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Hannah Grannemann, managing director of PlayMakers Repertory Company, was elected secretary of the League of Resident Theatres. PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at UNC-Chapel Hill. Grannemann heads the theater's administrative departments, partnering with producing artistic director Joseph Haj. The League of Resident Theatres is the largest professional theater association of its kind, with more than 70 member theaters across the United States.


Raleigh's Artspace juried in six new members to the Artspace Artists Association, bringing its membership to 115. The association consists of artists working together to promote growth of the individual artist, to provide an environment of interaction with other artists and with the public, and to foster the mission of Artspace. Benefits include exhibition opportunities at Artspace. The new members include:
Julie Brooks, whose metalsmithing work focuses on human and natural relationships and their tendencies towards fluctuation, instability and vulnerability.
Julie Greenberg, whose prints highlight landscape as a symptom of nature, showcasing how scale affects a person's sense of time and existence.


Alyssa Wood, whose work in sculptural and drawn ceramic tiles as well as mixed-media drawings explores themes of home, ritual and time.


Raleigh writer Maureen Sherbondy's fourth book of poetry, "Scar Girl," will be published by Finishing Line Press in November. The book will be available for pre-order in August.


"Rainbow Poetry," a poem by Lariah Ijames, a rising junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, appears in the current issue of The Collegiate Scholar, an online publication of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Herons, the signature restaurant of The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, which is owned by Ann Goodnight, received its first AAA Five Diamond Award. The award is one of North America's most respected symbols of culinary excellence and the highest honor bestowed by the automobile association for a restaurant.


Elaine Buxton, president and CEO of Confero, a national customer-experience measurement firm, was named a 2011 Committee Contributor of the Year by the Women's Foodservice Forum, a leadership development organization that empowers women in the food-service industry. Buxton, whose firm is headquartered in Cary, was honored for her work on the Executive Programming (Summit) committee.


The Chef's Academy, the Culinary Division of Harrison College, a 108-year-old, nationally accredited institution that offers more than 30 degree programs in five schools of study, named Ashley N. Hanslits admissions representative for the school's North Carolina presence. Hanslits, who lives in Raleigh, provides students with information about The Chef's Academy, which is opening a campus in the Triangle in August.


North Carolina chefs competed in the third annual Epicurious Vino Challenge, making their best signature dishes to benefit disabled children and adults. Chefs, sponsors and the sell-out crowd raised funds for RHA Howell, a nonprofit that has been helping people with disabilities and their families make choices to live more independently for nearly 40 years. The winning chefs included Maggie Radzwiller of Comfort Cuisine in Durham.


Wine and Design, Raleigh's wine and painting venue, celebrated its first year in business with a new location in Wilmington and three franchise locations. Wine and Design is the dream of longtime friends and business partners Emmy Preiss and Harriet Mills. The studio opened its doors last year as the area's only wine and painting party company. It provides "memories and a masterpiece" in just two hours. Painting sessions are led by a local artist.


A seasoned veteran at producing winning events, American Tobacco's Valerie Ward is one of two winners of the annual Merit Scholarship Award from the Triangle chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives. American Tobacco, in Durham, offers 1 million square feet of office space in a historic factory setting bustling with restaurants, businesses and nonprofits. Beth Pendergrass, of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, a luxury hotel in Durham, also won the award, which is a full scholarship to fly out to the association's national conference in Reno this month.


Laurin Mancour, director and instructor of Durham Technical Community College's Clinical Trials Research Associate program, received a global award from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals during the organization's Global Conference and Exhibition in Seattle. Mancour received the Advancing Awareness in Clinical Research Award, which recognizes a professional who has contributed to the public's understanding of clinical research and to the advancement of the profession.


Nationwide, only two doctoral candidates received dissertation fellowships this year from the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation of Tucson. Lauren Patterson of UNC-Chapel Hill was one of them. She will receive up to $24,000 in living and academic expenses over the next year. Patterson's dissertation in geography will be titled "Interconnections Between Drought and Water Policy in the South Atlantic, USA." She will look at drivers of water scarcity in the region and explore potential policy options. Patterson earned her master's degree in geography at UNC, working with local governments on the effectiveness of flood policies and addressing sustainable financing strategies for watershed protection.


Grace Kissling, Ph.D., a staff scientist in the Biostatistics Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, will be inducted as a fellow of the American Statistical Association, a distinction bestowed on fewer than one percent of the organization's members. Working collaboratively, Kissling provides statistical advice and assistance for the toxicology and carcinogenicity studies carried out by the National Toxicology Program and experimental studies performed by scientists throughout NIEHS.


