WILMINGTON’S SUCCESSFUL WOMAN
Cool and Crisp
Summer style on deck
The pros tackle home organization
Tapping Into Tech On the lookout with Jessica Pham
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22 8 SPOTLIGHT
46 SCENE: Block party
10 TASTE: Wine about it 12 HEALTH: Out of the ring 14 STYLE: So fresh and so clean
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47 TAKE 5: Hive talk with Jessy O’Keefe 48 MEN'S ROOM: In search of zen
14 22 D OWN WITH CLUTTER: Professional organizers to the rescue 28 T ALENT SCOUT: Jessica Pham’s tech talent recruiting
It’s August, closer to the end of the year than the beginning. But, just because it’s not New Year’s Day, it doesn’t mean we can’t hit restart. We’re in that in-between time of summer when lounging still beckons, but back-toschool supplies inspire even nonstudents to grab a fresh notebook and blank planner. (Pro tip: Trapper Keepers have returned with a reboot.) This month, we’ve got something for both sides. Put on some summer whites and hit the waters in style (page 14). Grab a charcuterie plate and glass of wine to relax from Bridgewater, which now has expanded into Porters Neck from the Zuckers’ first popular spot in Leland (page 10). Hangout at Novant’s Welcome Back Fest, an event to mark the community’s progress against COVID-19, featuring food, music, and games (page 46). Have the productivity bug, instead? Then, get some spring cleaning in during the off-season. Professional organizers share their tips for getting the upper hand on all your stuff and not letting your space control you (page 22). Or, if you need a reinspiration on your New Year’s health resolutions, the city’s fitness center might be the workout gem you need for something new (page 12). Busy or laid-back, here’s to making the most of the end of summer. W
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. This month, Callison talks with Jessica Pham, who represents Tech Talent South in Wilmington (page 28).
DREWE & KATE – DREWE SMITH and KATE SUPA own a creative studio – Drewe and
Kate – that helps companies elevate their brand and digital presence through photography, brand styling, logo design, and website creation. The team styled and photographed this month’s cover and summerinspired fashion shoot (page 14) (dreweandkate.com)
MADELINE GRAY is a freelance documentary
photographer based in Wilmington. With a master’s degree in photojournalism, her work is regularly featured in local and national publications. She enjoys spending time in places that are off the beaten track and collaborating to share the diverse stories found there. Gray photographed workouts at the city’s Sherriedale Morgan Fitness Center (page 12) and organizer Erin Barbee Keller for “In Its Place” (page 22) madelinegrayphoto.com and @madelinepgray on Instagram
BETH A. KLAHRE retired from a major
Pennsylvania chocolate manufacturer where she held leadership positions in engineering, IT, and global business services. Now relocated to Southport, she spends her time writing and has been published locally and nationally. She is learning to play the harp, loves walking the beach with her dog, and serves on the board of directors of Friends of the Library Southport & Oak Island. Klahre gets the details about Wilmington’s city-owned fitness center for this month’s health feature (page 12).
Publisher Rob Kaiser firstname.lastname@example.org President Robert Preville email@example.com Editor Vicky Janowski firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President of Sales Maggi Apel email@example.com Senior Account Executive Craig Snow firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executives Courtney Barden email@example.com Sydney Pope firstname.lastname@example.org
Marian Welsh email@example.com Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org Events Director Elizabeth Stelzenmuller email@example.com Design/Media Coordinator Molly Jacques firstname.lastname@example.org Content Marketing Coordinator Morgan Mattox email@example.com Contributing Designer Suzi Drake firstname.lastname@example.org Digital Editor Johanna Cano email@example.com Fashion Stylist Drewe Smith Contributors Tim Bass, Jenny Callison, Meghan Corbett, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Beth A. Klahre, Teresa McLamb, Laura Moore, Lynda Van Kuren Contributing Photographers Daria Amato, Megan Deitz, Drewe and Kate, Aris Harding, Madeline Gray, Melissa Hebert, Terah Wilson
LAURA MOORE is an English professor at Cape Fear Community College in one of the top threerated English departments in the state. In addition to education, she has a background in public relations and journalism. Moore talked with several local professional organizers about getting o top of clutter (page 22).
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: WILMA NETWORK: The WILMA Network is made up of sponsors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, from small businesses to large companies in the region. The Network meets monthly during 2nd Tuesday gatherings to make connections, including this recent after-hours at Palate Bottle Shop and Garden on North Fourth (above) and lunch at the Oceanic Restaurant last month. LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: WILMA’s Leadership Institute, a class of thirty-two selected women who meet for training and peer mentoring, discussed negotiation techniques last month with BristolGroup Business Brokers’ Regina Fisher. The session, held at UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, also included a lunch panel featuring several leaders from the university. This year’s class meets monthly through December. GETTING SOCIAL: Check out the initiative’s 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. IN THE LOOP: Keep up to date with these and other Leadership Initiative programs as well as applications announcements by going to WILMAmag.com or signing up for the WILMA Leadership email at WILMAmag.com/email-newsletter. - Vicky Janowski, WILMA editor, and Maggi Apel, vice president of sales, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com
The Women to Watch logo: When you see this throughout WILMA’s pages, it means this is a woman on the rise to know, an experienced leader to learn from, or a local program worth checking out. W
10 ‘A PERFECT PARING’: The Zuckers expand into Porters Neck 28 TECH TIES: Jessica Pham finds tech potential in a variety of people and places 47 ALL THE BUZZ: Jessy O’Keefe turns her beekeeping interest into a new business
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM SHOWCASES THE PORT 8
photo c/o The Children's Museum of Wilmington
The Port City is the focus of an updated exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Wilmington. The museum, 116 Orange Street, held a grand opening for its revamped “Port CMoW” area last month. The exhibit first opened in 2006 and underwent a renovation to expand and transform it. Historical photos of the port intermingle with videos of Port of Wilmington operations today, while activities include movable boats and underwater scenes. “Port CMoW introduces children to the Port of Wilmington in a fun and educational setting that allows them to understand what it means to live in or visit the ‘Port City,” museum officials say.
ERICKSON NAMED WILMINGTON EYE CEO
Wilmington Eye named KATHY ERICKSON as the practice’s CEO, according to a news release. Erickson has been with the practice for more than fourteen years. She most recently served as the executive director and is the practice’s first CEO. Erickson joined Wilmington Eye in 2006 as the practice administrator. “Since then, Erickson has been instrumental in helping the practice grow to become the largest and most comprehensive ophthalmology group in the region, with seventeen providers, nine locations, more than 150 employees, and its very own surgery center, which is expected to open later this year,” practice officials say. A graduate of Hoggard High School, Erickson received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University. After working as an engineer for several years, she turned to graduate school and earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Wilmington Eye is a locally owned ophthalmology practice with locations throughout Eastern North Carolina.
