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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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Is Now

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46 SCENE: Azalea Festival preview

10 HEALTH: Well grounded

47 TAKE 5: Computing check-in

12 TASTE: Modern classics

48 MEN'S ROOM: Doggie daddy

14 STYLE: Business of beige

Check out WILMA magazine here:



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14 22 W HEELS UP: Veterans Honor Flight takes off 26 M IC DROP: Area podcasters make waves 31 H EALTH MATTERS: Michealle Gady on building Atrómitos 36 F OOD ACCESS: Rethinking farming with Oriana Bolden


Looking for some words of wisdom? There’s plenty from the women featured in this issue. Turn to page 26 and hear what this month’s cover subjects have to say on topics ranging from leading to adulting to seeking work-life rhythm (because as Inspiration Lab founder Stephanie Lanier rightly points out, balance is a myth). These women, on top of all their other projects, have added podcasting to their toolbelts. Their talks, guest interviews, and recommendations on other podcasts will have you storming into the spring season. Michealle Gady, president and CEO of health care consulting firm Atrómitos, also shares leadership advice in this issue – especially on not letting fear not get in the way of opportunities – on page 31. Farmer Oriana Bolden is a leading voice on food sovereignty issues locally through her Freedom Dreams Farms (read more about her approaches on page 36). And two female veterans are among the group of vets participating in the upcoming flight to D.C. this month for Honor Flight of the Cape Fear. Essie Grover and Gayle Pfeiffer share their experiences ahead of the inaugural local flight (page 22). W

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DARIA AMATO is a native New Yorker and

School of Visual Arts graduate. Throughout her thirty years of experience, she has photographed a range of editorial, advertising, company branding, and corporate clients in addition to music, fashion, portraiture, weddings, and still life. Amato has been recognized by The Society of Publication Designers and Graphic Design USA and received an Optima Design Award for best cover photography. Amato shot this month’s cover and podcasters on page 26.

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 Laurie Patterson, coordinator of UNCW’s information technology program, for this month’s Take 5 on page 47.

Publisher Rob Kaiser rkaiser@wilmingtonbiz.com President Robert Preville rpreville@wilmingtonbiz.com Editor Vicky Janowski vjanowski@wilmingtonbiz.com Vice President of Sales Carolyn Carver ccarver@wilmingtonbiz.com Senior Marketing Consultants Maggi Apel mapel@wilmingtonbiz.com Craig Snow csnow@wilmingtonbiz.com Marketing Consultants Courtney Barden cbarden@wilmingtonbiz.com Marian Welsh mwelsh@wilmingtonbiz.com Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson sjohnson@wilmingtonbiz.com

MICHELLE SAXTON is a freelance writer,

runner, and mom to three kids and a dog. She was a journalist for years with various magazines and newspapers and the Associated Press, and she recently helped run a soccer business for children. Her favorite way to spend free time is playing the piano or walking outdoors. She talks with female veterans going on the upcoming Cape Fear Honor Flight on page 22.

Events Director Elizabeth Stelzenmuller events@wilmingtonbiz.com Events & Digital Coordinator Jamie Kleinman jkleinman@wilmingtonbiz.com Design & Media Coordinator Molly Jacques production@wilmingtonbiz.com Contributing Designer Suzi Drake art@wilmingtonbiz.com


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 workwear neutrals on page 14. dreweandkate.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 profiles health care consultant Michealle Gady on page 31.



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Digital Editor Johanna Cano jcano@wilmingtonbiz.com Media Coordinator Julia Jones jjones@wilmingtonbiz.com Fashion Stylist Drewe Smith Contributors Jenny Callison, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Meghan Corbett, Beth A. Klahre, Jamie Lynn Miller, Dylan Patterson, Michelle Saxton, Lynda Van Kuren, Elizabeth White Contributing Photographers Daria Amato, Madeline Gray, Aris Harding, Terah Hoobler, 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




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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 INSTITUTE: This year marks an expansion for WILMA’s Leadership Institute program. The class (see who the members are on the inside back cover page) includes forty selected women, up from previous cohorts of thirty-two women. The number of applications increased this year, to more than ninety, so we decided to devote more resources to the nine-month leadership training program. The cornerstone of WILMA’s Leadership Institute – the small-group peer mentoring boards – remains unchanged so that members continue to get valuable feedback. Last year, because of changing pandemic restrictions, we moved orientation outdoors to Double Run Farm in Brunswick County with leadership lessons from TeachingHorse (last year is shown above). It was such a hit that this year’s class again kicks off on the farm this month, with a different meeting venue each month. Info: WILMAmag.com/women-to-watch MENTORING: As part of WILMA’s mentoring program, twenty-five mentees work one-on-one with their mentors – leaders we have recruited from the community – for twelve months. Meeting monthly, they work on professional and leadership development while making new connections in the area. For more info, go to wilmamag.com/women-to-watch/mentoring. WILMA NETWORK: Members of the WILMA Network, made up of sponsors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, meet monthly to welcome new members, catch up, and expand their networks. Recent meetups included a networking social hour at Citrus Salon. Info: wilmamag.com/women-to-watch/the-wilma-network GETTING SOCIAL: Check out WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative social media pages, where you can find the latest info about leadership program announcements, applications, and updates on women who have been involved with W2W. Follow us at facebook.com/WILMAsWomenToWatch and on Instagram @WILMAsWomentoWatch - Vicky Janowski and Maggi Apel, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com



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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


POD SQUAD: Behind the streaming shows


FEARLESS LEADER: Health care consultant seizes potential


FRUITFUL ENDEAVOR: Freedom Dreams Farms seeks food sovereignty


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


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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photo c/o Cape Fear Garden Club

The Cape Fear Garden Club’s revamped youth program is part of this year’s North Carolina Azalea Festival. Participating high school juniors and seniors will be at the club’s Garden Tour on April 8-10 as well as other festival events that weekend. This will be the first year the Azalea Ambassadors – now open to male and female students – replaces the Azalea Belles, which featured girls in antebellum-era dresses. Their new look was unveiled during a recent event (above) for those whose gardens are on this year’s tour, and the Azalea Ambassadors’ official introduction takes place at the Ambassadors’ Tea 2-4 p.m. April 3 at the New Hanover County Arboretum.


SANDY SPIERS (above) received CREW’s Career Advancement for Women Award this year. Cape Fear Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) held its fourth annual Awards of Excellence at the Wilmington Convention Center, spotlighting real estate projects and individuals in the community. “Sandy has been involved in advancing the careers of women in Eastern North Carolina for many years,” the group says about Spiers, senior vice president, middle market banker at Truist. “She is a mentor with Cameron Executive Network at UNCW and WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative. At Truist, Sandy started a women’s book club and has chaired the regional Business Resource Group for the Women of Truist.” Retired economic developer JENNY MIZELLE received the Beth Quinn Excellence Award. CREW gave Live Oak Bank Pavilion and Riverfront Park in downtown Wilmington nods, with a Dealmaker Award and Economic & Community Enhancement Award. For a full list of winning projects, go to capefearcrew.org/about/awards.



The YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s thirty-six annual Women of Achievement Awards last month recognized the work of women ranging from advocacy to public service. The group’s award ceremony took place virtually March 3, celebrating the contributions of forty-eight women nominated from Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, and Pender counties. “These women demonstrate excellence and commitment to their careers, schools, and communities,” YWCA CEO VELVA JENKINS says about this year’s nominees. Award winners were: SHIRLEY FREEMAN, Advocacy & Social Justice; HEATHER WILSON, Arts & Culture; ISABELA LUJAN, Business; MICHAELA HOWELLS, Education; MIREYA LUPERCIO, Health & Wellness; JC LYLE, Public Service; CATHY WRIGHT (above), Rachel Freeman Unsung Hero; and JORDAN WILLETTS, Trailblazer. Two youth awards went to: DIANA GOMEZ, Young Leader (Mission); and EMILY LAIN, Young Leader (Merit). To watch the awards program video, go to ywca-lowercapefear.org/what-weredoing/initiatives/woa.

