WILMA April 2021

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WILMA

APRIL 2021

WILMINGTON’S SUCCESSFUL WOMAN

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Moving Up

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Modernism to Maximalism Form and Function Reimagined

April 29-30, 2021 Cameron Art Museum invites you to participate in this spring’s virtual fundraising event. Enjoy great design from the comfort of your own living room. For more information or sponsorship interest, visit 1

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APRIL 2021

DesignNC.org


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29

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8 SPOTLIGHT

46 SCENE: In bloom

10 HEALTH: Kickstart

47 TAKE 5: Sparking growth

12 TASTE: Hopped up

48 MEN'S ROOM: Spring fever

14 STYLE: Business sense

Check out WILMA magazine here:

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APRIL 2021

/WILMAMAG


14 24 W OMEN IN THE WORKFORCE: What’s the pandemic’s impact? 29 L EADERSHIP Q&A: Lessons shared 36 T O THE HOOP: Sheila Boles’ success on and off the court

WILMAmag.com

What makes a good leader can be subjective. Just see the countless books on the topic, the podcasts, the seminars, to see why. Everyone has an opinion about what works and what doesn’t. But, common threads often come up, such as surrounding yourself with a great team, inspiring others, being a constant learner, and other things that even naturalborn leaders have to work at and practice. That’s just some of the advice women leaders from throughout the region share in this month’s issue. From working in higher education, technology, and business, they share their experiences and tips to consider. Read more about them on page 29. Local coaching legend Sheila Boles learned many of those lessons and more working with players on and off the basketball court. Boles shares those lessons on page 36. Whether you have it as part of a title or not, leadership qualities can show up in any part of life: “never stop improving; lead by example; listen and communicate effectively.” Those aren’t bad words to live by. W APRIL 2021

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Publisher Rob Kaiser rkaiser@wilmingtonbiz.com

JENNY CALLISON is a former Greater

Wilmington Business Journal reporter who continues as a freelancer with the Business Journal and WILMA. Before moving to Wilmington in 2011, she was a university communications director and a freelance reporter covering a variety of beats. Callison talks with women about navigating their new way to work throughout COVID-related restrictions (page 14).

President Robert Preville rpreville@wilmingtonbiz.com Editor Vicky Janowski vjanowski@wilmingtonbiz.com Vice President of Sales Maggi Apel mapel@wilmingtonbiz.com Senior Account Executive Craig Snow csnow@wilmingtonbiz.com

SHANNON RAE GENTRY has written about Wilmington arts, culture, and news for nearly ten years. She and her family take in every concert they can and savor everything local. Gentry interviews local basketball player and coach trailblazer Sheila Boles about her career and looking back (page 36).

MELISSA HEBERT is a Wilmington-based

photographer who has had her work featured in national campaigns and magazines, including WILMA. Hebert studied photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art and specializes in editorial, portrait, and wedding photography. She photographed this month’s cover and style spread (page 14). melissahebertphoto.com

LYNDA VAN KUREN, a transplant from the

D.C.-metro area, is a freelance writer and content marketer whose work has appeared in national as well as regional publications. She loves connecting with others, whether through writing, ballet, or training her dogs for agility competitions. She checks in with several area leaders for their advice and perspective (page 29).

BRIANNE WRIGHT, a homegrown

Wilmingtonian, is a sign artist, designer, and illustrator whose work has been featured in WILMA, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, and a number of independent art magazines around the country. She specializes in typography, high contrast design, and marrying the space between modern and retro. Wright illustrated the art for “Always On” (page 24). briannewright.com

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Account Executives Courtney Barden cbarden@wilmingtonbiz.com Ali Buckley abuckley@wilmingtonbiz.com Marian Welsh mwelsh@wilmingtonbiz.com Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson sjohnson@wilmingtonbiz.com Events/Digital Coordinator Elizabeth Stelzenmuller events@wilmingtonbiz.com Design & Media Coordinator Molly Jacques production@wilmingtonbiz.com Content Marketing Coordinator Morgan Mattox mmattox@wilmingtonbiz.com Contributing Designer Suzi Drake art@wilmingtonbiz.com Digital Editor Johanna Cano jcano@wilmingtonbiz.com Fashion Stylists Ashley Duch Grocki & Drewe Smith Contributors Tim Bass, Jenny Callison, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Shannon Rae Gentry, Christine Hennessey, Jessica Maurer, Laura Moore, Cheryl L. Serra, Lynda Van Kuren Contributing Photographers Megan Deitz, Aris Harding, Melissa Hebert, Stephanie Savas Photography, Michael Cline Spencer, Terah Wilson 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


WILMA’S

LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE FOUNDING SPONSORS

CORPORATE SPONSORS

“New Hanover Regional Medical Center, now a part of Novant

Kristy Hubard Chief Strategy Officer New Hanover Regional Medical Center

WILMAmag.com

Health, is proud to support programs that elevate and inspire great leadership and collaboration. It’s a remarkable new day for us as we look to a healthier future in which we can achieve all we envision for our region. Just as the local community came together to support each other through COVID-19, we can find new ways to meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the future.”

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WILMA’S

INTRODUCING THE

CLASS OF 2021 PAI GE BEERT manufacturing engineer, Corning • S A R A H B R I CKELS development director, GLOW • EMILY BYRUM assistant capital defender, Office of the Capital Defender • FR A NCES CA R T E R I saac Bear Early College coordinator & liaison, UNCW Watson College of Education • KAT I E CA S T NER product designer, Apiture • LYNDA CHAMBERS manager of regional continuing nursing education, NHRMC • S A MAN T HA CLEARY director of advancement and engagement, paws4people foundation • LEA H DEM A S T E RS customer success manager II, Live Oak Bank • MILI DUNLA P lead psychologist, New Hanover County Schools • AMANDA FONTAN A principal revenue analyst / nCino, owner / Sign Gypsies Wilmington • JAS MI N E HENRY family self sufficiency coordinator, Wilmington Housing Authority • TA M ECA JENR ET T E director of education & MLS operations, Cape Fear Realtors • JA CKI E JOR DA N WELKER senior director, marketing & communications, Make-A-Wish Eastern NC • MEA GA N KA S CS A K communications director, Brunswick County • MORGANN KAUFFM AN program manager, A Safe Place • KA R EN LA GONELL-B US CH senior software engineer-team lead, Apiture • CHELSEA LLOY D lead production quality specialist, GE Aviation • C Y N T HI A MCB RIDE lead international transport specialist, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy • LA UR EN M CK E N ZI E executive director, Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity • A LI GH I ER Y M ENDOZ A senior study start-up & regulatory specialist, Syneos Health • M EGAN M ULLI NS VP, marketing & communications, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce • KATE OELSLAGER communications & outreach coordinator , New Hanover County • AMY PHILLIPS talent development partner, CastleBranch • DEA NNA R A B O project manager, Thomas Construction Group • SARAH RIVEN BAR K mobile integrated healthcare coordinator/captain, NHRMC • TESSA ROMANOWSKI architect/project manager, LS3P • R EB EKA H R OT H planning & land use director, New Hanover County • HOLLY SN IDER program director, PGY1 pharmacy residency, NHRMC • B E T H STANFI ELD litigation practice group leader & senior employment attorney, Forrest Firm • S A R A WARMU T H chief facilities officer, New Hanover County • M IC H ELLE WAT S ON marketing & communications director, Cape Fear Realtors • CATHY WRIGHT manager therapy services, Rehabilitation Services, NHRMC 6

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APRIL 2021

LEARN MORE AT

W I L M A S t o W AT C H . c o m


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

12 BREWING UP: Outer Dunes looks to open in May 29 LEADING THE FIELD: Leadership perspectives

36 BREAKING BARRIERS: Sheila Boles on making a mark

APRIL

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 info@capefearcrew.org

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

WILMAmag.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 cwa@ncawa.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 info@jlwnc.org

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

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photos by Karyn Millet/courtesy of Kemble Interiors and Rizzoli New York

INSPIRATION BY DESIGN

T

This month, Design NC and the Cameron Art Museum focus on design aesthetics with an online version of Design NC 2021. This year’s event, Modernism to Maximalism: Form and Function Reimagined, is April 29 and 30. It includes presentations from interior designers Celerie Kemble (right) and Thom Filicia, modernist architect Robert Gurney, and ornamental and architectural plaster craftsman Foster Reeve. Info and tickets: cameronartmuseum.org.

