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Q Describe your organization in one sentence.
A ME³ connects people to volunteer opportunities to make a positive impact in our community.

Q What’s your group’s mission?
A Our mission is to activate volunteers to do good for good causes in Wake County and beyond.

Q How is that accomplished?
A Volunteer outreach and matching: We work to connect individuals and groups (clubs, civic groups, student groups, companies) to opportunities to fill volunteer needs with partnering nonprofits. Starting at our website, individuals or groups sign up for our volunteer program and tell us about their skills, interests and schedules. Using this information, we match them to volunteer opportunities and help them get started with our nonprofit partners.


Education in local schools: We’re leading a campaign to get more area high school students involved in volunteerism and prepared to be volunteer leaders in their communities. We’ve launched a high school elective course called “Community Leadership & Service,” which teaches students about community issues and approaches to solving them, about volunteerism and charitable organizations, and about how to design and conduct their own service projects.

Q What’s the group’s history?
A In 2004, Amber Smith and Heather Leah went on a 2-1/2-month road trip to volunteer with nonprofits in 25 states. Consistently, nonprofits said they could “do more if they had more volunteers” and individuals said they would “get involved if they just knew how.” When they returned, Amber and Heather launched ME³ with a small group of friends.

Q What’s your group’s structure?
A ME³ is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization led by a volunteer board of directors.

Q Who joins?
A Anyone with an interest in making a difference can sign up to fill vital volunteer needs with our nonprofit partners through our website, www.me-3.org. Individuals interested in helping ME³ to inspire and facilitate volunteerism can contact us at admin@me-3.org.

Q Why get involved?

A Getting involved in volunteering has a tremendous impact on both the community and the individuals doing it. Being involved benefits individuals by allowing them to have a voice and to impact important issues, to meet other people in the community, and to build skills or learn new ones. Research has even shown links between volunteering and longevity, happiness, and mental and physical health.

Q What’s happening this year?
A• We’ll launch our new website and a new online volunteer community and volunteer matching system this August.
• We’ll reach out to more local companies to help them boost employee volunteerism.
• We’ll introduce a fun outreach activity, volunteer speed matching! Speed matching combines the tempo of speed networking, the options of a job fair, the competitive good will of a food drive, and the fun of a party.
• We’ll host the second year of our Community Leadership & Service class with our partnering high schools starting this fall.

Over the next few months, ME³ will undergo a rebranding and name change process in conjunction with our new website and systems launch. Look for an announcement this spring and an invitation to our relaunching festivities later this summer!

The Carolina Chocolate Drops, from Mebane, including vocalist and fiddler Rhiannon Giddens, won the Grammy for best traditional folk album.

Art-on-the-Move, created by Raleigh’s Arts Commission in partnership with Capital Area Transit, selected its third-round winners, including Linda Dallas, Amanda Hagemann, Jenn Hales, Ann Harwell, Lillian Jones and Amy Sawyer. Art-on-the-Move promotes local art by placing it on city transit.

April Storm Perry, a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, stars in a break-out role as Angelina in the short film “The Angel’s Fountain,” which premiered in New York City at the W hotel and then moved to the film festival circuit.

Kristina Warren, a senior at Duke University, won the 2010-2011 Rare Music Composition Competition held annually by Duke with her recorder quartet entitled “Beet Suite.”

Janelle Howington, a Raleigh native, is the new regional emerging artist-in-residence at ArtSpace.

Barbara Rich, gallery director of FRANK (Franklin Street Arts Collective) in Chapel Hill, announced the one-year anniversary of the artist-owned gallery.

Elise Okrend, a Raleigh artist, recently exhibited her work at Duke Raleigh Hospital, Wake Med and Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. Jehanne M. Gheith spoke on Gulag survivors in conjunction with Burning Coal Theatre Company’s “The Shape of the Table” performance in Raleigh.

The Women’s History Month celebration by Durham Parks and Recreation included the jazz music of Kim Arrington and an art exhibit entitled “Standing on the Precipice of Change” by Nicole Boone.

Julie Seibert, CEO of Raleigh’s Healing Through Organization, guest lectured during the Living Green Lecture Series at The Schrader Environmental Education Center in Wheeling, W. Va.

Robbie Schultz, of the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority, coordinated FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Day, which helped thousands of students.

Dottie Burch, an attorney with Raleigh’s Ragsdale Ligget, lectured at N.C. State University.