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


LANNIN BRADDOCK was appointed chair for the 2022 Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center Foundation Board. A principal at The Braddock Group, Braddock’s brokerage firm specializes in commercial and residential real estate, with an emphasis on new development projects. The Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center Foundation’s mission is to engage and connect donors to Novant Health programs and initiatives “that save lives and improve the health of the communities it serves,” officials say. Of her recent appointment as chair, Braddock says, “KIMMIE DURHAM brought incredible leadership and vision guiding the Foundation last year. I am honored to continue to build on those efforts and focus on the foundation’s mission to raise awareness and funding that will continue to benefit patients and team members within our community. “This year, we will focus on communicating the foundation’s ‘why’ more than ever before. Our goal is to create conversation for everyone surrounding the importance of supporting our health care system and the experience an individual or family should have while in the care of Novant Health.” Braddock began serving on the foundation board in 2016, and during this time, she served as co-chair for the Novant Health Brunswick Medical Foundation’s “A Path Forward” capital campaign, which seeks to raise $3.5 million to help fund expanded behavioral health services.

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

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t is no secret that the past few years have been stressful. There have been many changes in daily lives with little change in the way these new stresses are managed to keep us focused on what is important. To address some of these issues, KELLY PURCELL recently opened Ground. Connect. Empower. with



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a mission “to coach people, helping them incorporate science-based tools into their lives, positively impacting the well-being of the individual and their community.” Purcell was introduced to the way stress and trauma impact the whole body by a colleague while working as a third-grade teacher. “I saw a huge need for social and emotional learning. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn about how impactful stress and trauma can be,” Purcell says. “The techniques I was learning not only helped my students and coworkers but also applied them to my life – and it completely changed my life. “I have committed my life to the work of helping people learn skills to manage stress so they can feel more balanced, more connected to themselves and others,” she adds. This led Purcell to become a certified yoga instructor, which allowed her to focus on trauma-informed practices and learn how to use crystal singing bowls to help rebalance and relax the mind and body. “I am also a certified Community Resiliency Model (CRM) teacher, which is a model used globally to teach people the science-based tools that help them manage stress and expand well-being,” Purcell says. “I believe deeply in the wisdom of the human body. With the right tools and practices, people can have an incredible power to rebalance, reconnect, and re-engage their lives, relationships, and communities.” Ground. Connect. Empower. is for anyone looking for a greater sense of internal balance. It offers services for individuals, groups, and organizations with scheduled workshops and ability to travel to provide services. Practices include restorative crystal bowl sound healing workshops, restorative yoga classes, gentle yoga and sound healing at the beach, personal development coaching and yoga – one-on-one and group sessions – as well as CRM workshops. “The tools and practices that I teach have completely changed my

life and empowered me to feel whole again,” Purcell says. “I am so passionate about sharing what has taken me many years to learn; I want everyone to have these skills, to shorten the time it would take them to learn on their own and to start improving their lives immediately.” While it may seem like this type of assistance is out of reach for those on a budget, Purcell assures her clients that this is not the case. “Accessibility is very important to me, and I work with individuals and organizations with sliding scale opportunities,” Purcell says. “I also offer donation-based classes and collaborate with local organizations to ensure these skills are accessible.” No matter where one is with mental health and well-being, there is always room for improvement and empowerment. “People who may be feeling anxious, overwhelmed, having difficulty focusing, or connecting with others, these practices can help,” Purcell says. “They are also good for people who have busy minds and busy lives because they can be integrated into daily life. The sound healing workshop can help people foster a deeper sense of relaxation and support deep, healing rest.” She also says her services work well for individual or group events such as wellness events for staff, friend, or family gatherings, wellness retreats, corporate retreats, moms groups, meetup groups, or stress management for organizations. “Many struggle with feeling disconnected, frustrated, and not like ‘your best self.’ No matter what you’ve experienced, there is hope and I welcome you to this journey toward feeling whole again,” Purcell says. “May you be safe, may you be peaceful, may you be kind to yourself, and may you live with ease and well-being.” Ground. Connect. Empower. will host a restorative crystal bowl sound healing workshop at terra sol sanctuary on May 14; two-hour online interactive CRM workshops coming up on April 30 and May 28 to learn and practice the wellness skills; and gentle yoga and crystal singing bowl sound healing classes at Wrightsville Beach will begin on May 25.W WILMAmag.com

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eafood lovers know that the Wilmington area offers some of the best selections around. JENNIFER CONCKLIN and MATTHEW WALKER decided to seize that opportunity. As the owners of three10, they are challenging the local restaurant scene with a fresh, modern take on seafood dishes. Besides the menu, what makes the three10 restaurant unique is it is housed in a relocated and repurposed historical building, the former Allen-Oliver house. Located in the downtown Brooklyn Arts District, the restaurant opened in October after three years of renovations. Concklin and Walter had the home moved a few blocks north and it’s now located at 1022 North Fourth Street. In a nod to the former building site, the owners decided on the name three10 from the building’s original address, 310 Bladen Street. Along with the renovations, Concklin and Walker doubled the structure’s size,



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adding 1,200 square feet. “We chose the area as it has a neighborhood feel while still being close to downtown,” Concklin says. The restaurant’s dining room is a repurposed 1920s bungalow. The structure was relocated with the help and support of the Historic Wilmington Foundation to keep it from being demolished. There are still traces of the house’s historical features such as original glass, including its North Fourth facing dormer, and floors and siding where possible. The hostess stand consists of the original front columns, and the tables are made from roof rafters. “We ended with what we think is a beautiful space,” Concklin says. “A harmonious balance of a 1920s bungalow style and a modern, open kitchen.” From oysters and tuna to hushpuppies and grits, the menu at three10 blends seafood and traditional Southern meals, along with customized cocktails. “We like to say we are most similar to PinPoint, Seabird, and Rx in style and concept,” Concklin says. “Our biggest difference is that while close to downtown, we are in a less congested area and


Spiffy conveys the attitude of our brand through our photography and Full-Color Logo the marketing we put out Reverse in the world. We follow a set of best practices that allow Spiffy’s image to stay consistent.

