WILMA December Flipbook new

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WILMA

DECEMBER 2021

WILMINGTON’S SUCCESSFUL WOMAN

Holiday Brights Festive looks for the season

Party Plans

Fun and stress-free gatherings

Brunswick Move Hospital head Laurie Whalin


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DECEMBER 2021

Cape Fear Antiques


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. This month, Klahre profiles Laurie Whalin, president of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, on page 16.

AMY PASSARETTI is a freelance writer and

foodie with a journalism degree from James Madison University and a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales. A native of New Jersey, she has lived in seven different states, settling in Wilmington last year. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and three fur babies and appreciates good food and live music. Passaretti writes about Rachel Jacobs, owner of For the Love of Margaritas on page 37, and Donna Flake, organizer of the Moldovan Food and Wine Tasting event on page 47.

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 creative team styled and photographed our style shoot at Seabird restaurant in downtown Wilmington. They styled this month’s cover and holiday-inspired fashion spread on page 22. 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 talks with baker Holly White about tips for hosting a flawless holiday cookie party on page 33.

TERAH WILSON is a Wilmington-based

freelance photojournalist with over sixteen years’ experience in photography and art. She is a mom of three, an artist, and an avid coffee drinker. Her passion is to capture everyday moments in a way that reveals the extravagance of life. Wilson photographed former medical librarian Donna Flake on page 47 and event planner Alexandria Noble on page 28. terahwilson.com

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Publisher Rob Kaiser rkaiser@wilmingtonbiz.com President Robert Preville rpreville@wilmingtonbiz.com Editor Vicky Janowski vjanowski@wilmingtonbiz.com Senior Account Executives Maggi Apel mapel@wilmingtonbiz.com Craig Snow csnow@wilmingtonbiz.com Account Executives Courtney Barden cbarden@wilmingtonbiz.com Marian Welsh mwelsh@wilmingtonbiz.com Sydney Zomer szomer@wilmingtonbiz.com Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson sjohnson@wilmingtonbiz.com Events Director Elizabeth Stelzenmuller events@wilmingtonbiz.com Events & Digital Assistant Jamie Kleinman jkleinman@wilmingtonbiz.com Design & Media Coordinator Molly Jacques production@wilmingtonbiz.com Contributing Designer Suzi Drake art@wilmingtonbiz.com Digital Editor Johanna Cano jcano@wilmingtonbiz.com Fashion Stylist Drewe Smith Contributors Tim Bass, Jenny Callison, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Beth A. Klahre, Laura Moore, Amy Passaretti, Lynda Van Kuren, Elizabeth White Contributing Photographers Daria Amato, Drewe and Kate, Megan Deitz, Madeline Gray, Aris Harding, Terah Wilson Founder Joy Allen Subscribe For a one-year subscription, please send $26.00 (check or money order) to: WILMA, 219 Station Rd., Ste. 202, Wilmington, NC 28405, or call 343-8600 x201 www.WILMAmag.com


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HEALTH + WELLNESS

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BUSINESS

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ART

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december 2021

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37 28 14 SPOTLIGHT

46 SCENE: Women’s summit

16 HEALTH: Picture of health

47 TAKE 5: From Wilmington to Moldova

18 TASTE: Fresh dough

48 MEN'S ROOM: Dear Santa

22 STYLE: Party time

Check out WILMA magazine here:

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DECEMBER 2021

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22 28 SEASONAL SOIRÉES: Low-stress party tips 33 SMART COOKIES: Baking up holiday exchanges 37 M AKE IT A MARGARITA: Mixing up the bar cart

WILMAMAG.COM

This holiday season feels like a good time to reconnect. Besides the present buying and late-night toy assembly, December’s always been a good excuse to get together and catch up. After the troubled times we’ve had, this year seems like even more of a good time for it. So no matter the size of your circle, we have plenty of ideas for how to do that. For advice for kicking friends-and-family gatherings up a notch (without piling on the stress), turn to page 29. The tried-and-true cookie exchange – store-bought or home-baked, who’s to judge these days – is another option for a break shared with friends. Tips and recipes on page 33. Drinks are covered, thanks to fresh mixes, developed by Rachel Jacobs, that can elevate either sparkling water or more buzzy options (page 37). December’s not just a time for social gatherings. Former medical librarian Donna Flake shares details about an event that also will help others (page 46). And before you sign out for the year, don’t forget to invest in your leadership development and network with the Cape Fear Summit (details on page 46). Happy holidays to all and see you in 2022. W

DECEMBER 2021

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WILMA’S

LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE FOUNDING SPONSORS

CORPORATE SPONSORS

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

Kristy Hubard Chief Strategy Officer Novant Health

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WILMA

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

DECEMBER 2021


photo by Aris Harding

W2W YEAR IN REVIEW

WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative has updates to share as we continue to work on the mission of helping develop more women leaders in our area. Here’s what we’ve been up to in 2021: WILMA AWARDS: Thirty-six finalists were recognized in our annual Women to Watch Awards in October, this year held at the Wilmington Convention Center (shown above). LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: This year’s cohort of women selected for the nine-month WILMA’s Leadership Institute program started 2021 with an outdoors orientation day. Leadership skills topics this year included strategic thinking, negotiating, effective communications, strengths-based leadership, and more. The class heard from speakers including Corning’s Michele Holbrook, Live Oak Bank’s Huntley Garriott, and Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s Natalie English while also meeting each month in their peer advisory groups. The 2021 cohort celebrates its graduation this month. Applications are now open through January 31 for next year’s program. Info: WILMALeadership.com LEADERSHIP ACCELERATOR: Our annual half-day women’s conference took place online in May with a focus on restarting leadership goals through the challenges created by the pandemic. The keynote panel included Jhansi Kandasamy, Vice President of Engineering with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy; Wanda Coley, Vice President of Strategy with UnitedHealthcare; and Debbie Warwick, EVP-Women Owned Business Lending with Live Oak Bank. GET ON BOARD: The Get on Board program, held in partnership with UNCW’s QENO, prepares women for joining boards of directors. Live trainings took place this year virtually. Women who go through the training are eligible to connect with local organizations through our website WILMAsGetOnBoard.com. MENTORING: We matched up twenty-five women with mentors this fall for the yearlong mentoring program in which participants work one-on-one with each other once a month on leadership goals.

- Vicky Janowski and Maggi Apel, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com

WILMAMAG.COM

DECEMBER 2021

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n e t w o r k The WILMA Network is a program of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative to help women business owners, executives and community leaders connect with each other and serve as a resource for up-and-coming women in the region. JACKIE BATES

LESLIE B. DONATHAN

KRISTEN HOLE

STEPHANIE BOLTON

DONNA ESTEVES

CHRISSY HOSKINS

Owner, Patriot Roofing Company s.bolton@patriotroofer.com

NA Regional Supply Chain Manager, Corning Inc. W2W Advisory Board estevesdj@corning.com

KATIE BRASKETT

MICHELLE FOGLE

KRISTY HUBARD

Owner, Fleet Feet Sports Wilmington michelle.fogle@fleetfeet.com

Chief Strategy Officer, Novant Health W2W Advisory Board Kristy.Hubard@nhrmc.org

VICTORIA BROUGHTON

JUNE GUNTER

RACHEL HUNT

JUDY BUDD

JENEICE HANKS

ALEXIS HUNTER

Retired Business Executive judybudd1@icloud.com

Owner, Healthcare Liaisons jeneice.hanks@gmail.com

COURTNEY BURRELL

ASHLEY HARKER

KENDALL HURT

ASHLEY COCHRANE

KATIE HENDERSON

WANDA COLEY

THERESA HOFFMAN

TAYLOR KING

RACHEL NADEAU

KARI LEE SCHULTZ

ReStore Operations Manager, Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity jackie.bates@capefearhabitat.org

