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

By Megan Pinkston


Sheryl Underhill launched LearningRx, a skills-training center, in Raleigh.

Poets Pamela Uschuk and Evie Shockley read their work at Amnesty International’s “Separate Is Never Equal: Acknowledging and Accepting Diversity” event at Wake Forest University.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences selected 12 sixth-grade girls to participate in the Neuse River Project, part of the museum’s Girls in Science program.
Participants include Hannah Bradley and Austyn Holleman of Carroll Middle School, Carson Cathey and Savannah Currens of Moore Square Middle School, Mia Eriksson and Kaitlyn Ross of West Lake Middle School, Caitlin Kucera of Salem Middle School, Anna Reynolds of Holly Ridge Middle School, Jaclyn Smith of Magellan Charter School and Alexandra Welsh of Apex Middle School.

Susan Solakian, author of “Managing a Renovation: Staying in Charge & Out of Trouble,” taught a home-remodeling class at Peace College in Raleigh.


Deborah McNaughton of Apex launched www.ditybeads.com. DITY Beads offers at-home, design-it-yourself jewelry parties. Also, Jennifer Myers joined the business as an independent, jewelry-design consultant.

Karen Ross, president of Montgomery’s Florist, named Hilda Nevius of Raleigh head designer and wedding consultant. Nevius previously was a part-time designer.

Pam Turner and Yolanda McCluney opened Simply Spoiled, an upscale children’s boutique, in Durham.

Jan Jewett is the new art director and Amy Dillon is a new account coordinator for Rella: Cowan Advertising in Durham.

Mary Larsen of Larsen-Trochlil Interior Designs in Apex recently served as an instructor for the Custom Home Furnishings Conference in Greenville, S.C.

The Anoroc Agency, a Raleigh-based advertising firm owned by Deborah Loercher, won four Addy Awards from the Ad Club of the Triangle.

Diane Maieli-Washburn was promoted to sales and marketing specialist of business development at Gentris Corp., a pharmacogenomics company based in Morrisville.

Karen A. Warren of Wake Forest joined Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing as business manager.

Cathy Hartofelis joined Cresent State Bank’s Preston office in Cary as an executive assistant.

Suzanne King joined Active Data Services in Durham as major- account manager in the health-care division.

Jane R. Brasier joined S&ME, an engineering and environmental services firm in Raleigh, as senior business developer for eastern North Carolina.

Heather Yurko, head purchaser for Wootini, a Raleigh-based designer toy company, attended the American International Toy Fair in New York City. Wootini’s first production, “Dero,” sold out at the event.

Kim Grant of Raleigh, owner of online boutique KimsPets.com, announced that a percentage of sales from Mother’s Day candles will go to the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program of North Carolina.

Eclipse Tanning in Chapel Hill is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Sherry Deimler is the owner of the salon.

Leigh Correll, owner of Wrapped Up Gifts in Raleigh, launched the store’s new website, www.wrappedupnc.com.

A Sweet Reminder gourmet-cookie company, founded by Cindy Sheats of Raleigh, held a “Name the Cookie Contest” through its website, www.asweetreminder.com. The contest was judged by several local personalities, including author Carolyn Booth and the N.C. State women’s basketball coaching staff.

Janice Russell of Minding Your Matters Organizing Consultants received her A.D.D. specialist certificate from the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization.

Merrill Lynch announced that Cynthia Clark, Karen Diamond and Sandra Puff of Durham and Melanie Regner of Raleigh received Certified Financial Planner designations.

Lisa M. Angel, an attorney at Rosen Divorce in Raleigh, spent a three-month sabbatical visiting Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and China.

Dana Combopiano opened a second location of her hair-removal business, CorLase Electrolysis & Laser. The new facility is in Wake Forest.


LeeAnn Donnelly joined U.S. Oncology’s Cancer Centers of North Carolina as manager of public relations and marketing.

Rex Healthcare named Laura MacFadden vice president of development.

Dr. Natalie R. Wieand, of Dr. Ira S. Tucker and Associates in Cary, recently attended the Southeastern Conference of Optometrists in Atlanta.

Deana Podelco, a licensed massage therapist, joined Ashforth Chiropractic in Raleigh.

Eileen M. Slutsky joined the office of Dr. Glenn M. Davis at Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery in Raleigh.

Genworth Financial hired Jane Riley, general manager of Designing Bodies in Raleigh, to conduct on-site fitness classes and stress-reduction seminars for employees.

