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

By Megan Pinkston


Carolina Harmony Chorus, a Triangle-based, all-female singing group with more than 40 members, won first place for Division A and fourth place overall at the regional Sweet Adelines chorus competition last month. The group also received the Pat Leveille award for most improved in sound. Susie Smith is the director.

Raleigh singer/songwriter Vaughan Penn’s song “Truth” will be featured in Universal Pictures’ “Kicking and Screaming.” Also, two of her songs have been featured on the ABC television show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Metalsmith and jewelry artist Ginger Meek Allen moved her studio to The Cotton Company Gallery and Studios in downtown Wake Forest.

Millbrook High School students Marielena Diaz and Sheelah Iyengar will have their novel, “Hacker’s Court,” published later this year.

Metal jewelry designer Gretchen McLaren of Raleigh was featured on Home and Garden Television’s “Crafters Coast to Coast” program; also on the program was Fran Sapir, a North Carolina artist who specializes in creating jewelry out of photography.

Christa McClary McElveen of Raleigh, with help from her sister, Tara McClary Reeves, wrote “Don’t Tell That to Beasley,” a children’s book.

Gerri Houlihan, the director of the Durham-based American Dance Festival’s School for Young Dancers, is traveling to Mongolia for a three-week teaching residency.

Editors Allison Brim and Nazaneen Homaifar announced the release of the newest edition of “Saturday Night: Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Duke.” The publication, first released in 2003, shares the narratives of survivors of sexual assault at the university.

Jessi Galloway, a freshman at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, received a first-place award in the 2005 Congressional High School Arts Competition in Orange County for her watercolor “Front Porch Geranium.”


BellaBluMaternity.com, an online boutique, opened its first retail outlet, The BellaBluMaternity Studio in Cary. Also, the boutique has an exclusive agreement to carry Josefina Campiani clothing and accessories.

Sheri Sauter of Durham, the youngest of 22 Americans and one of two American women to receive the Master of Wine title, was named official spokesperson for the 2005 Wines of France campaign, for which she will select wines for tastings nationwide.

Kesia Parker recently opened the Color Me Pink Boutique, a breast-cancer-care store in Chapel Hill, which provides mastectomy bras and swimsuits, wigs, scarves, exercise bras and more for patients and survivors.

Wootini, a designer toy store in Carrboro, has expanded its location in Carr Mill Mall and now features a separate gallery. Heather Yurko is co-founder of the store.

Theresa Chiettini was named general manager at The Fearrington House, a restaurant and country inn between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro.

Jennifer Hamill was named director of marketing and Sylvia Quintero is a new event planner for Catering Works in Raleigh. Jill Kucera is the president of the firm.

Raleigh-based Group3 Communications, owned by Lori McDaniel, was a bronze winner in the multimedia Web site category at the 2005 Summit Creative Awards. Lisa Parker, senior art director, led the project for Cameron Village.

Suzanne Voss was named marketing director of the Windsong Retreat and Learning Center in Pittsboro.

Janice Russell, of Minding Your Matters Organizing Consultants in Raleigh, was certified as a Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization.

Anoroc Agency, an advertising, marketing and public-relations firm in Raleigh, won a District Silver Addy award for a documentary on the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. The film progresses to the national competition level. Deborah Loercher is the founder of the agency.

Gingerbread LittleVersity’s general manager Kelli Ketner announced the child-care facility’s 25th anniversary. Owner Libby Crumpton opened the first center in 1980 in Fuquay-Varina.

Lesia McKenzie was promoted to business banker with First Citizens Bank in Wendell.

Durham-based accountant Genevia Gee Fulbright, C.P.A., held a free workshop and signing to promote her new book, “Make the Leap: From Mom and Pop to Good Enough to Sell.”

Mary Cantando, author of “Nine Lives: Stories of Women Business Owners Landing On Their Feet” and owner of Raleigh-based WomanBusinessOwner.com, was the keynote speaker for Sales & Marketing Mania, a business conference in Cary. She also was selected to be an ambassador to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

The Julie Hopfer Team at Bank of America Mortgage was awarded “Platinum Club” for being in the top 5 percent companywide for customer satisfaction and loan production.


Marie Palmer, a staff assistant with the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program, was awarded the Jonquil Award, which recognizes outstanding service to cancer patients and their families, at the Power of Knowledge luncheon in Chapel Hill.

Duke University Health System named Lori Feezor associate vice president and chief compliance officer.

Christy L. Shaffer, Ph.D., of Inspire Pharmaceuticals in Durham, will serve as co-chairperson of the Triangle Metro Heart Walk, which raises money for the American Heart Association.