Director of Marketing, MegaCorp Logistics kbraskett@megacorplogistics.com

Marketing Coordinator, O'Brien Service, Co. Inc victoria@obrienservice.com

Commercial Banking Market, Credit Leader, Wells Fargo Bank courtney.burrell@wellsfargo.com

Co-Publisher, RSVP Cape Fear ashley@rsvpcapefear.com

VP of Strategy and Execution, UnitedHealth Group W2W Advisory Board wanda_coley@uhc.com

ELAINE LEGGETT Sr. Loss Prevention, Camico el@leggettpllc.com

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Tax Manager, RSM US, LLC lesliedonathan@rmsus.com

Co-Founder & CEO, TeachingHorse, LLC junegunter@teachinghorse.com

Senior Medical Liaison, Vein Clinics of America aharker@veinclinics.net

Marketing Director, Pathfinder Wealth Consulting katie@pathfinderwc.com

Owner & Injection Specialist, Coastal Aesthetics ILM theresa@coastalaestheticsilm.com

Communications Manager, Well Care Health rnadeau@wellcarehealth.com

DECEMBER 2021 DECEMBER 2021

Project Consultant, Cape Fear Solar Systems kristen@capefearsolarsystems

Regional Sales Manager, Well Care Health W2W Advisory Board choskins@wellcarehealth.com

Financial Advisor, Waylett Wealth Management rachel.hunt@morganstanley.com

Community Liaison, Wilmington Health W2W Advisory Board alhunter@wilmingtonhealth.com

Owner, Meadowlark W2W Advisory Board kendall@meadowlark.com

POONAM KAHLON

Director of Talent Development, CastleBranch W2W Advisory Board pkkahlo@castlebranch.com

President & CEO, Seaside Punch List taylorking9919@gmail.com

Partner, Hedrick, Gardner, Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP kschultz@hedrickgardner.com


PEGGY O'LEARY

SHERI SHAW

Owner, Premier Staffing Solutions poleary@premierstaffnc.com

Assistant Dean for Student Success, UNCW CHHS W2W Advisory Board shaws@uncw.edu

JENNIFER M. PAN, DMD

KIM SKIDMORE

ALEXANDRA LYSIK

BRENNA PATTEN

BROOKE SKIPPER

Area Sales Manager, McKee Homes bpatten@mckeehomesnc.com

Co-Owner / Owner, Salt Air Heating & Cooling / Vent Ninjas brooke@saltairinc.com

CAT MARINICH

MICHELLE PRICE

SARAH STONE

MORGAN MATTHEWS

RUTH RAVITZ SMITH

LOGAN THOMPSON

ALEX MAY

JUSTINE REEL

SHEA MCNALLY

DELORIS RHODES

DEBBIE WARWICK

HEATHER MCWHORTER

GRETCHEN RIVAS

KAREN WEAVER

Interim Director, UNCW CIE mcwhorterh@uncw.edu

Owner, Relax! Massage Therapy/ Infinity Acupuncture gsrivas35@gmail.com

AMANDA MIARS

ERIN E. RUSSELL

HALLEY WHITE

BROOKES MUSSER

KELLY SCHAUDT

SUSANNA WORSLEY

JESSICA LOEPER

Chief Communications Officer, New Hanover County Government jloeper@nhcgov.com

LILY LOIZEAUX

Executive Talent Management Leader, General Electric W2W Advisory Board Lilian.Loizeaux@ge.com

Owner, Cavik Insurance alexandra@cavikinsurance.com

Owner, Nothing Bundt Cakes cat.marinich@nothingbundtcakes.com

Public Relations Director, Matthew Motors moematt95@gmail.com

Co-Owner, Citrus Salon (Aveda) alex@citrussalondowntown.com

Owner, Spun Compass spuncompass@gmail.com

Partner, Murchison Taylor & Gibson, PLLC amiars@murchisontaylor.com

Co-Owner, Capt'n Bill's brookes@seeyouatbills.com

LIZ MYERS

General Manager, Frank Institute liz@frankinstitute.com

WILMA .coM WILMAMAg MAG.COM

Owner, Jennifer M. Pan DMD vickie@pandmd.com

CFP, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Michelle Price michelle.l.price@edwardjones.com

President, RR Smith Strategic Solutions, LLC W2W Advisory Board ruth@r2s3.com

Associate Dean of Research & Innovation, UNCW CHHS W2W Advisory Board reelj@uncw.edu

Former Assistant Superintendent, Pender County Schools W2W Advisory Board rhodes1005@yahoo.com

Owner, Russell Family Law & Litigation info@erinerussell.com

Practice Transformation Specialist, Aledade, Inc. W2W Advisory Board kschaudt@aledade.com

Owner, Liv CBD Kim@livCBDnc.com

Director of Retail Experience, Excite Credit Union sstone@excitecu.org

Director of Philanthropy, Cape Fear Community College lthompson@cfcc.edu

ANNA TINDAL

Local Search Marketing Consultant, Top of Search anna@topofsearch.com

EVP - Woman Owned Business Lending, Live Oak Bank W2W Advisory Board debbie.warwick@liveoakbank.com

VP, Relationship Strategist, PNC Wealth Management W2W Advisory Board karen.weaver@pnc.com

DDS, PA, White & Johnson Pediatric Dentistry l.stinson@growinggrins.com

Owner & Buyer, S. Worsley susanna@sworsleyboutique.com

To learn more, visit wilmamag.com/women-to-watch/leadership-initiative or contact Maggi Apel at mapel@wilmingtonbiz.com DECEMBER 2021 DECEMBER 2021

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LEAD

LEARN INSPIRE

APPLY OR NOMINATE SOMEONE BY JAN. 31

WILMA’S LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE gives UP-AND-COMING LEADERS a unique opportunity to LEARN FROM TOP LEADERS in the region, visit a range of local companies and serve as each others’ PERSONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Individuals can apply themselves, and companies are encouraged to nominate high-potential leaders in their organizations.

LEARN MORE AND APPLY OR NOMINATE SOMEONE NOW AT

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DECEMBER 2021

The program starts April 2022 and meets once a month for nine months.

WILMALeadership .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

16 HOSPITAL HEAD: Laurie Whalin settles into her new Brunswick role 37 MIXING IT UP: Rachel Jacobs turned her pandemic project into a thriving business 46 COMBINING FORCES: The second Women’s Summit convenes this month

DIRECTORY

women’s professional groups Besides WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, there are a number of local groups to help women grow professionally. Here is just a sampling of some of them.

Cape Fear CREW Year Founded: 2010 Description: “Cape Fear CREW is the leading organization for commercial real estate in the Cape Fear region in North Carolina … Members represent every aspect of the commercial real estate industry, including, but not limited to, law, leasing, brokerage, property management, finance, acquisitions, and engineering.” Info: capefearcrew.org or info@capefearcrew.org

Cape Fear Women in Tech Year Founded: 2014 Description: “Our vision is to make the Cape Fear Region the No. 1 employer of women in technology careers per capita in the country. We do this by championing opportunities for women in technology, empowering women to strive for these competitive positions, and inspiring women to lead in those roles.” Info: cfwit.com or capefearwomenintech@ gmail.com

WILMAMAG.COM

Coastal Women Attorneys

The Junior League of Wilmington

(N.C. Association of Women Attorneys) Year Founded: 2013 Description: “CWA was formed to serve women attorneys in Southeastern North Carolina in the Fourth, Fifth and 13th judicial districts, which includes New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Duplin, Onslow, Sampson, and Jones counties. CWA is committed to increasing the participation of women attorneys in the legal profession, protecting the rights of women under the law and promoting, and improving the administration of justice.” Info: ncawa.org/cwa or cwa@ncawa.org

Year Founded: 1952 Description: “The Junior League of Wilmington is a women’s organization designed to empower women and to improve the community through the leadership of women as trained volunteers.” Info: jlwnc.org or info@jlwnc.org

