted per diems.

Minimum Age 65 (co-applicant must be at least 55)

Contact Information 919-968-4511; 800-518-9333; carolwoods.org


100 Cedar Club Circle (Meadowmont), Chapel Hill

Purchase Price Range $300,000s – $800,000s*

Monthly Fee Range $3,731 – $7,520

Contract Options *Equity: Actual real estate purchase, with transfer of ownership of the unit. If resident moves to health center, no added amount except two meals per day. After 90 days, member pays discounted rate.

Refund Options Not applicable because of ownership

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required

Minimum Age 62 (co-applicant must be at least 50)

Contact Information 919-259-7000; 877-433-3669; cedarsofchapelhill.com


2600 Croasdaile Farm Pkwy., Durham

Set on 110 acres in a pastoral landscape, which provides a country feel fewer than 6 miles from downtown Durham and 3 miles from Duke University. Croasdaile is within the distinguished residential neighborhood of Croasdaile Farm. Residents enjoy numerous green spaces with yards, gardening and plenty of walking trails, a dog park, lakes and the security of a full continuum of care on-site. The central campus buildings are connected, with a state-ofthe-art wellness center, large heated pool, auditorium, woodworking shop, art studio, multiple dining venues and a chapel.

Entrance Fee Range $66,083 – $546,986

(includes single and double occupancy)

Monthly Fee Range $2,412 – $5,571 (single occupancy with second person fee of $1,525 for all residential homes)

Contract Options Fee for Service: Entrance fee and monthly payments cover housing and maintenance, residential services such as meals, utilities, and housekeeping along with guaranteed access to health-related services. Advanced levels of health services are provided at per-diem rates.

Refund Options Declining Refund: Option 1: Pay lower entry fee; refund declines at rate of 2% per month; after 50 months, no refund.

Option 2: 50% Refund – pay higher entry fee; refund declines at a rate of 2% per month until 50% of residence fee is accrued; refund limited to 50%. Option 3: 90% Refund – pay higher entry fee; refund declines at a rate of 2% per month until 10% of fee is accrued; refund limited to 90%.

Medicare Certified Yes; rehab on-site

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required, but welcome

Minimum Age 62

Contact Information 919-384-2475 or 800-960-7737 for marketing and sales; 919-384-2000 for general inquiries; croasdailevillage.org


2701 Pickett Rd., Durham

Celebrating more than 30 years of community, The Forest at Duke is a vibrant continuing care retirement community located in the heart of Durham. It offers five floor plans for apartment living, six floor plans for cottages and individual homes, and, coming in 2025, 10 all-new apartment floor plans debuting in its 71-residence expansion, The Terraces. Each home provides spacious, contemporary living with access to a range of amenities, coupled with myriad opportunities for fitness, wellness, socialization, entertainment, self-discovery and lifelong learning. The Forest strives to strengthen the community and organizations that enrich the lives of Durham residents.

Entrance Fee Range Call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Modified: Entrance fee and monthly payments cover housing, residential services such as meals and housekeeping, and some health-related services. Health-related services are provided at a greatly discounted rate and are free for a specified number of days.

Refund Options The Forest retains $10,000 of each person’s entry fee as a health care reserve. The remaining balance of the entry fee, the residence fee, is refundable based on the following: 2% of the residence fee accrues to The Forest at Duke each month. The refund decreases to zero over 50 months.

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required, but welcome

Minimum Age 65 (co-applicant must be at least 62)

Contact Information 919-490-8000; 1-800-919-278-9729; forestduke.org 

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3000 Galloway Ridge Rd., Pittsboro

Crafted with heart, soul and Southern charm, Galloway Ridge is a secure, health-conscious lifestyle destination. The 62-acre campus is just south of Chapel Hill and adjacent to Fearrington Village, an 1,100-acre planned community, offering miles of trails and sidewalks. Jordan Lake and the Haw River are a short distance away for outdoor enthusiasts. Galloway Ridge’s main building includes 248 independent living apartments, the Lynn Savitzky library and business center, living room, Chapin Auditorium, Bistro Dining Room, Belties Lounge, billiards room, a movie theater with stadium seating, art studio, woodworking shop, multiple meeting spaces and conference room. The Arbor, a Medicare-certified health care center, is connected to the main building and offers 96 private rooms for assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. The residents of the 52 independent living villas have a short walk to all of the amenities of the main building. The Galloway Ridge WellPlex allows residents to maintain their optimal level of health and well-being. It includes the Duke Center for Living, a 20,000-square-foot fitness center, Duke Primary Care and the Center for Physical Rehabilitation. For on-campus primary care services, residents can choose between UNC Health Care within the main building or Duke Primary Care in the WellPlex. Residents and staff volunteer thousands of hours each year to local agencies and partnerships.

Entrance Fee Range $253,000 – $1,599,000

Monthly Fee Range $3,990 – $9,361

Contract Options Extensive: Entrance fee and monthly payments cover housing, residential services such as meals and housekeeping, and unlimited assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. Additional meal fee required as one moves from one level of care to another.

Refund Options Declining Refund: Option 1: Time-Sensitive – Pay lower entry fee; refund declines at rate of 4% in first month; 2% each additional month; after 4 years, no refund. Option 2: 75% Refund, Not Time-Sensitive – Pay higher entry fee; receive 75% of what you paid in.

