LNC January 2015

Page 1

Currents A master suite masterpiece Edsel B. Ford II races to town Sandy Bowers’ epiphany

Real Estate

Comes Back VOL. 6 NUMBER

JANUARY 2015

1

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Realtors share their take on the market


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Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including but not limited to county records and the multiple listing service, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.


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Mt. Isle Harbor


Contents

10 The Main

Channel

What’s hip at Lake Norman

16 Captain’s Chair Edsel B. Ford II comes to town to share his family’s racing history

19 Blair’s Bits

Pieter Swart’s parents want to help others battle cancer with Pieter’s Pals

22 Game Changers Sandy Bowers’ epiphany

Contents 26 Rip Currents —

Real Estate

Lake Norman’s real estate market is on the upswing

42 The Galley

with Lynn and Glenn Pop’s BBQ Smokehouse in Cornelius adds spice to an old space

22

24 Rip Currents — 44 Grapevine Style

Cool finds to help you think warm thoughts

Margaret River offers a treasure trove of great wines

48 Game On The Penske Way

51 Thoughts from

42

the Man Cave

How to bulletproof your resolutions

52 Home Port A cozy compromise

44

58 Currently

The Second City, Rumplestiltskin and Music @ St. Alban’s

64 Lori’s Larks Editor Lori K. Tate and Publisher Sharon Simpson share their elfin magic

24

48 Currents

About the Cover:

Cover photo courtesy of Lauren Nicole Designs.

A master suite masterpiece Edsel B. Ford II races to town Sandy Bowers’ epiphany

Real Estate

6

Vol. 6 No. 1 January 2015

Comes Back VOL. 6 NUMBER

JANUARY 2015

1

Realtors share their take on the market

WWW.LNCURRENTS.COM

HOLIDAY

MAGIC

2014 Gold MarCom Award Winner for Design Excellence 2013 Platinum Award Winner for Magazine Special Edition 2013 Lake Norman Chamber Business of the Year 2010 Gold MarCom Award Winner for Best Magazine 2009 APEX Award Winner for Publication Excellence Subscriptions are available for $19 per year. Send us your name, address, phone number and a check made payable to Lake Norman CURRENTS at the address below and we’ll start your subscription with the next available issue.

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

Lake Norman CURRENTS is a monthly publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Lake Norman residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses.

Lake Norman CURRENTS P.O. Box 1676, Cornelius, NC 28031 704-749-8788 • www.LNCurrents.com The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine is wholly owned by Venture Magazines, LLC.


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Lori K. Tate

photo by Glenn Roberson

At The Helm This is the year I’m going to be specific. Instead of writing down the same cliché resolutions that I do every year, (let’s be honest, I never really write them down) I’m going to specifically text myself what I’d like to accomplish this year. And to ensure that these specific goals are met, I’m imposing deadlines on myself. As any member of the CURRENTS staff will tell you, deadlines are the most efficient way to get me to do anything. First off is a pull up. If you work out, you’ve probably seen people pulling their chins above a high bar. It looks easy, but as I have discovered, it’s harder than putting two 4-year-olds to bed after their grandparents have given them chocolate. I’m getting better at it, but I still can’t do it on my own. My goal is to do one unassisted pull up by March 15. Feel free to e-mail me to see if that happens (Lori@LNCurrents.com). My other big goal is to clear out the clutter in my life — both physically and mentally. There are closets that need to be purged, toys that need to be donated and pictures that need to be hung. The magic deadline for those tasks is February

TIME TO PULL UP This year it’s all about being specific 1. If winter is anything like it was last year, I think we’ll be spending a lot of time hibernating in our house, which will force me to tap into my inner interior designer. As for the mental clutter, that’s a little harder. How can you set a deadline for forgetting about something painful in your past or erasing insecurities that you’ve had since sixth grade? It’s not easy, but if 2014 taught me anything, it’s that you need to embrace every moment. This past year, I watched so many of my friends and family members deal with the big punches that life can throw — sickness, death, divorce, etc. Navigating those waters is never easy, but somehow you have to sail the course you’re given. One of the best ways to do that is to learn from the past, consider the future and completely attack the present. In a lighter sense, we’re doing that with CURRENTS. This month marks the debut of two new columns. The first is a history column called Beneath the Surface by Chuck McShane, author of the book A History of Lake Norman: Fish Camps to Ferraris. We wrote about McShane in the December issue and were so captivated

by the Davidson resident’s knowledge of Lake Norman’s history that we asked him to write about it monthly for us. Luckily, he said yes. You’ll find his column in The Main Channel section. Rosie Molinary, also a Davidson writer, has been writing the column Live on Purpose for the past two years. This month she replaces that column with a new series titled Game Changers. In this column, she’ll profile people in the Lake Norman area who looked at their life and had the courage to make a big change. (These changes are bigger than cleaning out your closet, but you’ve got to start somewhere.) We hope that you’ll enjoy these columns and use them to make positive progress in the new year. Take a minute to think about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months and text yourself some deadlines. Who knows? I might find you doing a pull up beside me. Happy New Year!

Mission Statement: Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine will embody the character, the voice and the spirit of its The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home

Sharon Simpson Publisher Sharon@LNCurrents.com

8

Lori K. Tate Editor Lori@LNCurrents.com

Taylor Buckley Advertising Sales Executive Taylor@LNCurrents.com

Publication Design & Production SPARK Publications info@SPARKpublications.com | www.SPARKpublications.com

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

readers, its leaders and its advertisers. It will connect the people of Lake Norman through inspiring, entertaining and informative content, photography and design; all of which capture the elements of a well-lived life on and around the community known as Lake Norman.

Carole Lambert Advertising Sales Executive Carole@LNCurrents.com

Ad Production idesign2, inc

Cindy Gleason Advertising Sales Executive Cindy@LNCurrents.com

Beth Packard Advertising Sales Executive Beth@LNCurrents.com

www.facebook.com/LNCurrents

Trisha Robinson Advertising Sales Executive Trisha@LNCurrents.com

Michele Chastain Social Media Specialist mac21268@yahoo.com

www.twitter.com/LNCurrents


January 22-25, 2015  Blowing Rock, North Carolina  877.295.7801 Don’t Hibernate...Celebrate at Blowing Rock WinterFest! Join us January 22-25, 2015 for a long weekend filled with family friendly winter activities. Lodging packages & tickets available online.

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The Main Channel

the

Main Channel Movers, Shakers, Style, Shopping, Trends, Happenings and More at Lake Norman

John Walsh is the president and CEO of SightSpan in Mooresville. The company protects clients from criminal and terrorist activities

Protection on All Fronts For John Walsh of SightSpan, 10

fighting terrorism is personal

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

For John Walsh, president and CEO of SightSpan, fighting against criminal and terrorist activities isn’t just business. It’s personal, too. “[On 9/11], I was walking toward the twin towers to attend a meeting on the 86th floor when the plane hit the building, and I saw many of my friends and colleagues perish,” recalls Walsh. “So this work is something that provides a great deal of personal satisfaction.” Founded in Mooresville eight years ago, SightSpan helps clients identify, measure and mitigate risks related to criminal and terrorist activity, cyber and data security, and the protection of their people and property. Its international team of advisors currently works throughout North and South America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and carries a roster of clients that includes financial service firms, banking institutions and private corporations, in addition to the United States government and other international governments. However, the company’s main focus will always be safety here at home. “SightSpan takes the risk of terrorist activities in the U.S. very seriously,” Walsh says.“This thinking process is part of the culture of the firm and something we do not take lightly or ever forget.” In fact, Walsh recently worked with North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger on an information booklet that will help North Carolina citizens prepare for another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The company was also recently awarded a North Carolina State Capital Citation by North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall for assisting the state in the war on terror. An effort that, Walsh says, we all need to be involved in. “All Americans should be on a constant lookout for unusual or suspicious behavior that could be classified as terrorist threats and be willing to report their findings to law enforcement,” he says. “In addition, everyone should be prepared for a possible attack on the U.S. and have a common sense plan established for themselves and their families.” — Jennifer Baxter, photography by Ken Noblezada


Is Your Body Trying to Tell You Something? Christine Lang’s book might help you figure it out Huntersville resident Christine Lang was working as a corporate attorney when, tired of her persistent allergies, she began searching out ways to eliminate them for good. She began studying alternative medicine, Tai Chi, Buddhism and meditation. Eventually, she not only cured her allergies, but also discovered she had the ability to see energy and other perceived things about other people’s bodies. Lang’s Tai Chi instructor suggested she study Reiki, a form of energy healing that promotes the body’s own ability to heal. These days, Lang uses her gifts by working as a medical intuitive, where she helps her clients understand how their physical symptoms actually contain messages from their spirits. “I think that when your body becomes symptomatic, it is like a giant answering machine,” says Lang. “And your spirit is leaving you messages. Your heart and your soul know when something is off and out of balance and you could be living your life in a more effective way. But so often, we talk ourselves out of what our heart is telling us, and then we get symptomatic.” By acting as a translator, Lang hears from a person’s spirit about any underlying emotional causes or imbalances that could be contributing to a physical symptom. Doctors, therapists and other medical practitioners frequently refer their patients to Lang when they suspect there are emotional factors contributing to a person’s symptoms.

In the Kitchen with Jill Dahan

Photography courtesy of Elke Talbot

Kale Caesar Salad Caesar salad is one of those all around dishes that is fairly risk free if feeding a crowd, especially a crowd including children. Everyone seems to love Caesar salad. This recipe puts a healthy twist on it by using kale in place of romaine and by making your own dressing, which is easy peasy, in a blender and will impress your guests straightaway. Use the freshest kale possible as the older it gets, the more bitter it gets. Farmer’s markets are great for this, and spring, winter and fall are the times when young tender kale is at its best. Besides being delicious, you can eat this salad knowing that kale is one of the super foods that we should be eating more of, so have a second helping guilt free. Ingredients 4 cups packed kale leaves with hard center rib removed 1 large garlic clove 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup of very finely grated Parmesan Reggiano (optional) 2 avocados 1 tablespoon of cumin seed (optional) 1 pomegranate (optional)

Christine Lang of Huntersville is a medical intuitive. She recently wrote the book The Body Whisperer: Your Symptoms Tell Me Your Truth.

Lang has parlayed her experiences into a book, titled The Body Whisperer: Your Symptoms Tell Me Your Truth, where she chronicles her journey from the corporate world to the vastly different — but fulfilling — one of becoming a medical intuitive. — Renee Roberson, photography Glenn Roberson THE SCOOP

To learn more about Christine Lang’s book, The Body Whisperer: Your Symptoms Tell Me Your Truth, or to learn more about her private sessions, consulting services, classes and workshops, visit www.christinelang.org.

Wash and dry kale leaves. Place some kale leaves in a blender or food processor, and blend on low just until finely chopped. Remove into a bowl and finish with the rest of the leaves. Place two tablespoons of lemon juice, a quarter cup of Parmesan, oil and garlic in a blender and blend until combined and set aside. Cut avocados in half, remove pit and cut flesh side crisscross into small pieces but not through the skin. Turn it over and push pieces out of skin into a bowl, and toss with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Warm cumin seeds in a dry frying pan just until fragrant and toss into avocados. Toss kale with enough dressing to coat, add avocados and toss with Parmesan. Cut the pomegranate in half, and place in a sealable plastic bag, seal and work the seeds out. Pile the salad onto a serving plate in a dome shape and decorate with seeds. Serves four. Jill Dahan lives in Cornelius and is the author of Starting Fresh! Recipes for Life. She also teaches cooking classes at Earth Fare in Huntersville. You can learn more about her at www.jilldahan.com.

11

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


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Lake Norman’s Trusted Choice For Oral Surgery Since 1985 12 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

The Best of the Lake issue wins a Gold MarCom Award

Last month, CURRENTS Magazine won a 2014 Gold MarCom Award in recognition of creative excellence for the August 2014 issue — The Best of the Lake Issue. The MarCom Awards are a creative competition for any individual or company involved in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and web materials, and programs. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers. The competition has approximately 6,000 entries per year. Congratulations to the CURRENTS staff for all of their hard work on this issue. Also, a special thanks goes to our readers and advertisers for all of your support. We couldn’t have won this without you.

