Local community issue most on your radar…. Homelessness. Over the years, I have glimpsed at the strength and struggles of our homeless neighbors during lunchtime Bible studies at the Urban Ministry Center. I applaud UMC’s commitment to end chronic homelessness by 2016, but worry about individuals and families who continue to live on the margins of our city. Situational/episodic homelessness is our community’s next challenge. To address this persisting issue, we should take a close look at transportation infrastructure, affordable housing and the minimum wage.

Broader national/international issue most on your radar…. The increasing political and religious extremism here and abroad – reinforced by how we receive news and other information that amplifies our own biases. We suffer for a lack of honest dialogue supported by a culture of compassion.
Local non-profit you would drop everything to help… Any of our nonprofit clients at Robinson Bradshaw! What a privilege to advise universities, museums, sports philanthropies, human service agencies, churches, foundations, arts organizations and other charities – together they make our city healthy, informed, creative and humane! But, if I have to pick just one it is the Women’s Impact Fund - don’t miss our national celebration of women’s philanthropy this October!
Best party/event you’ve been to in the last year…. Charlotte Ballet’s “Dancing with the Stars” Gala.
Recent splurge purchase you treated yourself to…. Kate Spade handbag, hot pink, from my favorite consignment shop, JT Posh – love Jen and Tracy who are sisters, proprietors and best friends.
Charlottean who should be given a reality show… The always effervescent Sonja Nichols. Who wouldn’t want to be a fly on Sonja’s wall? Richard, Richard III, James and Kayla might protest, but Sonja would rally them like she does us all. Her famous email emoticons would add visual interest. Sonja’s show would challenge us to live authentically, passionately and with an abiding faith.
Best meal you’ve had in a while…. Date night most Fridays with my husband Brian at Paco’s Tacos & Tequila. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl. Chips, salsa and chopped salad. Yum.
Advice you’d give your younger self… Live with a grateful heart and a generous spirit.

Jul 2015

Family Beauty Secrets

Written by

Dr. Carlene Ashley, Mother
Janelle Ashley, Daughter

Sidebar: You can find this mother daughter team “beautifying Charlotte” at the Med Boutique in Ballantyne.

The best beauty advice your mother ever gave you?

C: Stay out of the sun!
J: She told me early on to never, ever, ever get a tattoo.

One beauty product you cannot live without?

C: A hydrating moisturizer.
J: I think it would have to be blush, I cannot leave the house without blush on!

Beauty trend you refuse to try?

C: I think someone told me there's such a thing called a breast milk facial. Not for me.
J: I am not sure if this is a fair question, I'll try almost anything once! We try a lot of things at our boutique medspa. Someone has to be the guinea pig!

Biggest beauty splurge that’s totally worth it?

C: Artistic injection of dermal fillers into the cheekbones. It’s my favorite procedure to perform. 
J: We have a product called Bio Serum, it's expensive but if I could drink it-I would.

How does nutrition play a role in your beauty routine?

C: When you eat healthy you have more energy!
J: When my skin needs a boost from the inside out, I usually grab a ripened avocado or wild caught salmon. Delicious and great for the skin!

What is your personal fitness philosophy?  

C: Walk whenever you can.
J: Why can't fitness be fun?

What is your beauty regimen when you have a big event?

C: Janelle puts extra blush on me, whether I want it or not.
J: I always love to treat my skin to some extra hydration and I go for one bold thing in my look- usually sangria colored lips!

Best advice for staying young?

C: A good attitude.
J: Meditation and our Broad Band Light Forever Young PhotoFacials. Everyone can use a good dose of energy into their skin. I wish I could do it every day!

Favorite local beauty expert(s)?

C: I think you can find those at Med Boutique!
J: This lady right next to me!


Liz Hilliard, Mother

Clary Hilliard Gray, Daughter

Sidebar: This gorgeous mother daughter duo is the force behind the mega popular Pilates based workout, Hilliard Studio Method. Check out their newest venture, HSM | CORE, which just opened on Kings Drive.

The best beauty advice your mother ever gave you?

L: To never frown because my face would get stuck that way!
C: Beauty comes from the inside. 

One beauty product you cannot live without?

