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Playful cold-weather looks
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Focus on the Gender Leadership Academy
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46 THE SCENE: Girls who garden
12 TASTE: Our Happy place
47 TAKE 5: Lauren Daley heads up DVSS
14 HEALTH: Pender promotion
48 MENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ROOM: A letter from 2020
18 STYLE: Shimmer and shine
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18 27 C HRISTMAS QUEEN: Actress Jen Lilley on filming in the ILM 32 C OASTAL HOLIDAY: Up your holiday cooking game with these recipes 41 V IRTUAL ACADEMY: UNCW's leadership program that anyone can tune into
Who’s ready for the holidays? However you plan to celebrate this year, we’ve got you covered in this month’s issue. Cooking for one? Or ten? Several of Wilmington’s chefs and foodies share their picks for dishes that will impress and reflect the best of the coast. From vegan veggie apps to seafood curry to a citrusy dessert – take inspiration from this coastal menu on page 32. Feel more like a PJs and slippers kind of mood? Binging on Hallmark Christmas movies has become an annual tradition for some, and this year should bring some familiar sights. Jen Lilley, who filmed USS Hallmark this fall in Wilmington, shares what it was like shooting in the Port City and the rise of the holiday genre on page 27. And, while summer temperatures lingered late into the year for the coast, the promise of winter days means time to bring out the festive sweaters and seasonal plaids. Warm up with these cool looks on page 18. Happy holidays, everyone! W DECEMBER 2020
BRIDGET CALLAHAN has been covering
the Wilmington scene for over five years, through various publications. While her nationally published work ranges from the joys of hiking to the municipal intricacies of medical marijuana, she particularly appreciates all the amazing women she meets through her WILMA assignments. This month, Callahan checks in with three local food experts on their picks for holiday dishes (page 32).
JENNY CALLISON is a former Greater
Wilmington Business Journal reporter who continues as a freelancer with the Business Journal and WILMA. Before moving to Wilmington in 2011, she was a university communications director and a freelance reporter covering a variety of beats. Callison gives an update about UNCW’s Gender Leadership Academy series (page 41) and talked with gardener Amber Stafford (page 46).
NINA BAYS COURNOYER is design
director for the Los Angeles Business Journal and style intro writer for WILMA magazine. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she was previously co-editor/art director of WILMA and art director for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and is happy to still be part of the WILMA team, even while on the opposite coast. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bryan, and their two cats, Oskar and Bucky. She shares holiday glam trends in this month’s style feature on page 18.
Publisher Rob Kaiser email@example.com President Robert Preville firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Publisher Judy Budd 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 Executive Ali Buckley email@example.com Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org Events/Digital Assistant 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
MELISSA HEBERT is a Wilmington-based
photographer who has had her work featured in national campaigns and magazines, including WILMA. Hebert studied photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art and specializes in editorial, portrait, and wedding photography. Hebert photographed this month’s cover and style spread on page 18. melissahebertphoto.com
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 chef Lydia Clopton for a feast of holiday recipes (page 32) and Amber Stafford, founder of Black Girls Gardening (page 46). terahwilson.com
Digital Editor Johanna Cano email@example.com Fashion Stylists Ashley Duch Grocki & Drewe Smith Contributors Bridget Callahan, Jenny Callison, Meghan Corbett, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Dylan Patterson, Cheryl L. Serra, Lynda Van Kuren Contributing Photographers Erin Costa, Megan Deitz, Aris Harding, Melissa Hebert Photography, Michael Cline Spencer, Terah Wilson Founder Joy Allen Subscribe For a one-year subscription, please send $26.00 (check or money order) to: WILMA, 219 Station Rd., Ste. 202, Wilmington, NC 28405, or call 343-8600 x201 www.WILMAmag.com
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SUPPORTER SPONSORS Cape Fear Community College Cape Fear Realtors Excite Credit Union Fleet Feet Sports Wilmington Frank Institute Greene Resources Hedrick, Gardner, Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP Hope Abounds Cancer Network Leggett, PLLC Matthews Motors Murchison Taylor & Gibson Pathfinder Wealth Consulting WILMAmag.com
Patriot Roofing Company Premier Staffing Solutions Quality Chemical Laboratories UNCW College of Health & Human Services UNCW CIE USS North Carolina Battleship The Village at River Landing Waylett Wealth Management Wells Fargo Bank White & Johnson Pediatric Dentistry Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM) DECEMBER 2020
This year's Leadership Institute class meeting in January at orientation. photo by Michael Cline Spencer
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 2020:
LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: This year’s cohort of women selected for the nine-month WILMA’s Leadership Institute program started 2020 with an orientation day at tekMountain in January and a monthly session at nCino in February. As gathering restrictions in response to COVID-19 began in March, we moved the rest of the year’s training to Zoom and folded in additional topics about leading through these difficult times. The class held a small, outdoor graduation this fall with peer advisory boards making plans to continue to serve as each other’s sounding boards. Applications for next year’s program, slated to start in April, are now open through January 15. Info: WILMALeadership.com LEADERSHIP ACCELERATOR: Our annual half-day women’s conference moved online in June with live and taped discussions with local leaders on a range of topics. We covered mentoring, navigating small business issues, and intentional leadership styles. We also talked with UNCW Women’s Basketball Coach Karen Barefoot on leading off the court and had a panel discussion about conversations on race. Watch (or rewatch) them here, wilmamag.com/wilmas-leadership-accelerator. GET ON BOARD: The Get on Board program, held in partnership with UNCW’s QENO, prepares women for joining boards of directors. Our most recent training session, held via Zoom, took place in October. Women who go through the training are eligible to connect with local organizations through our website WILMAsGetOnBoard.com. MENTORING: We matched up thirty women with mentors at the beginning of the year for the yearlong mentoring program in which participants work one-on-one with each other once a month on leadership goals. WILMA AWARDS: Thirty-five finalists were recognized in our ninth annual Women to Watch Awards in October. Those finalists were able to gather for an outdoor event to announce the seven category winners. IN THE LOOP: Keep up to date with these and other Leadership Initiative programs as well as applications announcement by going to WILMAmag.com/women-to-watch or signing up for the WILMA newsletter on our website.
- Vicky Janowski, WILMA editor, and Maggi Apel, vice president of sales, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com
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. ELIZABETH BARNES
BRANDI GRIFFIN WOLFF
Co-Founder, Executive Director and Donor Relations Hope Abounds Cancer Network Elizabeth@hopeabounds.org
Owner, Patriot Roofing Company firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Marketing, MegaCorp Logistics email@example.com
Manager of Programs and Operations, UNCW CIE firstname.lastname@example.org
VP of Strategy and Execution, UnitedHealth Group email@example.com
MEREDITH COOK President, Green Compass
Marketing Director, Pathfinder Wealth Consulting firstname.lastname@example.org
District Admin Assistant, Wells Fargo Bank email@example.com
Regional Sales Manager, Well Care Health firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Strategy Officer, New Hanover Regional Medical Center Kristy.Hubard@nhrmc.org
Financial Advisor, Waylett Wealth Management email@example.com
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Owner, Fleet Feet Sports Wilmington email@example.com
Chief Executive Officer, Cape Fear Realtors firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager, Executive Administration, Alcami email@example.com
Community Liaison, Wilmington Health firstname.lastname@example.org
Owner, Meadowlark email@example.com
Director of Talent Development, Castle Branch firstname.lastname@example.org
Member/Organizer, Leggett, PLLC email@example.com
Chief Communications Officer, New Hanover County firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Resources Leader, GE Hitachi Lilian.Loizeaux@ge.com
Executive Director, WARM, Inc. email@example.com
Public Relations Director, Matthews Motors firstname.lastname@example.org
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RUTH RAVITZ SMITH
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JUSTINE REEL, PHD, LCMHC
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Director of Sales, Village at River Landing firstname.lastname@example.org
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President, RR Smith Strategic Consulting firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Dean of Research & Innovation and Professor, UNCW CHHS email@example.com
EVP â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Head of Operations, Live Oak Bank firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President, Relationship Strategist, PNC Wealth Management email@example.com
Assistant Dean for Student Success, UNCW CHHS firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Pender County email@example.com
Director of Community Relations, Excite Credit Union firstname.lastname@example.org
Branch Manager, Director of Client Development, Greene Resources email@example.com
Director of Philanthropy, Cape Fear Community College Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org
DDS, PA, White & Johnson Pediatric Dentistry email@example.com
Join WILMA NETWORK! Contact Maggi Apel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-343-8600 x203 for more information!