PM 7/24/14 6:18


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13 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


Surface

History Repeats Itself A hotel in Denver isn’t exactly a new idea

Plans for a new hotel in eastern Lincoln County made headlines this winter. The 140-room hotel, they say, would be the first in the Denver area. Well, that’s not quite true. Two centuries ago, a resort hotel put this slice of what would become the Lake Norman area on the map. In the 1790s, Captain John Reid built a cluster of cabins along a few hundred rolling acres near the Catawba River’s banks. Also on the property were seven mineral springs, which provided a place for guests to cool off — no small thing in those pre-air-conditioned days. The resort quickly became a popular destination among wealthy plantation owners in North and South Carolina. “Next summer will probably be so hot and uncomfortable here,” Joseph Brevard in Camden, South Carolina wrote to his Lincoln County brother, Alexander, in 1796, “as to make me languish for the covert of your shady hills and the refreshment of your cooling Springs.” In the 1820s, the resort won a public relations coup when a Yale geologist announced that its springs could cure liver disease and chronic fatigue. Each summer, when the heat made Piedmont city living stifling and the isolation of lowcountry plantations became too boring to bear, those with the means hit the road for the “healing” springs. All summer long, they would arrive by stagecoach or private wagon. “Fashionable persons,” one South Carolina newspaper described the guests, “who wish to avoid sickness and spend the summer agreeably.” In the 1830s, a new owner expanded the resort to include a hotel with 100 rooms and a large ballroom. After Davidson College opened in 1837, students often hopped the Charlotteto-Lincolnton stagecoach line for weekend days in the springs and nights in the ballroom or drinking liquor on the wide porch where as many as 500 guests would gather for parties.

14 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

Look for Chuck McShane’s history column in CURRENTS each month.

just couldn’t compete. The cabins and hotel were demolished in the 1930s. — Chuck McShane However, the Civil War put an end to the party in the 1860s. When peace returned and the economy improved, the world had passed Catawba Springs by. Railroads replaced the stagecoach lines, opening up mountain resorts. The springs

THE SCOOP Chuck McShane is a writer in Davidson and the author of A History of Lake Norman: Fish Camps to Ferraris (The History Press, 2014). Reach him at chuckmcshane@gmail.com. On Twitter: @chuckmcshane

Photography by Amy Ellis

Beneath the


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Captain’s Chair

Edsel B. Ford II, the grandson of Henry Ford, enjoys visiting the Lake Norman area because he has a passion for racing.

How did your speaking engagement with the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce come about?

by Lori K. Tate photography courtesy of Ford Motor Company

It came from the local Ford dealer down there — Jeff Shue of Mooresville Ford. I know the area quite well because we have a lot of race shops around there. I’m going to come and speak to the Chamber of Commerce, and then I’m going to visit with our race teams, so the whole trip worked out well.

What are you planning to speak about?

What I thought I would talk about is the history of Ford and racing because it’s a wonderful history, and many of us believe that if Henry Ford hadn’t won the first car race he was ever in, Ford Motor Company might not exist today. I have a passion for racing and a passion for history, and so I typically do this and it’s a fun speech. It’s a little bit of a history lesson.

What do you enjoy about coming down here?

Carrying on the Tradition Edsel B. Ford II comes to town to

share his family’s racing history E dsel B. Ford II is a busy man. He’s the owner and chairman of Pentastar Aviation, and he’s the majority owner and chairman of Marketing Associates in Detroit. If that’s not enough to fill his schedule, he’s also a member of the board of directors at Ford Motor Company, where he serves as a consultant specializing in company affairs and corporate dealer relations. As the great grandson of Henry Ford, Edsel

16 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

takes an enormous amount of pride in the history of Ford Motor Company. And this month he shares a bit of that history when he speaks at the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Celebrate Business Luncheon & Annual Community Excellence Awards on January 26. We recently spoke with him to find out what exactly he plans to speak about and what he likes about visiting the Lake Norman area.

You know I’ve gotten to know a lot of these race owners and drivers over the years, and I enjoy the opportunity to visit with the people who build our racecars and the mechanics who work on our engines. We have a big engine shop down there, so they enjoy seeing me, and I enjoy seeing them. It’s an opportunity for me to talk to each one of the shops about what’s going on in the industry, what’s going on specifically at Ford Motor Company, what I think the future looks like. You know things that they don’t typically get to talk to executives about. I enjoy it, and so they enjoy it as well.

You’re on the Board of Directors at Ford Motor Company. What does that role entail?

Well I don’t think it’s probably anything different from being on the board at other public companies or not-for-profit boards. We act almost in a fiduciary way to oversee the business at Ford Motor Company. I serve and have served since 1988 as a member of the board of directors of Ford Motor Company. I also serve as a consultant to Ford Motor Company on several other issues. I do dealer initiatives. I do supplier initiatives. As an example, when we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, they asked me to come down as the senior Ford representative one day to Charlotte Motor Speedway.


But you also do so many other things. Can you tell us about your relationship with Pentastar Aviation? Are you a pilot? It’s another passion. It’s really part of the DNA of the Ford family. You may not know this, but Henry and Edsel Ford with a man named William Stout at the turn of the century built a passenger airplane called the Ford Trimotor. It flew primarily out of Detroit, but it also flew all over the country. At some point in our career, we actually sold Trimotors to American Airlines and Eastern Airlines and a few other airlines, and we decided that we probably ought to stick to the automobile business, but Ford Motor Company was in aviation for many years. We built the B-24 Bomber at the Willow Run Plant.

What was your first car? It was a 64 ½ Mustang. It was a gift from my father at age 16.

What are you currently driving?

I’m driving a Lincoln MKX.

What color?

It’s fire engine red.

To be the great grandson of Henry Ford, an American icon, what are some lessons that you’ve learned from your family lineage?

I think that there are lots of family lessons. I don’t think they were necessarily passed down from Henry Ford, but I think that there were a lot of lessons learned from my grandfather Edsel who was someone who believed in giving back to the community in which we live. He believed that one must support the not-for-profit organizations in the community, and we have quite a few here that carry our name like the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, and Henry Ford Hospital, organizations like that. As a matter of fact, I’m in the midst right now of trying to restore Clara and Henry Ford’s last home that they lived in. So it’s a little bit of, be humble, give back to the community, support the Ford Motor Company. None of us were ever forced to come to work at Ford. We work here because we want to work here. We work here because we’re proud of it. And the nice thing about that is that I believe that the employees,

certainly, and our dealers still think of it as a family company, so we’re proud of that. We as family members are very proud of that. I’ve got two sons working here, and they’re both doing a good job and they enjoy it.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I think one of the things that I might add is that Ford Motor Company finished building a multi-billion engineering and test facility in Concord, and it’s a one of a kind. We’ve never built anything like this in the world. We’re very proud of it. I was there for the grand opening about a year ago or so. Ford Motor Company is committed to the area, and we have dealers around the area, so I feel pretty good about coming down to the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce. I’m looking forward to visiting with all of you and enjoying the day. THE SCOOP

Edsel B. Ford II will be the keynote speaker at the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Celebrate Business Luncheon & Annual Community Excellence Awards on January 26 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at The Cove Church, 197 Langtree Road, Mooresville. For tickets, visit www.mooresvillenc.org.

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Blair’s Bits by Blair Miller photography by Ben Sherrill

Passing on the Positive he start of the New Year is usually just that for many people; a time to reflect on changes in one’s life or new goals to attain. But for Pieter and Jenn Swart in Davidson, it’s a time to celebrate the milestones they’ve reached with their son and the many others still ahead.

Looking for hope

At age 3, Pieter Swart was dealing with an illness that no one should endure, especially no one so young and so full of life. “A few months after Pieter turned 3, he had a large bump on the crown of his head,” recalls his mother, Jenn. “At his wellness check, the doctor said he probably fell in his crib. A couple of weeks later he had some lymph nodes that became enlarged.” Doctors told Pieter’s parents they still thought it was a virus, but nothing added up. “He wanted to be carried more often, had episodes of being fussy, and was waking up regularly at 2 a.m. Later we discovered the change in behavior was due to pain,” explains his mother. That’s when Pieter’s doctors did more testing and revealed that he had stage 4 neuroblastoma, a form of pediatric cancer that can be aggressive. Within days of the diagnosis, Pieter was undergoing chemotherapy. He went through five rounds of it, but after the sixth round, doctors said it wasn’t enough for him

Pieter Swart’s parents want to help others battle cancer with Pieter’s Pals

Photography courtesy of Jenn Swart

T

Above Pieter and Jenn Swart promoting Pieter’s Pals through a blood drive in Davidson. Left Pieter and his older brother, Cameron (left) at Myrtle Beach in August 2014.

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lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


Walking softly on the moon Kristin Clark, the director of the preschool program, says Pieter brought so much to the school and program.

“When Pieter started in our program last year, the children did not see cancer,” remembers Clark. “They saw love; they saw Pieter. Pieter made so many friends.” Pat Shaw, Pieter’s science teacher says Pieter loved exploring and learning about science. “Pieter was the quintessential preschool scientist,” says Shaw. “Each morning in science enrichment class, he eagerly scanned the room’s offerings. Pieter loved anything to do with space and was thrilled to learn we would be “traveling” to the moon. Shaw recalls Pieter saying “I will have to walk very softly on the moon or I will go flying.” Unfortunately, Pieter’s cancer wouldn’t give up, as it had spread to a lymph node. The biopsy surgery was too much for Pieter’s gut, and this past fall he began to shut down. “We had run out of time,” his mother remembers. “Pieter was able to come home for nine days, where he was surrounded by family and friends.” Pieter may be gone, but his shining spirit still surrounds the Davidson community with “Pieter’s Pals.” His family hopes the non-profit organization will teach others about the different

types of pediatric cancer, as well as help children and their families that are battling the disease. Already, the group has hosted blood drives and a “Cookies for Kids Cancer” bake sale at Christmas in Davidson. The group’s logo was even on the hood of a race care last fall to help raise awareness in front of a national audience. “After everything that Pieter went through, it would be unconscionable to us as parents to let that be in vain,” says Jenn. “It would let the negativity of cancer win out by not making something positive come from it all. Throughout his 5-1/2 years, Pieter taught us so many important life lessons, and there are so many things to pass along to help others.” THE SCOOP

For more information on Pieter’s Pals, visit the organization’s page on Facebook. About The Writer

to move forward with chemotherapy. “The doctors helped us to look for hope, not to focus on all the statistics, because for Pieter there is only one statistic that counts…his,” says Jenn. After pursuing various experimental treatment efforts coupled with radiation treatment, Pieter’s parents began to focus on balancing Pieter’s quality of life versus how aggressive they wanted to treat his disease. Although he had cancer, Pieter was able to start preschool at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. “It ended up being such an amazing gift of life experiences for Pieter,” remembers his mother. “Cancer taught us to appreciate all of the other things preschool can provide; relationships with other kids and loving adults, discovering so much about the world around him, confidence in being independent and so much more. We no longer took for granted the gifts of education.”

Blair Miller anchors the evening newscasts for WSOC-TV, Channel 9. He’s lived in Cornelius for the past three years and is a contributing writer to CURRENTS.

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21 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


Game Changers

SANDY BOWERS’

by Rosie Molinary photography by Amy Ellis

EPIPHANY If the shoe fits, you should definitely wear it

Sandy Bowers followed her instinct and opened Monkee’s of Lake Norman in 2010.

O

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n the surface, it was just a quick dash into a shoe store, but that New Year’s Eve 2006 shopping spree yielded far more than three pairs of shoes for Sandy Bowers and the women of Lake Norman. In medical sales at the time, after a career in critical care nursing, Bowers was vacationing with her husband in Charleston when she ducked into a shoe store to pick up some items for her work wardrobe. “I went from a career where I wore scrubs everyday to a job where I had to look the part. I was traveling to different towns, and I started to cultivate my love for shopping in little boutiques where it is personal and specialized,” says Bowers, 41. With her purchases in hand, Bowers was struck by the fact that there were no opportunities in Lake Norman to shop for shoes like the ones she had just found. This simple observation morphed as she and her husband, Bobby, continued their walk. “As we walked block by block, the story got bigger and bigger. First, where is there something like this at the lake? By the next block, I was saying someone should open up a shoe store in the Lake Norman area, and, by the next block, I thought we should do it,” Bowers recalls. The idea took off, and when she spoke to her father about her idea, he encouraged her to look into a franchising opportunity.