The Inspiration Lab Year Founded: 2015 Description: “The Inspiration Lab was built for working women passionate about personal and professional development. We offer teachings and tools to improve your skills, productivity, creativity, emotional intelligence, and well-being. We also provide opportunities for networking and connection. We represent a variety of backgrounds and careers, but we’re all like-minded in being serious about success, maintaining a manageable work-life balance, and supporting one another’s growth.” Info: theinspirationlab.co

Women’s Impact Network of New Hanover County Year Founded: 2011 Description: “WIN is a collective philanthropy nonprofit that makes yearly grants to nonprofits within the county. The focus of these grants rotates annually among four areas: education, health and wellness, the environment, and arts and culture.” Info: winofnhc.org

YWCA Lower Cape Fear Founded: 1914 Description: “The YWCA Lower Cape Fear is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.” Economic advancement programs focus on educational assistance, job training, and short-term and long-term planning skills. Info: ywca-lowercapefear.org

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HOLIDAY FLOTILLA TAKES TO THE DOCKS 14

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photo c/o Ned Leary Photography

Even though the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla returned this year in person over Thanksgiving weekend, the bright lights continue into December. Last year, event organizers introduced the Wrightsville Beach Door to Dock Decorating Contest during COVID restrictions. In the wake of the boat parade this year – now in its thirty-eighth year – a new dockside tradition continues. “I’m delighted the Door to Dock Decorating Contest is returning in 2021,” says flotilla chair LINDA BROWN. “Last year, we postponed the Flotilla but asked our residents and businesses to share their holiday spirit by participating in a dock decorating contest. The resulting light show was a spectacular success.” Judging takes place December 4, with the winners announced the next day. Info: ncholidayflotilla.org


CAPE FEAR CREW NAMES 2022 BOARD

Cape Fear Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) named its 2022 board of directors. KAREN WIDMAYER, of KW Communications LLC, will succeed GALE WALLACE, of Clarendon Properties, as president of the chapter. “Gale’s tremendous leadership of our chapter during 2021 brought us through a highly successful third annual awards event as well as a transition back to in-person and virtual programs with an array of speakers and opportunities for our members to network and grow,” Widmayer says. “Our membership and board thank her for her time and expertise.” The other Cape Fear CREW Board of Directors members for 2022 are JULIE DIXON, Live Oak Bank (President-Elect); KELLY DEDEO, First National Bank (Secretary); HEATHER EVANS, Servpro (Treasurer/CREW Network Delegate); DAVID GRANDEY, Highland Roofing Company (At Large/CREW Network Delegate); LESLIE ADAMS, Segra (At Large/ DEI Champion); and PAIGE CONIGLIO, CBL Properties (At Large). The Cape Fear chapter of CREW has more than sixty members.

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FOUNDATION GIVES AWAY TRANSIT GRANTS

The revamped Making Waves Foundation board recently handed out transportation grants to eight local nonprofits. Making Waves started in 2010 when the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority and its board wanted to help meet riders’ needs to cover transportation costs. Through raising funds, the foundation provides transportation fare subsidies to nonprofit agencies that distribute to people in the community. The group suspended its activities in March of last year because of the pandemic. In September, a new governing board was appointed: SARAH ARTHUR, ADRIENNE HARRINGTON, and LAURA BROGDON-PRIMAVERA. Brogdon-Primavera (above), who is the director of programs and operations for the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, serves as the foundation’s chair. Harrington, owner and founder of Smart Moves Consulting and former WMPO transportation planner, is the foundation’s vice chair. And Arthur, manager of community engagement for New Hanover Regional Medical Center, is the foundation’s secretary.

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

AARP ANNOUNCES REGIONAL HEAD

AARP North Carolina has named ROSALIE CALARCO as associate state director for the group’s coastal region. Calarco came to the role, which she started on November 1, with seventeen years of experience in constituent services and advocacy under two federal officeholders. She was director of veterans services for former U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-7th District), interacting with the Veterans Administration, Medicare, and Social Security Administration. She also developed national and local grant applications to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on behalf of local municipalities in McIntyre’s district. She was most recently a senior constituent advocate and office manager for U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). “I am excited to bring my skills, knowledge, and professional relationships to the work I do for AARP North Carolina,” Calarco says. “I strive to live out the motto of AARP, ‘to serve, not to be served.’” With AARP, Calarco works with members in diverse populations throughout thirty-three counties. “Since AARP represents people from all walks of life, beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences,” AARP North Carolina director Michael Olender says, “Rosalie’s demonstrated nonpartisanship and service to the community fits well with AARP’s mission.”

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

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HOSPITAL

HEAD LAURIE WHALIN SETTLES INTO NEW BRUNSWICK ROLE by BETH A. KLAHRE photo by ARIS HARDING

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DECEMBER 2021

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fter the sale earlier this year of New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health, LAURIE WHALIN was named president and chief operating officer of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center. In just the few months that she has been in the role, she already understands the challenges. Brunswick County is the second-fastest-growing county in North Carolina. “Staying ahead of

that growth curve to ensure we have the services needed for our community is our challenge,” Whalin says. “COVID has escalated the growth rate as more individuals now work from anywhere. We have learned so much about the pace of change that can happen within health care. We must become nimble and adaptive to keep up with the pace.” Whalin oversees more than 2,500 physicians and medical professionals across the region including in imaging, laboratory, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, neurosciences, and cancer. “I have an absolutely amazing team of leaders who are outstanding at running the day-to-day operations of their departments,” she says. “This allows me to focus on higher-level needs.” In Whalin’s prior role – vice president of clinical services at NHRMC – she oversaw pharmacy, radiology, lab, respiratory care, oncology, neurosciences, case management, rehabilitation services, centralized nursing, and patient flow operations for the Wilmington health system. She found similarities among all of the services and created ways that improved operations through strong interdependent teams. She brought that experience to her new role. Whalin received her bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Realizing she wanted a more people-oriented career, she worked as a real estate office manager for several years. “Here I learned about the importance of organizational skills,” she says. Then, a meeting with a pharmacy school student opened her eyes to pharmaceutical-related career possibilities like working in a retail or a hospital pharmacy, research and academics, or even working directly with patients. Whalin attended Campbell University for her doctorate in pharmacy. She completed her residency at NHRMC, where she then became the clinical manager and eventually the vice president of clinical services. Whalin learned all aspects of hospital operations. “I had strategic oversight,” she says. “I was collaborating with physicians to bring new ideas to reality with the over-


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ART IN BLOOM GALLERY 210 PRINCESS STREET WILMINGTON, NC 28401

Art is Always Blooming in Downtown Wilmington! Elizabeth Darrow “Trophy Wife” Oil on canvas, 36”H x 36”W (Detail)

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arching goal of improving patient care.” Whalin is grateful for the many mentors, starting with her parents, who influenced her career. “My parents were staunch believers that education was the key to a successful future and were relentless in instilling this in me,” she says. “And I have been absolutely blessed throughout my career to have supportive mentors and leaders who have helped me through each phase of my career and pushed me out of my comfort zone by giving me stretch opportunities.” JOHN GIZDIC, recently named executive vice president and chief business development officer for Novant Health, is one of those mentors. He approached Whalin about taking on the leadership role for Brunswick Medical Center as he was stepping into his new role during the integration of Novant Health. “John has always been a mentor and a leader I look up to. I knew if he was recommending this opportunity, I certainly should consider it,” she says. After getting to know the previous Brunswick hospital president and chief operating officer SHELBOURN STEVENS and knowing she would enjoy working with him in his new role as president of NHRMC and Novant Health’s Coastal market, Whalin accepted the position. “The opportunity to lead a medical center and also have regional responsibilities to expand access to much-needed services across Southeastern North Carolina is a very exciting prospect,” Whalin says. Within her first year, Whalin will integrate and develop the structure and the leadership team. “My leadership brand is to develop high-performing teams who change the world,” she says. Longer-term, Whalin desires to help bring specialty services such as cardiology, oncology, neurosciences, and ambulatory services across the region. Her ultimate goal is to integrate and grow those services across the coastal market. There are already several projects in progress including two medical office buildings to expand services in Brunswick County. “I have no doubt that our strong team has the ability to improve the health and wellness of our community,” Whalin says, “and we will not stop until we do.” W