L: Tazorac gel (Retin A) at night. That with a good moisturizer and sunscreen during the day is all I need!

C: Mineral sunscreen

Beauty trend you refuse to try?

L: I really don’t do trends.
C: Trends change quickly but I like to keep an open mind.

Biggest beauty splurge that’s totally worth it?

L: My monthly derma-planing facial. It turns over the dead skin cells, energizes and hydrates my skin. And under the heading “the older you get the more money you need to throw at your skin” - I love my LaMer Concentrate! It’s pure gold!
C: A good skincare regimen: Retin-A, moisturizer, facials, a sun hat!

How does nutrition play a role in your beauty routine?

L: Nutrition is 100% of my beauty routine. Beauty truly starts from the inside out. At Hilliard Studio Method we have a signature smoothie with all the protein, greens, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids you need in your diet for the entire day. I swear by it. It not only makes my skin glow but gives me all the energy, strength and stamina to teach and workout on a daily basis. I fill my diet with healthy fats like avocados and lean protein like salmon (also high in good fatty acids) and eat nuts on a daily basis. Vegetables and fruits are my staples.

C: It’s a game changer. The HSM Smoothie every morning not only made me drop 10 lbs quickly, but it makes my skin glow!

What is your personal fitness philosophy?  

L: I work out every day in the most efficient way possible by mixing up my workouts at Hilliard Studio Method and HSM | Core.

My philosophy is that if you can’t get your full body workout (which includes cardio and resistance training) done in an hour you’re wasting your time doing the wrong workout.

My workout at Hilliard Studio Method strengthens and sculpts my body through resistance training while giving me the cardio I need for the day. At our newest studio HSM | Core we utilize a megaformer to do a full body sweat dripping cardio workout in 40 mintutes.

Resistance training burns fat and calories at the highest rate possible while you work out, but even more importantly, while you’re at rest. I combine muscle-building resistance exercises at a pace that lifts my heart rate and produces the benefits of cardio and gives my body a lean, strong, sculpted look.

C: Haven’t you heard? It’s called Hilliard Studio Method!

What is your beauty regimen when you have a big event?

L: It’s pretty much the same as every day. I workout and make sure I get plenty of rest the night before. However I do have one trick I rely on that insures that I look my best in those skin revealing dresses. I knock out 10 – 20 pushups right before I walk out the door , (yes in full dress and makeup) I just stop before I start to sweat! It gives my arms that extra little cut that looks nice. I’ve shared this advice with our brides-to-be at HSM. Several have sent us pictures of themselves in full gown and veil doing push ups before walking down the isle!! Seriously! And you should see their wedding pictures!

C: St.Tropez bronzer the day before, a killer HSM workout in the morning and then it’s glam time!

Best advice for staying young?
L: Live passionately and love your work/life (which is all the same to me)! I would, and literally have worked for free while developing Hilliard Studio Method because it’s my passion and my joy. I surround myself with strong, caring, positive people and have found amazing joy in working with my daughter Clary everyday who happens to also be my best friend.
C: Have fun and love the ones you're with!

Favorite local beauty expert(s)?

L: My favorite beauty expert is Jami Svay and of course Dimitri at the LaMer counter at Neiman Marcus.!

C: My mom, obviously.



Alicia Moghadam
Charmaine Cronin
“Fitness Sisters”

Sidebar: Fellow gym goers regularly mistake these two ladies for sisters. It’s just hard to believe there are two separate sets of genes this stunning.

The best beauty advice your mother ever gave you?

A: Always wash off your makeup before bed, so you don't clog your pores.
C: Drink plenty of water on a daily basis to maintain healthy, youthful skin! She was absolutely right about that and I enjoy drinking a gallon or more daily!

One beauty product you cannot live without?

A: Clinique facial soap and lip gloss.
C: Lip gloss! My favorite is called Haut Cocoa by Victoria Secret.

Beauty trend you refuse to try?

A: This would probably have to be the Snail Facial. No thanks!
C: That silly “wrap” trend. I much rather prefer to put in the hard work in the gym for long term results as opposed to losing a little bit of temporary water weight. My motto is if it is easy to obtain, it is not worth having. Put in the hard work and enjoy long term results!

