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Cynthia Mollenkopf shows her 2D and 3D felted artworks and Ana Sumner shows her 2D mixed media fiber art in Many Faces of Textile Art, a feature show at Cary Gallery of Artists running Jan. 25 (reception from 6 to 9 p.m.) to Feb. 19.


More than 450 people attended the 11th annual Artspace Collectors Gala in Raleigh. Artspace, a Raleigh nonprofit, raised a record $114,000.The Collectors Gala is Artspace's primary fundraiser, supporting its open artist studios, local and national exhibitions, adult and youth art classes, and community outreach programs. "The amount of support shown to Artspace by business leaders and art lovers in the community was inspiring," says Mary Poole, executive director of Artspace. The event was co-chaired by Amy Baker and Martha Krick.




    The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce celebrated first responders and local volunteers at its annual Salute to Community Heroes. Those honored included Megan Wooley, housing and neighborhood services planner for Chapel Hill, who received the Town and Gown Award.


    Emily Atkinson is the new vice president of government affairs for the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Atkinson will lead the chamber's advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal government levels and work to advance the chamber's legislative agenda. Atkinson spent the past two years as the chamber's community development manager.


    The Morrisville Chamber of Commerce announced its 2013 board of directions. Newly elected members include Veronica Bent of Fidelity Bank.




    N.C. State University, in Raleigh, announced the inaugural group of University Faculty Scholars, each of whom will receive $10,000 for each of the next five years to support academic endeavors. The program is part of the university's initiative to retain top faculty. It is funded by gifts totaling $5.7 million, including $3 million from Ann Goodnight and her husband, Jim Goodnight. The scholars include:
  • Jessica Decuir-Gunby, associate professor of curriculum, instruction and counselor education
  • Bonnie Fusarelli, associate professor of leadership, policy and adult and higher education
  • Amy Grunden, associate professor of microbiology
  • Elizabeth Loboa, associate professor of biomedical engineering
  • Alison Motsinger-Reif, associate professor of statistics
  • Nanette Nascone-Yoder, assistant professor of molecular biomedical sciences
  • Heather Patisaul, assistant professor of biology
  • Ann Ross, professor of sociology and anthropology
  • Lori Foster Thompson, professor of psychology


Cokie Roberts, noted journalist, author and political commentator, is giving the annual Weatherspoon Lecture at Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill on Jan. 28.




Master Rondy Mckee, also known as "the White Tiger," was named Master of the Year by Taekwondo Times magazine. Mckee is the owner and head instructor of White Tiger Taekwondo and Family Fitness Facility in Cary. This award joins others she has earned over the years, including being named Karate Master of the Year for Taekwondo and being inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame.


Amber McFetters joined ATCOM Business Technology Solutions, a Raleigh-based communications solutions provider, as a project manager. McFetters works with clients to gather specific database and programming information for the planning and implementation of custom communications systems.


Cheryl Sova, a financial advisor in RBC Wealth Management's Raleigh branch, earned the professional designation of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor through the College for Financial Planning. This program focuses on the pre- and post- retirement needs of individuals.


Janice Cutler, owner of North Raleigh Florist, announced that several of the shop's designers were honored at the professional floral competition at the N.C. State Fair. Designers Samantha Alawar, Amy Sipe, Christina Tessitore and Julie Vaughn participated in all phases of the contest.




    The Chef's Academy, in Morrisville, which is the culinary division of Harrison College, a nationally accredited institution with headquarters in Indianapolis, announced:
  • Beth Taylor joined the college as a program specialist. Taylor works with prospective students, assists with the interviewing process and helps expand the school's recruitment program.
  • Emily Shotick was hired as the librarian. Prior to joining The Chef's Academy, Shotick served as the learning resource center assistant to the librarians at the Harrison College campus in downtown Indianapolis.


In December, Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours took clients throughout the Triangle as well as Greensboro and Winston-Salem, announced owner Lesley Stracks-Mullem. Taste Carolina's walking food tours visit five or more restaurants. Participants enjoy innovative food sourced locally from farm-to-table, and they chat with chefs at many of the stops. Along the way, professional guides talk about local history and architecture.