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TRIALS &

TRIBULATIONS RESTAURANTEUR LOVES A CHALLENGE by LAURA MOORE photo by MEGAN DEITZ

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AMMY TILGHMAN knows more about challenges and heartache than most, but it hasn’t stopped her from moving forward and inspiring others along the way. In October, Tilghman opened Girls With Dough, a new pizza and pasta restaurant in the Riverlights community. “It is so exciting to watch it grow daily. I cannot wait to see how Girls With Dough will continue to grow,” Tilghman says. Shortly after opening the restaurant, Tilghman made the heart-wrenching decision to close her first Riverlights business, Social Mag-

DECEMBER 2021

nolia Cafe, a venture started in 2017 to honor her late father. “Closing Magnolia Social Cafe was honestly the hardest decision I’ve ever made. I made MSC everything I could had ever hoped for,” Tilghman says. “I opened the cafe in honor of my late father who committed suicide. He loved coffee and he passed that love down to me.” Tilghman’s decision to open Magnolia Social Cafe happened amid her own health crisis. Tilghman has a rare brain condition called Chiari malformation. She was very sick for two-and-a-half years and was continuously misdiagnosed. “I felt my life slipping away little by little every day, but once I was correctly diagnosed, I was so excited to have a name that was stealing my life and to know that I wasn’t crazy like how many doctors treated me like I was,” she says. Chiari malformation can cause over 151 different symptoms, and Tilghman had the majority of them. “I quickly learned that I had to be the voice that my body couldn’t be,” she says. “I had to demand to be heard; my body was screaming inside to help me, and I was trying so hard to do just that. Once I found out the name to the robber that was trying to steal my life, I had no idea that I was just beginning the real fight for my life.” Tilghman spent a total of five-and-a-half months in the hospital, not consecutively. She


underwent thirteen surgeries and procedures and was out of work for almost a year. Last year, Tilghman’s symptoms started again, until one night in January 2021, she collapsed. An MRI confirmed that Tilghman had a brain tumor. While still being under construction with Girls With Dough, she had surgery to remove it. “The surgery went well, but in August 2021, I learned that it is growing back. My neurosurgeon said, for now, we will watch it,” Tilghman shares. Until Tilghman discovered she had a brain tumor, she was at Magnolia Social Cafe seven days a week and “never once felt like I was working.” “Making the decision to close something so huge in my life ... well there are no words to describe how that felt,” Tilghman explains. The early days of the pandemic had a negative effect on Magnolia Social Cafe as most of her daily commuter customers became home-based. Delays with equipment arriving and construction also made opening Girls With Dough a constant challenge. “You want to be competitive in pricing, but the industry as a whole is doing all we can do to be fair,” Tilghman says. In addition to the restaurant business, Tilghman has been a bail bondsman since 2004. She and KIARA BREWSTER opened Brewster Bail Bonding in 2015. “I truly love helping people, and that line of work gives me the opportunity to really reach out and help in a really rough time of their lives,” Tilghman says. Tilghman loves a challenge. “I thrive off of challenging myself. I love to see what else I can do in this lifetime,” she says. Tilghman credits her strength to surrounding herself with her three children who work with her and her two Great Danes and pit bull who are her “joy and peace.” In the future, Tilghman hopes to expand her reach with GWD. “I want to duplicate Girls With Dough. I want to have several locations,” Tilghman says. “I want to own an animal sanctuary one day. Now that may a little further off in the future, but it is always something I dreamed about.” W WILMAMAG.COM

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here are many things that never go out of style: denim, LBDs, pencil skirts, martinis, and… plaid. A classic pattern that we see emerge every fall/winter season, it is also one that easily morphs into the latest aesthetic be it prep, punk, casual, or romantic-inspired. Going beyond wrapping paper, bows, and your fav flannel shirt, plaids are a versatile wardrobe friend for your holiday attire. Keep it elegant and understated (think Burberry) or go all Westwood and glam up that tartan (or glen or windowpane) by mixing it with luxury fabrics like satins, velvets, sheers, or even feathers. And when you get that cocktail party invite, be sure to (gingham) check yes. W

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Gathering Up Ways to celebrate together this holiday

P

by

E lizabeth W hite |

photos by

ondering a family holiday gathering after missing out last year? With the holidays fast approaching, this year’s gatherings might look a bit more normal. If you are feeling a little bit rusty about your at-home entertaining skills, ALEXANDRIA NOBLE of A. Noble Events has got you covered. Noble, an event planner, has been on both sides of hosting. She started her career in the food-and-beverage industry, working for a full-service catering company in Washington, D.C. “The world of catering is not for the faint of heart,” she says. Having paid her dues, she appreciates her time in the trenches. “From a service and logistics standpoint, I would not be the planner I am today without the wealth of knowledge the catering industry taught me,” she says. Noble now tackles events both big and small. Her company is a “full-service luxury event planning and design firm servicing the Southeast and beyond for weddings, corporate, and life events.” The holidays are truly the most magical time of the year, she says, but acknowledges there is still the issue of navigating COVID-19. “Maybe you and your family have decided to move dinner outside, accompanied with fire pits, oversized throws, and a spiked apple cider station,” she suggests. WILMAMAG.COM

T erah W ilson

Regardless of how you decide to entertain at home, here are some pointers that hold true no matter what your event looks like.

ALEXANDRIA NOBLE

A. Noble Events (anobleevents.com)

Nothing says home for the holidays like freshly baked goods. Pop a holiday

treat into the oven an hour before your guests arrive. Your visitors will be greeted with the aroma of freshly baked goods, and added bonus, dessert is ready. Don’t overlook the restroom.

Remember to replace your hand soaps with holiday scents and add a fir-scented wallflower to keep the room smelling fresh throughout the evening. Preset your napkin, china, flatware, and glassware on the dinner table and

don’t be afraid to get creative with your presentation. An easy-to-learn festive napkin fold is only a YouTube search away. Setup food and beverage stations

throughout your home in areas where you want guests to socialize. Having the cocktail cart, appetizers, and an after-dinner hot toddy station spread throughout will force people to mix, mingle, and keep moving. Don’t feel like you have to do everything by yourself. Utilize the

resources right in front of you and help support your favorite local shops during this season. And one bonus final tip from Noble:

It is important to remember when hosting a party in your home, you are letting people in to get a small glimpse of DECEMBER 2021

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YOUR GUESTS WILL MIRROR THE SAME ENERGY, AND THAT IS ALL YOU CAN ASK FOR. YOU WANT THEM TO FEEL WELCOME AND COMFORTABLE IN YOUR HOME AND REMEMBER BACK ON WHAT A JOYFUL TIME THEY HAD IN YOUR COMPANY.

- Alexandria Noble

your world, and we all know that world is not perfect. “Don’t try to make it out to be,” she says, adding that it is important to be a relaxed host. “Your guests will mirror the same energy, and that is all you can ask for,” she says. “You want them to feel welcome and comfortable in your home and remember back on what a joyful time they had in your company.”