Biggest beauty splurge that’s totally worth it?

A: Facials and MAC Makeup
C: The blue peel facial! There is nothing like having a baby soft and smooth face!

How does nutrition play a role in your beauty routine?

A: Being a NPC and Nutrishop Sponsored Bikini Athlete I know first hand that you really are what you eat. When I eat clean it shows. My clothes fit better, my skin glows, and I feel beautiful. 
C: Nutrition plays a major role in my beauty routine. As an NPC Team Bombshell Bikini Athlete and Nutrishop Ballantyne Sponsored Athlete, I enjoy eating six small, balanced meals daily that consist of fresh greens, protein, and a clean carb along with proper supplemental support. Eating the right amount of each allows me to maintain healthy skin, my ideal weight, and more importantly I am able to maintain the lean and tight feminine yet muscular look that fitness models strive for.

What is your personal fitness philosophy?  

A: Train hard, set goals and work hard to reach them. Then set more goals. You really can do anything you put your mind too.
C: My personal fitness philosophy is no pain no gain. You have to make sacrifices if you want to reach your fitness goals. Temporarily resisting your favorite treats will be worth it in the end when you are rocking your dream body! No one can take that hard work away from you.

What is your beauty regimen when you have a big event?

A: Cleanse and exfoliate. Makeup by Tamara Mcgill McFarland. Hair by Carol Alexander- Zander's salon. And when I stay in shape finding and outfit is never a problem.
C: My beauty regimen is simple when it comes to preparing for a big event. I always have my makeup artist on speed dial and I make sure to arrive with exfoliated skin!

Best advice for staying young?

A: Workout, eat clean, live life to the fullest, do the things in life that make you happy, and have fun, lots of fun.
C: Live life to its fullest, never take a minute of the day for granted, laugh, tell your loved ones you love them regularly, and participate in some type of physical fitness on a regular basis.

Favorite local beauty expert(s)?

A: Zander's Salon - Carol Alexander
    Charlotte Plastic Surgery - Facials
    Ballantyne Resort - Massage, Facials, and overnight staycations
    Tamara McGill McFarland – Makeup
C: My favorite local beauty experts are Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery, Nufaces International Hair Salon (Tonya Stokes), The Ritz Carlton for spa and short staycations, and LA Fitness for daily fitness & wellness.


Carolyn Munoz, Mother
Noelle Munoz, Daughter
Marisa Munoz, Daughter

Sidebar: There are more than gorgeous faces behind the Munoz clan. The jewelry adorning these ladies was designed and created by Noelle. See more of her work at noellemunozjewelry.com.

The best beauty advice your mother ever gave you?

C: Smile!  (Orthodontics is my NUMBER ONE beauty secret!) Actually, personal beauty was not highly prized (or talked about) in my family. My mom was big on doing well in school, behaving appropriately, using good manners, and learning basic life skills--all things that have served me well and will endure long after beauty fades.
M: Wear sunscreen! My mom is much fairer than I am and always made me and my sister wear sunscreen, even to our two-a-day dive practices. That habit came in handy while going to school at the beach, I am not fighting the same wrinkles my friends who went without SPF are now! Thanks mom!
N: Wear sunscreen!

One beauty product you cannot live without?

C: Water. Also, I was a child with long hair before cream rinses or conditioners existed (really!), so I appreciate how they have taken the hellish torture out of hair care. I love Davines products.
M: Mascara - Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara or Tarte's Lights, Camera, Splashes waterproof mascara. Otherwise I just look like my dad in drag. 
N: Ooh that's a tough one. I don't really want to be caught without eyeliner and mascara but I really feel like exfoliation is key to smooth, younger looking skin- I can't live without a facial exfoliating pad but I prefer to use Freeze 24/7 IceCrystals Anti-aging Prep and Polish, it's my favorite exfoliator.

Beauty trend you refuse to try?

C: Anything permanent or that involves needles or pain - tattoos, Botox, facelifts, surgery, peels, waxing, etc. Overcome peer pressure and just say no.  Spend your money on something you enjoy and that will make your life better! (Also, the outcomes are often not impressive and sometimes downright dreadful.)
M: I'll try anything in the privacy of my vanity!
N: At this point I haven't been very adventurous, but as I age I'm more open minded. I'd certainly like to avoid any surgery.

