WILMA - May 2020

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WILMA

MAY 2020

WILMINGTON’S SUCCESSFUL WOMAN

Born to Run

Peyton Thomas ’ track record

Workout Anywhere We’ve got the moves

Sea Inspired

Coastal calling from A La Mere

HEALTH


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7 TASTE: Curbside cuisine

43 THE SCENE: Keeping the lights on

9 STYLE: Coastal couture

44 TAKE 5: encore’s editor

41 VIRTUAL CALENDAR

Check out WILMA magazine here:

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45 MEN’S ROOM: Sound sleeper

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20 17 C USTOM DESIGNS: Meredith West Owens’ cover-worthy looks 20 B RAIN WAVES: NHRMC neurology experts 25 F AST TIMES: Peyton Thomas’ Olympic trials 29 A NYWHERE WORKOUT: Moves to stay fit at home or outside

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May is always our annual Health issue. That obviously took on a new meaning this year. We wanted to keep with the health theme this year – mind, body, and spirit – while also acknowledging the rapidly changing conditions. This month’s issue features women who have been smart and creative about adjusting, from restaurateurs facing dining restrictions to trainers helping people stay fit while gyms and training centers are closed (see Kerri Davis’ at-home workout on page 29). Organizations throughout the area also have been keeing us entertained while stuck at home with virtual offerings. Find suggestions in our Women to Watch calendar on page 6, events calendar on page 41, and Ghostlight Series feature on page 43. And, the neurologists of NHRMC Pysician Group-Neurology (shown above) spoke to us, before things began shutting down, about how they got into their field. Thanks to them and all health workers and first responders who have worked throughout the COVID-19 crisis. W

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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 dives into A La Mere’s coastal style inspiration on page 9.

MEGAN DEITZ turned her love of photography into a full-time career in 2003 when she began traveling up and down the East Coast as a sports photographer. Today, she specializes in portrait and commercial photography but can be found fueling her true passion for landscape and wildlife photography through her travels around the world. Deitz photographed Sweet N Savory Cafe (page 7). megandeitz.com and @megandeitz_photography on Instagram

DREWE & KATE – DREWE SMITH and KATE SUPA own a creative studio that helps

companies elevate their brand and digital presence through photography, brand styling, logo design, and website creation. Drewe & Kate styled and photographed this month’s cover as well as the style feature on page 9.

JULIE SCHOONMAKER is a native of

northern California and a graduate in journalism from the University of Arizona. She is a journalist with nearly a decade of experience in television news. Schoonmaker feels privileged to get the opportunity to meet new people and share their stories. She loves running, traveling, and cheering on the Arizona Wildcats. She spoke with UNCW Ph.D. student and runner Peyton Thomas on page 25.

KATELYNN WATKINS, publishing coordinator for DartFrog Plus and contractual editor for Parliament House Press, has lived and worked in Wilmington since 2017. As an editor and aspiring author, she spends a lot of time exploring the realm of fiction. But in the real world, she likes to travel with her husband, drink lots of coffee, and yes – take long walks on the beach. Watkins talks with designer Meredith West Owens on page 17.

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Publisher Rob Kaiser rkaiser@wilmingtonbiz.com President Robert Preville rpreville@wilmingtonbiz.com Associate Publisher Judy Budd jbudd@wilmingtonbiz.com

Editor Vicky Janowski vjanowski@wilmingtonbiz.com Senior Account Executive Craig Snow csnow@wilmingtonbiz.com Account Executive Ali Buckley abuckley@wilmingtonbiz.com Office & Audience Development Manager Sandy Johnson sjohnson@wilmingtonbiz.com Events Director Maggi Apel mapel@wilmingtonbiz.com Events/Digital Assistant Elizabeth Stelzenmuller events@wilmingtonbiz.com Design & Media Coordinator Molly Jacques production@wilmingtonbiz.com Content Marketing Coordinator Morgan Mattox mmattox@wilmingtonbiz.com Contributing Designer Suzi Drake art@wilmingtonbiz.com Digital Editor Johanna Cano jcano@wilmingtonbiz.com Fashion Stylist Ashley Duch Grocki Contributors Tim Bass, Nina Bays Cournoyer, Beth A. Klahre, Justin Williams Pope, Julie Schoonmaker, Cheryl L. Serra, Drewe Smith, Kate Supa, Katelynn Watkins, Lori Wilson Contributing Photographers Drewe & Kate, Erin Costa, Megan Deitz, Kevin Kleitches, 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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W2W UPDATES

While the coronavirus has impacted the ability of the WILMA’s Leadership Initiative programs from meeting in person, we – like a lot of groups in the area – are turning to technology to keep connecting and learning during this time. Here are some examples. LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: Who hasn’t seen the above image in recent weeks? Like area companies holding meetings, friends connecting for happy hour, and even Saturday Night Live, we turned to Zoom web talks to bring together WILMA’s Leadership Institute alum. We checked in with members across different cohorts to see how they were coping with the rapid changes. This year’s Leadership Institute class also met virtually for its April meeting, hearing from Natalie English, president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce; Tracey Newkirk, owner of UNEXO; and Dana Cook, owner of Julia’s Florist about networking with purpose and how to approach it during social distancing. ILMA LEADERSHIP EMAIL: If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read WILMA’s Monday emails, which focus on W leadership topics and profiles. WILMA NETWORK: Members of the WILMA Network, made up of sponsors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, also turned to the web to hold meetups in April. I N THE LOOP: Keep up to date with these and other Leadership Initiative programs as well as applications announcement by going to WILMAmag.com or signing up for the WILMA Leadership email at WILMAmag.com/email-newsletter. - Vicky Janowski, WILMA editor, and Maggi Apel, events director, Co-directors of the Women to Watch Leadership Initiative W2W@WILMAmag.com

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The Women to Watch logo: When you see this throughout WILMA’s pages, it means this is a woman on the rise to know, an experienced leader to learn from, or a local program worth checking out. W

17 JILL OF ALL TRADES: A La Mere’s Meredith West Owens and her custom designs 25 RUNNING DOWN A DREAM: Runner Peyton Thomas turns to the trails for an outlet 44 TAKE5: Shea Carver talks about art and culture in Wilmington and covering it all as encore's editor

MAY

leadership opportunities Editor’s note: Because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, a number of area events have been canceled, but as of press time, some in-person ones were still on. Be sure to check organizations’ websites for the latest info. For local updates, go to WILMA’s sister publication, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, at wilmingtonbiz.com.

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The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce holds DIGITAL MARKETING: 1.0 REACH CUSTOMERS ONLINE as a GoToMeeting webinar. Registration is $15 for chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. Info: wilmingtonchamber.org/ events

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals NC, Cape Fear Chapter holds a virtual chapter meeting with Dallas Romanowski, co-founder of locally-based PERFORMANCE CULTURE, to talk about the platform. Info: community.afpnet.org/ afpcapefearregion

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THE INSPIRATION LAB holds an online event “When The Pressure is On: SOS for your Relationships” 7:30-9 p.m., offering women the chance “to experience deeper connections with themselves and others and identify coping patterns that may be holding them back.” The event is free, but registration is required. Info: theinspirationlab.c

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The VANTACA USERS CONFERENCE was scheduled for May 13-15 at Hotel Ballast, 301 North Water Street. Vantaca is a Wilmington-based association management software solution. Info: vantacauserconference.com

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The monthly NC FILM FORUM, organized by Cucalorus Film Foundation and the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entreprenuership, takes place at 5:30 p.m. over Zoom and

focuses on the topic of “Strategy Shift.” Info: cucalorus.org/nc-film-forum

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PORT CITY YOUNG PROFESSIONALS still planned, as of press time, to hold its monthly meetup at Pour Taproom, 201 North Front Street, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Info: pcypapp.com. PCYP also has been holding online a pop-up virtual networking event, SIPPIN’ WITH TJ & BRAD, for casual online sessions. Check PCYP’s Facebook page for more info at facebook.com/ portcityyoungprofessionals.

