What's She Doing?
News about women in the Triangle


Shari Keller and her husband, Mark, have opened Mehera Shaw, a women’s clothing shop featuring pieces of Shari’s designs, in Carrboro’s Carr Mill Mall. The colorful clothing is composed of natural fibers, such as cotton and silk, and is made with specialty techniques, such as pleating, pintucking and quilting.

Susan Rosenthal, a Merrill Lynch financial advisor based in Durham, was named one of “America’s Top 50 Advisors” by Registered Rep Magazine.

Aussie Pet Mobile presented Mary Anne Hubbard, owner of Pet Mobile Triangle, based in Cary, with the Highest Number of Repeat Customers award. Erika Stephenson Dean of Cary won its Groomer of the Year award.

Gingerbread LittleVersity hired Lu Ann Gardner as director of its uptown location in Fuqua-Varina. Kelli Ketner is general manager of the childcare facility.

Natural Body Spa and Shoppe recently opened in Raleigh’s North Hills. The Atlanta-based company was founded by Cici Coffee.

Jennifer Johns launched Parties By Jennifer, which sells sensual products through at-home “passion parties” throughout the Triangle.

Janice Russell, of Minding Your Matters Organizing Consultants, earned the Certificate of Study in Basic Mental Health Conditions from the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization.

Cary residents Melita Hunt and Ana Walle have launched www.bedtimetreasures.com, which features children’s CDs based around virtuous themes.

Exhibit Resources announced that Melissa P. Partin of Raleigh joined the firm as a sales and marketing coordinator.

A Sweet Reminder expanded its gourmet-cookie bakery in Raleigh. Cindy Sheats founded the company, which specializes in corporate gifts, in her home two years ago.

Lori Hoefer, an industry leader and cycling competitor, joined Laurin Stennis as co-owner of Cycling Specifics in Carrboro.

Mary Cantando, president of WomanBusinessOwner.com and author of “Nine Lives: Stories of Women Business Owners Landing on Their Feet,” started a monthly question-and-answer column for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, based in Research Triangle Park. The column can be found in CED’s newsletter and at www.localtechwire.com.

Last month, Rebecca Kuhm and Frances Hughes started Simplicity Organizing Inc., a professional organizing service.

Natasha Johnson of Raleigh launched That’s NonScents, which sells fragrance-free bath and body products, made from natural ingredients.


Natalie Wieand, an optometrist at Dr. Ira S. Tucker and Associates in Cary, recently wrote “Getting Started With Orthokeratology: Improving Your Patients’ Vision While They Sleep,” which was published in North Carolina in Focus.

Theresa Odenweller Lewis, Ph.D., of Lewis Associates Consulting and Psychological Services, and eating-disorder specialist Ellen Morrison, R.D., L.D.N., conducted a program on women and body image at Raleigh’s Peace College as part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Maryann Davis, practice manager for Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, PLLC, announced that the practice donated 5 percent of January’s cosmetic surgical fees to the American Red Cross for the tsunami relief effort.

Jane Riley, general manager of Designing Bodies, noted that the Raleigh fitness-training center held an open house last month.


Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston announced:

• Marcy Burgess joined the Garner sales team; Mary Delene Wilson joined the Crabtree Valley office; Susan Petty-Shearin, Tarrin J. Pakes and Becky Black joined the Strickland Road office.
• Diane Tubbs and Reidonna Lesher of Apex as well as Sandra L. Lytle of Raleigh earned the professional designation Graduate, Realtor Institute.
• Jenny Kelton of Raleigh earned e-PRO certification, which signifies that she possesses the skills for Web-based real-estate services.
• Janet Santospirito of the Falls of Neuse office received her broker’s license.

Fonville Morisey announced:

• Cindi Johnson, of Cary’s Preston office, was awarded the Certified Residential Specialist Designation by the National Association of Realtors.
• Candace Barnhill, Debbie Turuc, Linda Lohman, Kathy Mancuso, Natalie MacDonald and Pam Marshall of the Preston office have earned their broker’s licenses.

