Linda Harrill, president and CEO of Raleigh-based Communities in Schools of North Carolina, a nonprofit that helps young people prepare for the future, announced that Miss North Carolina 2008 Amanda Watson of Garner was named a spokeswoman for the organization. 

Laura A. Schoppe, president of Apex’s Fuentek consulting firm, participated in the Defense, Intelligence and Security Industry Workforce Cluster Task Force for the Defense & Security Technology Accelerator. The goal of the task force was to discuss how universities can better prepare the workforce of tomorrow, specifically in the area of defense contracting in North Carolina.
Wendy Coulter, CEO of Hummingbird Creative Group, a Cary-based creative services firm, announced that Juli LaDue, creative director for the company, was recognized for her volunteerism with Durham Public Schools..


Sister Cities of Durham, which promotes goodwill by working with communities in other countries to develop mutually beneficial programs, won an Arts and Culture Innovation Award for the construction of a Japanese tea house in the Asiatic Arboretum of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University.

Kimberly A. Alvis, painter of oils who is based in Chapel Hill, donated her work “Horses in a Pasture” to a fundraising auction for Durham’s Triangle Day School and her work “The Pumpkin Patch” to Works of Heart, a Triangle auction benefiting the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina.

Vicky Nash Shaw, appraiser and co-owner of the Triangle’s Authentic Appraisal & Estate Services, completed an advanced specialty course of the International Society of Appraisers, which provides her with the credentials to appraise fine art and sculpture.

Alice J. Wisler of Durham is the author of “Rain Song,” her debut novel set in Mount Olive, N.C.

Kim Crenshaw Photography of Apex partnered with Gina Alexander, the internationally recognized designer of photo handbags, to enable her clients to incorporate the artwork created during portrait sessions in Alexander’s purse designs.


Jenny Shepard was named executive club manager for the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club on the Duke University campus in Durham.

Joyce Hawley, owner of the Eclectic Garden retail store in Raleigh, celebrated the ninth anniversary of her business by renaming it the Eclectic Furniture Garden and starting the Triangle’s only regularly scheduled furniture painting classes.

Beth Seigler and Kathy Hopwood, owners of SafeSkills, which offers self-defense workshops and ongoing martial arts classes, relocated to Durham’s Jefferson Square in order to expand the variety and number of their classes.

Joelle Ray, co-owner of North Raleigh’s Salon Moxie and Samuel Cole Salon, attended a seminar at the Redken headquarters in New York and the Goldwell headquarters in Baltimore to study the latest methods of hair styling and coloring.

Linda Kutzer, a hair designer based in Raleigh, released the first online class of her “Flow” haircutting system, available through Troutman’s College of Continuing Education.

Shawn Schindler, Raleigh owner and lead consultant of Your Special Day, Weddings and Special Events, won a gold award for favorite wedding vendors in the Carolinas in the Bride’s Book 2008 readers choice awards.

Kimberly Y. Lewey, president and founder of Unique Xpressions Pkg, a home-based specialty gift company, announced the September opening of a storefront on Copeland Oaks Drive in Morrisville.

The Raleigh office of Bobbitt Design Build, a contractor offering architectural design, engineering, and permitting and construction services, named Rita Stell as senior accountant and Courtney R. Lewis as marketing coordinator.

Leslie Flowers, a Cary consultant offering life coaching, launched her Pinnacle Leadership Training Series, a program to help local professionals succeed in their business, personal, community and family lives.

Renee Jarvis, office services manager and vice president for McKinney, a Durham advertising agency, spoke at a panel discussion on the business of living and working green, hosted by the company and presented by Raleigh’s Chix in Business.

Katie Page of Cary-based Minding Your Matters Organizing earned a certificate of specialization in Chronic Disorganization from the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization.

Eileen Batson, of Batson Group Marketing and PR, announced that she is working with Women Etcetera to promote Durham’s “Celebrate Fifty and Going Strong” conference for women ages 50 and older in November. 

Mary Cantando, a Raleigh-based expert on women business owners, was invited to unveil her latest product, the 2009 Woman’s Advantage Page-A-Day Calendar, at the National Conference of Women Impacting Public Policy at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Rachel Minihan of RLM Coaching in Holly Springs launched Purple Phone PR & Marketing, an on-call agency specializing in helping owners of small- to mid-sized businesses get the word out about their products or services.