COBB COMPLETES CFCC FIREFIGHTER PROGRAM
Bald Head Island public safety officer AMANDA COBB recently graduated from CFCC’s Firefighter Academy as academic valedictorian of the class. Cobb was among the recent group of twelve graduates from the Cape Fear Community College program. Originally from Alaska, Cobb attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After moving to North Carolina, she went through the Winston-Salem Police Department’s basic law enforcement training and worked there for five years. Following her family to the coast, Cobb started with Bald Head Island’s Department of Public Safety part time while adding certifications for other emergency roles in order to join the agency full time. On the island, public safety officers who work for the village are certified in law enforcement, firefighting, and EMT/ paramedic, so Cobb went to EMT class and the CFCC’s Firefighter Academy. “I didn’t know anything about fire before the academy,” Cobb says. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The physical demands were eyeopening, but it was so rewarding.”
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UNCW’S QENO HAS NEW DIRECTOR
SARAH DANIELS is leading the UNCW office that works with nonprofit groups in the community. The university recently named Daniels, who has experience in the local nonprofit sector, as director of UNCW’s Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations (QENO). QENO is a “partnership between UNCW and the community created to help strengthen nonprofit organizations in southeastern North Carolina through professional, leadership, and organizational development and providing connections to UNCW faculty, staff, and students,” according to the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Daniels earned her MPA from the university. “She has experience working as both a nonprofit executive director and consultant and is an expert in bringing together nonprofits for a common goal,” JEANINE MINGÉ, UNCW’s associate vice chancellor for community engagement and applied learning, said in an announcement about Daniels’ hiring. “She has grant writing experience and has been a part-time instructor at UNCW.” Daniels was most recently director of the New Hanover Disaster Coalition, a group that coordinates disaster relief efforts in the region. Daniels also has served as interim director for the Cape Fear Food Council as associate director of Feast Down East.
Have a suggestion for a local woman or group to spotlight? Email us: wilma@WILMAmag.com WILMAmag.com
PAIRING’ THE ZUCKERS EXPAND INTO PORTERS NECK by LYNDA VAN KUREN photo by MEGAN DEITZ
or SUSAN and DOUG ZUCKER, co-owners of Bridgewater Wines + Dines, wine is more than a beverage for special occasions. It is an integral part of a meal, as essential as a protein or vegetable. “Wine ties everything together and brings that social piece to a meal,” says DOUG ZUCKER. “We want people to think of wine as part of their life.” It’s this philosophy the couple is spreading throughout the Wilmington area, first with their Leland wine shop, 1132 New Pointe Boulevard, and now with their second one in Porters Neck, 178 Porters Neck Road. The wine shops are more than second careers for the Zuckers. They are the culmination of a dream, one the Zuckers have long prepared for.
Doug Zucker has more than twenty years of experience in the wine business, having served as the director of operations for Stew Leonard’s, the well-known wine and food emporium, in three states. While there, he met with winemakers the world over, which makes it easy for him to stock his stores with wines that have wide appeal. He also has a master’s degree in business administration from the Bordeaux School of Management in Bordeaux, France. SUSAN ZUCKER, who heads up the food part of the shops, also has a wealth of knowledge and experience. She has worked in numerous restaurants, and she taught culinary arts at CUNY Queens College and at the high school level. “We are the perfect pairing,” Susan Zucker says. “He does the wine, and I do the food.” The Zuckers’ wine shops serve everyone from the wine novice to the
connoisseur. Doug Zucker stocks wines from around the globe, but he specializes in wines from regions such as Argentina, Slovenia, and the Pacific Northwest that are not as widely known for wine. Though the Zuckers carry high-priced wines, they pride themselves on offering their customers gems – wines in the $13$15 range that taste like $30-$40 wines. Another thing that makes Bridgewater Wines + Dines so special is Doug Zucker’s intimate knowledge of the wines. As customers sample the wines, he often shares stories about them and the winemakers. Add in outstanding food and a casual, inviting atmosphere, and the Zuckers’ wine shops constantly attract new customers and turn them into regulars. “The wine shops are like a Cheers bar,” Susan Zucker says. “It’s people’s third place where they feel comfortable. There’s home, office, and the wine shop. We know all our customers, and our staff develops relationships with all our customers.” The Zuckers first developed this model for their wine shop in Leland, opening
in late 2018. When they saw how well it worked, they felt comfortable opening a second shop in Porters Neck this summer. “We saw success in Leland, and Porters Neck has a similar demographic,” Doug Zucker says. “The Porters Neck location will be similar. The model works.” The Porters Neck shop is twice the size as the one in Leland and offers 900 different wines, giving customers more opportunities to sample new and exciting wines Doug Zucker discovers. The menu, too, has been expanded to include tapas-style dishes as well as favorites from the Leland site. Diners will find the charcuterie boards, which feature artisanal meats and cheeses, as well as traditional dishes such as entrée-size salads and sandwiches. Also, at Porters Neck, patrons can spread out in the larger dining area and bar or enjoy dining on the patio while listening to live music when offered. In addition, the Zuckers hold free wine tastings four days a week as well as more formal wine pairings at the Porters Neck shop. The wine pairings, which are
themed, consist of a five-course meal and appropriate wines. Susan Zucker crafts the menus to go with the wines her husband has picked, and diners can expect flavorful dishes they’ve rarely, or never, tasted. For example, for the Australian wine pairing, Susan Zucker treated the attendees to kangaroo stew. As in Leland, the Zuckers support the local community by holding fundraisers for nonprofits and hosting events for other area organizations. “We can and do anything from wine tastings to full wine pairings as fundraisers,” Susan Zucker says. “We do fundraisers for any organization, and we’re already booking fundraisers and other events at the Porters Neck shop into January.” For the Zuckers, opening a second wine shop further expresses their love for their work and their community and is proof that they have developed a business model that their customers enjoy. “Our model works great because our shop has dining and retail,” Doug Zucker says. “One plays off the other.” W
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Candi Gouveia, left, and Erica Bryant, right, participate in a boot camp class.
A PUNCH FROM BOXING BAGS TO YOGA MATS
by BETH A. KLAHRE photos by MADELINE GRAY
ocated in the heart of downtown Wilmington is one of the best-kept fitness secrets around.