Wake Radiology is the 2005 premier sponsor for the Garner Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Gingerbread LittleVersity, a childcare facility in Fuquay-Varina, co-sponsored a blood drive with Rex Blood Center.

Judy Smith, president of Smith Seal of NC, was appointed to the North Carolina Health Insurance Innovations Commission.

Real Estate

ERA Pacesetters Realty in Cary named Pat McElroy, Nikki Belsito and Terri McCall sales leaders of the month.

Ann DeLorenze, Terri Poulsen and Shanna Hardy joined the Glenwood office of Prudential Carolinas Realty. Also, Esmeralda Fletcher joined the Cary office.

RE/MAX UNITED recognized Gail Perry & Associates of the North Ridge office in Raleigh as first in sales production and the greatest number of transactions in the Carolinas for 2004. Perry’s team includes Diana Uyterhoeven, Jacky Wilson, Lynn Wilkerson and Marilyn Huntsinger.

Fonville Morisey Realty announced:
• Diana Kaeser of the Lochmere office in Cary received the company-wide New Homes Listing Associate of the Year award.
• Kim Hanan of the Croasdaile office in Durham was presented the company-wide Listing Associate of the Year award.
• Liz Haddon of the Falls office in Raleigh received the Accredited Buyer Representative designation from the National Association of Realtors.
• Dawn Spittle joined the Garner office as an associate.

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston announced:
• Tina Bernhardt was named executive director of sales and marketing for The Cypress community in North Raleigh.
• Tammy L. Jones and Susan Ramsey joined the Garner office sales team.
• Gail Hunsicker, Shanta Jackson and Maria Leija joined the Crabtree Valley office in Raleigh.
• Joann Wood joined the Strickland Road office in Raleigh.
• Jeanne Casey and Jamie Thevaos joined Raleigh’s Falls of Neuse sales team.

York Simpson Underwood Realty announced:
• Kathy Kidd, Joyce Mandikos and Helen Tam of the North Raleigh office and Dana Jones of the North Hills office completed the Certified International Property Specialist course Essentials of International Real Estate.
• Lydia DeMaria joined the North Hills office as on-site agent for the Courtyards of Blue Ridge.
• Eiko Goti of the Cary office received her broker’s license.


Ami Wheeler, events director at Catering Works in Raleigh, was named to the International Special Events Society’s board of directors. Catering Works was founded in 1989 by chef Jill Kucera.

The North Carolina chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar named Sepi Asefnia, president of SEPI Engineering Group, employer of the year. Asefnia also was appointed to serve on the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

The American Dance Festival will award Gerri Houlihan the 2005 Balasaraswati/ Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching at a ceremony at Duke University in July.

Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, was appointed vice-chair of the strategic planning task force and chairwoman of the chapter network executive council for Prevent Child Abuse America.

Mary Ward, author and owner of MareHaven Productions in Durham, will donate $5 from every purchase of her book, “Letters Home,” to Operation First Response, which supports wounded troops and their families.

The YWCA of the Greater Triangle announced the recipients of the 2005 YWCA Back to Our Roots award. The winners include: Veda Denning-McKenzie, Shamara Capri Edwards, Monica E. Faulkner, Michelle Keaton-Barrow, Pamela Comer Keyes, Doris Matier, Margare McPhail, Gloria Mitchell, Teresa Pitt and Johnnyette Taylor.

Shannon Powell, president of Active Ergonomics, was named to the business institute task force for the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Development Council-Southeast advisory board.

Sheila Hale Ogle, CEO of MRPP, a media agency in Cary, and Louise Collis, president of Willow Computing Technologies in Raleigh, were elected to the planning committee for the Financial Strategies for Savvy Women program.

The Pines of Carolina Girl Scout Council announced:
• Laura Guffey was appointed field director for Cary, Morrisville and Southeast Raleigh.
• New officers include Cindy B. Fink, Melinda Burrows, Valerie Villines, Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair, Cindy Cleary, Laura Hulsey and Robin Rankin.
• New members of the board of directors include Anita Bloome, Patty Briguglio, Leslie Bryant, Samantha Bureau, Lucy Maynor, Suzanne Schwaller, Bernadette Spong and Carole Wilson, as well as girl members Jenny Foreman and Tracey Lee.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Dance Marathon raised more than $180,000 for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. More than 600 dancers, 200 supporters, 300 volunteers and almost 4,000 spectators participated in the 24-hour event.