100 Faces of Winston-Salem

Like everyone in the world, I was struggling to grasp our situation last spring. I wanted a place to focus my nervous energy. I wanted to help in some way. I decided on an ambitious project – painting 100 portraits in 100 days to raise money for WFBH’s Covid-19 Fund. It became the 100 Faces of Winston-Salem Project. 

First of all, I needed 100 subjects. I didn’t just want to paint my friends. I wanted to get to know more people in my community and check-in with small business owners, health care workers, and people who were doing tough jobs during Covid. I started with a few subjects that I wanted to know more about – the friendly barista at Camino, the president of Old Salem and his partner Johnny. From there, I started asking the community to nominate who I would paint next. Who did they think deserved a little spotlight?

In this project, I was freed from my usual business structure and didn’t have to think about painting to sell. The conversations with portrait subjects were sometimes difficult. The pandemic effected their jobs, family life, and mental state, but also knit us all together as a community. Many times subjects teared up with the honor of being singled out by others. People told me that they never thought anyone would want to paint their portrait. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) held a show of all 100 portraits from September 2020 – January 2021. The fact that the subjects and their families could go see their image in “a real museum” was so exciting. It felt good to give recognition to those who are so often overlooked.

I used Instagram to post the process, the interviews, and the portraits. I partnered with Wake Forest Baptist Hospital to raise money on the front end as people made donations to nominate who I should paint, and on the back end as people bought and gifted the paintings. 100% of the money collected went to WFBH’s Covid-19 Fund. So far the project has raised over $19,000 and the remaining pieces are still being sold. If you would like to buy or gift one of these pieces, I can walk you through the $200 donation process. 

100 Faces in 100 Days

Kate Allivato

This is Kate Allivato…Kate is a barista at Camino Bakery (which temporarily closed at the end of March), a new mother to a baby girl, and a singer in band called The Genuine. She and her husband are trying to be positive in their home, take this time to create more music, and spend quality time with their daughter although Kate is anxious to get back to work.

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Frank Vagnone

Frank is the president of Old Salem Inc. Since closing the historical site, Frank has stayed busy coordinating care of the buildings and staff. Over 40,000 students pass through the site to learn each year, so Frank and his team have started creating online tours of the buildings so that kids can learn from home.


Johnny Yeagley

Partners, Johnny and Frank live in the 4th house in Old Salem. They have filled the historic home with their beautiful collection of art and objects from around the world. Prior to 2017 they lived in NY. When asked how The South compares, Johnny says people take more time to spend together here. I’m hopeful that we have converted him…


Michael

Michael can be found most mornings putting 110% into selling WS Journal. He has been on the job for 5 years now. Michael has 2 grown kids and takes care of his niece and nephew in the afternoons.


Naomi Gingerich

This is Naomi Gingerich… she and her daughter started Lavender and Honey Kitchen nearly 3 years ago. They started as a pop-up, then became regulars at the Cobblestone Farmer’s Market , and now they are organizing a brick & mortar bakery coming this summer! I’ve been worried about some of my favorite bakers making it during the quarantine, but L&H has done an incredible job of pivoting. They are making weekly provision packages and able to keep their employees employed.

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Natalie Gingerich

Natalie and her mom own Lavender and Honey Kitchen (see previous post). Natalie says, “During this time, I’ve learned to be even more creative and resourceful as a single mom and business owner; very grateful to be staying busy with our bakery as I know this isn’t the case with everyone.”

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Don Flow

When I first started talking to people about this project, one name kept coming up. “You have to paint Don Flow, but he’s so modest, he will never agree to it.” Thank you to Gwynne and Dan Taylor for sponsoring his portrait and convincing him to be in the spotlight for a moment. Don is one of the main Mask the City organizers. By the end of this week 60,000 masks will have been distributed at no charge to Forsyth Co. residents at or below the poverty line and 20,000 to seniors on fixed incomes. 360,000 masks will have been produced in total to help flatten the curve. As one person told me, “Don sees a need and within a couple days has secured the funding, secured the producer, and organized 200 groups to make it happen.” P.S. In typical Don Flow fashion he is paying it forward. You can look forward to two portraits of his choice in the future.


Chandler

This is Chandler or is it Sarah? No, definitely Chandler… I think…. these twins live around the corner from us and are the best babysitters ever. They love to run and make up games in the driveway with all the neighborhood’s little ones. I asked them how school from home was going and they said they have become “master procrastinators.”


Sarah

Sarah and Chandler have the same face and the same voice. Chandler was born 1 minute before her sister and is 1 inch taller. They are drawn to different friends. Sarah likes dance, but Chandler likes running.


Jesse

This is Jesse… Jesse is 24 and works construction in Winston-Salem for Wilson-Covington. It’s the best job he has ever had. He loves that every day is different, but he hates sanding. Jesse plans to continue learning the trade and takes a lot of pride in his work.

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Teri Hutcheon

This is Teri Hutcheon… Teri can usually be found running her way through WS. She writes a popular blog called a Foodie Stays Fit keeping all her followers motivated to stay with their big goals. “I always try to think of squeezing as much learning and growth out of a tough period as I can. Kind of like, don’t waste this opportunity – hard situations are a GREAT teacher.”


Andrew Gray

This is Andrew Gray… Andrew lives in Kernersville, but comes to Winston-Salem to work as a firefighter. He is captain of Rescue 1 on the corner of Arbor and Country Club. They do respond to local fire issues, but their main job is to rescue people from extreme situations – vehicle entrapment, hiking accidents and the like. Andrew has been on the job for 13 years and has two little kids at home. He said they are not receiving visitors at the fire station right now, but once this is over, they love showing children around.


Dr. William Satterwhite III

This is Dr. William Satterwhite III… Dr. Satterwhite, in addition to being a beloved pediatrician, is the Chief Health & Wellness Officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He foresaw the need for masks back in March. He and his team at Baptist approached Renfro, North America’s largest sock manufacturer, to produce what became the nightingale mask. Dr. Satterwhite said, “It was actually a fun day because we went up to their manufacturing facility, they would make something, come back, try something else, come back…” until they had a comfortable, useful design. Once Don Flow got involved, funding and distribution happened fast. “Don would call me everyday and tell me who was on board. It was really exciting!” Within 10 days, out of nothing came this whole community effort to mask the city – to change the direction of our city. It was the first citywide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now other cities are following our lead.
Thank you Dr. Satterwhite and thank you Don Flow for sponsoring this portrait!


Martha Metzler

This is Martha Metzler… Martha spent years as an in-school counselor before joining ILLUMII in Reynolda Village. ILLUMII provides educational and behavioral guidance for preschoolers to adults. Martha has been taking counseling sessions online during the quarantine and spending lots of time in nature (mostly playing in the mud) with her three young boys.

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Sam Metzler

This is Sam Metzler… Sam went to Wake Forest University Law School and served in Afghanistan as an Army JAG officer. He has since settled down to work at quality oil and raise his 3 boys. He still volunteers with the Veterans Treatment Court getting veterans the help they need when they have difficulty integrating back into daily life.