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CAPE FEAR WOMEN IN TECH (CFWIT) holds its fundraiser called the Get It Together Workshop 5:30-7 p.m. at tekMountain, 1844 Sir Tyler Drive. The workshop features handson help, headshots, and hints to for resume and online presence updates. Info: cfwit.com

Sign up for WILMA newsletters at WILMAmag. com. To include your group's event, email W2W@WILMAmag.com

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RESTAURANT

RESILIENCE

COPING THROUGH CREATIVE COOKING by BETH A. KLAHRE photos by MEGAN DEITZ

A

long with other local restaurants that had to adjust to restrictions because of control measures for the coronavirus, two local eateries – Sweet N Savory Cafe and Love, Lydia Bakery – are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic while putting their staff and customers first. Sweet N Savory Cafe, located on Pavilion Place, after the state shutdown restaurant dining rooms, expanded curbside pickup and started delivery. Love, Lydia Bakery, on South Third Street, temporarily closed in the wake of the order but not without first finding a creative way to help the employees. LORRAINE BARNES (shown above), chief operating officer of Sweet N Savory Cafe, went right into action when Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order to close sit-down

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service at restaurants followed by a statewide stay-at-home order to try and slow the spread of the virus. “We chose to lean on our culture of adaptation and be 100% present for our community,” says Barnes, who began creating plans in February based on every possible scenario. “In our hearts, we knew what was coming and what would be required to attempt to contain the spread of the virus.” It’s a combination of Barnes’ entrepreneurial spirit and people who inspired her, even as a teen, that prepared her for challenging days like this. Her eighth-grade civics teacher challenged her to think outside the box, a prior boss coached her to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones, and ROB SHAPIRO, owner of Sweet N Savory Cafe, challenges her to remain present and not get stuck in a black-and-white world. While the government order required changes, Barnes says the pivot was easy. Sweet N Savory Cafe had always offered takeout as well as


provided curbside service for guests who had that need. The restaurant started offering delivery through Uber Eats and DoorDash; lowered prices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and offered family meals. Barnes says the regular customers have been the cornerstone of the business. “We are a big family here at Sweet N Savory, and it is difficult not being able to give each other a hug or a big high-five,” she says. The staff of sixty-one became nine after layoffs. Recalling that discussion, Barnes says, “Our staff was more than understanding. They took it better than I did, being the one who officially laid them off. I cried for two days and am still heartbroken.” Barnes has concerns about the safety and well-being of family and friends. Yet, she sees a future where today’s acts of kindness continue. “Our greatest strengths are revealed through adversity,” she says. LYDIA CLOPTON, owner of Love, Lydia Bakery, tried to keep her doors open. She recalls her reaction to the governor’s declaration. “At first I felt great about it because it was the safest thing to do for everyone,”

she says. “We tried to stay open for a few days, but it was obvious people were just not going out. We weren’t able to make enough income, and I couldn’t pay my eight employees enough to make it worthwhile to stay open.” Closing the restaurant was a very difficult decision for Clopton. “The employees were stressed because it happened so quickly,” she says. “Trying to navigate unemployment benefits for the first time is tough.” And, while she is glad that her employees were home and safe, she was concerned that getting financial benefits from the government would take time. It wasn’t long before Clopton and her partner, DEAN NEFF, found a way to help her employees. “We were trying to figure out ways to quickly get cash to pay the staff. So, we created a home chef auction. Cooking is what we know. This seemed like the best option,” she says. Clopton ran the auction on Facebook, enabling bidding through comments and private messages. The auction raised $1,750. The winners, a couple in Charlotte, will be treated to dinner for six at a later date, prepared in their home by Neff who is a James Beard Foundation

Awards semifinalist. The annual awards, which celebrate culinary professionals in the United States, are named for James Beard, a champion of American cuisine and professional chef. Clopton and Neff are hopeful about the future of the restaurant business. “I hope people realize how fragile local restaurants are and that we will still need a lot of support after this is over,” Clopton says. Neff plans to open a new restaurant called Seabird at the end of the summer in downtown Wilmington that will specialize in local seasonal seafood. Both Clopton and Barnes invite everyone back to their restaurants. Barnes looks forward to serving favorites such as Wrightsville Beach French toast and shrimp and grits. “While we are distant from family, friends, and loved ones right now, we are not alone,” she says. “We are strong! We are fighters! We will triumph.” “Local restaurants are going to need sustained support when we reopen,” Clopton points out. “Visit all those places you keep meaning to go to but didn’t quite make it. And then, go again!” W

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sea LEVEL W

hoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder was so right. With the shuttering of the open spaces we love such as beaches, our appreciation for nature has grown exponentially. This month’s style shoot pays homage to our coastal surroundings and gives the ocean the respect it deserves, with a little help from local design house A La Mere. Through light-hearted textiles inspired by the seashore and classic silhouettes, these pieces capture the beauty and effortlessness of Mother Nature. Truly, the breath of fresh air we all need. W

Madison long V-back DRESS

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STYLED & PHOTOGRAPHED BY DREWE & KATE | INTRO BY NINA BAYS COURNOYER

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Elizabeth deep V midi DRESS; pearl HEADBAND (stylist's own)

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Mary Kathryn wrap TOP and maxi SKIRT; patterned HEADBAND; (stylist's own EARNINGS )

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Vintage straw BAG (stylist's own)

Sarah V-back maxi DRESS; patterned HEADBAND; EARRINGS (stylist's own)

Caroline strappy maxi DRESS; patterned HEADBAND; EARRINGS (stylist's own)

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HAIR: Set Blowout Bar MAKEUP: Robin Siegle WARDROBE: A La Mere (designalamere.com) FLOWERS: Mother of Wild LOCATION Wrightsville Manor

Kate tie-shoulder midi DRESS; Michelle flowy maxi DRESS; patterned HEADBANDS; (stylist's own) EARRINGS

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JILL OF ALL

TRADES

Out of reach? Not A La Mere’s Meredith West Owens and certainly not her custom designs 17

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by Katelynn Watkins photo c/o Drewe & Kate

“I

think people want something different. I think they want something special, something customized. And, ‘custom’ doesn’t have to be out of reach.” This simple truth became the cornerstone for A La Mere, a boutique design company owned by MEREDITH WEST OWENS and based in Wilmington. Specializing in paper and textiles, Owens uses personalized illustrations and surface designs to make every event – from weddings, to moving into new homes, to simply redefining one’s style – feel unique and special. “Anything to celebrate the milestones,” she says, “whatever that happens to mean at the time.” A North Carolina native, Owens got her start after spending her undergraduate years at North Carolina State University’s School of Design, where she first discovered patterns and textiles. After taking a year off after graduation in St. John, Owens was accepted into graduate school at N.C. State, and engaged in a sort of dual program with the College of Design and the College of Textiles. The program, she says, took her back to the fundamentals of patterns and textile design and paved the way for her current business. But, it wasn’t until after she’d worked with House of Harris, designing patterns for the startup’s fabrics and wallpaper and then delving into items for her own wedding – including paper goods, table runners, the backdrop for the band’s stage, and even the pattern for the fabric of the bridesmaids’ dresses – that she was really ready to forge ahead on her own. “The dresses were kind of a dream of mine,” she says. “But, it was one I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to pull off until I actually sat down and did it, then found someone who was willing to put the actual dresses together.” Since then, Owens has found herself immersed in the lucrative wedding business in and around Wilmington. Thanks to several of her friends’

