WILMINGTON’S SUCCESSFUL WOMAN
WEDDINGS PREVIEW Trends and looks for 2022
HEAD OF THE CLASS Teacher Abbey Nobles is in the running
SPECIAL MARKETING SECTION
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS Spotlight on the power players
Much more than something Blue & Find the reflection of your love when you choose one of our waterfront venues for your dream wedding. Whether you are looking for a stunning backdrop for your ceremony, or sunset views for your reception, our exceptional culinary team and experienced event staff will help you craft and coordinate your perfect wedding.
CONTACT OUR SALES & EVENTS TEAM: |P| 910.599.1337
Keep all of our family-owned coastal restaurants in mind for your upcoming events!
|E| CoastalEvents@LMRest.com Photography: Kate Supa Photography (other than building exterior photos). Dress: Camilles of Wilmington. Makeup: Adrianne Lugo. Flowers: Designs by Dillon. Rentals: Party Suppliers.
MAY 10 , 2022 WILMINGTON CONVENTION CENTER DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON, NC
4 pm - 9 pm
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THE WILMA DASH Wilmington’s only all-female 5K will wind through the streets of downtown on May 10, 2022.
WILMA HEALTH FEST The Health Fest will feature interactive health booths, live workouts and demos, healthy (and delicious) food and more! SIGN UP AND SAVE! Early Bird prices now - March 1
WILMADASH.COM For sponsorship information, call 910.343.8600 x212 1
39 8 SPOTLIGHT
46 SCENE: Up and running
10 HEALTH: Dem bones
47 TAKE 5: Ashley Lomboy's STEM Studio
12 TASTE: Just pho fun
48 MEN'S ROOM: What would dad do?
14 STYLE: Ceremonial succulents
Check out WILMA magazine here:
14 23 T HE NEW NUPTIALS: Fresh ideas for the big day 26 W RIGHTSVILLE MANOR: Building a gathering space 36 H ISTORIC RESTORATION: Temple of Israel's next chapter 39 C LASS ACT: Abbey Nobles earns education honors
It’s February, and love is in the air. For those whose cupid’s arrows are leading them down the aisle, we have our annual special weddings section in which area planners share their tips and thoughts on the latest trends for unique and meaningful ceremonies (page 23) and style inspiration (page 14). Read how Chrissy Sweyer envisioned a striking and lush space for indoor and outdoor weddings at Wrightsville Manor (page 26). Love of community and professional calling also show up in this month’s issue. Find out how the congregation of Temple of Israel is working to repair the historic downtown structure, built in 1876 and the oldest Jewish house of worship in North Carolina (page 36). New Hanover High School’s Abbey Nobles has turned her love of teaching into work that inspires her students, earning her honors as the state’s Southeast Region Teacher of the Year (page 39). Ashley Lomboy also is connecting with students and community. The global information security manager for Corning created the STEM Studio for Waccamaw Siouan students (page 47). W
NINA BAYS COURNOYER is creative
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, Max and Bucky. She wrote the intro for this month’s wedding-inspired style spread on page 14.
SHERRI CRAWFORD is a Wilmington-based
wedding officiant (www.officiantsherri.com) and the owner of Loud Girl Media. A print and broadcast journalist for two decades, Crawford has focused on entertainment writing and photography. As a former radio personality, she can still be found commanding the mic as a freelance event emcee. Travel, music, yoga, and microbrews are among her pastimes. Crawford talks with several area wedding planners and venues for the outlook on wedding trends on page 23.
DREWE & KATE – DREWE SMITH and KATE SUPA own a creative studio – Drewe
and Kate Branding Co. – that helps companies elevate their brand and digital presence through photography, brand styling, logo design, and website creation. The team pulled together the look for this month’s cover and spotlight on succulent-studded bridal shoot on page 14. (dreweandkate.com)
MADELINE GRAY is a freelance documentary
photographer based in Wilmington. With a master’s degree in photojournalism, her work is regularly featured in local and national publications. She enjoys spending time in places that are off the beaten track and collaborating to share the diverse stories found there. Gray photographed the Temple of Israel in downtown Wilmington for a feature on its restoration efforts (page 36). madelinegrayphoto.com and @ madelinepgray on Instagram
SAMANTHA KUPIAINEN is an Indianapolis native who relocated to North Carolina in October. She holds a magazine journalism degree from Ball State University and enjoys writing about topics related to health, women, and local communities. When she’s not behind her computer, she’s probably at the beach, testing a new recipe, or road tripping around the state. Kupiainen talks with Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov for a feature on the Temple of Israel’s restoration efforts (page 36)
Publisher Rob Kaiser firstname.lastname@example.org President Robert Preville email@example.com Editor Vicky Janowski firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President of Sales Carolyn Carver email@example.com Senior Account Executives Maggi Apel firstname.lastname@example.org Craig Snow email@example.com Account Executives Courtney Barden firstname.lastname@example.org Sydney Zomer email@example.com Marian Welsh firstname.lastname@example.org Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson email@example.com Events Director Elizabeth Stelzenmuller firstname.lastname@example.org Events & Digital Assistant Jamie Kleinman email@example.com Design & Media Coordinator Molly Jacques firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Designer Suzi Drake email@example.com Digital Editor Johanna Cano firstname.lastname@example.org Fashion Stylist Drewe Smith Contributors Jenny Callison, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Sherri Crawford, Beth A. Klahre, Samantha Kupiainen, Laura Moore, Dylan Patterson, Michelle Saxton, Lynda Van Kuren Contributing Photographers Daria Amato, Madeline Gray, Aris Harding, Terah Hoobler, Kate Supa Founder Joy Allen Subscribe For a one-year subscription, please send $26.00 (check or money order) to: WILMA, 219 Station Rd., Ste. 202, Wilmington, NC 28405, or call 343-8600 x201 www.WILMAmag.com
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W2W UPDATES WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative has updates to share as we continue to work on the effort’s core mission of helping develop more women leaders in our area. Here’s what we’ve been up to with various W2W Leadership Initiative programs and what’s coming up next: GETTING SOCIAL: Check out WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative social media pages, where you can find the latest info about leadership program announcements, applications, and updates on women who have been involved with W2W. Follow us at facebook.com/WILMAsWomenToWatch and on Instagram @WILMAsWomentoWatch. MENTORING: As part of WILMA’s mentoring program, twenty-five mentees work one-on-one with their mentors – leaders we have recruited from the community – for twelve months. Meeting monthly, they work on professional and leadership development while making new connections in the area. For more info, go to wilmamag.com/women-to-watch/mentoring. LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: Our advisory board members this month are interviewing finalists who applied to the 2022 WILMA’s Leadership Institute and selecting the final members for this year’s cohort. Orientation kicks off in April, with monthly leadership training and networking through December. Info and announcement of this year’s class: WILMAmag.com/women-to-watch WILMA NETWORK: Members of the WILMA Network, made up of sponsors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, meet monthly for 2nd Tuesday outings to welcome new members, catch up, and expand their networks. WILMA LEADERSHIP EMAIL: If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read WILMA’s Monday emails, which focus on leadership topics and profiles. IN THE LOOP: Keep up to date with these and other Leadership Initiative programs as well as applications announcements by going to WILMAmag.com or signing up for the WILMA Leadership email at WILMAmag.com/email-newsletter. - Vicky Janowski and Maggi Apel, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com
The Women to Watch logo: When you see this throughout WILMA’s pages, it means this is a woman on the rise to know, an experienced leader to learn from, or a local program worth checking out. W
GOOD BONES: Allison Farmer heads up statewide ortho group
BRICK BY BRICK: Chrissy Sweyer on creating a matrimonial manor
CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS: Getting to know students is a priority for Abbey Nobles
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com
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 c/o Bitty & Beau’s
BITTY & BEAU’S OPENS AT NCINO HQ
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee keeps brewing up new locations. The Wilmington-based company that “reinvented the coffee experience” opened another of its unique shops, this one at nCino’s world headquarters, 6770 Parker Farm Drive at Mayfaire. Amy and Ben Wright opened the first shop in 2016 to change the way people with disabilities are viewed – especially in the workplace. The Wrights named the shop after two of their children who have Down syndrome. The nCino location, open only to nCino employees and guests, is their twenty-fourth. “Eighty percent of people with disabilities don’t have jobs, and we’re out to change that,” Amy Wright says. “Not just by providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, but by showing our guests what’s possible.”