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Melanie Barbee

This is Melanie Barbee… Rolly’s Baby Boutique is a 40+ year WS institution. Melanie bought it 8 years ago and remembers shopping there for her daughter when she was little. The shop was started by a woman named Rolanda Frazier, but everyone called her Rolly, pronounced Roll-E (not Raleigh), hence the store name! Their biggest sellers are baby gifts, gliders, and things to make nurseries warm and cozy. Melanie says how thankful she is for the community’s support during this time. Personally, I can’t imagine WS without Rolly’s Baby Boutique or WS without Melanie. She is a champion of small businesses and a great supporter of women business owners. She got me started producing art other than house portraits and I’ll be forever thankful.

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Dawson Prior

This is Dawson Prior… Dawson is a senior at Kennedy High School. She should be getting ready for graduation and all the excitement that surrounds it, but our poor seniors got cheated a bit this year. Dawson plans to study animation and we had a good talk about art (it runs in her family). Thank you to Wendy and Eric Prior for sponsoring Dawson’s portrait.

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Alejandra

This is Alejandra… She came to America when she couldn’t make enough money working in Mexico to provide for her son. She has been here 22 years and now has 5 kids. She cleans hotels & houses, volunteers in her children’s schools, and loves to cook traditional Mexican dishes. “I’m always telling my kids how education is very important and is the most important heritage I can leave them with. I tell them they will have a different life compared to mine.”

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Coleman Team

This is Coleman Team…Coleman is part of Front Street Capital, the developer of the reimagined Bailey South building in Innovation Quarter among other projects. The building designed by STITCH Design Shop will be the new home of The Variable lab and, I’m told, will have an exciting new restaurant in it (can’t wait) when it opens in a few weeks. Coleman has been raising funds to support our local restaurants like The Porch, River Birch Lodge, and Milner’s American and have them provide meals to Samaritan Ministries, Bethesda Center, and City with Dwellings to name a few. So far, his “Love on our Neighbors” campaign has raised over $20,000 to feed the hungry and keep some of our favorite restaurants going. 


Quinn Cronin

This is Quinn Cronin… she just turned 8! She is a happy ambassador of The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Winston-Salem (DSAGWS). Did you know that people with Downs Syndrome often have a diminished immune system? During this time Quinn and her friends are reminding us that although we can’t physically connect, we can certainly connect emotionally. We see a lot of examples in the community of people supporting others which is always the goal of DSAGWS.


Peyton Smith

This is Peyton Smith… Peyton was famously vocal for rarely providing takeout at his restaurant Mission Pizza . His Napoletana style pizza is meant to be devoured fresh out of his 900-degree oven. This particular situation seems tailor made to defeat him and his business model. However, he has pivoted, like so many others during this unprecedented time. “When you have employees you don’t have a choice. You have to survive.” Peyton can seem tough on the outside, but a car-full of his employees drove up as we were finishing our photo session. They told me flat out what a good boss he is and that’s when I got THE picture. Personally, I think his bucatini is a bowl of heaven – even as takeout. I can’t wait for the day when we can sit at his bar and have a “normal” date night.

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Ricardo Murga

This is Ricardo Murga… He told me to tell you that he is the best painter in town. He came to the USA from El Salvador in 1992. He employed 12 people, but these days only runs a crew of 4.


Gina Garcia

This is Gina Garcia… Gina opened Remedy Apothecary 3 years ago but has been making her salves and soaps for 7 years. She learned to make natural remedies from her Grandmother. Remedies don’t cure cancer, but Gina says in these stressful times a nice bath or cup of herbal tea can be just what you need. Thank you, Kelli Price, for sponsoring this portrait and introducing me to Gina – her shop smells heavenly!

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Juan

This is Juan… Juan has always been THE guy at our Whole Foods. He always says hello and asks how we are doing. When Will was a baby, Juan would coax a shy smile out of him. Now when we go, Will always asks, “do you think Juan is here today?” I wanted to catch up with Juan to see how the past couple of months have been. Grocery store employees were run ragged and bore the brunt of our panic buying stress. In typical Juan fashion though (he’s a really chill guy) he didn’t have any horror stories to report. He says, “people are actually pretty kind and thoughtful.” A few other things about Juan: he always takes a whole week off for his birthday, he loves to create music, and he’s been growing his locks for 26 years!! 

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Brandon Mercer

This is Brandon Mercer…He is the pastor of Redemption Hill Church. The church is doing online daily outreach, devotional podcasts, zoom calls, porch visits, and one-on-one counseling. They are also focusing on supporting front line workers. The congregation has provided meals to Novant Health ER doctors and Brenner Children’s hospital through The Porch. Brandon says they are focused on giving blessings to the community and keeping in touch with their church family. Thank you, Kelli Price, for sponsoring Brandon’s portrait. People depend a lot on their churches during times like these and it is so uplifting to see the good works that a community can do together. 


Lonnie Atkinson

This is Lonnie Atkinson… Lonnie is the owner of Village Juice where she creates clean food and raw juice. She has temporarily shut down her Wake Forest University, Elon University, and 4th street locations but kept open the Stratford location. Lonnie says thankfully they already had a grab-and-go model; however, she misses the community aspect of her restaurant. She said many of her loyal customers come in everyday, some even 2-3 times a day! The slow down impacts so many people in her chain from farmers to restaurant equipment groups.

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Chuck Spong

This is Chuck Spong… Chuck is the executive director of Love Out Loud WS, a group that weaves together different faith groups, businesses, and individuals to do collective good. Most recently, they took on the task of distributing 62,000 of the nightingale masks to WS, NC residents at or below the poverty line and to seniors on fixed incomes. They got help from Wise Man Brewing to store the boxes, 170 faith groups to take them door to door, and when they needed a tent to set up a drive through, Tailgate Guys came to the rescue. They do a fabulous job of connecting the community to facilitate work. Thank you to Don Flow for sponsoring Chuck’s portrait.


Brandon France

This is Brandon France… Brandon works at Krankies Cafe but was laid off from his evening bartending shifts when the college kids left town. He also was working at Niki’s Pickles and luckily has picked up extra shifts there. Oh and he’s also in school! Brandon says, “Pickles are the most exciting thing my life right now…”


Beth Arter

This is Beth Arter… Beth is a veteran – she was a basic training officer who now spends her time volunteering. She usually works with the Services to Armed Forces (SAF). They help veterans and their families with stress management, personal finance, housing, dental, and medical services. Most of those events have been postponed due to COVID so Beth decided to volunteer at The American Red Cross on Coliseum Dr. for the interim. Now that hospitals are doing more surgeries, demand for blood products is growing again. If you’d like to donate blood, you can make an appointment online or just show up. The volunteers are wearing masks, sanitizing hands, and checking temperatures at the front desk. Depending on whether you donate blood or platelets, the whole thing takes 30 min-2hrs

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Lawren Desai

This is Lawren Desai… Lawren is the executive director and curator of a/perture cinema on 4th street. She’s been rolling with the punches and trying to figure out what reopening with limited capacity will look like. In the meantime, to support a/perture , you can use their virtual cinema feature and buy a ticket to watch at home. Lawren is still handpicking the films for us to enjoy at home.