The Sherriedale Morgan Fitness Center, 302 South 10th Street, is owned and run by the city of Wilmington. The gym has a rich history as a boxing center. The late SHERRIEDALE MORGAN became a local boxing legend after winning a U.S. Army boxing championship and subsequent inductions into the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame, The Greater Flint African American Sports Hall of Fame, and the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame. After his Army retirement, he was hired to operate a boxing program in an old firehouse on North Front Street. Years later, a new facility was constructed in the current location and named in his honor. There are still a fair number of boxers
who come to work the bags and do their strength and conditioning at the 10th Street gym, says STEVEN SCHMITTER, recreation supervisor of fitness. “We also have some members, both male and female, who know enough boxing to use the bags as part of their workout but do not box competitively,” he says. Over the years, the center has evolved into a complete fitness center offering free weights, universal equipment, treadmills, stationary bikes, and StairMasters, along with personal and group training and a variety of classes for its 400-plus members. Schmitter’s interest in fitness goes back to middle school when he escaped summer boredom by working out mimicking ESPN bodybuilders on TV in his garage. After earning his exercise science degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, he became the
strength coach at Port City Sports Performance and later owned his own training facility where he coached athletes and clients who wanted to lose weight, build muscle, and improve their health. In addition to teaching classes and personal training sessions, Schmitter oversees the center’s day-to-day operations keeping equipment in working order, purchasing new equipment, planning events, and managing the budget. His biggest challenge is getting the word out. “This center is a hidden gem,” Schmitter says. “We really have something for everyone who is interested in improving their health and fitness. We have amazing members who represent many different walks of life and yet come together in this one place for the common purpose of improving themselves.” A variety of classes – included in the annual $55 city resident membership fee – are held at the center and two nearby locations, the city’s MLK Community Center and Fit For Fun Center. Bootcamp is a beginner-to-intermediate-level fitness class. Led by credentialed, experienced instructors from GOING Fit Inc., the class uses dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls for a full-body workout to increase strength and both cardiovascular and muscle endurance. GOING Fit also teaches yoga for the center, including weekday sunrise yoga for the early birds and Saturday classes. Social Fitnessing is a six-week themed workout program designed by the staff. Past themes included Tabata Takeover, New Year New You, and Built to Last. These programs are very popular, filling up quickly and often having a waiting list. Each month, the center holds a free public workshop. Topics range from squat technique to core training exercises to mindfulness and heart health. Most are WILMAmag.com
presented by the staff with an occasional outside expert. Personal training, the only fee-based session, is led by certified personal trainers for $6 for 30 minutes. “The workout equipment is great, and the staff is amazing,” says PEGGY WILLIS SMITH, who has been a member of the center for fifteen years. “The gym is small, which gives it an intimate feel that has enabled me to meet many people,” she adds. “Gymmates are like family. We encourage each other. We check up on each other.” Smith started working out because she felt out of shape and overweight and wanted to feel better about herself.
Instructor Maryhelen Korleski
“My main goal is to strengthen my body, mind, and soul. I want to encourage my daughters and other women to make their health a priority,” she says. Schmitter gives encouragement. “The benefits of exercise are numerous, well researched, and undeniable. The key is to find a form of exercise that works for you and make it a habit. If you haven’t found that yet, we are happy to help you find that perfect fit.” Smith agrees. “It takes great commitment to awaken from a cozy bed to go to thew gym. It’s not easy at times, but the benefits outweigh the negative.” W Info: Click on Fitness Center from wilmingtonrecreation.com
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IN ITS PLACE by
Laura Moore Moore
STUFF: We all have a lot of it, and often, no idea what to do with it. Professional organizers play an important role in helping clients make effective use of their beloved belongings by giving them a purpose, a space, or a new home. Here are some area business owners making the most of paring down and their tips to help you cut through the clutter noise. photo by
A ris Harding
Wardrobe Order JEN MCLEAN always loved sorting and organizing, so when practicing law did not bring her the satisfaction she hoped, she set out traveling the globe until she ended up back in Wilmington, helping people sort “through their lives.” JAM Organizing officially opened in 2017, but McLean’s skills had been put to use for friends and colleagues for more than a decade. McLean tackles organizing “pretty much everything, as long as I understand what the stuff is used for.” But, her passion is women’s closets. “There’s a lot of insecurities on those hangers, and women are faced daily with a barrage of insecurities. There should be nothing in your closet that makes you feel bad about yourself,” McLean says. “Get rid of it. Let it go. Your closet
cannot do that to you.” McLean’s process starts with a free, one-hour consultation where she can see the space and make a plan that works for her client. “It’s a personal process. I literally have my hands in your underwear drawer. It is very personal, so before any money changes hands, I want to make sure you are comfortable with us or else you are not able to open up, and we’re not going to do as good of a job,” she says. McLean says learning how clients use their space is essential, but the main focus is decluttering. “Life is easier with less. The more we can get out, the better. I take away donations at every session,” McLean says. She has taken so many donations to such a wide variety of organizations that McLean was inspired to compile a list of local nonprofits where people can do-
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Declutter, declutter, declutter. Don’t buy bins and baskets. Wait and see what you need after you see what is needed to fit after the space is cleared. Think about how you use the space or want to use the space. Look forward and ask which possessions get to move forward with you in your life. Get your family involved in the organizing process. They’ll be more likely to maintain it.
nate their goods and posts it on the website DonateILM.com. “It is meant to be a resource. People are more likely to donate if they can connect with an organization,” McLean says. McLean describes clients as “people who are victims of life. Life has happened and they want a reset where they can move forward from there. It doesn’t matter where you start, just that you start.” WILMAmag.com
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Meticulous Moves For almost ten years now, ERIN BARBEE KELLER has been helping people move with order and efficiency with her Turn Key Lifestyle Expert Organization and Move Management. Growing up in a military family, Keller always “had to be prepared to put things in a box and move at some point.” Luckily, she “always kind of loved that,” so much so, that she has made a career doing it for others. Keller launched Turn Key while living in Montana and began anew in Wilmington in 2015. “We combine the world of organizing and the world of moving and blend it together into one little package,” Keller describes. “We are a one-touch solution for people. “It all starts with the initial meeting. I get a sense of the square footage – before and after, set-up timeframes, and the execution dates along the way,” Keller adds. “It takes a lot of collaboration and communication.” Keller’s process involves consulting with clients to understand where they and their things will be going. “I pack the way they need to be unpacked. It is critical to indicate boxes and how and when they need to be opened. That way they can unpack and put away in a very organized way,” Keller says. “Skill transference” is another important aspect of what Keller provides to her clients. “Working sessions can be teaching moments, so clients can maintain all the new systems we are putting into place,” Keller says.
