Several books that were written by local women have recently been published. They include:

Frances O'Roark Dowell's newest novel for young people, "Shooting the Moon," about the sacrifices we make for what and whom we believe in. Dowell, who is the author of several other books, including "Dovey Coe," "Where I'd Like to Be," "The Secret Language of Girls," "Chicken Boy" and "Phineas L. MacGuire," lives in Durham. The publisher is Simon & Schuster.

Therese Fowler's powerful debut novel "Souvenir," which explores the things people do in the name of love and looks at making bad choices for good reasons. Fowler, who lives in Raleigh, recently received her master's in fine arts. The publisher is Ballantine Books, which is an imprint of Random House.

Mary Margret Daughtridge's romance novel "Sealed With a Kiss." Written by a Greensboro native, the book shows that opposites attract when fate links a woman who has given up on men and a man who never looks for love. The publisher is Sourcebook.

Stefanie Zizzo’s “The Journey From Comfort to Possibility: A Workbook of Self-Discovery and Personal Transformation.” This is the first publication for Zizzo, a certified life coach who lives in Apex. The workbook can be purchased at www.stefaniezizzo.com.

Salem College in Winston-Salem invites entries of fiction, nonfiction and poetry in the Salem College Center for Women Writers National Literary Awards. The winner in each genre will receive a prize of $1,200. The two honorable mentions in each category will receive $150. The postmark deadline is Feb. 1; the winner will be declared by May 1. Last year’s winners were Bonnie Jo Campbell, M.B. McLatchey and Mary F. Morris.

An interview with the conductor of the Chapel Hill Community Chorus, Dr. Sue T. Klausmeyer, aired on WCPE, the local, listener-supported radio station dedicated to classical music.

Burning Coal Theatre Company, a professional group based in Raleigh, moved into the historic Murphey School Auditorium after an extensive renovation of the site. The school was built in 1913. Burning Coal is scheduled to christen the space this month with a production of Lawrence & Lee’s modern classic “Inherit the Wind.” The future of the Murphey School Auditorium, according to the theater company, will include main-stage season performances, works by emergent arts groups, a coffee shop, a small bookstore and a film series as well as classes, lectures and seminars.


Darleen Johns, president of Alphanumeric Systems, a Raleigh-based firm providing high-tech business solutions, announced the grand opening of her store, Gecko’s Corner. The home accessory, design, furniture and gift shop is in Stonehenge Shopping Center in Raleigh. Johns or Sherry Grooms, the manager, handpick all the items featured in the store.

Lou Jurkowski, CEO of BJAC, one of the largest woman-owned architectural-design firms in the Southeast, reported that Amanda Holloway, interior designer, has been designated a LEED Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council. BJAC is based in Raleigh.

Judy Worthy, branch manager at SIA Group’s Raleigh office, has been named an accredited adviser in insurance. The designation recognizes industry professionals in the areas of insurance production, agency operations and sales management. A resident of Cary, Worthy serves as vice chairperson of the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen in Raleigh.

Account executives Shari Becker, Cameron Morrison and Cristina Spears have joined Kelly MarCom, a brand-integration agency based in Sanford. Becker lives in Pittsboro while Morrison and Spears live in Raleigh.

Ann Neely, an art buyer and broadcast producer, celebrated 10 years with Howard, Merrell & Partners, an advertising agency in Raleigh.

Linda Leake, president of execUchange, a business-management consulting firm in Raleigh, invented Make a Mark, a study tool comprised of a highlighter and bookmark that is designed to mark both the page and the word.

Kitchen Style and Design magazine’s winter issue showcased a kitchen by Fabiola McGuire, an Interiors by Decorating Den team member in the Triangle.

Janice Cutler, owner of North Raleigh Florist, stated that Roma Fattizzo has joined the firm as a designer. A native of Philadelphia, Fattizzo resides in Raleigh.

Sepideh Asefnia, president of SEPI Engineering Group in Raleigh, was a speaker at the third annual North Carolina Transportation Conference. The event was aimed at bringing together representatives of minority- and woman-owned companies in a networking atmosphere with aviation, highway and transit authorities.

Fallons Creative Flowers moved to its new home at 4215 Wake Forest Rd., which is a 7,000-square-foot former Lonestar restaurant building next to TGI Friday's in Raleigh, according to Teresa Locklear. Fallons stores are also located on St. Mary's Street in Raleigh and at Woodcroft shopping center in Durham.