Dr. Crick Watkins

This is Dr. Crick Watkins… Crick is a pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Brenner Children’s. He has been in Winston-Salem since 2009 and has 3 little kids of his own. He says they haven’t seen many kids coming in with COVID-19. What they have seen is kids coming in very sick with other problems because parents have delayed seeking treatment. Crick asks us to know and understand that they are taking every necessary precaution to keep us safe. He says, “Don’t be afraid to come see us. We will take care of you and keep you safe.” Thank you to our portrait sponsors for Dr. Watson – they wish to remain anonymous.


Jeremy Grace

This is Jeremy Grace… Jeremy owns Wildlight Wellness Collective on Trade St. They offer yoga, reiki, HIIT (which is like personal training) and meditation in addition to training instructors in these areas. Jeremy had a wild ride on his path from corporate consulting to owning a wellness studio that included a big move and a car accident that fractured his spine. He is so passionate about what he does now and the space, including a cafe, is just beautiful.


Jennifer Smith

This is Jennifer Smith… Jennifer is the owner of Mozelle’s Southern Bistro in West End. They have stayed open for take-out during the shutdown, selling tons of fried chicken, burgers, and tomato pie. She is proud of her team for hanging in there and not giving up. She also says the back of the house has taken on new importance. They have worked out a plan for reopening to outdoor diners June 1st.


Morgan Moxley

This is Morgan Moxley… Morgan is a first-year teacher at Vienna Elementary. She is lead teacher of a third-grade class and she is newlywed. This is not how she imagined her first year of teaching, but she says she is so glad she got to know her students before switching to online learning. She is such a loving, kind soul – it is tough not being able to hug “her kids.”


Abrea Armstrong

This is Abrea Armstrong… Abrea works for Wake Forest School of Medicine as the communications and marketing coordinator in Innovation Quarter. She says COVID has had some unintended benefits. She is trying to stay positive and see it as a “beautiful sabbatical”. If you do your job for around 8 hours a day and sleep for another 8, you have 8 hours leftover to be productive in other ways. She has started an LLC and a novel! Abrea is writing about her journey to Africa last year and the self-discovery, culture, & heritage that she experienced on that trip.


Wilson Pace

This is Wilson Pace… Wilson works at Trouvaille Home. During his time off he helped complete a renovation of the retail store and is keeping his fingers in shape practicing the violin. He plays in two regional symphonies – Western Piedmont Symphony in Hickory & the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra. Both organizations have had to cancel their seasons. He urges everyone to support live music….hopefully soon.


Andy Tennille

This is Andy Tennille… Andy is one of the owners of The Ramkat. They are trying to figure out what a socially distanced concert would look like. Meanwhile, Andy has gone back to his first love – documenting music. He was on the road photographing and filming for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Widespread Panic, and Leon Bridges to name a few. So now he is bringing that skill set to The Ramkat’s Home Sweet Home series. Andy is creating high quality concerts on The Ramkat’s stage and sharing them on Facebook and YouTube as a way to continue supporting local musicians.


Maria

This is Maria… Maria came from Mexico 20 years ago. She cleans houses and sells Princess House (a line of kitchen products) but no one is buying right now. She didn’t clean houses during the stay at home orders because she says, “I respect life.” Maria likes to swim and play volleyball in her free time.

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Liem Nguyen

This is Liem Nguyen… Liem is the owner of Dejavu Nail Salon (behind Midtown Café & Dessertery). He has owned it for 8 years and has 10 employees. He says they have had no money coming in during the shutdown but have still managed to pay rent and utilities. The government assistance has helped some of his employees, but they are all anxious to get back to work. They have set up partitions between workers and customers, and have a safety center at check-in.


Eric Aft

This is Eric Aft… Eric is CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC which on a normal week distributes 380,000 lb. of food, but during these unprecedented times has been distributing 625,000 lbs. of food to 18 counties in N.C. I spent a morning touring one of the 3 warehouses and 14 refrigerator trucks that it takes to support just the hub of this huge operation. There are several ways Eric says we can help the food bank. First you can always give on their website. Second you can look over their wish list of items and do your own community food drive. One of Second Harvest’s missions is to educate and provide good nutrition, so they would rather have low sodium products etc. Third you can look further into the summer to volunteer your time when you feel safe to do so.
Eric recently recovered from COVID-19. He says he was out for 3 weeks and spent 4 days in the hospital. He says he still gets a little tired sometimes but is doing well.


Peabody Griffin

This is Peabody Griffin… Peabody trained at Providence, the culinary training arm of Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC. Students go through a 13-week course and a local internship that prepares them for culinary jobs. It provides a skill set and often a fresh start for so many. Peabody is an essential employee now at Second Harvest. Eric Aft says that Peabody “contributes a lot of jokes along with his skills to The Food Bank.” He also says that the volunteers love working alongside of him because of his attitude.


Alex Mejia

This is Alexi Mejia… Alexi is from Charlotte but has been living here in Winston-Salem with the National Guard for about a month on State Active Duty. He is 1.5 years into his 6-year commitment. Alexi says he joined because he wanted to, but also for the education benefits. He is studying to be an automotive technician. He loves to work on cars and do anything physically active.
When Second Harvest Food Bank lost their volunteers during the stay at home orders, the National Guard stepped in to help with food distribution. Alexi doesn’t know where they will head next.


Vivian Joiner

This is Vivian Joiner… Vivian and her partner Stephanie Tyson are the owners of Sweet Potatoes and Miss Ora’s Kitchen. They have decided not to open to diners yet “until people are safer.” However, they have been offering to-go meals on Fridays and Saturdays. Vivian is more front-end of the house/manger whereas Stephanie is chef. They opened their doors in 2003.

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Stephanie Tyson

This is Stephanie Tyson… Stephanie is chef and co-owner at Sweet Potatoes on Trade St. They opened their doors in 2003. Stephanie cooked all over and finally decided to come back to Winston-Salem to settle down. She has published two cookbooks and been written up in the New York Times.

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Dr. Kate Lambert

This is Dr. Kate Lambert… Dr. Kate and her partners at Spangler, Rohlfing, & Lambert Pediatric Dentistry closed their office for 8 weeks. They worked hard during that time to gather PPE, look out for their team, and make plans so that they could continue to serve the community. Dr. Kate says it feels great to be back and “interacting” with patients again even if that involves air high fives instead of hugs. The kids are responding well to all the new protective equipment that they are wearing in the office. Kate and her team were worried that it might scare the kids, so they made several videos on what to expect when you visit again.