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required

Minimum Age 62

Contact Information 919-545-2647; gallowayridge.com


4000 Glenaire Circle, Cary

Entrance Fee Range $79,000 – $904,000

Monthly Fee Range $3,037 – $6,335

Contract Options Modified: Entrance fee and monthly payments cover housing, residential services such as meals and housekeeping and some health-related services, which are provided at a subsidized rate or are free for a specified number of days.

Refund Options Option 1: Declining Refund – refund declines at rate of 2% per month for 48 months. Option 2: 50% refundable. Option 3: 90% refundable.

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required

Minimum Age 62 (co-applicant must be at least 58)

Contact Information 919-460-8095; 800-225-9573; glenaire.org


17001 Searstone Dr., Cary

Searstone opened on the site of a picturesque former horse pasture in 2013. Immerse yourself in its vibrant community that fosters meaningful connections and a zest for life. Indulge in culinary delights with friends at one of its dining venues, take a walk along its beautiful lake, get a quick workout in the gym or relax in the comfort of one of the elegant apartments. Health care services are available directly on campus. Searstone is on track to open a brand-new, four-story expansion, The Highview, in 2024, and is embarking on exciting renovations to its Winston Clubhouse. The retirement community offers a perfect balance of luxury, independence and lifelong care – every moment is filled with opportunity and choice.

Entrance Fee Range $409,000 – $1,030,000

Monthly Fee Range $3,720 – $8,680; second person fee of $1,740

Contract Options Type A LifeCare contract. Residents pay a one-time LifeCare fee to cover costs of assisted living, skilled nursing and/or memory support. The LifeCare program has significant tax advantages and works well with long-term care policies.

Refund Options Entrance fee is 100% refundable.

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Yes

Minimum Age 62

Contact Information 919-234-0339; info@searstone.com; searstone.com


1500 Sawmill Rd., Raleigh

Entrance Fee/Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Modified: Housing, residential services and some health-related services in exchange for entrance fee and monthly fee, which includes 30 days of free health care (with a maximum balance of 90 days), then is available at a discounted rate.

Refund Options Option 1: Life Occupancy – Residence & Care refund declines at 4% per month for 25 months, then no refund. Option 2: 50% Life Equity – refund declines at 2% per month for 25 months. The remaining 50% is returned to the resident or estate after residency is terminated and within 30 days of re-occupancy of the residential unit. Option 3: 100% Life Equity – 100% of the Residence & Care fee is returned to the resident or estate after residency is terminated. The refund is available, once residency is terminated, six years after initial move-in date, or 30 days after re-occupancy of the residential unit, if six years has passed.

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required

Minimum Age 62

Contact Information 919-848-7080; springmoor.org


215 Brightmore Dr., Cary

Entrance Fee Range N/A. Community fee is equal to one month’s rent.

Monthly Fee Range $5,463 – $9,064

Contract Options Rental community with 13-month lease, but can give 30-day notice at any time.

Medicare Certified Yes, for skilled nursing

Long-Term Care Insurance Yes

Minimum Age 62 (for couples, at least one spouse must be 62)

Contact Information 984-200-3688; thetempletonofcary.com


3701 Wade Coble Dr., Burlington

An intentional community filled with people who chose Twin Lakes for various reasons, but who all have one thing in common: the desire for a well-rounded life surrounded by others who are engaged and open to new experiences, new people and new ideas. More than 600 residents in independent living enjoy the 225-acre community and the amenities that make it home. In addition to the spacious campus, this is a unique CCRC: There’s no mandatory meal plan; it offers comparably lower fees; and the neighborhoods are filled with people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

Entrance Fee Range $61,000 – $505,000

Monthly Fee Range $1,852 – $4,264

Contract Options Fee-for-service contract only

Refund Options 30-month declining refund and 50% refund available

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required

Minimum Age 62 (co-applicant must be at least 62)

Contact Information 336-538-1572; twinlakescomm.org


1860 Brookwood Ave., Burlington

The Village at Brookwood’s intimate size allows the building of strong friendships. Residents can participate in a full array of physical activities that promote healthy living, feed their competitive spirit with fun games and mental challenges, de-stress with their favorite hobby or just relax. In addition to a heated saltwater pool in the wellness center, the community boasts a pickleball court, putting green, raised plant beds and a dog park for physical activities. The community prides itself on its dining, including lunches in its tavern, lunches or dinners at its Edith Street Café and a fine dining experience at Lakeside Dining. Enjoy engaging conversation with friends over a meal prepared by the executive chef while dining staff tend to your every need.

Entrance Fee Options start at $138,600

Monthly Fee Range $2,781

Contract Options Option 1: LifeCare: Garden Homes & Apartments, bundled services, campus amenities, maintenance and guaranteed future health care provided in exchange for the entrance fee and monthly fee. When moving from one level of care to another, the monthly fee reflects a significant reduction of the daily per diem skilled nursing rate. Option 2: Fee for Service – Garden Homes & Apartments, bundled services, campus amenities, maintenance and guaranteed access to future health care are provided in exchange for entrance fee and monthly fee. Health-related services are provided at the per diem rate.

Refund Options All contracts offer a declining refund over 47 months.