One-Color Reverse logo

that we have a completely open kitchen. “The focus of our menu, like the space, DOWNLOAD is modernizing classics,” she adds. THE APP She and Walker, who is head chef, Best Practices: choose to focus on low country ingredients GetSpiffy.com in updated ways, while also maintaining a 1. Branding is visible - ideally the (844) 438-7743 entire wordmark of Spiffy and the rotating menu. Penguin “We double-check that ingredients can WASH, DETAIL, OIL CHANGE & MORE! be sourced, then go from there, always 2. No water leakage around mats keeping in mind the goal to use traditional Representing the Spiffy brand is all about consistency and Spiffy is green and 3. Technician’s facehonesty. is in photoingredients,” Concklin says. smiling as appropriate weTheir take menu pride in using our reclaim mat while washing. Our technicians are our hardest starts with reviewing the working employees, and actual we want to represent them proudly. There are many branches seasonality of products, produce, 4. Technician is in full, clean of Spiffy to represent, and across the board they are4 consistent and recognizable as the uniform and seafood charts for what they can find overall STEP #1 STEP #2 STEP #3 local andSpiffy fresh. identity. 5. Technician is utilizing PPE: Schedule your full Spiffy using We come to you with Digitally track, rate, “This means, fresh and local is our prigoggles glovesphone, or our theand website, power and water & all we and pay for each service ority,” Concklin says. iPhone/ Android app need is your keys Spiffy conveys attitudethe of our Walker the rewrote menu eight or so 6. No reflections on cars brand through our photography andcurrent one. times before settling on the 7. Do not show inside of van the marketing we put out in the world. North Carolina shrimp with Carolina gold We follow a set of best practices that risotto is one item that survived all reviallow Spiffy’s image to stay consistent. sions. Included on the menu are vegan and gluten-free offerings. Vegetables and seafood always take cenBest Practices: ter stage in every dish. Chicken and beef do appearison the -menu. Spiffy Green - conserving half the water of a traditional car wash and 90% of DIY washes. 1.not Branding visible ideally the “There are plenty of places to get that entire wordmark of Spiffy and the Approved photos can be downloaded at getspiffy.com/media. stuff in town,” Walker says. Penguin “We are mainly seafood with a few pork If you can’t find an image you are looking for, let us know at marketing@getspiffy.com 2.dishes No water leakagein around mats sprinkled throughout,” Concklin adds. 3. Technician’s face is in photo10 They as areappropriate still testing their new spring smiling menu, but plan to have additional offerings 4.on Technician in full, clean it as well.is To mark their first Sunday beuniform ing open, a special Sunday service hybrid is planned for March 27. 5.brunch/lunch Technician is utilizing full PPE: The couple moved from Austin back goggles and gloves to the East Coast with the plan to open a 6. No reflections on cars restaurant and be closer to family. Wilmington and loved that, 7. Do“We not visited show inside of van while experiencing growth, it still has a Highly effective clean small-town charm,” Concklin says. formulas with exquisite The husband-wife team seems undauntScandinavian design, ed with the growth of the local dining scene so you can experience as they have years of industry experience healthy, radiant skin behind them. without sacrificing “We found Wilmington to be well-deaesthetics. veloped but not over-saturated,” Concklin says. Approved photos can be downloaded at getspiffy.com/media. Lovingly handcrafted The couple to being attracted to for, let us know at marketing@getspiffy.com If you can’t findadmits an image you are looking right here in Wilmington. the ever-changing environment a restaurant provides. “There are new challenges to tackle every day,” Concklin says, “and the HENNEORGANICS .COM best reward is having guests relaxed and enjoying themselves in an atmosphere you helped to create.”W

Media Best Practices

Elevate Your Beauty Routine


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working neutral in

photos and styling by Drewe and Kate Branding Co. intro by Nina Bays Cournoyer



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f you’ve been shopping lately (and who hasn’t), you’re sure to have seen the veritable Skittles bag of colors taking over the racks. And while brights may serve up some eye candy, many of us are a little more demure in our wardrobe palette choices – especially when it comes to dressing professionally. So, if you’re not ready to douse yourself in Kelly green, neutrals have got your back. Always classic, neutrals are a mainstay for any closet. For spring, opt for milky colors like caramel, cream and chocolate. Mix with cashmere or satin to dress things up or faded denim to tone it down. (Insert round of applause here for the kibosh on skinny jeans this season!) And if you’re feeling extra sassy, you can try pairing similar tones for a top-totoe look that stays within your comfort zone but will still turn some heads. W


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journey LONG-

AWAITED Cape Fear honors military veterans with D.C. flight

M ichelle S axton |

B by

photo by

T erah H oobler

onded in their military service decades ago, two Southeastern North Carolina women will join other veterans in being honored with a trip to the nation’s capital.

ESSIE GROVER (opposite page, left), a U.S. Navy lieutenant, served from 1963 to 1965; and GAYLE PFEIFFER (opposite page, right), a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, served from 1971 to 1993. They’re among seventy-five veterans flying to Washington, D.C., on April 30 for the Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area. The trip is for veterans who served before 1975 – during World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras – and for terminally ill veterans. While among those being celebrated, Grover and Pfeiffer are giving tribute as well. “It’s certainly a privilege and an honor to be able to go on this trip,” says Pfeiffer, who looks forward to visiting military monuments and memorials. Grover anticipates witnessing Arlington National Cemetery’s vastness and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “I see all these pictures of white headstones,” Grover says. “But to actually be there and see the soldier marching back and forth to some person nobody will ever know … is an honor,” Grover says. “He died to keep me free, and I want to say thank you.” The Honor Flight Network, which has more than 128 hubs nationally, has flown more than 245,000 veterans to Washington, D.C., since 2005, the organization’s website states. Some flights departed the Wilmington area in 2010 and 2011, says RUTH RAVITZ SMITH, Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area’s founder and president. She has been working to get efforts up and running again with the group’s inaugural flight. Smith previously lived in the D.C. area and spent many emoWILMAmag.com

Lt. Col. Gayle Pfeiffer retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1993.

tional moments at Reagan National Airport greeting veterans arriving on Honor Flights. “There’s a disease I didn’t know about – it’s called the Honor Flight allergy,” Smith says. “Every time you do something Honor Flight-related you tear up.” Pfeiffer, who lives in the Leland area, will be seventy-three when she takes the Honor Flight. She worked in supply and logistics for the Air Force and served in Thailand toward the end of the Vietnam War, selling excess military equipment to local contractors. Pfeiffer spent most of her career stationed at various fighter wings, including MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, where she once met Queen Elizabeth II. During her military service, Pfeiffer witnessed women become fully integrated when the Women in the Air Force (WAF) program ended in the 1970s. “When you’re in a mostly male environment it’s a challenge to fit in, and yet still my big thing was to maintain femininity,” Pfeiffer says. “I wore heels and skirts when I possibly could and combat boots and fatigues when I had to.” Pfeiffer was a counselor for enlisted women, and when leaving for another base she was asked to recommend someone for the women’s advisory position. “I said, ‘Nobody. Do away with it.’ Male squadron commanders need to do their jobs, male first sergeants need to do their jobs,” Pfeiffer recalls. “There should not be a special person that only women went to that’s a woman. And so, he did, he listened to me.” Pfeiffer later worked as a logistics project manager for the U.S. Department of State to help eradicate drug crops in Central and South America. She also became a veterinary technician and retired to North Carolina near a college friend. Grover, eighty-one, joined the Navy as a military nurse, serving at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in California. “My job was in the operating room, training the boys to set up field hospitals over in Vietnam because that was the beginning of APRIL 2022



the war,” Grover says. She recalls seeing beach demonstrations of weapons near the naval hospital. “They had displays of all their military weapons that they were taking overseas,” Grover says. Grover left the military after two years and became an anesthetist. She later moved to North Carolina and had a blueberry farm in Watha before settling in Burgaw. The Honor Flight, delayed twice because of the pandemic, is funded by donations. The budget is about $120,000 a year for a chartered flight, Smith says. People are welcome to greet Honor Flight veterans at Wilmington International Airport, and volunteers are needed for future flights. (Details at honorflightcfa.org) Veterans on the Honor Flight will have guardian companions and be joined by medical and administrative staff. Some guardians are veterans too, including retired U.S. Army Col. CHRISSY SANFORD, veteran coordinator of the local Honor Flight. Sanford served from 1991 to 2011 and was in the Army Nurse Corps. She was a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Duke University School of Nursing when she enlisted at forty-two. Sanford was deployed to Iraq with the Civil Affairs Battalion from 2006 to 2007 and helped run medical clinics. “We’d see hundreds of kids a day, and of course the women,” Sanford says. “Men couldn’t go anywhere near the women, so I was able to examine them.” The Honor Flight is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the veterans and a chance for instant connections, Sanford says. “They understand each other,” Sanford says. “They don’t have to try to explain it. They know.” Guardians also include CONSTANCE FOREMAN, a U.S. Navy Reserves lieutenant commander, and a physician at Novant Health New Hanover Primary Care. She was stationed in Guam in 2020 to provide medical backup for service members on the USS Theodore Roosevelt who had COVID. “Being a guardian, I just feel like you’ll have walking histories sitting beside you on the plane,” Foreman says. “I look forward to being inspired by their commitment and their stories.”W