Laura Ketcham, an outreach coordinator for the Office of Archives and History, and Michelle Carr, a curator of internal programs at the N.C. Museum of History, served as judges for the student essay contest held by the Raleigh museum.

Joy Stroud Ruhmann, president of Level Up Leadership, was appointed to the education committee of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Laura Schoppe, president of Fuentek, a technology consulting firm located in Apex, was named to the board of directors of the Association of University Technology Managers.

Debranetta Gethers, an MBA student at N.C. State University, participated in the 2011 Sony Marketing Strategy Case Competition..

Ronica VanGelder, of Custom Creations in Raleigh, participated in the home makeover for Rachelle Friedman and Chris Chapman. Friedman was left paralyzed after a push into a pool at her bachelorette party. The makeover was a community service project of the Remodelers Council of the Wake County Home Builders Association.

Caroline E. Shillito, owner & principal designer of Emma Delon, which is based in Chapel Hill, announced the one-year anniversary of the Triangle Design and Remodeling Community, a local group of professionals and do-it-yourself aficionados.

Sharon Hill, a Triangle-based professional speaker and etiquette trainer, hosted the “Today’s Business” segment on 1360 WCHL Chapel Hill.

Cary-based 3-C Institute for Social Development, founded by Melissa DeRosier, its president, received a Tibbetts Award for exceptional innovation from the Small Business Administration.

J Milan Skin Therapy, founded by Terry Purdie, moved to a new location at Epitome Salon, 314 W. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh.

Nancy T. Nguyen, MBA, owner of Sweet T Salon, represented Raleigh in the Ms. Corporate America pageant.

Melissa Merriam is the new Raleigh area director of BidPal Network, which wirelessly automates and accelerates the auction process for charitable fundraising.

Valerie Ward, events and public relations manager of Bay 7, guided it to recent recognition as favorite host venue by the Triangle chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives. Bay 7 is a 10,000-square-foot event space in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus.

Pat Long, vice chairman and co-founder of Research Triangle Park’s Longistics, and her husband, co-founder Duane Long, participated in the Global Business Project’s kickoff weekend. The Global Business Project is a graduate-level course offered to MBAs and other graduate students at 14 member universities, including UNC-Chapel Hill.

Margo Froehlich, co-owner of Brooke & Birdie Interior Design, recently decorated the 29th floor ballroom of the Cardinal Club for the Americans for Prosperity Event.

Durham’s ninth annual Women’s Forum, “Celebrating Women’s Success,” took place last month in the council chambers at city hall. Panelists included Diane Wilson, I-Team troubleshooter with ABC 11 Eyewitness News; Casey Steinbacher, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce; Tracey Cline, district attorney for Durham County; Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, president and chief executive officer for El Centro Hispano; and Juanita Massenburg, senior project manager for the city’s Community Development Department.

Mary Boone, state librarian of North Carolina, announced that NCpedia, an online encyclopedia of the state’s history and culture, received the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services. The award is given by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

Valentina Sandoval, of the Brentwood Boys and Girls Club, won an award for her submission to the 2011 Missing Person’s Poster Contest held by the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. Her poster now goes to the National Missing Person poster contest.

Bernadette Pelissier, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, was a keynote speaker at the Regional Transportation Alliance breakfast at its Research Triangle Park headquarters. The alliance is the business voice for transportation initiatives and policy across the Triangle.

Howard, Merrell & Partners, a Raleigh ad agency, announced:
Shavette Purvis was hired as a digital analyst.
Rachel Kaylor joined the firm as an account coordinator in the public relations department.
Lisa Powell celebrated her 10th anniversary as an advertising executive.

Courtney Willey was promoted to account executive at Kelly Marcom, a Raleigh-based marketing firm.

Carolyn Rhinebarger, chief brainstormer at Strategic Guru, a Triangle marketing agency, made her fifth appearance on the “Small Business Advocate Show,” a weekday talk-radio program.

Clean Design, a branding and design agency in Research Triangle Park, announced:
Ailee Tempest was hired as a senior copywriter.
Laura Hamlyn, a creative director, was named director of design ability programming for the Raleigh chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, a professional association.

Jo-Anne Chase, a senior public relations executive based in Raleigh, joined the Bolt Public Relations team as vice president.