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

By the next week, she was on the phone with Monkee’s, and, by May 2007, she had written her business plan and secured a commercial loan that would allow her to open both a shoe and clothing boutique. In 2010 she opened Monkee’s of Lake Norman and Monkee’s on Main, both in Davidson. “I wanted to do something that I love and that I am passionate about, and if I can make some money doing that, that’s great,” says Bowers. “Ultimately, if you are going to work, find something you really love doing, and it won’t feel anything like it did before when you were doing something for someone else.” Now, Bowers relishes having the chance to work in the community where she lives, offering a valuable service to women and support to efforts she believes in. “I always feel so lucky when someone walks in the door and says they only have 30 minutes but thought they would stop by. I just think that is so cool because everyone is so busy, and they chose to come here for their 30 minutes. I feel really honored.” Bowers found that making the professional change required some real intentionality and being a business owner means she has to stay authentic. “As a business owner, you have to do the right thing for your business, but it marries well with doing the right thing for yourself.”

Up Close and Personal What’s the best advice you have ever been given? Do not take yourself too seriously. What advice do you give regularly? Look at the 30,000-feet view of what you are facing. Did anyone die? Is everyone healthy? At the end of the day, it is likely not as bad as you think it is. What are some apps you cannot live without? For travel, I love Open Table, Maps and weather.com. When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? A nurse. What is your best habit? I am neat and organized. What should every woman have in her wardrobe? A staple outfit: a fabulous pair of jeans, a favorite go-to white T-shirt, and a tailored blazer with either great stilettos or booties and the perfect handbag and sunglasses. What is your best style advice? You have to really love what you are wearing. If you do not feel good and confident in it, you shouldn’t wear it.


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Rip Currents – Style by Lori K. Tate photography by Glenn Roberson

2

3

1

Think

Warm

Thoughts

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Stylish ways to shake off cold temps

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

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1. C oat by Cantao, $248, Vanilla Brazil, Birkdale Village, www.vanillabrazil.com. 2. S olmate Socks, $19, Wooden Stone, 445 South Main Street, Davidson, www.woodenstonegallery.com. 3. B ooties by Pretty You London, $40, Bebe Gallini’s, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, look for Bebe Gallini’s on Facebook. 4. S lippers by Pretty You London, $34, Bebe Gallini’s, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, look for Bebe Gallini’s on Facebook. 5. L ake Norman mug by Jewel Pottery, $28, Wooden Stone, 445 South Main Street, Davidson, www.woodenstonegallery.com. 6. P atchwork beanie by Life is Good, $26, Life is Good, Birkdale Village, look for Life is Good’s Birkdale location on Facebook. 7. S ofia fur vest by Love Token, $350, Uniquities, Birkdale Village, www.uniquities.com. 8. S carf by Missoni, $150, Uniquities, Birkdale Village, www.uniquities.com. 9. S equin sweater by Anselmi, $99, Vanilla Brazil, Birkdale Village, www.vanillabrazil.com. 10. Convertible texting gloves by Life is Good, $28, Life is Good, Birkdale Village, look for Life is Good’s Birkdale location on Facebook.

25 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


compiled by Lori K. Tate

Lake Norman’s real estate market is on the upswing I

t’s no secret that the real estate market took a hit during the recent recession. Though we’re not back to the booming market of the early 2000s, real estate in the Lake Norman area is on the upswing, as “for sale” signs aren’t staying in yards long. What’s hot? Think new construction, outdoor entertaining spaces, pools, downsizing, recreational opportunities and, of course, magnificent views of Lake Norman — something that never goes out of style. With continued low interest rates coupled with the area’s ability to attract industry, as well as retirees, the market seems primed for success in 2015. We asked Realtors who specialize in the Lake Norman area, to share what their take on the market is. Their answers confirm that we are indeed well on our way to recovery.

Photography courtesy of Bob Hecht

Rip Currents — Real Estate

Reeling in Recovery

Bob Hecht

Hecht Realty, Inc., Hecht Property Management How does Lake Norman’s current real estate market compare to the market one year ago? Yes, we could pull up statistics and look at the numbers, but I am going to answer this from what I have seen. When we hit 2009, it was like our economy and the real estate market dropped off a cliff. We did get through that period of time (which should be known as the Second Great Depression), and for the last two years have seen the market busier and prices creeping up. I don’t know if we will ever get back to the point where we were from 2003 to 2008, but we are definitely on an upward trend, and have been since January 2013.I hear all this talk around about people concerned about what is going to happen in the future; what I see happening is the market getting better and better.

How is our area doing regarding recovering from the economic recession compared to other markets? Some markets took a much bigger dive than the Lake Norman area — Charlotte area, so we don’t have as far to come back. We still have the advantage of companies moving to the area, people moving from up north and retiring in our area. I know that the Lincoln Economic Development Association is getting a lot of inquiries from companies looking to move to the area. We have a lot going on for us.

How did (if at all) the downturn affect waterfront property sales? The downturn affected waterfront as it affected everything. But, waterfront still has an advantage, that if for no other reason that it is a limited product; really there's no place to develop more waterfront communities. Waterfront Lake Norman has been “special” since the beginning, and in my opinion always will be.

26 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

What are people looking for? Trends?

What types of homes are selling? What I have always liked about the lake area is how there is just about something for everyone. We are seeing houses located off water sell, and the best price range would be from $275,000 to just under $400,000. We did have one house priced at $329,800, with a boat slip, and it sold in less than a week. We had another with water views priced just under $400,000, and it sold in little over two weeks. Any other observations you’d like to add? I have been in real estate in the lake area for over 43 years, which is longer than any other full-time real estate agent here, and have seen a lot and have very much enjoyed watching the lake “grow up” over those years. Years ago, people would ask for their agent to find a vacant waterfront lot, or an older mobile home to where they could buy the lot with the mobile home; they would move in and maybe enjoy their place for a few years, then have the mobile home pulled up to the back of their lot, while they had a new house built. That changed to where people wanted a vacant lot, or a mobile home or small cabin and did the same. In those instances, the lot value was significantly higher with the improvements gone, so we would find the buyer a nice waterfront lot with a small cabin; the cabin got moved and a new house built. These days, I have seen fairly nice houses torn down, so the purchasers of the house can build the home that they really want to live in. The market is better than it has been over the past five years, but Realtors still need to commit to providing top-notch service. My daughter, Nicole, works with me, and we know that what we have to sell is service to our seller and buyer clients. To help a seller, the agent should do the following: 1. Spend the time necessary to accurately price a house. After Nicole and I have gone through a house, it takes us hours to look up active and sold properties, do the comparisons and then tell the owners what their house should sell for. Many times I have seen where an agent has given a much higher price to the owners. They get the listing, and it does not sell until the sellers keep reducing their price to a price much less than where they should have priced it to start with. 2. Provide staging for the house, This is critical to get a house looking great so people looking on the Internet want to see it, and the showing goes well. 3. The property has to be marketed everywhere possible. The more a house is exposed, the more chance to find that buyer.


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Photography courtesy of Abigail Jennings

How is our area doing regarding recovering from the economic recession compared to other markets? The Lake Norman area has

Abigail Jennings President of Lake Norman Realty How does Lake Norman’s current real estate market compare to the market one year ago? We’re up! Closed home sales in the Lake Norman market are up 7.9 percent year over year as of the end of November 2014. The median sales price increased 6.9 percent to $315,353 for Lake Norman home sales as of the end of November.

We’ll get you moving Huntersville 14225 Market Square Dr Huntersville, NC Lake Norman 19460 Old Jetton Road Cornelius, NC Mooresville/Lake Norman 634 River Highway Mooresville, NC

moving quickly, as prices continue to move upward and inventory shrinks.

bounced back faster than many other markets around the country. Fortunately, Lake Norman’s proximity to Charlotte, along with all the wonderful amenities our region offers, provides additional opportunities for growth. Not only has the Lake Norman market fared better than many other parts of the Southeast and United States, we are also showing stronger growth than our surrounding region. As of the end of November, the entire Charlotte MLS was up only 4.6 percent, compared to nearly 8 percent for Lake Norman,

How did (if at all) the downturn affect waterfront property sales? Waterfront properties were not immune from the effects of the downturn and experienced slower sales and falling prices in the wake of the recession. However, that period is most definitely behind us, with waterfront homes now

What are people looking for? Trends? What types of homes are selling? Although sales of previously owned homes have continued to be strong, with closings outpacing new listings coming on the market, the lack of inventory is being filled by the strong return of new construction. New construction in the Lake Norman area has taken a dramatic upswing, up 45.2 percent with 185 closings in the last 12 months versus 126 in the previous period.

Any other observations you’d like to add? Looking ahead to 2015, I believe the market will continue on the same path of steady growth we saw in 2014. Limited inventory, continued buyer demand and the recent interest rate drops in the mortgage industry will infuse the market with even more positive real estate news ahead.

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lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

Angela Jackson Tracey Fox Smith Mike Griffin Jim Jarrett Jackson Insurance Assoc. Agent Griffin Insurance Jim Jarrett Insurance Services Earl Carney Insurance Agency Agency Harbour Park 171 Wagner Street Mooresville/Lincolnton 584 Brawley School Rd. 19824-D W. Catawba Ave. Statesville/ Denver Troutman Corner of Brawley School Cornelius 704-528-4141 & Williamson 704-664-9111 704-892-6004 Mooresville 704-799-1571

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Photography courtesy of Hilary Broadway

compared to other markets? The

Hilary Broadway Mooresville Branch Leader/ Broker-in-Charge, Allen Tate Companies How does Lake Norman’s current real estate market compare to the market one year ago? The Lake Norman Region real estate market overall is up 1.67 percent in closed units.

How is our area doing regarding recovering from the economic recession

Charlotte Regional Realtor Association reports that sales units are up 4.6 percent across its Greater Charlotte footprint, which is a large footprint. The Lake Norman Region continues to see an increase in pricing, a reduction in inventory and increased sales units. The employment opportunities in Charlotte and in the Lake Norman communities continue to make this an attractive place to live. We are on the front end of recovery, in comparison with many other markets in the nation, which are seeing a flat or down market compared with 2013. Even with bulk investors primarily out of the market, we continue to see growth. We are in great shape headed into 2015.

How did (if at all) the downturn affect waterfront property sales? The Lake Norman luxury market is out-pacing the increase in all sales reported in our Multiple Listing Service. As of the end of October, 232 luxury homes priced at $750,000 or more sold and closed in the past 12 months in the Lake Norman region, as compared to 196 in the previous 12 months. That is an 18 percent increase in luxury sales year over

year. Compare that to a 3.8 percent increase in the total closed sales across all price points in our Multiple Listing Service for that same period. Approximately 8 percent of our luxury sales were $2 million or more, which has not changed year over year. Additionally, we are seeing an average list to sales price ratio of 99 percent, compared with 96 percent in the previous twelve months. The average days on market have dropped from 331 a year ago to 169. For homes priced at $2 million or more, Lake Norman saw a 39 percent decrease in the days on the market.

What are people looking for? Trends? What types of homes are selling? Outdoor living spaces continue to be popular. In looking at our online activity on AllenTate. com, the Charlotte Business Journal, Realtor.com and other sites, kitchens draw the attention of buyers. This has not changed much over the years. Kitchens, bathrooms and back yards are always important to buyers. And of course, location, location, location. Fortunately, with over 500 miles of shoreline, ample shopping and dining opportunities, Lake Norman is the right location.

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Christy Walker

of the average Lake Norman home.

Christy Walker & Associates (Keller Williams)

How does Lake Norman’s current real estate market compare to the market one year ago? We have seen constant slow but steady growth and improvement over the last 12 months, with a definite increase in luxury home activity in the last 12-15 months.

How is our area doing regarding recovering from the economic recession compared to other markets? We are recovering as well as others, if not better. With Charlotte (banking industry) being just a 20-minute highway drive, we have a certain amount of that buyer flowing in steadily which accounts for mid-range home to luxury real estate.

How did (if at all) the downturn affect waterfront property sales? Dramatic, huge hit from 2007-2012. Luxury real estate took the largest hit.

What are people looking for? Trends? What types of homes are selling? We are seeing a more modern trend with designer colors changing to the shades of gray, as well as lighting changes to more modern, contemporary versus traditional. Homes in the stable neighborhoods with tons of amenities sell the best and most frequently. We have many neighborhoods like that in the Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson area.