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S P E A K E RS :


May 5th & 6th, 2022 Ashley Whittaker

Join us at the CAM as Design NC celebrates the exuberance of lifestyle in design. All proceeds for this event benefit the museum. For sponsorship & ticket information visit

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Frances Schultz WILMAmag.com

Bessie Hanahan & Family

John Jordan and Coleman Burgess • Sarah Holt & William Gwathmey Cynthia & George Boylan • Susan Gsell & Renee Smith

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D aria A mato


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Founder of The Inspiration Lab & Realtor with Intracoastal Realty


Owner and host of Whatchu’ Doin’ Wilmington Podcast: WHATCHU’ DOIN’ WILMINGTON (whatchudoinwilmington.com) Year launched: 2021 How would you describe its focus? “Whatchu’ Doin’ Wilmington – Positive Vibes for Positive People! Shedding light on some of Wilmington’s most encouraging and inspirational people, places, and things.” Why did you create it? “Besides my infatuation with Wilmington’s exquisite small-town charm, beaches, and welcoming people, I truly believe that ‘community’ is the driving force of any city. It is the community that sets the tone for great living, and often we forget that. With that being said, I think it is important to recognize and thank every hand that makes it all possible. ” Who are you hoping to reach? “My hopes are to reach the current and future residents in the city and surrounding areas in an effort to help promote city ‘pride,’ as well as contribute to the growth of the community.” Future plans? “My future plans are to acquire local sponsors to grow the podcasts and to be seen as one of the city’s go-to for ‘all things’ positive that go on in the city of Wilmington. My dream is to develop some sort of partnership or collaboration with the city’s visitors bureau.”



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Podcast: THE INSPIRATION LAB (theinspirationlab.co/podcast) Year launched: 2021 How would you describe its focus? “The podcast has a common thread throughout; it often relates to skills that are overlooked in the personal growth space: self-care, work-life rhythm – because balance is a myth – public speaking, small business topics like bookkeeping, grief, parenting, caregiving, leadership, resilience, trusting your gut, and adulting – for example: Why you need a will and what you should understand about investing.” Why did you create it? “Women who participate in Inspiration Lab events, workshops, meetups, and conferences have asked for years for a podcast. This platform allows us to create an audio library of topics that were sometimes only appearing in a newsletter or a blog post or some that I wasn’t able to explore in-depth. Another key reason for starting the podcast was to shine a light on women who are doing incredible things!” A favorite episode? “The episode I hear most about from listeners is the very first one about public speaking; it turns out, after the pandemic, we’re all a little rusty! This was episode one, with Rachel Olsen – my speaking coach – and the title is ‘The Power of Public Speaking to Transform Your Career.’” Future plans? “Record at least one or two more episodes on public speaking, since there is so much we didn’t get to cover in the first episode, and I am passionate about this. I really want to see more women on more stages telling their stories and sharing their ideas. I’d also like to do a series that explores women’s health discussing topics like infertility, miscarriages, menopause, preventative care and screenings, mental health, and intuitive eating/nutrition.” Lanier’s recommendations for other podcasts to check out: Breneé Brown’s Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead; The EntreLeadership Podcast; WorkLife with Adam Grant; and The Tom Ferry Podcast Experience


OTHER VOICES Here are some other local women with podcasts.

BE THE ADULT (betheadult.org)

NANCY KOTZ & MARISOL SANCHEZ “Be The Adult podcast examines what it means to Be The Adult for our children and the best practices for creating kind, respectful, and meaningful relationships with them. The podcast supports the nonprofit organization’s mission of providing blueprints for calm and effective parenting so that children can grow into their best selves.”


Podcast: BLACK WOMAN WORKING (anchor.fm/blackwomanworking) Year launched: 2019 How would you describe its focus? “Black Woman Working is a podcast that informs, connects, and protects the spirit, honor, and vulnerability of Black women as they work on and through life’s adversities and possibilities, while sharing their stories, growth, and accomplishments!” Why did you create it? “I moved to Wilmington and needed to find a space where I could cultivate new friendships and relationships while having the opportunity to share and be inspired around the authentic thoughts and challenges I was experiencing as I planted roots, professional and personally, in a new location. Black Woman Working was initially me – I was the Black woman working through topics around health, happiness, hurt, and healing. Having the dedicated space created a chance for me to be vulnerable and vocalize my thoughts with like-minded women moving through the same space. Who are you hoping to reach? “Initially I was focused on creating the space for Black women, ages thirty to forty-eight years of age because the podcast was initially a space for me to share, grow, heal, and learn. However, after the first episode, I received so much feedback that the topic was universal and was supportive and relatable to those outside my initial target audience. So, after three seasons, I realize and proudly share that our listeners and subscribers are women and men of diverse backgrounds and ages. The podcast has shown that there are more similarities than differences, and I’m grateful for that. It is evolving organically to reach people exactly where they are and provide exactly what they need to hear.” A favorite episode? “My top two episodes are from July and August 2020 in season 2. It was a two-part series on normalizing Black women health around fibroid awareness. This very important topic allowed many women listening the courage they needed to advocate for their health with their medical teams, seek the appropriate screenings, and own that painful menstrual cycles are not just something you have to deal with until menopause. Many women after listening to the six courageous women sharing their stories were moved to make personal decisions about their health care, which has provided them a better quality of overall health and life.” Future plans? “To continue to share specific, critical culture-related topics that impact Black woman but create a space for all to learn.” Nicole’s recommendations for other podcasts to check out: “I listen to all the podcasts curated locally, and I am honored to have been a guest on many of them. I enjoy podcasts that are in first person and share the story of the person, so currently, my favorite national three podcasts currently in rotation are: Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist, and Jemele Hill is Unbothered.”

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OTHER VOICES Here are some other local women with podcasts.


World and national record-holding freediver with

Evolve Freediving and LAUREL SENICK: Author, award-winning filmmaker, and surf trip guru Podcast: POST SESSION PODCAST (postsessionpodcast.com) Year launched: 2019 How would you describe its focus? FUTRAL CHAPMAN (above): “A podcast filled with the stoke of a surf session and the wise guidance of an ocean voyager.” SENICK: “Our podcast is all about sharing the stoke we feel having the ocean as a major part of our lives. It’s an opportunity to build community, support ocean awareness, and celebrate the folks doing interesting things around the ocean.” Why did you create it? SENICK: “Over coffee one morning, Ashley and I were gabbing about doing creative things and she said, ‘I want to do a podcast.’ To which I replied, ‘Me too!’ We brainstormed the concept, format, and with her husband’s help on all things techie we were recording one week later.” Who are you hoping to reach? FUTRAL CHAPMAN: “Everyone needing a gentle nudge for their adventurous spirit.” A favorite episode? SENICK: “A fav of mine was the episode with Elizabeth Sneed, founder of the Curvy Surfer Girl movement. I loved encouraging women of all sizes to get into the ocean. My motto is there are no waves too small or friends too eager to surf.” Future plans? FUTRAL CHAPMAN: “Laurel and I would love to keep podcasting. A long-term goal of ours is to make the podcast selfsustaining so there is a revenue stream coming in that would allow us to outsource the dreaded editing process.” SENICK: “We’re stoked to have hit 10,000 downloads, and we are considering seeking community sponsorships. It feels like a natural progression to partner with local businesses that market to an outdoor lifestyle.” Futral Chapman and Senick’s recommendations for other podcasts to check out: Holy Post Podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Zena Dell Lowe’s The Storytellers Mission, and for kids InquisiKids Daily W



