WILMINGTON’S SUCCESSFUL WOMAN
Keeping cool in the heat
Frances Weller’s TV news milestone
Dog Days of Summer Takes on canine training
New Name. New Look. New Remarkable. New Hanover Regional Medical is now Novant Health. And you can expect a lot more than a new name. New life-saving technologies, new locations for care, new physician specialists, and new ways to make our community healthier. Not just a new name, a new remarkable. Novant Health. Expect Remarkable. Learn more at NovantHealth.org/NHRMC.
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27 8 SPOTLIGHT
46 SCENE: Word play
10 HEALTH: Skate night
47 TAKE 5: Frame by frame
12 TASTE: Stellar fondue
48 MEN'S ROOM: House rules
14 STYLE: Long story
Check out WILMA magazine here:
22 BIG NEWS: Frances Weller reports 27 G OOD DOGS: Building a training reputation 35 V ACA TIME: Travel heats up on the coast 40 W RAPAROUND WELLNESS: Jackie DeConti's many hats
It’s the dog days of summer. Literally. Turn to page 27 to learn more about the pups of the season — and because this is WILMA, of course — the women who have built successful businesses around working with dogs. If you’re hitting the road this summer or staycationing it up, you’ll have plenty of company. Find out why so many visitors are filling the area in these travel trends on page 35. If you’re visiting Wilmington for the first time and need some tips on where to stop, check out this month’s Taste feature on downtown staple The Little Dipper, which now has new owners (page 12). Or pick up some breezy summer outfits at Island Passage and Edet, who supplied looks for this month’s Style spread (page 14). And whether you’re new to town or have been here a while, turn to page 22 to see a familiar face. You might have seen WECT Frances Weller on TV anchoring the daily newscast or out and about at community events. But do you know what drew her to news in the first place? At her fortieth anniversary with WECT, Weller reflects on that and other local memories. W
MEGHAN CORBETT, a native North
Carolinian, is a freelance writer and editor. She graduated with honors with a degree in mass media communication and a minor in journalism from North Carolina State University. Corbett married her high school sweetheart, Will, in 2008. They welcomed a baby girl (Avery) to their family in 2016 and a baby boy (Hugh) in 2018. Corbett interviews several dog trainers about their approaches and business ownership on page 27.
ALLISON JOYCE is a photojournalist who
moved to Wilmington in 2022 after almost ten years working in Asia for clients such as The Washington Post, Getty Images, TIME, The New York Times, National Geographic, United Nations, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Joyce’s work has been recognized by World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass and the Pulitzer Center. Joyce photographed Salty Dogs Obedience Training owner Beth Shepherd (page 27). AllisonJoyce.com and @allisonsarahjoyce on Instagram
EMORY RAKESTRAW is a North Carolina
native who has extensively covered the people, places, and history of the Tar Heel State. She serves as the head of marketing and editorial for home decor and art retailer, DenXYZ. When not writing, she can be found at the nearest antique mall or thrift store. Rakestraw talked with members of Wanderlust Wilmington Roller Skaters for this month’s Health feature on page 12.
KATIE SCHMIDT is a Wilmington-based
freelance writer who graduated from University of Central Florida with a degree in English literature and magazine journalism. At any given moment, her bag contains whatever book she’s reading, a deck of cards in case the opportunity arises, and the numerous hair-ties she keeps on-hand for all sidebraid-related emergencies. This month, Schmidt talks with Port City Comedy Jam organizer Karon Tunis (page 46) and comic artist Angela Fernot (page 47). katieschmidtwritesthings.com
DREWE SMITH and KATE SUPA own
a creative studio – Drewe and Kate Branding Co. – that helps companies elevate their brand and digital presence through photography, brand styling, logo design, and website creation. The creative team styled and photographed our cover and summer style on page 14. dreweandkate.com
Publisher Rob Kaiser firstname.lastname@example.org President Robert Preville email@example.com Editor Vicky Janowski firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President of Sales Carolyn Carver email@example.com Senior Marketing Consultants Maggi Apel firstname.lastname@example.org Craig Snow email@example.com Marketing Consultants Rachel Miles firstname.lastname@example.org Lauren Proff email@example.com Marian Welsh firstname.lastname@example.org Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson email@example.com Events Director Elizabeth Stelzenmuller firstname.lastname@example.org Events & Digital Coordinator Jamie Kleinman email@example.com Contributing Designer Suzi Drake firstname.lastname@example.org Digital Editor Johanna Cano email@example.com Media Coordinator Julia Jones firstname.lastname@example.org Fashion Stylist Drewe Smith Contributors Tim Bass, Stephanie Bowens, Johanna Cano, Meghan Corbett, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Beth A. Klahre, Samantha Kupiainen, Emory Rakestraw, Katie Schmidt Contributing Photographers Daria Amato, Megan Deitz, Madeline Gray, Aris Harding, Terah Hoobler, Allison Joyce, Michael Cline Spencer, Kate Supa Founder Joy Allen Subscribe For a one-year subscription, please send $26.00 (check or money order) to: WILMA, 219 Station Rd., Ste. 202, Wilmington, NC 28405, or call 343-8600 x201 www.WILMAmag.com
LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE FOUNDING SPONSORS
“The support of our community has been immeasurable as
Kristy Hubard NHRMC Chief Strategy Officer, Novant Health
health care workers across the region have persevered through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Novant Health is grateful for your support, and we are proud to be expanding services and opening new locations that will provide greater access for our communities. We continue to support programs that elevate great leadership, foster growth, and inspire others as we shape the future of health care in the Coastal region.”
photo by Madeline Gray
W2W UPDATES WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative has updates to share as we continue to work on the effort’s core mission of helping develop more women leaders in our area. Here’s what we’ve been up to with various W2W Leadership Initiative programs and what’s coming up next: LEADERSHIP ACCELERATOR: More than 300 people attended this year’s Leadership Accelerator, WILMA’s annual half-day leadership and career development conference. After two years of virtual versions, this year’s event with speakers and workshops took place at the Wilmington Convention Center. For a recap of the event, turn to page 38, and to see speaker videos, go to WILMALeadership.com. LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: Members of the 2022 WILMA’s Leadership Institute met last month at Live Oak Bank to talk with chairman and CEO Chip Mahan, as well as other bank leaders, about thinking and planning strategically. The Institute is made up of forty women who meet monthly for leadership skills training, interaction with area executives, and peer mentoring sessions. Applications for next year’s class open again in the fall. WILMA NETWORK: The WILMA Network, made up of women from the companies that support the Women to Watch initiative, serves as a resource for the women involved and represents a variety of area businesses, large and small. Members participate in monthly small-group networking events. IN THE LOOP: Keep up to date with these and other Leadership Initiative programs as well as application announcements by going to WILMAmag.com or signing up for the WILMA Leadership email at WILMAmag.com/email-newsletter.