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MARCH 2021


photo c/o Will Page/Page Productions

YWCA NAMES WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT

The YWCA Lower Cape Fear held its thirty-fifth annual Women of Achievement Awards. Winners were: CAROLINE MORIN-GAGE, director of DistruptU for TRU Colors (Advocacy & Social Justice); VICTORIA VELAZCO, founder of VIDA Familiar Latina Magazine (Arts & Culture); RACHEL LEWIS HILBURN, senior producer and host of Coastline at WHQR Public Media (Business); ONYA GARDNER (above), dean of continuing education and workforce development for BCC (Education); MEBANE BOYD, director of the New Hanover County Resiliency Task Force (Health & Wellness); and QUANESHA MULLINS, founder and executive director of Port City Period (Public Service). CRYSTAL PELLOM, a mental health counselor at Coastal Horizons Center Inc., received the Rachel Freeman Unsung Hero award. UNCW student PEYTON THOMS earned the Trailblazer award. And, New Hanover High student ZENA BILLS and Ashley High student NOELIA LOPEZ ALVARADO were given Young Leader Awards. The YWCA gave its Lifetime Achievement Award this year to SHEILA BOLES (read more page 36).

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SKOBEL TO HEAD UP TRINITY LANDING

BONNIE SKOBEL was recently named executive director of Trinity Landing, an active senior living community under construction by Lutheran Services Carolinas. The 50-acre waterfront development is slated to include 184 units in its first phase – apartments and villas – with plans to open in 2022. Located around the 5000 block of Masonboro Loop Road on the Intracoastal Waterway, the $100 million project saw construction start in August. Skobel was one of the first staff members to be hired at Trinity Grove, Trinity Landing’s sister community. That skilled nursing facility opened in 2011. Initially a social worker, Skobel was named administrator of Trinity Grove in 2015. The idea for Trinity Landing began thirty-eight years ago with a donation of 30 acres on Masonboro Loop Road by Abba Lossen Crumpler and her niece Mae McFarland in memory of Capt. Tom and Annette Lossen and their children.

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

ENDOWMENT BOARD ADDS MEMBERS

KHADIJIA TRIBIÉ REID and EDELMIRA SEGOVIA joined the New Hanover Community Endowment board, which grew to thirteen members. The board announced last month that Tribié Reid and Segovia were chosen from the pool of thirty-four applicants who applied for the two seats when the process opened in February. “Reid and Segovia will join 11 other dedicated community members on the Endowment Board beginning March 11, and will enhance the board’s efforts in racial justice and equity, public health, and service to underserved communities,” the announcement stated. Physician Tribié Reid (above) is the pediatric medical director for MedNorth Community Health Center and vice chair of New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s pediatrics department. She also serves as the governor’s appointee on the North Carolina Partnership for Children’s board. Segovia is director of Centro Hispano at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Segovia is co-chair of the UNCW Latino Alliance of Southeastern North Carolina. She recently joined the founding team for the Latin American Business Council, a program out of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. The new endowment board is responsible for managing about $1.25 billion from proceeds of the sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health. The sale of the county-owned hospital closed February 1.

Have a suggestion for a local woman or group to spotlight? Email us: wilma@WILMAmag.com WILMAmag.com

APRIL 2021

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RESET A

BUTTON PROGRAM TEACHES LIFESTYLE IMPROVEMENTS by CHERYL L. SERRA photo by MICHAEL CLINE SPENCER

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program offered through New Hanover Regional Medical Center allows people to make lifestyle changes to improve their health. The Lifestyle Reset program uses evidence-based practices and is designed to reduce cardiovascular risk, control stress, and re-establish life balance, according to its website. HOLLY KONRADY (above) is the stress management specialist for the NHRMC intensive cardiac rehab program, using the Dr. Dean Ornish Heart Disease Reversal Program. The

program has been proven, in some instances, to reverse heart disease by working on four areas of a person’s life: what they eat, how they manage stress, how much they move, and how much love and support they have. NHRMC picked it up as another program to offer under the roof of cardiac rehab offerings. They created a modified version, the Reset program, in which participants didn’t have to have a heart attack to get in it. At NHRMC, Konrady works with CALLAN WALL, registered dietitian, and HANNAH FRICK, exercise physiologist, to lead the Lifestyle Reset program. The trio and physicians IVAN DAVID and TIMOTHY WINSLOW also participate in educational talks on topics such as the science of stress, nutrition basics, benefits of exercise, and myriad other health-related topics. The program began last winter, and the first cohort of participants finished before the pandemic caused them to stop the offering for a year. The second cohort began in early March. The cohort currently has a maximum capacity of eighteen people to ensure social distancing, and everyone wears a mask. A new group will start in May. Participants are initially assessed and then split up into two groups to cycle through the various topics addressed – exercise, stress management, and nutrition. Staff consider things such as how to best meet their needs, including what sorts of equipment they could use for exercise given their health. They’re asked to track their activity and progress. Each week, they do a weigh-in to ensure they’re not losing weight if that isn’t their goal and to measure their loss if it is their goal. KIM EDWARDS, of Wilmington, heard about the program from her brother-in-law, KEVIN EDWARDS. So, she, her husband, MARK, and Kevin signed up. She says they were at the point in their lives when they wanted to use a “jump-start” to get healthier.


They had known Konrady for years; Kim Edwards had taken aerobics from her some thirty years ago, she says. “It was a very good, well-rounded class that hit on everything,” Kim Edwards says of Reset. The stress management portion was particularly useful for her husband and brother-in-law, who own Atlantic Appliance & Hardware. And, while her husband had always exercised and played sports, she didn’t exercise regularly and she says she enjoyed the yoga and meditation. Kim Edwards says she loves to cook, particularly “good ole’ Southern cooking,” so the cooking sessions were a huge learning curve for her. “We just really enjoyed it, and it was something we could do together at night,” she says. The three of them have tried to stick with the healthy improvements they’ve made, too. Konrady says a wide variety of ages are represented in the groups that have participated. The younger participants in the first cohort appear to be more interested in weight loss, while the older ones had more of a general interest in understanding more about their health. The participants in the current cohort seem to need more help with stress management, which may be due in part to the pandemic and the changes it’s caused in their lives. And then, there are those who have health conditions they are trying to move past. Most participants have a general interest in health and wellness. Insurance covers the cost of the program for heart patients. For others, there is a cost for the program, which runs for eight weeks and includes two, two-hour sessions a week. Konrady says it’s up to individuals to care for their health and well-being. “You can hire trainers and dieticians, and you can read books and go online and do any number of programs to educate yourself about what might be the best thing for you. But ultimately, it’s your responsibility,” she says. “I know that it’s difficult to make change … that is what stress is, it’s change. And, people typically don’t like to change. This program is a program of change. We’re looking to help you transform yourself.” W WILMAmag.com

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BREWING

UP

OUTER DUNES LOOKS TO OPEN IN MAY

by JESSICA MAURER photo by MEGAN DEITZ

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usband-and-wife team PHIL and ELLIE MABE, both originally from the Cape Fear region, have returned to the Port City after a decade in the Lake Tahoe area to fulfill their dream of opening a brewery and event space in their hometown. The Mabes have leased the Market Street property that formerly housed Liberty Tavern and plan to open Outer