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(leathhrgroup.com/hr-nightmares) LEATH HR GROUP; BETH LOONEY, AMY CONWAY, GABBI PLUMEZ, LISA LEATH “HR experts from Leath HR Group break down work problems with real talk and humor. Submit your anonymous HR nightmares or workplace situations and have our team of HR experts break it down in real time on the next episode! #hrnightmares”


(femalesonfirepodcast.com) HAYLEY LUCKADOO “Females on Fire is a business and personal growth podcast for women who want to ignite their influence, burn their limiting beliefs, and spark their success. It’s more than a podcast – it’s a community focused on giving you all the educational and motivational tools you need to make an impact.”

Fearless Leader

Health care consultant seizes potential


hen friends describe MICHEALLE GADY, they say she is fearless. In truth, Gady does experience fear. But she doesn’t let it stop her from accepting leadership opportunities that enable her to make a significant difference in the world. It’s that type of fearlessness that led Gady to found Atrómitos, a Wilmington-based consulting company that helps community health care organizations improve their operations and services. “I don’t see fear as a reason not to do something,” Gady says. “I focus on what I would miss by not doing it, what impact I could have had but didn’t because I didn’t WILMAmag.com

try. That scares me more.” Gady has always been interested in health care, but it took a bit of exploration before she found her true calling. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services from Springfield College, Gady worked in genetics. She soon realized she preferred health care policy to the research world and earned a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law. Gady has taken on multiple high-level positions in her career, working to shape health care policy in the halls of Congress as well as in national health care and advocacy organizations. She played a role in the discussion around health care legislation such as the Affordable Care Act and assisted organizations such as Families USA and the Medicare Rights Center to develop strategic initiatives and direction. In 2016, Gady moved to Wilmington and decided to open her own company, one that would advance community


L ynda V an K uren T erah H oobler

photo by

health care. As such, Atrómitos helps independent providers, nonprofits, and other small- and mid-sized organizations overcome the challenges involved in providing community health care. “We are a one-stop-shop for health care in social services organizations,” Gady says. “We understand how all the different components, such as operations, policy and regulations, strategic direction, and technology, fit together and are interconnected.” Atrómitos has a reputation that attracts clients from around the globe. But when Gady started the company, she had nothing but the desire to build something of her own. She knew little about running a business, and she knew no one in the state. Undeterred, Gady sought advice from anyone who could help, and she asked acquaintances as well as friends for referrals. “I took a deep breath and dove in,” she says. APRIL 2022





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Gady also put together a team of professionals and created a supportive work environment. She gives her staff the freedom to do their jobs; welcomes their opinions, even when they disagree with her; and helps them find solutions when they run into problems. Under Gady’s guidance, Atrómitos has experienced slow, intentional growth. As its clients’ needs have changed, the company, while remaining true to its mission, has evolved. For example, when technology became an integral part of health care, Gady added a technology component to the services Atrómitos offers. Also, to ensure the company can provide outstanding service and maintain its positive culture, Gady carefully chooses the clients Atrómitos works with. “Being selective and intentional about the work we do ensures we have the capacity and commitment to do a really good job,” she says. “It’s difficult to say no to a project that is not in a direction that we want to go in strategically. But it goes back to your mission and objective and long-term strategy.” Gady is currently planning to take advantage of a new opportunity for the company, which will necessitate her moving to Washington state. Not only is Washington Atrómitos’s second-largest market, but it is also one of the most innovative areas for health care, she says. Gady hopes the move will enable her to bring lessons she learns there to her North Carolina clients and partners. “North Carolina providers, payers, and networks can learn a lot from our West Coast counterparts and vice versa,” she adds. As Gady’s team is, and always has been, virtual, Gady doesn’t anticipate any disruption of services to her national and international clientele. For women who hope to become leaders in their fields, Gady offers the following advice. First, lead with integrity. If you do so, people will want to follow you, she says. Gady also says you need to remember that you don’t have to do it all. Of course, Gady stresses that you should never let fear be an obstacle. To keep fear from derailing your dreams, Gady recommends you identify what is stopping you and determine how you can solve the problem. “There is no failure unless you don’t try,” she says. “What you can learn from trying is far more valuable than any avoidance of potential.” W

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Freedom Dreams Farms seeks food sovereignty


ocal farmer and activist ORIANA BOLDEN is working to bring healthful produce, food sovereignty, and equitable access to Wilmington’s Northside. Food sovereignty, she explains, is “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods.” Inspired by the book Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination by Robin D.G. Kelley, Bolden’s vision for Wilmington and its food impoverished neighborhoods has become her own Freedom Dreams Farms. “There’s not a single word or passage in that book that does not apply to the vision, intentions, and daily work of my small farm,” Bolden says. When examining the systems that impact poverty and lead to food scarcity, she explains, it’s important to dig beneath the surface. “Dropping off free food boxes will certainly fill a belly or two for a day or two, but what about the longer term, and the impact on our local farmers who are growing healthy, culturally relevant, and regionally supportive produce? We need a more fair, equitable, and sustained food movement to address the problems at their roots,” she says. To that end, Freedom Dreams Farms not only brings good food to market, but it educates the public WILMAmag.com

about the processes that make good food happen. Bolden schedules farm tours; community learn and workdays; and lunch and learns, in association with the Northside Food Co-op. While eating healthful produce, guests partake in healthful discussions and on macro and micro topics such as food sovereignty and individual composting efforts. You’ll also find Freedom Dreams Farms at Frankie’s Outdoor Market, 1019 Princess Street, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Freedom Dreams sells eggs, fresh seasonal vegetables, year-round microgreens, culinary and medicinal herbs, as well as potted herbs and vegetable starts. Committed to working with like-minded distributors, Bolden buys seeds, feed, and supplies from small businesses dedicated to environmental practices and economic justice. For Bolden, the residual effects of organic farming drive her big-picture priorities. “If I look at the few extra dollars for organic as cutting into my profits,

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that would be a mistake,” she adds. When buying organic sunflower seeds to fill microgreens subscription boxes, Bolden knows the plant is healthier, and that the workers enjoy better working conditions. “If my couple of bucks extra means less detriment to the plant and a healthier end product for my customers,” Bolden says, “it’s worth it many times over.” Working with community regional farmers who share her vision continues to be a fruitful endeavor. “I am learning, growing, and connecting with other small farmers/farmers throughout the region,” says Bolden. “There is definitely a pull toward collectivism.” Single/individual acts such as recycling, composting, reducing waste aren’t enough, she observes. “Planting a few of our own seeds here and there isn’t sufficient,” she explains. “We have to think and mobilize bigger, and together.” W This profile appeared in a recent WILMA Downtime newsletter. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.

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Keep up with WILMA all month long, through our website, daily emails, and social media.