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Shop your house. Personalize your get-together by incorporating items that you already own as conversation pieces on your tablescape or throughout your entertaining area. It could be the perfect opportunity to bring up past memories

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DECEMBER 2021

for storytelling or reminisce on exciting memories together as the year comes to a close. Mixing old family heirlooms with new favorites from recent travels or milestones can help bring an endearing and thoughtful touch that every holiday gathering deserves. Authenticity is King. There is no need to box yourself into traditional holiday colors or themes. While making your decor and menu plans, think about how you can engage all of the five senses in a unique way (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) for your guest experience. If each element is accounted for in details like bold monochromatic colors, festive or live music, seasonally scented candles, a new cocktail recipe, or cozy blankets by the fire pit, then your overall aesthetic will accomplish a well-rounded gathering for everyone throughout the space – harmoniously reflecting your unique style.

Invest in the Memories. It’s been a wild year for everyone – we all value time with loved ones now more than ever! You’ll never regret the time spent to make everyone feel welcomed and special in your home. Incorporating someone’s favorite cocktail, serving nostalgic comfort food, displaying photos of memories made throughout the year, or indicating guest seating at the table with a hand-written note will never be overlooked or underappreciated. Another pro-tip: Choose to make two or three homemade menu items that are really special to your group but then source the rest from local shops on a beautiful display. Prepping thoughtful details in advance and prioritizing quality time spent with your loved ones is more meaningful and memorable than your time spent away in the kitchen. W


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DECEMBER 2021


perfect

Be a smart cookie and stock up on baked goods while finding the perfect excuse to slow down and catch up with friends during this sometimes hectic holiday season.

a c o ok ie swap the

by Lynda Van Kuren photos by Madeline Gray

WILMAMAG.COM

lmost any excuse for a party will do during the holiday season, but one of the best is a cookie swap. It is a great way to gather with friends, escape the hustle and bustle, and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

The most important thing about a cookie swap is to make it fun and stress-free, recommends HOLLY WHITE, home baker and owner of Stella Blace Bakes. To do so, she says, set an early date, such as the beginning of December, for your cookie swap. Then things aren’t too hectic, the cookie swap gets people in a holiday mood, and your guests will have plenty of cookies throughout the season. White also recommends limiting your guest list to about six people. That way the baking doesn’t get burdensome, and your guests will have a variety of cookies to DECEMBER 2021

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Swirled Sugar Cookies (Makes about one dozen large cookies) INGREDIENTS 2¼ cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup granulated sugar ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature Red food coloring 1 large egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups sprinkles

DIRECTIONS In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In the bowl of the mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and the vanilla and mix until combined. Add in the flour mixture in three parts mixing in between (low) until just combined. Do not over mix, as that will result in a tough cookie structure. You want the dough to no longer have white streaks of flour. Remove about half of the dough from the mixing bowl. Add red (or green, or blue for Hanukkah) food coloring to the remaining dough and mix until the dough is all one color. Roll each half of the dough between sheets of plastic wrap to ¼-inch thickness individually, trying to maintain a rectangle shape. Place the wrapped doughs on a flat surface such as a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Unwrap both doughs and stack the white on top of the colored dough, trim excess off. Roll the dough up together tightly to create the spiral, and roll the entire thing in sprinkles. Refrigerate again for at least an hour, preheat the oven to 350 degrees while you wait. Slice the roll into ¼-inch cookies and place on parchment-covered cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning the trays halfway through. Baking times will vary depending on your oven and how large your cookies are. They are done when they are just barely browning on the edges. Once removed from the oven, wait 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

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taste and indulge in with friends and family. If you have only two or three guests, she suggests asking them to make a couple of different types of cookies. Another way to make your cookie swap a success is to set a cookie menu. White, who grew up making gingerbread houses and other tasty cookies from scratch with her grandmother, knows the value of trying different cookies. By guiding your guests in their cookie choices or assigning them types of cookies to bake, you can avoid six dozen rum balls. Or you can leave it up to chance and see what happens, she says. Regardless, you’ll want to provide a place where your guests can display their cookies. This doesn’t have to be fancy, White says. Setting a long table or several small ones with decorated paper tablecloths, plates, and napkins will do. You’ll also want to make the room festive with decorations and holiday music, recommends White.

DECEMBER 2021

Activities will add that special something to your cookie swap. Inviting your guests to share their favorite memories of baking their cookies and other family holiday traditions is fun and a great conversation starter, White says. Other ideas are asking a guest who has a special talent, such as White, who specializes in making decorated cookies, to give a short


Cookie contributions: Holly White (center), Stella Blace Bakes owner, holds a cookie party with friends, making swirled sugar cookies, triple chocolate crackle cookies, and decorated sugar cookies. Brandy Hardin (left) brings anise and orange biscotti, and Ali Marinelli, Wrightsville Glow owner, whips up gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.

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Let this Holiday Season Sound Very Merry! Just North of Who-ville

INGREDIENTS 1½ cups light brown sugar ½ cup granulated sugar 1¼ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 4 large eggs ½ cup cocoa powder 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled 2 cups all-purpose flour 12 ounces chocolate chips (not melted) Powdered sugar, for coating the cookies before baking

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demonstration or setting up a cookie decorating station where guests can get creative. Of course, one of the best things about a cookie swap is eating cookies. Coffee, sweet tea, and/or a cheery mixed cocktail all go well. If you’re serving alcohol, you’ll also want to have some light hors d’oeuvres, fruits, or a vegetable platter, she adds. You can buy paper plates, or you can break out the good china, which is probably underused, for the food. Finally, provide a way for guests to take recipes, cookies, and directions for freezing them home. Ask your guests to email their recipes to you, then print them out in a booklet or compile them in an email and send it to your guests. Holiday tins from the dollar store and plastic bags stamped with snowflakes make good cookie containers, according to White. A cookie swap can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. The main thing is to have a good time, White says. W WILMAMAG.COM

Combine sugars, butter, vanilla, salt, and baking powder in a mixer and beat on medium until fluffy. Add in the four eggs and mix until well combined. Sift in the cocoa powder and flour and mix until incorporated. Finally, add in the melted chocolate and chocolate chips and mix on low until mixture looks fully combined. Cover the bowl and put into the refrigerator for an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees during this step. Scoop out a couple of tablespoons at a time and roll into a ball. Drop the ball into a bowl filled with powdered sugar and roll around until fully coated. Place balls onto a cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are cracked on top, but the edges look set. Let cookies cool 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

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MIXING IT UP Rachel Jacobs turned her pandemic project into a thriving business

by

Amy Passaretti |

W

photos by

Daria Amato

hen COVID hit in 2020, For the Love of Margaritas owner RACHEL JACOBS was a recent UNCW graduate and laid off from her bartending gig. She knew she needed a way to support herself but never thought a small side hustle would flourish into a budding business. The Wilmington native unofficially launched For the Love of Margaritas, offering fresh-pressed drink mixers, during Cinco de Mayo in 2020, and she’s stayed busy ever since. “All the sudden COVID hit, and just all of us, we were kind of swept off our feet. I was kind of worried and trying to figure out a way to support myself during that time, but I also wanted to bring a fresh WILMAMAG.COM

cocktail to people,” Jacobs says. Jacobs began crafting homemade mixers and selling them to friends and family. After posting her offerings on social media, Jacobs says interest around town escalated quickly. “People were head over heels and so excited about this idea,” she says. “It got me excited about it, too. Before I knew it, I had people all over Wilmington reaching out asking, ‘How do I get my hands on this? I would really love to try your margaritas.’” For the Love of Margaritas sells fresh, homemade juices in 16-ounce, 32-ounce, and gallon-size jars. A 16-ounce jar makes six to eight margaritas. Jacobs created five core flavors: Original, Skinny Paloma, Pomegranate Lime, Mango Habanero, and Pineapple Ginger. She also rotates in seasonal flavors. Each mixer is made with a base of organic lime juice and light blue agave as well as other organic ingredients. “I don’t add any sugars or preservatives; most of them are pretty low glycemic,” Ja-

cobs says. “There aren’t extra carbs, and we offer some skinny options.” While her initial idea was to add tequila, Jacobs says her mixers are versatile and pair well with other liquors as well as sparkling wines. They can even be enjoyed without any alcohol at all. Jacobs says that in addition to mixers, she always has sparkling water or club soda, ginger beer (especially for seasonal cocktails), and a selection of garnishes on hand. “They all pair really good with tequila, but I recognize not everyone prefers tequila as their cocktail base,” she says. “My goal is to empower people to create a delicious margarita, expand people’s palates, and prove that margaritas don’t always come in a single flavor or are made with a single liquor.” Currently Jacobs’ seasonal offering is Apple Cider, which she says pairs well with tequila, warm with bourbon, or even mixed with sparkling wine as a mimosa. She also has her cranberry-orange flavor available during the holidays.