CHAMBER BOARD ELECTS OFFICERS
NEAL ANDREW, president of Andrew Consulting Engineers, will serve as the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s board chair this year. MICHELE HOLBROOK, capital program manager for Corning Incorporated, moves to the board’s position of immediate past chair. New executive committee members this year are JIM HUNDLEY JR., executive vice president of Thomas Construction Group, as board treasurer and LILY LOIZEAUX (shown above), GE Hitachi’s human resources leader, as personnel committee chair. New board members who began their terms January 1 are MIKE BROWN, vice president of brokerage development services at Cape Fear Commercial; LIVIAN JONES, director of business strategy at SGA/Narmour Wright Design; ROB KAISER, Greater Wilmington Business Journal publisher; DENISE KINNEY, vice president-general manager at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage; ANTHONY PARNELL, GE Aviation senior human resources manager; GUSTAVO RODEA, Mattress & Furniture Liquidators owner; and DANE SCALISE, general counsel and insurance broker at GriffinEstep Benefit Group.
CAPE FEAR REALTORS INSTALLS PRESIDENT
Cape Fear Realtors installed EA RUTH as the association’s one-hundredth president. Ruth has served in the real estate industry for thirteen years. “Ruth is recognized as an influential business owner and a strong community volunteer and leader,” Cape Fear Realtor officials said. “I am humbled and honored to be the President of Cape Fear Realtors where we get to celebrate our hundredth year as an association,” Ruth says. “We will showcase how far we have come and can pave the way for our future leaders that are as diverse as our community. But without equity, efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are not sustainable.” She will work closely with the group’s staff and leadership during her term. “This year is an extraordinary milestone for our association, and we are proud to have a strong, diverse female as our 2022 president,” Cape Fear Realtors CEO ANNE GARDNER says. “Ea Ruth’s leadership will advance our commitment to our members and community, while focusing on advocacy, DE&I, education, and professional development.”
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
CAPE FEAR COLLECTIVE NAMES NEW LEADER
MEAGHAN DENNISON has been named interim CEO of the social impact organization Cape Fear Collective. Dennison was one of the first hires at CFC when the organization launched in 2019. As the director of programs, she oversaw programming and managed relationships with stakeholders. She also led the hiring and onboarding of a team that would support Community Care of Lower Cape Fear by implementing the Health Opportunities Network Pilot (HOP). “It is an honor to lead the CFC team in our work alongside nonprofit partners and community leaders,” Dennison says. “I am excited to carry forward our mission of supporting equity and opportunity to the Cape Fear region.” The organization’s founder and initial CEO PATRICK BRIEN will continue to work with Cape Fear Collective as an adviser and will also take on a strategy role with DoorDash’s social impact and inclusive economy programming. CFC collaborates with partners to use data science and analytics to create insights that expose and work towards addressing inequalities. Brien launched the organization with the support of Live Oak Bank. “(Dennison) understands the issues and inequities in the region through her work with HOP and has demonstrated an ability to not only lead but bring communities together. This move was a natural step for the organization,” says KATE GROAT, CFC’s board vice chair and director of philanthropy at Live Oak Bank.
Have a suggestion for a local woman or group to spotlight? Email us: wilma@WILMAmag.com WILMAmag.com
ALLISON FARMER HEADS UP STATEWIDE ORTHO GROUP by BETH A. KLAHRE photo by TERAH HOOBLER
f the eight company core values at EmergeOrtho, teamwork resonates the most for ALLISON FARMER, recently named CEO of the statewide physician group. “There is extreme value in working with people who have different strengths, especially in patient care,” says the Wilmington resident. “I value people who see challenges from a different point of view and who troubleshoot and problem solve with skills that are different from mine.” EmergeOrtho is the result of the 2016 merger of OrthoWilmington and three other top North Carolina orthopedic practices, making it the largest physician-owned orthopedic practice in the state and fifth-larg-
est in the country. As of October, Farmer leads a team of 1,800 employees, 400 in Wilmington, including 270 highly trained orthopedic surgeons, physicians, and advance practice providers. EmergeOrtho offers diverse orthopedic, spine and pain management care as well as pediatric orthopedics, sports medicine, trauma, therapy, advanced imaging, and urgent care. “Mergers are not unique in the health care environment. In our case, we merged like-minded independent physician-owned practices, expanding our footprint and delivering strength in numbers from a patient care perspective,” Farmer says. “Collaboration of clinicians is an incredible reason to merge.” Born in Arizona, Farmer came to Wilmington when she was two years old. Her father, Stephen Harper, relocated his young family for his job as a professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business. “My dad had a lot to do with my college degree choice,” Farmer recollects. “I liked math but didn’t know much about business. He suggested I consider a business degree. Careers in accounting were getting 100% job placement in the mid-’90s. My decision to apply to the master’s program in accounting at UNC at Chapel Hill after undergrad school there was the best career decision I ever made.” Farmer was immediately hired after graduation at Arthur Andersen LLP in Charlotte at age twenty-three. “My public accounting experience is still serving me today,” she adds. Prior to her first role at OrthoWilmington as director of finance in 2013, Farmer was a senior accounting manager for GPM Investments, a large convenience store chain. Handling huge volumes of fuel sales and banking transactions taught her about the challenges of scale. “The job taught me about making accounting practices and procedures efficient through software automation,” she says. Farmer describes her transition from retail to health care as an incredible cultural change. She credits STEPHEN DEBIASI, current CEO of EmergeOrtho’s Wilmington and Triad regions, as a most influential mentor. “He taught me the ins and outs of successfully leading a large physician practice,” Farmer says.