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Hill Stockton

This is Hill Stockton… Hill is the 3rd generation owner of Norman Stockton. The business is 111 years old now. Hill has photos of his grandfather’s original store on Trade St with a hitching post out front. I asked him how the business has changed over the years and he responded that his grandfather sold 100 dozen felt hats a year and now Hill sells mostly button-down sports shirts. The business survived the Great Depression, WWII, the Recession, and changing men’s styles. The family photo which includes his grandfather and father hanging over the sales counter is a reminder of perseverance in tough times.

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Catherine Mizzi

This is Catherine Mizzi… Cat just graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in women’s, gender, & sexuality studies. She was hoping for a full-time position with the university as a fellow before heading to grad school, but Wake, like so many other places, is in a hiring freeze. Cat says she feels like she hasn’t really graduated. Graduation was virtual and she’s still working at Dough-Joes Doughnuts & Coffee. She says that Dough Joe’s has been great. They set up a Venmo account to benefit employees and a bunch of loyal customers contributed to it.


Lane Young

This is Lane Young… Lane is the Director of Carolina School of Real Estate. I enjoyed meeting her, however, I think the sponsors described her best… “Lane, throughout her career, has touched the lives of many individuals training to become licensed real estate agents. It takes a leap of faith to make a career change, and we often hear how Lane’s encouragement, understanding, and giving spirit made a difference in someone’s career path. She often works harder than anyone else, behind the scenes—and with this painting, we want to give her a small measure of the credit she is due. She is a vibrant and meaningful part of the WS community!” Thank you to sponsors Brent and JoAnn White.


Tim Hutchins

This is Tim Hutchins… Tim has been taking photos of Winston-Salem for 7 years. He has a “day job” but has been taking on part-time photography work for several local business. Tim’s favorite thing to photograph is the night sky, which if you know anything about photography, is a challenge. He likes to make it doubly difficult by adding a model in the foreground. Getting the right lighting and exposure on the model and the sky is really tough. Tim says he didn’t unlock his passion until later in life. He encourages others not to “waste your life on something you aren’t passionate about.”

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Lynn Parsley

This is Lynn Parsley… Lynn has been a marriage and family therapist for 41 years. She has written a book “Staying Together for at Least 50 Years”. Lynn grew up in Winston, went out into the world and decided to come back. She and her wife Kathy love Ardmore, the symphony, and all the new brew pubs that have popped up in recent years. I asked Lynn about the best and worst parts of her profession. She says the best is when sees people make positive change in their lives, the worst is when a patient struggling with substance abuse dies.

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Melissa Vickers

This is Melissa Vickers… Melissa and two friends (Marissa Joyce and Katie Sonnen Lee) are the organizers of Project Mask. They have over 2,000 volunteers cutting, sewing, washing, and delivering masks to 14+ counties in NC plus a few in VA and SC. So far, they have sewn 86,000 masks and plan to reach 100,000. Melissa says it was like starting a major business. She was on the phone constantly those first few weeks sourcing fabric, elastic, and donations. Places like Village Fabric Shop donated fabric and one man donated 1,500 lb. of elastic! Two Men and a Truck Intl. volunteered to move it for them and someone else volunteered to store it for them. “That’s just the kind of place Winston-Salem is!” says Melissa.


Kendrick Pittman Jr

This is Kendrick Pittman Jr…. Kendrick is the 47th Mister Winston-Salem State University! His job is to represent the male population of the university, foster community relations, encourage alumni engagement, and support new students. Kendrick is originally from Tarrboro, NC and would like to go into sports management. He has had internships with Greensboro Grasshoppers, Carolina Thunderbirds, and NCAA tournaments.


Tommy Priest

This is Tommy Priest… Tommy has owned the Coffee Park Airstream across from Crossnore School & Children’s Home for 14 years. It is a 1958 Airstream trailer that Tommy restored himself. He says it had been living under a pine tree for 20 years and was black from the sap and abuse. I asked him how business has been. He said the first few days were rough. They had some $72 mornings, but a few kind customers left envelopes of money and Tommy made payroll for his employees. Now it seems to be swimming along. The average interaction as you pull up for coffee is 35 seconds and they wear masks. Before owning coffee shops, Tommy was in experiential marketing. I had to ask what that was, and he gave me the example that he was hired to teach 100,000 people how to play Magic the Gathering one summer.

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Ted Kazakos

This is The Honorable Ted Kazakos… He is District Court Judge for the 21st judicial district. Prior to being elected, Judge Kazakos served as Assistant District Attorney for Forsyth Co. He likes working with the broad spectrum of the community that he sees in his courtroom. He sees everything from speeding tickets to domestic violence and on a busy day may hear 300-400 cases. Judge Kazakos tells me that when the court closes for a snow day, it can take months to make up for the missed court time. The COVID related closure from March until now has created an enormous backlog in the system. He is excited to get back in court and handle business.


Dr. Emmanuel Scott

This is Dr. Emmanuel Scott… Dr. Scott is at the end of his second year of residency. He is specializing in radiation oncology at Wake Forest Baptist Health . I asked him how things have changed for him. He said he was really busy with 14-hour days treating cancer – now he has shorter hours, more outpatient hours, and is much more focused on infectious disease. He says we should all be wearing our masks in public and points out that in other countries, it is part of the culture to wear one if you have any sort of cough in order to protect others.


Sarah Scott

This is Sarah Scott… Sarah and Emmanuel have been married for 7 years. She is a teacher at The Arts Based School but stayed home this year with the birth of their second child. She blogs about parenting mixed children and fights for equality. Sarah says, “it is stressful for sure having him (Emmanuel) on the frontlines, but we are really leaning into gratefulness. We are happy, healthy, and we love each other!”


Russ Anderson

This is Russ Anderson… Russ is one of the owners of The Caviste. He jumped into the wine business 12 years ago – fleeing corporate America. He loves pairing food, customers, and wine. I asked him what his favorite bottle/last sip on earth bottle would be and he came back with, “well what am I eating with it?” They had to close the new wine bar feature to their business during COVID but are still operating strong as a bottle shop. Russ says he has felt great support from the community.

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Maurice Crocker

This is Maurice Crocker… Maurice has been a personal trainer for 19 years. His business Showtime Physique on 3rd street relies heavily on longtime clients. 75% of them have been with him for 10 years or more. Maurice says they aren’t just clients – they are friends. He has been married for 24 years and has 2 active boys who keep him on some sort of sports field whenever he isn’t working. Thank you to Laura and Robert Esleeck for sponsoring Maurice’s portrait. Robert told me, “He is a great husband, fantastic father of two really fine young men, and is one of the kindest and most considerate people I’ve ever known. He is a man of faith and practices his faith throughout the totality of his life, including his business relationships. In any discussion that occurs in our community regarding race relations, parental responsibilities, and civil discourse, Maurice should be at the table.”

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Krista Ackert

This is Krista Ackert… Krista and her sister are the owners of The Carving Board in Thruway Center . It started out 24 years ago when her brother-in-law and mother transferred here from NY. They had owned a deli there and thought it could work here. The brother-in-law eventually retired but the sisters wanted to keep it going. The restaurant’s biggest sellers are chicken salad (they make over 100lb. a day) and spicy noodles (they make over 80lb. a day). The shutdown was horribly stressful, Krista says. They have now opened back up for takeout and WS has responded! She said the first day they decided to make 1/2 the amount of food they usually do, hopeful that customers would return. They were out by 1:00.