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For the Love of Margarita mixes are shelf-stable for roughly four months and up to two weeks in the fridge once opened. “They make great gifts since they are shelf-stable,” she says. “I can even ship and am working on holiday baskets.” Right now, her products can be ordered online or purchased from Biggers Market, Motts Channel Seafood, Sundays Surf Cafe, and Lighthouse Beer & Wine. Jacobs can also be found at various pop-up markets, including the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market, which runs through December 13 this year. She is working toward an e-commerce site and gaining distribution in additional storefronts, with the goal of maybe operating her own brick-and-mortar shop one day. “I have a vision to be on local ABC shelves – that would be huge,” she says. “As long as I can keep up with demand. I am full throttle.” Jacobs stays extra busy with an additional aspect to her business: event bartending services for weddings, corporate events, private parties, and more. During events, she provides mixers in an array of flavors, garnishes, ice, and full-service bartending. She also partners with groups such as Epic Excursions, a charter business that takes groups out to different islands with a glamping-type setup. “I’ll bring the margarita bar, and we’ll have a low-country seafood boil or whatever food catering,” Jacobs says. “It’s been really fun.” As a lover of the ocean and an environmental science major, Jacobs ensures her business utilizes biodegradable, compostable drinkware and focuses on sustainability, bottling her mixers in reusable glass mason jars. “Customers can return jars to me, and I offer an incentive – $1 off your next order per jar returned,” she says. Even at home, her focus is on being eco-conscious. She utilizes Wilmington Compost Company to dispose of her food scraps, which get collected and turned into soil. The holidays should be the last big push for the year, and Jacobs hopes to slow down a bit at the beginning of 2022. “I need to catch up,” she says. “It’s a lot to juggle, but I’ve gotten it down to a science here, and I have some friends and family to help out. I have a lot of support I’m grateful for.” W

DECEMBER 2021

Spar kling Apple Cider Sangr ia Makes 6-8 drinks INGREDIENTS 1 16-ounce jar of For the Love of Margaritas’ Apple Cider Mix 1 cup of white rum ½ bottle or 375 milliliters of a bold cabernet, red blend, or pinot noir wine. (For white sangria, the recommended wine would be a sauvignon blanc, white blend, or a pinot gris.) 12 ounces of sparkling water or club soda Orange slices, for garnish DIRECTIONS Add all ingredients to a pitcher with a generous amount of ice. Stir well, pour, and enjoy! Keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Cranber r y Orange Libations Makes 1 drink; a nonalcoholic holiday drink option INGREDIENTS 2 ounces For the Love of Margaritas’ Cranberry Orange Mix 6 ounces sparkling water, or Winter Spiced Cranberry Sprite 1 fresh rosemary sprig and a few cranberries, for garnish DIRECTIONS Add all ingredients to a glass with ice cubes and garnish with a rosemary sprig and cranberries.

Pomegranate Gin Fizz Makes 1 drink INGREDIENTS 2 ounces of For the Love of 1 teaspoon of pomegranate Margaritas’ Pomegranate seeds, for garnish Lime Mix Optional: 2 ounces of floral gin 1 pasteurized egg white (Can substitute with vodka) 2 ounces sparkling wine 1 ounce cold club soda DIRECTIONS Add club soda, sparkling wine, and pomegranate seeds to a martini glass or coupe. In a shaker, without ice, add gin, Pomegranate Lime Mix, and egg white. Shake vigorously for a minimum of 30 seconds. Add ice to the shaker. Shake again to chill for at least a minute. Strain into glass.


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For office parties, birthday parties or even parties of one, Crumbl Cookies offers fast, fresh and warm gourmet cookies for takeout, curbside pickup or delivery. With new flavors on the FLORAL INSPIRED menu every week, you’ll want to be sure to stop Give personality to your hom by their new location at 311 S. College Road in décor and accessories from M Wilmington and pick up a pink box full of overCOOKIE CRUMBLES curiosity shop is bound to ha sized delicious cookies. Download the Crumbl For office parties, birthday parties orand even parties shopper. True fashionable app or visit www.crumblcookies.com scheduleCookies offers fast, fresh and of one,toCrumbl more can be found at Madie delivery or curbside pickup! Open 8am- for takeout, curbside warmMon-Thu gourmet cookies Castle Hayne Road, Unit 6 in 10pm and Fri-Sat 8am-midnight. pickup or delivery. With new flavorsFacebook on the @MadiesFinds for F UNIQUE GIFTS FOR ALL menu every week, you’ll want to be sure to stop G Find one of a kind gifts and home goods at Port by their new location at 311 S. College Road in d City Peddler.Their multi-vendor store is located Wilmington and pick up a pink box full of overc at 6213 Market Street, and open 7 days a week. sized delicious cookies. Download the Crumbl SPONSORS’ CONTENT SEPTEMBER a2 They have a large selection of vintage and upcycled app or visit www.crumblcookies.com to schedule m furniture, art, collectables, decor and more. Visit their delivery or curbside pickup! Open Mon-Thu 8amC website at www.PortCityPeddler.com. 10pm and Fri-Sat 8am-midnight. F Find your

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at Luxe

SPONSORS’ CONTENT

219 S. Water St.

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Downtown Wilmington

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FIND YOUR SEXY AT LUXE

Find stunning clothing and accessories from local designers at Luxe Boutique. Located in downtown Wilmington at 219 S. Water Street, this modern boutique serves curated looks and one of a kind style. Come see what all the buzz is about and make sure to follow Luxe on Facebook and Instagram at @luxemoderngirl. Locally Made Leather Bookmarks: Moss Designs, Locally Made Jewelry: Strutt Jewelry

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DIGNITY MEMORIAL

UNIQUE WAYS TO REMEMBER LOVED ONES

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eciding on a permanent place of remembrance for a loved one is an important part of honoring their memory, as it provides a setting for family and friends to pay tribute for generations to come. While many still choose to have a traditional ground or aboveground burial, cremation has been increasing in popularity over the years. This is due to the convenience, lower cost versus a traditional burial, and flexibility to keep or scatter ashes during a memorial service. The rush and stress of planning a funeral in a short amount of time to accommodate a swift burial is removed when choosing cremation. The increased flexibility with cremation allows the funeral service to be planned weeks or even months after a loved one

has passed. This helps when organizing the service, selecting thoughtful passages, photos and music. More flexibility is also a substantial benefit to friends and family who are under geographical or financial constraints, as a funeral held within a short time frame may be difficult for them to attend. Some individuals prefer cremation so they can bring cremains home and display a custom urn in a special place. This can help create a sense of connection to the loved one who has passed, bringing a daily remembrance. Alternatively, and sometimes after many years, some may choose to transfer cremains elsewhere. Scattering ceremonies are popular with people who love specific places, such as the ocean, a special lake, landmark, or even outer space! Dignity Memorial can assist with planning scattering ceremonies

that as unique as the individual who passed, and that includes launching cremains into space. A perfect setting for loved ones to share memories and reflect, these ceremonies offer the option to have some or all the ashes to be scattered. For those who wish to retain some of the cremains, Dignity Memorial has an endless array of choices for this, such as a small urn or keepsake jewelry that contain a tiny amount of cremains, to customize each memorialization. For some, a separate memorial space may be more fitting. Burying cremains is an option, but some prefer an above ground cremation niche, as these can be small, large, public, or private. The space consists of a wall of small cutouts with cremains in custom urns. The front can be bronze, granite or glass, which allows the urn to be viewed

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alongside small mementos, if desired. Planning how best to memorialize a loved one comes with many decisions. The team at Dignity Memorial can help guide and educate you about the process, whether for an immediate need or preplanning. For more information, 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.