Farmer progressed to CFO of OrthoWilmington, then to CFO of EmergeOrtho. When her most recent promotion landed her in the CEO role functioning at the statewide level, she hit the ground running. After first hiring a replacement CFO, which she is proud to say was a promotion from within, and leading the annual shareholder meeting within the first two weeks on the job, Farmer got in her car and visited her new team across the state. And she faced challenges from the pandemic. Keeping employees, patients, and their families safe during COVID became a priority. Ongoing, Farmer says EmergeOrtho will need to keep up with government and insurance reimbursement changes. “This is continuously on our radar as we strive to provide care in a coordinated high-value, cost-effective manner,” she says. Farmer’s passion for teamwork is foundational. “I truly enjoy working with my team,” she says. “I am surrounded by motivated, engaged, passionate people who feel the same way I do about our mission to support the model of independent physician practices and how important that is to our health care system.” Farmer’s goals include building statewide synergies with IT, marketing, HR, and other services. “I want our workforce to know they are a team despite geographic distances,” she says. Farmer is constantly looking for opportunities for seamless execution. “I will support, develop, and train my team so they will be confident and autonomous in decision making.” Farmer’s future growth plans include promotion of accessibility of services across North Carolina, such as walk-in clinics that deliver high-value care at a lower cost than emergency rooms. “There is incredible satisfaction being part of an organization that truly helps people and changes quality of life,” Farmer says. “It’s rewarding to lead the business side of the organization so that our surgeons and clinicians can focus on what they do best.” But it’s the patient reviews and letters that Farmer treasures most. “Seeing someone have a better quality of life because of us is overwhelming,” she says. “I am humbled to be given this opportunity.”W WILMAmag.com
just say yes & we’ll do the rest
8 Venue Spaces - 60,000 Square Foot Clubhouse Two Top 40 Golf Courses - Luxury Suites, Cottages, & Hotel Riverfront Amenities - Top 20 Chef in the State
2022 CAPE FEAR HEART BALL
02-26-22 Wilmington Convention Center Celebrate the American Heart Assocation’s mission to be a rentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives by joining us for an unforgettable evening featuring dinner, auctions, music, and dancing at the Wilmington Convention Center for the 2022 Cape Fear Heart Ball. FOR MORE INFORMATION: firstname.lastname@example.org 910.538.9270 • capefearheartball.heart.org
EVENT CHAIR: Rick Goldbach, EVP, Director of the Carolinas, TowneBank Mortgage PRESENTING SPONSOR:
FAMILY FUSION THE SOMSNITHS EXPAND IN ASIAN CUISINES
by JENNY CALLISON photos by ARIS HARDING
hen she thinks of pho, the signature Vietnamese noodle soup, MONE SOMSNITH remembers the pleasant smells of her mother’s kitchen. In November, Somsnith brought those memories alive when she opened her Porters Neck restaurant Pho Vanhly which, roughly translated, means “Mom’s soup.” “Every Sunday after church my mom would (cook) the noodles,” Somsnith says. “We would come home and have noodles. I want to try and share that with my customers, my friends. It’s my dream since I was growing up.” Born in Laos, Somsnith immigrated to High Point, North Carolina, thirty years ago with her parents and five sib-
lings. They were sponsored by Forest Hills Presbyterian Church, a generous act that, in Somsnith’s words, “gave us a second life.” The family was used to hard work. In Laos, they had labored in the rice fields. In their new American hometown, the parents worked two jobs to support their six children and prepare a better life for them, Somsnith says. As the children became young adults, they found jobs in Asian restaurants. Not only did they learn the food service business; they learned the cuisines and flavors of other Asian cultures. One of her brothers worked in a Japanese restaurant in High Point. Somsnith herself worked in a Thai restaurant. They also drew from the culinary variety of their native land. “There are a lot of Vietnamese people in my country, so their food becomes as one with Lao food; it’s a mixture,” she says. Somsnith’s parents wanted their children to be successful in life. The restaurant business seemed a logical path, so the parents decided to start an Asian restaurant. Ten years ago, the family visited friends in Wilmington and realized the area had potential for them, with a growing population and few Asian eateries. They moved here soon afterward, and the parents launched their first venture, Tokyo 101 in Mayfaire. Somsnith’s brother Toth now operates this Japanese fusion restaurant. “They set it up for us, so we would have a place,” she says of her parents. Three years later, the family opened Umaii in Porters Neck, a Thai and sushi eatery run by Lai Somsnith. It took another seven years before Mone Somsnith felt ready to pursue her own dream of a pho eatery. She didn’t have to look far for a location: The new place sits across Market Street from Umaii in the Oak Landing Shopping Center. The new Vietnamese-inspired restaurant features various pho dishes but offers a broad Lao-Vietnamese menu, including a variety of noodle dishes and other Southeast Asian favorites such as spring rolls, banh mi, and lettuce wraps. The restaurant serves a
I WANT PEOPLE TO TRY AND SEE HOW EACH COUNTRY’S FLAVORS ARE DIFFERENT. THAI FOOD HAS A STRONG FLAVOR; JAPANESE IS LIGHT. VIETNAMESE IS IN BETWEEN. I LIKE PEOPLE TO TRY THEM OUT, ENJOY THEM, LOVE THEM. - MONE SOMSNITH
selection of sakes as well as beer and wine. Mone Somsnith works seven days a week, managing Pho Vanhly but also helping out at the other two restaurants. With the help of her sushi-chef husband and several of her siblings, she also manages a busy household of two children. She hasn’t taken a vacation since helping found Tokyo 101 ten years ago, but she’s not complaining. The restaurants have done well, even during the COVID-19 downturn, and she loves being an ambassador for Asian cuisines. “I want people to try and see how each country’s flavors are different,” she explains. “Thai food has a strong flavor; Japanese is light. Vietnamese is in between. I like people to try them out, enjoy them, love them. That’s my goal. It makes me very happy to give that to my friends and customers. I feel blessed that I can make their days happy; it gives me a lot of energy so I don’t feel tired.” No longer directly involved in their children’s restaurants, the Somsnith parents have a different mission. They spend about six months a year in Wilmington and the remainder of their time in Laos, where they and their children have invested some of the restaurant profits into making life better in their Lao village. An original investment built a water treatment plant; subsequently the family has brought in food, medical supplies, and clothing to residents there. “We are very thankful that we have a second life here in the States and can give back,” Mone Somsnith says. “We thank our customers who make this possible.” Somsnith says she has no goals beyond what she and her family have already accomplished. “I’m focused on making new and regular customers happy,” she adds. “And I am happy. Every day makes me happy. I don’t have any more desires.” W WILMAmag.com
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f you’re looking for a twist on the typical wedding bouquet, succulents are your thing. Growing in hues from deep greens to powdery blues to vibrant purples, these lush plants can complement any palette you dream up. They also easily add dimension and structure to an arrangement, whether coupled with other blooms or flying solo. Want to go beyond the bouquet? Succulents are fantastically versatile (and won’t break your budget), so carry them through to your accessories, place setting accents, cake decor, or table centerpieces. Best of all, these hardy plants can take the heat, making them perfect for a humid Southern wedding day – no wilting worries here. May your guests fare as well as your bouquet! W
Wedding greens photos & styling by Drewe and Kate Branding Co. intro by nina bays cournoyer
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photo c/o Knot Too Shabby Events
S herri C rawford
When it comes to wedding trends, some aspects of what’s hot and what’s not can change quicker than you can say “I do.” But one thing that never goes out of style is the love that fuels these events in the first place. After COVID emerged, couples concentrated more on what – and who – truly mattered on their wedding day. With that foundation set, couples are focused on celebrating their way in 2022. “Couples are ditching aspects of the event that don’t feel like ‘them’ and focusing on creating an ambiance that’s full of personality and will be sure to give their guests an experience, unlike anything they’ve attended in the past,” says MELISSA BURTON, owner and principal event planner of Knot Too Shabby Events (knottooshabbyeventplanning.com). “At the end of the day, a wedding is meant to be a celebration of a commitment
to love, surrounded by the people most excited to see it.” RAY BACA, owner and event manager at downtown Wilmington venues Pave’ (eventsatpave. com) and Belle Vue Wilmington (bellevuewilmington.com), echoes Burton’s sentiments. “One thing I am noticing is that couples are having the wedding ‘they want’ versus what is or was expected,” he says. “Weddings are more personal, eclectic and fun – that reflects their personalities (and values).” One way couples are achieving this is by choosing unconventional venues. Think sites and settings that hold meaning, as tops in 2022. “With an intimate guest list, couples are thinking outside of the box by marrying in nontraditional wedding venues and transforming some of their favorite neighborhood places into lasting memories on their wedding day,” notes BRITTANIE PATE, owner and lead wedding planner of Wilmington-based Brittanie Raquel Events (brittanieraquelevents.com). “This can make your wedding day all the more special by choosing a location that