- Vicky Janowski and Maggi Apel, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com
The Women to Watch logo: When you see this throughout WILMA’s pages, it means this is a woman on the rise to know, an experienced leader to learn from, or a local program worth checking out. W
BROADCAST NEWS: Frances Weller marks a milestone
DOGGED PURSUITS: Building canine training circles
TAKE 5: Angela Fernot, comic books champion
DIRECTORY: women’s professional groups Besides WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, there are a number of local groups to help women grow professionally. Here is just a sampling of some of them.
Cape Fear CREW Year Founded: 2010 Description: “Cape Fear CREW is the leading organization for commercial real estate in the Cape Fear region in North Carolina … Members represent every aspect of the commercial real estate industry, including, but not limited to, law, leasing, brokerage, property management, finance, acquisitions, and engineering.” Info: capefearcrew.org or email@example.com
Cape Fear Women in Tech Year Founded: 2014 Description: “Our vision is to make the Cape Fear Region the No. 1 employer of women in technology careers per capita in the country. We do this by championing opportunities for women in technology, empowering women to strive for these competitive positions, and inspiring women to lead in those roles.” Info: cfwit.com or capefearwomenintech@ gmail.com
Coastal Women Attorneys
The Junior League of Wilmington
(N.C. Association of Women Attorneys) Year Founded: 2013 Description: “CWA was formed to serve women attorneys in Southeastern North Carolina in the Fourth, Fifth and 13th judicial districts, which includes New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Duplin, Onslow, Sampson, and Jones counties. CWA is committed to increasing the participation of women attorneys in the legal profession, protecting the rights of women under the law and promoting, and improving the administration of justice.” Info: ncawa.org/cwa or firstname.lastname@example.org
Year Founded: 1952 Description: “The Junior League of Wilmington is a women’s organization designed to empower women and to improve the community through the leadership of women as trained volunteers.” Info: jlwnc.org or email@example.com
The Inspiration Lab Year Founded: 2015 Description: “The Inspiration Lab was built for working women passionate about personal and professional development. We offer teachings and tools to improve your skills, productivity, creativity, emotional intelligence, and well-being. We also provide opportunities for networking and connection. We represent a variety of backgrounds and careers, but we’re all like-minded in being serious about success, maintaining a manageable work-life balance, and supporting one another’s growth.” Info: theinspirationlab.co
Women’s Impact Network of New Hanover County Year Founded: 2011 Description: “WIN is a collective philanthropy nonprofit that makes yearly grants to nonprofits within the county. The focus of these grants rotates annually among four areas: education, health and wellness, the environment, and arts and culture.” Info: winofnhc.org
YWCA Lower Cape Fear Founded: 1914 Description: “The YWCA Lower Cape Fear is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.” Economic advancement programs focus on educational assistance, job training, and short-term and long-term planning skills. Info: ywca-lowercapefear.org
photo by MICHAEL CLINE SPENCER
Several women-owned businesses were honored at this year’s 2022 Coastal Entrepreneur Awards, put on by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Contract research organization Portrett Pharmaceuticals, which KIMBERLY LUPO founded last year, picked up the emerging company CEA award. Elaborate OutingsLuxury Picnics founder MICHELLE BETHEA won the minority-owned business category. KRISTI RAY and ERIKA ARLEE, co-founders of boutique film production company Honey Head Films, won the film category. Health care category awards went to both Clarity Counseling Center, headed by KARIN KASSAB, and MyPeriodPal, started by AIRLIE WEDEMEYER. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center, with executive director Kathy Zagzebski (above), won the nonprofit category. And Clean Eatz, founded by EVONNE VARADY and her husband, DON, took home the award in the retail and hospitality category.
WARM OFFICIAL EARNS NONPROFIT NODS
The Wilmington Realtors Foundation awarded MANDY MATTOX, WARM board president-elect, with the John Pierson Humanitarian Award. The award was created in 2018 and is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership to a local nonprofit. “JOHN PIERSON was the president of the foundation for over twenty years since its inception,” says JODY WAINIO, president of the Wilmington Realtors Foundation. “He passed away last year. Little did we know this would be an opportunity to honor his memory for years to come.” Mattox, who is a residential real estate agent with Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty, says she chose to serve on the WARM board for several reasons. “Initially I joined WARM because it was a natural fit, being that I help people purchase and sell their homes,” she says. “Why not join the mission to help low-income homeowners live safely in their homes? In addition to that, it is quite apparent that the work WARM completes for those homeowners in need is truly life changing.” The foundation also awarded WARM a $2,000 donation.
KAHLON, NEWKIRK JOIN NOVANT BOARD
The Novant Health board of trustees named POONAM KAHLON and TRACEY NEWKIRK to serve on the Novant Health Coastal Board of Managers. Kahlon (above) is talent acquisition leader and senior human resources business partner at Somos. She serves on the board of directors for the YWCA Lower Cape Fear and as an executive member with the Cape Fear Cultural Association of India, and previously served as an advisory board member for WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative. Newkirk is the co-founder and president of Genesis Block and has more than twenty years of experience as a human resource professional and corporate leader. Newkirk started UNEXO, a boutique consulting firm, where she builds high-performance teams and is a certified personal resilience practitioner. Genesis Block supports minority- and women-owned business development in the southeast region. She serves as a board member for Downtown Business Alliance, WARM (Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry), and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. She is the founder and past chairwoman of the chamber’s African American Business Council.
ant more WILMA? Check out our daily emails, which include even more profiles and stories for Wilmington’s successful women. To sign up for the free emails, go to WILMAmag.com
MCLAUGHLIN-SMITH RECEIVES UNCW AWARD KIMBERLY MCLAUGHLIN-SMITH, the inclusion and diversity learning development specialist in the Office of Human Resources, is this year’s recipient of the UNCW Staff Award for Excellence. Held virtually for the third year, the awards recognized members of the campus community who have excelled in their service to UNCW in the categories of customer service, efficiency, and innovation, human relations, public service, and spirit of North Carolina. “McLaughlin-Smith is regarded as the ‘people’s champion’ because of her humanitarianism, integrity, and public service, which consistently displays our institutional values,” her human resources colleagues wrote in their nomination letter. “She is someone whose relentless contributions have not only elevated campus culture but have successfully increased our community outreach with campus partners.” In addition to McLaughlin-Smith, five nominees will be considered for the Governor’s Award of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed on a state employee: DAVID COOK, Auxiliary Services; KELLY KENNEDY and DIANA WASER, Office of Human Resources; SARA NIMMO, Abrons Student Health Center; DAN NOONAN, Information Technology Services; and TRAVIS WOODS, Office of Facilities.