Kristen Maye, a rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, was chosen for a five-week history research program in New York City this summer. Maye was among 10 Gilder Lehrman History Scholars selected in a national competition. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, a nonprofit seeking to improve and enrich American history education, chooses top undergraduates for the program. The scholarship covers travel to and from New York and five weeks of living expenses.


The Eastern N.C. chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society announced one of 10 local scholarship winners. Breanna Johnson, a 2011 graduate of Panther Creek High School in Cary, will receive a $1,000 scholarship to attend Harvard University, where she will study biology with a concentration in human developmental and regenerative biology. Johnson, whose mother is living with MS, has been very active in academics, club activities and her community while maintaining straight A's throughout high school.



The General Federation of Women's Clubs of North Carolina presented Donna Preiss, founder and CEO of The Preiss Company, with the N.C. Women of Achievement Award for her significant contributions to the state. Headquartered in Raleigh, the Preiss Company is one of the largest off-campus student housing providers in the nation.


Jennifer S. Thompson, an attorney, joined The Devins Law Firm in Raleigh.


Melissa Brumback, partner at the law firm of Ragsdale Liggett in Raleigh, was elected president of the board of directors of the nonprofit Universal Design Institute in Chapel Hill. In this role, Brumback, who is a construction-law attorney, will guide the institute's mission of promoting the concept and practice of accessible and universal design.


Eileen Batson announced that Batson Group Marketing and PR, of Raleigh, is the agency of record for Women's Power Networking, a Raleigh-based national women's business referral network.


Jan Johnson was named CEO of MarketSmart Advertising in Raleigh. Formerly the firm's vice president, Johnson will manage internal company operations, supervise senior management executives and facilitate future business opportunities.


Brenda Berg, founder and CEO of Scandinavian Child, a marketer and distributor of premium children's products in North America, announced the acquisition of Svan AB of Sweden, the manufacturer of the Svan high chair and other bentwood children's products. The acquisition will position the Raleigh-based Scandinavian Child for growth as it moves from a distributor model into international manufacturing. In 2002, Berg started the company to import and distribute the Svan high chair, a product she fell in love with while on a trip to Sweden. She has since added four brands.


Laura A. Schoppe, president of Fuentek, a technology consulting firm headquartered in Apex, announced that NASA's Glenn Research Center has asked the firm to seek companies to license an advanced copolymer gel electrolyte that enhances the performance and safety of lithium ion batteries.


Katie Curtis joined Vaco Raleigh, an executive placement and consulting firm, as a candidate sourcer to support Vaco in searches and placements.


Gypsy Jule, a women's clothing and accessories boutique, opened in Raleigh's Glenwood South.


Kerry Brandewie, director of group fitness at Kinetix Health Clubs in Chapel Hill, and Carolina Hurant, a certified personal trainer, developed a program at the gym to help female teens improve all-around fitness.


Race for the Cure, the annual fundraiser that was held last month at Meredith College in Raleigh, raised almost $1.8 million in the fight against breast cancer.


The American Heart Association, in Morrisville, announced:
Erica R. Lind was named executive director and vice president, Triangle Metro area.
Rachel Starr was named society development director, Triangle Heart Ball.
India Lucas was hired as director of development, Triangle Heart Ball.
Lauren Gray was named special events coordinator.
Amy McRimmon was hired as special events administrator.


Leadership Raleigh, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce's leadership development program, announced its 2010/11 graduates, including: April Adams, Cherry, Bekaert & Holland; Amy Alexander, Atlantic Tire & Service; Merritt Atkins, Nexsen Pruet; Louise Bannon, Wake County SmartStart; Sara Bason, GlaxoSmithKline; Jacqueline Brown, Duke Raleigh Hospital; Denise Crumpler, North Raleigh Ministries; Tiffany Drummond Armstrong, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Tonia Haislip, First Citizens Bank; Rita Jerman, Wake Technical Community College; Cindy Kelley-Deaton, Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines; Cheryl Rhew, McGladrey; Joy Ruhmann, Level Up Leadership; Lisa Schneider, Schneider Law Group; Jen Sisak, Moseley Architects; Carol Stymiest, Canadian Business Association of North Carolina; Georgia Sumiel, WakeMed Health & Hospitals; Suzy Tahmaseb, Red Hat; and Carla Williams, The J Daniel Group.