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weddings around 2017, her design work got plenty of attention from others, and business grew from there. “It’s really fun to work with the bride, to take what they want it to look like as a whole and translate it into all the different pieces,” Owens says. “Everything needs to be cohesive, from the save the date to the wedding weekend items.” But, A La Mere wasn’t founded just to cater to the sound of wedding bells. In fact, it’s really Owens’ love for working one-on-one with her clients that inspires her to take on all sorts of projects. To that end, some of her most recent work has included anything from designs for a sarong and cover-up combo, upholstery, and even a few items for friends who are expecting new additions to their families in a few months. “I’m a big fan of mockups. I mean, that’s why people hire designers,” she says. “You have an idea in your head, but you need someone who can take that and make the creative magic happen.” One of the reasons Owens says she’s glad to be in Wilmington again is that, along with being closer to a key source of inspiration – the water and a coastal atmosphere – the entire creative community has welcomed her. Like the friends who initially helped her come up with the name for her business and spread the word to others who could use her services, local vendors and artists have pulled through and made A La Mere a success so far. “It’s something I’ve always loved about Wilmington,” Owens says. “It’s not a dog-eat-dog situation at all. Everyone lifts each other up.” And that, Owens says, has been a real help given the limitations during the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent order to stay at home as much as possible. While many businesses found it difficult to keep afloat, hers was able to operate on an almost normal basis once it officially launched earlier in March. Between emails containing digital representations of the patterns she creates and handy Zoom calls instead of face-to-face meetings, the main obstacles Owens has had to account for since launching her company revolve around details such as her clients needing to change the dates of their weddings. “It will be nice to get back into a routine when all of this is over,” she says. “Digital tools make everything accessible, and I’m grateful to have them. But, I do miss the human connection, and I think this whole experience is going to help us realize how important that is.”W MAY 2020

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UNRAVELING THE BRAIN’S MYSTERIES by CHERYL L. SERRA | photos by MICHAEL CLINE SPENCER

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he NHRMC Physician Group-Neurology practice seems to buck the Association of American Medical Colleges statistic that 72% of neurologists are men; the Wilmington group boasts twelve out of eighteen female providers (or about 33% male).

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“Physician demographics are changing. More women are becoming doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners compared to years past. I think our practice is just ahead of the times.” – Karrie Grear Neurologist specializing in the treatment of ALS & other neuromuscular disorders

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“Physician demographics are changing. More women are becoming doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners compared to years past,” says KARRIE GREAR, a physician with the practice who specializes in the treatment of ALS and other neuromuscular disorders. “I think our practice is just ahead of the times. Neurology is also an attractive specialty for any provider that desires a good work-life balance.” Practice physicians SUSAN EVANS and PANIDA PIBOOLNURAK say the numbers are also a testament to women getting jobs for which they’re trained

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and have expertise. Piboolnurak, who focuses on Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, says it shows there’s equality in hiring. In addition, she says, the number of women in various neurology specialties might be due to their interest and how the level and duration of training and the life for their professional choice fit with their other life plans. “More women have chosen to pursue health-related positions than when I was starting out, and even though 28% of neurologists are women presently, I would imagine that number would have been much lower when I was starting

out in 1997,” says Evans, who has expertise in multiple sclerosis. Originally from Georgia, ALYSON HOMMEL became interested in neurology while she was in college at Emory University; she ultimately majored in neuroscience and behavioral biology. Hommel completed her neurology residency and neuromuscular fellowship at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She then stayed on as an attending physician at Wake Forest in the neuromuscular department until moving to Wilmington to accept the position with

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NHRMC in 2017. She specializes in neuromuscular disorders; her primary interests include myasthenia gravis (a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease), ALS (also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), myotonic dystrophy, and inflammatory myositis. “Neurology has traditionally been a field with many complex and fascinating disorders but few treatment options,” Hommel says. “However, since I started medical school that has really changed. Neurology as a practice has entered a new era where we are able to offer many more treatments for neurological diseases with further treatments on the horizon. The prospect of offering new treatment in once incurable, progressive diseases solidified my decision to pursue our specialty.”

Piboolnurak was the physician group’s first specialist for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders when she joined in December 2016. She received her medical degree with honors from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and later completed an internship in Springfield, Illinois, and a residency at Cornell University in New York. She also completed fellowships at Columbia University in New York and the University of Toronto. “Interestingly, here, I didn’t even have to do any marketing,” she says. “Actually, I wanted to say, ‘Hey, don’t tell anybody we’re here because we have so many patients here,” she adds with a chuckle. She currently sees more than 900 patients, and the group has recently recruited a nurse practitioner who will

“Neurology as a practice has entered a new era where we are able to offer many more treatments for neurological diseases with further treatments on the horizon.” – Alyson Hommel Neurologist specializing in neuromuscular disorders

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be trained to help her monitor patients. Piboolnurak’s professional experience has been in Thailand, New York, Rhode Island, and – just before moving to Wilmington – Hawaii, where she served as director of the Hawaii Parkinson’s Disease, Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases Center at the Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Kailua. Grear was born and raised in Kentucky and graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. She earned her medical degree from the University of Kentucky and completed her residency and neuromuscular fellowship at Wake Forest. “I picked neurology because I enjoy the thought process involved with figuring out diagnoses,” she explains.


Often this involves figuring out if the patient’s symptoms are coming from the brain, the spinal cord, the nerves, the muscles, or something else. Her subspecialty is neuromuscular medicine, which means she concentrates on the peripheral nervous system, which is the nerves and muscles. “The neurological exam also plays a large role in determining the cause of a patient’s problem, and I enjoy that interaction with my patients very much,” she says. Evans grew up in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and attended the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed her residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. “I was always drawn to science and health when I was growing up,” she says, “but when I went into medical school, I really enjoyed neuroscience.” In residency, everything about neurology fascinated her. She completed her fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in neuromuscular diseases. She finished her training in 1996 and took a year off to enjoy being a new mom. She started practicing in 1997, beginning in Myrtle Beach for a few years, where she had her second child. Evans was then recruited to join a large practice in Minneapolis where she spent almost seventeen years. She was the director of infusion medicine and a novel medicine for MS. The first infusion medicine for MS was launched for clinical use in MS patients in 2006. Evans started treating MS patients with this medication, and soon she was taking care of many more patients with the disease. In about two years, her practice was largely made up of patients with MS and taking care of them was, and continues to be, a passion for her. “Interestingly,” she notes, “both neuromuscular diseases and multiple sclerosis combine the use of immunology and thus immunologic treatment, which also fascinates me.” The perfect match came when NHRMC’s neurology group was seeking a neurologist who treated patients with MS and also someone to practice infusion medication treatment for WILMAmag.com

“More women have chosen to pursue health-related positions than when I was starting out, and even though 28% of neurologists are women presently, I would imagine that number would have been much lower when I was starting out in 1997.” – Susan Evans,

Neurologist with expertise in multiple sclerosis

patients with MS here. She came four years ago. While Wilmington was not so long ago fairly underserved in neurology, it’s clear that’s changing. Piboolnurak attributes the growing number of patients seeking neurological care to the fact that many people who come south to Wilmington from the Northeast to retire, while some come north from Florida for the same. The weather, she says, “is not too hot, not too cold, not too humid,” and provides the sweet spot for retirement activities. “Our neurology group has grown from three providers to seventeen in just five years,” says Hommel, adding that the group is growing to meet patient needs and volume.