Have a suggestion for a local woman or group to spotlight? Email us: wilma@WILMAmag.com WILMAmag.com
A DOSE OF NOSTALGIA MEETS FITNESS & COMMUNITY by EMORY RAKESTRAW photo by TERAH HOOBLER
disco ball illuminates the hardwood floors, ABBA’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! blasts through the speakers, high-waisted shorts and knee-high socks don each skater as they glide on quad skates. No, it’s not the 1980s, it’s 2022. Wanderlust Wilmington Roller Skaters (WWR) might seem like a favorite pastime (literally), but this group meets weekly to exercise, socialize, and build a community on the rink. Formed as an extension of Wanderlust Wilmington 2.0 – a private Facebook group for transplants and locals to connect – a single comment inspired ANDREA STAR and NICOLE COLLIER to form WWR. “Someone posted in Wanderlust Wilmington 2.0, ‘I like to skate, does anyone else skate?’ so, Nicole and I started a group chat and we skated on Thursday at Scooter’s Skating Center,” Star says. “I decided to start the WWR Facebook group and post events. Most of us haven’t skated
in ten-fifteen years. We just recently started the group and have grown to almost 150 members.” Aside from a dose of nostalgia, WWR provides both fitness and mental benefits to its members. The demographic ranges from adults in their sixties to twenty-somethings who just relocated to the area. While Star says the current members are mostly women, all are welcome. WWR meets for Adult Skate Night each Thursday at Scooter’s Family Skating Center, 341 Shipyard Boulevard. For those looking for some fresh air, Sunday is reserved for a pre-skate dinner or picnic followed by outdoor skating at Long Leaf Park. Eventually, Star and Collier hope to be able to rent out Scooter’s for beginners night. “I feel like WWR creates a sense of collectiveness. I try to instill to let go of the fear that could be from skating, or the outside world, and to let yourself glide with the skates,” she says. “I have fibromyalgia, and I wasn’t being as active as I should. Skating has changed my life. Someone posted in the group that skating was helping their mental health. A lot of our members, like myself, are introvert-
ed and work from home. They come out for the group because they want to build a community.” While members have been able to cultivate new connections through WWR, many have also found themselves sore after their first skate session, including Star. The American Heart Association lists skating as a top exercise for heart health and although it’s low impact, the average adult can burn up to 10 calories per minute. In all, those who skate weekly can see an improvement in strength, balance, and core stability – along with some newly toned thighs, glutes, and calves. “Skating is fitness; you’re moving different muscles, and it helps you become relaxed, especially if you’re really tense. Over time, you let loose a little and enjoy the music,” Star says. “For mental health, you’re around people that will lift you up and cheer you on. If you fall, you get right back up, physically and mentally.” While the health benefits are desirable and achievable, roller skating experienced its own resurgence in 2020 as many were looking for out-of-the-box outdoor activities. Social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok saw a boom in roller dancers, notably Oumi Janta, whose viral skating videos led her to brand deals, including with Bottega Veneta. That same year, there was also a worldwide shortage of roller skates due to their rising popularity. While those looking to join WWR might be seeking a more personable and collective experience, it’s on the cusp of a growing trend. With Stranger Things season four featuring a key roller rink scene, it seems this pastime from the past will only continue to regain popularity. As more members join, Star and Collier are in the process of creating an official logo along with a sign and T-shirts. They’re also looking to add more days to the meetups, specifically one for beginners. For those with more advanced skills, a collaboration with Port City Rollerz will help members learn quad skate tricks. For those interested in joining, Star notes, “Come as you are. If you’ve never skated before that’s perfectly OK, everyone starts somewhere. You just have to believe in yourself and never say you can’t; practice makes progress.” W WILMAmag.com
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OUT OF THIS
WORLD I n January, RACHEL MCGHINNIS and her husband, JASON, set out to purchase their first investment property. With no specific property or business in mind, they searched the local ads for leads, which is when they stumbled upon a confidential restaurant listing.
“It sounded really interesting, and we are huge foodies,” Rachel McGhinnis says. “We always go out to eat everywhere.” When they contacted the listing agent, the couple was told the restaurant had been established in Wilmington for the past seventeen years. So, they did what any rational person would do, and they Googled which restaurants in Wilmington had been open that long.
GETTING TO KNOW LITTLE DIPPER’S NEW OWNERS by SAMANTHA KUPIAINEN photos by MEGAN DEITZ
“We found it and were like, ‘Oh my gosh, if it’s Little Dipper, we definitely want it because that’s exactly up our alley of the kind of things we find interesting and fun to do,’” Rachel McGhinnis says. “It’s a place that we really like.” The restaurant was indeed Little Dipper, a fan-favorite fondue restaurant at 138 South Front Street that boasts a menu of assorted cheeses, salads, proteins, and dipping sauces. The original owners had opened the place in 2005 but decided to sell so they could spend more time with their kids. After starting their property hunt in January, the McGhinnises had their first day at Little Dipper on May 23 and have been hitting the ground running since. “It’s been chaos and fun and exciting and scary and all the things,” Rachel McGhinnis says.
One of their first tasks as new owners has been redesigning the interior. Rachel and Jason McGhinnis intend to really lean into the Little Dipper theme and make the vicinity more celestial and galaxy like. Additionally, the new owners intend to add new menu items, such as exploring more cocktails and adding charcuterie
and small bites. “We want to give more to the menu but have it all based on cheese and wine and finger foods – things that are easy to dip and eat,” Rachel McGhinnis says. “That’s our goal, to add. We don’t want to take away from what’s already there because it’s already awesome. We don’t want to mess up a good thing. We just want to elevate what’s there and make it more ours and present some of our ideas.” For the McGhinnises to bring their ideas for Little Dipper to fruition, they bought a lot of books and did a lot of reading. They read up on everything there is to know about running a business and learned the ins and outs of fondue. Luckily, Rachel McGhinnis has experience from being a restaurant manager twenty years ago, while Jason McGhinnis runs his own marketing company, so he knows how to market their new ideas. They further expanded their education in restaurant management and also took bartending classes. To top it off, they picked their friends’ brains, who also happened to be business owners or work in the restaurant industry. As for how the restaurant has survived for so many years, especially with a fondue restaurant, Rachel McGhinnis points to its uniqueness. “It’s a place where you can gather with friends and family,” she says. “And you’re all sharing a pot of cheese or a pot of chocolate. It’s all around the table, and it’s just a unique and fun experience for everyone to engage in and do it all together.” For patrons who are new to Little Dipper, Rachel McGhinnis cites one of her favorite menu options as being fontina cheese. It’s a popular item on the menu all around and pairs well with other menu offerings. Some menu items that patrons can expect to see in the future include wild game, such as elk, duck, or venison. But it won’t stop there. They also plan to explore vegan options and different types of chocolate. “We want to bring a lot of different flavors,” Rachel McGhinnis says. “We’d like to try things that are most unheard of or people aren’t used to trying.” W WILMAmag.com
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s the heat hits and the layers come off, some of us are left wondering: what could possibly feel as good as lying in front of the AC with nary a stitch on? The answer is nothing — but we’ve got a close second.