Dunes Brewing in May. Having met at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where they regularly experimented with home brewing throughout their college years, the couple moved to Lake Tahoe after graduation to enjoy life among the area’s popular ski resorts. Ellie Mabe quickly worked her way up the ranks of a catering company, that in addition to catering a wide range of events also operated several restaurants that she was a part of opening. It wasn’t the career track she initially anticipated, having earned a degree in mathematics, but she grew to love the challenge of planning and executing events in all types of settings. “I grew up watching my mother plan amazing parties and events,” she says. “I know my love for event coordination came from tagging along to all the various planning meetings and stunning events she planned. I am a planner by heart, so it was a natural transition for me to start planning events in such a beautiful place like Lake Tahoe.” While Phil Mabe continued to hone his brewing skills at several Tahoe-area breweries, the restaurant group that Ellie Mabe worked with eventually decided to open a brewery of its own, and the couple was asked to become partners in the new venture. Phil was a brewer at South of North Brewing in South Lake Tahoe, while Ellie served as general manager. “I really enjoy the process of starting a new business,” she says. “From cleaning and repairing an old building to shopping for vendors and new products. I like to keep my finger on the pulse of every aspect of the company from day one. Similar to event planning, when you open a new location, you get the opportunity to try to think of all of the possible outcomes and hurdles and then make plans to navigate those challenges.” Phil Mabe would remain with South of North Brewing for a couple of years before moving to a brewing position with one of Nevada’s most highly acclaimed breweries, Revision Brewing Company. Now the Mabes are gearing up to open Outer Dunes, which will start as a nanobrewery, brewing just a couple of beers and serving a variety of drafts from oth-


er local breweries, as well as wine and champagne. The Mabes plan to eventually erect another building on the property that will allow for the installation of a 10-barrel brewing system. “It’s going to take some time to get the full brewery operation going, which will be built on the back half of the property,” Ellie Mabe says. “But, it’s going to be worth the wait in order to preserve the beauty of the existing structures and landscaping. We love the space as it is, the character of the building, and the woodwork. When the beer garden and oak trees are lit up with twinkle lights, it’s magical outside.” Ellie Mabe anticipates hosting a range of events at the property from birthdays and bachelor and bachelorette parties, to rehearsal dinners and weddings, as well as corporate retreats and seminars. “I love to work with the clients to see their amazing events come to life,” she says. “It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to know that your hard work makes a dream become a reality.” The Mabes also plan to host ticketed events such as outdoor concerts, beer yoga, themed parties, and paint-andsip classes. While event planning and brewing are her passions, Ellie Mabe says she continues to rely on her math degree to help with everything from bookkeeping to working with Phil on inventory tracking, flavor profiles, and water chemistry. “I love to make spreadsheets,” she says. “Phil gives me the details he records, and I turn them into charts and graphs that can give him the feedback he needs to dial in a recipe.” It’s this type of teamwork that Ellie and Phil Mabe have been crafting since their early days of experimental brewing. Outer Dunes is an expression of their desire to work together to create memorable experiences for others, whether it be a relaxing afternoon at the brewery with friends, a laid-back setting for team collaboration, or a special milestone celebration. W WILMAmag.com

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ALL

I

Business

f we’re playing the association game, there are two images emblazoned on most minds upon hearing the words “women’s suit”: Chanel’s classic tailored separates and the ’80s padded power shoulder jacket. Both have a valid stake in the fashion hall of fame, but how best to update those very different visions for 2021?

A perfectly tailored suit or vest always means business, but your main plan of attack right now is the blazer. A ubiquitous trend, it’s the nuances that make all the difference here. While last year called for structure, this season’s blazer has more of a relaxed fit, comfortably upgrading the loungewear lifestyle we’ve been living for some time now. You’ve even got a few silhouettes to choose from. A cropped blazer is the most versatile and easy to throw on over a T-shirt for a quick look boost. Want to push it a little further? An oversized blazer is the ultimate in relaxed style. (We see you ’80s!) And possibly the most exciting trend to emerge this season is the collarless blazer. Yep, we’re stripping the lapels for a fresher, sleeker look, great for showcasing that new impulse-buy necklace or scarf. So, whether you’re working from home, venturing back to office life, or just out for an afternoon stroll, try reaching for a blazer instead of your usual cardigan this spring. I’ll bet it suits you. W

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ST YLED BY DREWE SMITH PHOTOS BY MELISSA HEBERT I N T R O B Y N I N A B AY S C O U R N O Y E R

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Beehive Blondes pastel rainbow illustration SHIRT, rainbow clay EARRINGS by local artist Cheers, Carly, pale-lime linen PANTS, and 1960s black cropped BLAZER, all available from Jess James + Co.; BAG by Ruby Assata

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1970s silk woven boyfriend BLAZER, “Thanks It’s Vintage” signature Jess James + Co. SHIRT, and hot pink TROUSERS, all available from Jess James + Co.

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Montaldo’s black SUIT with red poppy print, vintage silk printed SCARF, and 1960s red silk CLUTCH, all available from Jess James + Co. 1960s Swinging London red wool VEST with gold buttons, 1980s Adolfo wool SKIRT (part of suit), and 1950s twotoned oversized BAG with scalloped detail, all available from Jess James + Co.; white BLOUSE (stylist’s own)

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Summer Kids@CAMp Registration Now Open

Check out our website for our latest offerings for in-person half-day art camps for children ages 5-12.

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HAIR & MAKEUP: Meraki Beauty WARDROBE: Jess James + Co. LOCATION: Common Desk, 226 North Front Street CameronArtMuseum.org • 3201 South 17th Street • Wilmington, NC 28412 • (910) 395-5999

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ALWAYS ON WOMEN ARE OFTEN IN THE HOT SEAT WHEN IT COMES TO WORKING THROUGH COVID

F

by Jenny Callison | illustration by Brianne Wright

lexibility. Creativity. Deep breaths. Fresh air and exercise. Family support. Inhome care.

These are among the keys to weathering COVID-19 restrictions that several working mothers have found over the past year-plus. “It’s constantly, every day, ‘How do I manage this today?’” says YVETTE FERREIRA, the mother of two elementary-school-aged children. Ferreira is used to working from home: She’s an independent contractor who provides business consulting worldwide. But, a situation with both kids and husband home around the clock was new – and challenging. “I try to make sure they can stay on their schedules,” she says of her fifth- and second-graders. “It’s a balancing act.” LISA LEATH understands that quest for balance. The owner of Leath HR Group, she hears from both employers and employees who are trying to navigate a world made unpredictable by COVID-19. She’s also the mother of a four- and a six-year-old. The pandemic’s effect on working parents – especially women – has brought critical workforce issues to the fore, she notes. “White-collar organizations in Wilmington typically are taking care of working moms,” she says. “They typically have policies in place that allow for some type of flexibility and support for working moms. Blue-collar jobs is where we need to focus.” At issue is how to support the companies with a

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blue-collar workforce so they, in turn, can support their workers, she says. “What would be helpful if (coronavirus restrictions) last longer is that companies who employ minimum wage and under $15-per-hour workers would do what they can for moms. They could provide time flexibility,” Leath says. “Under $15 per hour, there is no flexibility for women. The government is not going to do anything for them right away. Industries that employ folks in that vulnerable population need to be taking a hard look and asking ‘Could I afford to do something?’ It wouldn’t necessarily be financial.” Leath worries about the ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) that might result from month after month of COVID: the family pressures, the inconsistent schooling, the financial uncertainties, and the children left alone by parents who must show up for work. A February 15 story on NPR’s All Things Considered news program pointed to the pandemic’s dire impacts on working mothers, especially African American and Latina women. “More than 2 million women left the labor force in 2020,” the story stated. “Women are now at the lowest workforce participation level since 1988. Job losses in female-dominated industries like hospitality have forced many women out of work, and others, faced with the difficulty of balancing childcare with paid work, have quit.” DEENA BELL, a dental hygienist who has juggled work and the needs of her two school-aged children throughout the pandemic, counts herself among the lucky ones. She and her husband each have one day off per week, have hired a friend to take care of the kids one day a week, and have relied on family to cover the other two days when their fourth- and fifth-graders were learning virtually full time. But, she knows others who are really struggling. “I have a friend who is a single mom,” Bell says. “She’s a beautician, and when the pandemic hit,