Sign up for WILMA’s new daily emails at wilmamag.com/email-newsletter. Here’s the weekly lineup: MONDAY IS WILMA LEADERSHIP with profiles on the region’s leading women, their business, personal, and career advice, as well as highlights on women who are making moves. TUESDAY IS WILMA ROUNDUP, a focus on stories published on our monthly print issues and a look behindthe-scenes at the magazine. WEDNESDAY IS WILMA WELLNESS where you can read about the latest fitness and health trends, as well as profiles on women in the wellness industry and get recipes and workouts from chefs and trainers in the community. THURSDAY IS KEEP IT LOCAL, a collection of shopping finds from local retailers, sponsors’ content brought to you by the WILMA marketing team.

FRIDAY IS WILMA DOWNTIME, where we give you a backstage pass to upcoming shows and events in the community. You can also expect profiles and Q&As with local artists and highlights on the latest entertainment and leisure activities around town to get ready for the weekend.



housing team addresses housing affordability




/wilmamag APRIL 2022

THE DEVELOPMENTAL GYM brings interactive

therapy for kids



thriller gets praise from Reese’s Book Club


Congratulations to the Winners of the 2022 Cape Fear CREW Awards of Excellence! Thank you to our committed Partners for 2022! Presenting Partner Live Oak Bank Platinum Partners Copycat Print Shop Logan Homes Odyssey Mechanical Award Partner Customers Bank Salt Air, Inc. Parking Partner Wade Associates

Silver Partners AlphaGraphics Big Sky Design Capital Design Chamblis & Rabil Clancy & Theys Construction Company Clarendon Properties FCP First National Bank J. Long Custom Homes LS3P Maus Warwick Matthews & Company Page Productions Patriot Roofing SERVPRO Southern Sign Company

Gold Partners Baker Roofing Bronze Partner Corning Credit Union Carolina Specialties Greater Wilmington Business Journal Highland Roofing KW Communications www.CapeFearCREW.org MoMentum Companies North Carolina’s Southeast Realtors Commercial Alliance The Braddock Group Theory & Practice Productions Thomas Construction Wilmington Business Development


Best Design Award Oceanic Restaurant Dealmaker Award Live Oak Bank Pavilion Best Development Award Arboretum West Economic & Community Enhancement Award Riverfront Park Career Advancement for Women Award Sandy Spiers, Truist Beth Quinn Excellence Award Winner Jenny Mizelle Impact Award Winner North Carolina’s Southeast

Special Thanks to Our Panel of Judges: John Murray Beth Pancoe Joseph O. Taylor, Jr. Steve Yost Alan Kerry Ashley Cagle

APRIL 2022




WILMA Dash + Health Fest! MAY 10, 2022 WILMINGTON



th annual

4 pm - 9 pm


FEST THE WILMA DASH - Wilmington’s only all-female 5K will wind through the streets of downtown and is great for first-time runners, walkers, and for seasoned runners looking for a personal best.



WILMA HEALTH FEST - Enjoy the ultimate Girls Night Out at the WILMA Health Fest, which includes interactive health booths from local exhibitors, food, drinks, awards and more!








APRIL 2022

Sound Hypnosis

Finalist: Public Service Category

“With nearly a decade of government experience and over 30 years as a business owner, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate the complicated governmental agencies, and get things done.”


Jeri Greenberg “Red Chair with Leather Ottoman” Pastel on paper



Art is Always Blooming in Downtown Wilmington! Established in October 2015, Art in Bloom Gallery is located in a renovated 19th century horse stable. The gallery presents an eclectic mix of original, traditional and contemporary works of art and represents over 30 artists. 910.763.8341 484.885.3037 ARTINBLOOMGALLERY@GMAIL.COM MONDAY - THURSDAY 10AM-4PM FRIDAY - SATURDAY 10AM-5PM & BY APPOINTMENT

APRIL 2022






he Great Resignation has employees and employers alike reassessing how they approach compensation. Now’s an excellent time to review whether you’re paid competitively by your employer. But where to start? First, let’s discuss data. Catapult’s 2021 NC Wage & Salary Survey reveals that 60% of organizations indicate their pay philosophy is at-marketrate while 12% report they pay above market rate. That means most organizations intend to pay employees comparable to (or better than) other organizations for similar types of work. This philosophy helps businesses recruit and retain the best talent. If you’re planning to discuss your wage with your employer, know that employees should follow the same steps as organizations to determine if they’re being compensated properly. Step 1: Review Your Job Description Title matters far less than job function, so keep your skills in

mind. I work with some companies that get caught in compensating for titles, and while company culture or client-facing perspectives matter, titles should correlate little to pay. (Tip: Ensure your job description accurately describes the essential functions, responsibilities and requirements you perform!) Step 2: Compare Data Find comparable descriptions in at least three statistically sound compensation surveys. You can use the Department of Labor’s complementary compensation data on O*NET Online. Also refer to associations, industry groups or paid compensation sources. Be cautious about data that does not include a description or survey methodology explaining how and when the data was collected! Step 3: Do the Math Any survey data you reference should be averaged to determine a market rate. Use this rate to divide your annual salary by annual market average. This is called a “compa/ratio.” Com-

pensation analysts use these ratios to identify jobs that are underpaid, matching or overpaid compared to the market. How do you use a compensation ratio? Pay best practice should fall within 20% of market price, so a comp/ratio of .8 to 1.2 is competitive. A compa/ ratio of 1.0 is perfectly aligned to the market. Keep in Mind Catapult finds that 83% of employers calculate increases against an employee’s base salary while 17% calculate against range midpoint. Since most employers want to match or exceed the market rate, those midpoints should align. Remember: if your compa/ ratio is below market and your increase is calculated using your current rate, you could receive a pay increase and still fall below market! It’s always important to know what your skills are worth, and your employer should know how their rates match up so they can stay competitive. Use this data to properly advocate

(866) 440-0302 | LETSCATAPULT.ORG



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for your compensation and to help your employer stay up-todate in your industry. Employers: need help identifying your business challenges? Catapult Members are fueled by our data compiled from businesses of all sizes. Let’s refine what you know about your ever-evolving industry. Visit letscatapult.org to learn more about Membership. Stephanie Dillon, PHR, SHRM-CP HR Advisor

Stephanie Dillon is a Catapult HR Advisor. Stephanie has partnered with businesses to provide subject matter expertise on Employee Relations and HR Compliance topics, including, but not limited to: EEO/Discrimination, Wage & Hour, FMLA, ADA, OSHA, Workers’ Compensation, NLRA, FCRA, Immigration, and Unemployment Benefits. She coaches business leaders on Employee Relations, Performance Management, Development, Organizational Effectiveness, and Employee Engagement. She also conducts HR analysis and handbook reviews, as well as providing public speaking on various HR topics.





n the morning of our interview, Dene McIntosh had taken five phone calls before 10am. “I’m alone, but not lonely!” she told me with a grin. Friends and family within our community and from afar check in with her regularly. Dene and her late husband, Joe, moved to Plantation Village from next door at Porters Neck Country Club seven years ago. They were active members of the Porter’s Neck community for more than twenty years. They researched CCRCs across the country. They considered moving closer to their children and ultimately decided to “stay home” at PV. They wanted to remain near water and among an active community where they could stay involved with one of their lives’ greatest passions: tennis.

Dene and Joe met on the tennis court decades ago. Dene received a 4.0 rating in the National Tennis Rating Program, which uses a scale of 1.5 (beginner) to 7.0 (touring pro). While Dene has hung up her racket, she maintains an active lifestyle and walks our 3-miles of paved trails and out at local parks regularly with friends. She’s active as the Chairperson of the Plantation Village Memorial Fund, a member of the PV “First Team”, a dining committee area representative, a Hospitality representative and she volunteers in our library. She also attends regular church services and remains active in her PNCC book club. “I wish we’d moved here 5 years earlier,” she says. Dene compares life at PV to the resort-style life you’d find on a

cruise ship. For her, the people who make up our community make the difference. Sure, you’ll find communities with excellent dining, exercise classes and other amenities but she says the kindness and helpfulness exuded by PV staff and associates is unparalleled. Maintenance-free living is more than she ever expected. She told me once she put in a work order to have her refrigerator’s water filter replaced. She thought it’d get taken care of within a few days and was shocked when she opened the door 5 minutes later to an associate with a water filter in his hand.. She says her children don’t worry about her, because they know she lives in a community where she’s taken care of. You’ll often find her in the Village Market, picking up some freshly made cookies to enjoy!