Photography courtesy of Frances Dawson

Photography courtesy of Christy Walker

How is our area doing regarding recovering from the economic recession compared to other markets? Overall, Charlotte market

Frances Dawson Realtor, Broker, GRI — RE/MAX Executive at The Lake How does Lake Norman’s current real estate market compare to the market one year ago? It is a bit hard to get any discernible information from just raw numbers but taken in context you can see the vast improvement we’re experiencing. In the period 1/1/2013 - 11/30/2013, the Lake Norman towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Mooresville and Troutman MLS records indicate that 3,626 singlefamily homes sold. Of those homes, 2,047 were four or more bedrooms; 366 were waterfront homes and 133 were homes with a deeded boat slip. In the period 1/1/2014 - 11/30/2014 there were 3,701 homes sold, and the other breakdowns were similar. However, when you go back to 2009, at a time when the recession was full blown, only 1,963 homes were sold or 53 percent of current sales volumes. One other important comparison is the price per square foot of sold homes. When I look at 2013, a home with four or more bedrooms sold, on average, for $114 per square foot. In 2014, that had jumped to $122 per square foot. For the average 3,300-square-foot home that represents a year over year increase of $26,000 in the sales price

home prices increased 6 percent in the last 12 months — similar to New York, New York at 8.8 percent and Phoenix, Arizona at 9.7 percent. Larger gains were experienced in Los Angeles, California (12 percent), Miami, Florida (12.4 percent) and Las Vegas, Nevada (13 percent), but these areas also took the largest hit in home prices during the recession.

How did (if at all) the downturn affect waterfront property sales? Waterfront homes with fourplus bedrooms in the Lake Norman area sold at an average of $207 per square foot in 2009, but that has recovered nicely to $221 per square foot in 2014. For a 4,000-squarefoot waterfront home, that is a gain of $56,000 since the recession.

What are people looking for? Trends? What types of homes are selling? The trend that I see is downsizing and not necessarily just for empty nesters and retirees. It seems that people are leaning away from properties that gobble up their time and resources. I’m also seeing people looking to be closer to work and recreational opportunities, including a lot more questions about parks and greenway locations. New construction is popular in general, but more specifically green and in-fill building seem to be more important to buyers than in the past.

Any other observations you’d like to add? The sale of vacant lots for building has skyrocketed in the past two years. In 2009, only 107 total lots were sold in the Lake Norman area. Sales this year are at 368 lots through November 30 — representing more than a 330 percent increase in sales volume. Pricing for lots has remained stagnant, but that will grow in the coming year(s) as demand continues to increase.

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lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


Managing PartnerIvester Jackson Christie’s International Real Estate How does Lake Norman’s current real estate market compare to the market one year ago? The market has improved in terms of pricing appreciation in most areas. Higher demand areas have inventories of less than four months in the lower price ranges. The $250k to $400k range has been very popular.In areas like Cornelius and The Point, showings are actually stronger in the $500-$999k range at this time than they were in early fall. We have 98 luxury homes under contract above the $500,000 range in the Lake Norman and Davidson areas. The ultra luxury range above $2 million continues to see activity, particularly in Cornelius and down the Brawley School Road corridor, albeit there are over 40 homes for sale on the lake in that ultra luxury category. With such strong activity being sustained late into the holiday season, it certainly points to an early and very active spring market.

How is our area doing regarding recovering from the economic recession compared to other markets? Our

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market has always been less volatile than higher profile areas like South Florida, California and Arizona, most of which saw larger spikes in activity and price appreciation over the past 18 months but are now seeing some cooling off. The Lake Norman area has continued

Nadine Deason, Team Nadine

to show steady progress. There once again is a large influx of out-of-state buyers to absorb housing offerings, and new construction is back as a popular option.

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty How does Lake Norman’s current real estate market compare to the market one year ago? As we look

How did (if at all) the downturn affect waterfront property sales? During the peak of the recession, prices had dropped as much as 30 to 40 percent for higher end properties. In isolated areas it was even more than that range, as inventories grew during a period in which there was little absorption for them. At the peak, there were almost 100 distressed (foreclosed or short sale) properties on the market as the banks unwound their inventory. As a point of comparison, there were 13 on the market in early December in the 500k+ range, which is why prices have once again starting moving upward.

What are people looking for? Trends? What types of homes are selling? The family upshifter buyer has once again returned to the market, which has sparked a lot of activity in the $400k-$999k range around the lake. Updated features remain popular, pools seem to be on the increase and great outdoor entertaining spaces can contribute greatly to the quick sale of a property.

Any other observations you’d like to add? Interest rates remain low, corporate earnings are strong (which means bonuses, promotions and wage increases) and gasoline prices are low, all of which contribute to the improved psyche of potential homebuyers.

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

Photography courtesy of Nadine Deason

Reed Jackson

back on 2014, the spring buyers come out initially strong but sales plummet as the snowstorms in the Northeast hit, preventing buyers from getting here. Sales rebound back again in April, pushing out our peak season to June-September. Overall making 2014 our best year in five years. Lake Norman real estate has improved 6.2 percent over last year. Resale homes are up 4.1, percent and new construction is up 21.5 percent.

How is our area doing regarding recovering from the economic recession compared to other markets? Overall, it’s a mixed bag. The cities with the largest increases, those with double digits, are usually those with a global buyer market such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami, but this year there are new contenders such as Austin, Texas; San Jose and Raleigh. The biggest surprise is North Dakota. That state is booming with one of the hottest markets in the country because of the oil industry. The NAR consumer confidence report states that North Carolina overall can expect an increase of 2 to 3 percent over the next 12 months with days on market greater than 90 to 150. Lake Norman has experienced an increase of 6.2 percent this year, which is just about average for the country and well above norm for the state.

How did (if at all) the downturn affect waterfront property sales? Waterfront buyers were out in force in 2006. Today the market has improved, and this summer we surpassed the summer waterfront sales peak of 2006 and had a record month in June.

What are people looking for? Trends? What types of homes are selling? The strongest market is the $200kto $500k-range, and the newer the better. New home sales increased this year to 21.5 percent. Buyers are still looking for the best values. Those looking for waterfront are looking for the best value with the greatest water view.

Any other observations you’d like to add? This year has been my best year in five years in real estate. The spring of 2015 is projected to be great with interest rates predicted not to go up. Lake Norman is still very competitive in pricing for all that it has to offer.


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Home Trends

Hot colors belong to the cool palette, including grays and rich blues, which promote tranquility.

Home

by Dana Durham

Fresh Home

Revitalize Your Abode For 2015 T

he New Year is here, and the age-old idea of refresh and renew is in the air. Resolutions abound, and that includes staying on trend with the latest and greatest in home décor from the hottest colors to the tiniest details, and everything in between. Read on to find out what home trend updates should be on your radar in 2015.

Design Details Starr Miller, of Starr Miller Interior Design, says that for 2015, it’s all in the details. “Nail heads, wide tape trims, piping,

eclectic mixes of patterns, brass accessories and bold rugs are all great elements to focus on for 2015,” she says. “Paint is an easy update, and a new rug can change things from old and boring to wildly exciting quickly.” Miller suggests homeowners punch up their decorating efforts with a fresh coat of paint and accessories that make a statement. Oversized wallpaper patterns are all the rage, and for the brave at heart, wallpapered ceilings are in. What’s out? “The garden tub!” she

says. “Gorgeous, large, no-curb showers are on trend.” Jane Parks, of J. Parks Interior Design, says fresh paint is the perfect way to breathe new life into your home or workplace. In 2015, hot colors belong to the cool palette, including grays and rich blues, which promote tranquility. Pastels — as in pale pink — are making a comeback, and olive green is striking on cabinetry. Parks offers a tried-and-true trick for revitalizing your décor. “My favorite remedy involves updating accessories or using them

Photography courtesy of Amish Oak and Cherry

AD VE R TO R I AL

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lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


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lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

Photography courtesy of Lauren Clement

use metallic and wood finishes that look like they have been reclaimed or upcycled. “They all have the feeling of age, without being too rough or rustic,” he says. He suggests choosing a variety of frames in similar finishes and widths for a less formal, unified approach. “Don’t worry too much about making them all the same size,” he says. “Using the same mat colors on all photos will create a cohesive look.”

Photography courtesy of Lauren Clement

Above, Chandeliers can change the look of a room instantly. Below, Mixing metallic and wood finishes is a must.

Photography courtesy of Lauren Clement

in a different way, just as you would with a favorite outfit,” she says. “New lampshades add instant sparkle to a room. Rearranging the knick-knacks on your bookshelves provides a totally different perspective. And updating decorative pillows magically brightens the spaces in which you live and work.” Rachel Garvey, of Dutchmans Casual Living Stores, says homeowners are yearning for an easy, livable style. “We’re seeing a very lived-in, comfortable look trending with our customers,” she says. “They want to enjoy their furniture and the rooms they are in.” In 2015, expect gray hues to be popular, along with blues and floral patterns. Garvey suggests selecting a versatile, neutral upholstery base, then adding impact with pillows and throw blankets. “For a splashy style, switch out an outdated chandelier for a new one, and it will change the entire look of your room,” she says. “P.S., don’t ever buy your rug first!” Lauren Clement, owner of Lauren Nicole Designs, says it’s all about keeping it fresh this year. “Infuse nature into your home,” she says. “Whether it be real or faux greenery, a little accent of green goes a long way.” Clement suggests starting with a neutral palette, then adding textures derived from nature — such as sisal, cotton and raw wood — to give life and dimension to the room. She loves to decorate with greens, blues, yellows and ivory, which add vibrancy. “Your home is a reflection of you and is meant to be your sanctuary,” she says. “To feel fresh and alive in your home is a wonderful quality that will carry over into a positive mindset in life.” Clement’s favorite trick is personalizing pieces throughout the home — from a monogrammed doormat or cheese platter with a family initial, to monogrammed accent pillows and napkins. Lastly, use family pictures as art and create photo gallery walls. “We are proud of our families and where we come from, and to be able to nicely display this is a growing design element,” she says. Rich Sampson, owner of The Great Frame Up, agrees that getting personal is popular. “A grouping of photos is a great way for a family or business to put a personal touch on the décor and freshen up any space,” he says. “Printing photos in black and white gives even a casual snapshot an artistic, professional look.” Sampson sees continued interest in what he calls “refined industrial,” featuring items that

Above, Rearranging accessories is a great way to freshen up a space.

Quality Abounds Tom Colletti, with Home Acres Furniture, is seeing a resurgence in the appeal of well-made items that may outlast the purchaser. “We are seeing a trend of people wanting to purchase high-quality furniture, and we can fulfill this trend,” Colletti says. “All of our furniture is solid wood, and made of hard wood, such as maple, oak, cherry and walnut. We offer high quality dining sets, bedroom sets and desks, and all are well made with highquality materials, and no pressboard. They are made to last a very long time.” All furniture offered by Home Acres Furniture is made in Amish shops based in Ohio, and sold in the company’s farmhouse shop in Hamptonville, North Carolina. “North Carolina has a tradition of making good furniture,” Colletti adds. “People see our furniture and remember this tradition. It’s about quality. Of course, quality usually costs more. But it’s about looking at the long haul, and making the decision to buy something that will outlast you.” Nikol Mcrary, with Amish Oak and Cherry, agrees that quality products will never go out of style. “Buying real, solid wood products that are American made, instead of woods mixed with veneers or laminates, will remain timeless,” she says. For 2015, she says mixing metals — such as gold and silver — is a big trend. Driftwood colors and the gray-washed look are out. Consumers also are clamoring for items that are authentically reclaimed. “This is not a fabricated reclaimed style, but items that are made out of wood that actually comes from old barns or warehouses,” Mcrary says.