David A. Nye Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage email@example.com 910-599-3332
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The Women to Watch logo: When you see this throughout WILMA’s pages, it means this is a woman on the rise to know, an experienced leader to learn from, or a local program worth checking out. W
14 PENDER PATIENTS: PMH President Ruth Glaser absorbs new duties 32 STIR IT UP: Area chefs share holiday recipes to impress 46 DIGGING DEEP: Amber Stafford cultivates Black Girls Gardening
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
photo by Michael Cline Spencer
HONORING HEALTH CARE WORKERS
The 2020 Health Care Heroes Awards recognized the hard work of health care workers, professionals, and community volunteers. Among the winners of this year’s awards (held at an outdoor reception at Cloud 9 shown above), which are put on by WILMA’s sister publication the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, were: LAURA QUARINO, family nurse practitioner with Brunswick County Health Services in the Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant category; NOVA SWANSTROM, therapist at Delta Behavioral Health in the Health Care Professional category; ELIZABETH BARNES, co-founder and executive director of Hope Abounds Cancer Network Inc., in the Community Achievement category; and BETHANY HART, a flight paramedic with NHRMC AirLink/VitaLink Critical Care Transport in the First Responder category. For more about them and info on winners of all the categories, go to WilmingtonBiz.com.
CRADDOCK APPOINTED TO STATE BOARD
Gov. Roy Cooper appointed CAROLYN CRADDOCK to the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board. Craddock is a lecturer and assistant field coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s School of Social Work. She’s also a clinical social worker and addictions specialist. “Her extensive clinical and administrative experience in behavioral health includes working in community mental health and crisis services with families, children, and adults,” officials say. The state board’s mission is to “protect the public by setting standards for qualification, training, and experience for those who seek to represent themselves to the public as certified social workers or licensed clinical social workers and by promoting high standards of professional performance for those engaged in the practice of social work in accordance with the Social Worker Certification and Licensure Act.” Craddock serves as president of the National Association of Social Workers in North Carolina. She earned her master’s degree from Boston College and bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech.
SBTDC ADDS BUSINESS COUNSELORS FOR AREA
The Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington hired CYNTHIA DEVITA-COCHRANE and CHERYL YOUNG as business resiliency counselors. Young (above) joined the SBTDC’s COVID-19 Business Recovery and Resiliency Program. She has twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur and was a business consultant with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Shippensburg University for thirteen years. DeVita-Cochrane recently joined the SBTDC at UNCW with experience as a mediator, business coach, entrepreneur, and industrial-organizational psychologist. She has more than twenty years of organizational development/ organizational behavior consulting experience. DeVita-Cochrane earned a bachelor’s degree at Pepperdine University and completed mediation training through a joint program with CCS of Los Angeles and Pepperdine Law School. She earned her masters, and Ph.D. degrees from Walden University.
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LANDFALL GROUP AWARDS GRANTS IN 2020
The Landfall Foundation awarded $490,000 in grants and scholarships to Wilmington-area nonprofits, including $30,000 in emergency funding in the spring to help organizations weather impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The latest round of grants at the end of October went to eighty-eight nonprofit groups and schools. “This year, due to COVID-19, we canceled all fundraising events,” says MARY PAPAGEORGIOU-MCGRATH, the foundation’s board president. “Instead, we launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $500,000.” “The outpouring of support was incredible,” says Papageorgiou-Mcgrath (above).” The Foundation’s fundraising goal of $500,000 was met, and we were able to fulfill a full slate of grants with an emphasis to benefit individuals whose lives have been particularly upended by COVID-19.” Some of the groups that received the emergency grants included the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, NourishNC, and Brunswick Family Assistance Center. This year, the foundation awarded two capital grants totaling $50,000 to Snipes Academy of Arts & Design and the Community Boys & Girls Club. It also funded $9,500 in scholarships. Since 1995, the Landfall Foundation has awarded nearly $5.8 million to local nonprofit organizations, including $229,000 to scholarship recipients.
Have a suggestion for a local woman or group to spotlight? Email us: wilma@WILMAmag.com WILMAmag.com
DOUBLE HAPPINESS BALANCES CHINESE CUISINE WITH SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY by MEGHAN CORBETT photo by MEGHAN DIETZ
ilmington might be a relatively small town when compared with others around the world, however, incredible culinary experiences exist in this corner of the country. Double Happiness Chinese Restaurant has been serving authentic Chinese food to residents and visitors of Wilmington since the early 2000s. “We started Double Happiness around the year of 2004,” says owner MAY CHEN. “My husband (Jamie Zheng) and I were newlyweds, and we had a dream to open our own restaurant. “We felt Wilmington needed more authentic Chinese cuisine besides just the dark oolong tea, egg foo young, and chow mein.” Chen says the couple wanted to offer
authentic Chinese history and the culture through their dishes. “The story behind the spring roll, the dumplings, and the ants climbing the tree; why the sauce served with the spring rolls is called duck sauce; is there General Tso’s chicken in China; etc.,” she says. “That’s how Double Happiness started.” The essential goal of a Chinese meal “is to attain the harmony of taste, texture, aroma and color by balancing the principles of FAN and T’SAI foods,” they explain on their website. “FAN foods include rice, noodles, grains and dumplings. Vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood are T’SAI foods. All of our meals are prepared with the goal of attaining this balance.” In a relatively short time, Double Happiness has become a staple for Wilmington diners who are looking for authenticity and genuine service. So much so that in 2018, Double Happiness opened its second location in Ogden – at 7122 Market Street.