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Sparking Joy LYDIA FIELDS uses bestselling author, Netflix star, and organizing expert Marie Kondo’s tidying methods to help clients choose what they want to keep by deciding what “sparks joy” for them and what does not. Fields opened Seaside Styling and Organizing in 2018, but she became a certified KonMari Consultant in 2020, to help clients use their chosen pieces to create their own unique spaces. “It is really better to let go, choose, and be intentional with what you’re working with. Take a collection of curated things and display them in creative ways to create a space that is yours as a retreat to come home to,” Fields says. As a certified home stager, Fields began her business using her sense of space layout and eye for color to create beautifully staged homes but soon realized she wanted to help clients make their homes beautiful for daily living. “I loved the creative challenge of working with what clients already owned as opposed to buying all new items,” Fields says. Using her own experience with the KonMari method inspired her to attend the Marie Kondo’s training course and use the method as the cornerstone of her work. She is currently a silverlevel consultant with 300 hours under her belt working towards the program’s gold level of 600 tidying hours. Instead of just keeping things in boxes and bins, Fields suggests going through the items and choosing what they want to keep. “If you love it, then figure out how you can make it useful and be creative with it,” Fields explains. Fields says that it is often fear that impedes clients’ progress. “They say, ‘I don’t know how to let go of these things,’ and they can’t seem to let them go,” she says. In her community enrichment class on home transformation at Cape Fear Community College, Fields provides a space “to pause and think about the emotional side of why we keep the things we do, and sometimes the story just needs to be told.” W
A ris Hardiing
PRO TIPS Go on Netflix and watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. See her go through the process and get in the mindset when you’re trying to tackle a space that’s overwhelming. Ask what do I want to keep? What makes me happy? What inspires me? Find organizations to donate to that have a mission you can believe in. It will help you let it go a little more easily when you know it is going to one of the great nonprofits in the community. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may need some support, and there is nothing wrong with getting a little extra help.
T earah Wilson
Creativity. Strategy. Planning. How will you achieve financial independence?
We are here to guide you forward. 4018 Oleander Drive, Suite 102, Wilmington, NC 28403 | www.pwcpath.com | 910-793-0616 Advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a Registered Investment Advisor.
Dental Implant Innovations That Will Make You Smile. Whether creating new dental implants or restoring older ones, COFSC is on the leading edge of this procedure. Our intraoral scanner and 3D printer replace traditional impressions, creating a much more accurate and completely customized result. Dental implants are a good replacement for natural teeth and more comfortable than dentures.
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Jessica Pham finds tech potential in a variety of people and places
by Jenny Callison | photo by Daria Amato
ESSICA PHAM is very techsavvy, but she doesn’t spend her days coding information, designing apps, or developing websites. Instead, she recruits people who want to learn those skills and helps prepare them for a workforcehungry industry. Pham is chief of staff, head recruiter, and Wilmington representative for Charlotte-based Tech Talent South, a woman-owned company that identifies, trains, and places individuals in an array of technology fields. “We train in programming skills,” she says. “We are a preferred (staffing) vendor for a range of companies. And, while we try and place our candidates first, we do help other (tech professionals) as well.” Tech Talent South has also undertaken workforce development. During the pandemic, for example, the firm partnered with several municipalities that had a mandate to train interested residents who had been displaced from their jobs by COVID-19. Thanks to this local government support, those individuals learned programming skills at no cost to themselves and were then connected with potential employers. “Anyone can learn how to code, but it takes tenacity and willingness,” Pham says, emphasizing her firm’s practice of looking for future tech stars who have liberal arts backgrounds or, sometimes, no post-secondary education at all. “The (program enrollees) were people seeking government aid, people who didn’t have a college degree
– it ran the gamut,” she adds. “We saw some really cool things come out of this. In Newport News, we had a candidate who had been in the U.S. only a few years. He was bilingual. He went through our training program and got hired by Texas Solar Professional. You might think that our students are computer science grads who live in dark basements. But no, we’ve trained truck drivers who have gone on to become product engineers. We’ve trained baristas; we’ve trained veterans. “Liberal arts grads often tend to have soft, interpersonal skills that might be lacking in the typical tech grad,” Pham says, explaining that employers are often looking for a new hire who has a combination of technical skills and soft skills, including languages. That immigrant who is doing well these days at Texas Solar Professional? His facility in two languages made it easier for him to learn computer languages, Pha says. Tech Talent South’s ten-to-twenty-week boot camps cover a broad spectrum of skills. Its “full stack” program – which helps the student work with both the front end and the back end of tech products – is the most important kind of training, according to Pham. Meeting with a live instructor online, students learn through projects and exercises, track their progress and earn a certificate of completion at the end of a course. Each month, Tech Talent South serves about 120 people all across the nation. Pham’s background exemplifies the kind of education or experience she looks for in recruits. A native of Hickory, she majored in marketing and communications studies at University of North Carolina Wilmington and aimed for a career in events planning. After a stint at the Brooklyn Arts Center in downtown Wilmington, she took a position with a co-working startup, doing its social media marketing and
membership development. Recruited by Tech Talent South in 2017, she briefly ran its boot camps and developed its Wilmington market by enlisting area companies as clients. She then helped market the Cargo District, building the brand and attracting tenants to the burgeoning neighborhood. And, she earned her license and sold real estate. “Real estate was a great experience, but I felt my calling was in the tech industry because of how connected, how open it is,” she says. That realization brought her back to Tech Talent South. “At the end of 2019, I was brought on as chief of staff, working closely with CEO BETSY HAUSER, helping with strategic initiatives, working on supplier diversity, with corporate partners – the corporate part of our business,” Pham says. “Over the last one-and-a-half years, my role has expanded to director of ‘people growth.’ I’m the admissions front, getting students to take our training programs and working with our program managers to make sure (students) are graduating and are prepared to enter the workforce, getting them connected to new opportunities.” An important element in people growth is ensuring that opportunities through Tech Talent South are open to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, Pham says. For the most part, the company’s courses are less expensive than those of some competitors, but they still cost several thousand dollars. “How do you build a program for all people if you don’t include all people?” Pham asks, explaining that, because Tech Talent South both trains and places tech workers, company fees make it possible for the firm to offer scholarships for students with promise but no money to pay for the programs. “We try to focus primarily on diverse candidates; that’s very important to us,” she says. “We’re open to everyone.” W
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WO M E N
WHO M E A N
BUSINESS SPONSORS' CONTENT The Wilmington region is packed with women leaders in businesses, non-profits and other local institutions. WILMA’s mission is to shine a spotlight on these women as well as help develop future leaders in our community. This special marketing section features exactly who its name suggests — Women Who Mean Business.
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
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ERIN E RUSSELL Russell Family Law Erin graduated with a business degree from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan and attended law school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she earned her doctorate from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. After relocating to North Carolina to pursue her career in law, she worked for several firms before opening her own practice in Wilmington which serves New Hanover County and its surrounding counties. Russell Family Law & Litigation prioritizes their clients best interests and provides the legal representation they deserve.
KIM SKIDMORE Liv CBD Kim is certified from the CBD Training Academy but also has a background in administration and Age Management. The coupling of these two medical fields permits her to focus on how the body can respond to life’s stresses. She provides her clients with already proven products that have been third party tested, that are clean and available all in one place – at LIV CBD. Her natural and holistic approach to health and wellness are what permits her to truly help her clients.