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, a national nonprofit organization to promote the advancement of women in health care, recently formed a Research Triangle Park affiliate.

To celebrate National Nurses Week, Susanne Gaddis, Ph.D., a Chapel Hill-based communications expert, lead several workshops for nurses in Wisconsin and Oklahoma on effective communication and reducing stress.

Carolina Waterscapes in Chapel Hill seeks nominations for its “Waterscapes for Wellness” contest. The company will donate a soothing waterscape to two people enduring physical or mental hardship.

Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry & Walston announced:
• Kim Yontosh joined the team as a marketing manager.
• Ashley Wilson was selected as sales agent for Heritage Wake Forest.
• Mary-Katherine Smith joined the sales team at the Cary Kildaire Farm office.
• Lynn Greer earned the Global Mobility Specialist designation from Worldwide ERC.
• Patti L. McGehee of the Kildaire Farm office in Cary received the Graduate, REALTOR Institute designation.
• Laura L. Whiteside and Lauren E. Orr joined the Falls office in Raleigh as real estate agents.
• Edna D. Chan joined the Crabtree office and Robin Evans joined the Cary Parkway office as sales associates.
• Hiewon Kim is a new member of the sales team for the South Square office in Durham.

RE/MAX UNITED announced:
• Elizabeth Ray joined as director of marketing and communications.
• Kelly Werner of the North Ridge office was awarded the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist designation. RE/MAX International recently inducted her team into the Chairman’s Club, the highest honor agents can receive.

York Simpson Underwood announced:
• Jane Ford Clark joined the Cameron Village office as a broker associate.
• Valerie Wisor of the North Raleigh office completed the e-PRO certification course.
• Wendy Jackson, vice president of relocation services, gave a presentation at the 2005 RELO Conference in Arizona.
• Carol McCormick, managing broker of the Cary office, received the Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager designation from the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers.

Fonville Morisey announced:
• Patti Bearden and Lezlie Struble joined the Preston office in Cary as associates.
• Janet K. Schultz joined the Lochmere office in Cary as an associate.
• Pam Riggsbee, of the Croasdaile office in Durham, earner her broker’s license.
• Carolyn Kasdorf, vice president and sales manager of the Lochmere office, was accepted to the LeadershipNCAR program.
• Penny Tate of the Stonehenge office in Raleigh was recognized for her 25 years with the company.

Linda Craft of RE/MAX One Realty attended the RE/MAX International Convention in Florida.

Jennifer Wagner and Jo Anne Sturdevant joined the Cary office of Prudential Carolinas Realty. Also, Janie Cole Jordan joined the Glenwood office in Raleigh.

Gwen Hager, Nikki Belsito and Terri McCall are recent sales leaders for ERA Pacesetters Realty in Cary.


Wendy S. Barber, Cynthia B. Brown and Melissa G. Critcher were elected to the N. C. Association of Certified Public Accountants in Morrisville.

Wendy Coulter, president of Hummingbird Creative Group in Raleigh, was appointed to the Economic Development Communications Task Force of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Cynthia Anderson, managing partner of CD Anderson, P.A., and Patty Briguglio, president of MMI Associates in Cary, were named to the National Tax Issue Committee of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, was presented with the Commissioner’s Award at the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Boston.

The Women’s Club of Raleigh dedicated an historical marker for its first president, Fannie E.S. Heck, at her birthplace on Blount Street in Raleigh.

Ronya Banks, president of Living in Action, a Raleigh-based business-performance consulting firm, was accepted into the National Speakers Association.

Roseanne Davis of Cary was recognized by the Program of Academic Exchange as an exemplary host mother to Andrea Rocovic from Serbia.

V.K. Fields & Co., a Raleigh-based public-relations firm headed by Valerie Fields, received the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Business Award.

The following are new officers of the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers: Janice Russell (president); Geralin Thomas (vice president); Eileen Stevie (secretary); Shirley Hinton (treasurer); Josette Chmiel (immediate past president); Christine Krieman (membership director); Hannah L’Hommedieu (professional development director); and Kerry Crocker (communications and technology director).

Adrienne Lumpkin, president of Alternate Access in Raleigh, was a featured speaker at last month’s conference of the N.C. Banker’s Association.

Jennifer Snyder of Durham, a divorce coach, donated workshops to women’s organizations in the Triangle.

Kimberly R. Morgan, community banker and assistant vice president of Crescent State Bank’s Kildaire office in Cary, completed the Cary Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Cary program.

Sepi Asefnia, president of SEPI Engineering Group in Raleigh, was named a director of the Triangle chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women.