Michelle Wingate was promoted to senior account executive at MMI Associates, a Raleigh-based public relations firm.

Amie Sivon, an associate attorney at Cary’s Ragsdale Liggett law firm, was named to the N.C. Bar Association Foundation’s Public Service Advisory Committee, which helps provide lawyers to those of modest means. 

Kathy White, director of catering for Rocky Top Hospitality restaurant group in Raleigh, was chosen to participate in Leadership Raleigh, a community program of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Diane Kuehn, president and CEO of VisionPoint Marketing in Raleigh, was a keynote speaker for the Women’s Executive Education Leadership Series’ “Online Marketing” seminar, sponsored by the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina.
Howard, Merrell & Partners, a strategic advertising and branding firm in Raleigh, announced:
Ebony Brooks was named account coordinator in the public relations department.
Denise Lingenfelser, digital art production manager of the creative department, was commended by the agency for her 25 years of artistic inspiration and dedication.

Sepi Asefnia, president of SEPI Engineering Group, and Patty Briguglio, president of MMI Associates, Inc., have been named co-chairs of the 2008 Citizen of the World Award Dinner, honoring a North Carolinian who has put the greatest effort toward the internationalization of the state.

Valerie K. Fields, CEO of V.K. Fields & Co. Public Relations, was appointed to the Raleigh Telecommunications Commission, which advises city council members on issues relating to the provision of cable television and telecommunications services within the city.


Ann B. Goodnight, director of community relations at SAS, the business analytic software corporation based in Cary, received the A.E. Finley Distinguished Service Award at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s 120th annual meeting, which recognizes outstanding assistance to the community.

Lori K. Lee, executive director of Me Fine Foundation, which provides resources and financial assistance to parents and caregivers with children being treated at Duke and UNC Children’s Hospitals, announced that WRAL television anchor Valonda Calloway served as the master of ceremonies for the organization’s third annual Purse Gala in Cary. The event featured a live auction of one-of-a-kind and designer purses, including items donated by local celebrities and designers nationwide.

Sharon Hill, president of Sharon Hill International in Chapel Hill, gave a seminar on effective networking for both Triangle United Way and the Triangle Business and Professional Women Organization.

The Raleigh-Durham chapter of the American Advertising Federation announced the 2008-2009 board of directors, including: Melissa Ilardi, secretary (Capstrat); Jamie Holmes and Kat Costa, programs co-chairs (Cross + Associates); Lisa Rondina, first vice president/programs chair and Aubrey Eckerson, PSA co-chair (Fairway Outdoor Advertising); Jacqueline Reid, club achievement chair (Hartman Center for Sales Advertising & Marketing History); Nicole Bucalo, publicity chair (Howard, Merrell & Partners); Paige Zinn, second vice president/membership chair (Jennings); Jenny Martin, ADDY co-chair (The King Partnership); Sue Toth, past president (Media Research Planning & Placement); and Lindsay Michael, re-branding chair (Pointer Advertising).

The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce announced its 2008-09 board of directors, including: Andrea Bazan, president of Triangle Community Foundation; Mary Bell, vice president of Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products Division; Patty Briguglio, president of MMI Associates; Kelly Castor, founding partner of Practical Lessons; Kim Copney, marketing manager of Costco; and Debra Derr, director of government affairs at AT&T North Carolina. The board also includes Melissa Essary, dean of Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law; Rosa Gill, chair of the Wake County Board of Education; Ardie Gregory, general manager of WRAL-FM/MIX 101.5; Felicia Gressette, vice president of marketing of News & Observer Publishing Co.; Trish Hanchette, president of KB Home; and Megan Montgomery, account executive/team leader of Universal Printing & Publishing. Also on the board are Christine Peterson, vice president of Risk Management Associates; Donna Preiss, president of Preiss Co.; Judy Smith, president of Smith Seal of North Carolina; Dianne Boardley Suber, Ph.D., president of Saint Augustine’s College; Soberina Traywick, senior vice president/city executive of Mechanics & Farmers Bank; Kirsten Weeks, community relations manager of Cisco Systems; and Tina Wilson, corporate community relations program manager of IBM Corp.

The Raleigh chamber also announced its 2008-09 executive committee, including: Sepi Asefnia, chair-elect (president of SEPI Engineering Group); Diane Kuehn, communications vice chair (president and CEO of VisionPoint Marketing); Chris Young, membership development vice chair (area vice president/Triangle area executive of First Citizens Bank); Jody Hatley, membership services vice chair (president of Excel Moving & Storage – Allied Van Lines); and Valerie Fields, small business vice chair (CEO of V.K. Fields & Co.).

