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

By Megan Pinkston


Dr. Mary Schweitzer, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at Raleigh’s N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, with help from her technician, Jennifer Wittmeyer, discovered soft tissue preserved in the femur bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry honored the 2005 Durham Careers in Construction program’s student participants.

The Prom Boutique recently opened in Durham to provide free dresses and accessories for Durham Public School students attending special events.

Dr. Brenda Armstrong, associate professor of pediatrics and pediatric cardiology at Duke University Medical Center, was honored with the Trail Blazer Award at the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation’s Spirit of Hayti Awards Gala. The foundation recognizes significant contributions to the arts and historic preservation.


Laura Oberkircher, executive director of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Wake County, won the Ultimate Room Makeover Contest sponsored by VIP Designs and its owner, Elizabeth Carrasco.

Pam Eader announced the opening of SAFE Care Feline Spay/Neuter Clinic at SAFE Haven for Cats, a no-kill shelter. Eader founded the clinic with shelter owner Dr. Betsy Pethick.

Beth Hardin joined Laser Image Corporate Printing in Durham as a sales representative.

Shannon Powell, president of Active Ergonomics in Raleigh, announced Patty Kearns joined the company as an administrative assistant.

Barb Gau, founder of Health Matters Now, a natural health-products business in Chapel Hill, was among the top 15 sales representatives of Nexagen, a weight-loss patch.

Julie J. Clark joined Crescent State Bank’s Garner office as assistant vice president and community banker.

Audrey Groves opened QuikDrop in Cary, which sells items on eBay.

Fran Ammons, a licensed acupuncturist, joined La Thérapie Day Spa in Cary. Also, the facility, owned by Nina Mrakuzic, was voted the Triangle's best day spa and best spot for manicures and pedicures on Citysearch.

Leigh Correll, owner of Wrapped Up Gifts in Raleigh, celebrated the shop’s one-year anniversary.

Designs Down Under Ltd., a Raleigh-based construction-design firm founded by Patti Galloway, was honored with three STAR Awards, which showcase local achievements in remodeling.

Ranya Hahn was named assistant vice president of human resources at Credit Suisse First Boston’s new Global Business Center in Research Triangle Park.

Susan Cotter, of Active Data Services in Durham, was promoted to vice president of healthcare services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Kat Mateichik opened Rosehips Beauty, a skincare salon, in Raleigh.

Olalah Njenga, president of The YellowWood Group, a Raleigh-based marketing consulting and management firm, was featured at the Small Business Idea Café, an online resource.

Bev Dwane, owner of Bev Dwane Image Consulting in Durham, was master trainer in communication skills at a recent course given by the London Image Institute in Atlanta.

Carolanne Skerry joined DITY Beads in Apex as an independent jewelry-design consultant.

Rella:Cowan Advertising in Durham, led by general manager Margaret Cowan, won an ADDY award for a direct-mail series.


Cary native Pam Schmid received the Jonquil Award at the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program’s Power of Knowledge Seminar Series. Schmid also was a featured speaker at the event.

Justine Strand of Durham was named 2005 Outstanding Physician Assistant of the Year by the American Academy of Physician Assistants

Local mental-health researcher Dr. Diane Perkins received a grant from the Foundation of Hope For Research and Treatment of Mental Illness. Grants are funded through the annual Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope in Raleigh.

Dr. Cynthia M. Gregg, a plastic surgeon in Cary, held her second annual Drive to Benefit Survivors of Domestic Violence, which collected donations for Interact of Wake County. She also works with the Face-to-Face program to provide free surgery to survivors of domestic violence with facial injuries resulting from abuse.

Dr. Theresa Odenweller Lewis moved her practice, Lewis Associates Consulting and Psychological Services, to a new location in Raleigh.

Real Estate

Fonville Morisey Realty announced:
• The Garner sales team of Kathy Stancil and Julie Raynor was named the company-wide Listings Sold and New Homes Listing Team 2-4.
• Cindy Penny’s sales team in the Six Forks office in Raleigh was named the company-wide Listing, Selling and Team 2-4.
• Kelly Cobb and her team at the Lochmere office in Cary were named company-wide Selling Team and Team of the Year for 2004.
• Sandy English’s sales team in the Crabtree office in Raleigh was named the company-wide Listings, Listings Sold and New Homes Listing Team for 2004.
• Dawn Gupton joined the Falls office in Raleigh as an associate.