Medicare Certified Yes 

120 | durhammag.com | april/may 2024
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Long-Term Care Insurance Not required; can help with costs related to assisted living, memory care or skilled care for Fee-for-Service or LifeCare plans

Minimum Age 62 (co-applicant must be at least 55)

Contact Information 336-570-8440; 800-282-2053; villageatbrookwood.org



1417 W. Pettigrew St., Durham

The center has provided quality care – including after-hospital rehabilitation, 24/7 skilled nursing, home care or out-patient physical therapy – for more than 73 years. Contact the Raleigh or Durham location for more information about its services and signature Elegant Care.

Entrance Fee No deposit or application fee required

Monthly Fee Call for pricing

Contract Options All-inclusive monthly rate for short-term, long-term, assisted living or respite stays

Refund Options Pay only for the days spent, any unused daily rate refunded

Minimum Age N/A

Contact Information 919-286-7705; admissions@hillcrestnc.com; hillcrestnc.com


3830 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh

Entrance Fee No deposit or application fee required

Monthly Fee Call for pricing

Contract Options All-inclusive monthly rate for short-term, long-term or respite stays

Refund Options Pay only for the days spent, any unused daily rate refunded

Minimum Age N/A

Contact Information 919-781-4900; admissions@hillcrestraleighnc.com; hillcrestnc.com


1000 Bear Cat Way, Ste. 104, Morrisville

Personal care, in-home support and companion care, and respite care.

Contact Information 919-468-1204; agencydir@hillcresthh.com


4215 University Dr., Ste. B2, Durham

Physical therapy, specialty treatments and wellness programs.

Contact Information 919-627-6700; rehab.durham@hillcrestptw.com


1602 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Entrance Fee None. No application or deposit fee.

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options All-inclusive monthly rate long-term or respite stays; room and board rate and other expenses available for short-term Refund Options Refunds for any days not used

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Not required, but accepted

Contact Information 919-967-1418; liaison@signaturehealthcarellc.com



300 Meredith Dr., Durham

Entrance Fee $5,000

Monthly Fee Range $3,800 – $4,950

Contract Options Month-to-month; 60-day notice to leave

Medicare Certified Yes

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted for personal care and veterans benefits

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information Jessica Psihas, 919-634-2197; jpsihas@bartlettreserve.com; bartlettreserve.com


Entrance Fee One month security deposit (partially refundable)

Monthly Fee $4,000 – $6,900

Contract Options Month-to-month

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance Can be utilized for additional care

Contact Information 919-378-2902; rlcommunities.com


7901 TW Alexander Dr., Raleigh

This new luxury independent living community is perfectly situated in Raleigh and next to Durham, a location that provides the best of both worlds, from cultural events to outdoor adventures and everything in between. As an Optimal Living community, The Cambridge provides a total wellness approach that engages its residents physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and offers a variety of spacious and comfortable apartment floor plans for you to call home. With a unique hybrid community model, residents have access to on-site primary care, therapy, home health care and rehabilitation. The Cambridge partners with in-house health care providers to create a true age-in-place community.

Entrance Fee Range Equivalent to two month’s rent

Monthly Fee Range $3,965 – $8,995

Contract Options Month-to-month or one-year leases

Medicare Certified Medicare accepted through on-site physician and with WakeMed Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information Marketing Director, 919-737-7000; briercreekinfo@cvsliving.com; thecambridgebriercreek.com


1000 Cambridge Village Loop, Apex

This all-inclusive independent senior living community invites its residents to live their best life among its luxurious and detail-oriented amenities. The Optimal Living community focuses on improving every aspect of its residents’ lives by providing a total wellness approach and offering a variety of spacious and comfortable apartment floor plans. With its unique hybrid community model, residents have access to on-site primary care, therapy, home health care and rehabilitation, creating a true age-in-place home.

Entrance Fee Based on unit type

Monthly Fee Range $3,200 – $6,800

Contract Options One-year or month-to-month lease options

Medicare Certified Medicare accepted through on-site physician and with WakeMed Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Long-Term Care Insurance Accepted by on-site home health partner

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information Sales Director, 919-363-2080; apexinfo@cvsliving.com; cvsliving.com/apex


3007 Pickett Rd., Durham

Entrance Fee Range First month’s rent

Monthly Fee Range $3,069 – $4,500

Contract Options Month-to-month leases, all independent living

Medicare Certified No medical services included Long-Term Care Insurance No.

Minimum Age 67

Contact Information 919-490-6224; durhamregent.com


205 Emerald Pond Ln., Durham

Entrance Fee Range Call for pricing

Monthly Fee Range Call for pricing

Contract Options Month-to-month leases. No buy-in fees.