Building Basics Jennifer Beaman Pippin, with Pippin Home Designs, says homeowners are trending away from cookie-cutter approaches and choosing authentic, classic styles. “In my design practice, I am seeing a wide range of classic styles, from


family,” Martin says. “The kitchen is usually the gathering spot, the hub and the heart of the family space.” Martin notes that the shaker style kitchens are still very popular. “They have been around for some time and tend to be transitional with their simplicity and clean lines,” she says. “There seems to be a greater mixture of woods, paints and stains. New trends seem to be gearing toward darker kitchens.” Deborah Bowen, with Princeton Builders, says homeowners are clamoring for floor plans that foster togetherness. “The most popular design our clients are requesting is the open floor plan, where they can gather, eat, relax and cook in flowing, connected areas,” Bowen says. “They want the family room, breakfast and kitchen to all be open and relaxing, with a fireplace and lots of windows to bring nature inside.” Bowen says natural, well-made products such as beautiful cabinetry never go out of style. And what’s old is new again — chrome bathroom fixtures are now the rage. Cindy Marze, of Hearth and Patio, says homeowners are expressing interest in getting outside as much as possible, making fire pits and outdoor

Photography courtesy of Lauren Clement

craftsman, to French chateau, to contemporary Asian, old-world and Tuscan, to rustic mountain lodge,” she says. “The variety keeps my design practice fresh and innovative.” Home offices that are separate from the home are a must-have. Well-appointed guest retreats are rising in popularity, complete with on-suite bathrooms, closets and coffee bars. Homeowners are passionate about outdoor resort-style entertaining areas, from courtyards and cozy covered porches with fireplaces and a hot tub, to spacious summer kitchens and natural swimming pools. Above all, Pippin says a functional kitchen never goes out of style. “A well-designed kitchen will remain the heart of the home,” she says. “This is always where everyone gathers. Kitchens should include ample prep space around the appliances and a place for the chef to cook while still socializing with guests. They should offer seating around a large island or built-in banquet, and large, well-organized pantries.” Nancy Martin, senior designer with Impact Design Resources, agrees that the kitchen is the most important room of the home. “Today you have to design the kitchen to fit the style of the house, as well as the lifestyle of the

Outdoor entertaining spaces are still as popular as ever.

fireplaces one of her biggest sellers. “We are so lucky to live in an area where the weather begs us to be outside so much of the year,” Marze says. “We are still seeing an increase in the number of people asking for firepits and outdoor fireplaces. The warm blaze creates an undeniable appeal and sets the perfect environment for family and friends to gather for conversation.” Marze reminds homeowners not to ignore outdoor areas when it comes to decorating. “Bringing out a few decorative pillows made from an indoor/outdoor fabric with lots of texture to go on your patio furniture and a colorful all-weather rug on a porch will help tie your outdoor spaces together, and get people to stay outside longer,” she says .

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2014 LNHBA

Best of the Lake Winners CURRENTS congratulates the winners of the Lake Norman Homebuilders 2014 Best of the Lake Winners. Below are highlights from a few of the winners who chose to share the details of their award with us.

Best Residential Staging more than $500K CENTERPIECE HOME STAGING

Located in Matthews this home was vacant as the owners had already moved out and re-located. We staged the entire main floor of this home, screen porch, and all bathrooms. Once listed, the sellers had three offers on this property, and it went under contract in three days! Due to multiple offers, the home sold for $120,000 over asking price.

Chad Goodin Signature Homes is your premier high-end custom home builder for Mooresville and surrounding areas. Our focus is on delivering a total service based on years of land and structural development, technical expertise, integrated design service, and crystal-clear client communication. This project involved transforming an abandoned daycare facility into a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor dog training and boarding facility.

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Honorable Mention Best Single Family Detached Home $750K-$999K LORENZ CUSTOM BUILDERS

As the owner of Lorenz Custom Builders, I work closely with each client and my team of contractors to help bring their vision to reality. The homeowner here had a very specific vision for their home. We involved every contractor in the design process and throughout the build. Whether it was the five different colors of brick used for the foundation and veneered areas, the maple hardwood floors , or the custom-made corbels for the kitchen hood, every decision was carefully thought out.

Best Residential Design more than $50K BESPOKE WOODWORKS

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Best Special Project CHAD GOODIN SIGNATURE HOMES

This is a beautiful home built on Lake Norman by Ken and Susan Koontz. Susan had a clear vision for the style of the interior. Susan’s vision was a French country style interior. After carefully laying out the spaces, we developed a raised-panel door style with applied moulding, custom trim profiles, and an array of colors and glazes. No detail was spared. We designed and fabricated furniture, a wine cellar, even the vanity mirrors.

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

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2 Miles • Turn Right on Fairfield Forest Road • Right on Shanklin

Best Marketing Project or Campaign Best Single Family Detached Home less than $200K Z.L. METZ HOMES

This ideal open floor plan includes a master down or enjoy the view of the master on the second floor that leads to the second story front porch. With gorgeous granite countertops, hard wood floors extending thru the first floor, stainless appliances, double oven and 42” Marsh Furniture cabinets, it’s great for entertaining. The outside of this home is James Hardie fiber cement with Color Plus technology. The front porch ceiling features painted bead board that is historically correct.


Best Single Family Detached Home $1,000,000 + KINGSWOOD CUSTOM HOMES

This magnificent home build by award-winning Kingswood Custom Homes, Inc is a wonderful Pennsylvania Barn House that was constructed to give the client a clean, neat and relaxed atmosphere. The home has white crisp paneling that resonates through the home the details that you would find in a Classic Nantucket home. The kitchen has beaded inset cabinets that are crisp white. The home is designed to appear as if it has existed for 100 years and has been added on to over the past century.

Best Kitchen Remodeling Project $50-$100K INTERNATIONAL KITCHEN AND BATH, DONNA WERNER DESIGNER

The design challenge was to make better use of the space without major construction to the space. The solutions were to change the breakfast area to a small seating area while adding a second large island for seating where the “hallway” used to be. This second island essentially increased the kitchen size by 30 percent without moving walls. By using shelving around the window it created a larger feeling area which also allowed more light into the kitchen

Outdoor Living More than $100K ADVANCED RENOVATION

The old rear porch of this 1940’s home had been neglected, and the owners wanted to create an outdoor entertainment area suited for year-round enjoyment, with easy access to the kitchen. A natural stone fireplace is the focal point of this new porch. An LED flat screen TV was installed, along with speakers in the ceiling. LED recessed lighting was chosen for lifespan and energy efficiency. Screening was installed to keep mosquitoes away. A true example of the “design-build” process.

Best Kitchen Remodeling Project less than $50K INTERNATIONAL KITCHEN AND BATH, AND SUTTON PLACE INTERIORS

This home suffered from some spatial challenges, along with a mix of design styles. Keeping the client’s personal style in mind, we designed with a Tuscan influence. We extended the island to provide more countertop and storage. We were able to repair/ replace the wood flooring where the peninsula had been and blend the original with the new to a perfect match. We blended the light creamy cabinets with the dark cappuccino island. A custom finished hood with a Tuscan detail replaced the chrome one.

Best Single Family Detached Home $500K-$749K STROM CONSTRUCTION, PIPPIN HOME DESIGN, PPI DESIGN

The existing home on this site was removed, keeping the existing pool and septic field intact. The challenge was designing the home on an angle towards the right rear corner of the property, overlooking the existing pool and the best views of the lake beyond. Their ‘Old World’ style incorporates brick with stone accents, including timbers in the porches and great room ceiling beams. They loved angled rooms which are incorporated in the kitchen, office, master bedroom, guest bedroom and screened porch.

Best in Show

Best Kitchen Remodeling Project more than $100K ADVANCED RENOVATIONS

The old Kitchen in this 1960’s home was outdated. We created a transitional kitchen with a more spacious feel. The owners wanted a large pantry area and a place for a wet bar. The cabinetry was custom made by a local millwork shop, which allowed for more flexibility with the cabinet design. Granite and quartzite were used for the countertops. Nickel gap paneling was installed on the interior walls, and care was taken to align the panels on the pantry barn doors with the wall material.

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The Galley with Lynn and Glenn

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f there are two things Richard Beal knows well, one is patience. The other is barbecue. Beal and his daughter, Angela, and son, Ricky, have worked tirelessly for eight months to open Pop’s BBQ Smokehouse on Main Street in Cornelius. They have plastered and painted walls, modernized the kitchen with restaurant-grade ovens, renovated bathrooms and completed other upgrades to the almost 100-year-old house. They’ve also adapted family recipes to build the menu and hired staff that they were sure could help carry out the vision.

Seasoned to personal taste

by Lynn Roberson photography by Glenn Roberson

Their work has created a homey place offering succulent chopped barbecue, racks of ribs, and Southern cuisine-inspired sides, including onion rings, coleslaw and hand-cut fries. Guests are raving about the sweet hush puppies and down-home desserts such as banana pudding.“We have sold a lot of fried green tomatoes,” Beal says. “We make Brunswick stew, collard greens, macaroni and cheese. There are a couple more items we’re going to add. We’re going to do fried pickles and smoked chicken.”Beal started preparing pork on the back porch at home, cooking Boston butts on a rotisserie grill. Then, he built a concession trailer that toured the area. “We used to go out and cook for all my floor-covering customers and take care of them,” he says. “We would go out to Charlotte Motor Speedway, and we would spend about three weeks out of the year out there. At the speedway, the line would be 15 to 20 deep, all day long.”

Hushpuppies are a favorite side at Pop's BBQ Smokehouse in Cornelius.

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Beal has pulled recipe ideas from cookbooks, culinary shows and decades of cooking. The restaurant also digs deeply into family secrets for inspiration. “The slaw was a family recipe,” Beal

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Pop’s BBQ Smokehouse in Cornelius adds spice to an old space


says. “It goes back to my wife’s great-great grandmother. Of course, we add a little something to it. We experimented with it, and we decided we would grate up some green pepper in it. And, boy, that just did it. We grated it real fine, and that green pepper was it. We didn’t change it any more.” The restaurant offers sweet and hot sauce so customers can season to their personal taste. Beal handpicks Boston butts to ensure each cut is the same size and none will be under- or over-cooked when he smokes them.

Planning for a dream The preparation of the house took similar dedication to quality, as they converted the space from a cupcake business to a restaurant. “Of course, this house was built in 1921, and it certainly wasn’t built to be a restaurant,” Beal says. In addition to significant upgrades and modernization of the kitchen, the family refurbished the seating area, including patching, plastering and covering the walls with multiple coats of paint. The period of intense work followed years of planning. “I started doing this planning probably seven or eight years ago,”

Beal says. “I’d go to some of the auctions of restaurants that had been seized by the federal government or the state for back taxes. If I saw something I liked, I’d buy it.” He stored the equipment, furnishings and decorations in warehouses associated with the floor-covering business he had operated for 35 years. One of his most unique finds punctuates the red and orange décor. “I went to an auction, and they had about 12 to 15 pictures, all pig pictures,” Deal says. “I had a barbecue place in mind. I knew that would fit right in. I was looking at them, and I moved down the line a little bit. I heard somebody say, 'Wow, lookee here.' I turned around and looked, and a woman was talking to her husband and said, 'I’ll take these pictures home with me.' I thought, 'Well, we’ll see how deep your pockets are.' So, I got the pictures. She got mad at me, but I got the pictures.” Inspiration for Beal’s logo comes from one of the pig pictures, with slight modifications, most prominently the addition of the word “Pop’s” to the pig’s hat. The restaurant originally stayed open just until 7 p.m., but plans call for

From left, Roy Bruce, Becky Carlton and Richard Beal of Pop's BBQ Smokehouse.

extending its hours to 9 p.m. in 2015. The restaurant offers carryout and caters special events. It features an outdoor patio in addition to inside seating. For Beal, the restaurant is a labor of love — love of good food and love of family. “It’s something that I decided to do that I could leave to them when I’m gone, give them something to fall back on,” he says. THE SCOOP

Pop’s BBQ Smokehouse 19901 S. Main Street Cornelius 704.997.2534 Hours: Tue-Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Mon closed

Photographing

happily ever after

Models Brides HS Seniors

Model Callie Heisler Photographed in Charleston Gown from Bridals by Jodi Hair and makeup by Lauren Fetter, Elysium Salon

glennroberson.com

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Grapevine

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by Trevor Burton

hen it comes to wine it pays to explore, as you can end up with some unbelievably great gems and it’s a tasty journey along the way. I recently ended up in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. Not literally but a visit to this place has definitely been added to our bucket list — so much wine and so little time. And there’s something very interesting going on here. There are a couple of facts that drove me to search out Margaret River wines. First, although Margaret River contributes only around 3 percent of Australia’s wine grapes, it commands over 20 percent of today’s Australian premium wine market

soils and climates for quality grapes. Overall, his assessment of Margaret River was that it was like Bordeaux in a good, dry vintage. Not bad company to be in. His work encouraged a band of pioneers to begin planting vineyards there. History and many taste buds have proven him and his vinous entourage right. Just a couple of sips of Margaret River wines authenticate his findings. Way to go, Doctor Gladstones. Margaret River may be one of the most isolated and pure grape growing regions in the world. It’s located on the southwest coast of Australia — a huge continent away from the country’s eastern wine-growing regions. Weather travels a huge distance to

a big player here. And, again no surprise, you come across a fair amount of blended wines; other grapes, such as Merlot, are partnered with Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignons are deep and dense. On the nose there is lots of fruit — cherries, red and blackcurrant along with vanilla and a cedar kind of oak. Tasting them, the fruit comes out again, mingled with chocolate and oak and a definite tannin structure. Adding Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon softens the tannin a little and gives more emphasis to the fruit flavors. Any way you sip them, straight varietals or blended, these are beautiful wines. And, like their Bordeaux pals, they are perfect for developing as they age.