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the salon where she worked closed down. When it reopened, she lost her job because she had to stay home with her son. She has no family here to help her.” Even though professional women know there are many working mothers in much more difficult circumstances, that doesn’t change the fact that every day can be a challenge for them. On a personal front, Leath worries about the amount of time she spends on electronic devices when she’s around her children. “You are on around the clock, especially if you are in a managerial position, and especially if you span time zones,” she says. “Your kids see you on your computer, on your cell phone, and they think, ‘Mom’s not paying attention to me.’ My kindergartner is on her laptop a lot because I need her to be quiet. You start re-evaluating your priorities in life.” PARKER WILSON, owner of a small business consulting firm (turn to page 47 for more on Wilson’s work), says with a laugh that it’s been hard to be an adult in a year-plus of coronavirus. Both she and

her husband – a PPD manager working with Moderna vaccine trials – have been working from home, an intense experience with a three-year-old daughter and infant twin boys, one born with respiratory problems. The Wilsons tried a variety of preschool and in-home care arrangements. A few months into the pandemic, as Wilson’s client load ballooned, and her husband was swamped with work, they pulled their daughter out of preschool, took a “big gulp,” and decided to pay for full-time, in-home care for their brood. Even with full-time help, life has been a challenge. “We work hard, and there’s no letup,” she says. “At the end of the day, we walk downstairs to crying children. Our house is a wreck; there is never a moment to breathe. We wonder, when is this going to end? But, then we feel guilty: He’s employed, I’m employed; our kids are doing well.” There are silver linings. Wilson says she and her husband are “wildly grateful” for what they have, and

Spring Cleaning? Don’t throw away.

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they are learning to navigate the more challenging aspects of their lives. Ferreira, who in normal times is also a fitness instructor, uses exercise and fresh air as an antidote to restlessness and crankiness. On days when school is in-person, she and her kids bike to and from school, even in cold weather. Bell says she and her husband have “actually enjoyed” their children’s remote learning experience because they could see what and how their children learn and can better guide them in the future. Leath is celebrating her six-year-old’s return to something like normal. “It’s the best thing ever,” she says, “K-5 going back to school full time.” W

THE NEW NORMAL Lisa Leath, one of the speakers at the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s upcoming Power Breakfast on post-COVID trends, will talk more about workplace shifts. The event, starting at 8 a.m. April 13, will be broadcast on Facebook.com/WilmingtonBiz.


keep it local WILMA’S

SPONSORS’ CONTENT

MIRROR, MIRROR

Featured vendor, Tin & Oak, has a whole wall dedicated to unique mirrors, at Port City Peddler. Their multi-vendor store at 6213 Market Street 7 days a week. They have a large selection of new arrivals, from candles to vintage furniture, decor and more. Visit their website at PortCityPeddler.com or check out their Facebook @PcPeddlers

HAND MADE & ECO FRIENDLY HANDBAGS Discover beautiful, eco-friendly bags and totes for a unique statement piece to take with you anywhere. Find these beautiful, hand-made bags and other unique gifts and home decor in store at Big Sky Shop + Studio or online at www.bigskyshoponline.com!

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Give personality to your home with antique furniture and eclectic, one-ofa-kind finds from Madie’s Finds. True quality antiques like below’s featured find, an Eastlake Victorian Halltree. Beautiful vintage clothing, accessories and more can be found at Madie’s Finds, located at 2825 Castle Hayne Road, Unit 6 in Wilmington or visit their Facebook @madiesfinds.

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For office parties, birthday parties or even parties of one, Crumbl Cookies offers fast, fresh and warm gourmet cookies for takeout, curbside pickup or delivery. With new flavors on the menu every week, you’ll want to be sure to stop by their new location at 311 S. College Road in Wilmington and pick up a pink box full of over-sized delicious cookies. Download the Crumbl app or visit www.crumblcookies.com to schedule delivery or curbside pickup! Open Mon-Thu 8am-10pm and Fri-Sat 8am-midnight.

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Leading the

FIELD

by Lynda Van Kuren

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early every day we see women assuming leadership roles in business, government, sports, education, and other fields. Even so, many women still wonder how to gain entry into leadership and how taking a leadership position will impact their lives. To answer those questions, WILMA spoke with three area women to get their insights into becoming and being an effective leader.

KATIE SMITH

DONYELL ROSEBORO JUNE GUNTER

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Donyell

photo by Terah Wilson

ROSEBORO

INTERIM CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER, UNCW

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oseboro serves as the interim chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, helping coordinate the university’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and policies across campus. “There are ten staff members and a host of graduate assistants and work-study students in my unit,” she says. “I’ve also served as the director of the education department’s professional development system, associate dean of teacher education and outreach, and department chair.”

Tell us how you transitioned into leadership.

Roseboro: “If there’s a need for a leader, and I think I have the skill set and vision for that position, I’ll do it. I know opportunities may only come once, so I have acted on opportunities without waiting until I think I’m more qualified or I gain some other skill. I’ve also honed my leadership skills. I observe good leaders to learn from them; I read books on leadership like The Coaching Habit – my favorite; and I’ve (done) leadership programs at UNCW and Western Carolina University.”

What personal quality makes you a leader? Roseboro: “I take the initiative. If I see a problem, I address it and find collaborators to help me address it. I’m the first to say, ‘This is how I can help or contribute.’”

What do you enjoy about being a leader?

Roseboro: “I love to affect change. As a leader, I want to cultivate possibilities. I also like being in positions where there is a major challenge because I can bring people together to transcend that challenge and create possibilities.”

What is your leadership style?

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Roseboro: “I am direct, compassionate, creative, and questioning. Because I find roles that are challenging, I ask a lot of questions to get at the heart of the problem. I also listen to and think creatively with people, drawing on their expertise and experiences inside and outside higher ed. Then, I determine a direction to take.”

What has been most challenging about being a leader?

Roseboro: “Not taking any response personally. I learned people are often dealing with some incredibly difficult situations. What may seem like a personal attack is never, ever that.”

What do you want to accomplish as a leader?

Roseboro: “I want everyone who works with me to believe they can be the change. If I fall off a cliff, I want my team to keep fighting for the goal we established.”

How do you inspire people?

Roseboro: “First, people need to be heard. Second, people need to trust you. If people trust you, they will do what needs to be done. They may ask a few questions along the way, but they’re not going to ask questions to disrupt the process. They will ask questions that are progressive.”

What advice do you have for those who want to become leaders?

Roseboro: “Be clear about what matters to you, what your team’s purpose is, and who your team is. You can’t do the work alone, so know who to call on inside and outside your organization to nurture you and move the work forward. Also, be willing to make decisions alone. After you have gotten input from others, you may have to make difficult decisions in solitude. Then you must stand by your decisions, knowing you made them for the greater good.”

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photo by Aris Harding

June

GUNTER

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, TEACHINGHORSE

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unter has worked in the leadership development field for thirty-five years. She now runs TeachingHorse from Brunswick County and has partner equestrian facilities across the country and Europe. “While working in the corporate world, I found that leaders had to choose between family and work, and I set off to find better ways of thinking about leadership,” she says. “To my surprise, my teacher was a Yani, a horse. She deconstructed everything I thought I knew about leadership. I founded TeachingHorse to share what I had learned.”

What are the leadership principles you teach at TeachingHorse?

Gunter: “There are four: 1. Leaders have to have attention. They must know themselves, see each team member’s potential, and know what is going on around them. If a leader doesn’t meet any of these criteria, people lose confidence in her. 2. Leaders must choose a direction in the midst of uncertainty. To do so, they must listen to their team members, because they have knowledge and awareness the leader doesn’t have. Then, the leader uses her team’s collective knowledge to set a direction. 3. Leaders must focus their energy on the direction they set and respond to situations with the energy level that matches the need. 4. There must be congruence between what leaders think and say. This creates trust. Leaders should be honest about what they do and do not know and invite people to help them determine how to address a situation.”

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What other leadership lessons have you learned from horses? Gunter: “There are many leaders in a herd – or team – who share accountability. Also, rest isn’t an option or luxury or selfish. It’s vital to the health of any leader.”

How do women respond to these principles?