Refund Options Community fee non-refundable

Medicare Certified No medical services included

Long-Term Care Insurance N/A

Minimum Age 55

Contact Information 919-493-4713; emeraldpond.net


25 S. Rectory St., Pittsboro

This 31-unit complex offers a friendly, social and communal atmosphere for independent older adults. Staff is on-call seven days a week, and residents have use of a communal kitchen, game room and other shared spaces. Entrance Fee $2,000 per person; second-person fee $650

Monthly Fee Range Starting at $1,950/efficiency; $2,750/one bedroom; $4,250/two bedroom; VA/public servant discounts available

Contract Options None. Requires 60 day notice prior to moving out

Medicare Certified No

Long-Term Care Insurance N/A

Minimum Age 65

Contact Information 919-545-0149; 919-637-7117; michelle@silver-thread.com; silver-thread.com 

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357 Carolina Arbors Dr., Durham

Price Range of Houses From the $450s

Number of Units 1,292

Resale Status Resale only

Average Size of Houses 1,100 – 2,600 square feet

Amenities Included 37,000-square-foot clubhouse, lifestyle director, fitness center, tennis courts, bocce ball courts, pickleball courts, hot tub, indoor pool and outdoor pool

Contact Information 984-219-7051; contactarbors@gmail.com; ourcarolinaarbors.com


115 Allforth Pl., Cary

Price Range of Houses From the $450s

Number of Units 1,360

Resale Status Resale only

Average Size of Houses 1,200 – 3,500 square feet

Amenities Included Tennis courts, bocce ball courts, indoor pool, outdoor pool, fitness center, clubhouse, pickleball court and access to Town of Cary Greenway and Amberly Clubhouse

Contact Information 919-467-7837; carolinapreserve.com


809 Churton Pl., Cary

Price Range of Houses $400s – $500s

Number of Units 60

Resale Status Resale only

Average Size of Houses 1,698 – 2,175 square feet

Amenities Included Walking trail, dog park, yard and exterior homemaintenance.

Contact Information 888-523-9070; info@corbintonliving.com; corbintonliving.com/cary


1007 Havenwood Ln., Durham

Number of Units 120

Resale Status Resale only

Average Size of Houses 1,500 – 4,000 square feet

Amenities Included Large clubhouse, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, walking trails, pavilion

Sales Contact Terrell Turner, teturner@epconcommunities.com; epconcommunities.com


5100 Lilly Atkins Rd., Cary

Price Range of Houses From the upper $500s to the mid $600s

Number of Units 73

Resale Status New construction

Average Size of Houses 1,519 – 2,930 square feet

Amenities Included Clubhouse, fireplace pavilion, fitness center, pool

Sales Contact 919-297-2431; Terrell Turner, teturner@epconcommunities.com; epconcommunities.com


1702 Doc Nichols Rd., Durham

Price Range of Houses Call for pricing

Number of Units 166

Resale Status New construction, opening for sales in summer 2024

Average Size of Houses 1,500 – 4,000 square feet

Amenities Included Clubhouse, outdoor pool, fitness center

Sales Contact 919-646-6804; Terrell Turner, teturner@epconcommunities.com; epconcommunities.com


1601 Vineyard Mist Dr., Cary

Number of Units 149

Resale Status Resale only

Average Size of Houses 2,000 square feet

Amenities Included Clubhouse, outdoor pool, fitness center, walking trails, access to the American Tobacco Trail

Sales Contact Terrell Turner, teturner@epconcommunities.com; epconcommunities.com


1203 Cherob Ln., Durham

Price Range of Houses From the $500s

Number of Units 161

Resale Status New construction

Average Size of Houses 1,519 – 2,930 square feet

Amenities Included Clubhouse, outdoor pool, fitness center, walking trails, pavilion, dog park, pickleball, access to the American Tobacco Trail

Sales Contact 919-230-8636; Terrell Turner, teturner@epconcommunities.com; epconcommunities.com


5113 Farrington Rd., Durham

Price Range of Houses From the low $500s

Number of Units 64

Resale Status New construction

Average Size of Houses 1,520 – 2,969 square feet

Amenities Included Clubhouse, outdoor pool, fitness center

Sales Contact 919-918-0834; Terrell Turner, teturner@epconcommunities.com; epconcommunities.com


5910 Farrington Rd., Chapel Hill

Price Range of Apartment Homes Starting at $1,134/month

Number of Units 184

Average Size of Houses 598 – 1,365 square feet

Amenities Included Heated outdoor pool, outdoor lounge and terrace, fire pit, elevator-accessible floors, happy hours and yappy hours, fitness center and yoga studio, grand club room with demonstration kitchen, 24-hour self-serve coffee bar, movie theater, game room, arts and crafts room, on-site guest suite for friends and family, Lyft ride-sharing scheduling through management, 24-hour emergency maintenance and carports available.

Contact Information 919-907-2200; overturechapelhill.com



60 Elderberry Ln., Rougemont

Price Range of Houses mid-$200s

Number of Units 18

Resale Status Resale only

Average Size of Houses 700 – 1,200 sq. ft.

Amenities Included Self-developed, community-oriented cohousing, hiking trails, community garden, community-shared tools and equipment, and common house.

Contact Information Mary Bennett, 919-452-4222, richard.mangeot@usa.net; elderberrycohousing.com


4900 Buttonbush Dr., Durham

Price Range of Houses Mid-$300s to high-$400s

Number of Cottages 28

Resale Status Resale only

Average Size of Houses 650 – 1,150 sq. ft.

Amenities Included Self-developed and self-governed; 55+ LGBT-focused (friends and allies welcome) intentional neighborhood; large, welcoming front porches; community-oriented with large common house, gourmet kitchen, craft room, laundry room; workshop; clustered accessible cottages on 15 acres; walking trails and community garden; 15 minutes from downtown Durham.