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“As Wilmington grows rapidly, we felt there was a need to fulfill for our customers,” Chen says. “We had customers tell us that they drove all the way from Jacksonville, Hampstead, Leland, etc. to our Wrightsville Avenue location (4403 Wrightsville Avenue), so we started to consider a second space. When the opportunity came up for the location, we went right for it.” One of the most heartwarming features of the way Chen and her husband run Double Happiness is through strong relationships with their customers. “To me, a business’s success is not only based on how well the business runs,” Chen says. “I have gained so many friends, and they became family through Double Happiness. I will call that a success.” When pressured to narrow down her list of favorite menu items, Chen says the dishes that stand out to her are the dry wok chicken, the shrimp with ginger scallions, the shacha shacha fish, and the Sichuan eggplant. Each of these dishes is a favorite among customers, as well. Like many other businesses in the area, the COVID-19 shutdown in the spring was difficult for the restaurant owners, who were left wondering how long it would last and how to keep the doors open in the meantime. “When COVID hit, we were closed for more than a month,” Chen says. “It was an extremely difficult decision, and ultimately, it was hurtful one, too. We have longtime employees that had started a family here, and we really appreciated and wanted to put all of the employees’ and customers’ safety as our priority.” While many restaurants in the area have returned to limited dining-room seating, the team at Double Happiness is managing to maintain a strong business model solely through no-contact pickup. “We will continue to do that until all our staff members are ready for dine in,” Chen says. “As small business owners, we are truly thankful for this community, especially during this unique time. “We will continue to give back as much as we can,” she adds. “And, because of their continued support, my husband and I are able to provide the opportunities to our children that we didn’t have when we were kids. This town has made my American dream come true!”W
CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS PHYSICAL THERAPY MODALITIES DECOMPRESSION THERAPY LASER THERAPY MASSAGE THERAPY CUSTOM ORTHOTICS
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PATIENTS PMH PRESIDENT RUTH GLASER ABSORBS NEW DUTIES
by CHERYL L. SERRA photo by ERIN COSTA
aking connections aimed at paving the way for patients is one of RUTH GLASER’s proven abilities.
As president of Pender Memorial Hospital for a decade, she worked tirelessly to make sure patients – many in post-acute care – transitioned to skilled nursing, hospice, home care, and other services. The goal was to get them better and to keep them well after discharge from the hospital. Glaser has now been promoted to vice president of post-acute services at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, a role that provides her the opportunity to continue to oversee the Pender facility, but to use her skills in a broader way. Located in Burgaw, Pender Memorial is a not-for-profit hospital owned by Pender
County and managed by NHRMC. It is licensed for eighty-six beds (forty-three skilled nursing and forty-three acute), but as a critical access hospital, it operates twenty-five acute/swing beds and thirty-nine skilled nursing beds. Its goal is to improve access to health care by providing essential services in the nearby rural communities. Pender includes NHRMC Home Care, a separate corporation but part of the Pender umbrella, designed for patients receiving care at home after recovering from a hospitalization or managing a chronic condition. In her role at Pender Memorial, Glaser has “focused on growing services and the number of providers at the hospital while improving quality of care and patient satisfaction, in addition to supporting increased collaboration between PMH and the rest of the health system,” officials say. In her new position, Glaser will have additional responsibility for NHRMC Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and AirLink/VitaLink Critical Care Transport, services that transport patients by road and by air. Many of these patients have been in acute care. Glaser says there are a few changes that will come from her new job. Physically, she used to work at Pender’s Burgaw facility and lives near it. She plans to continue to live there but will now spend most of her days at NHRMC in Wilmington. The addition of overseeing EMS and AirLink/VitaLink will be all new. She says she met with one of the leaders for four hours in her first week of transition after beginning the job in November. She doesn’t think the meeting even got to the proverbial tip of the iceberg. They’re “a pretty impressive group of clinicians,” she says of the team of about 350 that includes paramedics, EMTs, and critical care nurses. “Most of what we do at Pender and Home Care are really post-acute services,” she says, adding the Pender hospital has an operating room and an emergency room. “But, a lot of what we do is rehab patients after they’ve had an acute care stay ... This will allow me to take a much broader view of post-acute care and help the system, overall, with its strategy.” Each day in her new office on 17th Street, Glaser hears the ambulances go by. She’s amazed by how busy they are. From the Pender Memorial perspective, she says these are the people who come when they have a patient who’s really sick and needs to be
transported. She likens them to the calvary coming to be sure the patient is successfully transitioned to the medical center. EMS and AirLink/VitaLink have 68,000 patient touches a year. The strategy part of her new vice president role, Glaser says, will likely entail making or improving relationships with skilled nursing facilities, home care agencies, hospice, and private duty nursing providers – in other words, with organizations and people who could wrap around a patient receiving acute care after being discharged. “From the medical center’s perspective, I’m the one that lives in their world, in the post-acute world, every day,” Glaser says of what she’ll bring to the new post. “When I sit down at the table with an administrator who’s over a skilled nursing facility, I understand what they’re up against. I understand the challenges. It’s the same with home care. Building those relationships is very important. But, also understanding life in a hospital was very different than life in a skilled nursing facility,” where the regulations may vary, sometimes conflicting with one another. Glaser understands the importance of providing high-quality health care in a ru-
ral community. She took her first couple jobs after graduate school at NHRMC and then went to a community health care system in Scotland County. At Pender Memorial, Glaser’s proud of the networking and connections she and the hospital team have created and how the community now thinks about the hospital. In the past couple of years, she says, you could feel the change in Wilmington and surrounding areas, which have continued to grow. In addition, Novant Health’s pending purchase of NHRMC is expected to add to the growth since the Winston-Salem-based buyer pledged continuing the arrangement with Pender Memorial for at least three years while they look at the future of care in Pender County. The speed of change in health care has increased since the pandemic, too. “We’ve been affiliated with New Hanover Regional Medical Center for twenty-two years and if it weren’t for New Hanover, that little hospital would not exist,” Glaser says about Pender Memorial. “And, I would say that because of New Hanover, we have flourished.”W
TO THE OUTSTANDING WOMEN OF CAPE FEAR COMMUNITY COLLEGE Congratulations to CFCC’s 2020 Women to Watch Finalists in Education
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his year, unless you have the hook up for a private charter on Santa’s sleigh, home for the holidays is going to be just that – at home. But, that doesn’t mean that festive attire isn’t part of the plan. Here are some holiday trends to keep you in cozy couture throughout the season. Billowy bows: Not just for presents anymore! Whether you’re into car-topper-sized ribbons or delicate knots, the bow is back. Textured knits: Nothing’s better than a comfy sweater in cooler weather. Besides the ole standbys like cable knits and ribbing, this year’s knits will showcase surface embellishments such as pompoms, beads, and fringe, as well as open back and cold-shoulder cutouts. Bonus: Extra adornments up top make for a killer Zoom presence. Sherpa: Okay, there is something better than a comfy sweater. And it’s sherpa. No longer relegated to the Himalayas, this lightweight but warm faux-fleece piece is a great addition to your closet. Wear a shorter version for a more casual look or sport a longer style to exude elegance. Either way, you’ll feel like you’re being hugged by a giant teddy bear – something we could all appreciate this holiday season. W
Holidays STYLED BY DREWE SMITH | PHOTOS BY MELISSA HEBERT | INTRO BY NINA BAYS COURNOYER
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OPERATION CHRISTMAS MOVIE BINGE
hen Virginia, native JEN LILLEY arrived in Los Angeles, she studied her market. Like any ambitious professional starting out, she met with others doing the work she wanted to be doing, asking how they got there. She reversed engineered their career paths and settled on a plan. DECEMBER 2020
“I made a promise to myself that I would not leave LA for eight years,” says Lilley, who describes her pillars for success as tenacity, networking, and kindness. The plan panned out. Lilley, who landed roles on various TV shows, entered soap operas through General Hospital and then on a recurring role on Days of Our Lives. Today, she is among the Hallmark Channel’s regulars and part of a holiday pop-culture staple: the Hallmark Christmas movies. In September, Lilley visited Wilmington to film one of this year’s films – USS Christmas, which aired on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. She spoke recently with WILMA from her home in California about filming in the Port City, putting in extra hours on her holiday charity campaign, working on child advocacy, and building a career in film – an industry that like many has had to figure out how to operate in a COVID-19 world.