Biggest beauty splurge that’s totally worth it?

C: A fun vacation!  Expand your mind, do something active, relax, and be with people you love.
M: Skin care, whatever works best for you. For me it's Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, used with a Clarisonic, and Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil. 
N: I don't spend a lot on my beauty products. Being a jeweler, I'd rather save my money to treat myself to a nice piece of jewelry.

How does nutrition play a role in your beauty routine?

C: I eat for health and pleasure and try to keep those two interests in balance.  
M: I drink lots of water throughout the day to make sure my body and skin are nice and hydrated. 
N: I'm not super strict with what I eat but generally I try to eat fresh fruit and vegetables as much as I can and stay away from processed foods and sweets. My husband gave me a Vitamix for mothers day this year and I love it. Making a smoothie for breakfast or an afternoon snack has made it easier and more satisfying to eat healthy and keep my sweet tooth at bay.

What is your personal fitness philosophy?  

C: Find something active you love to do and do it.
M: I try to work out several times a week at the gym along with long walks with my dog to stay fit and active. I want to feel good in my skin and my clothes! 
N: Being five months pregnant my fitness routine has pretty much gone out the window. But I've always felt it's important to do at least a little something every day. If I can't get a good run in or trip to the gym I resort to a good walk with the dog, a short app work out, or a ride on the paddleboard.

What is your beauty regimen when you have a big event?

C: Shower, shave legs, fix hair, put on makeup and perfume. Big event makeup is moisturizer, foundation, blush, mascara, and lipstick. Honestly, I don't think many people care how I look; I just don't want to embarrass the people I'm with.
M: I like to take my time and enjoy every minute of getting ready, I also like to do it all myself! I will usually self tan at home the night before along with a face mask, and do my nails. My favorite self tanner is the Lorac Tantalizer since you see it right away and it's easy to even out using a mitt. Depending on how my skin is acting I will either use GlamGlow Clearing Treatment or Bliss Oxygen Mask. Second day hair works best for keeping a style with my straight hair so I'll take a body shower and make sure I haven't missed any spots tanning. I'll toss in some Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder in my hair to absorb any excess oils in my hair and style as I go. If I go all out I like to go all the way, primer, foundation, bronzer, blush, contour, highlighter, brows, eyes, lips, lashes, the works!
N: I always keep it pretty simple whether I'm getting ready for a normal day or a big night out. On special occasions I won't go without bb cream and eyeshadow in addition to my staple bronzer, eyeliner and mascara and I always try to paint my nails- it makes me feel a little more pulled together.

Best advice for staying young?

C: Have a happy heart and take care of your health. Only death stops aging, so enjoy every moment of your life, follow your passions, and stay active.
M: "If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." - Roald Dahl, The Twits. I think this quote truly exemplifies how to always be beautiful. If you have a young and beautiful heart that shines through more than anything else does.
N: I think getting enough sleep is key to staying young. Being a mom now
I feel like I'm always short on time and I get a lot of my jewelry work done at night but I feel and look much better when I get enough sleep- not to mention I'm less stressed and more productive.

Favorite local beauty expert(s)?

C: My daughter Marisa. She is brutally honest.
M: All the sweet advisers at Sephora and Ulta, I have always gotten great recommendations from them and have rarely been steered wrong. 
N: Lindsey Regan Thorn of Be Pretty- one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet. My talented hair stylist Maria, owner of Knipt salon, never guides me wrong. And my sister Marisa, who I get all my tips from.


Carolyn Hallet
Adri Warrick

Sidebar: These sisters are the duo behind The Whole Tulip, a holistic health coaching service. See their article on eating for beauty on page __.

The best beauty advice your mother ever gave you?

A: I don’t remember the actual advice she gave me but I do remember clearly how she modeled the importance of self-care. While I didn’t understand the importance as a child, I watched her continually carve out the time to meditate, practice yoga, exercise and eat healthy. Her most beautiful self came out in those moments. That is the best model of beauty I could have asked for.
C: Our mother has been practicing yoga for over 35 years. With that comes a healthier lifestyle including steering us towards non-toxic products like traditional Ayurvedic products, crystal deodorant and essential oils. While the research on aluminum, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates wasn’t as widespread as it is now; our mom inherently knew we shouldn't be putting unhealthy products on our skin.