Contact Information 561-714-8009; villagehearthcohousing.com

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Compiled by Emma Unger


Wayne Fenton assumed his role as the City of Durham’s Solid Waste Management Department director on Feb. 26. Fenton previously served as the department’s assistant director of operations for seven years before he became acting director in 2022. He continues to lead waste collection programs and recycling initiatives in the city. “[Fenton’s] consistent and steady leadership of our Solid Waste operations, coupled with his accomplishments to date in this department, such as the curbside food waste collection pilot program and the city-wide route rebalancing project, made him the best choice to continue leading our Solid Waste team as they serve a growing city,” said City Manager Wanda Page

Morgan Ensberg succeeds Michael Johns –who was promoted to first base coach for the Tampa Bay Rays –as the new manager of the Durham Bulls beginning with the 2024 season.

Ensberg played in the major leagues for eight seasons and recently managed the Montgomery Biscuits, a Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate. This is his first managerial position at the Triple-A level.

DIY studio AR Workshop

Legacy Homecare Services LLC, which provides in-home health care to Triangle residents, received a $10,000 grant on Feb. 27 from M&F Bank, in partnership with the Fiserv Back2Business program, as part of the bank’s Empowering Growth Small Business Grant initiative, which offers a combined total of $50,000 to small businesses in Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Charlotte this year. Legacy Homecare Services Owner Juantia Applewhite (center) accepted the check from M&F Bank President and CEO James Sill (left), and Chief Lending and Sales Officer Travis Rouse (right).

“Receiving this grant is such an honor,” Applewhite said. “This financial boost will help us continue to carry out our mission to deliver high-quality, personalized and compassionate in-home care services.”

was excited to move to the new location, which offers more visibility and parking.

Durham held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 9 to celebrate its move from Brightleaf Square to a new storefront at 2816 Erwin Rd., Ste. 201, in Erwin Terrace. Attendees toured the new space, designed small crafts and enjoyed refreshments. Owner Marie Curran said she

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy is now the Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy. The institute, which was founded eight years ago, is dedicated to conducting research and implementing programs to develop policy solutions that improve health and health care. “Establishing Duke-Margolis as a Duke institute acknowledges its impact and importance to the university’s future vision,” said Alec Gallimore, Duke University’s provost and chief academic officer.

with nine years of experience in the field. She previously served in leadership and clinical roles at several companies, including Veritas Collaborative. “Carolina House’s commitment to delivering comprehensive care truly aligns with my values,” Hendricks said, “and I look forward to collaborating with our dedicated team to make a positive impact in the lives of our clients.”

The Carolina House Eating Disorder Treatment Center announced Jessica Hendricks as its new CEO on Feb. 26. Hendricks is a licensed marriage and family therapist and eating disorder specialist

Tenita PhilyawRogers was promoted to partner executive for transfer management at Western Governors University’s North Carolina affiliate in January. PhilyawRogers has a larger role in the coordination of transfer agreements among WGU and its partner colleges in her new position. She has worked at WGU North Carolina for nearly five years, most recently as its senior strategic partnerships manager.

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Nonprofit online university Western Governors University entered into a partnership with the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools on Jan. 11 to offer $2,500 WGU Partner Connect Scholarships to NCAPCS employees and members, disbursed in $625 increments per term based on academic performance.

NCAPCS Executive Director Rhonda Dillingham said the collaboration will help achieve its goal of placing more credentialed teachers in classrooms to provide highquality education to students.

“WGU helps working adults pursue postsecondary degrees by accessing online courses whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them,” said Ben Coulter, director of WGU’s Southeast region and chancellor of WGU North Carolina. “This agreement will help NCAPCS members and staff access additional learning pathways to higher education, including accredited degrees, certificates and credentials.”

The National Association of Corporate Directors Research Triangle Chapter, in partnership with RTI International, introduced a new fellowship in January in honor of the late Robert A. Ingram’s commitment to board governance and leadership as a longtime NACD member and RTI board member. The Robert A. Ingram Fellowship for Excellence in Board Governance is open to association members and nonmembers in eastern North Carolina and the Research Triangle who demonstrate potential for board service and aims to certify directors through NACD programs, honoring Ingram’s impactful contributions to governance and mentorship, and shaping a more inclusive and competent boardroom culture. Ingram Fellows will be selected in mid-April.

Biotechnology company Elo Life Systems completed an oversubscribed $20.5 million Series A2 funding round led by DCVC Bio and Novo Holdings in late January. Elo’s mission is to revolutionize food with natural, healthier ingredients using molecular farming. With a total of $45 million raised, Elo plans to scale its first product, a monk fruit-derived sweetener, which is set to launch in 2026;

expand its molecular-farming pipeline for sustainable ingredients; and enhance crop protection efforts, including saving the banana from extinction.

Innovate Durham announced the winning cohort for its program that allows entrepreneurs and startups to use local government as a lab to test out an idea, product or

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service while having access to local government staff, data and facilities. The four companies – SKLLD, MyMatR, Laughing Monitos and Digital Brilliance Hour – spend 16 weeks working with county and city departments to develop and test solutions to local challenges that range from expanding employment opportunities for historically underemployed groups, utilizing new smart technology on waste and recycling, and providing child development services and technological education to marginalized youth. The program will run until the end of May and conclude with a Demo Day event open to the public.


Durham ranked No. 7 out of the country’s 100 largest cities for homeownership affordability and attainability for Generation Z in a study by Point2. The city also had the lowest youth unemployment rate of the cities analyzed and one of the highest household incomes for people younger than 25 years old.