Enter this season’s summer “it” dress. Breezy fabrics are a must for the hottest months, but the apparel goddesses have smiled upon us even further, bestowing such gifts as comfy bandeau tops, neck-grazing halters and forgiving elastic waistbands. And while temps may be rising, hemlines are most certainly lowering. Mini and midi lengths are still simmering, but the maxi dress is by far the star. Make no mistake — this girl works overtime. Can you run errands in it? Check. Brunch with pals? Check. Impromptu beach trip? You know it. And that’s just daytime fun. In the evening, the maxi brings drama (of the good kind) on its own. Pair with some intricately beaded accessories, pop on a pair of puffy woven mules and go from lounge to lavish in one fell swoop. Now that’s haute. W
photos and styling by Drewe and Kate Branding Co. | intro by Nina Bays Cournoyer
Blue JUMPER, available at Edet by Island Passage
Dixie printed JUMPSUIT, available at Island Passage
Dixie tiered ruffle maxi DRESS, available at Island Passage
On Noel: All That Ruffled MINI DRESS, available at Edet by Island Passage On Skylan: Pink about It Romper, available at Edet by Island Passage
On Tyler: Printed SUNDRESS by Lavender Brown, black sunglasses by Z Supply Eyewear, and Posy Heels SANDALS in mint raffia by Dolce Vita, all available at Island Passage On Bella: Floral printed maxi DRESS by Fate, black sunglasses by Z Supply Eyewear, and paily heeled SANDALS in black by Dolce Vita, all available at Island Passage
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MODELS: Tyler Albright, Bella Britt, Skylan Jacobs, & Noel Klomp WARDROBE: Island Passage & Edet by Island Passage (islandpassageclothing.com)
On Bella: Floral printed maxi DRESS by Fate, black sunglasses by Z Supply Eyewear, and paily heeled SANDALS in black by Dolce Vita, all available at Island Passage
LOCATION: The Cotton Exchange, 321 North Front Street & Lumina Station, 1900 Eastwood Road
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Broadcast News Frances Weller marks a milestone
S tephanie B owens |
T erah H oobler
lot has changed in Wilmington over the past forty years, but no matter what has happened, residents have relied on a familiar face and voice to keep them informed.
On May 31, FRANCES WELLER, longtime news anchor at WECT, celebrated forty years in television news. “WECT has become my home away from home literally,” Weller says. “When I drive up to 322 Shipyard Boulevard, I’m coming home … This place is so near and dear to my heart.” The recent milestone has given Weller a chance to reflect on her road to the anchor desk she sits behind and her many experiences as a broadcast journalist. “Being able to anchor the news in a community that I grew up in has been truly a blessing,” Weller says. As a child, Weller read newspaper and magazine articles to her family at the dinner table. In junior high, she was editor of the school newspaper at Roland Grise. “It just seemed like I was born with this desire to read articles and tell the news,” Weller says. She did, however, have other career aspirations. Weller says she thought, early on, she’d become a psychiatrist. Later, she planned to go to law school. “My senior year in college is when the bug bit,” Weller says. “I was watching the news just about every day and saying, ‘I want to be that.’”
Weller at WECT in the late 1980s
Inspired by news anchors she saw in the Raleigh-Durham news market, Weller decided to give journalism a try. In 1981, Weller graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in speech communication. She landed a job at WECT in 1982. “I watched KEN MURPHY on WECT every night because my parents watched the news religiously,” Weller says. “Ken Murphy was the man; he was the newsman, and I wanted to work at the television station that I grew up watching.” Weller’s first role at WECT was as a front desk receptionist. About three months into her job, Weller got her first journalism role as a general assignment reporter. In 1986, Weller was named co-anchor of WECT’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news programs. “I enjoyed being a reporter,” Weller says. “I thought down the road, many years later that maybe I would anchor, but that wasn’t really on my radar at the time the news director came to me and JULY 2022
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If you can’t find an image you are looking for, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and still have the passion that I have for Approved photos can be downloaded at getspiffy.com/media . I do every single day you and are wakelooking up in for, let us know at email@example.com Ifwhat you can’t find an image If youthe can’t find an with imageasyou are energy lookingand for, zest let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org BECOME A COMMUTER MEMBER TODAY ! morning much 10 to come and do this, I cannot put a period Unlimited Golf | Pool Access on this sentence,” Weller says. “I still have 10 Clubhouse Access | Member Functions work to do at WECT. I don’t know when it’s (retirement) going to be, but the first forty years have been fabulous, and here’s w w w. R I V E R L A N D I N G . c o m to how ever many more.” W TM
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Dogs are incredible. They snuggle in our laps, work alongside law enforcement, run long distances while we exercise, protect us when we are scared, and always seem to know just what we need right when we need it. While the possibilities for the fourlegged best friends are endless, proper training is crucial to making sure the relationship is positive and beneficial for all involved to make sure a forever home is indeed forever. Meet some of the area women specializing in the dog training field.
From left: AvidDog trainer Anjhel Zertuche, trainer Katelyn Freund, owner and founder Jenny Klamm, and trainer Angelica Villuendas
M adeline G ray
JENNY KLAMM opened AvidDog after finding a need for a dog trainer in her own family. “Close to seven years ago, I adopted a dog from a rescue down in San Antonio, Texas,” Klamm says. “Unfortunately, the dog I adopted ended up having pretty severe human reactivity and aggression. He lunged, snapped, and snarled at every person who got within 30 feet of him. At that time, I was that helpless owner that felt like I had no option and that my dog was a lost cause. But by hiring a dog trainer myself when I was at my wit’s end, I learned that he wasn’t a lost cause and that I was failing to communicate with him and listen to him in a way he needed.”
Those lessons in learning how to communicate more effectively with her own dog led Klamm to want to help other owners achieve that same relationship with their dogs. The company that trained Klamm’s dog hired her as an intern, and she officially became a trainer. “After a few years, I decided to branch out and open my own business,” she says. “I learned what to do and not to do as both a business owner and a dog trainer, and I inevitably created a company that emphasizes integrity and honesty, plus implements the most realistic, proven, and digestible training methods.” AvidDog focuses on a “reward the good, correct the bad”
approach. “I find my methods to be most effective because it’s simplified, and owners understand it,” Klamm says. “The catch is owners are taught many different approaches to rewarding or correcting their dog. So, they have options, which they like. Sticking to one tool or one method a lot of the time sets owners up to fail because realistically, owners won’t be walking around holding an e-collar remote or wearing a treat pouch all day, every day like we hope they will. If the dog only learned to comply in one way, the one time that one way isn’t viable, the dog fails, and the owner is disgruntled. A balanced approach provides the owner options and also gives the dog clarity.”
I inevitably created a company that emphasizes integrity and honesty plus implements the most realistic, proven, and digestible training methods.”
A llison J oyce
BETH SHEPHERD owns Salty Dogs Obedience Training. She has been professionally training for almost twenty-five years and believes positive reinforcement is the way to go. “I trained with a local behaviorist for several years as well as a service dog organization working alongside many fabulous trainers,” Shepherd says. “From there, I helped write a few training manuals and started Salty Dogs.”
We are a family friendly training center and love working with families to help their pup become the family member they are looking for.”