When Dene lost her husband Joe four years ago, being at Plantation Village made all the difference. She may be alone, but she’s never lonely for the support she has among friends, family and fellow widows and widowers who lean on each other. She’s embraced life’s changes by making new friends, staying connected to her lifelong ones and finding new passions.

Anna Cook is Marketing Coordinator 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.



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SCARLESS VEIN CARE 5 SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME TO SCHEDULE A FREE* VEIN HEALTH SCREENING 1.You are experiencing painful, achy legs It's easy to associate aches and pains with working out or simply part of "getting older", but they can sometimes signal vein issues. If you notice increased leg pain in the absence of major changes to your daily routine, inadequate circulation could be to blame and should be checked by a vein specialist. 2.Your legs feel tired or heavy at the end of the day Those long days at work may not be to blame, after all. For most people, standing for an extended period of time should not cause your legs to feel heavy, weak, or tired. If you notice this happening regularly, contact a specialist to determine if you have poor blood-pumping action in your leg veins. 3.Your feet and ankles are swelling Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) can lead to blood pooling, causing the feet and ankles to swell. The swelling gets progressively worse as the day goes on, leading to "sock lines," and in some cases, may trigger individuals to start shopping for a larger shoe size! While swelling can happen in connection with heart disease, younger patients without a history of other causative factors should schedule a vascular evaluation.

4. Restless legs keep you up at night The sensations range from creeping and crawling to tingling and burning, leading to a constant urge to move the legs. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is often treated with medication from a neurological standpoint, but the cause may be connected to venous insufficiency. A vein health screening can assist in pinpointing the cause, potentially helping you avoid unnecessary medication.

with severe cramps or Charley horses. Check with a vein doctor to rule out CVI.

5.You experience frequent Charley horses or leg cramping If venous insufficiency is to blame, eating a banana or upping your potassium levels won't do the trick. Similar to RLS at night, many patients experiencing the symptoms of vein disease jump out of bed in the middle of the night

of developing vein disease. Dr. Kamran can help determine the cause of your symptoms during a comprehensive exam and evaluation utilizing state-ofthe-art diagnostic equipment. Fortunately, vein disease is a treatable condition. Treatment Options Relief from your symptoms is within reach. Dr. Kamran is

How can Dr. Kamran Help? If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it's time to give Dr. Kamran a call and schedule a *free vein health screening. This is especially true if you have a family history of vein disease or you also experienced symptoms along with noticeable vascular changes during pregnancy, since both factors are associated with an increased likelihood

910.218.0933 | SCARLESSVEINCARE.COM 44


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trained to recognize symptoms of vein disease and offers effective, non-invasive treatment plans that are customized to meet the unique needs of each patient. The most effective treatment will depend on your specific concerns and condition. Compression stockings are often an effective solution for minor discomfort and swelling associated with vein conditions of the legs. About Dr. Kamran: Dr. Kamran is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of phlebology and vascular surgery. He was one of the first physicians and centers in the state of North Carolina to offer his patients intravascular laser ablation for the treatment of varicose veins. Dr. Kamran has been providing general, thoracic, vascular, laparoscopic, and both upper and lower endoscopic surgeries for more than 40 years. Listen to Dr. Kamran’s podcast to learn more about vein disease risk factors, symptoms of vein disease, and vein disease treatment. About Scarless Vein Care: With Dr. Kamran, the journey from tired, achy, painful legs and unsightly varicose or spider veins to beautiful, healthy legs can be an easy one. Now offering free vein health screenings, Scarless Vein Care by Dr. Kamran is one of the nation’s preeminent locations for the treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose and spider veins. *Note: The 'Free Vein Health Screening' offer is not valid for Medicaid beneficiaries, or other recipients of federal or state health care benefit programs, or when prohibited by an insurance coverage provider. New patients only. One free screening per person. Not redeemable for cash.


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 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, 910352-7077. You want a great nation? Then, it demands a great education − “it all starts with the arts.”

910.352.7077 | THEARTWORKS.CO


APRIL APRIL 2022 2022



photo c/o North Carolina Azalea Festival


April 6 | Live Oak Bank Pavilion The new Queen Azalea, NIA IMANI FRANKLIN, a composer, actress, singer, and former Miss America winner (shown left), is crowned in a televised ceremony at 7 p.m. Following the coronation, a celebration concert takes place with local gospel artists East Coast Community Choir, DJ Bigg B, and headliner Girl Named Tom.


April 7 | Live Oak Bank Pavilion With platinum albums and seven number one hits, Gilbert combines electric guitarshredding, rapping, and twang in a night of rocking on the lawn.


April 8 | Live Oak Bank Pavilion Classic rock band REO Speedwagon has sold 40 million albums worldwide with hits including “I Don’t Want to Lose You” and “Here with Me.”


April 9, starting at 9:30 a.m. Downtown Wilmington








elebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary, the North Carolina Azalea Festival will bring a full schedule of events to Wilmington this month. “Everyone knows the past two years were rough on everyone, especially on the events industry. So this year’s seventy-fifth anniversary festival is extra special,” says Azalea Festival executive director ALISON BARINGER, who has run the festival for sixteen years. The festival will be a blend of traditional and new events. “My favorite part of the entire festival is parade morning,” APRIL 2022


April 8-10 | CFCC Schwartz Center Parking Lot Baringer says. After two years of disruptions, festival happenings from the street fair (in a new location) to concert acts to community events are back in the lineup April 6-10. “We have over 1,000 volunteers who create festival magic. People volunteer in ways we don’t even know about. Families are making memories,” Baringer says. “My hope is that in thirty years, kids will bring their kids to the festival.” Here are some of the events planned for this year’s Azalea Festival. Several events are free to attend, while others require tickets. For event updates, ticket info, and a full schedule, go to ncazaleafestival.org/events.W


April 9 -10 | Wilmington Convention Center Some of the finest boxers from across the U.S. compete in six divisions and multiple age groups.


April 9 | Elks Lodgew


April 9 | Live Oak Bank Pavilion 1990s hip-hop group Cypress Hill caps off the festival’s main concert series, with opening act Big Daddy Kane.


April 9, starting at 9 p.m.