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Officer Jess Watts

This is Officer Jess Watts… and Zorro her K-9 partner. Officer Watts has been in the WSPD for 7 years. Service was always her goal and dogs always her passion. She and Zorro, a Czech Shepherd, did 400 hours together to get their certification and do a minimum 16 hours a month of training to keep their certification. Their main tasks include missing person or suspect tracking and narcotics detection. Officer Watts tells me Zorro can sniff a personal object (like a child’s Pjs) to track like a bloodhound, but more often, Zorro is looking for human odor that dissipates over time and ground disturbances to indicate a path. When Zorro is off duty, he likes to “act like a big dork” with Jess’s other 4 dogs at home.


Speros Aslanidis

This is Speros Aslanidis… Speros has owned Olive Tree restaurant on Stratford since 2002. He came from Salonika, Greece to Winston-Salem. He has two kids ages 7 and 13. Speros says business has been tough but he really feels bad for the kids. They miss school and their friends so much. Speros insists that, “no one will forget 2020!” 

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John Bost

This is John Bost… John has a history here that is too long for me to do it justice. The highlights include educator, pastor, consultant, realtor, developer, 2 terms on WSFC planning board, and 3-term mayor of Clemmons. He has also written a few books including “A Catalyst for Change”.
He has a passion and a talent for making things happen quickly by using relationships and recognizing the desires of everyone at the table. Thank you to Joanna Lyall, Brad Hunter, Jody Peske, and Dana Bryson for sponsoring John’s portrait!

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Joseph Bradford

This is Joseph Bradford… Joseph opened Lill Dipper Memorial Day 2019. He grew up in southern California where there are lots of little soft serve shops. He moved from CA to in NYC where he had a company that sourced vintage trucks, specifically 1960-1970’s Fords. He would come down south to get a truck then drive it back to NY and sell it. Joseph ended up liking it here so much, that he moved to Winston-Salem. His window on Patterson Ave. has received a huge response from the community. People love to order a cone and walk over to Bailey Park or sit under the string of happy umbrellas. Joseph imports his dips from Italy and has 20 different toppings. He feels fortunate that his business model works well for social distancing and plans to be open year-round now, offering hot chocolate and other treats in the cold months.

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Bill McClain

This is Bill McClain… Bill wears many hats. He played basketball all over the world, coached AAU, has a production company, and retired from 30+ years with the housing authority where he provided services to inner-city, low income, public housing, and section 8 families. Now that he is retired, he is the executive director of the non-profit Guiding Institute for Developmental Education. The GIDE program enhances education and life-long learning for underserved youth and their families. One of the many programs they offer is a character building after school program that has academics as the foundation. Most recently, they have been working with a grant from Winston-Salem Foundation to get kids active on the e-learning programs. This spring they got 101 inactive kids logging in, resulting in 170 courses passed that otherwise would not have been. Bill says, “I don’t think God is finished with me yet, because he keeps giving me stuff to do!” Thank you to Becca and Todd Chase for sponsoring Bill’s portrait.


Carrie Malloy

This is Carrie Malloy… Carrie is the director of Triad Academy at Summit School. They are 1 of only 3 schools in the state and only 20 in the USA that specialize in dyslexia. They are an Orton-Gillingham accredited school and have trained over 50 public school teachers in the method. Carrie was a founding parent of the school in 2000. Triad found a home at Summit School in 2012. Their goal is to have the students in their program for as short a time as possible to close the reading and writing gap. Carrie herself can point to so many success stories. “One of my favorite little guys just graduated high school and claims that Triad changed his life!” She admits that these stories are kind of addicting and keep her motivated. Thank you to Keely Bridges for sponsoring Carrie’s portrait.


Brenn Kennedy

This is Brenn Kennedy… Brenn and her mother Brenda are the owners of Monkee’s of the Village. They opened shop as soon as Brenn graduated from UNC Chapel Hill. It began as a shoe store and grew from there. Brenn says she loves working with her mother! Her favorite part about the shop is engaging with customers. Masks make that interaction difficult. She says that the local small businesses have really gathered together during this time and even competitors are having conversations about what is working for them in an effort to help each other. The new camaraderie is inspiring.

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Frankie Gist

This is Frankie Gist… Frankie became an activist when Treyvon Martin was shot. Frankie was a freshman in high school and asked his principal if he could organize a peaceful protest. He continues that work today. He says Winston is coming together. “We still have work to do, but we are becoming a family.” I asked him if he had a proudest moment in his work. He told me that last week, rival gangs came together at a march. They tied their flags together in unity and stood together. Frankie said it was the most powerful thing he has seen in his life. Thank you to CycleBar Winston-Salem and Dixon Douglas for sponsoring Frankie’s portrait.


Alexandra Marshall

This is Alexandra Marshall… Alex just finished grad school at Wake Forest University. Her dream job would be working with adolescent cancer patients and survivors. She loves helping them find a balance between their medical treatment and their body health with a focus on exercise and eating healthy. Alex is this year’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society honored hero. When she isn’t speaking at those events, she looks forward to reading for fun. Since she spent so much time reading for school, she has a stack of novels planned for this summer. Thank you to John and Lisa Boisture for sponsoring Alex’s portrait.

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Daniel Ferguson

This is Daniel Ferguson… Daniel is a tattoo artist Old North State Tattoo Co. on Brookstown. He’s originally from WS and got his first tattoo when he was 16 (it was a Celtic knot). He has been tattooing for 20 plus years and loves it. I asked him what the most popular tattoo request was – flowers – and what he wants to get next on his own body – a female grim reaper. The shop gets a lot of first timers and a lot of regulars. Generally, a tattooist can work for 3-4 hours at a time before they need to stop. Some of the tattoos Daniel has done take 20+ hours to complete over multiple visits.


Allison Perkins

This is Allison Perkins… Allison has worked as Executive Director at Reynolda House Museum of American Art for 14 years. When Allison arrived in 2006, she had several pivotal goals in mind: to reunite the three historic centerpieces (the house, the gardens and the village) of the historic Reynolda property; to plan a celebration for Reynolda’s centennial in 2017; and to ensure greater access to the museum’s nationally recognized American art collection as well as connect others to the American story through the lens of Reynolda’s own diverse history. Bringing the 2017 exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern to Winston-Salem was a crowning achievement for Allison and her team. While visitation to Reynolda Gardens has nearly tripled during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Allison also looks forward to inviting museum visitors back again with special provisions in place: increased cleaning protocols, reduced capacities, social distancing, required face coverings, and advanced ticketing. The exhibition Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light was temporarily postponed in March 2020 and is scheduled to be on view August through November 29. The Reynolda team has put a lot of energy into its “Reynolda at Home” collection of digital content and educational resources, available by visiting reynoldahouse.org/athome.