York Simpson Underwood Realty announced:

• Tammy Welsh Smolan was promoted to managing broker/broker in charge of the North Raleigh Location.
• Susan Barnes Overton, a transaction coordinator with the Cameron Village office, has been awarded the Real Estate Professional Assistant Certificate by the National Association of Realtors.

Brenda Foldesi of Prudential Carolinas Realty’s Glenwood office earned the professional designation Graduate, Realtor Institute.


Erika Mangrum, president of Iatria Day Spa, was appointed to serve on the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Ann Marie Amico, owner of a graphic-design firm bearing her name, has been elected to serve as the 2005 president of the Fuquay-Varina area Chamber of Commerce.

The North Carolina Police Corps recently held a graduation ceremony for 15 cadets, including Tiffany Silsbee of Cary. The new officers will join 11 North Carolina and Virginia law-enforcement agencies.

The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce announced:

• The Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties Community Advisory Board introduced new members, including Beth Lewis Sorensen of the Volunteer Center, Edna Watkins of Central Carolina Bank, Danielle Kaspar of the chamber, Elizabeth Waugh-Stewart of The Women’s Center, Kay James of Durham Public Education Network and Joan Pellettier of Triangle J Area Agency.
• Chamber senior receptionist Allison White received special recognition for outstanding customer service.
• Katherine M. Higgins, senior director of community relations for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, was named a three-year director on the chamber board.
• The Leadership Durham Class of 2005 includes Priscilla Awkard of RBC Centura Bank, Wilda Carter-Neville of the Durham County Dept. of Social Services, Lindy Flynn of Triangle United Way, Kelly Gilmer and Alma Jones of Duke University, Dionne Greenlee of Calvary Ministries of the Westend Community, Janice Harper of N.C. Central University, and Kimberly Harris of Durham Technical Community College.
It also includes Diana Kowal Robinson of Kowal Design, Alice Lyon of M&F Bank, Jill Miller of the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties, Deborah Murray of the VA Medical Center, Kelli Peele of Central Carolina Bank, Pam Senegal of Durham Technical Community College, Agnes Speight of Merck & Co., Martha Ann Traylor of Fonville Morisey Realty, Byinna Warfield of Measurement Inc. and Lori York of BB&T.

TriangleSings!, the online resource for choral music, has received its first public funding, a grant from the Orange County Arts Commission.

The Goodwill Community Foundation provided funding for 10 benches in the “Catch the Wind” exhibit area of the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.

Susan Rego of Haywood County, N.C., has received the Siamese Cat Rescue Center’s 2004 Margaret Hoppe Memorial Award for Excellence, which honors a volunteer. Rego works for a civil and environmental engineering firm in Cary.

The League of Women Voters of Wake County announced:

• North Carolina Women United, a coalition of 35 groups, will come together March 30 on Jones Street to lobby the General Assembly on subjects such as economic self-sufficiency, access to health care, violence against women, civic participation and equity, as well as education.
• The league is submitting an application to be included in the City of Raleigh Hall of Fame.
• The organization is hosting the Wake Education Summit, a gathering of 700 community leaders, in April.

Family Counseling Services, Durham’s only nonprofit provider of outpatient mental-health services, celebrates its 75th anniversary this month.

Trained income-tax volunteers from the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program are available in Orange and Chatham counties to help low- and middle-income people with their returns.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern North Carolina named Lorraine Stephens its inaugural board chairperson. Stephens is the head of L. Stephens and Associates, The Education and Technology Group, and the author of the “Wish I Had Thought of That Yesterday!” book series on computer-software applications.

Life Decisions Coalition of Wake County, an educational organization for advance-care and end-of-life health-care planning, elected the following to its 2005 board of directors: Sherry Harris (administrative director), Stacey McSwain (outreach director), Sue Humphries (presentations director), Rhonda Quattlebaum (membership director), Adrienne Keller (member at large) and Robin Temple (lead agency liaison).

Starting this month, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, a service provided by the Orange County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, is offering tax preparation to low- to middle-income clients as well as the homebound elderly and disabled.