The new board of Soroptimist International of Raleigh includes Terri Craig, president; Sarita Harkness, vice president, Patricia Reid, secretary; Judy Little, treasurer; Patricia Witt, director; and Gaye Mays, director.


The N.C. Center for Women in Public Service, a nonpartisan organization that prepares women for elected and appointed offices statewide, named Annette Taylor as the new executive director. With a professional background reflecting her commitment to philanthropy and nonprofits, Taylor, who lives in Morrisville, served as program manager with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C. Foundation for nearly three years before joining the center.


The Woman's Club of Raleigh, a civic organization dedicated to the betterment of the community, announced:
The club installed the following new officers: Cindy Godwin, president elect; Malinda Sink, second vice president/membership; Rita Roberson, fourth vice president/communications & marketing; Judy Wright, recording secretary; Lesley Gray, assistant recording secretary; Sallie Neuman, finance chair; Ellen Kelly, grounds chair; Billie Learoyd, house chair; Jackie Hudson, board of trustees.
Margot Murphy, president of the club, presented a $10,000 contribution to Penny Lauricella, executive director of the Pretty in Pink Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit that helps underinsured and uninsured breast cancer patients get access to treatment through financial assistance.


Robin Kellogg is the new development director for the Foundation of Hope for Research and Treatment of Mental Illness in Raleigh. Kellogg is responsible for supporting the nonprofit's current fundraising initiatives, such as the annual Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope, to be held in October. She is also responsible for initiating new fundraising opportunities for the Foundation of Hope. The organization promotes scientific research aimed at discovering the causes and potential cures for mental illness in order to develop a more effective means of treatment.


Maxine Turner Fitts was promoted to vice president of programs and operations for Cornucopia Cancer Support Center and Ashley Hunter joined the center as administrative assistant. The Chapel Hill-based group provides complementary therapies in the Triangle and surrounding counties to cancer patients and survivors, their families and caregivers.


Sue Koenigshofer, with help from Gregg Gerdau, created a new website for the Friends of the Downtown, www.franklinstreetusa.com. Elaine O'Neil contributed the artistic fabric collage backgrounds. Many college towns are associated with their main downtown street, and the Friends of the Downtown chose its website name to continue the tradition.


Tullie Johnson, president of Friends of Hemlock Bluffs, announced that extensive work on the nature preserve has been accomplished with the help of more than 475 volunteers and a $20,000 grant from REI. Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, located in south Cary, covers about 150 acres situated along Swift Creek. The site features almost three miles of hiking trails, a garden and the Stevens Nature Center.


The Lucy Daniels Center, in Cary, wrapped up its Bookmarked! 2011 festival after hosting more than 30 free children's book readings by local celebrities, special appearances by author/illustrator Molly Bang and a family concert at Fred Fletcher Park. Estimated attendance was 3,400, up from 2,500 for the inaugural event last year. In addition to celebrating the joys of reading with young children, Bookmarked!'s purpose is to raise awareness of and funding for Lucy's Book Club and the Center's Family Support Fund. Bookmarked! 2011 reached its fundraising goal of $75,000. The Lucy Daniels Center promotes the healthy emotional development of young children.


ME3, the Raleigh-based organization that promotes volunteerism in the Triangle, changed its name to Activate Good. It also launched a new website, www.activategood.org.


The Corral Riding Academy, a nonprofit committed to improving the lives of troubled teens and rescued horses, dedicated its new competition-sized riding arena at the CORRAL farm in Cary. "We are a young nonprofit, but growing fast," said Joy Currey, founder and president of The Corral Riding Academy.


Correction: The N.C. chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers announced that its board of directors includes Allison Perkins, communications and technology director, and Jill Hively, community relations director.


Sandra Fearrington, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon and medical director of dermatechMD in Raleigh, announced the addition of FDA-approved SmartLipo Laser Liposuction to her practice. SmartLipo is a form of minimally invasive laser body contouring that is done in office.


After years of diligent scientific research into the mysteries of biomedical science at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, Serena Dudek, Ph.D., received a permanent job contract, commonly known as tenure. Dudek, a principal investigator in the Laboratory of Neurobiology at NIEHS, is one of 745 federal employees and 321 contractors working at the Institute. Dudek studies how environmental factors shape the brain.


Emily Parks, owner of Organize for Success, represented the N.C. Lung Cancer Partnership at the recent National Lung Cancer Advocacy Summit in Denver. Parks brought back valuable suggestions for increasing awareness of and funding for cutting-edge lung cancer research through the organization's Free to Breathe 5K to be held in November at North Hills in Raleigh.


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