Gunter: “It’s very legitimizing for women to realize the lead mare sets the direction for the herd. Mother Nature never questions the value of her female leaders or ignores 50 percent of her resources. Most women understand the principles and capabilities of shared leadership because it feels natural to them.”

What skills do women need to develop to become leaders?

Gunter: “Leaders have to have passion. They must also realize that business or technical skills won’t differentiate them. What separates a leader is her ability to bring together a network of people to accomplish something. That means building and sustaining a network of people who enjoy working with her.”

What has being a leader enabled you to do?

Gunter: “It allowed me to live my purpose, to bring the world a new way to think about leadership. Leadership allows you to make a scalable difference. We’ve touched the lives of more than 5,000 people.”

What advice do you have for future leaders?

Gunter: “Walk your own path and trust your vision. If you don’t have a vision, find a vision that matters to you and be a part of it. You can lead from the middle or from behind as well as the front.”

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photo by Terah Wilson

Katie

SMITH

SVP OF FINANCE & OPERATIONS, nCINO

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mith leads the finance and operations teams at Wilmington-based fintech company nCino.

“My team has twelve employees who have responsibility for financial planning and analytics, strategic finance, operations and facilities, and ad hoc – areas such as payouts for the Childcare Stipend program during COVID. Plus, we have consultants who assist with finance and operations,” says Smith, who also serves on the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.

How did your career path lead to a leadership position?

Smith: “When I joined nCino, the company was small, so I wore a lot of different hats. During my interview, I expressed an interest in gaining exposure to other areas of the business. I got what I asked for! At any moment, I was finance, HR, facilities, operations, construction management, etc.”

How would you describe your leadership style?

Smith: “I seek input from my team before making business decisions, and I give team members the freedom to work on their responsibilities independently. I also understand my team members’ strengths and weaknesses, which helps me help them become better professionals. I like to give folks the opportunity to take on challenging tasks that further develop their skill sets as well as give them exposure to all levels of the organization.”

What have you learned from being a leader?

Smith: “You cannot be the expert in everything, so

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hire smart/motivated people and give them the opportunity to succeed. Your team’s success is your success. Lead by example. Be emotionally aware. Business is about relationships between people – be sensitive to different points of view and different backgrounds. Learn from the past. It’s okay to make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.”

How has being a leader changed you?

Smith: “I struggle with no longer being the owner of a process/function, but I enjoy supporting my team members who are the experts. My role as a leader is to support my team, listen to their needs/concerns, and eliminate roadblocks to achieving their goal. Being a leader has also allowed me to think in a more strategic manner.”

What do you find most challenging about being a leader?

Smith: “Going from being a doer to a manager/ leader took some adjustment. As we scaled the organization and brought in subject-matter experts to run various aspects of the business, I had to learn to let go and be comfortable with being less tactical and more strategic. My focus turned to collaboration and learning from the amazing people around me.”

What advice would you give future leaders?

Smith: “There is a difference between a leader and a boss. A leader shares the spotlight and is comfortable crediting others. • Never stop improving. • Lead by example and serve as a role model to others. • Be passionate. • Listen and communicate effectively.” W

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BREAKING BARRIERS by Shannon Rae Gentry

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f her very long list of achievements, accolades, and honors in athletics, SHEILA BOLES is hesitant to take much of the credit herself. In fact, much of her story is prefaced by “The first woman to ...” before Boles became an award-winning athletic director. Some of the most important lessons learned as an athlete and coach – passion, practice, preparedness, perseverance – still inform her work and leadership today. Boles says, however, it was really a combination of having a supportive family and strides in gender equality that set her on a record-breaking trajectory. “I have had the opportunity to be the first female to do many things. I attribute that to four things: my parents, timing, recognizing opportunity, and

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working hard, especially when no one is looking,” says Boles, who last month received the YWCA’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Boles graduated from high school in 1972 thinking she would never play basketball again. Yet, that summer, Title IX was passed in June 1972, and Boles started her career as a Seahawk on University of North Carolina Wilmington’s first women’s basketball team. She received the first women’s basketball scholarship the following year. “It was more than a young woman could imagine at the time,” she recalls. Boles picked up an All-State title in basketball, but she also was an accomplished player on UNCW’s first women’s volleyball team and AIAW Women’s State Championship Volleyball team. Boles would continue to establish herself as a leader in Cape Fear sports for decades to come as an award-winning coach for girls basketball at Laney, as well as the Trask Middle School’s boys team.


By 1989, she was hired to coach boys basketball at Hoggard High School, where she picked up a couple more AAAA Coach of the Year Awards, and now the school’s gym stands with her name. When Boles was named Hoggard’s athletic director, she became the first female AD in the county. “I wish my athletes knew how much they had taught me and how at the age of sixty-seven I am a much better person because of them,” Boles says. “They help put life in perspective. When you coach you are in contact with players that come from different backgrounds, and that opens your eyes to the realities of life.”

Tell us about a significant mentor or leader in your life that made an impact on you and your approach to leadership?

photo by Stephaine Savas Photography

Boles: “There is no question that my parents were the two most significant mentors and leaders in my life. They mentored me and lead me by the example they set for me. I think the most important thing about my parents was the way they treated people with respect and kindness. There so many attributes that stand out in my mind about my parents, but the one big thing that stands out in my mind is my parents gave their ‘time.’ Time may be the most precious thing that you can ever give a person.”

For you, are there any notable differences between working with female and male athletes? Do they sometimes come in with inherently different perspectives or attitudes? Boles: “It’s been my experience that there is very little difference in coaching boys versus girls. Both boys and girls are very coachable; they’re both very competitive; they’re both very committed to all aspects of the game that makes them successful. There are two things I have observed that are different: confidence and criticism. Boys seem to have more swagger and confidence in their playing ability. But, with nurturing and time, girls develop that same level of confidence as boys. I think girls can personalize criticism, even when it’s directed at the entire team. When you criticize a boys team, they view it as someone else’s fault. Taking criticism WILMAmag.com

historical photos c/o UNCW Athletics

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is the biggest difference I’ve seen, but I think that is changing now, after fifty years of women’s sports in schools.”

How have lessons learned as an athlete and coach informed your work as NCHSAA athletic director? Boles: “I think being a coach for many years before I became an athletic director gave me the ability to see the big picture. I had the insight of what coaches needed to be successful and to do what was best for their student-athletes. Communicating, being flexible, supporting your coaches, having the right people in the right places, keeping it all in perspective, and having fun, and making the tough calls are just a few of the things you need to do to be a good administrator.”

What do you think people who’ve followed you – players, employees, mentees – would say about you as a leader? What’s your leadership style? Boles: “You never know what people think, but I hope that my players would think I was a coach that cared about them as a person and that I invested in them. I don’t really think of leadership as a style, I think of it as a behavior. There are so many things that I think makes a good leader: Communicate. Admit when you are wrong. Be a part of the team. Give credit where credit is due. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Be brutally honest. Listen. Be confident. Be prepared. Be passionate, be persistent, integrity, and discipline. Lead by example.”