Lora Bulla has joined DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of the Triangle, based in Apex, as a client-services associate. Bulla is responsible for guiding customers through the process of restoration and remodeling.

JDavis Architects of Raleigh announced:
Catherine DeWitt, director of marketing, achieved the designation of certified professional services marketer from the Society of Professional Services Marketing.
Laura Ewan has joined the firm as marketing coordinator.


North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s award for distinguished service as a state government official in recognition of her national leadership in the fight against counterfeit and bootleg products. She has established a task force to seek out those who pass off fakes in the state. She has also been recognized by Hewlett-Packard for her department’s work to crack down on the sale of phony computer equipment.

The city of Durham celebrated its 25th consecutive year as a Tree City USA as named by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Durham met four standards: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.

The Regional Transportation Alliance, a business-leadership group focused on relieving traffic congestion and enhancing mobility, cited several Triangle entities for their contributions to improving mobility in the region:
• The North Carolina Dept. of Transportation earned the regional freeway project of the year for completion of I-540 in northeastern Wake County.
• The Special Transit Advisory Commission, created by the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Capital Area metropolitan planning organizations, took top honors as the regional transit initiative of the year.
• Raleigh/Durham Airport Authority won the regional air service enhancement of the year award for adding the most new carriers in a single year.
• The city of Durham’s Downtown Streetscape Project earned the regional pedestrian bicycle improvement of the year award.
• The Triangle Transit Authority, N.C. State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and SmartCommute@RTP were jointly recognized for Bike to Work week.
• The town of Cary earned the regional highway project of the year award for improvements to Highway 54 and Chapel Hill Road. Mary Simpson has been elected to replace E’Vonne Coleman-Cook as the chair of the Tourism Development Authority, which is the governing board of the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau. Simpson’s company, M-S Holdings, owns and operates both the new Four Points by Sheraton at Southpoint and the University Inn. Coleman-Cook remains on the 11-member authority along with Becky Heron and Cora Cole-McFadden. Durham hosts nearly 5.5 million visitor annually.


The Raleigh-Triangle chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association publicized its new board of directors. It includes: Kay Murphy of IBM, president; Sandy Moonert of Misys Healthcare, vice president; Connie Tench of First Horizon Home Loans, secretary; and Lissa Dailey of MacGregor Downs Country Club, treasurer. Additional board members include Andi Seger, Janeen Driscoll of Pinehurst Resort, Kathy Bentley of Kelly MarCom and Jan Buske of Sheetime Golf. The new board will be introduced to the membership at the annual kickoff dinner in March at Brier Creek Country Club. The association offers novice and experienced golfers a wide range of activities as well as volunteer, social and networking opportunities. The national, not-for-profit organization, which has more than 19,000 members in 120 chapters, enters its 11th year in the Triangle in 2008.

Vicky Hortman, president of Gray & Creech Water Systems, a Raleigh-based distributor of drinking water and coffee systems, has been named a member of the Executive Women’s Luncheon Committee of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Julie Clark, senior community banker at the Garner office of Crescent State Bank, participated in a 35-person North Carolina Chamber of Commerce roundtable discussion regarding the No Child Left Behind program. Clark is serving her second term as Education Committee chair of the Garner Chamber of Commerce and as chair of the Garner Business Alliance.

Ann Jaeger, an Interiors by Decorating Den team member, recently joined the board of directors of the Durham Crisis Response Center. The center offers shelter and support services, including counseling and legal advocacy, to survivors and their families in the aftermath of domestic or sexual violence.

The Raleigh chapter of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals held its first annual World Wide Staging Day service project. Members of the chapter, led by Janine Varney, descended upon the home of Melissa Markus, fiancé of a naval officer who had recently returned from Fallujah.

Sharon Hill, president of Sharon Hill International of Chapel Hill, was the keynote speaker for IBM’s Diversity Awareness Week, hosted by the Triangle Diversity Council. Hill is a retired IBM development and marketing manager as well as an author and motivational speaker.
Janice Russell, owner of Minding Your Matters Organizing in the Triangle, spoke at the fall conference of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization.

Ronald McDonald House of Durham honored Camille Stubbs as the volunteer of the year for her commitment and success at securing in-kind donations. The house serves more than 700 families a year.

Real Estate

ERA Pacesetters Realty, based in Cary, pointed out that Margaret Smith, Nikki Belsito, Nuha Jarrar and Phyllis Tipton were sales leaders for November 2007.