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George Streblow

his is George Streblow… George has owned Sea Products behind The Tap for 35 years. He had just retired this year but had to come out of retirement to help out again during all this. George says they have a loyal following of customers and lots of new ones since the pandemic. Everyone is cooking at home and they are busier than ever. Phone orders and curbside service do take so much more time though. His daughter helped him with his website so that he can list the daily fresh offerings. I asked him what his biggest seller was – salmon, but his favorite fish is trigger.


Vicky

This is Vicky… Vicky is a mental health technician at Wake Forest Baptist Health. They saw a increase in mental health needs when COVID-19 started. As the hospital saw fewer and fewer patients though, Vicky and other staff have been working as screeners at the entrances to get their hours. They take people’s temperatures, make sure they have a mask, offer them hand sanitizer, and ask them a few questions. One screener told me people are often scared that if they answer “yes” to any questions, then they will be turned away. Not so! The hospital just takes extra precautions with people who have been experiencing symptoms or exposed to a COVID-19 case.


Stuart Barnhart

This is Stuart Barnhart… Stuart is one of the owners of Fiddlin’ Fish Brewing Company. He and his cousin David Ashe started brewing beer in his dad’s kitchen. “I can’t say that the first batches were good” jokes David. They opened the brewery in August of 2017. Now they produce 100 barrels (that’s 25,000 pints) a week and distribute to bars, restaurants, and stores all over NC. My personal favorite is a Key Lime beer they made 2 summers ago that involved squeezing 5,000 key limes. Plans are in the works to repeat that labor of love… I hope.


Christine Marie Diaz

This is Christine Marie Diaz… Christine has been a cheerful, hardworking face at Bagel Station for 2 years. She moved to NC from Tampa, FL. She still has family there that have recently been suffering with COVID-19. Christine says she has been working as much as possible during this time. Some employees don’t want to come in, so she has been covering their shifts. She has 4 kids ages 14 years to 10 months. When she is at home, she tries to get the kids active and outdoors saying, “we can’t just stay in the house even though the parks, pool, and stuff they usually do are closed.”

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Denni Peebles

This is Denni Peebles…Denni is the Director of Philanthropic Arts at Arbor Acres. Arbor Acres is a non-profit continuing care retirement community started in 1980 on 52 acres that the Children’s Home (now Crossnore School & Children’s Homes) gifted to them. Both are affiliated with the Methodist Church. The campus now sits on 83 acres with 502 residents and 372 staff. They have taken a lot of precautions to protect their population from COVID and have even converted a special wing to care for infected residents, but thankfully have not needed to use it. They have distributed iPads to help residents FaceTime regularly with loved ones as well as boosted safe, precautionary activities to keep residents from too much isolation. Weekly virtual sing-alongs created by a board member keep residents engaged. Virtual Bingo has become a morale booster as well as golf cart parades, outside yoga classes (limited to 10 individuals), visits with family members through the entrance gate and weekly delivery of wine, cheese and communion. The “treats for staff” program and the back-pack program for children of staff have both been well received. Every Friday, residents and staff wear special “We’re all in this together t-shirts” as a sign of solidarity. Denni manages the scholarship program which, to date, has awarded over $30 million to residents who need assistance with food, housing and medical care.


Corporal Ben Richardson

This is Corporal Ben Richardson… Ben was born and raised in Winston-Salem. He works as a detention officer at the Forsyth Co. jail. He works the intake area – where a prisoner gets handed from the arresting officer to go through the process of incarceration. Ben says it’s a very emotional moment for most people when everything feels real. In that moment, “some people need compassion; some people need authority; some people need to cool off alone for a while. I try to build a bridge with the person.” It helps that before this, Ben worked on a hospital psych EMT team. He has had a lot of experience helping people who are mentally challenged or substance abusers. Ben has 3 daughters ages 18 to 11. He worries about bringing COVID home to them.


Linda Sanguiliano

This is Linda Sanguiliano…. Linda has been a certified registered nurse anesthetist for 34 years. She is the Chief CRNA at Wake Forest Baptist Health. She says that improved communication with patients’ loved ones has been a great side effect of COVID-19. Since there aren’t as many visitors & caregivers in the hospital, doctors and nurses have made a strong effort to talk on the phone to them. Linda just relocated her parents to Winston from upstate NY. Her sister came along too and took a job at Baptist. Now they get to visit and have lunch all the time.
Thank you to Wake Forest Inpatient Nurse Anesthetists for sponsoring Linda’s portrait!


Charles von-Isenburg

This is Charles von-Isenburg… Charles is the owner of Mock Orange Bikes. He started the business with his wife and a partner in 2003. They sat around with a collegiate dictionary one night and stumbled upon the plant named mock orange. It had a nice parallel to their original location in Mocksville, NC. Charles says there was a feeding frenzy on bikes during phase 1. He has had his best year yet, which feels strange with so many other businesses suffering. Personally, I’m happy to hear of a few businesses having banner years! When Charles isn’t at the shop, he and his wife can be found biking the trails.

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Carey Benton-Jewett

This is Carey Benton-Jewett. Carey has a master’s in Special Ed, loves kids, and math. She ended up as a Mortgage Specialist at Pinnacle and volunteers with World Relief Triad helping new families set up bank accounts, pay bills, etc. Her father was mayor of WS during integration, so she is no stranger to discrimination and unrest. She told me a touching story about a Trader Joe’s employee. She was in the checkout line, noticed his accent, and started telling him about a family from Africa that she was helping to settle here. The cashier ended up volunteering to go to a job interview and translate for the new settler. Carey loves Sam the Dot Man’s piece that says, “if we all hold hands, we can’t fight.”


Pearl Monroe Tucker

This is Pearl Monroe Tucker… RoeRoe is 4 and loves Chick-fil-a. She is also fighting leukemia. So many people are following her family’s story as they get through the treatments and as they welcomed Roe Roe’s little brother a few weeks ago. She was diagnosed in November after complaining of leg pain. They started treatment Brenner Children’s the next day. Her mother, Meredith, was 20 weeks pregnant with their 3rd child. RoeRoe lost her blonde hair but is starting to get it back. She is such a pretty little girl! It struck me that the world hit the pause button for RoeRoe. She couldn’t go to school; school stopped. She had to wear a mask and be careful of germs; everyone put on masks and started sanitizing everything. The family needed all hands on deck; Chad was forced to work from home. They still have a long way to go (they anticipate treatments until February 2022), but she is doing well and has the love of more than just her friends and family.

