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

By Lauren Shuping


Dr. Betsy Bennett, director of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, received a 2005 Opening Doors award from the Business and Professional Women’s groups of the Triangle.

Sally Bowen Prange will serve as a juror for The Women’s Center of Chapel Hill’s 22nd annual art show “Through Women’s Eyes, By Women’s Hands.”

Long Leaf Opera of Durham and Chapel Hill was accepted into full professional company membership by Opera America, a national association organization.


Teri Saylor formed Open Water Communications, a consulting firm in Raleigh.

Jean D. Stevens was promoted to insurance officer at BB&T Insurance Services in Durham.

Rhonda L. Jones recently opened Chez Moi, a Durham bakery that specializes in various flavors of rum cake.

Dianne Harrison was named executive assistant for V.K. Fields & Co. Public Relations Firm in Raleigh.

Interior Design Associated opened in Research Triangle Park. Dawn A. Gum is a managing partner of the firm.

Rachel Clarke, a paralegal with Poyner & Spruill in Raleigh, became the 51st certified paralegal by the North Carolina State Bar. Also, Jenny L. Matthews was hired to work at the firm’s Rocky Mount office.

Jean Wiley was named the director of business development for Dancing Elephants Achievement Group in Raleigh.

Cheryl King Couture Designs, the wholesale division of Chantilly Lace of Wendell, was selected by bridal couturier Henry Roth to have handcrafted headpieces used during his fashion show at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

Debbie Zechini started Order in the House, an organizing business in Cary.

Future Graphics, a commercial printing and mail company in Zebulon, received the Business of the Year award from the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce. Scheryl McDavid is the executive marketing director of the firm.



Lucy Turkow, CEO of Advanced Medical Institute, an image-enhancement facility in Raleigh, announced its new Web-based quiz for educating woman on treatment options for various skin and hair problems.

Debbie Penny and Brooke Wiggs, of Michael Law MD Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Raleigh, are donating their time on Sundays, when 100 percent of revenue will be donated to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Kile Law, owner of Blue Water Spa in Raleigh, received the Humanitarian of the Year Award at the Stouther Spa Conference last month. Also, Lisa Chrysanthou, Maribeth Hedeman, Thearadise Beaver, Marie Mantle, Judy Jones, Lilliana Guarino, Amber Bundy, Amaris Balkus and Katy Norman are donating their time on Sunday, Dec. 4, when 100 percent of revenue, as well as gratuities, will be donated to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Valerie Drohan, of Cary, is a spokeswoman for General Mills’ Brand New You 10/10 Challenge, an online, weight-loss-management tool.



The following were inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women Awards, held last month in Cary: Martha Zaytoun, Billie Redmond, Jill Staton Bullard, Maureen A. Hartford, Adrienne Kelly Lumpkin, Mandy Beard, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, Michelle Collins Ogle, E. LaRee Johnson, Leslie M. Alexandre, Constance Berryman and Elizabeth Cofield.

Kathy Olevsky, of Raleigh, was promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt, making her the highest-ranking female in karate in the state.

Elizabeth Livingstone, of Durham, was named executive director of AnimalKind, a nonprofit organization providing spay/neuter assistance programs for low-income pet owners.

Laurie Paolicelli was named executive director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

Reverend Laura Benson, executive director of the Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network, was awarded the Inspiration Award at the annual Professional Women’s Network Success Luncheon.

Linda N. Patchett, of Chapel Hill, was elected to the board of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

Sandi Ross, of Cary, was the grand-prize winner of Capital Bank’s “Lowe’s Home Makeover Contest.”

Peace College of Raleigh scored among the top 10 percent in three of the five categories in a national survey of students at 528 colleges and universities.

Eleanor Boyd of Durham was named director for the North Carolina office of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, a non-profit organization that brings audio textbooks to students with disabilities.

Karen Ross, president of Montgomery’s Florist, was appointed to the Membership Services and Small Business Department Board of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

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

Dr. Sarah DeWitt was awarded the Sir Walter Raleigh Appearance Award for helping to beautify her neighborhood.

Patty Briguglio, president of MMI Associates, a marketing and public-relations firm in Raleigh, was named to the Advisory Council for the Women’s Center of Wake County. Also, Nicole Bucalo, an account executive for the firm, was a featured speaker at a meeting of the North Carolina State University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Wendy Coulter, president of Hummingbird Creative Group in Raleigh, was the featured speaker at a strategic branding seminar sponsored by the Castleton Group.

Margaret Cowan, a partner and general manager of Rella:Cowan Advertising in Durham, was elected to serve on the Triangle Family Services board.

Melissa Reynolds coordinated a fund-raiser at Tír na nÓg Irish Pub in downtown Raleigh to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Carolyn Beatty, senior case manager with Human Services’ Workforce Investment Act team, was presented the Outstanding Employee award at the 2005 Awards of Excellence hosted by the Wake Area Business Advisory Council.


Real Estate

Fonville Morisey Realty announced:
• Mary Kay Pendergraph, manager of the Croasdaile office in Durham, was elected president of the Durham Association of Realtors.
• Carolyn Kasdorf, vice president and sales manager with the Lochmere office in Cary, completed the 2005 North Carolina Association of Realtors Leadership NCAR class.
• Dina Griggs, Lisa Lundy and Lynda Young, sales associates at the Croasdaile office, earned the professional “Graduate, Realtor Institute” designation.
• Recent associates of the month include: Cindy Fox (Crabtree office); Jeanette Hussey, Debra Mangum and Renee Piere (Croasdaile office); Susan Ramsey (Falls office); Judy McCreery, Carol Sims, Team Kim Pardue & Associates and Judy Lamb (Garner office); Karen Roberts and Holly Hayes (Hwy. 54 office); Peggy Dixon, Ruth Hauser, Giselle Morgan, Linda Garner Team and Delia Vedia (Kildaire office); Debbie VanHorn, Betty Parker, Kelly Cobb Home Team, Leah Isadore and Jane Allen Purtell (Lochmere office); Linda Hoyne, Julianne Stout, Azita Wilson and Judy Pearse (Preston office); Pat Wray and Mary Forbes (Six Forks office); Gail Munson and Linda Wells (Stonehenge office).

The Linda Craft RE/MAX One Realty team in Raleigh recently launched a Web log, which includes market tips, updates and event information.

Cathy Rosebaugh, a residential real-estate broker in Raleigh, earned the “Certified Senior Advisor”credential for completing a course through the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.

Mary D. Jacobs of Realty Executives Triangle Southpointe, in Durham, earned the professional “Graduate, Realtor Institute” designation.

Linda Harmsen (platinum), Gwen Hager (gold) and Nikki Belsito (silver) are recent sales leaders for ERA Pacesetters Realty in Cary.