The Umstead Hotel and Spa, in Cary, is now brewing organic, fair-trade beans from Raleigh's Larry's Beans. The hotel is owned by Ann Goodnight.



    Gov. Bev Perdue received one of the highest awards from the National Guard Association of the United States, the Charles Dick Medal of Merit. In addition, the governor recently spoke at many events, including:
  • The 2012 Service Awards for Women luncheon, hosted by the N.C. Council for Women, which recognized prominent women in the governor's administration.
  • The Governor's Crime Commission meeting, where Perdue highlighted the commission's accomplishments during her administration. Since 2009, the crime rate in North Carolina has dropped by 6.8 percent and violent crimes have declined by 15 percent.
  • The Excellence in Action National Summit on Education Reform, in Washington, D.C. The annual, two-day event includes strategy sessions, briefings and discussions in an effort to improve quality education for children and raise student achievement.


Colleen Lanigan, Special Olympics coordinator at the Parks and Recreation Department of the town of Chapel Hill, received the 2012 Cal Horton Service Award. The award is one of the highest honors the town bestows upon an employee. Lanigan has worked with the Special Olympics program since 1990 and has served as Special Olympics coordinator for Chapel Hill for more than 17 years. She administers year-round athletic events for more than 300 athletes with intellectual disabilities, ranging in age from 5 to adult.


The Wake County Board of Commissioners swore in Caroline Sullivan, a newly elected commissioner, and Betty Lou Ward, a re-elected commissioner, during its regular meeting. Each commissioner is serving a four-year term. Others sworn in at the meeting included Laura Riddick, register of deeds.


In a Cary first, two outstanding citizens received the town's annual Hometown Spirit Award. Betsy Dassau and Joy Pike jointly accepted the award, which recognizes community-minded citizens who enhance the quality of life in Cary. Dassau and Pike both volunteer in numerous ways with the town, including the Spruce Program as well as Spring and Lazy Daze. Dassau, a founding member of Cary Portrait Artists, is a board member of the Fine Arts League of Cary. She founded the Cary Creative Center and is a member of the Triangle Reuse Alliance Steering Committee. Pike serves as a board member of the Heart of Cary Association, organizes the Ole Time Winter Festival and is involved with the Sister Cities Association of Cary.



Gov. Bev Perdue appointed Cheri Beasley to the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Beasley, currently a judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson. Beasley was elected to the Court of Appeals in 2008.  Prior to that, she served as a District Court judge in the 12th Judicial District from 1999 until 2008. Before going on the bench, Beasley worked as an assistant public defender in Fayetteville for five years.


Katharine Marshall, JD, is the new compliance officer at Hill, Chesson & Woody, a health and welfare benefits brokerage and consulting firm based in Chapel Hill. Marshall is responsible for guiding clients and staff in regulation compliance for health and welfare benefit plans, including all laws that impact employee benefits.



Local agencies won many accolades at the annual MarCom Awards, which are given by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. Winners were selected from more than 200 categories in seven forms of media, with more than 6,000 entrants ranging in size from individual communicators to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies. Local winners included Raleigh's MMI Public Relations, whose CEO is Patty Briguglio, and Apex's Lisa Gullette, who owns the design firm CreatiVisibility.


YellowWood Group, a marketing firm based in North Raleigh, opened a sales office in Charlotte. Olalah Njenga, the firm's CEO, says the Queen City has a lot to offer in terms of market opportunity and diversity.


Natalie Perkins, president of Clean Design, a branding and design agency in Research Triangle Park, announced that Dickens Sanchez joined the agency as an account manager. She is responsible for managing all aspects of client relationships.


Jennifer Fair, senior account executive at Raleigh's MMI Public Relations, received a bronze award in the Female Employee of the Year – Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations category of the ninth annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. The awards are given to female executives and entrepreneurs as well as the organizations they run. Each year, winners are selected by more than 200 executives from around the world.



Chatham Habitat for Humanity hired two local residents to join its team. Fran Harvey, of Pittsboro, is the new ReStore Volunteer Coordinator. She oversees all the volunteers for both stores in Pittsboro. Mechelle Thompson, of Bear Creek, is the new volunteer and partnership manager. Thompson recruits and retains volunteers across the entire organization as well as develops relationships with key area partners to advance the mission of providing safe, affordable and energy- efficient homes.