Shepherd says that she believes all methods have their place, but positive reinforcement is her first go-to. “I feel pups need to understand what we are asking, and we need to make sure we reinforce what behavior we want before we correct them for an incorrect guess,” she says. “Positive reinforcement gives me the opportunity to be able to reinforce those behaviors I want to see more of and evaluate what is really going on. If we reward a behavior that we like, we are more likely to see it occur again!” Shepherd trains each dog personally – no team of trainers. “Being a woman and mom has helped me connect with my clients and understand where they are with trying to balance training a pup while getting their kiddos to all
the places they need to be,” Shepherd says. “Finding time for this can be trying, and because I live it every day, I get it! The kiddo-dog relationship can be trying at times, and we have lived through every stage personally, so there are things that I would have recommended before kids that I wouldn’t recommend now.” The ability to learn and adapt to changing needs is a necessary trait to have as a trainer. “We are a family friendly training center and love working with families to help their pup become the family member they are looking for,” Shepherd says. “I love the opportunity to go into someone’s house or meet them out and about and to be able to really dig into the problem and watch the light go on as it clicks with both the owner and the dog.”
D aria A mato
DIANE GALLAGHER owns Dogtrain, a business that has been around for thirty years and was started by BARBARA EAGLES.
Gallagher began the process of buying the company in 1996. “I have been around dogs my entire life; my parents raised poodles,” she says. “One of my money-making ventures as a kid involved learning how to groom dogs, and I continued to do this for a good portion of my life. I started training dogs as a ten-year-old at the local kennel club where I grew up and started showing dogs a few years later.” Gallagher worked with several professional dog show handlers for a number of years before starting out on her own in the late 1970s. She started publicly teaching obedience classes in the early 1980s. After moving to Wilmington in 1991, Gallagher worked at Topsail Animal Hospital. Soon after, Gallagher began working at Dogtrain. “I am now seeing clients with their children who came to me initially as children with their parents,” she says. “Makes me feel somewhat old but also speaks to the efficacy of our training program. We made a foray into ‘all positive’ training in the middle of the 1990s but discovered it did not provide the efficacy people needed to help them. It was also very difficult for most clients to stick to and see results. I find a balanced approach works much better – 80% positive input, 20% wrong, try again sometimes with consequences.
I am now seeing clients with their children who came to me initially as children with their parents.” “We use food rewards; we use corrections. I teach people to use the least amount of pressure necessary, but they need to follow through on reasonable requests. If the dog doesn’t know what you want it to do, you cannot punish for your failure to communicate. You cannot get through raising a young thing without using the word ‘no,’ and it is much the same with dogs.” Dogtrain also trains working retrievers and competes at hunt test trials. One of the greatest features of Dogtrain is its longevity and family atmosphere, Gallagher says. “My associate, Lauren Daniel, who came to me as an eightyear-old with her parents and a Boston Terrier,” Gallagher says, “is now my right hand as office manager and associate instructor.” W
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The traditional summer travel season keeps getting longer, but can area resources keep up? WILMAmag.com
By JOHANNA CANO | Photos by ALLISON JOYCE
or one of her latest trips, avid traveler and blogger ALYSSA NELSON waited for warm, yet comfortable weather in late April to head to Wilmington for a weekend visit.
Nelson, who lives in Charlotte and is the content creator for her website waywardblog. com, was excited to finally start on her 2020 New Year’s resolution to visit one new destination a month, an endeavor that went on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Wilmington was high on my list of places to visit in North Carolina, and many of my new friends in the area recommendJULY 2022
ed it as the perfect weekend getaway spot,” she says. While her trip to the coast is similar to one that many inland North Carolinians take, hers differed due to portions of the visit being hosted by the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), which works with influencers to promote the region to travelers. Nelson left Wilmington with an even bigger list of must-dos for when she comes back. “I’m itching to return,” she says. Nelson’s excitement to start traveling again after a year of coronavirus travel restrictions echoes trends that the tourism industry has been seeing in the country and region, with the local coastal destination expecting a bounce back in tourism and continued strong activity this year. Nationwide, the World Travel & Tourism Council projects that travel and tourism will reach pre-pandemic levels this year. Locally, room occupancy tax (ROT) collections garnered from overnight rental stays have been on the rebound,
says KIM HUFHAM, president and CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, which does business as the CVB. While 2021 figures on local tourism expenditures are not yet available, Hufham says she expects them to be once again record breaking. “We’re really pleased to announce that in FY 2021, which is current through February, we are up 36.7% over last year. And last year was a record-breaking year in occupancy tax collections topping over $17.5 million,” Hufham says. In light of upward trends, regional economist ADAM JONES says the area could expect even more of a tourism increase this summer. “The rush is coming,” says Jones, associate professor of economics at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business. Room occupancy tax collections in the county are ahead of 2021 figures so far, with ROT levels higher during the pandemic years than in 2017 and 2018. Industry experts suggest the surge in travel many locations are experiencing
was brought on as a side effect of the pandemic. “The pandemic changed the way visitors travel in that they shifted to destinations that offered outdoor activities, beach, riverwalk, parks, gardens, as well as a substantial inventory of vacation rentals,” Hufham says. “Once restrictions were lifted, there was a lot of pent-up demand, and people were traveling again, mostly domestic before vaccinations became available.” This demand can be described by a new term that emerged known as revenge travel, the idea that people are traveling to make up for lost trips during the height of the pandemic. In 2021, AirDNA, a provider of vacation rental research, and HomeToGo, a vacation rental search engine, created the “Revenge Travel” report that named Carolina Beach as one of the top-booked destinations in the country and Wilmington as one of ten locations nationally with the best market for growth. The report found that Wilmington’s year-overyear bookings increased 62% from data gathered in April 2021 compared to that
of pre-pandemic, April 2019. Data from 2020 was not used because of the impact the pandemic had on travel. Contributing factors of revenge travel might include work-from-home policies that give people more flexibility to travel and more money in their pockets because of recent low unemployment rates and government stimulus programs that created disposable income for some. “Consumption is strong, and it’s increasing still. And consumers are in a really strong position to continue to consume,” Jones says. This is something that ANGIE FANNING, founder of Wilmington-based travel agency AwayBug Travel, has found with recent clients. While the pandemic threw her for a loop with cancellations, travel demand really ramped up in January, she says. “There’s definitely been a huge increase in new inquiries and people who want to travel. It kind of went from zero to a hundred overnight,” Fanning says. The biggest challenge Fanning has seen in the travel industry is shortages, from car rentals to workers.
“I have been telling people, the travel and tourism industry had to shrink down to basically nothing for a while and then sort of overnight, everything has ramped back up really quickly as far as the demand for travel,” she says. “But the industry just doesn’t have the ability to all of a sudden go back to the way it was in 2019, overnight. We shrunk in so many ways.” One popular Wrightsville Beach destination for travelers is Blockade Runner Beach Resort, which has experienced staffing challenges. But the resort has dealt with that issue for years, says general manager NICOLAS MONTOYA. “As we expand our occupancy more consistently over the years, we have struggled with balancing year-round staff against summer staff,” he says. “Now our year-round core has expanded, which is good. The pool of folks in the service industry has indeed seemingly dried up. However, we have more young people entering the workforce. Young high-schoolage students are applying and working at the resort.” To deal with competition in hiring, the
resort has adjusted pay scales, provided flexible working hours when able and considered training workers versus requiring previous experience, Montoya says. “This all means that we need to be more focused on growing and training our staff. I have always thought of the Blockade Runner as a teaching resort,” he says. “It has not been truer than over the last two years.” A trend Montoya has observed is the widening of the shoulder seasons, with visits during the typical off-season increasing. “During the last two years visitation has increased from March through November and with the warm winters also in December and January,” he says. “However, this has been a growing trend for us at the resort and the area in general. The expansion towards year-wide visitation has been growing for the last eight to ten years.”W This story recently appeared in WILMA sister publication WilmingtonBiz Magazine. To read more, go to wilmingtonbizmagazine.com.