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WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
MICHEALLE GADY, JD Atrómitos Michealle is Founder and President of Atrómitos, LLC, a boutique, national consulting firm headquartered in Wilmington. Atrómitos works with a variety of organizations from health payers and technology companies, to community-based organizations and nonprofits, but their work reflects a singular mission: creating healthier, more resilient, and more equitable communities. In addition to leading the Atrómitos team, Michealle serves as a Board Member for both the Cape Fear Literacy Council and A Safe Place and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and American Health Law Association.
ADRIENNE MOORE James E. Moore Insurance Having joined the family business as an agent in 2009 after a career at the corporate level of a national insurance company, Adrienne now serves as owner and CEO of James E. Moore Insurance Agency. With the mission of understanding client’s needs and making a difference in people’s lives, Adrienne upholds the agency’s three generational legacy of service and support to their customers as well as to the greater Wilmington community. James E. Moore Insurance provides full personal and commercial insurance services across the state.
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
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CAT MARINICH Nothing Bundt Cakes Serving delicious sweets and treats was not a long-term plan of Cat’s, but more of a journey that brought her home to Wilmington. After her interest was sparked by learning about a Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise opportunity, she decided to open a location here in Wilmington. Her extensive world travel over the years helps Cat make the bakery warm and inviting for all who visit. Serving the moistest cakes you can find anywhere and offering beautiful designs for any occasion keep her guests coming back for more. Delivery and shipping are available for all purchases!
KELLY STUART Carolinas Commercial The Carolinas Commercial Real Estate Team is a matchmaker for businesses locating and expanding in the Wilmington Region with properties best suited for their location. Drawing from years in economic development, Kelly helps clients navigate local zoning, permitting and construction requirements. Kelly is 2021 President Elect of the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance Southeastern NC, sits on the NC REALTORS® Economic Development Committee, Cape Fear CREW, NC Economic Developer’s Association and International Council of Shopping Centers.
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
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DR. MEGHAN MANISERO, DDS CarolinasDentist Porters Neck
DR. BRITTA LUNDGREN, DMD CarolinasDentist Porters Neck
After earning her undergraduate degree from UNCW, Dr. Manisero earned her DDS degree from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. She then completed a oneyear General Practice residency in Syracuse, NY. She practiced dentistry in upstate New York before deciding to call North Carolina home. She enjoys being a part of the CarolinasDentist-Porters Neck family and loves the opportunity to create smiles every day with a growth-oriented team that shares her work-hard, play-hard attitude.
Dr. Lundgren is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Dietetics. She continued her education at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA. She began practicing dentistry in Germany before returning to the United States. Dr. Lundgren provides excellent oral health care for her patients using her education, background, and experience. She loves improving their confidence and smiles, while building lasting relationships along the way.
At CarolinasDentist, we are proud to serve patients of all ages in our Wilmington community. carolinasdentist.com/porters-neck-dentist WILMAmag.com
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
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JC LYLE WARM
WOMEN of WARM
We are proud of the women in leadership positions at Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry. A few of our board members are featured on the next two pages.
TRACEY NEWKIRK Genesis Block Tracey Newkirk is the co-founder of Genesis Block, a business development services center in downtown Wilmington that offers shared workspaces, private offices, and entrepreneurship training programs along with minority and women owned business services. Building the small business ecosystem and supporting community collaboration is their goal in each neighborhood. Tracey serves on WARM’s Board of Directors because she believes in its mission. She seeks to share its message of service and hope to a wider audience, building on WARM’s ability to repair homes in our community.
GenesisBlockilm.com f /GenesisBlockILM
JC Lyle has served as WARM’s Executive Director since January 2009. Starting out as a volunteer in 2006, JC was immediately moved by WARM’s mission to repair, rebuild, and make homes accessible; and to inspire service, generosity, and hope. She especially loves helping female homeowners retain their largest asset, thereby preserving their independence and dignity. In 2012, JC was named Wilma Magazine's first Woman to Watch in the Nonprofit Category.
BROOKE SKIPPER Salt Air Heating and Cooling Brooke Skipper owns Salt Air Heating and Cooling, a locally owned HVAC company providing service, install, and indoor air quality solutions for their clients in the Cape Fear area. “The positive impact WARM’s mission has on homeowners in our community is why I serve on the board of directors. I have seen firsthand the hope and comfort WARM’s services provide. When we have the chance, our staff comes to volunteer on rebuilds too. This gives me another opportunity to share with others the awesome work of WARM.”
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WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
DEB HAYS Intracoastal Realty
ALEXANDRA LYSIK Cavik Insurance
Deb Hays is a professional Realtor® Broker with Intracoastal Realty. As a committed civic leader, she serves as a New Hanover County Commissioner. Deb sees what works well and what needs improvement to make our great community even better. As a WARM board member, she welcomes the opportunity to contribute to its mission, repairing homes and restoring hope to the community in need. “I believe in giving back and helping everyone have the best quality of life…that is exactly what WARM does, every day!”
Alexandra Lysik is the proud co-owner of Cavik Insurance, a local independent insurance agency. Her company provides personal and commercial insurance for residents in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, and surrounding areas. As an insurance agent, Alexandra understands how important it is to have a safe place to come home to. She joined the Board of WARM to help keep our residents safe in their homes. Wilmington is a small community, and she is glad to be a part of an organization that cherishes our homeowners!
MANDY MATTOX Landmark Sotheby's International Realty Mandy Mattox feels fortunate to work for Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty helping people sell and purchase their homes. She enjoys connecting with her clients while staying objective so that she can successfully negotiate and navigate her clients through the process. Joining WARM was a natural fit for her. Mandy is grateful to be a part of an organization that makes a life-changing impact on peoples’ lives, helping those who are truly in need feel safe and comfortable in their homes.
ALISHA RICHARDSON RE/MAX Essential Meet Alisha Richardson, co-owner and CEO of RE/ MAX Essential. Alisha has a relentless work ethic that positively impacts the growing company of RE/MAX Essential. Alisha also has a positive impact on our community. She has chosen to serve on the Board of Directors with WARM because of her strong passion for and understanding of homeownership. In both roles, she is able to positively affect change and make a meaningful contribution to these organizations and their mission.
RemaxEssential.com f /RemaxEssential
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
DONIS SMITH UBS Decision Point
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We all experience life transitions. Marriage, children, divorce, selling a business, retirement, death of a loved one are just some of the points in life where important decisions are made. Decision Point Wealth Consulting at UBS Financial Services in Wilmington, NC was formed to help clients make good financial decisions at the crucial decision points in life. Donis Smith, First Vice President-Wealth Management is a partner with Decision Point Wealth Consulting. Her passion is helping women through divorce or widowhood. Death of a spouse or divorce can be a time of grief, confusion, instability and vulnerability. Donis and her team will help you take control of your financial life and emerge with confidence at the other end of your journey. Visit www.ubs.com/mymoneymove to learn more. Or visit Donis’ website www.ubs.com/donis.smith.