Cheri Szcodronski is the new executive director of Preservation Chapel Hill. Previously, she had served as interim executive director and Preservation coordinator. Szcodronski, a graduate of the Public History master's program at Middle Tennessee State University, has a strong background in historic preservation.


The Tall Club of North Carolina's monthly meet and greet takes place every second Friday at the Brickhouse in Raleigh, notes the group's president, Debora Dougan.


Two local businesses recently sent crews of employees to the CORRAL Riding Academy, a nonprofit committed to improving the lives of at-risk teen girls and rescued horses. The work of employees from Whole Foods, of Cary, and Lowe's Home Improvement, of Apex, provided much-needed renovation to the facilities, says Joy Currey, executive director and founder of CORRAL.


The N.C. Community Foundation announced the 2012 grant recipients from the statewide Women's Fund, according to Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, the organization's president and CEO. Groups receiving grants included the Family Violence Prevention Center, in Raleigh.


    The Junior League of Raleigh announced the community and business leaders who are serving on its 2012-2013 Community Advisory Board. The advisors meet with League leaders twice a year to provide guidance on management, fundraising, community relations, marketing, business planning and other issues facing the League. Board members include:
  • Sheila B. Ahler, of Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
  • Karen Albritton, of Capstrat
  • Mary-Ann Baldwin, of the Raleigh City Council
  • Ann-Cabell Baum Andersen, of the Glenwood Agency
  • Becky Bumgardner, of N.C. State University
  • Betsy Conti, of The Conti Group
  • Bobbie Furr, of Furr & Newell
  • Kim Gazella, of Gazella Communications
  • Leah Goodnight Tyler, of The Umstead Hotel & Spa
  • Karen Greager, of Belk
  • Laura Hulsey, of PNC Bank
  • Debbie Laughery, of WakeMed Health & Hospitals
  • Marjorie Menestres, of SAFEchild
  • Karin Patrick, of Northwestern Mutual
  • Gail Perry, of Gail Perry & Associates
  • Bettie Sousa, of Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers
  • Bernadette M. Spong, of Rex UNC Heath Care
  • Shelia Winston-Graves, of Mechanics & Famers Bank


Jennifer Peters was The Animal Protection Society of Durham's volunteer of the month in December. At the shelter, Peters serves in many capacities, including as an adoption counselor assistant.



Mallarme Chamber Players is one of 153 nonprofits nationwide to receive a Challenge America Fast-Track grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $10,000 grant will support the North Carolina HIP Music Festival, scheduled to take place from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3. The Mallarme Chamber Players is teaming up with four other organizations and two university music departments to present the week-long festival of music performed on period instruments. Suzanne Rousso is the artistic director of Mallarme, a flexible ensemble of professional musicians based in Durham.


This month, the regional libraries within Wake County Public Libraries are hosting a series of dance and musical programs from various cultures. The programs are free to the public; however, registration is requested. Performances include The Essence of Indian Dance, Latin Dance with instructor Maria Elena Williams, Scandinavian Folk Music and Dance and the Triangle String Band.




Reyna Estrada, online counselor for M/I Homes, in Raleigh, won a silver award and is a regional finalist in the annual National Sales and Marketing Awards of the National Association of Home Builders.


Kim Crump, a buyer's agent, was the Agent of the Month for November at Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS, in Raleigh.


Karen Gillespie was named client relations director for Walker DesignBuild, of Cary. She works closely with new home buyers to ensure that the building process goes smoothly.


Tammy Williams, a broker with Jeanne Hendren's TeamSOLD of Fonville Morisey Realty, in Cary, earned the designation of Accredited Buyer's Representative, which is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council.




Researchers from N.C. State University, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and a host of other institutions have developed a safety testing system to help chemists design inherently safer chemicals and processes. The innovative "TiPED" testing system (Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption), which stems from a cross-disciplinary collaboration among scientists, can be applied at different phases of the chemical design process. The goal of the system is to help steer companies away from inadvertently creating harmful products, and thus avoid adding another BPA or DDT to the marketplace. A paper describing the work, "Designing Endocrine Disruption out of the Next Generation of Chemicals," is published online in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry. "In order to reduce our exposure to endocrine disruptors, we have to ensure that new products entering the market do not contain them," says Dr. Heather Patisaul, an associate professor of biology at N.C. State and co-author of the paper.