photo c/o Knot Too Shabby Events
photo c/o Brittanie Raquel Events
photo c/o Brittanie Raquel Events
truly has meaning behind it for the two of you.” For example, one recent couple that Pate worked with held their nuptials at a coffee roaster, Wilmington’s Casa Blanca. “The couple wanted a location that was unique and special to them. They love long talks over coffee and share the love of trying out new coffee locations together,” Pate says. “It was fitting that Casa Blanca’s slogan is ‘I look forward to coffee with you.’” Here to stay in 2022 are more intimately sized celebrations. That can give couples’ budgets a quality over quantity advantage, too. “With a smaller guest list brides have more money to create the wedding of their dreams,” Baca says. “Brides are hiring top-notch professionals to help plan and organize their wedding … They are spending more on fine wines, better IPAs, high-end (appetizers) and better entrees versus basic buffets.” Elevating the guest – and couples’ – experience is on Burton’s radar this year, too. “We’re seeing couples seek interactive, experience-based extras at their events like cigar rolling stations, oyster shuckers during cocktail hour, personalized mixology, interactive guest books, made-toorder food stations, livestock for selfies, and so much more.” Pate notes that food at weddings is taking on an individualized approach, as well. That includes the serving style by caterers. “Think individual plates and cones in lieu of charcuterie boards and family-style meals – this creates an even more intimate and custom dinner experience that most of your guests most
likely haven’t seen before,” she says. “You could even double the cone-style food display as a party favor for your guests to take home with them.” Also on tap in 2022: weekday weddings. As demand continues to rise for vendors and venues, weddings on a Thursday or Friday have become normalized. As for décor, neutral and monochromatic color palettes are on trend, along with bold and deeper colors, Burton says. “Blush, gold, white, and green have had their time in the spotlight,” she says. “We’re seeing couples opt for more saturated color palettes – vibrant, bright, color choices or, conversely, moody deep colors.” Pampas grass is also big this year. Its versatility, says Pate, makes it ideal for a variety of style themes. “Pampas are easy to maintain, and their neutral colors make it easy to pair them with many other florals,” Pate says. “They make stunning centerpieces, add texture to bouquets, and are a wonderful way to dress up your ceremony and reception.” Just as the phrase “new normal” has morphed into “the norm,” the same holds true with weddings. Rule books are going out the window in 2022 as these unprecedented – and evolving – times simply continue. “Have a brunch wedding; choose the ‘messy,’ unstructured floral arrangements; wear a pantsuit with an epic cape; have a last dance instead of a first dance; order that Taco Bell for late-night snacks,” Burton says. “We’ve all learned how to adapt over the last two years – weddings should, too.” W
HAVE A BRUNCH WEDDING; CHOOSE THE ‘MESSY,’ UNSTRUCTURED FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS; WEAR A PANTSUIT WITH AN EPIC CAPE; HAVE A LAST DANCE INSTEAD OF A FIRST DANCE; ORDER THAT TACO BELL FOR LATE-NIGHT SNACKS.
photo c/o Knot Too Shabby Events
photo c/o Knot Too Shabby Events
OWNER & PRINCIPAL EVENT PLANNER, KNOT TOO SHABBY EVENTS
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Creating a matrimonial manor by
L aura M oore photo by Peter Sweyer
Wrightsville Manor, off Allens Lane on the way to Wrightsville Beach, is a nearly 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor event space that Chrissy Sweyer meticulously curated. “The design process was intense because in order to communicate what I wanted to my architect, landscape designer, and brick mason, I had to draw out every inch of the exterior and interior of the building as well as the gardens,” Sweyer explains. “I feel the result is a beautiful venue that is unlike any other.” The past few years have been stressful as one would imagine running an event business during a pandemic would be, but Chrissy Sweyer has taken the 120 cancellations the venue has faced in stride. Throughout 2020 and 2021, Chrissy Sweyer and her team were forced to make difficult decisions to create the once-in-a-lifetime experience for couples and their families. “Since Wrightsville Manor was a necessary and critical piece of our brides’ wedding days, we had to really push to keep these weddings moving forward and not succumb to a lot of the fear and anxiety over COVID,” she says. “In order for everything to go smoothly for our brides, we WILMAmag.com
absolutely could not pivot from the rescheduling policies we set in place as it would have affected everything.” Chrissy Sweyer credits her venue director ERIN LEA for “her incredible focus, tenacity, and infallible organizational skills” through such a difficult period. “It was an incredibly difficult time for everyone, but I can honestly say we wouldn’t have handled it any differently, and the feedback from our brides is that their rescheduled weddings turned out even better than anyone imagined their original wedding would be, which is all we could ever ask for,” Chrissy Sweyer says. No matter what the challenge, she handles the situation with grace as she dedicates herself to providing her clients with the best possible experience. “We run a very tight ship, and we are obsessed with the details. Every event is different, so there is a little reinventing of the wheel with every event that takes place. All events, but especially weddings, have a unique set of requirements and details that have to be executed and require a ton of back-and-forth
communication between us, our clients, and our event planners to ensure our client’s day goes flawlessly,” Chrissy Sweyer says. Despite the visage of glamour the event space emanates, it all comes as a result of hard work and dedication from Chrissy Sweyer and her team. Luckily, her love of gardening and design helps to keep the space fresh and the venture exciting. “I think from the outside there appears a lot of glamour, and there is, but this is a commercial property that requires an intense amount of maintenance and compliance. Unless you’re extremely passionate about it, it will exhaust you,” she says. Chrissy Sweyer’s passion for gardening ensures the flowers are pruned, and the gardens sculpted. She also enjoys adding to and improving the property, so she just designed and built a large brick arched wall that leads to the back garden. “Designing and adding new features for the venue and getting to see our clients and their guests enjoy it all on their big day is amazing for me,” she adds. Even though Chrissy SweyFEBRUARY 2022
er is the driving force behind the business, Wrightsville Manor is very much a family affair. Peter Sweyer plays an integral part in its success, and she especially loves sharing what she does with their daughter, Scarlett. “I love nothing more than heading into Wrightsville Manor with her and she being able to see firsthand the attention to detail that must be maintained and the care that we all – me, her father, our venue director, and all our employees – put into each client in order to have the beautiful venue property that’s shared with tens of thousands of people,” Chrissy Sweyer says. Her background in antique dealing in New York City and Europe, buying and selling pieces at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, gave her the confidence to build this venture from the ground up. “My advice to anyone in any profession would be that even if you don’t have someone supportive in your life, know that everything is doable,” she says. “Just show up. Showing up is 90 percent of success in life. You’ll figure the rest out as it comes.” W
photo by JACLYN NOLIN PHOTOGRAPHY
hen CHRISSY SWEYER and her husband, PETER, were planning their wedding, none of the venues fit the vision she had for herself, so she designed and opened Wrightsville Manor.
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WO M E N
WHO M E A N
BUSINESS SPONSORS' CONTENT
The Wilmington region is packed with women leaders in businesses, non-profits and other local institutions. WILMA’s mission is to shine a spotlight on these women as well as help develop future leaders in our community. This special marketing section features exactly who its name suggests — Women Who Mean Business.
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
MICHELLE CLARK-BRADLEY & The Michelle Clark Team
Michelle Clark-Bradley and her top producing team of brokers at Intracoastal Realty have a proven record of successfully guiding their clients through this highly competitive real estate market. They are focused on advising buyers, sellers, and investors in all price points throughout Landfall, Wrightsville Beach and the greater Wilmington area. With more than a half billion in SOLD real estate and more than 175 years of combined business experience, the Michelle Clark Team is a name you can lean on. Michelle and her team are also passionate about this community and actively serve on boards and volunteer with numerous local organizations. Contact them today to start creating your new memories.
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
SUSANNA WORSLEY S. Worsley S. Worsley is a shopping destination that is unique to Wilmington. Owner and buyer, Susanna Worsley was born and raised in Wilmington. She spent several years as a styling assistant at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City and strives to provide the same elevated shopping experience in Wilmington with an impressive list of top designers and brands. After many years of fashion retail experience, Susanna’s understanding of what women wear shines through the store’s edited mix of price points and a wide age range. With unbeatable customer service, we strive to be the ultimate formal and dress destination as well as a place to find the newest and latest contemporary trends.