One beauty product you cannot live without?

A: Juice Plus. There is not one single beauty product that can do what fruits and vegetables can do for our bodies and skin. The best anti-aging regimen comes from eating an anti-inflammatory diet, which means eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables. I take Juice Plus and eat a high-plant based diet, which provides my body with the daily needed vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from whole foods.
C: Water. It seems like a no brainer, but 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. I know I was before I went back to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. My skin was always tight and digestion was poor. Water is essential to proper digestion, the absorption of key vitamins and minerals, and flushing the kidneys and liver to rid the body and skin of toxins. Our skin is our largest organ and requires water just like our internal organs to function properly. I drink half my body weight in ounces or more a day. Adding lemon to my water makes it an excellent source of vitamin C, supports my liver, and aids in digestion.

Beauty trend you refuse to try?

A: Botox
C: Botox

Biggest beauty splurge that’s totally worth it?

A: Having regular massages. Taking care of our bodies is not a luxury, it is a must.
C: Beautycounter Sunscreen. Avoiding sunscreens with parabens, oxybenzone, phthalates is important to me because these ingredients can be absorbed in the organs. I have a lot of sun damage on my skin from not reapplying properly so it is important to me to use a sunscreen I can apply again and again without looking like my son painted me with white paint. The Beautycounter sunscreen is the first zinc based sunscreen I’ve found that rubs in even after several reapplications. To avoid vitamin D deficiency, I take a daily supplement.

How does nutrition play a role in your beauty routine?

A: Nutrition plays the largest role in my beauty routine. What we put in our body is a direct reflection of what we see on the outside. I often get asked about my skin and the truth is that healthy skin comes from eating an abundance of plant based foods. When I cut out sugar, processed foods and artificial ingredients and shifted my diet to focus on eating plant-based foods, my skin changed dramatically, including the elimination of eczema. Finding the right foods that fuel you and eliminating the foods that inflame your body is the key to having a healthy gut, which in turn gives you that outward glow that we all strive for.
C: Bigger than any beauty product out there is nutrition. It is said that 80 percent of how our skin looks on the outside is due to our health on the inside, including our gut health. I focus on filling my body with lots of water, healthy fats like avocado, ultra premium olive oil, coconut oil, and omega 3's from salmon, walnuts, chia and flax seeds and foods rich in antioxidants. I avoid processed foods and artificial ingredients. I watch the amount of added sugar in my diet and limit my caffeine to one cup of coffee per day (even with a newborn!). I also take a daily probiotic for gut health and to boost my immune system.

What is your personal fitness philosophy?  

A: Fitness is an evolution. I’ve learned that what worked for me 10 years ago may not be what I need now. We live in a culture that we have to push harder and harder to achieve strength, and I have learned that when it comes to fitness, sometimes, less is more. Being in tune with my body and doing what I know to be true for myself is my fitness philosophy.
C: As a certified holistic health coach, I believe there is no one diet that works for everyone all of the time. We help our clients thrive by finding the foods and lifestyle choices that are right for them. I think the same applies to fitness. It important to find a fitness routine that works for you, you enjoy, and works for your body type. Just like with food, I believe going outside of your comfort zone is important and variety is key. There are several exercise classes that I've thought would be intimidating, but once I got in there, I've loved them and they have made the biggest impact on my body and mind.

What is your beauty regimen when you have a big event?

A: Just having my hair blown out at 8 Salon is a wonderful treat!
C: I make sure to hydrate well with lemon water. For the hair and makeup, I let someone else help me! I love getting my hair blown out by Ashley at 8 Salon.

Best advice for staying young?