    Laura Schoppe, president of Apex-based Fuentek, a technology transfer consulting firm, presented at:
  • The Department of Defense Technology Transfer Integrated Planning Team meeting in Arizona.
  • The annual meeting, in Portugal, of the University Technology Enterprise Network. As a member of the board of directors of the Association of University Technology Managers, Schoppe participated in a panel discussion focusing on the power of technology transfer networks.


The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences welcomed staff and scientists from across the region to its main campus in Research Triangle Park for the institute's 10th annual Science Day celebration. The event recognized outstanding achievements in the areas of scientific research and mentoring, while also serving as a showcase for many of today's breakthroughs in environmental health. Among the honors given out for excellence in research was the new Fellow of the Year Award, given to the Institute's top research trainee, as selected by his or her peers. This year's recipient was Bonnie Joubert, Ph.D., a scientist with the NIEHS Genetics, Environment, and Respiratory Disease Group.




Gretta Handley, patient care manager at Davis Plastic Surgery, in Raleigh, announced the completion of its Surgeons Provide Support donation program. More than 100 bras were collected at the practice and donated to Interract and Dress for Success. Representatives of the nonprofit groups said their clients would be very pleased by the donation. Medlin Davis Cleaners donated its services to dry clean all the bras.


Rising Sun Pools & Spas, of Raleigh, a family-owned business providing customers with pools, spas and aquatic accessories for more than 40 years, is helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina give a pool in honor of Ayden Murray. Murray is a 5 year-old girl with epidermolysis bullosa, a hereditary illness that causes severely fragile skin. The owners of Raleigh's Rising Sun Pools & Spas include Tara Onthank and Gina daRoza.


Forty-three physicians affiliated with Durham Regional Hospital appear on the Best Doctors in America list for 2013. Only five percent of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor, decided by impartial peer review. "We are extremely proud of our expert physicians at Durham Regional," says Barbara Griffith, M.D., chief medical officer. "Their dedication and compassion to improving the lives of patients is remarkable. We couldn't achieve success as a hospital without them."


Amanda Gorecki, president and founder of Healing Waters Spa & Cosmetic Clinic, a medical aesthetic clinic in Durham, announced that that it offered a $10 discount off spa or medical services to any customer who brought in an unwrapped toy during the holiday season. Such customers were entered in the Random Acts of Relaxation drawing, in which one lucky patron received a free Healing Waters Joy Holiday Package, valued at $299. All new, unwrapped toys that were collected were donated to the Durham Rescue Mission.




A chocolate and wine reception featuring author and poet Alice Osborn takes place Jan. 10 at The Chocolate Boutique in Raleigh's Lafayette Village. Participants are invited to network, win door prizes, enjoy complimentary gourmet chocolate and wine, and hear Osborn read from "After the Steaming Stops," her most recent book.


On Jan. 25, in Raleigh, Margaret A. Harrell is the featured author at the Wonderland Bookclub. Her latest book is "Keep This Quiet! My Relationship With Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky and Jan Mensaert." The event is sponsored by the N.C. Writers' Network.


Jacquelyn Gaines, of Holly Springs, wrote "The Yellow Suit: A Guide for Women in Leadership," which was recently published. The guide is meant to serve as a roadmap for women to become effective leaders in any organization. Gaines received her B.S.N. from the School of Nursing at the University of Maryland and went on to earn her M.S. from the university. She became the first African-American female to run a hospital in Oregon and later served as the regional president and CEO for Mercy Health Partners in Northeast Pennsylvania. Currently, she's a national speaker at healthcare organizations.


Antoinette Villamil started Durham Editors, a business that aims to help everyone from students to people working in small business improve their writing. Villamil is a former writing and English instructor at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.


Susan Soleil, a master bookbinder, offers a short presentation and answers questions about book preservation in each of the regional library locations of Wake County Public Libraries during January. Participants are welcome to bring books for Soleil's advice.



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