BROOKE SKIPPER Salt Air Heating & Cooling Brooke Skipper owns Salt Air Heating and Cooling with her husband Devin and recently celebrated 10 years in business. In early 2021 she opened a second business, Vent Ninjas, which specializes in duct and dryer vent cleaning. Brooke is on the Board of Directors for the Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, where she served as Board Chair for 2 years. In Brooke’s free time, she enjoys hunting and addressing wetland conservation efforts. Brooke’s passion for hunting encouraged her to join the NC Ducks Unlimited State Committee and the local Wilmington Committee. In 2020 Brooke was named one of Wilmington’s 40 Under 40 for her work in the business and non profit community.
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MICHELLE PRICE, CFP Edward Jones
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Michelle is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional focused on helping clients grow and protect wealth. She's passionate about building personal relationships with clients to learn what matters most to them, and then creating personalized strategies for achieving their goals. Michelle believes when people feel understood and informed, they're empowered to make confident financial decisions.
Coastal Aesthetics is a boutique medspa in Wilmington, NC specializing in aesthetic medicine and skin rejuvenation treatments. Our services include injectable neuromodulators (Botox®/Dysport®), dermal fillers (Juvederm®/Restylane®/Versa), Sculptra aesthetic as well as microneedling and IPL. Our goal is to promote your natural beauty and encourage self-love through building confidence and helping our patient’s feel his or her best!
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WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
April Jones began her career in property insurance over a decade ago. Soon after, she saw a need to offer more choices in the coastal counties and wanted to develop a team of like-minded professionals that focused on serving a community desperately in need of options. She took a leap of faith and from scratch quickly grew into a trusted independent brokerage with rave reviews. April is married to Jeff, an international pilot with Delta Airlines and has two children, Abby (18) and Bobby (15). She has two locations to serve, 5016 Oleander Dr and 51 Southend Ct in Hampstead. FEBRUARY 2022
WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS
FAISON G. SUTTON
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LAUREN E. WILLIAMS
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Graduate of WILMA’s Leadership Institute
Graduate of WILMA’s Leadership Institute
Murchison Taylor & Gibson, PLLC
MICHEALLE GADY, JD Atrómitos The words most often used to describe Michealle are: "she gets things done." After a career in health policy and management that spanned from Capitol Hill to Victoria, Australia, Michealle determined to focus on the work that mattered most to her and founded Atrómitos, LLC, a national boutique consulting firm dedicated to a singular mission: creating healthier, more resilient and more equitable communities. In furtherance of this goal, Atrómitos works with a variety of organizations, from health providers, payers and technology companies to community-based organizations and non-profits.
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AMY NEALEY REVIVAL Laser and Skin Clinic, REVIVAL Medical Group Amy Nealey is the owner of REVIVAL Laser and Skin Clinic and REVIVAL Medical Group. Amy has a great love and zest for life and all that she sets out to accomplish! With 15 plus years experience, she is dedicated to remaining on the forefront of medicine, rapid changes of technology and procedures available. "Deliver the Best or Not at All" is one of the many life lessons her parents instilled within her from birth and this mantra echos throughout her life. To be a great leader, one must set out to inspire and encourage, not control. The REVIVAL team is beyond exceptional, is 100 million percent patient focused, uses only the most advanced FDA Approved technology and has trained with some of the best doctors in the world. REVIVAL has been recognized as a Leader in the Industry who delivers excellence across the board.
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CO NT ENT es, SPO NSO RS' ers in business women lead e packed with ion is to shin on region is WILMA’s miss The Wilmingt ers in institutions. l loca r lop future lead and othe as help deve its non-profits well who as tly en exac res these wom g section featu a spotlight on ketin mar . ial Business ity. This spec Who Mean our commun — Women name suggests
WO M E N
WHO M E A N
SPONS ORS' CONT ENT The Wilming ton region is packed with women leaders in businesses, non-profits and other local institutions. WILMA ’s mission is to shine a spotlight on these women as well as help develop future leaders our community. This in special marketing section features exactly who name suggests — Women its Who Mean Business .
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WILMAmag.com FEBRUARY 2022
The Restoration 150 Project
Rebuild & Repair
by SAMANTHA KUPIAINEN | photos by MADELINE GRAY
estled at Market and Fourth streets is North Carolina’s oldest Jewish house of worship, Temple of Israel. Constructed in 1876, the temple was originally built for a mere $20,000 and 36
served a city that was home to just 200 Jews. Today, the city’s population is nearly 46,000 according to the Jewish Heritage North Carolina. Since its initial construction, Temple of Israel has weathered hundreds of hurricanes, including Hurricane Florence,
which inflicted devastating damage on the temple and the surrounding area alike in September 2018. Additionally, the Moorish Revival architectural style building has withstood World Wars and periods of both expansion and decline. It’s also one of fewer than thirty Jewish congregations to still have its original 19th-century structure. In June 2020, the temple was once again faced with another hurdle. Mold was discovered in the building, having been caused by rain and water infiltration issues. Subsequently, the temple initiated the Restoration 150 Project in fall of 2021, which is currently raising funds to renovate the temple and bring it up to date. “Basically, it’s a result of an almost 150-year-old building,” says Rabbi EMILY LOSBEN-OSTROV (right), one of two rabbis at Temple of Israel. “It’s the blessings and curses that go along with having such a beautiful historic treasure. We’ve had some inspections and in figuring all of this out, we officially launched the campaign to raise the necessary funds.” The temple initially estimated that the restoration project would cost around $500,000, but members are hopeful they can surpass that original target and raise as much as they can. In addition to cost increases, Temple of Israel is trying to secure the building for generations to come, as well as raise funds for future maintenance. “I have a vision of how we can make the building even more of a centerpiece for the entire city,” Losben-Ostrob says. “Hopefully, we’re going to be able to restore everything exactly to the way that it was.” The forefront of the restoration project is largely led by female temple leaders. A lot of credit is given to temple board president BEVERLY TETTERTON, who doubles as the Temple of Israel historian. Women also fill the seats of the fundraising committee, as well as its PR lead. The head of the temple’s building and grounds committee is also a woman. “There’s a lot of women who are really at the forefront of this project in every aspect, which is remarkable,”
Losben-Ostrob says. Losben-Ostrob is also another female leader within the Temple of Israel. She currently serves as the first female rabbi at the Temple of Israel and has even served as the first rabbi for all three congregations she’s served at. As far as fundraising for the Restoration 150 Project, it’s largely been met by members of the Jewish congregation and word of mouth. Friends and family from the temple have been generous in donating, some from across the country and even the world. Temple of Israel has also seen a portion of funds come from individuals who grew up in the area but have since moved away. Uniquely, the temple is giving donors who contribute $100 or more to the restoration project a com-
plimentary book about the temple’s history, written by Tetterton. “That’s really the biggest fundraising aspect of it so far, aside from people just really giving up their hearts and giving generously,” Losben-Ostrob says. “As the final cost comes into a
little bit more focus, we’ll be looking at other fundraisers as well. We’ve been blessed over the last few months to receive some very generous donations.” As the temple and its congregation waits for the restoration project to wrap up, it hopes to continue to
attract non-Jewish neighbors and friends to worship. Over the years, the temple has had quite a few interfaith events with its congregation, such as the annual Thanksgiving service and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. service. “We have been incredibly blessed,” Losben-Ostrob says. “At this stage, we’re really trying to let people know about the need, and we’re hoping that people will be able to reach out and support us. It’s been incredible to see the support that we’re getting not only from our congregants but getting from the community. The outpouring support from the non-Jewish community has just been overwhelmingly generous and supportive, and it’s really such a blessing for us.” W
CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS Getting to know students is a priority for the regional teacher of the year By MICHELLE SAXTON | Photos by DARIA AMATO
oetry, field trips, and simple conversations are among the ways New Hanover High School English teacher ABBEY NOBLES builds rapport with her students.