WAS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME VISITING THIS PART OF NORTH CAROLINA? “I’ve never been to Wilmington before. I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, so I’ve been to North Carolina a lot, and I have family in North Carolina. … And, it was really a big deal to me since I grew up in the Dawson’s Creek era. To me, flying into Wilmington I have to say made me feel that same kind of electric energy that I felt when I first landed in Los Angeles.”
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE RISE IN POPULARITY OF HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIES? “I think Hallmark Christmas movies are the fastest way to get in the spirit. I know I’m up here quarantining for my next movie, and I have Hallmark Channel on while I work because it just really brings so much positive energy and joy into your house. I just think it oozes Christmas in all the ways that you want it to.”
Jen Lilley is shown with her USS Christmas co-star Trevor Donovan and her family (previous page) getting into the holiday spirit.
Photos courtesy of Jen Lilley
YOU RECENTLY LAUNCHED OPERATION CHRISTMAS IS NOT CANCELLED. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THE CAMPAIGN’S ABOUT AND ITS INSPIRATION? “So, I am always trying to find ways to make giving back and fundraising fun because I think we all want to do good and put good out in the world. But obviously with the pandemics it’s been exceptionally hard, so I was like, ‘Well, how do I provide hope and holiday cheer and just holiday distraction when we definitely need it?” Lilley, the mother of three, set about contacting brands and pulling together weekly giveaways and an ultimate Christmas package that includes everything from a Balsam Hill tree and decorations to holiday dinner. To enter, people donate toward Toys for Tots, and a portion of the proceeds also benefits the USO. “So, I came up with this campaign and I thought, ‘What are we going to call it?’ And, I started thinking about how everything has been canceled in 2020 … My movie (USS Christmas) is military themed, so we’re gonna call it Operation Christmas is Not Cancelled.” (christmasisnotcancelled.com)
WHAT’S AHEAD FOR YOU IN 2021? “I hope not a pandemic. … I think it’s the same kind of thing, just more of it. I’m always working on child advocacy. I’m a foster and adoptive parent. And, so my goal in 2021 is to get even more involved with foster care advocacy and human and child rights advocacy in Washington. I’m also starting my own charity that I’ve been working on to build a neighborhood for children in foster care. … And then, of course, movies, and, you know, being a mom. And, more charity campaigns in the future, too. This year, during the pandemic, I did Voices That Give in May, which was a talent contest that helps children in foster care. And then, this winter, I’m doing Operation Christmas Is Not Cancelled, so I don’t plan on slowing down at all with any of my fun fundraisers because I just think they’re a great way to spread hope and cheer when people need it.” W USS Christmas filmed in Wilmington in September. It initially aired on the Hallmark Movies & Mystery channel November 28. It also streams on frndly (frndlytv.com). For replay dates and info, go to hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/ uss-christmas.
Looking for a natural immune booster? Elderberry Tribe is here to help!
photo by Nixia Vasquez
Elderberry Tribe Wellness Shop 102 Old Eastwood Rd #A5 Wilmington NC 28403 open from 10-2PM Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment elderberrytribeLLC
WILMINGTON LOCATIONS Madame Meerkat’s Cabinet of Curiosities Eagle Island Fruit and Seafood Lovey’s Organic Market and Cafe
Cape Fear Pharmacy En-light Readings and More Going Local (seasonal Location) Port City Produce
Once Upon a Child Magnolia Social Cafe Finders Keepers Children’s Resale Ogden Taproom
n a world of constant change Elderberry Tribe thrives on providing fresh elderberry syrup and products. Holly first discovered the amazing benefits of elderberry back in 2013 when searching for a natural remedy for sickness and allergies while pregnant. “Since starting our company the community support has been truly amazing, we feel very blessed and thankful.” Holly said. Holly, now pregnant with her third child continues to use this natural remedy during the cold and flu season daily. Each week fresh batches of high-quality elderberry syrup, elderberry gummies and much more are made by Elderberry Tribe. Co-packers are also used, which are regulated by the department of agriculture as well as in their approved commercial kitchen. An array of elderberry products are available for customers to choose from including elderberry coffee, elderberry lollipops, lozenges, elderberry chai tea and loose-leaf blends. DIY kits are also a big hit for people wanting to make the syrup at home, using their own local honey to sweeten. From Burgaw to Hampstead and Jacksonville to Pittsboro they currently have 27 locations in 13 cities that carry their yummy healthy elderberry syrup. In Wilmington you can find Elderberry Tribe syrup at Lovey’s Organic Market & Cafe, Magnolia Social Cafe, Eagle Island Fruit & Seafood, Finders Keepers Children’s Resale and many more. You can find an array of products available at their storefront or at the farmers markets they attend. Elderberry Tribe is set up when in season: Mondays at Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market, Wednesdays at Poplar Grove Farmers Market, Thursdays with Pure Markets in Ocean Isle Beach, Fridays (twice a month) at Riverlights and most Saturdays at Tidal Creek Co-Op (year around) and The Market at Cedar Point. Elderberry Tribe continues to support many local small businesses by partnering up with them to offer the most elderberry wellness products in Wilmington and the surrounding areas including a skincare line. The small NC businesses they are currently partnered with to offer this array of elderberry products are Earth Essentials by Erica, En~light Readings & More, Homestead Treasure Farm, Coastal Tides and Organic Cauldron. “We hope to partner with more businesses in the future to do our part and keep supporting locally.” Holly explains. Elderberry Tribe is also registered with the FDA and can ship anywhere in the U.S. You can order through the Facebook page and their website will be ready in mid-December for easy click and ship options. Please visit their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/elderberrytribe.llc) for upcoming events, new locations, farmers markets and more information.
2020 WOMEN WATCH
RI S I N G STAR
AU N IK A B RO WN E
U.S. International Ballet executive director
GR A C E C AL DW E L L founder of The Joy Project
director of arts engagement for UNCW
N O N PRO F I T
REBECCA TRA M M EL
executive director of Champions for Compassion
WILMA held its ninth annual Women to Watch Awards on October 22. This year was a little different than years past because of social distancing and crowd restrictions, with the event featuring just the 2020 finalists and a few supporters. Still, the celebratory spirit was in full force to recognize the elite group of women and their impacts on the area. Congratulations to all the finalists and category winners.
B US I N E S S
A LI S O N D U P RA BRI EN technical program manager for Apiture
PUB LI C S E RVI C E
LI S A BRO W N
former public health preparedness coordinator for New Hanover County
E D U C AT I O N
D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy Principal
by Bridget Callahan
he holidays definitely look and feel a little different this year. But, for many home chefs, small gatherings instead of huge parties are a chance to try out new recipes. We’ve asked three food experts in town for their own holiday suggestions and were delighted with the flavors and ingredients they came back with. The best piece of advice, no matter which one you try first? Have fun with it! W LYDIA CLOPTON, owner of the popular Love, Lydia Bakery, (facebook.com/LoveLydiaBakery) usually heads down to Florida to visit family for the holidays but is keeping it local and low key this year. Her pots de creme are modeled after one of her favorite holiday pies: a buttermilk custard pie with cranberry curd. “The cranberry is super tart and the vanilla custard is sweet, so it’s well balanced. In the shortbread cookies, I used local ingredients from Shelton Farm because supporting local business is so important now,” Clopton says. She picked the pot de creme adaptation because it’s an easy dessert to share with neighbors. “Making pot de cremes is super fun because you can put it anything you want – a coffee mug, a teacup, any sort of glass or ceramic thing that can bake. It’ll call for certain types of dairy, but it’s super adaptable. You can really just use what you’ve got on hand, so you can spend more time with your family and less time stressing over ingredients.” These recipes can be made up to a week ahead of time. Clopton suggests making them at least a day ahead.