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston announced:
• Amy Pomerantz of the South Square office in Durham ranked among the top 10 in closed adjusted gross commission income for the Southern region.
• Phyllis Wolborsky of the Falls of Neuse office in Raleigh was named the No. 1 sales associate in closed adjusted gross commission income for the Southern region and the state. She also was recognized as company-wide listing and sales associate, volume leader and associate of the year.
• Diane Riggsbee joined the firm’s real-estate school as an instructor.
• Aimee Anderson of the East Wake office was named new associate of the year in volume and units.
• Pamela S. Stocks joined the Crabtree office in Raleigh as a sales associate.
• Dr. Xiaoqin Turner joined the Strickland office in Raleigh as an agent and Linda Delamar joined as a sales associate.
• Jennifer West joined the sales team at the Strickland office in Raleigh.
• Katie Gooch of the Falls of Neuse office in Raleigh was awarded the accredited buyer representative and the accredited real-estate professional designations.
• Margaret Kepner and Carol E. McAdoo joined the Hillsborough office as sales associates.
• Victoria Riddell of the Falls of Neuse office in Raleigh earned the e-PRO certification awarded by the National Association of Realtors.
• Sharon Cosror Schwartz joined the Kildaire Farm office in Cary as a sales associate.
• Milena Sealey joined the Cary Parkway office as a sales associate.

Beth Deskus of Youngsville joined Coldwell Banker Neighborhood Builder Services as a marketing manager.

Diane Shayya joined Linda Craft’s RE/MAX One Realty office in Raleigh as a buyer’s specialist and listing assistant.

Nikki Belsito and Terri McCall were recent sales leaders for ERA Pacesetters Realty.

New Legacy Realty owner Sheryl Merritt launched www.newlegacyrealty.com, which provides general information and real-estate listings for all Triangle communities.

York Simpson Underwood announced:
• Tammy Welsh Smolan of the North Raleigh office was accepted as a candidate in the real-estate brokerage-manager designation program.
• Carmen Dawes of the North Hills office in Raleigh was named on-site agent for the Caraleigh Mills historic property.
• Jenny McLeod of the North Hills office in Raleigh earned the e-PRO certification awarded by the National Association of Realtors.

Prudential Carolinas Realty announced Mona Martin, Hunter Rogers and Candice Wilson joined the North Raleigh office. Also, Pamela St. Peter of the Glenwood office in Raleigh was awarded the residential-specialist designation by the Council of Residential Specialists.


Lois Stephenson, president of Building Blocks Child Care & Development Center in Clayton, was named the 2005 North Carolina Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Association.

Lana Calloway, president of Exhibit Resources in Raleigh, was appointed community relations chairwoman for the Raleigh chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

The Remodelors Council of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County named Liz Cairns, of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, 2005 associate of the year.

Janice Russell, of Minding Your Matters Organizing Consultants in Raleigh, was elected president of the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Eileen Stevie, of Stevie Organizing Services in Cary, was elected secretary.

Janis Pettit, president of SmarTrack, a Raleigh-based business coaching and consulting firm, was the featured speaker at the Business and Professional Women meeting in Raleigh.

The Mommies Network launched TriangleMommies.com, an online mothers support community run by Marissa Ackerman of Raleigh.

Carolyn Jordan, district manager of Interiors by Decorating Den, announced that her firm donated all proceeds from a seminar at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Sepi Asefnia, president of SEPI Engineering Group in Raleigh, was inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women in Science and Technology.

Deborah Oronzio, vice president of business development and marketing with Gentris Corp. in Morrisville, spoke at the Independent Communicators Alliance monthly meeting.

A team from The Legacy Center, a leadership-training company in Morrisville, chose the Durham Crisis Response Center’s emergency shelter for its community-service project. The team will improve the safety, privacy and use of the children’s playground.