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WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
DR. JENNIFER M. PAN, DMD
Prosthodontist Dr. Pan is a certified prosthodontist, with an additional 3 years of training in order to treat more complex and challenging restorative cases than a typical general dentist. Dr. Pan can do anything from a single tooth implant to a full mouth rehabilitation or any esthetically challenging case. She started her practice earlier this year and her mission is to help provide the best quality comprehensive care to as many people in the Wilmington area as possible.
STEPHANIE BOLTON Patriot Roofing Owner, Stephanie Bolton, stands on the principle that trust is the cornerstone of a thriving community. For years, Patriot Roofing has become the Cape Fear region’s roofing expert, taking ownership of the investment they make in the homes of our neighborhoods. The company takes great pride in being recognized by the Wilmington Historic Foundation & Legacy Architectural Salvage for their continuous efforts to educate homeowners about the benefits of historical preservation as well as providing specialized repairs and maintenance to some of Wilmington’s oldest structures.
PRE-PLANNING MAKES SOUND FINANCIAL SENSE
f there was only one lesson to learn from the pandemic and Covid-19, it would have to be that life is fleeting and precious. The importance of holding the ones we love close to our heart cannot be understated, as things can change in an instant. Of course, this is something that is top of mind for me on a daily basis as the sales manager here at Dignity Memorial. What is surprising to me is that many seem to operate on the notion that death is something they will never have to face. Maybe it’s that thinking about end-of-life preparations seem depressing. Maybe it’s that people would rather just live their lives as if it will never happen: out of sight, out of mind. After so many years, I’ve learned not to try and grasp other people’s motivations. If I wasn’t doing this job, it’s
possible that I would also be guilty of ignoring the imminence of my inevitable, untimely demise. The thing is, however, that failing to pre-plan for a funeral and memorial service may unintentionally make life harder on the people you love. Considering that the cost of funeral and cemetery services doubles every eight to 10 years, it makes sound financial sense to do everything possible to reduce some of the costs involved. One of the best ways to alleviate some of the financial burden for the people you love and care about is to prearrange funeral or cremation services. Dignity is an inflation-proof company, which means that you can preplan your services and lock them in at the current prices, regardless of when they become necessary. In-house financing is also
available, a service we offer as a convenience to our clients. With all of these factors in mind, it is easy to see why pre-planning for a funeral or cremation service is a good idea. The strength of the point is only magnified after considering that Baby Boomers, one of the largest population groups in history, are getting into their twilight years. Also, as anyone who has tried to order a bike or a new couch can attest, the pandemic caused a variety of disruptions to supply chains. The fact that our industry has not been immune to this unfortunate, unexpected outcome caused by the pandemic is another point in favor pre-planning. Even if you need to move over 75 miles from the city or town where you made your plans, Dignity’s expansive
910.799.1686 | DIGNITYMEMORIAL.COM 40
network allows for the full transfer of your prearranged services. To connect with someone who can help you create a plan that will save the people you love and care about unnecessary pain and an increased financial burden, call 910-799-1686 or visit www.DignityMemorial.com. 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.
nspiration comes from several different places when creating your perfect kitchen design plan – functionality, personal style, colors, texture, and the list goes on. While all of these items are important to consider when creating your design, keeping storage solutions in mind shouldn’t take a back seat. No matter the size of your kitchen, adding clever storage spaces into your design will make your kitchen superior. While kitchen cabinet options may start with choosing a door style, consider incorporating some of these cutting-edge cabinet storage options when crafting your kitchen design. Pull Out Shelving and Drawers Pull out shelving and drawers can be integrated into almost any cabinet, making everyday use of your cabinets easier than ever. Built in drawers help items stay organized and easy to find.
KITCHEN STORAGE SOLUTIONS Simply slide out your drawers and shelving from your custom cabinets to easily find what you’re looking for and, when finished, everything tucks back in with a touch. Making room for bulky kitchen gadgets is simple with customized storage. If you have an ice maker or slushie machine that you like to use regularly but prefer to keep out of sight, creating a bulk storage nook for your favorite kitchen items can be accommodated into your design plan. Drawers with Dividers If you prefer to use drawers rather than cabinets for heavily used kitchen items, deep drawers with dividers can be added. Viewing items organized within deep drawers can make finding kitchen gadgets or pantry provisions a breeze and easy to put away. If slicing and dicing fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs is your thing, then a
built-in cutlery insert housed inside of a drawer might suit you. Keeping knives orderly and safely stored is also easy with this simple storage solution. Do you like coffee but don’t like the look of those coffee pods on the counter? Keeping coffee pods out of sight and easy to find works well with a coffee pod drawer insert. Placing a handy drawer like this underneath your coffee maker will make every morning brew that much sweeter. Customizing Storage Options If your kitchen is meant for baking, then spices and a stand mixer are a must. However, stand mixers are bulky and take up a lot of counter space while spices often become jumbled in the back of cabinets never to be found again. Some of the storage options to address this confectioner’s cabinet conundrum are integrating a
fold-out storage bracket for your stand mixer, customizing a drawer to house your herbs, or installing a pull-out spice rack that’s just perfect for your paprika. If you’re ready to incorporate some savvy storage solutions into your kitchen, get in touch with the team at Markraft today. Give them a call at 910-7930202 or stop by the showroom to start your customized design plan. Their talented designers are excited to help you create the kitchen of your dreams! 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
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PATHFINDER WEALTH CONSULTING
OLYMPIC MOMENTS IN LIFE
t the time of this writing, the Olympic Trials are in full swing, and by publication date, the 2021 Olympics will be broadcasting from Tokyo. I consider myself to be athletic, but I will never be able to sprint, even for 100 meters, at the pace distance Olympic runners can lap a track. The not so graceful dive I learned as a child is nothing compared to the twists and spirals of high divers. My doggy paddle would be a pathetic splash next to the grace of Olympic swimmers. And I will surely never defy gravity like Simone Biles (few ever will). But I do understand Olympic moments. Part of my role at Pathfinder is to recognize the Olympic moments in our clients lives: marriages and milestone anniversaries, the birth of a child or grandchild,
and of course, reaching the last day of a formal career with the confidence of financial independence. At Pathfinder, we love sharing those moments with our clients and celebrating the achievement of their life goals. But the Olympics, and life, are not just about the victories: the underdogs fighting their way to the top, or the G.O.A.T.s proving why they are the best. With every triumph, comes defeat and heartbreak for others. You can clear every obstacle in the steeplechase, have a near perfect match, snag a Personal Best, or land the hardest combination of your life, and still fall short of the Gold. Unfortunately, the same holds true in life. Although there are beautiful peaks, life inevitably brings sorrowful valleys: heartbreaking divorce, unexpected medical diagnoses, the tragic loss of a spouse
or family member. Those moments are the ones when you rely on others to see you through. That is why it is imperative to have a trusted team in place. In the moments that are full of life-altering decisions and emotional stress, the last thing you need to worry about is your financial life. When you find out you must have open heart surgery, we want to be the team that assures you that your financial life is in order so you can focus on strength and healing. When questions arise about a complicated equitable distribution, we want to be the team that sees you through to the other side. We want to be the shoulder for you to lean on when you are dealing with the worry of settling an estate. At Pathfinder Wealth Consulting, our deepest passion is being your trusted
team, guiding you and your family through both the Olympic moments and the heartache that unavoidably comes with life. We want to be the team rooting for you, and helping you achieve your greatest financial goals. If you are looking for a team of trusted advisors, who will always have your best interest in mind, give us a call at 910.793.0616 or visit our website. We are here to guide you forward. Katie Henderson is Marketing Director for Pathfinder Wealth Consulting, an independent financial planning and investment management firm in Wilmington. Pathfinder’s comprehensive financial planning process is driven by a step-by-step process that will direct each individual down the path of developing their financial goals and putting them into action.