DESSERT TO IMPRESS photos by Terah Wilson POT DE CRÈME WITH CRANBERRY CURD
with whipped crème fraiche and candied citron shortbread cookies (Serves 6) CRANBERRY CURD (Any tart curd can be substituted for this) INGREDIENTS: • 6 ounces (about 1½ cups) fresh or frozen cranberries • ¼ cup water • 2 ²/₃ ounces (¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons) sugar • 2 large eggs • 2 large egg yolks • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lemon or orange juice • Pinch of salt • 2 ounces (half a stick) of butter, cut into several pieces at room temperature DIRECTIONS: 1. Place cranberries and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until cranberries soften and start to burst open, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. 2. Add the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, juice, and salt to the bowl with the cranberries and whisk until uniform. 3. Place the bowl over a simmering (not boiling) pot of water (Note: The water should not touch the bowl.) Stir continuously, making sure to scrape the edges of the bowl, until it thickens slightly. 3. Strain the curd through a mesh strainer again into a clean bowl. Add the butter all at once and whisk until completely melted. 4. Chill, covered until needed or spoon about an ounce into the bottom of 4-6 ounce glass or ceramic cup/dish. VANILLA POTS DE CRÈME INGREDIENTS: • 2¼ cups half and half (or dairy-free creamer) • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract or paste • 3 large egg yolks • 3½ ounces (½ cup) sugar • ¼ teaspoon salt DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 300 °F. 2. Put six, 4-6 ounce ramekins or glass/ WILMAmag.com
ceramic cups in a deep pan, add 1 ounce cranberry curd and set aside. 3. Heat dairy and vanilla in a small saucepan just until it simmers. Stir occasionally. 4. While it heats, whisk the sugar, yolks, and salt in a medium bowl. 5. Once the milk is steaming, slowly pour into yolks while whisking the whole time. 6. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a pourable container like a pitcher. 7. Very, very slowly pour 2-3 ounces into cups trying not to disturb the curd. 8. Pour hot water into the pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the cups. 9. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 25-35 minutes until they are uniformly jiggly. 10. Once the cups have cooled enough to handle, transfer into fridge until ready to serve (several hours or overnight). CRÈME FRAICHE WHIPPED CREAM (Should be made the day of) INGREDIENTS: • ½ cup crème fraiche (or sour cream) • ½ cup heavy cream • 2-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar DIRECTIONS: 1. Whip in electric mixer on medium-high until it holds soft peaks. 2. Store in the refrigerator until needed. CANDIED CITRON SHORTBREAD WITH LEMON VERBENA “I bought a citron tree – with fruit! – and lemon verbena plant from Shelton
Herb Farm,” Clopton says. “Candied citron is a common ingredient in fruitcake and can be purchased, but it is amazing fresh! I recommend using David Lebovitz’s recipe for candying.” INGREDIENTS: • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted, room temperature butter • ¼ teaspoon salt • 1¹/₈ cup confectioners’ sugar • 8½ ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour • 2 tablespoons chopped candied citron • Lemon verbena leaves DIRECTIONS: 1. C ream butter and salt in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Turn the speed down to low and add confectioners’ sugar. 2. B eat until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. 3. A dd the flour and beat until just incorporated. Add candied citron and mix just until combined. 4. P reheat oven to 335 °F. 5. P ress dough into a 9x9 square baking dish. Top with individual leaves of lemon verbena. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 6. B ake until edges start turning light brown, about 30 minutes. Cut into desired sizes while still warm but not hot.
COAS TAL INSPIRATION photos by Aris Harding Before ABBY SOMMER started working at Seaview Crab Company, (seaviewcrabcompany.com), she didn’t really think about cooking that much. “They encouraged me to bring home new seafood and try new ways of preparing it, because it helps our customers. If they had never pushed me to try different things, I don’t think I would have taken up cooking as a lifestyle,” Sommer says. Now, every time she cuts up a yellow fin at work, she’s obligated to bring some home to make this favorite warm, comforting dish. Growing up in Minnesota, seafood was not a regular feature at holiday dinners, so she makes it a point to honor her new home by having at least one seafood dish on the table. “You can use different seafood in it – like snapper, grouper, no matter what, it’s going to be good,” she says. “And, experiment with how much spice you want. It can be extremely spicy or extremely mild.”
SLAPPIN’ TUNA CURRY (Serves 4) INGREDIENTS: • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• 1 small shallot, finely diced
• 1½ pounds fresh tuna steaks, at least 1-inch thick
• ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
• ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
• ½-1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning
• ½ tablespoon chili powder
• Salt and black pepper, to taste
• Dash of cinnamon
• 1½ tablespoon avocado oil (or
• 1 teaspoon garam masala • ½ teaspoon dill weed
• 1⅓ tablespoon curry powder • 27 ounces milliliters coconut milk • 1 lemon, halved (with one half zested) • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg • 4 cups white rice, prepared • 4-8 fresh dill fronds, to garnish • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, to garnish (optional) • Toasted bread or mini bagels, for dipping (optional) DIRECTIONS: 1. Combine sesame and poppy seeds in a shallow dish. Pat steaks with towel until dry and season the tuna with salt, pepper, and most of the Slap Ya Mama seasoning, leaving enough to sprinkle on finished dish. Dredge steaks in seed mix, coating evenly; set tuna aside. 2. In a large saucepan warm ½ tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat, add in garlic and ginger. Let simmer until fragrant, usually about 20-30 seconds. 3. Add shallot and red bell pepper to saucepan, sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add spices: fennel, chili powder, garam masala, cinnamon, dill weed, black pepper, salt, and curry powder. Stir for about a minute until well combined. 4. Slowly pour coconut milk into the saucepan while rapidly stirring. Once well combined, reduce to a simmer, adding salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. 5. While the curry simmers, add the remainder of the oil to a nonstick pan. On high heat, arrange the tuna steaks in pan, keeping at least 1 inch between steaks, let cook for 1 minute and flip. Squeeze half of the lemon over tuna steaks and let cook for one minute (or until cooked to preferred doneness). Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices. 6. Divide rice into four bowls and pour curry over rice. Place tuna slices nicely on top along with dill fronds and zest other half of lemon over tuna. Sprinkle dish with fennel seeds, nutmeg, and remaining Slap Ya Mama seasoning. 7. Add toasted mini bagel or bread to side if desired.
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the apps offerings. Besides adding a healthy note to indulgent menus, these starters are also easy on the budget. “You can buy all of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s for both of these items for $25-$30, and they produce eight servings each,” Masteller points out.