Any advice for student-athletes or even coaches getting started in their careers? Boles: “I have two main points to anyone getting started in sports: The number one reason kids play sports is because it’s fun. The number one reason why they stop playing is because it’s not fun anymore. As a coach, if you care more about your players than you care about the sport you will be successful.” W

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DIGNITY MEMORIAL

UNIQUE WAYS TO ALWAYS REMEMBER LOVED ONES

D

eciding upon a permanent place of remembrance for a loved one is not only an important part of honoring their memory but provides a place for family and friends to pay tribute for generations to come. While many people still make the choice to have a traditional ground or aboveground burial, cremation has been increasing in popularity over the years. Many find this option appealing for the convenience, lower cost versus a traditional burial, and flexibility to keep or scatter ashes during a memorial service. Unlike a traditional burial, cremation offers flexibility for the funeral service to be planned weeks or even months after a loved one has passed. This provides much needed time for organizing the service, selecting thoughtful passages, photos, and music. The rush and stress of planning a funeral in a short amount of time to accommodate a swift burial is removed when choosing

cremation. Friends and family who are under geographical or financial constraints may not be able to attend a quickly planned funeral. Cremation offers time for individuals facing these circumstances to have the necessary time to attend a service planned well in advance. Some individuals prefer cremation so that they can bring cremains home with them and display a custom urn on a mantel or other special place in their home. Many times, this option helps living friends and family members feel connected to the loved one who has passed and brings a daily sense of remembrance. Alternatively, and sometimes after many years, some people make the choice to transfer cremains to sacred spaces. Scattering ceremonies are popular with people who have a strong connection to specific places, like the ocean, a special lake, landmark, or even outer space! Dignity Memorial can help plan special scattering ceremonies that best pay tribute to each unique

individual – and that includes the option to have cremains launched into space. These special ceremonies offer a chance for loved ones to be together, share memories, and peacefully reflect. During these ceremonies all or some of the ashes can be scattered. Some also choose to complement a scattering ceremony by retaining some of the cremains. Dignity Memorial offers a wide variety of options for this, such as a small urn or keepsake jewelry that house a tiny amount of cremains. The selections are endless making each individual memorialization unique. For some, reflecting in a tranquil setting where the cremains of a loved one have their own space may be more fitting. While burying cremains is an option, a cremation niche is an above ground burial space. A cremation niche can be small, large, public, or private. The space consists of a wall of small cutouts that house the cremains in their custom urns. The front of the cremation

niche can be enclosed bronze or granite, but individuals can also choose glass fronts which allow the urn to be viewed alongside small mementos, if desired. Planning how best to memorialize a loved one comes with many decisions. The team at Dignity Memorial is here to help guide you through the process and educate clients about the vast array of options available to them. Whether for an immediate need or preplanning, Dignity Memorial is ready to answer any questions you may have. Michael Higgins is Sales Manager for Dignity Memorial®, which cares for more than 300,000 families each year through its network of more than 2,000 providers throughout North America. Learn more at www.dignitymemorial. com or call Greenlawn Memorial Park, Oleander Memorial Gardens and Coble Funeral and Cremation Services at Greenlawn Memorial Park, (910) 799-1686.

910.799.1686 | DIGNITYMEMORIAL.COM

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H OTWO R X

HOTWORX BLENDS FITNESS TECHNOLGY WITH FAMILY FEEL

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or franchisees Craig Cadogan and Danny Richani, building their new 24-hour infrared HOTWORX fitness studio on Gordon Road the right way for the Wilmington community is essential to its success. “We’re focused on making it a personal, family focused gym because it’s a franchise we truly love,” Craig said. HOTWORX features 7x9 foot semi-private infrared saunas that maximize the heat absorption benefits of infrared radiant energy, which strengthens and activates the regenerative process in the human body. Craig first discovered infrared workouts on a business trip in Texas, at his hotel gym. He checked it out, and felt amazing after his workout, even with his Type 1

Diabetes. “My sugar levels are usually crazy when I travel, but everything was great after just a 15 minute session,” Craig said. He explored the concept more and soon realized how infrared could be a game changer in people’s lives. HOTWORX differs from offerings at other gyms like hot yoga, for example, which is usually done with convection heat (turning up the room temperature to make the air warmer). At HOTWORX, the radiant heat of infrared doesn’t heat up the room like a stifling spa because it doesn’t heat the air —it heats the body, helping with recovery from sport injuries, burning calories, detoxing toxins from the liver and kidneys and pain relief. “We’re different from a big box gym. We’ve got a

totally different vibe, more for people who want to burn more calories in less time and detoxify in a quicker and more impactful workout,” Craig explained. Most HOTWORX classes are 15 or 30 minutes long, taught by a virtual instructor certified in the specific training whether it be pilates, yoga, core, or cycling, among many others that are rotated on a monthly basis. HOTWORX also provides members with access to the FX Zone with weights, bands, ropes, and other equipment for functional training exercises and routines before, after, or in-between infrared workout sessions. The HOTWORX facility is staffed during normal business hours and open 24 hours a day, with app-

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based and personal safety devices for access control and medical emergencies. HOTWORX is actively accepting new members; to tour the facility and sign-up, stop by 6756 Gordon Road, Suite 150 and check out the HOTWORX Facebook page at facebook.com/ hotworxwilmingtongordonroad. HOTWORX is a virtually instructed exercise program created for users to experience the many benefits of infrared heat absorption, while completing a 30-minute isometric workout or 15-min High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. To find out more about our innovative programs and facility please contact a member of our HOTWORX team today at 910.832.9679.


MARKRAFT CABINETS

ADDING WARMTH BY INCORPORATING OUTDOOR ELEMENTS INDOORS

S

pending time outside makes most of us feel refreshed and peaceful. Bringing those natural elements into our homes helps create tranquility and warmth that pairs perfectly with any existing design. By borrowing only a few ingredients from our natural surroundings, you can effortlessly add a comfortable outdoor feel to any space of your home. In recent years, an all-white kitchen or bathroom was all the rage. And while this design might still appeal to some homeowners, making a few small changes can add warmth and balance to stark white spaces. Adding wood elements into these spaces can help break up the monotone look. Consider swapping out a portion of your white kitchen cabinets, like a pantry or island, for a shade of wood grain instead. Natural wood like warm honey, white oak, or a

deep espresso will add stunning contrast to your kitchen. Another way to add a bit of warmth to your kitchen is by adding a wood butcher block countertop over your kitchen island. It is a terrific way to warm up your space while keeping things feeling natural. And don’t feel like all of your countertops must follow suit if you do add a wood butcher block -- breaking out of the matchy-matchy designs we’ve become accustomed to is key here. Using two different countertop materials and colors that complement each other makes your design oneof-a-kind and unique to your style. Incorporating open shelving in kitchen design plans has been popular in recent years, and it seems that this trend is hanging around for a while. More and more homeowners want to add at least a few open shelves into their kitchen

designs to add visual interest and to display anything from their favorite china teacups, beloved cookbooks, or their favorite serving dishes. Adding some outdoor home décor, like plants, rocks, or decorative bottles of sand are wonderful options for open shelving as they can easily display these pieces of nature. When selecting open shelving, look for a natural finish that showcases the beauty of the natural wood grain. It will ensure that the warmth you are envisioning will shine through. Our bathrooms are another perfect place to incorporate the warmth of nature. Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with the perfect wood grain bathroom vanity. Think about playing off the shade of your new vanity by adding a natural stone shower that complements the wood grain color of your vanity. Using natural stone adds a rustic texture that only

nature can create. Be mindful of the irregular, natural patterns and shapes within your stone choice when attempting to add warmth, as too much precision within the stone will make your added stone design feel artificial. Feel like getting creative with some of these ideas to warm up your kitchen or bathroom? Schedule an appointment with one of Markraft’s talented designers today! They’re excited to have the opportunity to start creating a design plan just for you. President and General Manager Cee Edwards and his team of talented designers invites you to visit Markraft’s Design Studio, 2705 Castle Creek Lane, just off Castle Hayne Road. Markraft’s professional kitchen and bath designers consult by appointment.

910.793.0202 | MARKRAFT.COM WILMA .com WILMAmag mag.com

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MCKEE HOMES

MCKEE HOMES BRINGS NEW COMMUNITIES AND MORE TO THE COAST New 2020 Collection

The Espree Collection

New Coastal Communities

McKee Homes is excited to announce the release of the new 2020 Floorplan Collection. The collection includes the most popular home plans with improvements and updates today’s homebuyers want to see. During 2020, recommendations and feedback from buyers, Realtors, construction, and sales were examined to continuously improve upon McKee Homes floorplans, thus designating them the 2020 Floorplans. The leadership team at McKee Homes worked feverishly to incorporate feedback not only regarding look and flow of spaces, but also increased opportunities to offer upgraded lighting options and current new home trends that buyers are looking for. This process has allowed McKee Homes to give customers more of what they want without the extra cost of features and options they don’t need.