WILMA’S 2022 LEADERSHIP ACCELERATOR was back in person this year and took place on JUNE 2 at the Wilmington Convention Center. The annual halfday LEADERSHIP AND
CAREER DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE FOCUSED ON REINVESTING IN YOURSELF AND YOUR CAREER. Attendees heard from local women leaders, got advice for moving forward, and met OTHER LIKE-MINDED
WOMEN WITH THE SAME GOALS.
The event consisted of two back-to-back, 45-minute workshops followed by a keynote lunch featuring four talks from women leaders in our area. Participants also had the opportunity to attend the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Power Breakfast: Growth Stories event, which took place prior to the 2022 Leadership Accelerator. photos by Madeline Gray
Visit WILMALeadership.com to watch the KEYNOTE TALKS and see more event photos WILMAmag.com
M u l ti f ace t e d WELLNESS By BETH A. KLAHRE | photo by TERAH HOOBLER
Empowering others through podcasting, coaching, and yoga
ACKIE DECONTI, host of “Elixir Podcast,” founder of Madre & The Muse that offers Ayurvedic wellness consultations, and cofounder of terra sol sanctuary, sees the light in everything. “I see the good. I always try to see the other person’s perspective. There are lessons to be learned from every interaction and we are all here to help each other,” she says. As a self-proclaimed “lover of many things,” DeConti’s multifaceted passions can be traced back to her childhood. DeConti was born in Connecticut, grew up in South Florida, and moved to North Carolina to pursue a degree in education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Growing up, DeConti loved her grandfather’s garden and birdhouse. It was her connection to nature. She took piano lessons. She was a Girl Scout. She loved crafting, the theater, and singing. “I remember spending days blasting Whitney Houston songs and singing along behind closed doors. My friend and I would walk down our street carrying our keyboards and performing. I played mini piano concerts for my dad,” she laughs. Music was, and still is, a big part of her life. DeConti and her guitarist-husband, BRETT JOHNSON, perform together throughout the Wilmington music scene. Even starting her own business has roots in her childhood. DeConti’s entrepreneurial spirit first surfaced when she went door-to-door selling mulch to
the neighbors at age seven. Inspired by mentor KRISTIN COOPER-GULAK, DeConti achieved her yoga certification in 2010. She began to dabble with the interconnection of yoga and Ayurveda, an alternative medicine with roots in India. In March 2021, DeConti completed training for her Ayurvedic wellness coach certification from the Shakti School and started Madre & The Muse. DeConti says that holistic wellness appealed to her because of the interconnected nurturing and nourishing modalities. “Western medicine has a place, but there are ways to bring about healing with herbs, sunshine, exercise, yoga, and breathing. Befriending nature. This is subtle and powerful medicine,” she says. The name for her Ayurveda business came easy for DeConti. “Madre is Mother Earth, who provides. The Muse is all the things around us that spark inspiration and creativity like cooking, music, wildflowers, art. It’s the whole experience of doing and creating that is the destination that takes us back to our true self,” DeConti says. DeConti’s clients fill out intake forms
that touch nearly every aspect of life including diet, sleep, and relationships. Together with her clients, DeConti outlines a journey plan that she says is not drastic, but one that mindfully creates little shifts in routine. Recommendations often include nutrition, daily habits, meditation, breathwork and movement practices, art journaling, and even just listening to music. In addition to consultations, DeConti offers an Ayurvedic-infused yoga teacher training program. She also offers smallbatch goods available at The Crafted Outpost in Wilmington. In January 2020, DeConti embarked on a journey to share inspiration through stories on her “Elixir Podcast.” “An elixir can be something you take that makes you feel a certain way. Each episode of my podcast serves a purpose,” she says. “When people tell their stories and we just listen to each other, we create connections.” “Elixir Podcast” listeners are both friends and strangers and vary from entrepreneurs to environmentalists. DeConti’s podcast guests have been business owners, musicians, artists, and
people who are in the process of creating and don’t yet know their endpoint. Nothing is scripted. “We just talk. I explore how each guest got to where they are. My hope is listeners can see themselves in something they hear during the podcast,” she says. Just like Madre & The Muse, “Elixir Podcast” is collaborative with the intention to inspire. As is terra sol sanctuary, a yoga studio that DeConti co-founded with two friends, REBECCA NIAMTU and ALEXIS ABBATE, where she incorporated live music into her weekly yoga classes. While she says it may seem cliché, DeConti suggests that everything you are looking for is already within. “Take time to tune your desires back into your life. Respark your muses. Notice moments when you are feeling really good and do more of that,” she says. “Filling your cup, whatever that looks like for you, inspires others to do the same.” W This profile appeared in a recent WILMA Wellness newsletter. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag. com.
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WORDS SERIES COMBINES COMICS & SPOKENWORD POETS
by KATIE SCHMIDT
hroughout the 2022 summer season at Thalian Hall is a onetwo punch of comedy and spoken word: the Comics and Poet Series.
photo by Jamie Hansen, c/o Karon Tunis
Presented by the same team behind Port City Comedy Jam, this new series brings a rotating cast of local comedians and poets together for five nights of hilarity and creativity rooted in unifying themes (Relationships, Freedom, Truth, Right or Wrong, and Really?). KARON TUNIS, a local talent manager and producer, saw when she launched Port City Comedy Jam in 2021 that the Wilmington community was hungry for a new comedy platform. After a local comic, ELLIE COLEMAN, reached out to Tunis asking for representation, Tunis had to break the news that, because of the level of people Tunis was representing at the time, Coleman didn’t have enough “skin in the game.” “She told me, ‘Well that’s the problem – how do I get skin in the game?’” recalls Tunis (left). “That pricked my heart. So, that evening I came up with Port City Comedy Jam.” Held at Front Street Market & Produce, the event has run for the past year as an open-mic opportunity for local comics to perform and essentially get their “skin in the game.” The monthly event has proven successful, with local comedians growing in notability and even booking shows at renowned comedy venues, like Gotham Comedy Club in New York City.