VEGAN KRABCAKES with dill crema and kiwi pomegranate coulis (Serves 8) INGREDIENTS: • 1 can artichokes, drained and chopped • 1 can hearts of palm, drained and chopped • 1½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs • ½ cup vegan mayo • ¼ cup red bell pepper, finely diced • ¼ cup scallions, minced • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped • 1 tablespoon garlic powder • Salt and black pepper, to taste DIRECTIONS: 1. Combine all in bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes. 2. Shape into 2-ounce patties and coat with breadcrumbs. Fry in avocado oil or oil of your choice until golden brown. 3. Top with Dill Crema and Kiwi Pomegranate Coulis (recipes below).
photos by Megan Deitz
HOLIDAY HORS D’OEUVRES Chef ANNA MASTELLER (chefannamasteller.com) is a private chef and partner at Dreamers Welcome, a boutique B&B in downtown Wilmington that specializes in vegan cuisine. While she started as a private vegan chef, she’s also a classically trained French chef, and she combines her two culinary loves into gorgeous, colorful food that looks so good the carnivores don’t even ask. The faux crab featured here is Masteller’s own combination of canned artichokes and hearts of palm. “It’s pretty crazy, when people eat it, they’re like, ‘No, this is definitely crab.’ Or they’ll go, ‘You’re so generous with the crab, there’s so much in it!’” she says. “I find combining the artichokes and heart of palm makes the texture so you can just never really put your finger on it, which is kinda the fun part.” Masteller also offers up a no-fuss, veggie-packed crostini to help round out
DILL CREMA INGREDIENTS: 1 cup fresh dill, rough chopped ½ cup raw cashews ¼ cup water 1 clove garlic Salt and black pepper, to taste DIRECTIONS: 1. Combine ingredients in blender and let soak a few minutes to soften cashews before you blend unless you have a high-powered blender. KIWI POMEGRANATE COULIS INGREDIENTS: • 1 kiwi, peeled, reserve some for garnish • 1 cup pomegranate seeds, reserve some for garnish • Juice of one lemon
DIRECTIONS: 1. Blend until smooth. Note: The krabcakes dish is also gluten free.
ROASTED BEET HUMMUS CROSTINI INGREDIENTS: • 2 cups cannellini beans (save liquid from one can and drain the other) • 1 cup beets, diced • 1 clove garlic • 1 lemon, juice and zest (keep zest separate) • 2 tablespoons olive oil • Salt to taste • One avocado, fanned • Balsamic vinegar, reduced • One baguette, sliced and baked with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper DIRECTIONS: 1. Combine hummus ingredients except lemon zest in food processor and process until smooth and creamy. 2. Top crostini with hummus and avocado. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Finish with lemon zest.
(910) 294-5885 5723 Market Street Wilmington, NC 28405
Win a 2007 Toyota Matrix! Come by the dealership, test drive a vehicle of ours and fill out a registration slip to enter. WINNER ANNOUNCED DEC. 24, 2020
disclaimer: the customer has to pay for the vehicle tax, tags and the doc fee.
CAM Café & Shop Eat, Shop & Be Creative! Dine with friends and purchase gifts at CAM’s café and shop this holiday season. Membership not required. For more info and hours, visit
CameronArtMuseum.org 3201 South 17th Street • Wilmington, NC 28412 • (910) 395-5999
We will miss you at the WILMA Expo this year!
Due to the pandemic we had to make a tough decision to cancel this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s show. WILMA wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to seeing you back at the WILMA Expo in 2021!
To stay connected to WILMA all year long be sure to sign up for our WILMA newsletters at WILMAmag.com @wilmamag
11/13/20 12:31 PM
keep it local
Spray down your yoga mat with Squeak’s organic, minty, tea tree, rosemary blend. Shop NamaSpray along with their natural cleaning products. Enjoy free shipping on all orders of $75 or more. Stop by their store at 6700 Netherlands Drive. Squeak products can also be found at Tidal Creek Co-op, Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar, AXIS Yoga and more. Visit their website for more information at GetSqueakyWithUs.com or follow them on Facebook @GetSqueakyWithUs.
HOBO BAG SALE
Camillion’s brick and mortar location may be closed, but you can still find new items from clothing to gifts on their website. Get the personal shopping experience without even leaving your home with our virtual shopping assistant! Check out their Hobo bags on sale for 20% off and more ONLINE ONLY. Visit their website at CamillionsNC.com to shop the sale.
FOR THE HOME
Unleash your inner desire with our perfect assortment of natural fibers and textures ranging from wools, synthetic, sisal. Sutton’s specializes in wall to wall carpeting, staircase installation, area rug fabrication, and more! Add personality and ultra-chic sophistication to your home today by visiting Sutton Rugs & Carpets, 3520 South College Road in Wilmington or call (910) 794-8100.
Find unique art, jewelery, and more great gifts for your loved ones at theArtWorks. Go visit theArtWorks Gallery from 11-5pm Thursday through Saturday. Follow them on Facebook @TheArtWorksWilmington or visit their website at theArtWorks.Co. Call them at 910.352.1822 or email inquires to TheArtWorksWilmington@gmail.com.
5041 New Centre Drive, Suite 115 • Wilmington, NC 28403 910-218-0600 • INFO@PATRIOTROOFER.COM • PATRIOTROOFER.COM
LEADERS A new program takes a broad look at forming leaders
by Jenny Callison
three-part program at University of North Carolina Wilmington this fall has focused on helping women build the confidence and courage to take on leadership roles while being true to who they are. The Gender and Leadership Academy, whose tagline is “Courage to Grow,” has held the first two of its three half-day sessions on the first Fridays in October and November. The final session takes place December 4. “We envisioned the program as a way to introduce leadership at UNCW to students, faculty, staff, and administration with the goal of increasing diversity in higher education,” says JUSTINE REEL, a professor in the university’s School of Health and Applied Human Sciences and associate dean of research and innovation in the College WILMAmag.com
of Health and Human Services. The first session focused on gender stereotypes, barriers, and solutions. November’s program was titled “Redefining Your Role: Stepping Up and Finding Courage.” In December, the topic will be “Building a Pipeline of Diverse Leaders in Higher Education.” Reel says she is leading the initiative because she chairs the Globalization, Culture, and Diversity Committee within CHHS, explaining that her committee is large and connected with all aspects of university life in its goal of empowering people at UNCW to become leaders. And, while the spotlight is on women, men are part of this mission as well. Asked about the gender aspect of the program, Reel says, “This program is trying to start the conversation that it’s important to go beyond binary gender to include trans and queer. To accomplish this, we were intentional in the selection of diverse presenters and opened the audience up to everyone.” As an example, Reel points to the inclusion in the GLA October program of a male nurse, who represents a “different take” on minority, she says, and goes against a com-
mon stereotype. The Gender and Leadership Academy, according to Reel, was inspired by WILMA’s Leadership Institute. “The WILMA Institute has become so competitive that only a couple of UNCW people can get in each year,” she says. “This (program) could be a feeder or a complement to it. It’s about putting oneself in a position to be recognized and, when opportunities come along, being willing to step up and say yes.” Originally planned as an in-person program, planners switched to an all-online format because of COVID-19 restrictions. Holding the sessions virtually was a plus in terms of participation, Reel says. “Our (attendance) goal for October was one hundred when we were going to be live, in-person. We had 253 people. In November, we had 262 people. And, I think (the sessions) will live on because they were recorded and are free to watch. There will probably be additional views.” Because the programs are online, there have been registrants from other universities, both within North Carolina and even beyond. The Gender and Leadership Academy also snagged presenters from else-
where who might not have participated if travel had been involved. “Our December keynote (speaker) will be the president of Elon University, CONNIE BOOK,” Reel says, adding that the program’s co-presenter is UNCW Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs JAMES WINEBRAKE, who pulled in a colleague from Rochester Institute of Technology who runs RIT’s program on female leadership and inclusion. Although the GLA was designed to prepare individuals at UNCW for leadership in higher education, it has featured voices from outside academia as well, Reel notes. November’s keynoter was DONNA ESTEVES, North American regional supply chain manager for Corning Inc., who spoke on navigating career challenges and stepping up to opportunities. WANDA COLEY, vice president of strategy and execution for UnitedHealthcare, was part of a November panel. Between the monthly half-day sessions, the GLA offers free forty-minute online “Studio Interviews” with a range of woman leaders, such as former television executive JUDY GIRARD, founder of the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington (GLOW). Appropriately enough, December’s final panel discussion topic is “Where Do We Go From Here?” The three-part program this fall was funded by a small grant from the university. “It’s been very successful but, without continued funding, we have no plans to continue (the program),” Reel says. “This was an awakening, but we don’t know where it will go from here. Our intention was for this to be an entry point, a catalyst, and complement, and to point to other existing programs.” To keep the program and its momentum going, Reel explains, she would need to secure a larger grant. BETSY DELL at RIT secured such a grant for her women’s leadership program. Two-thirds of the way through her endeavor, Reel is happy with what it has accomplished. “We’ve been delighted,” she says, “at the outpouring of enthusiasm from faculty, staff, students, and administrators.” Registration for the December 4 GLA program is open. For more info or to watch previous programs, go to uncw.edu/chhs/ gla/index.html. W
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.