Grear says she and Hommel recently started the first, local ALS clinic, in association with the ALS Association. She says this is a great asset for patients with ALS. “Now, they can get excellent multidisciplinary care for all their needs without traveling to Chapel Hill or Durham,” she says. “One of the nicest things about Wilmington,” Evans adds, “is that it continues to be a small-town mentality with very high-quality care, in several domains, in my opinion. For our medical team, we are consistently trying to improve and be the best for our community.” W MAY 2020

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RUNNING DOWN A DREAM Peyton Thomas, one of three local women who ran in the Olympic trials this year, turns to the trails for an outlet.

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by Julie Schoonmaker photo by Kevin Kleitches

ike many people social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, PEYTON THOMAS, a University of North Carolina Wilmington Ph.D. student in biology and marine biology and teaching assistant, finds herself turning to running for solace. Between keeping up with news about the disease, working and studying from home, and so many lingering unknowns, running is a way for Thomas to clear her mind. “I kind of just want to run to run right now,” Thomas says. “It helps you better appreciate your time outside and what your body can do. And you don’t want to push it too much, because there’s no point in doing that right now.” Taking a step back from her usual training regimen is a strange position for Thomas to be in. As a former competitive Baylor University runner, she’s used to structured workouts to maintain her shape and speed. Just a couple months ago on February 29, the twenty-four-year-old competed in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. While she did not qualify for the Olympic team, Thomas set a personal record finishing the marathon in 2:42:54, running each mile in about six minutes and 13 seconds. “There are obviously people there that are trying to make it to the Olympic team, but then there are people that are happy to be there. And then, there are also people who want to be competitive and show that they can perform really well. And, I feel like I was in that competitive group where I just wanted to prove to myself that I could be with all these people. So, it was really cool just to have the chance to do that,” says Thomas, reflecting on what it was like to reach such a milestone in her running career. Race day was a mix of emotions for Thomas. She loved having her friends and family members

WILMAmag.com

cheering her on as she tackled 26.2 miles on a challenging, hilly course on a very windy day. She ran into trouble on mile 18 when she experienced a muscle strain in her right calf. She had to stop and walk a few times, which slowed her overall time down. She had been on pace to finish around 2:36, which would have placed her among the top fifty runners. “My coach and I talked about a plan for training for a fast fall marathon, one of the more competitive ones, and trying to get in that top group of people,” Thomas says. “Because if I had run the time that I was projected to run, I would have been like fortieth place in the race, which is pretty cool. So, I feel confident that I could run with some top people.” With the pandemic, there are a lot of unknowns for Thomas including which races will be happening as scheduled. Thomas recognizes how difficult this time is not only for her but for many top athletes. The summer Olympic Games were postponed until 2021 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It’s a decision Thomas completely respects but understands the challenges that come along with it for the world’s top athletes. She feels heartbroken for her friends who were slated to compete in the track and field Olympic trials in June, which is now postponed. “Having to maintain your fitness or build back

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up in fitness a year from now is just crazy to think about. But in retrospect, just considering how the world is doing right now, I think it was a really good decision,” Thomas says. “I think you just kind of have to take that mindset of ‘It’s okay to relax a little bit right now because we don’t know what’s going on.’” Once social distancing ends, she looks forward to resuming training runs with fellow Wilmington distance runners BRITTANY PERKINS and ERIN HOGSTON, who also ran in the Olympic marathon trials. Coached by Without Limits, the trio motivates each other, often meeting before sunrise to tackle the downtown Wilmington hills or squeeze in late-night practices. Thomas is inspired by Perkins and Hogston who work full time and are moms, yet still find time to train at a high level. “It’s just really cool to see them embodying (the fact) you can do multiple things; you don’t have to pick one thing or the other. And, that’s been really helpful for me with grad school, because in grad school you have to hunker down and focus on your work 24/7,” says Thomas, who has been exploring shark physiology in her Ph.D. program. “So, having running as my other thing has been really nice to have as my other outlet. And, they (Perkins and Hogston) helped me with that perspective.” Whether running with friends or solo at one favorite running spots in the Cape Fear region such as Carolina Beach State Park or Abbey Nature Preserve, Thomas embraces the way the sport helps her clear her head. “It’s a de-stressor,” she says. “It’s something that makes me feel connected with nature. The reason why my favorite places are in trails is because running is one of my favorite ways to go and explore places.” W


y a D e ‘ s o R AL

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SATURDAY

JUNE 6

*

*date subject to change

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WILMA Social Hour aspires to bring the magazine to life by bringing together WILMA readers, contributors, staff, and women recently featured in the magazine. We’re partnering with Palate on June 6 for a ROSÉ ALL DAY-inspired event, which includes Rosé wine tasting, live music and pop-up market from WILMA magazine.

MORE INFO

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mapel@wilmingtonbiz.com wilmamag.com/wilma-social-hour/

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FRESH AIR

FITNESS photos by ERIN COSTA

After the coronavirus pandemic shut down gyms and fitness centers, those wanting to stay fit turned to virtual classes and outdoor activities. KERRI DAVIS, owner, certified

fitness trainer, and health coach with Fit to You Inc., shares a social distancing-appropriate routine to stay healthy. This circuit training workout is designed to not only get your heart pumping and your muscles firm, but it can be done anywhere without equipment. Beginners start with 1-2 rounds of each exercise. Advanced exercisers do 3 rounds. Perform one set of each exercise and then move onto the next. Take a one-minute rest at the end of the sequence and then do one more set of each exercise 1-2 more times. The total workout should take 20-30 minutes. When you’ve finished the rounds, be sure to stretch each muscle group at the end of your workout.

STATIONARY SQUAT + TOE TAP BACK

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Get into a squat position as if you were reaching for a chair behind you. Keep your shoulders back and make sure your knees don’t go past your toes. As you hold the squat, tap your right toe 1-2 feet behind you. Alternate legs. Do 1015 each leg. Works legs, especially the quads and glutes

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3.


PLANK + ALT SHOULDER TAP

Start from a high pushup position with hands on the ground and a straight line from shoulder to feet. Hands should be facing forward and directly under your shoulders. Lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Alternate arms. Keep your abs tight throughout the exercise. This can be modified by planking from the knees. Just remember to keep that straight line from shoulders to knees. Do 10-15 each side. Works core and upper body

1.

LUNGE + KNEE UP

2.

Step backward into a lunge, lowering right knee towards the ground, and left thigh will be parallel to the ground. Make sure your upper body stays tall, your front knee does not jut forward over the toe, and that you are lunging straight down. Your back heel will come off the ground as you lower. Next, as you come up out of the lunge, bring the right knee up towards your belly button, using your lower abs to do so. Return to a lunge position. Do 10-15 on one side and then switch. This one will challenge your balance, as well as legs and abs

1.