A: Lead from your heart. Set aside the fears and doubts and know that you are beautiful and perfect just as you are. Live in the present and silence the voice that tells you what you should be doing. I believe that when we operate from our authentic selves, that is when we see that the truest beauty is not only in ourselves but in each other.
C: Stress Management. This is something I am constantly working on, but the more I do, the better I feel. I find breathing techniques, exercise, yoga, and talking to people help me the most. I recently took a course with Kristen Oliver that has really changed my outlook and how I manage stress. Stress unnecessarily ages us not only through facial lines, but also internally. Excessive stress can really take a toll on the body and mind and in some cases can cause adrenal fatigue, which can result in excessive tiredness, cravings, weight gain, unhealthy skin, dark circles under the eyes, and hormone imbalances, just to name a few symptoms. 

Favorite local beauty expert(s)?

A: Minou at Varji and Varji for eyebrow threading, Jenell Boris with Radiant Skin Organic Spa for facials and massage, 8 Salon for hair, Hilliard Studio Method and Be Yoga for my mind and body and, of course, The Whole Tulip, for my healthy eating style.
C: For facials, waxing and massage, I love Deborah at Esthetique and Jenell at Radiant Skin Organic Spa. Ashley and Rodger at 8 the Salon for my hair. Hilliard Studio Method and Be Yoga for my mind and body and of course, The Whole Tulip, for my healthy eating style.

Jun 2015

Last Word

Written by

With Jill Dinwiddie

Local Community Issue most on your radar… Since I’m Chair of the Board of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, I have to say that women's access to affordable reproductive health care occupies some of my thinking each day. In tandem with this is the need for girls and young women to have access to reliable, comprehensive sex education so they grow up valuing their strengths and talents determined to protect their own bodies from unwanted advances by men.

Broader national/international issue most on your radar… Following this theme, the plight of young girls in so many parts of the world - acid throwing, bride burning, dowry death, honor killing, genital mutilation, female infanticide, child brides, human trafficking, sexual slavery and murder should make all of us grateful that we live in a country that has laws to protect us from most of these atrocities.

Local non-profit you will drop everything to help…I am over-committed to my community projects but in addition to Planned Parenthood, domestic violence remains a high priority for me.

Best party/event you’ve been to in the last year… The Library Foundation Verse and Vino.

Recent splurge you treated yourself to… A bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies.  I ration myself to no more than 2 per day.

Charlottean you’d like to see run for Mayor one day… Vi Lyles, although I'm hoping she'll run for the NC Assembly.

Best meal you’ve had in a while… Dinner at Fearrington House (near Chapel Hill).

Advice you’d give your younger self…Start preparing early to run for public office.  I almost ran for Congress when I lived in CA but lost my nerve after the barrage of press inquiries when I just picked up the application.  I hate that money is driving the election of our public officials and it's difficult to get smart, talented women to run for office.

May 2015

Cotswold Home Tour

Written by

Building Communities:  Cotswold Home Tour Benefit


Over coffee at Leroy Fox, Howie Webb announced that Building Communities is making its maiden

voyage in the Cotswold neighborhood. With 12 years of building homes in Charlotte on his resume,

Webb, Co-owner of Ashland Custom Homes with Ed Riesmeyer, decided it was time to do more to

give back to charitable organizations in our community. The two owners have a history of backing

nonprofit causes, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Paula Takacs Foundation

and Camp Sunshine. But, Webb said, “As we grow up, become adults and are fortunate enough to

experience a taste of success in life, we feel that the responsibility to give back and lift others up

grows as well. It is not optional. It is one of the reasons we are in business.”

It is the reason they are spearheading the Building Communities home tour as well. The tour,

which takes place Saturday, May 9, from 10a.m.-4p.m., winds through four newly constructed or

renovated luxury homes within five minutes of one another. Tourists will get a taste of the home

styles, not to mention tastes of food from neighborhood restaurants, including Leroy Fox. The event

will also feature an interior design showcase by Cotswold Marketplace.

Webb is making sure the experience runs deeper than the design: 100 percent of ticket sales will

go to four nonprofits, with each represented by one of the four houses: Bee Mighty, Cystic Fibrosis

Foundation Charlotte Chapter, Friendship Trays and Charlotte Rescue Mission.

“I am looking forward to not only what impact we can make on May 9,” Webb said, “but the impact

that we and the associated ripple effect can have on the Charlotte community five to ten years from

now. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the generosity of the individuals and businesses in this

community and we are just happy to do our part to make it a little better.”