Chip Mahan speaking to the 2018 Class
Members of the 2019 Class
2020 Class graduates
Individuals can apply themselves, and companies are encouraged to nominate high-potential leaders in their organizations.
APPLY OR NOMINATE SOMEONE BY JAN. 31
The next program starts April 2021 and meets once a month for nine months. Meeting formats online or in-person will be based on gathering restrictions in place next year. We plan to have our peer advisory boards of eight Leadership Institute members meet in-person, even if it’s outside. The Institute is part of WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, whose mission is to help develop more women leaders in the Wilmington area.
TOPICS INCLUDE: Thinking Strategically | Negotiation Techniques | Leading Through Challenging Times | and more INVESTMENT: If applicant is accepted, the cost of the nine-month program is $2,150.
LEARN MORE AND APPLY OR NOMINATE SOMEONE NOW AT
SOME OF THE LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE GRADUATES
ERIN COSTA PHOTOGRAPHY
LIVE OAK BANK
NHC PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE
BEER BARRIO/ SKYTOWN BEER CO.
NHC SHERIFF’S OFFICE
11/13/20 12:02 PM
PREVIEW 2021: KITCHEN, BATH, AND OUTDOOR TRENDS
aking the right style choices for your home is important when planning improvements. Not only do we spend much of our time in our homes, upgrades add value to our investment. With the new year right around the corner, fresh design trends are starting to emerge. If you are considering making enhancements to your kitchen, bath, or outdoor area, read on for the latest trends. No matter the kitchen layout, premium and compact is the trend for 2021. More homeowners are looking for maximum efficiency and minimal clutter when planning their kitchen designs. Designers are using top quality materials and using every inch of space to provide ample storage without making a kitchen feel cramped. Floating kitchen islands with seating and built in storage space will continue to be on trend. Adding an island
to a kitchen design makes the plan feel complete all while providing the perfect place for a quick meal or a family get together. Because the size and shape of a kitchen island can be adjusted to meet the needs of the space, small size and uniquely shaped kitchens can still incorporate them without losing movement within the kitchen. Using more than one color with kitchen cabinet designs will be a noticeable trend in the new year. Opting for darker lower cabinets and contrasting lighter upper cabinets create instant visual appeal and more homeowners are using this concept in their designs. Organization is the main theme for 2021 bath design trends. Clever ways to use space in an effort to simplify your morning routine include making dead space into a builtin shelf, accessorizing cabinets
with dividers so items stay neat and in place, and adding built in outlets to drawers for the perfect place to plug in. The days of the all-white bathroom are out. Adding color or wood tones to bath designs − or a combination of the two − are keeping designs comfortable and fresh. Falling into the minimalist look, floating bathroom vanities will continue to gain popularity in 2021. Theses cabinets house the bathroom sink and connect to the wall behind leaving space between the floor and the bottom of the cabinet making them feel sleek and simple. Creating a comfortable outdoor space has never been more popular. With more and more people wanting to relax outside, outdoor patio design is steadily on the rise. The addition of built-in barbecue grills, weather resistant cabinets, and complete outdoor kitchens
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will continue to be popular in 2021 and keep people living outdoors. Televisions, lighting, and countertop seating are all being incorporated into patio design plans and help keep you and your guests comfortable during backyard gatherings. Thinking about a new design plan for your kitchen, bath, or outdoor area? Markraft’s talented team of designers is ready to help you bring your ideas to life. Contact them today to start creating the perfect space you’ve been dreaming of. 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.
PATRIOT ROOFING PROPER COMPONENTS OF AN ASPHALT ROOF
Stephanie Bolton is the owner of Patriot Roofing Company, a female-owned and locally operated roofing company serving the Cape Fear area. With over 20 years of experience serving homeowners, Patriot Roofing Company specializes in residential roofing, siding, gutters, and windows. Visit them online at, PatriotRoofer.com or call 910-218-0600.
ach day, the roof over our home protects us from the elements and allows us to live in a comfortable climate-controlled environment. Our roof is a major component of our home and helps to keep our family safe– but thinking about roof maintenance, replacement, or repair isn’t something homeowners think about each day. The team at Patriot Roofing makes staying informed about roofing materials and advancements part of their daily routine. Because they are constantly keeping up with leading practices and products within the roofing industry, they are equipped to bring their knowledge directly to the clients they serve. While types of roofing materials vary, asphalt is most commonly used when constructing a residential home. Asphalt roofs are versatile, come in a variety of color and designs, and are easy to repair. However, understanding the proper components of an asphalt roof are important to understand before making your next roof selection. Patriot Roofing is an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor which means they offer the, Total Protection Roofing System® and that they follow strict standards and guidelines of reliability and professionalism. The Total Protection Roofing System® offers the gold standard of roofing material quality and construction. The first step in the system is to SEAL your roof. Sealing the roof means to create a water-proof barrier that will prevent any water from making its way through your roof. Wind driven rain
and collection points where normal amounts of water can accumulate, like vents, chimneys, and skylights, are considered when creating a customized seal for your roof. Not only does a proper seal on your roof effectively block active water leaks, it prevents against rot and mold from accumulating. The second step in the system is to DEFEND your roof. Asphalt shingles make up this next step and are your roof ’s first line of defense when keeping nature and weather outside of your home. Your roof ’s shingles repel water and the strong adhesion that Owens Corning products offer help to avoid shingle loss during high winds. This sturdy layer of resilient shingles works hard to protect your home but can also be customized to coordinate with your existing home design – which means the durability can also look beautiful! The last step in the system is to BREATHE. Yes, you read that right – our homes also need to breathe in order to function properly. Heat and moisture buildup can lead to roof deterioration and mold. When air is allowed to flow through your home’s attic, these issues are greatly reduced. Installing things like, intake and exhaust ventilation let air move through the attic which naturally manages the temperature and moisture of the materials. When planning for a roof repair or replacement, contact the professionals at Patriot Roofing first. They’ll be happy to provide you with a free estimate and their experienced staff can help answer any questions you might have.