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Randy Eaddy

This is Randy Eaddy… Randy is President and CEO of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County. The Arts Council provides performing venues and a wide range of support services to arts organizations and individual artists, including financial grants. Grant recipients include groups like the WS Symphony, NC Black Theatre Repertory Co. and the Little Theatre of WS, as well as numerous individual artists. For each of the last 5 years, The Arts Council distributed over $1M of grants. Randy planned to retire and head home to SC when he left his legal career at Kilpatrick Townsend in 2018, but Winston-Salem wasn’t done with him yet. The Arts Council needed a new President/CEO and, being passionate about arts and having been on and off The Arts Council’s board for years, he accepted the challenge. Randy feels that the arts are more important now than ever to help our mental, physical, and emotional well-being during the pressures of COVID-19. To give visit The Arts Council’s website: intothearts.org. Thank you to Gwynne and Dan Taylor for sponsoring Randy’s portrait!


Mary Haglund

This is Mary Haglund… Mary’s name has been on everyone’s lips since she announced that Mary’s Gourmet Diner would not be reopening after 20 years in business. I asked her what is next. She is caring for her 86-year-old mother, and spending time with her 3 grandkids. She is also writing a memoir/cookbook! Mary spent lots of time in male dominated, macho kitchens before she opened her own restaurant in her mid-40s. She wanted her kitchen to have a feeling of support and family, not stress. She and her husband are also working with Chad Nance on a documentary about the art in Mary’s. She says, “Art changed and enriched my life immeasurably.” Mary left me so inspired! She is so passionate about family, food, women in business, and the arts. She is the type of person that makes you want to follow your dreams. I’m sad we won’t get to sit under the Jason Blevins mural and have a giant pancake anymore, but I’m hoping the recipe will show up in the cookbook.


Kara Holden, Ph.D

This is Kara Holden, Ph.D… Kara of Holden Behavior and Learning & Kristen Bennett, Ph.D. of ILLUMII have just started Westlawn School for kids who are twice exceptional (2/e). This small school is different by design. It fills a need for students who are gifted in academics (like in reading or math) but have other challenges (like social, emotional or behavioral). A common example is high functioning autism. Kara left her teaching and research position at UNC-G last year and started an inclusive, backyard summer camp focusing on STEAM learning. That led to an after-school STEAM program and the conversations that became Westlawn. Kara says, “in our community, there are public schools, private schools, schools for cognitive and/or physical disabilities, but none of which really fit the needs of this particular 2/e type of student.” Westlawn’s inaugural year begins in August with 6 students in a one room schoolhouse located in Reynolda Village. Westlawn already has a waiting list and anticipates growing with the community’s needs. Kara and Westlawn School are most grateful for the founding families and long list of donors who are making this dream come true for all these students! Thank you to Elizabeth and Paul Foley for sponsoring Kara’s portrait. Elizabeth says, “Kara has really been life changing for us and for other families with special needs children.”

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Dr. Meagan Hunt

This is Dr. Meagan Hunt… Dr. Hunt is the medical director for the adult emergency department at WFUBMC. She has helped coordinate efforts to combat COVID across her department’s 16 EDs from Boone to Alamance. Her message is – to protect yourselves and others by wearing a mask, socially distancing, and isolating at home if you are sick. We can’t prevent everyone from getting sick, but it’s so important not to overwhelm the medical system. Dr. Hunt feels good about how her department has managed the challenge of providing care in a pandemic and also launched telemedicine services to help all patients deal with unplanned illness and injury. This protects patients by letting them access emergency evaluations even if they are too scared to go immediately to seek care. It also helps patients start their care before they even arrive in the ED when the telemedicine provider places orders for testing & meds and alerts triage of the plan to start care.
Dr. Hunt also serves on the board of HOPE of Winston-Salem. She encourages people to donate whatever they can to this local non-profit that is working even harder during the pandemic to feed Forsyth Co. children at risk for hunger. Dr. Hunt is so thankful for the support from her family and friends during this busy time and continues to be proud to serve all of her community’s residents in need in any way she can. Thank you to Courtney Cashin, Susan Larsen, McCall Richardson, Dottie Northup, Wendy Prior, and Cecelia McPhail for sponsoring Dr. Hunt’s portrait.

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McFall Pearce

This is McFall Pearce… McFall is a double deacon (undergrad & business school), a Marine Corp veteran, and a super dad! When phase I was on the horizon, he and his wife Sarah made the decision to take their 4 and 1 year old out of daycare to keep them at home. Sarah is a pharmacist at Baptist and McFall was thinking about changing jobs, so he spent 3 months at home with the kids. Sarah wanted to honor him and his flexibility! Thank you to Sarah for sponsoring McFall’s portrait and thank you to all the dads who are pivoting and picking up more responsibility.


Amber Nikolay

This is Amber Nikolay… Amber is a loan assistant at American National Bank & Trust Company on Miller Street. She says they have been really busy trying to help everyone during such a unique time. American National has been instrumental in getting PPP loans to local businesses in our community. As a community bank, it was easy for them to pivot into the new loan process. Amber says, “everyone here is passionate about helping our customers and our community and has worked long hours to make it all happen.”


Dr. Amber Brooks

This is Dr. Amber Brooks… Dr. Brooks is an Anesthesiologist and a pain medicine physician. Her area of research is finding non-opioid medications for older adults in chronic pain. Her other passion is in health equity and diversity for the medical school. She was recently named to a Justice Thread Directorship. Dr. Brooks oversees staff and faculty to implement diversity training earlier with the med students. She also works to improve recruitment and retention of diverse resident physician trainees. The goal is to have the physician population resemble the population that they serve. While African Americans make up 13-14% of the population, they account for only 5% of physicians. Dr. Brooks says, “We could all just sit around, stuck in our feelings, being mad, or everyone can do their small part on whatever platform they have to effect change!” Thank you to Katie Powers for sponsoring Dr. Brooks’ portrait.


Joyce Neely

This is Joyce Neely… Joyce has been on so many committees and boards in town, I can’t name them all. She is passionate about helping women and mothers. Joyce is a lawyer by trade. She went to law school at Emory, but finished at WFU law in the 70’s. Growing up she heard feminists telling her she could be anything she wanted, but when she got into the real world, she found that reality hadn’t caught up to rhetoric. I was so inspired by my whole conversation with Joyce, but the story that stood out to me was about a law professor’s attitude. He told her that women didn’t belong in law school, even when her papers (graded without names on them) received high marks. 45 years later at a Hollins alumni event, a young Emory law student came up to her. She had a message from that same professor. “He told me that if I ever ran into you, to tell you that he was wrong!” Joyce was floored. She says, “You just have to hang in there.” The world changes, but it takes time.
Thank you to Rachel Johnson for sponsoring Joyce’s portrait.

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Dr. Andrea Fernandez

This is Dr. Andrea Fernandez… Dr. Fernandez is an OB/GYN at Wake Forest Baptist Health and co-chair of the COVID-19 task force. She says this challenge has brought out the best in her team as they manage each outbreak. Just as they get one cluster, nursing home, or community under control another one pops up. She has seen the best come out of people in these crazy times. The hospital staff has received meals from The Porch and Dioli’s Market, to name a few, even though restaurants have been struggling through this pandemic, they gave thanks to the hospital staff.
Dr. Fernandez said there have been some unexpected consequences. She had to ask a COVID positive father to leave the delivery room, but she stands by every decision they have made to keep people safe.