910.793.0616 | PWCPATH.COM 4018 OLEANDER DRIVE, SUITE 102, WILMINGTON, NC 28403
Advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a Registered Investment Advisor.
RESIDENTS VALUE SENSE OF COMMUNITY AT PLANTATION VILLAGE
ere at Plantation Village, developing and maintaining a sense of
community for all our residents is our most important task. We aim to provide a lifestyle and level of hospitality that allows the men and women who make up our community to thrive and #KeepOnLovingLife. Stephanie Fisher has lived all over the world but is now proud to call Plantation Village home. She loves to take advantage of the more than three miles of paved walking trails on our campus, where she can also connect with her friends and neighbors, and see a diverse range of wildlife. Maintaining an active lifestyle is important to Stephanie, as she has six children, 23 grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren to keep up
with! Stephanie spent 20 years working alongside her husband as a volunteer Regional Director for Crown Financial Ministries, teaching people how to get out of debt and best practices for allocating their charitable donations. Staying active is also an ongoing focus for Jean Foster, who says she loves the sense of community, warmth and the fact that there are a variety of accommodations available here. She and her husband of 65 years both enjoy working out, especially our aquatic classes, and the chance to work with our on-site trainer. They’ve developed a workout regimen specific to their goals, preferences and lifestyle. Jean says the lifestyle at Plantation Village—including weekly housekeeping services—allow her to enjoy life more. You’ll
find her on the golf course, at the card table at Porters Neck Country Club or planning trips to visit her grandchildren. At PV, we’re #AllAboutYou and we want to help you keep doing the things you love. Aggie Henriksen moved to our community from a beautiful home in Forest Hills previously featured in the Cape Fear Garden Tour. She loves to take advantage of our community gardens to plant vegetables and flowers. Aggie loves to be outside and is also part of a group that regularly travels for golf at Olde Point Country Club together. Creating something out of nothing is par for the course for Aggie, a Texas native who leveraged her degree in clothing and costume design to forge a successful career as a dress designer. She’s traveled the
world for both work and pleasure! It’s the family inside that makes a house a home, and at Plantation Village our residents define our community. Everyone has a story to share, and we’re here to help people who find themselves ready to turn the page on a new chapter. To learn more visit www.PlantationVillageRC. com. Visit our Facebook at 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.
1.866.825.3806 | PLANTATIONVILLAGERC.COM
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ENDINGS ARE BEGINNINGS
ver the years, my horses endured several crosscountry moves, record-high temperatures, reconfiguration of the herd as a new member joined, or the sudden loss of another. These moments included uncertainty, discomfort, and grief (yes, horses do grieve). Yet, time after time, I watched them adjust, adapt, and let go. So, as I am faced with my own uncertainty, discomfort, and grief, I turn to my horses for guidance. All of them are incredible teachers, but Galen is the one for this current moment in my life. Galen came into my life most unexpectedly. In 2006, a TeachingHorse engagement was an auction item at a charity event. Lisa Wall, who is now a very dear friend, won it. When we met with Lisa to discuss the upcoming engagement, she inquired if
we would consider working with one of her horses. "Of course," we said, and then she brought out Galen – all 8ft tall and 7ft long, the most GINORMOUS horse I have ever encountered. As soon as I saw him, I whispered, "That's my horse." What you need to know is that I am not the typical "horse" person, i.e., I have absolutely no desire to ride a horse, period. So, it was very disconcerting that I would utter those words upon first meeting, Galen. When Lisa saw my face, she smiled and said, "Yeah, he's a big guy," and then Galen leaned down and nuzzled the back of her neck. Lisa's smile shifted to a look of sadness. She shared that she didn't know what to do with Galen. His bloodline and training prepared him to be a competitive hunter-jumper horse, but he absolutely hated it. Lisa was at a crossroad with
Galen; to keep pushing this horse in a competitive arena, he doesn't like or let him go? During the TeachingHorse engagement, we all watched in awe as Galen shared with us his innate talent; Galen leads with love. He greeted each person with a genuine desire to "be with" and love. I watched Lisa light up with JOY as Galen shined as our teacher. She was correct; he was a "natural" and meant to do this "work." However, this joy was weighted with sadness. Before our arrival, Lisa arranged for Galen to go to a friend's farm to see if he might be happier riding, but not competitively. At the end of our event, Galen was loaded onto a trailer to visit a possible new home and life. Many months later, a call came from Lisa asking if she could gift us, Galen. I knew he was meant to be my horse. Galen's presence in my life made me a better
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human being. He showed me that leading with your heart is a gift. I also learned from Galen, that "growth" requires an ending, leaving something behind, and the courage to move on. Lastly, in this moment of my life, he reminds me to trust that with every ending, there is a new beginning. Beth Hyjek’s background is in writing for the stage and screen. She holds a MFA from St. Mary’s College of California and a BFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Beth brings her passion for narratives to her work with TeachingHorse by creating experiences with the horses where people can identify stories that are no longer serving them and start to explore new stories that expand their leadership possibilities.