Off the Beaten Track

Photo courtesy of Cherubino vineyards.

One of the locals checking out Margaret River’s grape vines.

Margaret River offers a treasure trove of great wines

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— an obvious sign of good wine. Second is the way that the region was established just some 50 years ago. Margaret River is a new wine region. Before the mid1960s it simply didn’t exist. The fact that it became a wine region at all is down to the foresight of Dr. John Gladstones. Gladstones, a horticulturalist, developed an interest in grape growing. He dug through mountains of weather data, and with his other bailiwick, a knowledge of geology, he identified Margaret River as having ideal

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it. Africa is more than 5,000 miles away, and the South Pole is a little over 3,000 miles away. Because of its isolation, the region is free from any polluting winds and rains. Jutting out on a peninsula, it’s hugged by the ocean on three sides. The resulting pure, maritime influence is a great place to put down roots if you’re a grapevine.

The Bordeaux similarity Given the Bordeaux comparability, it’s not surprising that Cabernet Sauvignon is

Move over to the white side and the notable grapes also have a Bordeaux feel to them — Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay is also a big player. Tasting a Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend you get a whole mix of contrasting fruits. There are sharp tastes of citrus along with deeper, smoother, more tropical fruit like pineapple. These are mouth-filling wines with lots of fruit but wines that also have a long, enjoyable finish. Without doubt, wines to make friends with.


Doing one’s own thing With all this talk about Bordeaux you’d be tempted to think that Margaret River is a wine region with just a Bordeaux look-alike goal. Nothing could be further from the truth. When Gladstones was doing his thing he was really stating that Margaret River is a perfect region where wines can express what their roots are digging into. In nerdy wine terms, he identified a unique “terroir” that he felt needed to be introduced to the world. And that’s where it’s getting really interesting and why I’m so taken by the region. Margaret River is a narrow strip that stretches some 60 miles from north to south. There’s a great deal of variation of climate and soil as you move up or down the region. Enter our friend, Dr. Gladstones, one more time. In 1999 he did a more detailed analysis of the region and broke it down into six sub-regions that have their own, distinct characteristics that can shine out through the wines. The regions are, from north to south, Yallingup, Carbunup, Wilyabrup, Treeton, Wallcliffe and Karridale. My quest is to seek out some of these guys and see how all this is playing out.

Australia’s Margaret River is one of the gems you can find by doing a little exploring. We’re just starting to see wines with “Wilyabrup” on their labels along with the generic Margaret River name. You still might have to search a little to find it.

The easiest sub-region to find on a label is Wilyabrup. This is where the first Margaret River plantings were made. That means that, in addition to its terroir distinctiveness, it has older vines than the rest of the sub-regions — older vines, more intense wines. It was the wines from this area that helped make Margaret River known and spurred growth in the rest of the region. We’re just starting to see wines with Wilyabrup on their labels along with the, generic, Margaret River name. However, you might have to search a little to find it. So, a first step on the quest will be to taste a few wines with just the Margaret River designation — made from grapes from anywhere in the region and to compare them with their Wilyabrup buddies. That may seem like it’s an arduous undertaking, but the fact that you’re tasting some great wines smoothes out some of the wrinkles. To me, Margaret River is the embodiment of what enjoying wine is all about. The region is nowhere as well known as, say, Napa Valley or Bordeaux. By the natural laws of economics, that means that the region punches way above its price weight. And, to add to the joy, there are lots of interesting developments going on that mean that the wines will only get better. What’s not to like? Enjoy.

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We know a commitment at this level requires a rock-solid relationship with experts who truly understand worldwide and local markets. With a global network with 50 years of proven results, and as the luxury leader in the Carolinas, we can connect you to the world of luxury. Because anything is possible when you know the right people. For more information, call 1-866-743-1101 or visit allentate.luxuryportfolio.com to be connected.


Game On

Will Power during his 2014 title run.

Penskeway the

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ore than 10 years ago, Roger Penske and Tim Cindric began meeting to explore options for a strategic realignment of the team owner’s motorsports operations. More specifically, the pair discussed ways in which Penske’s INDYCAR and NASCAR programs

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might become better aligned and share resources in order to compete for more championships. It was a bold move for the organization whose winning formula had not changed to such a degree since Penske first began fielding open wheel teams in 1968 and NASCAR teams in 1972.

Making the Move

“The Captain” and his top Penske lieutenant quickly decided that consolidating all operations under one roof might yield the results they sought. The move, they believed, would provide not only economies of scale but also a

Photography courtesy of Steve Swope.

by Mike Savicki

Operating under one Mooresville roof, with a collaborative culture and unyielding drive, Team Penske raises the bar for motorsports performance


Photography courtesy of Autostock. Photography courtesy of Steve Swope.

Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.

chance for the teams to grow together and develop a unified culture built on the strength of the two staffs. Penske and Cindric selected the recently purchased 105-acre campus in Mooresville to serve as their headquarters and began the process of bringing together NASCAR staff from three smaller Mooresville facilities, as well as the entire INDYCAR staff from the Reading, Pennsylvania facility they had maintained for decades. “No team had done anything like this before, but because of the strength of our people and the dedication they brought to their jobs, we knew it made sense on so many levels,” says Cindric, who had been promoted to president in conjunction with the announcement. “What Roger and I saw, as we discussed moving everything to Mooresville, was that we could have the shared strength of an entire organization coming together to work in many new ways.” Logistics came first, and Jon Bouslog, a longtime Team Penske employee who began his tenure first as a truck driver then as a mechanic before assuming a management role, was one of the first to change zip codes. He was tasked with establishing Penske’s INDYCAR operations in North Carolina, blending it with the existing NASCAR staff. The operational changes, he says, began quickly.

Photography courtesy of Autostock.

From left, Roger Penske and Tim Cindric at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano talking strategy.

“Before we all came under the same roof, the operations and organizations were different,” explains Bouslog, now a 28year Team Penske veteran. “Other than the dedication of the people, we were two very different organizations. This was mostly because the sports [open wheel and stock car] are so different, and we had historically operated and worked on our own without overlap. We didn’t know how to take each other at first, not because of a lack of respect but because of a lack of knowledge.” “But then things began to change,” he adds. “The guys from the INDYCAR side, for example, saw how the stock guys operated, and we began learning almost immediately. For example, the NASCAR fabricators were so skilled at building a car with exact tolerances almost entirely by hand, and we weren’t. We started to see the race car, and

how it could be built, so differently.” Travis Geisler, a former driver and crew chief who now serves as Penske’s competition director for NASCAR, reflects on the changes from the stock car side. “Especially for me, as well as some of the other guys who have primarily been stock car our whole lives, having different sets of eyes supporting us gives the opportunity to get feedback on different ideas and approaches,” he explains.” The aero side and vehicle dynamics side from the NASCAR side has helped INDYCAR, and carbon from INDYCAR has helped NASCAR. To have exposure like we have has helped us leapfrog ahead.” Proof that the formula was working came in 2012 when Brad Keselowski claimed the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship for Penske two years after

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Photography courtesy of Steve Swope.

Combining Cultures

From left, Will Power and Roger Penske after clinching the 2014 Verizon INDYCAR Series title.

winning the Nationwide crown in his first year with the team, and INDYCAR driver, Will Power, finished runner-up in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

But changing the overall organizational culture, as Cindric had anticipated and feared, would take a bit longer. “The defining part was that for years, at the track, if you saw Penske at NASCAR, you saw Penske Racing and when you saw us at INDYCAR, you saw Team Penske. We were effectively two different organizations sharing an owner’s name.” “The plan was to change the name, but changing the culture took a lot more,” he adds. “Because of the history and winning traditions of both, I didn’t want it to seem like INDYCAR was taking over. That wasn’t the end game. It took years of work, with people moving between NASCAR and INDYCAR to make the change happen. It took us promoting good people from within to establish a new culture.” Trent Cherry, Penske’s NASCAR pit coach, adds, “Mr. Penske is a big believer in the philosophy that it is the people that make the organization, and that’s now how we operate. He gets us what we need to be successful then the rest is up to us. It’s a ton of pressure, but I

wouldn’t want it any other way.” The 2014 NASCAR and INDYCAR seasons were further proof that the series of decisions Penske and Cindric made in 2005 have more than paid dividends. When Team Penske’s NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup teams departed Homestead, Florida, following the season-ending series of races, the organization had brought to a close one of the most successful racing seasons in motorsports history. Collectively, the organization earned 24 poles and 22 wins to compliment the Verizon IndyCar Series and Nationwide Owners’ Championships. Team Penske drivers led an astonishing 4,895 laps and, along the way, they also delivered win number 400 to Roger Penske. “I guess what I feel now is what I hoped would be the end result,” Cindric says. “People’s natural reaction to change is resistance, and it was competitive at first, and I’m glad that spirit was already in place, but now it is about collaboration. There is a mutual respect for the jobs people are doing in each discipline, and we are one organization now, driven and determined to be better still.”

Making Waves 2014-15 is here!

CURRENTS Magazine and The Mooresville-S. Iredell Chamber have once again partnered to produce Mooresville’s official newcomer’s guide. Pick up your copy at the Mooresville Chamber office or at area hotels and real estate offices. Whether you’re interested in moving to the Mooresville area or a long time resident, this beautiful annual publication will tell you all you need to know about the advantages of making the Mooresville-S. Iredell area your home. SPECIAL THANK YOU to Lake Norman’s own Cotton Ketchie of Landmark Galleries in downtown Mooresville for providing the beautiful photograph used on the cover of this edition of Making Waves. This is the 3rd year in a row that Cotton has provided our cover art and we can’t thank him enough!

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Bulletproof Your Resolutions

Here’s two paths that can lead to success in the New Year athletic — you will more than likely fail. And by fail I mean go-down-in-flames fail. The information about New Year’s resolutions is totally sobering. On average, only about 8 percent of people actually succeed at following their resolutions through the entire year. The vast majority doesn’t even make it a month. Bunches even admit to bailing before the last football game is played on New Year’s Day. And those items on the list above? They constitute the most common resolutions that people admit to failing at each and every year. So cross them off. You don’t want to be one of those people. It’s too hard to change so drastically. Instead, I propose you take one of two paths on your way to achieving New Year’s Awesomeness. They are quite opposite in each and every way, but both paths are bulletproof and guarantee success. So choose your poison and don’t look back, you can never look back. Path one. Resolve to do nothing. That’s right, the way I see it, instead of resolving to give up, change, modify or otherwise alter some aspect of your life for an entire year or more, just keep it simple. I’m no psychologist, but I do think by resolving to do nothing, you are actually putting your brain into a state of unburdened forward motion, free to learn, try, modify, change and embrace whatever comes your way. For example, spring comes and you think to yourself, “Paddleboarding sounds cool, I think I’ll try it.” You take a lesson and fall in love with a sport you didn’t know

existed way back on New Year’s Day. You get in the best shape of your life, bronze on a Hawaiian waterman-esque tan, discover muscles you never new existed, feel 10 years younger, eschew the benefits of coconut water and rise every day before sunrise to get in your morning paddle. This would have not likely happened if you were burdened by a written resolution. Path two. Just do great things. When we make resolutions and put them to paper, they are often vague, poorly planned, built around negative emotions and actions, or are simply unrealistic. That’s why we fail. And failure makes us feel worse, right? Here’s an unscientific example. If giving up drinking is something you might be considering as a New Year’s resolution, yet you are the type who drinks when you fail at something, making a resolution to stop may actually make your drinking worse. Ditto eating, smoking, etc. So forget the lists of poorly designed resolutions and leave yourself open to discovering the unknown, unplanned and unexpected in the New Year. Have some fun with whatever change comes your way. And position yourself to embrace opportunity. One more thing. Whenever you do something great throughout the year, make sure you brag to your buddies about it. “Hey, I took a spin class.” Or “Guess what, last week I ate organic and dropped a belt size.” We are guys, after all, and, resolutions aside, how we value our greatness will always be measured by letting our buddies know how great we are.

by Mike Savicki

et’s start with heartfelt congratulations. You made it through the holidays and dodged all the inside pitches that were thrown at you. Your turkey didn’t spontaneously combust, you found parking spaces on Black Friday, you actually managed to buy a pretty cool gift on Small Business Saturday, your family didn’t drain your PayPal account on Cyber Monday, you tripped exactly zero circuits stringing up 12,534 outdoor holiday lights, your Christmas tree survived both the new dog and a slew of little tugging hands, the relatives didn’t demolish your house (or each other) at Christmas, and you weren’t one battery short when it came to anticipating the “Batteries Required” labels on each and every unexpected gift that was opened under the tree. Nice job, amigo. So now it’s New Year’s Eve and the night for you to pat yourself on the back for another year well done. Look in the mirror proudly. Forget that bump or two in the road. Pop the cork on a great bottle of champagne. And then focus your energy like a laser on making 2015 the best year yet. If your plan is to click open Notepad, tell Siri to take a memo, or grab an oldfashioned pen and paper and jot down a resolution or two because, while you are The Great and Powerful You, you believe there still is a small, slim margin of room for a bit of self improvement, I’m here to suggest something completely different. Ever heard the phrase “New Year, new you”? Don’t believe it, it’s just not true. Want proof? Go ahead and make a list of resolutions for 2015. If that list of yours includes any of the following — drink less, quit smoking, volunteer, save money, get organized, read more, finish your “To Do” list, learn a new skill, or eat healthy and get

Thoughts from the Man Cave

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Home Port by Lori K. Tate photography by Amy Ellis

A

COZY

COMPROMISE

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Above, Ally Whalen of Ally Whalen Design in Cornelius turned a dark and dated master suite into a fresh retreat. Left, Whalen lightened the master bath by painting the walls in Sherwin Williams' Elder White.