“I just love getting to know these individual kiddos and their stories and what makes them who they are, and what their goals are, what their dreams are, what they did over the weekend,” says Nobles, who is North Carolina’s Southeast Region Teacher of the Year for 2022. Nobles devoted time at the start of the recent school semester learning more about her students by talking, team building, and playing structured games. She compares it to figuring out a puzzle revealing what personalities drive her students. “She really connects and cares deeply about the students, and that shows in her teaching and interaction with them,” New Hanover County Schools media relations manager RUSSELL CLARK says. “Her overall genuine spirit and care of learning really shine through.” Nobles is a National Board Certified Teacher in her seventh year of teaching. The district notes she earned degrees in English with a concentration in secondary education and international studies with a Spanish minor from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She serves as a member of New Hanover County Schools’ Equity Workgroup and coleads Student Equity Teams to help empower students and foster group advocacy. In the classroom, poetry is a favorite subject for Nobles. Her methods include teaching the writings of Rudy Francisco and Tupac Shakur. “We can get into what is diction, what is a simile, what is an allusion, what is a metaphor,” Nobles says. “But they first have this deep understanding of what they’re reading, and they can connect to it.” Nobles also focuses on behavior interventions and works with English as a Second Language students, and she co-teaches with an Exceptional Children’s teacher and an ESL teacher. Some classes include lessons in English and social skills, with field trips around
the community to help students grow both academically and socially, Nobles says. “Taking students on field trips is something that is so powerful – to see them in a different environment, whether it is two blocks away on a walking field trip or hours away at a museum, to see them out of their element and stepping up, rising to the occasion and excited to do something different,” Nobles says, later adding, “Seeing them curious, asking questions, it’s all a part of learning.” Nobles credits LACHAWN SMITH, the district’s chief of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with inspiring her to plan class field trips, and she appreciates the teamwork she has with other educators. “I feel so honored to have achieved this,” Nobles says of the regional recognition. “But it is not without the help of everyone else in my school building and district supporting me.” Nobles joins eight other educators across the state in being considered for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year program started in 1970 to promote the education profession through advocacy and support while recognizing professionals implementing their best practices in the classrooms, says SONJA BROWN, educator advancement lead at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and leader of the state Teacher of the Year program. DPI-selected judges will interview the regional winners in February, and the state Teacher of the Year will be announced in April. “We look for innovation,” Brown
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says. “We look for years in the classroom, we look at their service, we look at their speaking abilities.” The winner will serve on the state Board of Education for two years and take a one-year sabbatical from teaching to participate in professional learning opportunities and visit schools throughout the state, Brown says. Regional teachers of the year will work together with the state winner to plan professional development activities and attend conferences. “Regardless of what happens I am part of a really awesome team, and I’m excited to collaborate with other people,” Nobles says, adding she is eager to learn from other teachers about education issues such as school suspension rates and nutrition. “I’m really excited to see what everyone else brings to the table, what everyone else’s platforms are, what everyone else is passionate about,” Nobles says. Schools everywhere have faced disruptions and challenges due to the pandemic, and Nobles says COVID has highlighted the overwhelming issue of helping some students want to come to school every day. She also understands the struggle educators have with limited time to teach many lessons. “But there’s always time to get two know the students and to understand their stories and where they come from,” Nobles says. “It can be a daily question when students walk in the room – ‘What did you eat for dinner last night?’ ‘What’s your favorite restaurant?’ “You get to know them as individuals and care about them as individuals, instruction will follow.” W
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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 42
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SCARLESS VEIN CARE ARE YOUR LEGS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING? You May Not Realize What These Symptoms Could Mean When your feet hit the floor in the morning, do you feel refreshed or tired and in pain? Your legs may be telling you something. Are you ready to listen? Signs and symptoms of vein disease include: -aching or heaviness in the legs -night cramps -general tiredness in the legs -swollen feet and legs -burning sensations or leg muscle cramps -varicose veins -skin discoloration -skin texture changes What is vein disease? Vein disease is a commonly overlooked condition that affects millions of men and women around the world, regardless of age and abilities. Vein disease occurs when vein valves become faulty and cause blood to move in both directions. This causes an increase in venous pressure and can cause blood to pool in your legs and give way to the symptoms listed above. Venous insufficiency can also impact blood flow to the calf muscles which can in turn impact muscle performance. This can greatly impact the quality of life for athletes and others with active lifestyles. When left untreated, vein issues worsen over time. Who is at risk for developing vein disease? The staggering fact is that one in every two people in the US over 50 has vein
disease, but vein disease does not discriminate when it comes to age. In fact, individuals in their 40s, 30s and even 20s can suffer from the condition. Those without visual signs of vein disease, such as varicose veins, may not seek treatment due to myths and misunderstandings associated with vascular problems, which puts them at risk for developing more
serious complications like venous ulcers and blood clots. Here’s a look at some populations who have a higher risk for encountering the condition: Those with a family history of vein disease: If your parents or grandparents have or had vein disease, the odds are, you will too! People with professions that require them to sit or stand for significant periods
of time: From teachers to truck drivers, those who stand or sit for long periods run a higher risk for developing vein disease due to impaired circulation. Pregnant women: It’s not uncommon for women to develop vein complications during pregnancy. And the truth is, many women still face vascular issues after the bir th of their little ones and
experience issues like tired, heavy achy restless legs. Tall individuals: Stanford University School of Medicine indicates taller people could have an increased risk of developing varicose veins. This is thought to be connected to the fact that the veins have to work a little harder to return blood to the hear t. New location in Wilmington The journey to Nice Legs with Dr. Kamran has never
been easier! Now with TWO convenient locations - Dr. Kamran sees patients at his vein center in Wilmington in Howe Creek Landing on Military Cutoff Road and in Leland in the Waterford Medical Center. Life is moving forward. Don’t let vein disease stand in the way. Scarless Vein Care by Dr. Kamran is one of the nation’s preeminent locations for the treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose and spider veins and is now offering *Free Vein Health Screenings. *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. Dr. Kamran is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of phlebology and vascular 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.
910.218.0933 | SCARLESSVEINCARE.COM
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WHAT IS NEXT?
hether it be because of the “Great Resignation” or “Pandemic Flux Syndrome”, so many people are experiencing a level of confusion and instability that is intolerable. People leaving their jobs are asking themselves, “What do I really want to do with my life?” People feeling anywhere on the spectrum from anxious to uncharacteristically lazy are asking themselves, “Where do I go from here?” Business leaders struggling to find people to fill jobs are searching for what will motivate people to embrace their mission and vision. These big questions deserve reflective answers. Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and author said recently in a Wall Street Journal article that, “The Great Resignation isn’t a mad dash away from the office. It’s the culmination of a long march
toward freedom. Flexibility is more than choosing the place you work. It’s having the freedom to decide your purpose and your priorities.” One of my most treasured mentors taught me that “Freedom and accountability are two sides of the same coin. Many people began their careers with the promise working for a company that would secure their futures. Now, people are questioning spending their lives working for an organization that does not give them a sense of purpose. People are not abdicating accountability. In fact, many people are taking accountability for their futures for first time and are willing to take the risk of entrepreneurship to live their purpose. I was working with a client last week who stepped into the paddock with my horse, Galen, and put her hands on his neck and back. She closed her eyes
and exhaled for the first time in months. Galen leaned his head around her and they just enjoyed a moment of peace and quiet together. Having that moment of stillness allowed her to silence the noise in her head that was preventing her from finding clarity of purpose. Recently, a client stepped out of her car and just stood there for a second. She looked up at the sky and listened to the simple sounds of birds singing and wind rustling through the trees. She walked up on to my front porch, sat down in a rocking chair, and said, “Wow, it is so peaceful here.” We then proceeded to have a very meaningful conversation about how to bring that calm into how she leads her organization. To anyone reading this article, this is what TeachingHorse at Double Run Farm in Leland, NC is here to do. We will work with you to lead yourself
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through the uncertainties of our time. We are currently scheduling individual and group coaching sessions customized to your desired outcomes. To hear more, email me at junegunter@ teachinghorse.com. June Gunter is the Co-Founder and CEO of TeachingHorse. With 32 years of experience in leadership development, June brings depth of understanding and clarity of purpose to preparing leaders for innovation and transformation. June holds a Doctor of Education degree in the field of Adult Learning from North Carolina State University. She is a Certified Equine Guided Educator (CEGE), Certified Equine Interaction Professional (CEIP-ED) and the author of TeachingHorse, Rediscovering Leadership.