PUSHUPS

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3.

Start in high plank position with hands directly under shoulders and fingers facing forward. Make sure there is a straight line from shoulders to feet and your neck is in line as well. Slowly lower and then rise to start. You may modify these by doing them from the knees, just be sure to maintain the straight line from shoulders to knees. Keep abs tight. No sagging or bottom in the air. Do 10-15 reps. Works arms, shoulders, and back

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PLANK + POP SQUAT Works your entire body

Start in high pushup/plank position with hands directly under shoulders and facing forward. Use your core to bring your legs forward and underneath you, popping up into a low squat position. Make sure when you come up that you are facing forward, you are sitting back (as if reaching for a chair), knees are behind your toes, and your chest is up. Now, bend forward, touch hands to the ground, and shoot back into plank position. This is an advanced move so if you need to modify it, instead of popping into the squat or shooting back all at once, try walking your feet in before standing and back out into the plank. Do 8-12 reps.

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ALTERNATING SIDE LUNGE

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2.

From standing position, step out to the right side, sit back while bending the right knee and keeping the left leg straight. Make sure that you are sitting back and the bent knee is not going past the toe. Return to start. Do 1015 on the right side and then switch. Works legs, especially the inner thigh

RUSSIAN TWIST

Sit on the bottom of your seat bones with knees together and bent, leaning back slightly. Advanced exercisers can use their core to lift the feet off the ground. Sit tall, with shoulders back and abs engaged. Raise arms in front of you, hands together. Slowly twist to the right and touch hands to the ground, then twist back to center. Next, do the same on the left side. Alternate for 10-15 reps on each side.

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keep it local WILMA’S

SPONSORS’ CONTENT

Interested in featuring your products on the Keep It Local page? Contact us at (910) 343-8600 x201

GUILT-FREE DESSERTS

Whether you are trying the low-carb or “keto” diet, or already have a gluten-free lifestyle, Sweets and Spirits Bakery can make just about anything sugar free, gluten free or ketogenic. Visit their website at sweetsandspirits.com or call (910) 352-1499.

SPREAD LOVE

Use code SPREADLOVE and get 20% off plus free shipping from Desert Rose Boutique. Pickup your free-spirited threads curbside at their shop in downtown Wilmington at 208 N Front Street, shop online at bloomindesertrose.com

FRESH FLOORS

Give your space an updated look with a new rug or carpet from Sutton’s Rugs & Carpets. Browse their top of the line brands for a customized look for every room. Visit their website at suttonrugs.com or stop by their showroom at 3520 S. College Road in Wilmington, NC.

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ARTSY GIFTS

The mug is half full at theArtWorks™ gallery. Cup Half Full NC is featured left and Celestial Surf Studio is featured right. Visit their website for a virtual art gallery at TheArtworks.co or for inquires call (910) 352-1822, or email TheArtWorksWilmington@gmail.com


THYME TREATMENT For centuries, thyme oil has long been relied on for its antibacterial, insecticidal and antifungal properties. So instead of using 62% alcohol hand sanitizers and antibacterial sprays, SQUEAK chose oils that have been used to kill bacteria like orange, grapefruit, rosemary, and THYME in their natural hand cleaner. Visit their website at GetSqueakyWithUs.com and order online.

COASTAL ACCESSORIES

Find delicate accessories reminiscient of the beautful coast we call home at Camillions Boutique! Shop online at CamillionsNC.com or pickup curbside at the downtown location at 112 Market Street in the heart of downtown Wilmington.

LOCAL WELLNESS

In Wilmington you can find Elderberry Tribe Wellness Syrup at Lovey’s Market, Eagle Island, Cape Fear Pharmacy, Tomlinson Sales and now in their own brick and mortar location at 102 Old Eastwood Road Unit #A5. Get curbside pickup and be sure to follow them on Facebook @ ElderberryTribe.llc.

MANFESTING PROSPERITY

OLD TIME CHARM

Antiques, vintage items, and home décor are just a few things you can find at Port City Peddler. Their multi-vendor shop offers thousands of eclectic finds for every shopper including locally made items. Currently offering curbside pickup at their new location 6213 Market Street. Follow them on Facebook @PcPeddlers.

SPONSORS’ CONTENT

Also known as the Merchant Stone, citrine is a powerful wealth and abundance stimulator. Mystic Elements offers a large selection of crystals, candles, and items for spiritual living. Offering free shipping for a limited time through their website MysticElements.com or follow them on Facebook @mysticelementsnc.

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D IG NITY ME M OR I AL TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENTS CREATE SPACE FOR VIRTUAL FUNERALS

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n today’s world, family members are often spread out across the country and, sometimes, even the globe. In this environment, people often strive for jobs and schools that take them far away from their starting point in life, leaving behind family members they may have spent time with every day. While this constant growth that our society has strived for over the decades has many positive aspects, it also can make it difficult to celebrate our loved ones’ lives in a traditional way. The way families gather during this time isn’t always in person. With the advancement of technology, connecting virtually is becoming common place and has carried over to almost every industry, including funeral homes. A traditional funeral would expect that friends and family all be physically present to move through the steps of the service. Virtual funerals allow attendees to log onto computer software that connects them to the funeral planner and the other invited members. Using this platform still allows attendees to view each other and, if appropriate, their deceased loved one. Friends and family members can share stories, listen to one another, and remember the memories left behind – all while being separated geographically. If you are planning a funeral, most all of the details can be planned online as well. Speaking with the Dignity Memorial team over the phone or by email is convenient and sometimes can help make the planning process easier. From their state-of-the-art website, which offers numerous resources for planning an immediate need or pre-planning, to their dedicated staff, who care for each person who comes through their doors like their own family, remotely connecting is made simple. The team at Dignity knows that each person and family is unique and has different needs, so they always remind their clients that there is

910.799.1686 | DIGNITYMEMORIAL.COM 35

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no “one-size-fits-all” approach to making funeral preparations. Some families might not find a virtual funeral to be the best way to honor their loved one and, as always, Dignity Memorial will continue to offer traditional funeral planning and services with in-person visitations. Friends and family members who plan a loved one’s funeral are most often grieving at the same time they are making funeral arrangements. Oftentimes, this stress can make it difficult for some family members to feel emotionally available to others during the funeral. Many people feel overwhelmed by the intense emotions and planned gatherings during difficult times – even when they truly want to be emotionally present.Virtual funerals allow for the anxiety some feel when gathering in groups to melt away, as they have more control over their surroundings, but still can feel part of the group. Additionally, virtual funerals are often recorded and can be watched at a later time.This allows for loved ones to process their emotions after the initial event and gives them the flexibility to watch the funeral service at a time that’s right for them. Dignity Memorial strives to offer only the best support and services for each of their clients – virtually or in-person. We all want to celebrate the lives that mean so much to us, and Dignity’s virtual options offer new opportunities to do so. Whether near or far, let the team at Dignity Memorial help you every step of the way. Michael Higgins is Sales Manager for Dignity Memorial®, which cares for more than 300,000 families each year through its network of more than 2,000 providers throughout North America. Learn more at www. dignitymemorial.com or call Greenlawn Memorial Park, Oleander Memorial Gardens and Coble Funeral and Cremation services at Greenlawn Memorial Park, (910) 799-1686.