The McKee Homes Espree Collection brings affordability to Wilmington. This new series of homes offers intelligently designed floorplans with open concepts and versatile layouts that are perfect for entertaining. Starting in the mid $200’s, the Espree floorplans range from 1,512 to 2,186 square feet, offer 3-4 bedrooms with 2.5 baths and 1 or 2 car garages. Each Espree floorplan has different front elevations to choose from and a large selection of exterior color options. The personalization of each home continues in the McKee Homes Leland design studio where buyers can choose interior details and finishes. This brand-new collection of cost-effective single-family homes are currently available in the coastal community of New South Bridge, nestled just outside of Wilmington in Bolivia, NC.

McKee Homes continues to invest in the North Carolina coastal region. Current Wilmington area neighborhoods include Bellaport and two active adult communities: The Courtyards at Scotts Hill Village and Mallory Retreat. Additional new communities now open include Seaside Bay and New South Bridge. Seaside Bay, located in Supply, NC, is a beautiful wooded, gated new home community with direct access to the Lockwood Folly River from the community boat launch. This is a family-friendly community with outdoor living in mind including a community fire pit, gas grill, and gazebo. New South Bridge is a family-friendly new home community just off NC 211 on Old Lennon Rd SE in Bolivia, NC. This amenity-rich community includes a pool with a state-of-the-art clubhouse, boat storage area, scenic walking trails, and a 9-hole golf course!

Two more communities, Colbert Place & Woodlands at Echo Farms are scheduled to open later this year and are currently registering VIPs on the website. McKee Homes is proud to build communities in the NC coastal region and looks forward to building Life Changing Moments for coastal homebuyers. Jennifer Bynum is the Marketing Manager for McKee Homes. Jennifer has a passion for marketing and has been in real estate for more than a decade. After earning her business degree from ECU, Jennifer worked for two of the country's top national homebuilders as a Marketing Manager in Raleigh. Jennifer spent the last 5 years as a VP of Marketing for a land development company, working on master planned communities across the country.

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PATRIOT ROOFING DRONE INSPECTIONS

SIMPLIFY ROOF MAINTENANCE

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rone technology has been increasingly popular and carries over into many different industries – including roof maintenance and repair. This technology allows homeowners and property managers to view areas of their roof that they might not otherwise get to see. The team at Patriot Roofing is equipped with this technology and provides pictures and videos to their clients after each drone roof inspection. Clients can view any damage and have a better understanding of what repairs need to be made. Drones can be especially helpful when potential insurance claims are on the line. The team at Patriot Roofing can easily record pictures and video of any damage and send it directly to the insurance agent to start the repair or replacement process. When dealing with a damaged roof, this small convenience can make all the difference. Before and after pictures of a new roof project are also one of the perks of this technology. At Patriot Roofing, safety is a top priority. Using drone technology for roof inspections limits the amount of time roofing specialists must climb ladders and navigate steep roof pitches. Additionally, some roof areas that were previously inaccessible can now be seen efficiently and in detail, all while the inspectors are safe on the ground. Accuracy and efficiency are also priorities of Patriot Roofing that are supported by drone technology. Using drones to obtain accurate roof

measurements allows for more precise material calculations, thereby ensuring your roofing specialist have what they need when they need it. This process minimizes waste or delays associated with reorders – ultimately saving costs that impact your bottom line. Patriot Roofing makes their drone roof inspections convenient and reliable. You don’t have to be home when it’s conducted and, since drones can operate in the rain, most weather conditions won’t cancel your appointment either. The drone operator works outside your home to accumulate pictures and videos of your roof in a matter of minutes, and that’s it – inspection complete! The pictures and videos are then analyzed by the Patriot Roofing team and the results shared with the homeowner, along with the footage. Drone roof inspection technology also allows you to be as involved as you want to be in the process of preparing for a roof repair, whether you’re away on a trip, evacuated after a storm, or managing a second property from another state. Patriot Roofing will make your roof inspection footage available by e-mail or video conference, and can coordinate a remote review of the results with one of their roofing experts. In just a few minutes you can have your roof inspected by the team at Patriot Roofing for free, allowing you to enter hurricane season with the peace of mind and protection that a well-maintained roof offers your family and property.

Stephanie Bolton is the owner of Patriot Roofing Company, a female-owned and locally-operated roofing company serving the Cape Fear area. With over 20 years of experience serving homeowners, Patriot Roofing Company specializes in residential roofing, siding, gutters, and windows. Visit them online at, PatriotRoofer.com or call 910-218-0600.

910.218.0600 | PATRIOTROOFER.COM

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PLANTATION VILLAGE AT PLANTATION VILLAGE WE ARE #ALLABOUTYOU

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he strength and beauty of our community, Plantation Village, is represented in part by the stories of the women who reside here. Their achievements are numerous – listen to their stories.

#AllAboutCecilia Cecilia Corbett is a Wilmington native who went back to college to pursue a Master’s degree in Interior Design after her children left the house to pursue their own degrees. She ran a successful interior design firm for 17 years, in a time when this involved hours of hand-drawn concepts using a drafting board. A certified, professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Cecelia has four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She has been married for 66 years and can often be seen out walking the miles of campus walking paths.

#AllAboutR’Lou R’Lou Ellson is well-known as the volunteer conductor for the Plantation Village Singers. She produces a concert each quarter and manages the selections, the organization,

rehearsals, and productions. It is not surprising to learn that R’Lou has a background in administration that included coordinating volunteers for the American Red Cross, an organization she worked with for many years. Formerly a top-level executive, R’Lou traveled extensively, responding to disasters, assisting health and safety professionals as well as law enforcement. She felt very fortunate to be in a position that allowed her to help people and make a living at the same time but her job often required long hours, nights and weekends. This is partially why R’Lou decided to retire at 62 to spend more time with her three children, including her daughter, who is the host of WHQR’s Coastline Program.

#AllAboutAnn With a career in healthcare spanning 60 years, Ann Jessup can relate to the challenge of having to work long hours and juggle competing demands. Though she is quick to point out that she was only parttime for some of the years, she reduced her hours to care for her three children. A licensed nurse with a Master’s in Public Administration, Ann has spent the majority of her life caring for other people. This informed

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her efforts to start the second Medicare-certified hospice facility in New Jersey, and the first hospice center in Johnston County. Ann’s background includes volunteering as president of the board for the MidAtlantic Oncology Society, the New Jersey Hospice Association, and the Hospice Association of the Carolinas. Ann’s search for a Life Plan Community was informed by years of healthcare experience. She and her husband are North Carolina natives and knew they wanted to “return home.” Ann’s high standards for care and service narrowed the choices. We think their ultimate choice speaks volumes. If you would like to learn more about what makes Plantation Village a great place to live, please visit us at, www. PlantationVillageRC.com or like us on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/ PlantationVillageRC. Lisa Polanski is Marketing Director at Plantation Village, a non-profit continuing care retirement community that offers independent living on a 56-acre campus in Porters Neck, minutes from downtown Wilmington and area beaches. Residents enjoy first-class services in a wide variety of home styles, from oneand two-bedroom apartments to cottage homes and twobedroom villas. Plantation Village is managed by Life Care Services™, the nation’s second-largest senior care management company.