Residents of Durham are overwhelmingly satisfied with the city, according to its 2023 Resident Satisfaction Survey. The results, published in February, show that 75% of residents believe Durham is a good or excellent place to live, and 74% believe it is a good or excellent place to work. The city received 68% satisfaction with the quality of customer service from city employees, almost 29% higher than the national average. Residents ranked quality of police protection and maintenance of city streets as the two categories that should receive the most emphasis from city leaders. “The overall results provide a picture of not only resident satisfaction, but also how we should view community-wide priorities, since this data is used by the City Council and our city administration to help direct day-to-day decisions as well as overall long-term planning and funding allocations,” said City Manager Wanda Page (pictured above).

Commercial real estate information site CommercialCafe ranked Durham the No. 14 top midsized city in the United States for green commuting in a study published in February. The city was deemed to have the best tree canopy coverage compared to the 30 other areas, and was No. 11 for its share of carpoolers.

Couch Oil Company celebrates 75 years of service in the Triangle this year. The family-owned, full-service fuel and propane provider was founded in 1949 with a few delivery trucks and has grown to a service area of more than 20 counties and a team of 70 employees with three office locations in Durham and Apex. The company recently expanded its brand with a hearth store, Couch & Co. Fireplace and Patio, and a nonprofit, Couch Oil Cares, which invests in community causes, with a focus on education. “Couch Oil Company is grateful for the loyal customers, employees and community who have been essential to [its] success story over the past 75 years,” the company shared in a press release. “[We] will always be committed to investing in the community and delivering quality products and personalized service.”

Durham ranked No. 18 out of 189 U.S. cities where renters can get the most value for their dollar in a study by RentCafe. Renters in the city spend a smaller portion of their income on transportation, utilities, and goods and services than in many other cities, placing Durham at No. 14 for incometo-utilities ratio and No. 10 for income-to-transportation ratio.

Durham broke the top 20 U.S. cities for work-life balance, ranking No. 18 in a study by CoworkingCafe that evaluated factors such as health care,

income and remote work options. The city’s median income increased by more than 12% in a year to $75,000, and its affordability ranking rose five spots. Durham also ranked No. 9 in the remote working category, which makes up 18% of Durham’s workforce.

DesignRush, a B2B marketplace that connects businesses with agencies, ranked the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area the No. 9 best U.S. city for remote working in a study published in March.


RaleighDurham International Airport set a new annual passenger traffic record as more than 14.5 million passengers flew through the airport in 2023, surpassing the previous record of 14.2 million set in 2019. The holiday season saw a significant surge, with nearly 1.2 million travelers flying through RDU in December alone. The airport’s 25 new destinations and 49 new routes introduced in 2023 also contributed to the total traffic. RDU started this year with record-setting passenger traffic, as more than 967,600 travelers flew through the airport in January. That is 10.5% higher than January 2023 and 4.6% higher than January 2019. “We expect another year of growth and expansion in 2024 as we add new airlines, destinations and dining options that will elevate the airport experience

for our guests,” said Michael Langduth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority (pictured below left).

Frontier Airlines is expanding its service at Raleigh-Durham International Airport with a new direct flight from RDU to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport beginning in May. The airline also offers new routes starting in April with nonstop service to airports in New York City, Boston, Miami, Tampa and Chicago, bringing its total destinations served from RDU to 24.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport announced a new direct flight to Panama City on Copa Airlines in February. Flight service will begin in June, making Panama City the airport’s 10th international destination and Copa its 18th airline. This addition is among RDU’s four new international airlines and three new international destinations announced in recent months.

Avelo Airlines celebrated its first anniversary at RaleighDurham International Airport in February by announcing a new route with nonstop service to Albany, New York, making it the first and only airline offering nonstop service between New York and North Carolina’s state capitals. The flight begins service May 10, operating twice weekly with low fares. The airline also announced that it will increase the frequency of its flights to Rochester, New York, and the Manchester, New Hampshire-Boston region, beginning May 2.

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Financial planning firm Kuhn Advisors recently worked with a client in her early 60s to find her retirement home. The woman is completely healthy and still working; however, she knew that in 15 years she might be interested in moving into a community. Armed with a list of criteria most important to her, she toured local options to take in the culture and personality and discover ones she liked.

“We helped her run the math to see which ones she could afford,” said Scott Ranby, a certified financial planner for Kuhn. The woman was waitlisted at her preferred spot, and now it’s something she doesn’t have to think about until the day comes when she wants to move in.

“She doesn’t have a lot of family members she can rely on,” Ranby said. “Now she can put all of this on the shelf and have peace of mind knowing that if she needs care unexpectedly, she’s already done some research.”

Retirement is a life-changing event that often remains on the back burner until its imminent

approach, but starting to plan sooner rather than later, regardless of your envisioned retirement lifestyle, is most advantageous.

Durham fortunately offers a number of resources tailored to assist in your retirement preparations.


Exploring retirement communities in your 60s might initially feel premature, but the practice is more common than you might think. Healthy people in this age range are also considering moving in much earlier than in previous generations.

“People are generally joining retirement communities younger,” said April Ravelli, director of sales and marketing at The Forest at Duke, a continuing care retirement community. “What we saw with COVID was the understanding of how isolating it really can be to be alone and to not have access to a community.”