GIERIE ORTHODONTICS

C

AT-HOME ALIGNERS: SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT

lear aligners have been available for over 20 years and the technique has gotten progressively more sophisticated over time. Athome clear aligners like Smile Direct Club allow orthodontic patients more convenience than ever to perfect their smile. Dr. Gierie and his team use both Invisalign and GOCLEAR in-house aligners to customize these products for the specific need of each patient. This offers the best of both worlds: Orthodontist supervised with minimal visits to the office like at-home aligners provide. So, what are at-home clear aligners? Clear aligners have replaced traditional braces in many instances but haven’t taken over completely. Traditional metal braces can be the better option for some cases, but when a patient is a good match for a clear aligner, they are often preferred by patients. The aligners make small adjustments to a patient’s teeth over time to create the desired results. People find them to be easier and less invasive than metal braces and while they need to be worn

over the teeth for most of the day, they are virtually invisible. The process begins with a scan taken at the orthodontist’s office. There are companies that will mail an impression kit to the patient and then mail back aligners but making an appointment with an orthodontist ensures proper evaluation of dental health and the best results. Digital scanners help ensure that the aligners will have the most accuracy and offer the best fit and results. One of the limitations of at-home aligners is that they are used only for minor tooth movement. Patients with complex orthodontic problems will need a customized plan which could include a mix of traditional or clear braces and then a transition to aligners. At-home aligner systems typically don’t offer an inperson doctor examination with x-rays to determine if the patient's gums are healthy. It is critical to know if a patient has enough bone around their teeth before beginning aligner wear for the aligners to work properly without causing harm. Orthodontists screen for issues

like periodontal disease or gum problems which would need to be treated before the patient starts with aligner treatment. If these things aren’t evaluated, patients can suffer bone and tooth loss in some instances. How are the patients then monitored while their aligners? That’s where virtual consultation and virtual monitoring come in. Dr. Gierie uses a special application that allows him to have a remote appointment with his patients. This allows the orthodontist to visually assess the progress a patient is making through the course of their treatment plan. Teledentistry allows orthodontists and patients to work remotely, but still communicate about issues and next steps. The applications used are HIPPA compliant, making sure that privacy is still maintained even though the visit is a remote one. Patients who travel often or move but still want to maintain a relationship with their current orthodontist, go to school across the country, or just don’t have the time to travel to the orthodontist

office are all great candidates for teledentistry. This trend minimizes the number of inperson visits while still allowing for monitoring of a patient’s progress. No matter the type of treatment plan, the team at Gierie Orthdontics is here to give you the smile of your dreams in the most convenient way possible. Give them a call today to set up a remote appointment and discuss how to get started! Dr. William V. Gierie received his dental and orthodontic specialty training from UNC, Chapel Hill, where he is an associate adjunct faculty member and Invisalign instructor in the orthodontic department. Dr. Gierie is Southeastern NC’s first Invisalign Diamond provider and lectures extensively on Invisalign. He maintains a private orthodontic practice in Wilmington, N.C., at 700 Military Cutoff Road, Suite 100. For more information, visit gobraces.net or call 910.256.8590.

910.256.8590 | GOBRACES.NET

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M A RKRA FT C A BIN ET S

RENOVATING TO MAXIMIZE RETURN ON INVESTMENT

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hinking about putting your home on the market? Or how about renting it out instead? Many times, making renovations can increase your return on investment. Homeowners who make simple renovations before prospective buyers take a tour often spend less time on the market and can list at a higher price. Likewise, preparing your home for rent can yield similar results. Landlords who renovate their rental property often appeal to a larger group of folks seeking to rent, leaving their property on the market for shorter periods of time and maintaining a higher monthly income. The team at Markraft Cabinets helps their clients start renovation projects every day. Markraft’s team of designers starts by asking some basic questions about the home. They evaluate things like age of the home, if there have been previous renovations, and the current condition of the kitchen and bath areas. Next, homeowners consult

with Markraft designers about their specific renovation needs and budget. Then, the designer gets to work creating a custom design plan. Markraft suggests that if the home hasn't been refreshed in 20 years or more, then a nice update helps to sell the property quickly and for the maximum sale price. Rather than sell their home, some prefer to keep their property as a rental. Adding a fresh look in the kitchen and bathroom can help your investment property stay competitive. When updating a home for rent, one important thing to consider is durability. Making sure that cabinets and countertops are durable and can withstand several years of use without regular maintenance is an easy way to protect your investment. Because Markraft offers lines of cabinets, countertops, and fixtures that are built specifically for endurance, homeowners spend less time maintaining and replacing these items before the end of their lifespan. When renovating your

home before sale, it’s important to concentrate on the kitchen and the master bathroom. Buyers like these areas to be updated with fresh, neutral colors and designs that are on trend. Adding additional storage space in the laundry room with cabinets and a countertop for use as a craft counter or folding station is a sure way to add value to your home. Another area that helps market a home for sale is its outdoor space. The popularity of outdoor space has grown over the years, making a home with a comfortable, livable backyard patio the clear choice for buyers. Adding a dry bar, outdoor countertops, and even a firepit can create the feel of bringing the outside in and Markraft offers products that are exclusively made for outdoor use. Putting some design time into an outdoor oasis will certainly give your home an edge when being compared to others. Don’t have time to stop into their showroom? Connect with a Markraft designer today to

910.793.0202 | MARKAFT.COM 37

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schedule a virtual consultation. They can help answer any questions you might have and start creating a tailored design plan that fits your needs. Just visit their website at www.markraft.com for more information and to contact one of their talented designers. Weather you’re considering selling, renting, or just sprucing up your own space, Markraft will ensure you get the most out of your investment. 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 but drop-in visitors are always welcome to browse the showroom, open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.


PATRIOT ROOFING

PRESERVING HISTORY

AFTER

M

BEFORE

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.

ONE ROOF AT A TIME

aintaining, repairing, or replacing your home’s roof is a fact of life for all homeowners. But if you own a historic home or building, there are some particularly unique details that need to be considered. Historical roof preservation is the process of repairing or replacing roofs that belong to older structures − specifically, buildings that are 50 years old or more − while still maintaining the original traits of the building. For the team at Patriot Roofing Company, repairing historic roofs is a part of their business, but it’s also a passion. The first step in getting the roof repair process started is to obtain a certificate of appropriateness, or COA, from the City of Wilmington. While this process can seem daunting to homeowners, the team at Patriot are seasoned veterans who can help you navigate the COA application and answer any questions you may have along the way. The next step involves evaluating the roof to determine if repairs can be made or if an entirely new roof is needed – another step made easier with the expertise offered by Patriot. Patriot Roofing Company believes that, when possible, a historic roof should be restored and not replaced. Salvaging an existing roof may be an option, for example, when there is minimal damage to the metal. In those cases, Patriot Roofing Company can apply patches and a special coating, ensuring it will reach its maximum life. When a new roof is the only option, the Patriot team will help you select the roofing material that’s best for the homeowner and the project while maintaining the historic characteristics of the building. Historic preservation work requires a thorough understanding of the types of materials used when the structures

were first erected. Historic homes were built using materials like cedar shake, wood siding, metal, and lime mortar. These building materials allowed moisture to come into the building, but it also allowed for moisture to go out just like a set of lungs. These older buildings were able to “breathe,” which is not the case for newly constructed homes laden with air-tight plastic. Contractors who perform historical preservation must have specialized knowledge and experience to ensure the correct materials and techniques are used. Patriot Roofing Company offers that knowledge and experience and will maintain the balance required in an older structure to avoid repair-associated problems in the future. Patriot Roofing Company is a proud member of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving our area’s history by providing resources and education to our community. A part of the Foundation, Legacy Architectural Salvage, helps generate revenue for the organization. At their storefront, located at 1831-B Dawson Street in Wilmington, shoppers can find an array of salvaged pieces from historic homes in our area and have a chance to give an old door, window, or column new life again. Patriot not only donates salvaged construction items to Legacy Architectural Salvage, but you can also find a member of the Patriot team volunteering there each Friday. When maintaining a historic property, there can be many questions about roof repairs - from obtaining a COA from the City, to selecting the right materials. The team at Patriot Roofing Company is here to help guide clients through the process one roof at a time.