Patty Briguglio, president of Raleigh’s MMI Public Relations, Diane Kuehn, president and CEO of Raleigh’s VisionPoint Marketing, and Sheila Ogle, CEO of Cary’s MRPP, presented at the Association Executives of North Carolina conference titled “Taking Your Marketing From Good to Great — Advanced Marketing for Association Executives.” The group, which is for those in the profession of association management, is based in Raleigh.

At its annual awards banquet, the town of Cary recognized volunteers, including Safiyah Ismail, recipient of the teen award, and Leslie Pless, recipient of the events volunteer award.

The Triangle chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, led by its president, MaryBeth Carpenter, won the Charles R. Stephens Excellence in Diversity Award.

Jennifer Dunleavy, president of Raleigh-based Accuro Group, was appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the International Affairs Council, a community-based organization that champions knowledge and understanding of world affairs and culture.

Andrea Bazán, president of the Triangle Community Foundation, received the 2011 Human Relations Chairman’s Award at the foundation’s awards ceremony, which was held in Raleigh.

Mary Freeman, president of the Tammy Lynn Center for developmental disabilities, in Raleigh, was interviewed by TV’s ABC-11 about the center’s history, programs and impact.

Wanda Harris Pemberton, owner and founder of Sirrah Coaching and Consulting in Durham, spoke during the Red Dress Affair at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Chanda Douglas-Ward, senior vice president of human resources for the American Heart Association, was selected as the 2010-2011 Distinguished Mother of the Year by the Durham chapter of Jack and Jill of America.

Carol Coletta, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, was the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, which was held at the Raleigh Convention Center. The alliance is the official nonprofit organization designated to manage and promote downtown as a regional center of commerce, tourism and livability.

Phyllis Wolborsky and The Wolborsky Group were recognized by Alan Tate Realtors with many 2010 designations, including Company Wide Tier 2 Team Peak Performance Award, Chairman’s Circle Award, President’s Club Award and H. Allen Tate Jr. Award for ranking in the Top 5 percent of the entire company for closed units and closed volume.

Mary Edna Williams, broker in charge of RE/MAX Capital Realty in Raleigh, merged Capital Realty with RE/MAX Preferred Associates.

Joye Silverman, a member of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County, joined Royal Oaks Building Group as a sales consultant for The Estates at Bella Casa.

Peggy Craig, broker at Keller Williams Preferred Realty-Raleigh/Durham, earned her N.C. short-sale specialist certification.

Laura Perry, with Allen Tate Realtors, received the 2010 Referral Agent of the Year Award for the Triangle and the Winner’s Circle Award in recognition of her outstanding productivity.

Kristine Cuddy, realtor in the North Raleigh office of Keller Williams, attended the Keller Williams Family Reunion in Anaheim, Calif. Kristine received the House of Magnets Scholarship.

Fonville Morisey Realty named Diane Donnelly vice president and sales manager of the Preston office in Cary.

Catherine Mills, owner of New Horizons Trading Co., a shoe, apparel and gift boutique in Pittsboro, announced:
• She is developing a men’s shoe department at the store featuring lines such as Keen, Merrell, Chaco, Earth and Birkenstock.
Sally Bond joined the staff.

The Children’s Store, co-owned by Jeanette Falk and Becky Broun and managed by Christine Coventry, recently reopened in Chapel Hill.

Scarffish, owned by Maureen Dolan Rosen, was accepted as a vendor at the Spring Daze Craft Fair in Cary.

Cheryl Cecchetto, producer of post-award events at the Academy Awards, wore a palladium and tourmaline necklace designed by Cynthia Renee Zava of Carrboro to the show.

WakeMed Foundation, the charitable resource for WakeMed Health & Hospitals, based in Raleigh, announced new board members, including Kristin Gatchel Replogle.

Paula F. Miller, M.D., director of the Women’s Heart Program at UNC Health Care, received the Heart of Change Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition honors community leaders who significantly impacted change in the treatment or prevention of heart disease and stroke-related death or disability.

Beth Drossman, exercise specialist and program director for Cardiac Rehab at WakeMed Healthworks, spoke at “Straight From the Heart,” which was held at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.

Entertainer Gloria Loring will kick off the Saturday educational sessions during a seated breakfast at the second annual Weekend for Women Conference. The event, set for April 29 to May 1 at the Marriott City Center in downtown Raleigh, is sponsored by DiabetesSisters. The nonprofit group’s mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women with diabetes and to advocate on their behalf.

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