The Forest at Duke holds a free webinar every other month to prepare individuals at all stages of life with essential insights for retirement readiness so they can navigate the transition with confidence and clarity. (Folks can find the event at forestduke.org/events.)

“Most retirement communities in North Carolina have pretty big waitlists,” Ravelli said. “You have to plan a good five to 10 years before you actually want to move in.”

The North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management estimates that, by 2040, Durham County will have more residents who are 60 and older than it does children aged 0-17, so securing early placement on waitlists is becoming increasingly crucial. However, it’s worth noting that being on a waitlist doesn’t necessarily equate to needing to immediately relocate upon availability. With many communities, if a residence spot becomes available but the timing or


the specific space doesn’t work for you, you may decline without any penalty and retain your position on the waitlist. Once you accept a residence, you often are granted several months to make the transition.

If you intend to remain in your own home for the foreseeable future, it’s important to assess the adaptability of that space.

“You want to set the stage for what’s going to happen so you don’t have to make sudden changes in an emergency when it’s the worst time to make them,” said Nicole Clagett, director of community development and caregiver support at Duke HomeCare & Hospice. If you start to notice you’re struggling, she advised

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engaging an occupational therapist to come for a home assessment. They can provide valuable insights and practical adjustments to enhance safety as you age.

Mortality often isn’t something people like to talk about, but it’s also essential to start contemplating future needs and wants.

“While you’re still able to make decisions for yourself, it’s really important you set up your advanced directive,” Clagett said of the legal health care document, which works somewhat like a power of

attorney and enables you to designate a trusted individual to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Clagett also advised that selecting such a decisionmaker shouldn’t be based on a felt obligation to family members like a child or spouse. It’s about picking someone who you know will genuinely honor your wishes.


Clagett further emphasized that, just as an advanced directive safeguards your health decisions, establishing

a durable power of attorney to manage your finances is just as important. She advised against assuming the same individual must be in charge of both medical and financial matters.

“You want to be able to decide how your assets are going to flow when you pass away, even if you don’t have a lot of assets,” she said. She recommends assembling a comprehensive binder or box containing vital documents such as birth and marriage certificates, as well as online account passwords, for ease of access during emergencies.

A seasoned financial planner can also play a pivotal role in ensuring sound monetary decisions as you age.

“There are a lot of old rules of thumb out there around how conservative you should get or if you should move into bonds or annuities or treasury bills,” Ranby said. “I think a lot of that traditional advice doesn’t apply anymore; especially with inflation where it is and interest rates, it’s just so important to keep growing your wealth.”

Ranby advocates for a “bucket approach” to retirement finances, balancing

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The Forest at Duke Sales and Marketing Director April Ravelli meets with resident Usha Gulati at the continuing care retirement community off Pickett Road.

growth-oriented investments like stocks while maintaining conservative assets designed for stability, which will grow no matter what.

“As people live longer, they’re faced with the reality that they could be in retirement for as long as they were in their careers,” he said. “We need to make sure their spending power keeps up with inflation.”

He suggests initiating financial reassessments three to five years before you plan to retire, citing the need to align investment strategies with retirement goals to mitigate market uncertainties.

“The worst that could happen,” he said, “is you’ve set up your portfolio for your working stage of life, and then you go to retire, and there is some major stock market decline or economic recession, and you’re not prepared.”

A financial planner can also offer insights into optimizing Social Security benefits and retirement timing, which might be earlier than you think.


“Folks are coming [to our community], and they’re not looking to slow down,” Ravelli said. “They want to get a new hobby. They want to learn a new thing. They want to get out and travel and go out and about.”

Older adults with green thumbs are joining Durham County’s Master Gardeners program while others are taking classes at Duke University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on all manner of subjects, from photography to psychology and classical theory.

“The word ‘retire’ is almost a misnomer; you’re not retiring,” Ravelli said. “Our residents are so busy. They really pack

their schedules … with things that they want to do and that they love.”

Clagett noted the critical role of activities such as exercise and social engagement in the aging process.

“Sometimes when people retire, they just stop doing everything,” Clagett said. “It’s important to fill those voids with other things that continue to stimulate your brain.”


Retirement hinges greatly on foresight and planning, as these experts make plain. The city itself is proactively addressing the anticipated influx of retirees over the next few decades. In late 2018, more than 70 representatives from various agencies – including the Durham Center for Senior Life, Durham’s Partnership for Seniors and city departments such as transportation and

housing – joined together to develop a Master Aging Plan to ensure the city’s preparedness to support its growing older populace. Some goals are: designing a flexible transportation system that allows Durham’s aging population to safely engage in walking and bicycling; expanding opportunities for individuals to connect around common interests while cultivating a sense of belonging; and supporting care partners by advocating for policy changes and providing resources; among many more strategies.

Duke Health also offers a caregiver support program that’s free to anyone, regardless of whether someone is a Duke patient. Clagett said that program can help connect people with trusted service providers to improve quality of life for older adults.

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She also suggested older adults look into the federal Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program for informed Medicare counseling. Senior PharmAssist also helps Durham residents select the appropriate Medicare plan for their needs and provides assistance in obtaining, managing and, when needed, paying for medications.