With the success of Port City Comedy Jam secured, Tunis had the mental space to reminisce a little and revisit a trend from the nineties – comedy shows that also featured spoken-word poets. “YASIIN BEY (previously Mos Def) is a friend of mine and a poet,” Tunis explains. “I remembered he and Russell Simmons always used to put poetry in front of their comedians, which I thought was a novel idea that had unfortunately been lost over the years.” In an effort to bring the popular event format back, Tunis contacted MIKE MORELLI, the facilities manager for Thalian Hall, and pitched him on the idea with a small catch. “I asked to not have the venue on what would be considered prime dates of the week,” Tunis says. “I wanted it Mondays, Wednesdays, Sundays and to brand it as a sort of offbeat thing. I also think the theater should not be dark during those times, and he agreed.” For Tunis, one of the most important elements of the event is the philanthropic piece. “I am hoping that people understand that entertainment can be benevolence. Some of that for us is in proceeds going to The OOPS Foundation, but there’s also this piece for the overall community,” she says. “The arts bring about camaraderie and joy, and that is very important for us, especially in the current world climate. Any kind of love and laughter that my middle-aged crazy lady can bring to a town that I truly love? I’m going to do it.”W
COMICS AND POETS SERIES THE RUTH & BUCKY STEIN STUDIO THEATRE AT THALIAN HALL July 3 | 3 p.m. July 27 | 7 p.m. August 17 | 7 p.m. August 29 | 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit The OOPS Foundation. Info and tickets: thalianhall.org/comics-poets-22
by BY KATIE SCHMIDT photo by ARIS HARDING
ANGELA FERNOT is the editor-in-chief and art director of a local comic book series, Tales of Cape Fear. A talented comic artist herself, she knows that commitment to artistic vision can sometimes leave one’s head in the clouds. For Tales of Cape Fear, Fernot has effectively wrangled a team of artists, designers, writers, and editors and grounded them long enough to create an incredible and unique storytelling opportunity. HOW DID YOU GET INTO COMICS? “I have always drawn and knew that art was going to be a part of my life. I just wasn’t sure how big of a part. By the time I was in middle school, a friend of mine introduced me to manga, or Japanese comics. And I was like, ‘This is it.’” WHAT DID THE EARLY STAGES OF YOUR CAREER LOOK LIKE? “First, I attended The Kubert School, which was founded in 1976 by Joe Kubert, one of the renowned comic artists of his time. … It’s a three-year trade school, and it was basically a boot camp for artists. It was great, but it was also a scary time because I remember seeing what my peers were doing and doubting if I was cut out for it. Also, our class had over thirty students, and only three of them were women, which was a good representation for the industry at the time. I just wasn’t sure what my career in art – or even my future – was going to look like.” YOU MENTIONED BEING ONLY ONE OF THREE WOMEN IN YOUR CLASS AT KUBERT – WERE THERE ANY FEMALE INFLUENCES DURING THIS STAGE OF YOUR LIFE? “Right after graduation, yes. Her name is JEAN STROCCO. She is the co-owner with her husband, Greg Hildebrandt, of an online art gallery. She represents artists and owned a publishing company in the eighties and nineties. … She’s an incredibly powerful woman, and I was the first female employee she hired at the art gallery. Naturally, I was like, ‘How do I be more like her?’ and it evolved into a deeply meaningful mentoring relationship. … It wasn’t until I stepped away from that business and moved to Wilmington that it became really clear what my purpose was.” AND THAT IS … ? “Well I was at Memory Lane Comics one day, and I was talking to JAKE MONTSINGER, one of the owners, about the possibility of putting out a local comic. We started talking about it, and I honest to goodness don’t remember who said what first, but both of us were basically like, ‘Should we make a book?’ … With Jake’s trust and support, and the lessons I had learned working with Jean, I was fortunate enough to be the one to steer the ship that is Tales of Cape Fear.” I KNOW THERE ARE THREE ISSUES OF TALES OF CAPE FEAR AVAILABLE NOW, BUT WHAT’S NEXT? “Well, in the immediate future it’s the fourth installment, which we are starting to work on now alongside our first zine. But one of the big elements of this project for me has been helping artists and shaping their growth. I want to stay in that space, maybe in a business capacity. Tales of Cape Fear is the way to raise awareness of who local artists are and what we’re doing, but I would love to develop some sort of entrepreneurship program.” W ANGELA FERNOT’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.
OUTLAW by TIM BASS illustration by MARK WEBER
Tim Bass is coordinator of UNCW’s bachelor of fine arts program in creative writing.
“When owning a property in a Community Association, you have a responsibility of maintaining harmony within the community.” So began the “courtesy notice” I got from my homeowners association. I’d committed two “non-compliant issues,” capital offenses in HOA land. The letter had a ten-digit “reference number,” like a criminal indictment. “It is the duty of the Association, as outlined in your community’s governing documents,” the letter continued, “to enforce the use restrictions and applicable rules and regulations that have been put in place for your Community.” HOAs get lots of criticism, much of it deserved. Somewhere right now, a rigid board of directors and a defiant homeowner are locked in an endless battle over a swing set painted orange, or whether an iguana counts as a service animal, or some fan’s pitiful mission to fly a New York Jets flag from the porch. My HOA isn’t that bad. They run a clean operation. Their annual meetings are boring and uneventful. They put up bunting on the Fourth of July and plant pansies in the winter. But they send a clear message: There’s a rule for everything, and everybody must comply with every rule every minute. Each time a different HOA president takes office, it’s like a new sheriff comes to town. In my community, it’s usually some geezer who dreamed of a career in law enforcement but wound up in engineering or chemical manufacturing. Now he’s retired, and he’s our problem. He hooks his thumbs into his khakis, climbs into his Lexus, and heads out at 15 mph to lay down the HOA law – spotting crabgrass, rusty
barbecue grills, bird droppings on mailboxes, and the unauthorized operation of golf carts in authorized rights of way. Trash can visible from the street? Non-compliance. Mildew on a windowsill? Non-compliance. Dog hasn’t been washed in a month? And no pedigree? Big-time non-compliance. I got busted for weed (“Please clean up flower beds”) and for a missing house number I took down to replace the outdated original. Never mind that I don’t have flowers, or that the full house number is painted in glowing white on each side of my bird-dropping-free mailbox. I wanted to tell that snooping board in non-compliant language where they could stick their governing documents. However, that would only earn me closer scrutiny by the Nitpick Patrol. In no time, they’d cite me for eating store-brand cereal, forgetting to floss last Thursday, and washing darks with lights. Besides, I couldn’t ignore the shameful truth: I had not maintained harmony within the community, and at high noon the board had drawn its citation pad to duly enforce the use restrictions and applicable rules and regulations. If I didn’t clean up my act (and my flower beds), my next stop might be HOA jail, where I’d face hard time raking out the sand traps on the 12th fairway. My mugshot would appear on the community website as HOA Outlaw of the Month. Sometimes we have to play by the rules, even the ones put in place just so somebody can enforce them. So, I weeded. I put up new house numbers. I pledged to walk the straight and narrow for the sake of my soul, the good of my community, and, most important, the approval of the HOA.