Ashland Custom Homes




Verbal tour, as told by Howie Webb

The Friendship Trays House. “Before building this new home on a beautiful corner lot in Old

Cotswold, we had to take down a small ranch home, which was previously occupied by a wonderful

couple for nearly 60 years. Our hope was to create a home large enough to accommodate the needs

of the incoming family, while still respecting the styles and tradition of the neighborhood. Saving as

many trees as possible was also very important.”

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation House. “This new construction home was built on a vacant lot for a

young, growing family. As a custom builder, we really strive to focus each project reflecting the unique

style and specific needs of each customer. The interior and exterior of this home feature unique

touches, including sliding barn doors, a library and a rustic oak hardwood floor stained with oil. From

the light fixtures, to the wallpaper, to the molding details—this house is definitely one of a kind, just like

the family for whom it was built.”

The Bee Mighty House. This house was extended upwards. “We tore down an existing one-car

garage and added a new, two-car garage. Then we took off the entire roof and went up with three

bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large bonus room over the garage. We added almost 2,700 heated

square feet on an entirely new second level. On the main floor, we added a new drop zone,

rearranged a few of the remaining rooms to accommodate the new staircase and created a great

space for entertaining with an open floor plan and a new kitchen.”

The Charlotte Rescue Mission House. This house was expanded out. “We were brought in to create a

new master suite on the main level, and update all of the existing bathrooms. Blending the old and the

new can be challenging—between the un-level floors, unexpected structural issues, and trying to match

old windows, moldings and door styles that are no longer manufactured. In the end, we were able to

achieve a very smooth transition.”


A group of physicians from Carolinas HealthCare System(CHS) made an appearance in drag for the fourth-annual Stiletto Sprint at Symphony Park on September 20. They sprinted across a strip of concrete in honor of the ovarian cancer survivors on the sidelines. Dr. Robert Higgins, Associate Director of Gynecological Oncology at CHS, sported a purple body suit, a curly brunette wig, giant teal sunglasses and a fluffy teal boa. “It’s a real privilege to care for these women with ovarian cancer,” Higgins said.

“They are so courageous and they go through a lot of pain and suffering sometimes.” Dr. James Hall, Director of Gynecological Oncology at Levine Cancer Institute, sprinted in a tiara, a frizzy teal wig and matching gloves. “As evidenced by our heels and our outfits,” he said, “we’ll do anything for the cause—to raise awareness, to provide education and to help fund research. Given the publicity that breast cancer gets, it is important to remember my new mantra for gyn cancers, ‘without ovaries, there would be no tatas!’”

The Stiletto Sprint, presented by Bissell, featured a series of sprints but started slow and steady with a Survivor Walk. The morning raised $96,000 for the Carolinas Ovarian Cancer Fund at Levine Cancer Institute.

“Part of what we do here today is to make it so that other women don’t have to go through what we have gone through,” said Vicky Neer, a survivor. She is a member of the Teal Magnolias, the CHS ovarian cancer support group that established the Stiletto Sprint in 2011 to raise funds for ovarian cancer research—with an emphasis on developing early detection capabilities—while educating others about the disease.

“There is no test, there is no pap smear version for ovarian cancer,” Neer said.  As she and other survivors at the Stiletto Sprint stressed, ovarian cancer is difficult to catch early, as there are no early-detection devices and the symptoms often go unnoticed until the cancer has progressed. Those symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating, feeling full quickly, and urinary urgency or frequency.

“I’m here because of the luck of the calendar,” said Neer, whose cancer was caught when she went to a routine gynecological appointment.

As for the monthly meetings with the Teal Magnolias, she said, “The support in that room is incredible for women who are just diagnosed, for women who are going through treatment and for women who are in remission and can provide emotional support and information for the others.”

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014 nearly 22,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For about 14,200 women, that diagnosis will be fatal. The disease ranks No. 5 in female cancer deaths.

Emcee Maureen O’Boyle of WBTV said, “Levine Cancer Institute is working so hard… it is our effort that in the next five years we will have what we need to make everyone a survivor of ovarian cancer.”

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