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
WILMAm a g .com
photo c/o NHRMC
EVENT PLANS TO BRING COMMUNITY TOGETHER by MEGHAN CORBETT
WELCOME BACK FEST SATURDAY, AUGUST 7 11 A.M. - 4 P.M. LEGION SPORTS COMPLEX 2149 CAROLINA BEACH ROAD INFO:WelcomeBackFest2021.com
o mark the progress made against COVID-19, Novant Health is hosting Welcome Back Fest street festivals across the state. While these events aim to honor frontline workers, there is even more festival organizers hope to achieve. “I look forward to celebrating all our health care heroes who served on the frontlines during the pandemic and seeing our community come together again,” says SHELBOURN STEVENS, president of NHRMC and Novant Health’s Coastal market. “Our team members and community members have endured and done so much over the past eighteen months to keep us safe and get us through the pandemic. As more individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we are finally at a point that we can gather outdoors safely. It’s important to Novant Health
that we celebrate all we’ve done to get to this point.” Novant, a health system based in Winston-Salem that bought NHRMC earlier this year, held the first community festival July 24 in Charlotte and is planning for another in WinstonSalem on August 21. The Wilmington event will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 7 at Legion Sports Complex. It is a free event, open to the public, and does not require any advance registration or ticket for entry. Headlining each event will be Grammy Award-winning R&B singer ANTHONY HAMILTON. “We are thrilled that Anthony Hamilton has signed on to headline all three Welcome Back Fest Events,” Stevens says. “He has been a champion for health and safety during the pandemic and collaborated with us last year to spread important messaging about how to stay safe and healthy. Having him at our events will bring that whole campaign full circle – because people stayed home and practiced safety behaviors, we can all see him perform live in-person.” There will also be local musicians, such as Lunar Tide shown left, and other entertainment as well as inflatables, lawn games, and more for children to enjoy. “There will be a lot of food trucks,” Stevens says. “The first 1,000 people with proof of vaccination are eligible to receive a $10 food voucher for use with food vendors on-site. We’ll also be giving attendees an opportunity to honor our health care heroes in unique ways.” Nonvaccinated attendees are encouraged to wear a mask during the event, and those who want to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses, which are free, can do so since walk-in and pre-registration vaccinations will be available at the event. “These festivals are Novant Health’s way of giving back to the communities we serve by bringing together our neighbors, local businesses, health care heroes, and community partners,” Stevens says. “We want to provide people an opportunity to reflect on the hard pandemic year while also celebrating how far we’ve come.”W
by TERESA MCLAMB photo by TERAH WILSON
Maryland native JESSY O’KEEFE was looking for a change of scenery and a challenge when she moved to New England. A chance glimpse at a job posting led her to a startup beekeeping management company where she learned the skills necessary to manage a successful hive. She’s brought that knowledge to the Port City, where she was happy to learn there are beekeepers, but no beekeeping consulting services. Through Seaside Honeybees, she offers turnkey hive management as well as mentoring for those who would prefer to do the work themselves. DESCRIBE THE ROLE HONEYBEES PLAY IN THE ENVIRONMENT. “Honeybees pollinate more than one hundred important crops in the U.S. What’s obviously great about honeybees is that we can be so connected with them because we can farm them. We can transport them. They make honey that we can harvest and eat, which is awesome, so people are drawn to honeybees. It’s important we stay in tune with the honeybees because how they are doing is an indicator of how other pollinators are doing as well.” ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT DIMINISHING NUMBERS OF HONEYBEES? “There are multiple causes: pesticides, a lack of habitat. Fundamentally, the issue is with our agricultural system of huge monocrop farms. The soil is depleted of nutrients, so they must be sprayed. We’re putting a Band-Aid on it. One bee in its lifespan chooses where it goes and has its preferred type of flower. Each is different. What you get in the hive is a mix of all different nectars. The nutrition they consume is nutritionally complex. If you put the bees in the middle of a huge monocrop, which is a food desert for them, they’re going to be devoid of the nutrition they would normally be getting.” HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN BEES? “I had thoughts of becoming a beekeeper before moving to New England. I saw a posting that a company was hiring and thought it sounded like what I was looking for. That company grew from the time I started, and so I learned as I went.” HOW CAN SOMEONE BECOME A BEEKEEPER? “I’m trying to make it accessible for people who feel they want to do it but feel it’s overwhelming – which it is. There are classes and clubs. Clubs are good for sharing information.” WHAT CONDITIONS ARE NECESSARY FOR A SUCCESSFUL, HAPPY HIVE? “Physical space for the hive and for standing next to it to care for it. Bees fly around 3 miles to get what they need to eat, so you can put a hive on your deck or porch. We’ve seen them do really well in cities. They seem to do well here.” W JESSY O’KEEFE’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.
LINKED TO THE
WORLD by TIM BASS illustration by MARK WEBER
Tim Bass is coordinator of UNCW’s bachelor of fine arts program in creative writing.
Phase 1 of my frustrating day has me lying on my driveway, talking on the phone while shining a flashlight under my busted lawnmower. I’ve called the shop that serviced the machine a month ago. Something has gone wrong, and the mechanic wants me to check a part he calls the “deck linkage.” I’m hoping he can talk me through a quick fix and stop the financial bleeding. Speaking of bleeding, I have my face inches from the two blades that cut my grass with the force of 15 horsepower, overkill for my little yard. And speaking of overkill, I have a hand on one blade, feeling for damage while I look for that deck linkage. If this mower were to crank, I’d have a whole different problem on my hands, if I still had hands for the problem to be on. “I don’t see it,” I tell the mechanic. “Are you looking at the front of the deck or the back?” he says. “The front.” “You should be looking at the back.” It goes on like this, him instructing, me misunderstanding, him trying again, me misunderstanding again. We give up. “The English language has failed us,” he says, and I know he’s talking about me. Frustration Phase 2 commences at midday, when my doctor’s office calls. “Our notes show you’re dealing with excessive somnolence,” the woman says. “Is this about the deck linkage on my lawnmower?” I say. “It’s about being sleepy all day,” she says. “Has that been a problem for you?” It has.
“Well,” I say, “I did tell the doctor we should all take a siesta every day, like they do in Spain, because I can’t stay awake after lunch. Is that excessive somnolence?” “It is if you’re not in Spain,” she says. Phase 3 unfolds in the afternoon. I fight off sleep and go back to my driveway to study the mower. Just as I settle on the concrete, rain comes. I decide I need a yoga class to bring balance to this demonic day. I’m running late. The rain has gone full monsoon, and one of my sneakers has let go of its sole, leaving me with a flop-squeak-flop walk that gets noticed when I rush into the darkened room and find everyone in child’s pose. They look like pod people waiting for the mothership to arrive. I sit on my asana next to my busted shoes, filled not with light but with a day of confusion, irritation, and negative energy. “Yoga allows us to remove the barriers that stand between us and happy, productive lives,” the instructor says, and I know she’s talking about me. “As we exhale, we let go of the emotional weights that hold us captive to the outer world and its demands on our time, depleting our capacity for positivity.” Soft music oozes through the darkness. I’m sure the band is called Excessive Somnolence. We wind down, lying on our backs for a few meditative moments. I breathe out and invite this chance at tranquility, my first all day. I close my eyes, and just as I’m about to fall asleep, I experience a vision: the undercarriage of my lawnmower, and there, hovering over my consciousness, I see the deck linkage, yoking me to the outer world, assuring me of myriad frustrations to come.
BACK TO THE DASH!
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