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CAPTRUST INVESTORS IN TRAINING
here’s no doubt about it: Passing along financial wisdom to children can help them live better lives, enjoy greater freedom, exercise more control over how they spend their time, and afford a degree of comfort and security that otherwise may not exist. A lot of ways exist to help kids build their financial muscles. Many of us utilize common practices like filling up a piggy bank with a child over time, involving youngsters in small purchases using cash, or by the different examples we set, such as sticking to a budget. But it’s also important to teach kids lessons in investing, says father of two and Wilmington-based CAPTRUST wealth management advisor Buck Beam. So, when it came time to pass on some of these lessons to his own two sons, Beau, 12, and Wayland, 9, Beam was “looking for a way for the kid to connect real money to the stock market and learn about how the stock market works," he says. All the Action in Just a Fraction For the Beam family, it all started with the ubiquitous delivery trucks driving through their neighborhood, dropping off brown boxes adorned with a smile logo. "How about Amazon?" Beau and Wayland said. There was just one problem. The boys' stock pick was totally out of their budget, with a price tag in the thousands of dollars for a single share, says Beam. Then he looked into fractional shares. While buying entire shares of stock in big name companies can get expensive, Beam quickly discovered that fractional shares are a fantastic way to get young people excited
about investing—and develop valuable financial skills that will be with them for life—without committing a lot of money. “The idea of investing some of their own money was thrilling to the boys,” Beam says. They already had some savings—from birthday money and allowance—and Beam was excited to foster their interest. He even upped the ante by pledging to match their investments dollar for dollar. A Long-term Lesson The idea is simple: Instead of buying whole shares of stock, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents—anyone with a young person in their life—can buy partial shares by the dollar amount. Also called dollar-based investing, this capability was first offered by some technology startup companies, then introduced by companies like Fidelity and Charles Schwab in 2020. With dollar-based investing, even someone with just a little bit of money can buy in and diversify their small-dollar portfolio. "Investing in fractional shares is a neat activity to do with the kids," says Beam, “And it has the longterm benefit of helping create savers and investors out of your kids and grandkids without putting a lot of money down." Hands-On Investing For Beam's sons, Dad's idea of investing in fractional shares meant they could afford to get into some of the brand-name stocks that they were familiar with. And that got their attention. The boys became very engaged and excited to talk with Beam about their personal stock holdings and their own investment ideas.
"A lot of kids don't make financial decisions," says Beam. “So, it's very interesting to them to have some skin in the game and then get to live with their decisions." The experience has shown Beam how he can talk with his kids about the stock market. "This has been the first time in their lives they would ask me questions, instead of me just explaining what I do and why it matters. Now they're curious. They want to understand. Once their money was on the line, they were hungry for more information." CAPTRUST specializes in providing comprehensive wealth management services to high-net-worth individuals, business owners, and families. Our skilled advisors provide clients with knowledge, experience, and judgement they need to make effective financial decisions. Buck Beam is a Wealth Management Financial Advisor in Wilmington. Buck can be reached at 910.256.8882 or email@example.com.
910.256.8882 | CAPTRUST.COM
ur world and our communities remain in a state of volatility and confusion about what the future holds. Covid 19 surges, school shootings, the war in Ukraine, inflation, looming recession, and political upheaval continue to dominate the headlines. At the same time, resilient people everywhere are finding ways to keep moving forward. New businesses are opening at a record pace. The Wilmington entrepreneurial ecosystem is being recognized among the top in the nation. We began our year with the Wilma Leadership Institute joining us at Double Run Farm for their first session of the season. Forty incredible women leaders from the local area practiced leading themselves and others through uncertainty
with our horses. Their excitement about the future and their role in it was palpable. Just about that time, something happened for TeachingHorse that we did not expect. Requests to work with us and schedule sessions exploded! We are so grateful to the local community and our clients around the country for enabling us to move forward as well. This rapid growth has also required us to quickly implement strategies to support the demand. We have launched a new licensing and certification program to expand our network of practitioners both locally and globally. I am also happy to share that the next generation of leadership for TeachingHorse is here. Multiple sessions are being held weekly under the leadership of a variety of
teams around the country. If, in June of 2021 (while we were scrambling to stay afloat), you had told me this would be happening in June of 2022, I would have said, “Yeah, right.” Sometimes moving forward requires you to let go of the pain of the past and open yourself up to what is possible. Letting go is never easy. This article would be incomplete if I did not acknowledge that we have also experienced a loss in recent weeks. Our herd member, Galen, whom many of you have met and been touched by, passed away in May. Standing 18.2 hands high (7 feet tall), this horse was famous for teaching people that it is the size of your heart that truly matters. Amidst the events of the world, working through new growing pains as a business,
and being present to the loss of Galen, we remain true to our vision to prepare generations of leaders capable of guiding healthy, sustainable organizations. Our mission is to create experiences for people to learn what horses know about leading through uncertainty. When you keep your vision and mission at the center of what you do, moving forward is the only option.
June Gunter has worked in the field of leadership and organization development for over 35 years and holds a Doctor of Education degree in the field of Adult Learning from North Carolina State University. She is also the Co-Founder of Go-od Consulting, LLC.
TEACHINGHORSE.COM | JUNEGUNTER@TEACHINGHORSE.COM 44
THE ART WORKS FOR THE ARTIST, THE ART LOVER, THE COMMUNITY, “ART WORKS!”
heArtWorks™ is in 37,000 square feet of repurposed historical industrial space on 200 Willard Street, providing venue rental, an art village with working art studios, art maker spaces, classrooms, a gift shop, and fine art visual and separate photography gallery.
theArtWorks™ provides comprehensive, multifaceted, and inclusive opportunities all located under one roof and strives to enhance the Wilmington community through arts. Owners, Jim and Betsy Knowles, purchased the current theArtWorks™ building in 1998. The building was a part of the original Block Manufacturing in what is now Wilmington’s South Front District. theArtWorks™ began
in 2013, with the mission of enhancing the community, assisting artists, and contributing to the revitalization of Downtown Wilmington. The art village emulates a New Orleans circa 1900s vibe. Jim and Betsy feel strongly about preserving Wilmington’s historical commercial landmarks and providing a place for artists to create, display, and sell all types of art. The Knowles wish to nurture and promote making Wilmington, North Carolina an international art destination. theArtWorks™ is part of the Downtown Wilmington 4th Friday Gallery Nights − free monthly events where downtown area galleries, studios, and art spaces open their doors to the public in an after-hours celebration of art and culture sponsored by the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County.
4th Friday Gallery Nights are a self-guided tour through more than 20 downtown Wilmington galleries, studios, and businesses − featuring exhibitions of various artistic genres including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, photography, metals, woods, ceramics, mixed media, jewelery, pryrography, and more. Showcasing art and art-related events, 4th Friday Gallery Nights also include opening receptions, artist discussions, demonstrations, live music, beer and wine along with other art-related activities. theArtWorks™ also hosts specialty art events promoting performing and literary arts. theArtWorks™ open hours are Thursday thru Friday 11am - 5pm, and by appointment. While theArtWorks™ consumes much of their time, Jim and Betsy still make sure
to have fun wherever they go. They are especially committed to their family. They love boating, traveling, and time spent visiting their four adult children living across the United States in four different states. For 15 years, they have hosted Cousins Camp to get their bicoastal grandchildren together for two weeks each summer. The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered their travel and visiting during this time. Visit theArtWorks™ today by stopping in at, 200 Willard Street in downtown Wilmington, visit their website at, www. theArtWorks.co, or give them a call to find out more about their offerings at, 910-352-7077. You want a great nation? Then, it demands a great education − “it all starts with the arts.”
910.352.7077 | THEARTWORKS.CO
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