April 9-10 | Downtown Wilmington and Carolina Heights




LAURIE PATTERSON, a member of UNCW’s computer science faculty and coordinator of the university’s information technology program, is taking the lead as the university hosts the Carolinas Women in Computing conference on April 8-9. The conference is expected to draw about 150 undergraduate and graduate students as well as academicians and practitioners in a variety of computer-related fields. Info: carolinaswic.org TELL US ABOUT THE CONFERENCE: “The Carolinas Women in Computing conference is designed primarily for technology-focused students and faculty in North and South Carolina. Traditionally, there have been few women in the field; if we went to a regular conference, it was male-heavy. This conference has been going on for a few years, and it tends to happen biennially. The last one, hosted by Winthrop University (in South Carolina), was shortly before everybody got shut down with COVID-19. University of North Carolina Wilmington is the host this year; the next conference will be at Anderson University in South Carolina.” WHAT’S ON THE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE? “Registration/check-in is on Friday, April 8, and the final event will be over at about 4:30 on Saturday, April 9. There will be workshops late Friday afternoon featuring different types of software and how to do things. We’re looking at adding a workshop and inviting high school teachers from surrounding counties. Dinner Friday night features Beth Robertson, of Liberty & Associates, a government contracting firm, along with poster demonstrations by students. On Saturday, students will present papers on their research, and we’ll have two panels: one with women in industry and one with women in academia.” IS THE CONFERENCE GEARED PRIMARILY FOR STUDENTS? “It is more for students, but there tends to be a fair amount of interaction among the professionals. It gives sponsoring businesses an opportunity for a bit of a career fair. And faculty members do attend the poster session and paper presentations so they can see what other colleges’ students are doing. That gives students a chance to interact with faculty members who might be interested in their research. The CWIC conference is similar to large conferences, but we’ve got 150 people instead of thousands. And because there still aren’t many women in these majors, it gives the students an opportunity to meet other women in technology.” WHAT WILL ATTENDEES LEARN ABOUT PROGRAMS AT UNCW? “For one thing, our computer science department is almost fifty-fifty men and women with regard to faculty numbers, so when students come into our program, they see more women. The growth of UNCW and slow movement toward becoming a research institution have attracted more women to computer science; we’re slightly above the national average with regard to females in undergraduate enrollment for technology majors. The national average is about 18%, and across three technology majors UNCW is at about 21%.” WHAT IS UNCW DOING TO EXPAND ITS OFFERINGS IN COMPUTER-RELATED DISCIPLINES? “We now have programs in cybersecurity and intelligent systems engineering – think: The Internet of Things. With these programs and the new undergraduate major in coastal engineering, we are bringing something unique to this region.”W LAURIE PATTERSONS’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.


APRIL 2022





Dylan Patterson is a writer and filmmaker who teaches English at Cape Fear Community College.


Even in my worst-case, mid-life crisis scenario, I never imagined I’d become “that guy.” But I was struggling emotionally in the wake of a breakup. Middleaged and suddenly single again. Plus, my writing career was on the skids. Email inbox filled with rejections from prospective agents for my latest manuscript. So, yes, I was lonely and vulnerable. And she was young and cute and full of energy. Maybe I was destined to fall for her because here I am six months later: that guy who won’t shut up about his rescue dog. You’ve met versions of me before. Online, you’ve probably unfriended a few. Or found yourself searching for the fire exit at a party after someone like me launches into his rescue dog monologue. “Name’s Kit. She’s a rescue,” I tell anyone who’ll listen. “Found pregnant and wandering the streets. She was being fostered by a neighbor. She had just weaned seven puppies. They’re already bigger than she is!” The kids petting Kit (at the Riverwalk or Greenfield Lake or the beach) all “Awwww!” and their parents and I share a smile. They think I’m done with my story, but they’re wrong. I’m far from finished. “I didn’t adopt her right away,” I continue. “I wasn’t in any headspace for that, just out of a breakup and all, so she was sent to another foster family. But that didn’t work out, and after a week, she came back. By then, I was ready. It was fate.”



APRIL 2022

By this point in my story, the kids are yawning, and the parents’ smiles transform into the glassy-eyed stare of hostages wondering when their forced captivity will end. “And I’ve just been so glad I adopted her,” I continue the tale a day later to a friend currently in the midst of a contentious divorce. “I can’t imagine the last few months without her.” “She’s pretty cute,” another friend nods a few days later, checking her phone to see if a doctor’s appointment has opened for her immunocompromised child. “Diane, the dog trainer, says Kit is super smart. And Diane’s a tough cookie. She has to be an alpha because she’s really training you, so you can train the dog.” At this point, the look on my audience’s face is familiar from those illustrations of what a drowning person looks like: an expression of vacuous and inescapable doom. “She’s doing great with her sits/stays,” I later tell the nice folks next to me at the dog-friendly bar, “but I just can’t get her to do her down/stays, you know? And she’s real skittish on hardwood floors. Do you guys need another beer?” I ask. “No, we’re taking off,” the group of strangers says in unison as they push for the exit. Before they’ve even reached the door, I’ve lined up my next victim. The older couple in the corner smiling at my Kit. They will hear my story. I’m like the Ancient Mariner now. I have a rescue dog tale I must tell.




CL ASS OF 2022

INSTITUTE KATE B AILLON Manager of Collections & Exhibits, Cape Fear Museum HEATHER BARCUS Compounding Pharmacist, Medical Center Specialty Pharmacy

KATHERINE CORPENI N G Assistant Public Defender, New Hanover County Public Defender Office KATE DASILVA Sales Operation Team Leader, Kent Homes

DORI BISHARA Development Coordinator, The Children’s Museum of Wilmington

BECKY DEGROO TE Manager of Acute Care Rehabilitation Services, Novant Health

MAGGIE BL ACKHAM Founder, Elevate CoWorking

ARIS DURJ AVA Territory Sales Manager, US Foods

S TEPHANIE BOLT ON Owner, Patriot Roofing Company LLC KATIE BRASKETT Director of Marketing, MegaCorp Logistics CRY S TAL BURNETT Financial Development & Sponsorship Coordinator, YMCA of Southeastern NC ROS ALIE C AL ARCO Associate State Director of Advocacy & Outreach for the Coastal Region, AARP NC

PAM H ARDY District Manager, Duke Energy Progress

FRANCH ES C A R A MI R EZ MDT/Advocate Supervisor, The Carousel Center

KRIS T EN H O LE Project Consultant, Cape Fear Solar Systems

ABBY RO ET GER Performance Excellence Programs Manager, Novant Health

AM AN DA KN AU FF Physical Therapist/Owner, Pender Pelvic Health & Therapy Services LLC

JEN N Y S H EAR I N Principal Product Marketing Manager, nCino

RACH EL L ACO E Senior Long Range Planner, New Hanover County

M ELIS S A S INCL A I R Director of Development for Major Gifts, UNCW CHHS

YV ONNE EASON Talent Manager Supervisor, New Hanover County Schools

T RIS TAN M AN LEY SVP Deposit & Next Generation Credit Product Leader, Live Oak Bank

RACH EL TAYLOR Managing Director, Cucalorus Film Foundation

KIM EMORY Creative Project Manager, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

KAT E M AR T IN Corrective Action Program Manager, GE

C ATHERINE FERGUSON Scientist/Team Leader, Alcami Corporation

KELLIE M CLIV ER T Y Product Designer, Apiture

J ASMIN FULLER Manufacturing Engineer, GE Aviation

C ARESS CLEGG Communications Supervisor, New Hanover County Schools

C AROLINE GANN AVP-Solar Energy, Live Oak Bank

COLLEEN COONS Strategic Marketing & Business Development, Monteith Construction

CHRIS TIN A HALLINGSE Communications Manager, N.C. State Ports Authority


LEIG H EV ERET T E M ILLIG AN S U LLIVAN Co-Owner, Real Green Turf LLC AM Y N EWBERRY Physical Therapist/Owner, Pelvic Prescription PT & Wellness S T EFAN IE PO WELL Assistant Dean for Administration & Resource Management, UNCW

CO U R T N EY T OW NSEND Ed Lab Coach, UNCW Watson College of Education ALEX U M S T E A D- W R ENN VP-Closing, Live Oak Bank CIERRA WASHI NG T ON Strategic Partnership Coordinator, Northside Food Cooperative BECKY WH ITESI DE Director of Professional & Support Services, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center S H AN ZH AO Senior Development Engineer, Corning Incorporated

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




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