MARKRAFT CABINETS

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KITCHEN, BATH AND OUTDOOR DESIGN TRENDS IN 2022

nquiring minds want to know: what are the hottest design trends industry experts are expecting to see in 2022? And considering that most of us have spent more time at home over the past few years than ever before, it is not surprising that many are looking for ways to add a little comfort, fun and style to the spaces they call home. Without further ado, here are some top exterior design, kitchen and bath trends that we expect to make an impact into 2022 and beyond: • Small but impactful product upgrades - instead of reconfiguring a home or swapping out the major appliances, home owners are choosing smaller refinements. Substituting a new sink from Kohler, such as their innovative

Neoroc® line, which uses a matte-finish composite material designed for extreme durability and unmatched beauty, is a little change that goes a long way. • Matching counters, islands and backsplashes - this creates a more unified, sophisticated aesthetic. To stay within budget, use man-made materials that have varying thicknesses, as these are often easier to install. • Upswing in bidet popularity - whether this is a result of the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 or a growing interest in hygiene may be pointless to speculate; the point is there has been a large increase in retrofitting existing toilets for bidets. •Bold appliance colors these are a long way from the pea green refrigerators of the

1970s, with changeable color panels available and lots of customization opportunities, from navy and champagne rose steel, to matte black and white gloss. • Color trends extending outside - home owners and designers are continuing their color choices outside, into their outdoor kitchens and patio furniture, with fire engine red leading the way. • Adaptable showerheads having an option to remove a showerhead to rinse feet, dogs or shower walls is another item of interest these days. • Kitchen and bath hardware - using marble for sink handles, and mixed metal for kitchen sink handles, is a growing trend. • Going seamless - with the idea that seamless surfaces

are easy to clean and do not require as much time or effort to install, materials such as Dekton and Silestone are moving off the kitchen counters, onto bathroom surfaces and kitchen walls. Also, with many realizing that a type of Silestone has a similar appearance to concrete, it is gaining increased use for those who want to incorporate an industrial aesthetic. • Smart technology - From window treatments to thermostats, fixtures, fridges and lights, the use of internet connected devices is only going to increase in popularity. To schedule a complimentary, no obligation consultation about how to align your home with the latest trends and updates, call or email us today.

910.793.0202 | MARKRAFT.COM

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PLANTATION VILLAGE

Toby

Charlie

MeMe

#ALLABOUTPETS For so many people, a house just isn't a home without a pet. At Plantation Village, we're proud to be a pet friendly community and we love to see how the pets on our proper ty light up the faces of their owners and other residents. It's just one way we're #AllAboutYou! Our proper ty is 58 acres and features over three miles of paved walking trails. Contact us today to learn more about how you and your furry friends can #KeepOnLovingLife. You'll find all the latest information at www. plantationvillagerc.com or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ PlantationVillageRC

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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. Nick

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1.866.825.3806 | PLANTATIONVILLAGERC.COM

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SEASIDE HONEYBEES

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BRING THE MAGIC OF BEEKEEPING TO YOUR OWN BACKYARD

here’s something really special about watching honeybees. The way they gather at the entrance of their hive - some leaving, some returning, some resting, all communicating. You can focus on each individual bee with their specific role, playing their own part to work cohesively as a unit towards a shared, unspoken, but well understood mission. Or you can focus on the cluster itself moving in its predictably unpredictable way, like watching the flames of a fire. It draws you in. It’s peaceful. It’s therapeutic. It’s one of the things that makes me most proud about what we are doing at Seaside Honeybees. We’re sharing this unique experience and helping people connect with nature through honeybees. An unexpected reward I receive from doing this work is witnessing the joy that it brings people. It warmed my heart when I saw

chairs set up in front of one of our clients’ hives. I was touched when another sent a picture of the entrance to her hive with a note saying she was enjoying some “bee therapy”. I melted when a mother told me we would have helpers today, and brought out her twin 4 year old boys in mini bee suits. The feedback and questions I get from people reinforces that what we are doing is important. We are doing more than just caring for bees. We’re providing a service that brings people joy, and educating them along the way. Our detailed reports that follow each hive visit provide fascinating insight into the inner workings of the hive. Honeybees have gained a lot of attention in recent years, which has sparked a widespread interest in and curiosity about beekeeping. This new awareness has done wonders to support

beekeepers and promote better care for our pollinators. While many people love the idea of beekeeping, it can seem overwhelming in practice. Seaside Honeybees makes it easy, and you can choose to be as hands on or hands off with the hive as you would like. We’ll be your beekeepers indefinitely, or until you’re ready to take over. All the honey we’re able to harvest from the hive on your property belongs to you, and the harvesting is included as part of our service. When you sign up with us, you’ll be getting the most local honey you could ask for. Honeybees fly around 3 miles to get the food they need, so you know your honey is from nectar within this small radius. If this experience sounds appealing to you, don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions. We help people in a range of situations, from having

their own equipment and bees, to just having some equipment, to being completely brand new to the concept. You may have considered getting honeybees, but maybe don’t know where to start or don’t have the time. Either way, we’re here to help! Join the Seaside Honeybees family in 2022. We’re taking clients now for the spring, and spaces are limited. Jessy O'Keefe is the owner and founder of Seaside Honeybees, a beekeeping management company that installs and maintains hives for residences, businesses, and schools. She's been a professional beekeeper since 2013 and has managed hundreds of hives over the years. Seaside Honeybees offers a full service beekeeping experience, complete with education and care for these important pollinators.

JESSY@SEASIDEHONEYBEES.COM | SEASIDEHONEYBEES.COM

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SCARLESS VEIN CARE

Check out Dr. Kamran’s Podcast!

IF YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE IS DECLINING, YOU NEED TO READ THIS

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f you lead an active lifestyle and regularly experience leg pain or are noticing a decrease in your athletic performance, vein disease could be to blame. Contrary to what many believe, venous insufficiency may affect individuals of any race, age, or gender. That’s why it’s important to seek an evaluation from a vein specialist if you experience any of the following symptoms: · Dull or sharp leg pain · Leg cramps · Restless legs · Tired, heavy legs · Swelling in the legs, feet and ankles

“Since I’ve had my veins treated, I don’t experience that heavy leg sensation when I’m running. In the last six months, I’ve actually taken three minutes per mile off of my running pace, so, I couldn’t be happier with the change that this had made to my training and running.” - Actual Patient of Dr. Kamran Goudarzi Aches, pains, and suboptimal performance levels aren’t always “just part of getting older”. Don’t let Vein Disease keep you from living the life you want! Whether you’re an avid runner, hiker, or surfer, at Scarless Vein Care by Dr. Kamran, we help people

get their active lifestyle back and overcome symptoms of vein disease. Contact us today to see if you qualify for a *free vein health screening at our vein clinic at Waterford Medical Center in Leland, NC. Utilizing state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, Dr. Kamran and his team can determine if your symptoms are vein-related. Fortunately, vein disease is a treatable condition. Minimally invasive treatment options require no surgery or downtime. Dr. Kamran is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of phlebology and vascular

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surgery. Dr. Kamran has been providing general, thoracic, vascular, laparoscopic, and both upper and lower endoscopic surgeries for more than 40 years. As one of the first physicians and centers in the state of North Carolina to offer intravascular laser ablation for the treatment of varicose veins, Dr. Kamran is known for outstanding patient outcomes and satisfaction rates. *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.