A Huntersville couple enlists Ally Whalen to turn their master suite into a fresh retreat

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hen a Huntersville couple decided to update their master suite, as well as turn it into a retreat, they called Ally Whalen to help them figure out exactly what the space needed. The couple had renovated the kitchen of their home about a year ago, and now they were ready to freshen up their personal space. Whalen, an interior designer who owns Ally Whalen Design and Simplicity Interiors in Cornelius, listened to what they were each looking for and created a space that accommodated all of their needs — and then some. Now the couple spends more time in their master suite than ever, as it’s a place to get away from a long day and simply relax.

A Happy Medium When Whalen first met with the couple, she learned that neither one cared for the

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A color palate of gray and yellow offers the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity.

One of the Simon Pearce lamps that Whalen used for inspiration.

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dated red walls and gold fixtures (think 1990s). In addition to that, the bathroom was too dark and closed in. “The husband didn’t want the space to be too feminine, and the wife didn’t want the space to be too masculine,” explains Whalen, who created a palate of yellow and gray for the space. “I always like to mix rustic and feminine.”

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“I think my husband was concerned about fluffy and flowery and girl colors, and I didn’t want dark and drab and dreary,” explains the wife, “so I think the yellow and gray work well that way.” Whalen took inspiration from two Simon Pearce lamps that the couple already owned. Featuring clear, hand-blown glass for a base, the lamps were special to the couple because they were made in the wife’s hometown in western Maryland. “Those poor lamps, we never found the right place for them,” explains the wife. “The cords come out of the top, and they almost have to be against the wall. We started with them in the living room, and of course because of the cords, they didn’t work there.” Whalen changed the shades of the lamps, and now they work perfectly on the whitewashed nightstands by Classic Home that stand against the accent wall painted in Sherwin Williams’ Gauntlet Gray. The cream headboard, complete with nailhead trim, is by Four Hands and beautifully echoes the rectangular shape of the wall. A fan of mixing high and low furnishings, Whalen brought in Euro

shams from Tuesday Morning, throw pillows from HomeGoods, a duvet cover and quilt from Joss & Main, and a custom lumbar. “Clients give me a budget, and I know where to allocate it. I know where you should spend it,” she explains. “You should spend a little bit more on a nice bed and the headboard. I like to spend a little more on lighting because lighting can really make a space.” The beaded chandelier from ATGStores.com that hangs over the bed proves her point.

Simply Elegant

Lighting was also the main issue in the master bath, as the space was dark and cavernous. Whalen completely revamped it by painting the walls in Sherwin Williams’ Elder White and by replacing the shower with a frameless one featuring dark tile on the floor. “That was the first thing I selected, the flooring of the shower,” recalls Whalen, who also had her contractor remove columns from the entrance of the bathroom to open it up more. Custom cabinets were installed and were also painted in Sherwin Williams’ Gauntlet Gray. The dark gray offers a nice


Whalen designed a craft room for the master suite's sitting area, as the wife enjoys creating scrapbooks.

contrast to the quartz countertops. “I wanted to keep the countertops light,” explains Whalen. “I love quartz because it’s a lot more uniform than granite. Granite can get a little busy sometimes.” Whalen framed the existing mirrors in white to bring them up to speed with the new look. The floors feature a powder gray, woodlike tile. “This is warmer than tile,” says Whalen. “Even though it is tile, it still looks like it has the texture of wood.” To make the floor even warmer, the couple opted to have radiant heat installed under the floors, as the master bath sits above the garage. “We have two children, 6 and 9, and everybody showers and bathes in this bathroom now,” says the wife. “My daughter comes A believer that lighting can make or break a space, Whalen selected this and lies on the floor while I’m getting ready in the morning.” beaded chandelier from ATGStores.com.

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Left, A freestanding tub by Signature Hardware is the focal point of the space. Above, Custom cabinetry contributes to the master bath's updated look. Below, A small touch of femininity fits in well.

GAINING MORE BY GIVING BACK We’re thankful to be a part of this community. That’s why a percentage of our commission for every real estate transaction is donated to a charity of our client’s choice. We want to help others who are lifting up our community every day, because that’s what Susan Brooks neighbors do. Founder / Realtor

A Real Difference In Real Estate 56

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Compiled by Lori K. Tate

The Big Three

The Second City performs January 14 at Davidson College.

The Second City, Music @ St. Alban’s and Rumplestiltskin

Photography courtesy of Davidson College.

Currently

Currently

The Second City What do Alan Arkin, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, John Belushi and Amy Sedaris have in common? They all got their start with The Second City. When this comedic institution opened its doors in Chicago in December 1959, no one could have predicted that this small cabaret theatre would become the most influential and prolific comedy theatre in the world. With its roots in the improvisational games of Viola Spolin, The Second City developed an entirely unique way of creating and performing comedy. The touring company of The Second City returns to Davidson for the third time as a part of the Smith Artist Series on January 14. This year, Davidson gets in on the laughter as the comedic troupe takes on all the news that’s fit to twist in town and on campus, including the biggest headlines and the hot-button issues. And it’s all served up with a side of that famous Chicago-style improv. The Second City Hits Home, Wednesday, January 14, 8 p.m., $20 Davidson College, Duke Family Performance Hall, www.davidson.edu.

Rumplestiltskin

58

If the kids can’t shake the there’s-nothing-to-do-in-the-wintertime blues, take them to see Rumplestiltskin, a production of Davidson Community Players’ Connie Company and Davidson Day School. Adapted by the late Rupert Barber, this classic tale features a bragging father, a poor king, a lot of straw and a funny little man. The result is a fun theatre experience the entire family will enjoy. Barber was the founder of the theatre department at Davidson College and was active with the Davidson Community Players since its inception 50 years ago. Among his many talents was putting his spin on classic fairy tales and working with children. Rumplestiltskin, January 30-February 1, times vary, $10, Davidson Day School Theatre, www.davidsoncommunityplayers.org.

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

A Celebration of Human Rights Through Music and Poetry This month the Music @ St. Alban’s concert series presents award-winning poet Anthony Abbot and the Davidson College Freeword Poets collaborating with singers/instrumentalists (and sisters) Laurie Hicks Tanner, Nancy Hicks Tate and Murphy Hicks Henry, as well as Herschel Lee Brown and The Euphonious Ensemble. This heartfelt and inspiring program is titled A Celebration of Human Rights Through Music and Poetry and will showcase the perspectives of people of all ages and ethnicities, and show that human rights are still very much in the forefront of music and the arts today. The performance takes place Sunday, January 18. Abbott came to Davidson College in 1964 and went on to become the Charles A. Dana Professor of English. He served as the chair of the English department from 1989 through 1996. His first volume of poems, The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1989, and his novel Leaving Maggie Hope received the Novello Award in 2003. A Celebration of Human Rights Through Music and Poetry, Music @ St. Alban’s, Sunday, January 18, 3 p.m., $15, students and seniors (62+), $10 children under 12 free, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 301 Caldwell Lane, Davidson, www.musicatstalbansdavidson.org.


A month of things to do in the Lake Norman area Date Night

CHILDREN Rumplestiltskin (January 30-February 1) Adapted by the late Rupert

Barber, this production features a bragging father, a poor king, a lot of straw and a funny little man. Together they make for a not- tomiss performance of this classic and cautionary fairy tale. Performed by Davidson Community Players’ Connie Company. Times vary. $10. Davidson Day School Theatre, 750 Jetton Street, Davidson, www.davidsoncommunityplayers.org

CONCERTS

Music @ St. Alban’s (January 18) A Celebration of Human Rights through Music and Poetry features awardwinning poet Anthony Abbot and the Davidson College FREEWORD POETS collaborating with singers/ instrumentalists (and sisters) Laurie Hicks Tanner, Nancy Hicks Tate and Murphy Hicks Henry, as well as Herschel Lee Brown and The Euphonious Ensemble in a heartfelt and inspiring program. 3 p.m. $15, $10 students and seniors (62+), children under 12 free. St. Alban’s, 301 Caldwell Lane, Davidson, www.musicatstalbansdavidson.org. Lake Norman Big Band (January 19) The Lake Norman Big Band

plays every third Monday night at The Finish Line Restaurant in Mooresville. The show features favorite hits from the big band era and more. 7-9 p.m. $5 cover. Call 704.664.2695 for reservations. The Finish Line Restaurant, 125 Morlake Drive, Mooresville, www.thelakenormanbigband.org. Davidson College Jazz Ensemble Featuring Tim Gordon, Saxophone (January 30) Having worked

with Harry Connick, Jr., Josh Groban, Ray Charles, Manhattan Transfer and Pink Floyd, Tim Gordon plays with the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble. With a diverse musical background, Gordon is also a seasoned educator who recently joined the Davidson family. 7:30 p.m.

EVENTS First Footin Walk and Trail Run (January 1) If you enjoy the

holidays a little too much, this event will get you back on the straight and narrow. This Scottish tradition is a celebration of good will and good fortune. First Footin’

Five Miler Trail Run, 10 a.m.; step off for the First Footin’ Walk around the farm grounds, 11 a.m.; Stone Soup Blessing and Gathering, noon. Rural Hill, Center of Scottish Heritage, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, www.ruralhill.net. Civil War Winter Quarters (January 3-4) Learn how Union

and Confederate soldiers lived while in the battlefield during the winter months of the war. See demonstrations including encampment, cooking and drilling. Learn of life back home on the home front as you tour the 215-year-old Latta home, in addition to seeing an extensive Antebellum mourning exhibit and learn the superstitions surrounding death in the 1800s. Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m. $8 adults, $7 seniors/students, children 5 and under free. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www.lattaplantation.org.

17th Annual Rocky River Road Club Polar Bear Metric Century (January 10) This annual ride benefits Ada

Jenkins. The Rocky River Road Club is a USCF sanctioned club based in Northern Mecklenburg County. The club consists of racing and social riders whose primary goal is to promote the sport of cycling by encouraging safe and responsible cycling. Registration 8:30 a.m., ride begins at 10 a.m. $30 per person day of ride, $25 per person with pre-registration (minors ride free with parent). 800 Beaty Street, Davidson, www.active.com.

Cultural Engagement Day (January 10) Enjoy Historic Latta Plantation,

the last remaining cotton plantation along the Catawba River, for free. On January 10th only, the local Mecklenburg county Arts & Science Council will be sponsoring a day at no cost to the public. From 10am2pm visitors will enjoy a self-guided tour of the plantation grounds, visit the exhibit hall and chat with re-enactors as they demonstrate 18th century skills, as well as Revolutionary War history. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www.lattaplantation.org.

Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Celebrate Business Luncheon & Annual Community Excellence Awards (January 26) Edsel B. Ford II, great

grandson of Henry Ford, will be Ford Motor Company’s racing

Girls’ Night Out

Family Fun

history. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.Ticket prices vary. The Cove Church, 197 Langtree Road, Mooresville, www.mooresvillenc.org. HAMMERS Souper Bowl (January 31) This annual fundraising

event features soups from local Davidson restaurants, along with live entertainment from the Delilahs, the Generals and many more. Proceeds benefit HAMMERS Hands Around Mecklenburg/ Mooresville Making Emergency Repairs Safely. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $10, $8 students (12 and up), $5 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Chambers Lilly Family Gallery, Davidson College, www.davidson.edu.

FILM Studio C Cinema (January 10-11, 2425) Point and Shoot, winner of the

Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows Matt VanDyke, a timid 26-year-old with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who left home in Baltimore in 2006 and set off on a self-described “crash course in manhood.” He bought a motorcycle and a video camera and began a three-year, 35,000-mile motorcycle trip through Northern Africa and the Middle East. The Beatles in a Hard Day’s Night was released eight months after the group’s first records appeared in the United States. It was a smash hit that re-defined musical cinema. Ironically, the film was conceived as a low-budget knock-off to sell more records by a group that hadn’t proven themselves as more than a short-term fad. However, its director, Richard Lester, working with one of the most popular and original music groups of all-time made it into an icon of the 1960s cultural sea change whose effects are still felt today. Cornelius residents, $9; non-Cornelius resident $10. Cornelius Arts Center, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, www.studioccinema.com.

GALLERIES Andre Christine Gallery & Sculpture Garden Various Exhibitions. Tue-Sat

10 a.m.-5 p.m.148 Ervin Road, Mooresville, 704.775.9516, www.andrechristinegallery.com. Brick Row Art Gallery Various

exhibitions. Tue-Sat 10 a.m.6 p.m. or by appointment.

Me Time

21325 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, look for Brick Row Art Gallery on Facebook. Cornelius Arts Center Various

exhibitions. Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-noon. 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, www.cornelius.org.

“Cotton” Ketchie’s Landmark Galleries Various exhibitions.

The work of watercolorist ‘Cotton’ Ketchie. Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 212 North Main Street, Mooresville, 704.664.4122, www.landmark-galleries.com. Depot Art Gallery Mooresville Arts presents Artoberfest, featuring work from some of the finest artists around. September 30-October 31. Opening reception and awards presentation, October 10 6-8 p.m. 103 W. Center Avenue, Mooresville, www.magart.org. Foster’s Frame and Art Gallery

Various exhibitions. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10a.m.-4p.m. 403 N. Old Statesville Road, Huntersville, 704.948.1750.

Four Corners Framing and Gallery Various exhibitions.

Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 112 S. Main Street, Mooresville, 704.662.7154, www.fcfgframing.com.

Lake Country Gallery Various

exhibitions. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Exit 36 – Mooresville, between Belk and Kohl’s, 704.664.5022, www.lakecountrygallery.net. Sanctuary of Davidson

Various exhibitions. 108 S. Main Street, Davidson, www. sanctuaryofdavidson.com. Tropical Connections Various

exhibitions. Tue- Fri 10 a.m.5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment. 230 N. Main Street, Mooresville, www. tropicalconnectionslakenorman.com. The Van Every/Smith Galleries Project 35 is

organized by Independent Curators International. It highlights the work of 35 international video artists and filmmakers selected by 35 international curators. (January 15-February 27, opening reception January 22, 6-8 p.m.) Kymia Nawabi features Nawabi’s recent works, which are inspired by her research on alchemy, Greek and Egyptian mythology

59

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com


and religions from around the world. (January 15-February 27, opening reception January 22, 6-8 p.m. with a brief gallery talk at 6 p.m.) Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon-4 p.m. Davidson College, The Van Every/Smith Galleries, 315 N. Main Street, Davidson, www.davidsoncollegeartgalleries.org.

ONTHLY M EVENTS Carolina Raptor Center Live bird presentations, flight shows, behind-the-scenes tours and more take place at Carolina Raptor Center throughout the month. Visit carolinaraptorcenter. org for more details. The Artisan Market Craft Crawl (First Saturday) Formerly known as the

Mooresville Craft Crawl, this market features baked goods, clothing, embroidery, jewelry, paintings, pottery, quilts and woodcarvings with an edge. 5-9 p.m. Free. Mooresville Town Square across from Lowe’s Foods. https://www. facebook.com/artisanmarketnc. Blue Planet Water Environmental Center Tour (First Tuesday, Third Thursday) Learn about water

and wastewater through a hands-on tour. Fun for all ages.

Tours are available the first Tuesday and the third Thursday of the month on a first-come, first-served basis. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Admission TBA. Call 704.621.0854 or e-mail Bplanet@ci.charlotte. nc.us to schedule a tour. Eden Street Market (Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday) Buy fresh fish

and produce during the week. Thursday 3-6 p.m.;Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 106 Eden Street, Davidson. 2nd Friday Art Crawl Every Second Friday, Cornelius Cultural Arts Group invites the community to experience downtown Cornelius in style! Hosted by Bella Love, this monthly art crawl features some of the area’s most talented and innovative artisans as well as live performances, food trucks, and special events at local businesses. 5-9 p.m. Free. Oak Street Mill, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, www.bellalove.org. Davidson Farmer’s Market (January 10, 24) 9 a.m.-noon.

Free. Next to Town Hall between Main and Jackson streets in downtown Davidson, www. davidsonfarmersmarket.org.

Mooresville Museum (First and Third Saturday)View

SPORTS Davidson College Men’s Basketball Could this be the

year the Wildcats make it back to the big dance? Come see. Richmond (January 3, 5 p.m.), St. Louis (January 10, 7 p.m.), Dayton (January 20, 7:30 p.m.). Belk Arena, Davidson College, Dayton www.davidsonwildcats.com. Davidson College Women’s Basketball The Lady Wildcats kick

off what promises to be another great season. La Salle (January 4, 2 p.m.), Dayton (January 7, 12 p.m.), Rhode Island (January 11, 2 p.m.), Richmond (January 21, 7 p.m.), Fordham (January 28, 7 p.m.), Saint Joseph’s (January 31, 2 p.m.). Belk Arena, Davidson College, www.davidsonwildcats.com.

The Clothesline Muse (January 31) The Clothesline Muse is a

multi-discipline theater project that explores the clothesline as a metaphor of our community lifeline and its ties to our environment. With dance, percussive music, spoken word, interview text, video and interactive art, this performance will honor our ancestors by transforming the task of washing clothes by hand into beautiful imagery, dance and song. 8 p.m. $8.58-$24.49. Davidson College, Duke Family Performance Hall, www.davidson.edu.

leaders, etc. will be encouraged to vote for their favorite “model” on our website at www. lakenormansnexttopmodel.com You can attend either an open Lake Norman’s Next top model casting or schedule an appointment. All winner will be announced will be castings take place at glenn roberson photography studios at 19725 Oak Street, announced at a special celebration in February. The winner will appear Cornelius, 28031. Please come with light on the cover of CURRENTS’ Spring makeup and lightly-styled hair. There will be both headshots and a 3/4 to full-length Fashion issue in April and inside our Fall Fashion spread in September. shot. A model release (and permission form for under 18) will be required. A 4 finalists will be chosen portion of the proceeds will be going as the winners from the to B.R.A.K.E.S. Open casting calls $20. following categories: • Models ages 13-19 Open Casting call dates are: • Models ages 20-30 Sunday, Dec. 14, 2-5pm • Models 30+ Monday, Dec. 15, 5-8pm • Overall Winner You can also make appointments and Cover Model based on our availability. If you are unable to attend an open call. The All finalists will be featured inside charge for an appointed casting is $35. CURRENTS Magazine’s Spring Fashion Preview issue wearing the newest BE ONE OF THE fashions and accessories for spring DAZZLING DOZEN: available at boutiques throughout A panel of professionals in the modeling the Lake Norman area! A winner will industry will select 12 finalists on January 2. also be chosen by Carolina Talent CURRENTS’ readers, friends, business to receive a modeling contract!

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Enjoy a community music jam every Saturday. 9 a.m.- noon. Free. Richards Coffee Shop & Veterans Museum, 165 N. Main Street, Mooresville, www. downtownmooresville.com.

their third time, The Second City gets Davidson in on the laughter as it takes on all the news that’s fit to twist in town and on campus. The biggest headlines! The hot-button issues! And it’s all served up with a side of that famous Chicago-style improv. 8 p.m. $8.58-$24.49. Davidson College, Duke Family Performance Hall, www.davidson.edu.

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exhibits and artifacts from Mooresville’s past and present. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 132 E. Center Avenue, Mooresville, www. downtownmooresville.com.

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60 lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

Vo Februting ends ary 1 2015 so get It’s a fun contest filled with,glamour your shine on and be there for the CASTING CALL!

Contest open to male and female contestants ages 13 and up. Contestants must live in the Lake Norman area (Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, Troutman, Statesville, Denver). The judges’ decisions are final. Employees and family members of Lake Norman CURRENTS Magazine and Glenn Roberson Photography are not eligible to enter. Contest not open to professional models. No previous modeling experience required.


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Lori’s Larks

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by Lori K. Tate photography by Ben Sherrill

hen I was 7 years old, I experienced the thrill of dressing up as an elf for the Concord Christmas Parade. I sat beside a huge gift box on the Good Sam Club (camping club) float and waved to everyone like I was a beauty queen. Little did I know that I would get the chance to be an elf again — in my 40s. But that’s the beauty of life; you never know what’s going to happen. So during a staff meeting this past fall, our fearless publisher, Sharon Simpson, asked me if I would bartend with her at Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse in Davidson dressed as an elf to help raise money for Ada Jenkins. I immediately

that featured giant elf ears moving to the song We are Santa’s Elves. At that point, I knew I was in for a wild ride. We were scheduled to bartend the first night of Christmas in Davidson, a celebration so big that it guaranteed that I would see at least 50 people I knew. Regardless, it was for a good cause, and I’m always up for an adventure with Simpson. As I dressed for the big night, I borrowed two scrunchies, red and green respectively, from my 4-year-old daughter to hold my pigtails in place. I threw on a green skirt underneath my costume, as it was a little too high-cut for my taste. (The last thing I wanted to be known as

Elfin Magic Lori K. Tate and Sharon Simpson get in touch with their inner elves

Lori K. Tate pouring orange juice in a very fancy way.

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said yes, as Ada Jenkins is a cause dear to my heart because of how much the non-profit helps people, young and old, in the Lake Norman community who are going through tough times. I marked it on my calendar and forgot about it until our staff meeting in December, where Simpson asked if I was still up for bartending. I said sure, as I started explaining how I’d wear my red jeans and a cool Christmas headband for the role. Before I started describing the sweater I planned to wear, she said, “Oh, no, no” and proceeded to hand me an elf costume, complete with red and green tights. Then she promptly showed me the hat that she purchased for her costume

lake norman currents | January 2015 | www.lncurrents.com

Tate and CURRENTS' publisher Sharon Simpson helped raise more than $1,000 for Ada Jenkins during Christmas in Davidson.

was the elf that mooned Davidson.) Off I went looking like a cross between a festive court jester and a colorful Hefty bag. When I arrived for our gig, Simpson greeted me with a Christmas light necklace — the Vegas touch that was definitely needed to complete the outfit. When our shift started we met the two real bartenders we would be working with during the evening — Jon Bajek and Matt Ward. Once we saw the complicated choreography involved with serving drinks, we decided to simply stand at the edge of the bar and ask people for money. Seriously, the bar looked so complicated to me, I had to ask Bajek how to pour a glass of water for myself. Simpson, who came out of the womb as a salesperson, immediately took the Ada Jenkins bucket and walked around the restaurant asking for contributions. As for me, the shy elf, I hung out at the bar with some friends who came to support us. By the end of the night, I got the courage to walk the bucket around, but I took a more subtle approach. The good news is that our efforts, combined with those of a lot of other folks during Christmas in Davidson, raised more than $1,000 for Ada Jenkins, and I got in touch with my inner elf once again. I would have been mortified to do something like this in my 20s, as dressing like an elf in public would have seemed so very uncool. However, now that I’ve entered my middle age years, I feel more comfortable in my own skin than ever before — even if my skin happens to be red and green.


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