Clagett also stressed the need for annual reassessment of supplemental insurance policies, if you use one on top of Medicare, given their potential for yearly adjustments in coverage.

“Understanding all of the different ways that you can spend that final season of life can be so important,” Ravelli said. If you start seeking out support systems and information early, you’ll have more time to focus on enjoying a fulfilling and secure retirement journey.

durham inc. april/may 2024 | Durhammag.com | 133 VOLUNTEER TODAY www.mowdurham.org @mowdurham Too many of Durham’s homebound population, especially older adults, are going hungry and feeling lonely in our community. Volunteer to provide meals and meaningful connections with local seniors.
Lauren Young, The Forest at Duke’s communications and engagement coordinator, tours the property with Joan Brannon, Linda Carlson and Richard Ellman.


Tommy Hamzik & Paige Ladisic

Wedding Date Nov. 9, 2024

Occupations Tommy is the director of digital planning and production for UNC’s communications office, and Paige is The Assembly’s director of product and growth.

Crossed Paths The two met in Washington, D.C. – Paige was visiting friends, and Tommy was in the city for a wedding. Mutual friend Alison Krug introduced them at a karaoke bar, where Paige delivered an unforgettable performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” and Tommy belted out Bowling for Soup’s “1985.” Alison successfully conspired to bring her friends – who’d been texting each other all weekend – back together for breakfast the morning before Tommy flew back home to Houston. After his return, he could hardly wait to see

Paige again, and made plans to visit her in Durham just a couple weeks later. An intended two-night stay turned into a week when Tommy came down with COVID-19. The unexpected time together was filled with long conversations, Disney movies and chicken noodle soup, and eventually led to Tommy’s move to Durham.

The Proposal The couple spends much of their free time downtown – they’re social media ambassadors for Downtown Durham Inc. and run the @bullcitystir Instagram account, chronicling their quest to order a to-go drink from all participating businesses in The Bullpen social district – so there was no question in Tommy’s mind of where to propose. He planned a decoy date night at one of the couple’s favorite spots, Nikos, on Nov. 9, 2023, and popped the question in Brightleaf Square as they made their way to “dinner.” Paige, of course, said, “yes.”

Now, “I Do” The couple’s ceremony and reception will be held at The Rickhouse, and they plan on continuing to live downtown with their dog, Theo, and cats, Barley and Whiskey, after their nuptials.

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THANK YOU TO OUR GOLD SPONSORS TITLE SPONSOR SILVER SPONSORS 2024 SPONSORS The Female Advisors in Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties Cat french d e sngicfd


Mary Beth Hampe & Maria Santos

Wedding Date Dec. 31, 2023

Occupations Maria and Mary Beth are both resident doctors in family medicine – Maria at Duke Family Medicine and Mary Beth at UNC Family Medicine – who are graduating from their residencies in June 2024.

Crossed Paths The couple met outside Accordion Club at a gathering of mutual friends in July 2021. They grew closer and developed a friendship during their overlapping pediatrics training at WakeMed’s Raleigh campus, which gradually evolved into a romantic connection. The Proposal Maria proposed to Mary Beth at Plum Southern Kitchen and Bar, a cherished spot where the couple’s love blossomed. Maria surprised Mary Beth with a specially prepared four-course vegan meal. As the final course lingered, an entourage of the pair’s closest friends burst in to join in the celebration, adding an unexpected and unforgettable twist to their intimate evening.

The Big Day Mary Beth and Maria’s New Year’s Eve wedding awed guests with its elegant “Great Gatsby” theme, scrumptious selection of vegan cuisine and lively salsa dancing. The weekend began with a rehearsal dinner at Killer Queen Wine Bar on Dec. 29 followed by a dinner at Torero’s Mexican Restaurant the following evening. Guests gathered at The Rickhouse on the big day, where American Party Rentals created a black-and-gold color scheme under twinkling string lights that popped against the rustic wood of the venue. Hamilton Hill Jewelry’s Kai Hill designed the wedding bands, each inscribed with the newlyweds’ special date. The brides again recruited their friends at Plum to cater the occasion while Linda’s Vegan Bakery crafted the cake. Soul Cocina added a touch of tradition by creating special vegan tamales, honoring Maria’s Colombian heritage and a cherished New Year’s custom. The brides also took salsa lessons at

Ninth Street Dance, perfecting their moves for an unforgettable first dance. “We practiced every night before the wedding for two weeks straight!” Maria says.

Favorite Moments Mary Beth and Maria agree that their vows during the ceremony were a standout of the day. Dr. Jessie Hart, a supervisor from their WakeMed days, acted as their officiant.

“[Jessie] was a large reason why our friendship grew initially,” Maria says.

“It was great,” Mary Beth adds.

“We laughed the whole time.”

Do you live in Durham and want your wedding or engagement featured in our magazine? Scan this code to send us your info.

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Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center provides a one-stop-shop for those seeking weight loss services, and features a lifestyle-based approach that incorporates every aspect of your life.

Services Available:

§ Medical weight loss services

§ Nutrition consultations

§ Behavioral health

§ Low-calorie, meal replacement program - Optifast®

§ Body composition measurement with Bod Pod®

Live a healthy, active, fulfilling life.
Call for an appointment 1-800-235-3853 Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center 501 Douglas St. Durham, NC 27705 DukeHealth.org/DLWMC

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