RESIDENT FEATURE: MEET TOM & BONNIE BURRELL
Living and Aging Well at Plantation Village
o put it simply, Tom and Bonnie Burrell are planners and preparers. They met in grade school and have been married for 50 years. Tom graduated from West Point Academy, spent 22 years in the Army and then worked for a consulting firm for 23 years. Bonnie taught elementary school before staying home with her children; she then returned to work as a Department of the Army Civilian for 25 years. The Burrell’s spent 10 years researching CCRCs before deciding to call Plantation Village home. They visited communities all over the east coast, looking for a place with an engaging and vibrant environment with a high level of service for cost in a prime
location. “You can wait too long, but you can’t move in too early,” Tom said. The Burrell’s moved to Plantation Village in May 2021 after living in Northern Virginia for 33 years. They are living in a villa home while waiting on their brand new village flat to be completed as part of our expansion. Tom and Bonnie immediately found activities and opportunities for engagement they could enjoy together as well as individually. Tom is involved in the Men’s Coffee group, the PV Civic Affairs Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and he participates in regular exercise classes. Bonnie has fallen in love with circuit training classes. She helped start another book club at PV (there are several!)
and is active in our women’s group called “Women on the Move.” The Burrell’s wanted to connect with their new neighbors and so they began a weekly gathering they dubbed “Villa Vino.” They gather to share wine, community news and fun. They wanted resortstyle living with a relaxed lifestyle and they found it. PV offers a “maintenance-free lifestyle” by taking care of the upkeep and cleaning of both the inside and the outside of the homes. They say these services are proving even better than expected. Bonnie calls Tom “Mr. Fix It” but at Plantation Village, he has an entire team of associates to depend on. Bonnie and Tom now have the freedom to not have to take care of things
themselves – and they love it! Bonnie says to live well is to maintain a level of freedom to do what she wants to do. As they age, they believe that living well will lead to aging well. At Plantation Village, the Burrell’s have found the freedom to define their own future – and to know them is to know that they are living well!
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.
1.866.825.3806 | PLANTATIONVILLAGERC.COM
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THE WILMINGTON MARATHON RETURNS THIS MONTH photos by ARIS HARDING
he Wilmington Marathon takes off later this month, entering its thirteenth year.
Like the course itself, much has changed over those years, but for race director TOM CLIFFORD, the goal is always the same: for participants as well as members of the community to have a safe, enjoyable time while promoting the fun and exercise that comes with running. “I grew up a runner, and for me, it’s a passion,” says Clifford, who also owns Without Limits. This year’s race is February 26 and includes half-, full-, and relay-marathon options as well as 5K and 1-mile distances. “It’s a beautiful run just because you start out at Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier (in Wrightsville Beach) and head up Eastwood Road. From there, you hit MLK, and it takes you all the way to the history of downtown,” Clifford says. The Wilmington race – with its flat
elevation and fast times – is historically popular as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. But even the shorter distances are good for personal challenges. “The point of a race is to grow. You may be a first-time 5K runner who grows into a half-marathon runner,” Clifford says. The 5K starts on the opposite end, at Live Oak Bank Pavilion. As of last month, 2,600 athletes had signed up for the Wilmington Marathon. The number enrolled is always encouraging not just for race organizers but for the local economy as well. Past race events have brought in over $2 million for the weekend of events surrounding the race. Always striving to grow, Clifford says this year a new event is a 1-mile fun run for kids. For runner ANN MARIE PIERCE, the first woman to cross last year’s marathon finish line, it’s easy to feel supported during the race because of the cheering spectators along the route. “For me, I try to just use the crowd’s energy,” she says. Pierce, who also finished first in last year’s WILMA Dash 5K, will probably sit out this year’s Wilmington Marathon, with her second son having been born in November. “I’m just running to stay in shape,” says Pierce of her current stage. “I’m still doing workouts and a few races this past month – 5Ks. I’m just waiting to see what’s the next race.” She also stays busy training the next wave of runners, heading up the Trailblazers youth running team made up of fifthtwelve graders (shown in photo). Community building is also a part of pulling the race together, Clifford says. “It’s all about building our community,” he says. “I am grateful to our city leaders as well as so many of our volunteers who make this event happen.” W
WILMINGTON MARATHON FEBRUARY 26 Full marathon, half marathon, and marathon relay courses start in Wrightsville Beach and end in downtown Wilmington. The 5K and 1-mile kids glow run starts at Live Oak Bank Pavilion. INFO: WILMINGTONNCMARATHON.COM
by LYNDA VAN KUREN photo by TERAH HOOBLER
As a Native American woman who has forged a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), ASHLEY LOMBOY can be called a trailblazer. Now Lomboy, who works as a global information security manager at Corning Optical Fiber and Cable in Wilmington, is making it possible for Waccamaw Siouan youths to succeed in the STEM world. Through Studio STEM, a club Lomboy founded, Waccamaw Siouan students participate in projects that combine STEM and tribal traditions. In addition, Lomboy serves as a volunteer with both local and national organizations. In each, she works to advance the understanding and knowledge of Native American peoples and their contributions. HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN TECHNOLOGY? “I was introduced to computers in middle school and worked with them when I was in the military. Those experiences piqued my curiosity, and I decided to get my bachelor’s degree in computer science and my master’s degree in cybersecurity. There’s a depth to computing that’s untouchable, and I’m always advancing.” WHY IS A STEM CLUB SPECIFICALLY GEARED TO WACCAMAW SIOUAN STUDENTS NEEDED? “It helps broaden their spectrum of what is possible. We want tribal people to see that Waccamaw Siouans are successful in STEM careers. When they see that, it changes the trajectory of our youth.” WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS DO THE STUDENTS WORK ON IN STEM STUDIO? “Our projects include those that individual students can complete, such as at-home learning kits and our upcoming wigwam building challenge, as well as those that involve the community. Examples include increasing our tribal youths’ access to UNCW’s Marine Biology Summer Program; the Yacunne (Fish) Community Camp; and the Star Preservation Project, an ongoing project in which the tribe ensures its heritage is saved.” WHAT SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS WERE INVOLVED WHEN SETTING UP STEM STUDIO FOR THE TRIBAL COMMUNITY? “We have principles we stand by when working with the tribal community. One is to make the program easy for tribal youth to attend in person, so STEM Studio had to be geographically accessible. It’s also important to us to give back to the community, so STEM Studio does business with tribal members such as renting space or purchasing supplies from them.” YOU ALSO VOLUNTEER WITH NUMEROUS OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU? “I really enjoy helping people in whatever capacity I can. Also, it’s important to tell others about Native people, to let them know we are here, and to ensure we won’t be left out.”W ASHLEY LOMBOY’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com.
by DYLAN PATTERSON illustration by MARK WEBER Dylan Patterson is a writer and filmmaker who teaches English at Cape Fear Community College.