Real Estate

Janine Varney, owner of Raleigh interior design and home staging firm Well Dressed Homes, is a featured panelist for the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors staged homes event. 

ERA Pacesetters Realty announced the sales leaders for August, including Deluce Levitz, Pat McElroy, Elisabeth Hancock, Millika Perera, Gwen Hager and Connie Brewer.

Jill Wells Heath, president of Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women, announced that the organization will host “Women at the Helm” at the Women’s Club of Raleigh, featuring a panel of female business leaders, including Rusine Mitchell Sinclair (CEO of Girl Scouts, N.C. Coastal Pines), Patricia Holland Bazemore (chief of the Town of Cary Police), Hilda Pinnix-Ragland (vice president of Progress Energy’s Northern Region) and Melissa Essary (dean and professor of law at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University). The discussion will focus on the challenges facing successful businesswomen.

Susan Schild, a broker in the Garner office of Allen Tate Realtors, was the featured speaker for the Triangle chapter of the Association of Credit Managers. She presented the program “Beyond the Hype: Trends in Our Regional and Local Real Estate Markets.”

Linda Craft and Team Realtors of Raleigh announced that Terri Robinson was named buyer and relocation specialist.

Maria Tedesco Spine joined as a realtor at Legacy Real Estate Properties, with locations in Holly Springs, Cary, Apex, Fuquay-Varina and Morrisville..

Allen Tate Realtors’ Cary-Stonebridge location announced:
Meg Swienckowski completed the REALTOR e-PRO course.
Debbie Lewis and Monica Fering joined the office.

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston announced:
Monte Maney joined the Southpoint office.
Attia Lockley joined the East Wake office. 
Linda Brown joined the firm as a sales associate in the Hillsborough office.
Maria Tedesco Spine of the Kildaire office completed the REALTOR e-PRO course.

Debbie Houston, president of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Builder Services, announced that Linda Swann was named builder representative for Lakestone Village, a residential community in Fuquay-Varina. 

Cathy Stubbs
of Clayton and Sherrie Degnan of Raleigh were named WR Starkey Mortgage’s President’s Club Production Winners for the Triangle area.

Barbara Linder joined Fonville Morisey Realty as a full-time sales associate in the Chapel Hill office.

Monique Taylor, community manager for Talis Management Group, a Triangle property management firm, was named Rookie Manager of the Year by the N.C. chapter of Community Associations Institute.

Melinda Joyner was promoted to executive director at Landquest Development, which specializes in the acquisition, design, permitting and construction of residential communities.


Kile Law of Blue Water Spa in Raleigh was the featured speaker at the International Medical Spa Conference in Orlando, where she presented information about the dangers of spas not owned and operated by physicians.

Eleni Christakos-Steadman was named director of sales and marketing and Sherry Harris was named executive director-corporate communications for A1-Labratories, a third-party administrator for drug and alcohol testing and background screening in Wake County.

Susanna Russell of Raleigh was named director of corporate relations for the American Heart Association’s Go Red Women campaign, which raises awareness and funds to fight heart disease.

The Executive Leadership Team of the 2008 Start! Triangle Heart Walk, which raises money for heart disease and stroke research and education, includes Lou Anne Crumpler (Staubach Co.), Char Grunwaldt (Triangle Business Journal), Darleen Johns (Alphanumeric Systems), Gracie Johnson (N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Co.), Julie MacMillian (UNC School of Public Health), Gwynn Swinson (Duke Medicine) and Kay Wagoner (Icagen).

Dr. Susan Weaver, executive director of Alliance Medical Ministry, which provides the uninsured working poor affordable primary medical care, announced that Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson was named director of development.

Suzanne Mauget, general manager for Bogart’s American Grill in Raleigh, was named to the logistics committee for the American Heart Association’s 2009 Triangle Heart Ball, which will take place in February. Elizabeth Wallace, director of Rocky Top Hospitality’s corporate affairs, and Kris Wallace of ENG Engineering, were named committee co-chairs.

Carrie Mitchell, president of Raleigh-based ASAP Office Supply, announced that the firm was named a gold sponsor for 2008 Strike for Survival, benefiting the American Cancer Society.