910.218.0600 | PATRIOTROOFER.COM
DEEP AMBER STAFFORD CULTIVATES BLACK GIRLS GARDENING
by JENNY CALLSION photo by TERAH WILSON
MBER STAFFORD, founder of Black Girls Gardening, is digging deep in the garden of her Wilmington home to learn all she can about cultivation. And, she’s spreading her knowledge to others. “I like spending the majority of my time outside,” says Stafford, who welcomes her horticultural pursuits as a change from her desk job at an insurance firm. “I’ve been gardening for about three years. It sparked all these ideas – growing food, designing a space I’d want to be in.” Stafford grew up in upstate New York, where her grandfather had a large vegetable garden he tended with care. She remembers walking through his extensive corn patch and sinking her toes into the fertile earth. “Ever since, I’ve really wanted to be outside and grow stuff,” she explains. “I didn’t have a chance when I lived in New York, and I couldn’t garden in our apartment in South
Carolina.” So, when Stafford and her husband moved to a home in Wilmington with a yard, she began transforming the barren lot with some shrubs. Next, she built raised beds and ventured into vegetable gardening. Raised beds, she explains, allow her to build good soil inside the borders instead of trying to plant in the rocky, sandy soil on her property. Her efforts didn’t create an instant paradise. When Stafford found herself struggling in the summer of 2019, needing ideas and advice, she turned to social media sites for help. “I was seeing a lot of pages but not seeing a lot of people of color or small gardens,” she says. “It looks amazing but also seems impossible when you’re just starting out.” Stafford decided she couldn’t just cultivate her own garden. “I thought, ‘What if I create a page where girls can come and bounce ideas off each other; see what others are doing about issues like pests, dead plants, light?’ It would be a place to connect,” Stafford says. So, specifically targeting other aspiring as well as experienced Black gardeners, she launched Black Girls Gardening about fifteen months ago. She now has 85,000 followers on Instagram (@blackgirlsgardening), garden enthusiasts from all over the world. About 80% are women; most are Black. “It’s a support system for women in their garden and can help encourage positive behaviors,” she says. “(Black women) all want a little representation. There are some ladies who have been doing this for twenty, thirty, forty years, and nobody knows about them. Black Girls Gardening has become a place for people to be able to showcase their gardens. I am happy I can highlight that for them.” Three months ago, she launched her website, where she offers T-shirts, decals, hats, and tote bags for sale; shares her experiences; and provides guidance. “I would like to turn this into a living,” Stafford says. “Once I become fully sustainable, I’d like to be able to teach and show people what they can do. I’d like to help them to learn through my experience, to show them simpler living off the land, and to have gardening become a source of income. That’s the goal.” W This profile story ran in a recent WILMA Downtime email newsletter. To read more, sign up for it or other newsletters at WILMAMag. com.
by LYNDA VAN KUREN photo by TERAH WILSON
As the new executive director of Domestic Violence Shelter and Services Inc., LAUREN DALEY says she has big shoes to fill, but she’s ready for the challenge. Daley has prepared for this position since earning her master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2010. After graduation, Daley worked in development for Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, then Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts. In 2014, Daley became DVSS’ director of operations and development, and this past October, she took over the leadership of the organization. In her new position, Daley plans to expand the significant work DVSS does for victims of domestic violence. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR DVSS? “I want to continue to grow our current programming, which includes 24-hour emergency interventions; emergency shelters; referral to legal and medical help; counseling; financial, job, and housing assistance; advocacy; and education and outreach. I also hope to provide a variety of new therapies to our clients and expand our outreach to different populations. I want everyone to be aware of our services and realize that domestic violence is a serious issue in our community.” WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR WORK? “The uncertainty of funding. Our services are free, but it’s not free to provide those services. While we are blessed to have government and foundation grants as well as group and individual donors, we always need new donors. I want to make sure DVSS will always be here to help our clients.” HOW HAS COVID-19 AFFECTED DVSS’ SERVICES? “We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people we serve: The need for our services has doubled, and the need for shelters has tripled. We’ve also had to change how we offer our services. For example, instead of meeting our clients in person, our advocates work remotely; and instead of holding empowerment groups, we counsel people one-on-one on the phone. We added a new chat feature on our website, too. Our services look different, but we’re making sure we don’t lose our connection with survivors.” WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT DVSS’ CLIENTS? “Initially I was surprised by the array of people we serve. No one population or group is immune to domestic violence. Victims come from all races, ethnicities, and economic levels. I’m also surprised by our clients’ strength and spirit. They come from awful situations that are often dangerous to leave. But, our clients are getting the help they need, and they do the difficult work they have to do to reclaim their lives. I don’t know if I could be that strong.” HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR SPIRITS UP WHEN YOU SEE SO MUCH HEARTBREAK? “I focus on the positive. We may not reach every single person, but we are making a difference. And, we’re doing good work that can have life-changing, and often lifesaving, impacts. You have to see that you are the good – that our team and advocates are the good. And, our survivors who come to us, they are the good.” To request help from DVSS or to volunteer or donate, go to domesticviolence-wilm.org or call 343-0703. W LAUREN DALEY’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.
DEAR HUMANS by DYLAN PATTERSON illustration by MARK WEBER Dylan Patterson is a writer and filmmaker who teaches English at Cape Fear Community College.
Dear Humans of America, I’ve been taking a bunch of guff from you guys since I was just two months old. But, now that I’m on the way out, I’ve had just about enough of the blame game. This whole pandemic? I know you only started paying attention in March, but this thing actually started last December. But, do you see anybody blaming 2019? I just inherited this mess, and you all have managed it about as skillfully as a drunk teenager at a driving test. Stuck in a ditch and rage tweeting that it’s all my fault. #2020SUX, my behind. Did the Native Americans blame 1492 when Columbus showed up? Did those poor women in Salem, as they were burned as witches, cry out “Curse ye, 1693!” Did Guns N’ Roses blame 1991 when Nirvana launched grunge and made GNR irrelevant? So, why blame me? Plus, after all your fantasizing about getting to work from home, you finally got your chance. And, just because you hate it, that’s on me? You can’t manage to shower before cocktail hour, your husband trails behind you all day like a lost child, and Nigel from human resources never remembers to unmute himself on Zoom, but I’m the villain? And, don’t pretend you haven’t privately threatened for years to take Riley out of that “sterile institution” and homeschool her. Well, you got your shot. And, what happened? You bailed on Riley’s math problems after like twenty seconds and organized a parent petition for more scheduled Zoom lessons from poor, overworked Ms. Blandersnap.
But, we’ve had some good times too, right? How about that show with the crazy big cat enthusiast convinced that Carole lady fed her husband to tigers? Wasn’t that fun? And, what about the documentary on the guy who’s best friends with an octopus? Never thought you’d cry during a nature doc, did you? Sure, there was that dreadful video with those celebrities butchering “Imagine.” And, Thanksgiving kind of sucked, and you had to risk your life to vote, but think of all the boring neighborhood gettogethers and random superficial conversations you got out of. I know what you’re thinking: “I’d do anything to have those kinds of social interactions again!” Trust me, you didn’t like them back in January and February. It’s only because you can’t have them that they feel special. They’re like that boring guy you ignored all through high school who only became attractive once he died in a freak snowboarding accident. And, what about those memes about how much I suck? Haven’t those been cathartic? For you guys, I mean. You haven’t agreed with your uncle about anything since 9/11, but he loved all those dank memes you shared about how I’m the worst, so I brought you closer together, right? It’s called “trauma bonding.” It’s a thing. You’re welcome. Anyway, this whole mess will, unfortunately, be around for a while after I’m gone. Try to give the new guy a break. It’s not his fault either. Sincerely, 2020
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