THEARTWORKS™

THE ART WORKS FOR THE ARTIST, THE ART LOVER, THE COMMUNITY, “ART WORKS!” theArtWorks™ 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 art 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, and more. Showcasing art and art-related events, 4th Friday Gallery Nights also include opening receptions, artist discussions, demonstrations, live music, wine, food, and other art-related activities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 4th Friday Gallery Nights have been suspended until later in 2021. theArtWorks™ also hosts specialty art events promoting performing and literary arts. One such event is: Speak Ya Peace, an opportunity for Poets and Musicians to showcase their thoughts and talents. 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. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has suspended 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, 910352-7077. 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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A LONGER

SEASON

AZALEA FESTIVAL CONTINUES THROUGH SUMMER by LAURA MOORE

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ike much of everything since the start of the pandemic, the North Carolina Azalea Festival will look different this year. But, instead of just one week, the celebration of spring will be extended into summer. “The public will see different events than normal during festival week,” says DEIRDRE MCGLONE-WEBB, president of the 2021 Azalea Festival. Many of the typical Azalea Festival events such as the street fair, parade, and concerts have been moved to August, but festival organizers have added new and innovative experiences for festival enthusiasts to enjoy the azalea week, April 7-11. Instead of the usual Queen’s Coronation that welcomes crowds of hundreds, Queen Azalea, VANESSA HUGGINS (above), will have seventy-four of them as she tours the Wilmington area for her “74 socially distanced waves” to commemorate the

seventy-fourth anniversary of the Azalea Festival. Another way festival organizers have gotten creative with festival fun is their “Pin Pal” event. Commemorative pins can be purchased to wear or collect through the Azalea Festival website and used at participating businesses to receive a variety of discounts throughout April. Pins can be registered on the website for a grand-prize drawing. “Our thought process is that this will not just be for 2021, but something we can expand on every year,” McGlone-Webb says. The iconic azalea is taking center stage virtually with the Azalea Festival Watch Party event, “BOLO for Blooms.” Azalea lovers are asked to take a picture of themselves with an azalea bloom while flashing a peace sign and submit it online with the hashtag #bolo4blooms for a chance to win tickets to a concert of their choice. The Porch Parade is another addition to this year’s Azalea Festival. Residents, businesses, and organizations are getting in on the fun and decorating porches, windows, and entryways that are linked on a virtual map to allow people to meander through the streets and enjoy on their own. “Change forces you to grow and think outside the box, and while the pandemic has been a hindrance in many ways, it made us think outside the box and keep evolving,” McGlone-Webb says. Another event that has changed as a result of the pandemic is the annual Chefs’ Showcase, which is now being “represented for 2021” as the Chef Series. Tickets can be purchased for four-course meals with wine pairings at either the Oceanic restaurant on April 7, Hop’s Supply Co. on April 8, or Bluewater Grill on April 9. An online silent auction and raffle also will be available. The typical Azalea Festival events such as the Garden Party at Airlie Gardens will take place July 30, while the street fair, parade, and concerts will be held the week of August 19-22. The Avett Brothers and Michael Franti & Spearhead with Sublime with Rome will perform on the new North Waterfront Park stage. “This way, we get to continue celebrating spring all the way through summer,” McGlone-Webb says. “It is pretty cool. It will be a lot of fun, and people are ready to have fun.” W


5

TAKE

by CHRISTINE HENNESSEY photo by TERAH WILSON

Startup life is not for the feint of heart. Luckily, PARKER WILSON loves a challenge. The founder of Sparked Consulting, a consultancy that helps small businesses fuel sustainable growth, she is currently in the process of launching a second business called zizi, which will serve as an online marketplace for independent retailers. “I love being in conversation with people I admire and leaning on them for insight, but I have to remember to filter their feedback,” she says. “At the end of the day, a founder needs to be able to stay true to their vision and trust their gut.” WHAT’S THE BIGGEST BRANDING CHALLENGE BUSINESS OWNERS FACE WHEN THEY’RE FIRST STARTING OUT? “Simple: Where do we begin? The biggest challenge for my clients is the starting point. A brand is more than a logo, color palette, and typeface. It’s how your customers interact with you, experience your product line or service offering, remember you as a possible solution when searching the internet, share information with friends and family, and so much more. At the end of the day, your brand is an experience, and that can be daunting. That’s why strategy is so important.” HAS THE PANDEMIC CHANGED THE WAY YOU WORK? IF SO, HOW? “The pandemic hasn’t affected how I’ve worked – outside of losing my coworking space – but it has altered how I find my clients. Business development was effective pre-pandemic. Networking was second nature with weekly events, seminars, etc. When the world went virtual, I had to pivot my internal marketing strategy. I focused on developing thought leadership content deployed via LinkedIn, overhauling the Sparked website, increasing our digital presence, and identifying new business channels.” RUNNING A BUSINESS CAN BE VERY DEMANDING. WHAT DO YOU DO TO RECHARGE? “In full transparency, finding space to recharge has been incredibly challenging during the pandemic. We have three small children, one of whom is considered at risk for respiratory illness, so we’ve been extremely conservative throughout 2020. Pre-pandemic, I found renewal in time with friends and my family. My husband and I relish time outdoors and enjoy exploring North Carolina when time permits. More recently, I’ve become very intentional about creating space to recharge, which can mean a pre-dinner walk with the kids or a workout by myself.” WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN WILMINGTON? “Wilmington has so many gems! I’m captivated by the water, so a cocktail at the Bridge Tender is tough to beat – short of sipping that beverage from the sunny shores of Masonboro. Outpost is my newest stomping ground, as I am wildly inspired but the commitment to sustainability and unique atmosphere developed by The Cargo District team.” IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO SOMEONE THINKING OF STARTING A BUSINESS, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Don’t. I’m kidding! Well, half kidding. I offer the same piece of advice to every entrepreneur who asks, and I’ve had to give it to myself more times than I can count. Commit to the why. When you anchor your business to the why, all other details eventually settle around it. As your business grows and you make tough decisions, bringing it back to your why will always make the right choice clear.” W PARKER WILSON’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.

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NORMAL,

PLEASE by TIM BASS illustration by MARK WEBER

Tim Bass is coordinator of UNCW’s bachelor of fine arts program in creative writing.

I

It’s April? Springtime? Seriously? Yee-haw for us. Finally, we can throw a party. No, scratch that. It’s way too soon to cut loose. Still, hope springs in April. Winter is over. People are getting vaccines. Soon, maybe – just maybe – we’ll return to what we might remember as normal. Meanwhile, I just want to take a walk. I’d like to get into the fresh air and sunlight for the first time in months, strolling across new grass while the first flowers of spring poke up from the softening ground, reaching for the sky after a winter in hiding. Yes, I know I could have gone outside plenty in the past several months. After all, the COVID shutdown hasn’t ruled out neighborhood walks. But, the weather has, at least for me. I’m the coldest-natured person I know. As I write this, I’m wearing a sweatshirt over a T-shirt, furry slippers over thick socks, and a wool ballcap over my thinning hair, all while a space heater runs full blast a foot away. In six months, the closest I’ve come to nature is when the guys replacing my heating-and-air system ran across a sleepy, chilled snake in the yard. Even then, I didn’t go out to inspect. That would have meant moving away from the space heater. Now that April has arrived, I’m anxious for change, especially the kind that feels familiar. When I walk, I tread the street shoulders because my community doesn’t have sidewalks. I’m rearing to get back out there, trekking against traffic and once again seeing that certain geezer, the guy who has nothing to do in retirement but nonetheless drives everywhere all the time. I’ve missed that fossil in his fancy car, wide as a parade float,

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heading toward me at 13 miles per hour. It’s been too long since I’ve seen his scrunched face as he chokes the steering wheel and rages against me. He and I have never spoken, but I can tell that he believes pedestrians belong in the woods or on golf courses, not anywhere near the streets he pays for, personally, with his taxes. I want to make him ease over a couple of inches. It’ll be my way of saying, “Hello, old dude. Welcome to springtime. Isn’t it great being outdoors again!” He’ll hate that. Farther along, I hope to run into my friends Rudy and CeCe, back out for another season of powerwalks and let’s-talk-while-moving-ifyou-can-keep-up chats. Looking fit and energetic as ever, they’ll say modestly that they’ve been cooped up, unable to stretch their legs since who knows when. When I veer off to a side street on my wimpy little loop, they’ll press on to their target turnaround spot in the next ZIP code. They’ll be gone for hours. Rounding back into my driveway, I’d like to see my next-door neighbor, my buddy, out getting some springtime air. Maybe, finally, he’ll wear something different than the octogenarian uniform he’s had on since September: green sweatshirt over green knit top over olive khakis over brown deck shoes. He looks like he’s in the senior citizen military, camouflaged like the suburban shrubs as he checks the weather forecast twenty-five times a day, snags the mail the instant the truck arrives, and brags on the deal he got on chicken salad at the supermarket. Give me what used to be normal, please. It’s April. Seriously. It’s time.


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