Debbie Houston, president of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Builder Services, announced:
Kelly Werner has been named on-site agent for the Westin Raleigh Soleil Center residences.
Nancy Dorner joined the sales team for Cameron Pond, which offers more than 300 home sites in northwest Cary.
Mary Kromenhoek was appointed the builder services representative for the Village of Buckhaven in Fuquay-Varina.

Fonvillle Morisey noted:
Lynda Young, a Durham Realtor, has been awarded the certified residential specialist designation by the Council of Residential Specialists.
Joanne Warner and Sharon Kowitz, of Cary’s Preston office, earned the professional designation of Graduate, Realtor Institute.

Billie Redmond, CEO of Coldwell Banker Commercial TradeMark Properties, which is a woman-owned business, has named Karen Ruoff Brown president of Asset Management Services. Brown lives in Raleigh. From acquisition evaluation and due diligence tasks, through value enhancement and disposition strategies, TradeMark guides its clients through real estate investments. Susan Holbrook, senior vice president and sales manager for the Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Falls of Neuse Road office in Raleigh stated that JoAnn Barlow has been awarded the certified residential specialist designation by the Council of Residential Specialists.


Duke University Medical Center revealed:
• Researchers at the Durham campus note that children are being exposed to peanuts and exhibiting signs of life-threatening peanut allergies at much earlier ages and caution parents and caregivers to be alert to the trend. The study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, looked at two groups of children.
• A common variation in genes puts women who are under chronic stress at risk for increased depressive symptoms, but has the exact opposite effect in men. Researchers analyzed two independent samples of healthy individuals for the presence of a genetic variant that regulates levels of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter linked to health in numerous ways, including emotion regulation.
Jean Costa and her husband, Sandy, were honored with the Light of Hope Award from the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. The program is celebrating its 20th year of providing psychosocial support to cancer patients and their families. Jean Costa, a member of the program’s advisory board, created the SeaSide Yoga Retreat for Breast Cancer Survivors.

The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education noted:
• For its compelling vision, leadership and excellence in its commitment to improve health outcomes in the state, the center was given the Eagle Award from the North Carolina Alliance for Healthy Communities. Mary Case of United Healthcare and Denise B. Segraves of Novant Healthcare, last year’s award recipient, presented the award to Ann Rollins, president of the Poe Center’s board of directors.
• Cisco Systems awarded the Poe Center a $30,000 grant to fund an interactive teaching, monitoring and tracking Web site.
• New staff members include scheduling coordinator and finance assistant Amy Alanso Vandemerwe and substance abuse prevention educator Katie Fish.

The Wake County Medical Society Alliance was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame for more than 75 years of dedication to improving the health of communities in Wake County. Among the alliance’s contributions is its role in founding the Poe Center.

The Wake Education Partnership awarded the center $20,000 to support a traveling exhibit and program that will give parents in the county tools to identify and talk with their kids about substance abuse and prevention. Mandy Richardson, of BodyLase Skin Spa, recently completed her certification as a lash stylist from Xtreme Lash Eyelash Extensions. Richardson traveled to Charlotte for hands-on training and submitted photographs of her work to gain certification. She joins lash stylist Jill Herman at BodyLase, which has offices in Raleigh and Cary.

Empower Personal Training, a health and fitness studio in Durham, hired Tess Hegedus and Eugena Coleman as master trainers and Donna Fulcher as a massage therapist.

Casey Bastain, vice president of operations for area Panera Bread locations, said that the company raised $8,000 during its Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign for the local affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Also, Panera teamed up with Kay Yow, head coach of N.C. State University’s women’s basketball team, as a sponsor of her children’s book, which aims to teach life lessons based on her coaching career and her battle with breast cancer.

Mary Larsen and her team raised more than $2,500 for the N.C. Multiple Sclerosis Society. She owns Mary Larsen Designs of Apex.

Lorana Price, CEO of Holly Cow Branding, stated that the firm was a sponsor of the annual fundraiser for Children’s Flight of Hope. The organization, whose executive director is Jennifer Newcom, provides free private air transportation to and from medical facilities for critically ill and injured kids. Holly Cow is an integrated marketing firm based in Cary.

Kate Catlin, an account executive with MMI Associates, a Raleigh public relations firm, has been named to the auction committee of the American Heart Association’s 2008 Triangle Heart Gala. More than 500 guests will attend the black-tie affair, which is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Cary.

Louise Collis has been promoted to vice president of privacy, compliance and quality assurance of Active Data Services, a business-process outsourcing firm that captures, manages and distributes information for healthcare organizations. The company is based in Morrisville.