910.218.0600 | PATRIOTROOFER.COM

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PLA NTATION V ILLAGE

RANKED #1 IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION BY J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES

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ith status as a nonprofit, everything that we do here at Plantation Village is focused on giving back to the residents and enhancing their quality of life. That is why customer satisfaction is one of the most important metrics to us. Since it is a direct reflection of what we do here on a daily basis, it is a measurement of our effectiveness as associates and the impression we make on our residents. The official verbiage relating to the award is that Life Care Services, which manages our community, was ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction among Senior Living Communities by J.D. Power and Associates. What is most important to us is that the award is reflective of real feedback and data gathered from our residents, as well as their family and friends, who took time out of their day to complete a survey about our community. When asked about their opinions regarding seven critically important

factors pertaining to Senior Living Communities, survey respondents ranked Life Care Services #1 in every category, including resident services and activities, community staff, food and beverage, new resident orientation, resident cost, community and grounds, and resident apartment units. We consistently use surveys to measure their level of satisfaction, then use the feedback to create programs and services that help them thrive. This simple focus on looking inward to improve on what we do led to us to introduce: • A lifestyle and health services/wellness philosophy that supports a variety of lifestyle choices, • True choice and flexibility in how health services are delivered, including a residentcentered approach in every community we manage, • Heartfelt CONNECTIONS, a personcentered Memory Care Program® grounded in the belief that the abilities that

remain are more important than what is lost, • Return-of-Capital® Plan entrance fees that help residents preserve their estates, and comprehensive training curriculum that includes ongoing educational opportunities, to ensure that every employee is wellequipped, happy and focused on providing outstanding service to residents. All of us at Plantation Village are proud that our status as a nonprofit allows us the freedom and requisite capital to provide an array of highquality services and support for our residents. In addition to weekly housekeeping and linen services, a fitness center with an indoor pool, 24-hour security and a community auditorium, our residents have access to fine dining and casual options, salon services, discounted green fees at neighboring golf courses, a craft and card room, a woodworking shop, a library and meal delivery services. Our status as a nonprofit is

1.866.825.3806 | PLANTATIONVILLAGERC.COM 39

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one of many reasons why the quality of life at Plantation Village sets us apart from other Life Plan Communities. We invite you to take a private tour and experience the difference. For more information, visit us on the web at www. PlantationVillageRC.com. Like us on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/ PlantationVillageRC. Zane Bennett is the Executive Director at Plantation Village, a non-profit continuing care retirement community that offers independent living on a 56acre campus in Porters Neck, minutes from downtown Wilmington and area beaches. Residents enjoy first-class services in a wide variety of home styles, from one- and two-bedroom apartments to cottage homes and twobedroom villas. Plantation Village is managed by Life Care Services™, the nation’s thirdlargest elder care management company.


RESCHEDULED DATE SEPT 2

4-9PM

12

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WILMINGTON CONVENTION C E N T E R R E G I S T E R N O W AT

WILMADash.com PRESENTING SPONSOR

BIB SPONSOR

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BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE

UNCW’s Office of the Arts started BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE program as a hub for live and prerecorded

performances of local, regional, and national artists to

stream from home. UNCW’s Behind the Curtain Podcast talks about the ways artists are adapting as a result of

the COVID-19 pandemic. The website also includes a live concert series every Tuesday, featuring local artists. Info: uncw.edu/arts/bestseat.html

CONNECT WITH CAM

Cameron Art Museum’s CONNECT WITH CAM includes several online activities for art lovers as well as parents

of budding artists. Art Explorers sessions geared toward toddlers and preschoolers feature story time and an art project every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m.

Kids@CAM family projects are online. Meditation sessions happen Mondays at 11 a.m. And, the art museum’s virtual exhibitions also are online. On May 7, museum executive

director Anne Brennan hosts a Live@CAM with a look into the museum’s vault. Info: cameronartmuseum.org

Father’s Day - June 21st

Mother’s Day - May 10th

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to experience live musical theater. It now is

showing past performances every Thursday, Saturday, and Monday at 10 a.m. through

August 10 on NHC-TV (Spectrum channels

13 or 192 and Charter channels 5 and 192) as

well as every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the city of Wilmington’s GTV (channel 8). Info: thalianhall.org

ALLIGATOR WORKSHOP

The City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation department hosts a virtual ALLIGATOR

WORKSHOP 9-10 a.m. May 7. The cost

STORYTIME WITH MR. SCOOTER

CINEMATIQUE SOFA SERIES

Hanover County Library, holds STORYTIME

CINEMATIQUE SOFA SERIES, based on the

Scooter Hayes, youth services librarian for New WITH MR. SCOOTER, live on Wednesdays at

10 a.m. featuring a mix of books, activities, and silly songs to entertain the little ones. Find him

by searching Mr. Scooter aka Melvil Dewey on Facebook. Hayes and other librarians also are holding live storytimes on a Facebook group that the public library system has started.

Thalian Hall and WHQR are holding the

in-person, long-running Cinematique movies

series at Thalian. Viewers can click on the “Rent Now” button on Thalian’s site for streaming the independent, foreign, and documentary films typically curated as part of the Cinematique experience. Info: thalianhall.org

Mondays at 10 a.m. feature Hayes. Thursdays

PIED PIPER THEATRE

10:30 a.m. is family yoga storytime with Ms.

PIPER THEATRE Lockdown Kids Series.

at 11:30 a.m. is with Mr. Max. And, Fridays at Susan. Go here to request to join the private

group: facebook.com/groups/NHCPLstorytime

Thalian Hall also has organized the PIED

For thirty years, Thalian Hall has hosted New Hanover County first- and second-graders

is free, but preregistration is required.