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COMBINING

FORCES WOMEN’S SUMMIT CONVENES THIS MONTH by JENNY CALLISON

CAPE FEAR WOMEN’S SUMMIT WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9 | 5:30 - 8 P.M. REGISTRATION & INFO: CFWIT.COM

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January 2020 event photos c/o CFWIT

ust in time for the holiday season, there’s a big gift waiting for professionals in the Wilmington area. It’s the second annual Cape Fear Women’s Summit, scheduled for December 9, and it’s the product of a collaboration among several local women’s networking groups. “The goal for this particular event is to determine what our community is interested in and to foster more camaraderie and teambuilding,” says TRISTA BANFIELD, a technical project manager at Apiture and organizer of the summit. “Although this is a women’s event and female-forward, it’s not gender exclusive. We don’t want to exclude anyone.” The first summit, held in January 2020, was born of a realization that women’s organizations in the Wilmington area weren’t always necessarily working with each other.

DECEMBER 2021

The effort to address that communications gap was led by Cape Fear Women in Tech, whose leadership includes Banfield. “In an effort to get more collaboration across the board from women’s groups, we reached out through various media to put on the first Cape Fear Women’s Summit,” she says. “We had participation from all types of women’s groups.” The organizers of the 2020 summit received a “huge positive response” from Cape Fear-area businesses that donated prizes as well as food and beverages, according to Banfield. nCino hosted the event at its Mayfaire headquarters. Building on the inaugural event’s success in shaping the second, Cape Fear Women in Tech involved CastleBranch, GE Women in Nuclear, and members of Corning’s women’s group. With COVID uncertainties lingering, Banfield and her organizing team decided a virtual event this year would be best. Event registrants will be sent a link to the summit. Virtual doesn’t mean there won’t be interaction, Banfield says. Following the summit introductory session is a musical icebreaker – with gift card prizes for the winning team, courtesy of this year’s sponsor, Cape Fear Audi. And, rather than just listening to keynote speakers, attendees will participate in discussion breakout groups. Those keynoters represent Apiture, GE Nuclear, Cape Fear Audi, the Harrelson Center, and Wilmington Health. The biggest benefit of summit participation, says Banfield, is meeting a variety of people and sharing ideas and concerns. “We women in STEM have to champion each other in order to grow and move forward,” she adds. “How can we propel ourselves and find more opportunities for women in technology? Collaboration has a lot to do with it. There’s a lot of cross-interest in our various organizations; we have similar goals as we work to better position women in our area.” Drawing from her own career path, Banfield knows well that women from a variety of backgrounds can find jobs in technology fields. That gift of learning how to find and seize career opportunities is what she and other organizers would like to give to attendees at this month’s summit. W


5

TAKE

by AMY PASSARETTI photo by TERAH WILSON

DONNA FLAKE has visited the country of Moldova eight times but has been involved in aiding the health of its residents for years. As the New Hanover Medical Library librarian for twenty-eight years, Flake established the first consumer health library in North Carolina – based in Wilmington – in 1999. Now retired, she’s using her background and experience to advocate for access to updated health resources for Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe. With the help of proceeds from the Moldovan Wine and Food Tasting on January 18, sponsored by Wilmington East Rotary Club, Flake hopes to raise enough funds to support a global grant, which would establish health education libraries abroad. Info: wilmingtoneastrotary.com/moldovan WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA? “I was asked by the Minister of Health from Moldova to help the only medical library in Moldova, which is at the University of Moldova. … This is the poorest country in Europe, but they strive to do their very best. The literacy rate of the country is 98%, so the people are intelligent. Most of the people speak one of these two languages: Romanian or Russian.” WHAT KIND OF IMPACT HAS NORTH CAROLINA, WILMINGTON SPECIFICALLY, HAD ON THE HEALTH OF MOLDOVA CITIZENS? “When I first went to Moldova in 2006, they probably had about 200 English language medical books that were out of date, and they had thousands of Russian medical books, at least 25 years out of date. They did not have current authoritative medical information at the one medical university in the country. North Carolina libraries, including the New Hanover Medical Library, sent more than 350,000 current medical books and journals. This greatly increased the knowledge and ability for them to practice 21st-century medicine with resources they never had before.” WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN NORTH CAROLINA AND MOLDOVA, AND HOW DO YOU INTEND TO CARRY THAT OUT? “Currently our partnership involves many libraries in North Carolina partnering with Moldovan libraries, and I’d like to increase that number, so things like webinars can be given to increase knowledge. Now they’re all going through COVID, and it’s been hard on these libraries to have the time and staff to attend the webinars we’d like to present. One hope is for things to get back to normal so we can have more coordination and teaching involving more libraries.” WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH OTHERS KNEW ABOUT THE EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRY? “The people. They are resourceful, kind, generous, and are some of the most loving and thoughtful people I have ever met. I want people to know how hard they work, how much they strive to make a living, and they need a hand up. The librarians I’ve worked with don’t make a lot of money. We try hard to help them all we can and not only work with the libraries but elevate the economy of the country of Moldova.” WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOLDOVAN DISH? “Placinte (a round, flat bread commonly stuffed with cheese). It’s a wonderful dish, and it can be filled with many different things. I like it with cherries and with apples.” W DONNA FLAKE’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.

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SANTA, LET’S TALK by TIM BASS illustration by MARK WEBER Tim Bass is coordinator of UNCW’s bachelor of fine arts program in creative writing.

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Letter to Santa Claus if Tim were 6 years old. (He’s far from it in age, but, people tell him, not in maturity.) Dear Santa, How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? How was your summer? Mine was fun. I thought I saw you at the beach. There was this man, and he was heavy like you, so his belly bounced, and he had long, white hair and a long, white beard like you, and I told my mom and dad, “Santa comes here on vacation, too!” He was with a young woman who was very jumpy and giggly and drinking beer, and she didn’t look like Mrs. Claus, and she ran and hopped up on the Santa man and tried to kiss him and he hurt his back. He said bad words, and then he sat on his motorcycle and pouted. He was not jolly. That was how I knew he was not you. Where do you go on vacation? You should come to my beach. We can build a Santa Land sandcastle. I want to talk to you about last year. It was not a good year, and I don’t blame just you. I know I said all I wanted for Christmas was a vaccine for the whole wide world, but I didn’t mean that was all I wanted, like just that one thing. What I meant was all I wanted was a vaccine for the whole wide world and toys. I wrote a letter saying that, but I didn’t do it until bedtime on the night before Christmas, and my mom and dad said it was too late to make changes. My mom and dad don’t get to make the rules, is what I say. But it’s not what they say. “Once

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you start paying the power bill, Mr. Big Pants, you can start making the rules.” That’s what my dad says. How are the reindeer? How is Rudolph’s nose? Does it glow all night? Does it keep you awake? Santa, it was very, very good that you brought the vaccine last year. It made me happy when Maw-Maw and Pa-Paw got their shots, even if Pa-Paw was grumpy about his sore arm and Maw-Maw had to make him a banana pudding so he would stop bellyaching. And you probably know this, but I want to stay on your good list by telling the truth. Uncle Earl won’t get his shot. Maw-Maw has tried and tried to get him to do it, but all he says is, “I survived disco. I can handle anything.” My mom told Uncle Earl that he can’t come back to our house until he gets his shot, and my dad says, “Either way, we win.” I will leave cookies for you under the tree. My dad says they might be stuck on a ship far away in the ocean, but my mom says, “Harry, do you have to take the fun out of everything?” And my dad says, “The boy has to learn about global supplychain problems sometime.” And what I want to say to him is, “Well, Mr. Big Pants, cookies don’t come on ships. They come from the grocery store.” Tell the elves hello for me. And tell them thank you for the vaccine. And tell them this year, toys, too. Your friend (no matter what), Tim