My father’s birthday is this month, and while I couldn’t ask for a better dad, it feels like it would be a dereliction of duty to commandeer my regularly snarky humor column for sentimental birthday wishes. Plus, even if I tried to catalog the important lessons I’ve learned from my father, 500 words would be far too few. So, instead, I’d like to focus on a few lessons I’ve learned (just not from my father): How to sit quietly and commune with nature: Each summer, my folks and I spend a week at a mountain condo with a panoramic view bathed each dusk in golden light. In my opinion, a sunset generally doesn’t require voice-over narration, but my father, an amateur Morgan Freeman, can last no longer than ten seconds without adding color commentary. “It just keeps changing!” “Isn’t that beautiful?” “Wow!” “You don’t see views like that in Wilmington!” As there is only so much one can say about a sunset, these few sound bites are, by necessity, recycled and repeated until the sky finally goes mercifully black. How to take responsibility for my things: Before he retired, my father was a model of professional accountability. However, when it comes to his personal belongings, if something goes missing for more than 30 seconds, my father blames whomever is at hand. During a trip to Europe, my father was unable to find his watch. He “looked everywhere,” he claimed. The third-floor hotel room had been warm the night before, so my parents had left a window open. The only logical explanation, my father scolded the desk clerk, was
that a cat burglar had scaled the outside wall, tiptoed into the room while my parents were sleeping, and stealthily made off with my father’s Seiko. “Be sure to warn the other guests!” my father instructed. It was only after my parents had returned stateside that the watch was finally recovered. Apparently, the diabolical and ineffectual thief had hidden the timepiece in my father’s suitcase under a roll of dirty socks. How to be in the moment: If you are looking for my father in the Now, you will not find him there. Instead, he’ll be inhabiting some version of the Future where things have gone terribly wrong. While my mother and I enjoy a casual drink in their living room, my father is 30 minutes in the future, standing outside the restaurant in the endless line we’ll have to endure because we were three minutes late for our reservation. At a Thanksgiving dinner, my buddy Gary was saying an improvised grace. The rest of us were soaking in the wonderful smells and good company. My father, however, was already 15 minutes in the future, where Gary had gone on far too long, the dinner had gone cold, and Thanksgiving was ruined. “Aaaamen,” my father cut Gary off mid-sentence. We still give my father a hard time about that one. But he takes it in stride. One of the many lessons I have learned from my father is not to take yourself too seriously. Happy Birthday, Pop! Looking forward to many more narrated sunsets to come!
l s i l ti i m ilb de yo ilb nsu chie ng sh rts ea nt cy ca us t r a ra a a h e tu hip ve u b su a t r u c s c a l e s e d i s n i g r o jus t r s n o r ywca-lowercapefear.org e s e s v i u h e t l v e r n u a r e l h e & c d n lt ia im la ac m h ra in sc se az laz an ion ub ea ell oc cu ea bl ee lifet imp ho ic m lb a us t g910-799-6820 at alt ce p er s l c i l r m c w i e i c c b & i f d a b s t a t & re t u t r s a s & s u re ra hel r t e p t u s n d n f e vi y t f u p e r t l h r r i j e e e e l c l l d a e l e e lt e im a g d er in m ac cu nt re tu ea cs oc ion nt g lea un laz rach vic cia us e laz ro r ieve s t & u v h r e o o b b t a b t l e s d l s sb s d m y i il n rt ss uc un & ro he ach es tu es cs cu ra ve ip ea a ra i e ra o d e t s n n l y e g t c h i l g i n & y e i e h t r l b e s t r h rs e n ac si n g er un ct ts pu we bu ac ra hip ltu jus bu laz ns fetim ar un tio ola dvoc s pa e g s l e e u & s r u b s a c h s e t a c l i m i r a es ci sc un uc & ac hola tim rv an nt li ti lth ion ra ine tu n o e r d t s e e p i n l t a n s s c e f m e t s s a i a e e r li d t c u sc cu & n im he er bu ic m & ea em stud nt du er jus lea ss bl sb cy nt tio ss r laz free v e & s e l s d e a e u a e t g u b e t e a c a c i r n d p m i n il ln lt l th n in e n o u a l o e u c l i l e a u e s i u a t v e v d r s o a c t c d s e re e u a gr w yo ch ie bu ts vi ng rt r & & uc ra ea s& ct ip ltu sh er ch on sb ss an you ze y i t c s d s se s a a h h u r o i e t a r c t e e s e l r c t p g c c a l a n e a i r i s n i e p b n l c t l & s ll h il c b u ea b si oc ju re hi im ion ola bu pa lars sh et rts tu ed al pu we e pu ng dv tra bu at l i f s la s ch a i c a u r s c e m n u l s e & s i s u s e e o o c e e t n ic r ic ilb io t r n z h e d s l c h n t n v l v t i a & n a u u i e n c l r e & s tr lt a st er ca si n bl ts de we c se rs an cy bu em cu he er cs du ar ail bu & tio tu ade l ju c i a i m v z s r s l l e s a a & s c e e t s e h a i s ra b i c s l t r o n e e e c 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c c & a r f t l s i a e s a n e b c i f w a r r h u d u u e p ca es rv cu tl & el bu rt laz ero yo ed alt c se & im t stu im ep du en lb ze sin th ch t ss e c i s p l e t n h i a a i u e e i t h m a l a c n l r v n n lif tr tio ar rsh ng ss ve sb he er ilb de rsh pa ub t a ro r a s e tio e e u s a l a u c s i e p n e r s e l a m n r i u h e h t n o st ll es ch lic in az tu ce uc ac ed er ch ng bl ul nt em dent ss us lln nu we ervi ub l z s e ed n c r a u i v e a b p a r r s e o e & a l & w e s r m n d ti ss tu tim ct g hi ce ilb rt lth blic ad ee ca rts ts ne nu ac lea e r ife a a e h & ervi i ra u l a f l n a z t e t s p e l d t a g s r u la m el pu re ng m sh ea en ne ze tim ct gr un ee ti ch lic ilb tu sb es ou ce o e a l r o m s i a n a i b l f f y n u i r r t y e e v l e a l l c r a v d p o pu ilb tl ip in rt he uc tu hip er we ic se im sh hie s& us en ze s tra s d h ice r t ac c t a r b & l e r r r l m a e b a h e la b n o en ng ss ea ol re pu er ail ho laz alt su iev stud tio ch ne im r c u h i e b e n s t a h t t l s s c h l i c u r u t uc s er ng ife er vi ra cu e a ran an de tl es sb er su ed az ad & a l s n s n m m n e i l n g e s l e b e l u t il ee g et lic in m ct gl tio ar we an lif us tra un ub l fr ve pa un ca t & m o e b r e p o u i n y e im y d e ch ss lth vice ch az m nt ra ne hip e ea bl e r ine ea s o l o v s i h e i d r s m ie er la at ra tu ss bu lic ch rt uc gh ho ts ne a b e l c d n n l u e rs ra su laz ne we ice p tim ct g lb de un i & e tio a f a v n a r li le a tr pa lth uc se nt ng er im ea em e ed ic z u e t h l b la fr yo em den ss el pu ilb ev ip ne u a h i e l t h r c l h c s i c rs rt ra we erv ea ze ro ola & s a e h l m h i h ic sc ilb et bl alt ng er ra lif u t he e pu d t s n er ea en ic m gl nu laz rv e n a b e v u s il ie em ic yo tra ch re bl f r a u l e e p e az ch bl tim ic
Women of Achievement
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“Where Wilmington Gets Engaged”
WILMINGTON (BARCLAY COMMONS) 2520 INDEPENDENCE BLVD SUITE #100 WILMINGTON NC 28412 910.392.6721
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