Educator Becky Skiba, of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, talks

about the biology, habitat, and behaviors of alligators in the state. She also discusses

human interactions and why there are more

encounters with alligators in the Wilmington

area. The city department also holds regular nature challenges and other online activities from its Facebook page at Facebook.com/

wilmingtonrecreation. Info and registration: tinyurl.com/y7bu4mkv

Submit your event to the WILMA online calendar at WILMAmag.com

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MAY 2020

WILMA

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KEEPING

THE LIGHTS

BURNING

VIRTUAL ARTS SERIES CONTINUES TO SPOTLIGHT PERFORMERS

by JUSTINE WILLIAMS POPE photo by MICHAEL CLINE SPENCER

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C

ape Fear Community College’s Wilson Center is aiming to keep the old adage “The show must go on” to entertain patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a partnership with The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County and WHQR, the organizations are not only seeking to continue to entertain but also to assist artists who might be struggling financially during this time. “We developed a virtual series so that we can continue to entertain,” says Shane Fernando, executive and artistic director of the Wilson Center. Known as the Ghostlight Series, the series allows patrons to view a nightly show and includes a link for those who may want to donate to support the artist during this time. Singers, actors, and musicians (such as harpist Christina Brier shown above) all have

already created virtual shows to entertain patrons. The term ghostlight was an obvious choice for this series. Given the fact that no stage performances are happening at present time, a ghost light is a light left lit on the stage of a theater when it is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. Some superstitions say that the ghost light allows each theater’s ghost to perform on stage, while others say it is to frighten away the ghosts. Fernando points out that the long-standing friendship between the Wilson Center and the arts council shows how much the community comes together during times of crisis. He says it is a testament to the resolve of all who love local arts to continue on even in time of the pandemic. “We wanted to be able to help artists. We wanted to be able to continue to entertain for our many patrons who are at home, so it was another great collaboration between the arts council and Wilson Center,” Fernando says. Besides giving patrons access to favorite local actors, singers, and entertainers, even more important is that through the donations of viewers, it is helping an artist to continue making a living. For talent seeking assistance, the applications can be found at artscouncilofwilmington.org. A committee chooses the artist based on the greatest need. The artist, however, must live in New Hanover or Pender counties. The virtual show ensures the show will go on for the time being and keep good entertainment on people’s minds. “It’s a great time to view local theater and local actors and see how they affect our community in a good way and you can do it all from your home,” Fernando says. The Ghostlight Series premieres a different local artist every night at 7 p.m. For more, visit wilsoncentertickets.com/Ghostlight.W

GHOSTLIGHT SERIES CFCC’S WILSON CENTER AND ARTS COUNCIL PARTNER TO CONTINUE ENTERTAINING PATRONS AND OFFER FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO ARTISTS DURING COVID-19. WHEN: Every night at 7 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook Live (Encore presentations are the next day at noon.) HOW TO HELP: Sit back, watch the virtual performance, and then viewers can donate for a good cause to support artists who have lost income due to COVID-19. INFO: wilsoncentertickets.com/Ghostlight or artscouncilofwilmington.org


5

TAKE

by LORI WILSON photo by TERAH WILSON

SHEA CARVER has been at center stage of the Wilmington arts and entertainment scene for more than two decades. She may not be in front of the crowd these days, but she’s certainly still at the helm. As the editor-in-chief of encore magazine, Carver is a publishing triple threat – editor, writer, and advertising sales guru. What began as a college internship turned into a quick climb up the publishing ladder. After seven years with the magazine, in 1999, Carver became encore’s leading lady. Her passion for the role, and the Wilmington community at large, continues to grow. WHY IS THE WILMINGTON ARTS SCENE SPECIAL? “The diversity of artists – in painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, dance, music, theater, culinary art, comedy, written word, film – across all ethnicities, age ranges and genders, truly is comparable to what I’ve experienced in larger cities. More so, the scope of talent and support they have for one another makes our area rife with inspiration.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ENCORE MAGAZINE COVER FROM THE ARCHIVES? “The two that always stand out are our annual pet cover contest … and any and all PRIDE covers. Support of cute – especially rescued – animals and marginalized people in our society are two areas of importance to me. The week the Orlando shooting happened (in 2016) … we dedicated it to the victims in honor of Alchemical Theatre doing Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure but set it in modern-day North Carolina amidst the passage of HB2.” WHAT DO YOU ENJOY WRITING ABOUT MOST? “Used to be music and food; then theater and politics. Today, it’s visual art. Honestly, it changes – I’ve moved through every area of coverage during my twenty-one years at encore, and appreciate how each has challenged my way of thinking or hearing or seeing or comprehending the world around me.” YOU’RE TAKING A TWO-HOUR DRIVE. WHO’S ON YOUR MUSIC PLAYLIST? “Lou Reed, David Bowie, Tom Waits, T. Rex, Neil Young, REM, David Dondero, White Stripes, Gillian Welch, Townes Van Zandt, Cat Power, Arcade Fire, Fiona Apple, Rolling Stones, Aretha, Big Joe Turner, Sam Cooke, Courtney Barnett, Gram Parsons, Benji Hughes ... I could play this game all day.” HOW DO YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF CREATIVELY? “Cooking, gardening, painting/ drawing, tooling around on piano and guitar – not very well, may I add.”W SHEA CARVERS’s full profile will appear in an upcoming WILMA Roundup email. To sign up for daily WILMA emails, go to WILMAmag.com. WILMAmag.com

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SCORING MY

SNORING by TIM BASS illustration by MARK WEBER

A

Tim Bass is coordinator of UNCW’s bachelor of fine arts program in creative writing.

After cementing my latest two crowns into place, my dentist switched off the light that had blazed into my mouth for 30 minutes. “Do you snore?” he said. We usually make small talk about dogs or music or my repeated request for a Carolina blue tooth. Never snoring. I’m relaxed about dental visits, considering that I’ve had about 50,000 of them, but I didn’t think I’d taken to dozing off amid the whirring drills and groaning buffers. Do I snore? “Not that I know of,” I said. I added that I sleep alone, which I meant only to explain that I couldn’t logically know whether I snore, but it came out as a sad admission about my romantic situation, which is to say, I don’t have one. Various women have given me specific reasons why they won’t overnight with me, and snoring isn’t on their long lists. “I noticed you have an enlarged pharyngopalatine arch,” he said. “Sometimes, that can lead to a blockage of the air passage and cause snoring.” He might not have said pharyngopalatine arch. All I heard was some long, unfamiliar, dental word, so I looked up the anatomy of the mouth and saw that kind of arch in there, at the back, near where my tonsils used to be. I think he was really saying – in a tactful, professional way – that I have a fat tongue, which is probably how they say it in dental school with no patients around to get hurt feelings. And, if that indeed was his assessment, he was right. My tongue is fat: thick and wide, like a

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platypus in my mouth. “You should get checked for sleep apnea,” the dentist said. “It could be serious. It’s associated with heart disease and stroke.” “I just came in for a couple of crowns,” I wanted to tell him. “Now, I’ve got to worry about disability and potential death? I have no idea how to lose weight in my tongue.” That snoring question would keep me awake. With nobody around to help, I thought about asking my neighbor if he heard me snoring through my walls, out my window, into his window, and through his walls. But he has a cocktail or three every night, so he’s not hearing anything after 10 p.m. And, I couldn’t go to the doctor. I’d burned through my health savings paying the dentist for those crowns and the snore worry. I ended up downloading an app that claims it can track my sleeping and tell me whether I snore – and if so, how badly. Every night, the app shows me an ad for some “anti-snoring device,” usually a nose clamp or a wedge of plastic that’s supposed to prop open my jaws. In exchange, I get a free “session,” during which the app records me while I sleep. The next morning, I have a Snore Score and an audio of my night’s slumber, with ratings that range from Quiet to Epic. I listen. At the 3:10 a.m. mark, I hear what sounds like an out-ofshape runner gasping after a sprint. At 4:26, a grumbling bear shows up. At 5:41, somebody gargles for a long, long time. At 6:21, some dude cuts loose with a fireplace bellows. I have my answer: Strangers and animals wander into my bedroom every night and make weird noises. But, snore? Me? Never.