Larry Crosby

This is Larry Crosby… Larry is a familiar face in WS. He has worked at The Loop for 12 years. Larry says “I love my customers. I take care of them, especially the kids” and it shows. I had so many people request that I paint his portrait. Larry was on unemployment for 2 months during the stay-at-home order. He said at first it was nice to have a break, but after 3 weeks he was really ready to come back to work. We spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement. Larry says, “There are good and bad in all races. We need to remember we are all here on earth together.”
Thank you to McCall and Rob Richardson for sponsoring Larry’s portrait.

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Catherine Greene

This is Catherine Greene… Catherine is the Assistant Head of Salem Montessori and a teacher in the toddler room. She has always taught in some form or fashion from yoga to reading. Catherine says she feels lucky to be here in WS. “We have a lovely community that supports and nurtures children.” She teaches grace and courtesy which she feels are lifelong skills. Catherine is the mother of a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old. I asked her how they were handling schools being closed and activities canceled. She responded, “Children are more resilient than we give them credit for.” Thank you to Joyce Neely for sponsoring Catherine’s portrait. Joyce spoke so highly of Catherine saying that Catherine is devoted to an important career that is neither high income, nor high profile. “The kids are extremely lucky to feel her influence!”

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Lea Thullbery

This is Lea Thullbery… Lea works for the small non-profit City with Dwellings. She was a classically trained ballerina, then a nurse, and then a manager at Finnegan’s Wake. She says every job she’s ever had prepared her for this position at City with Dwellings. Even the ballet balance training comes in handy when you are climbing under a bridge to check on a homeless person! CwD started in 2012 as several churches filled the need for a winter overflow shelter. Lea was passionate about the volunteer work and with her kids graduating, she felt that she could take the leap to do it full time. After a couple years, CwD received a grant from the Katherine B. Reynolds Foundation and they were able to hire Lea as an employee. She knows just about every homeless person in town. She knows their stories and how to help them. She says Forsyth Co. is rich with resources to get people back on their feet, but often people need someone to walk them through the processes to access those resources. I learned so much during our conversation, but one thing really surprised me. Lea said people have the right to live their lives how they choose. I had asked her about an older homeless woman with a bike that I see almost every day. Lea of course knew her story and told me that she has access to anything she needs including an apartment. The woman always says – no thank you – she would rather someone else in need take the apartment. Thank you to Lucinda Jones for sponsoring Lea’s portrait.


Bryan Ledbetter

This is Bryan Ledbetter… Bryan is the owner of Airtype and Camel City Goods Co. He became familiar with Winston-Salem when he was touring with his band Evoka. He was the drummer and designed the merchandise & album covers. Pretty soon other bands he toured with (The Fray, Maroon 5, Jump Little Children) asked him to design for them. Bryan liked WS because “everybody wants you to succeed here.” He now runs a team of 13 artists. The Airtype arm does branding, social media, and brings products to market though Bryan would not describe them as an ad agency. The Camel City Goods arm is their storefront. Bryan wanted to be able to wear his town’s shirt proudly like you would your favorite band’s shirt, but there just wasn’t any product out there. He is involved in so many businesses and new ventures in WS I can’t cover them all here. I will say he is a behind the scenes guy that is driving a lot of our city’s pride. Thank you to a group of Bryan’s supporters for sponsoring the piece.


Representative Evelyn Terry

This is Representative Evelyn Terry… Mrs. Terry represents the 71st district in the N.C. House of Representatives. She is serving her 4th term. She has been a public servant in some form all her life – working with WSSU , The Public Housing Authority, and The United Way. Mrs. Terry says, “I love young people, that’s my gift!” Her most recent efforts have gone towards getting low income kids access to high speed internet so they can do their schoolwork remotely. Mrs. Terry and I took a walk at Quarry Park. We talked about how much WS has changed in the past few years and how many new businesses have grown here. We also talked a lot about the Black Lives Matter movement. Her approach has always been good communication. For years, she and her husband had dinner with someone new from a different community a few nights a week. It really allowed her to understand their perspectives and concerns. Thank you to Gwynne and Dan Taylor for sponsoring Mrs. Terry’s portrait.


Tammy Pollock

This is Tammy Pollock… Tammy is Director of Youth Ministries for Centenary United Methodist Church. This is her 28th year as a youth minister. She says something I have heard from so many people in leadership positions right now – that she’s never worked harder. Trying to adapt and stay in touch with all her kids is more than a full-time job. She told me that she has seen some real positives come out of the situation though. Children aren’t as glued to their phones; many have rediscovered their bikes, family-time, and sidewalk chalk.
Someone told me, “Tammy pours herself into all of her ‘church babies’ with such grace and passion. The 2020 Confirmation Class has had a very strange journey this year, but Tammy has handled it beautifully, with her usual ‘make lemonade out of lemons’ sunny outlook and incredible heart.”
Thank you to the Centenary United Methodist Church 2020 Confirmation Class for sponsoring Tammy’s portrait.

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Anna Jarrell

This is Anna Jarrell… that’s me! As we say in my family, “turn about is fair play.” So after interviewing and painting so many people, it’s my turn in the hot seat. I was NOT very excited about the prospect. I put it off for weeks, but now I’m glad I did it. I realized I had not attempted a self-portrait since I was 14 (swipe through to see that gem! Yes – I’ve always been into art. Yes – I keep everything!) I’m 37 now. Art is a lifelong pursuit and I have so much more to learn. I kind of can’t wait to see how much better my self-portrait will be when I’m 60.

My mother-in-law sponsored this portrait. Thank you (without a trace of snarky-ness) to Sarah Olson and my whole family for supporting this endeavor. It takes a village to accomplish projects on this scale and my family has been that village. I had my husband on board before I started this craziness, but the rest of them were so confused about what I was going to do. By the 30th painting they were calling me and asking, “who is next” and “what number are you on today?” They have helped with childcare, moving, and bringing us food. I’ll say it again, it takes a village.


Dr. Christopher Ohl

This is Dr. Christopher Ohl….Dr. Ohl has been one of the faces of COVID-19 information in Winston-Salem. He didn’t set out to have viral videos, but he says Facebook Live became a great way to communicate directly with the population. Dr. Ohl was already in charge of the infectious disease media for WFBH (he handled the press inquiries during a pertussis outbreak a few years ago). When he realized the volume and similarity of questions that the hospital was receiving about COVID, he decided a weekly Thursday briefing was the best solution. Dr. Ohl says, “It feels good to provide something that helps people alleviate fear – it is the most fun thing I do all week!” Everyone has been very appreciative of his solid advice and optimism. He is even starting to be recognized around town! When Dr. Ohl isn’t working he likes to home-brew beer, birdwatch, or bike.
Thank you to Kaye and David Lambert for sponsoring Dr. Ohl’s portrait!


Jessie Galvez

This is Jessie Galvez… Jessie is originally from Guatemala. She is a manager at Carolina Placement Inc. a temp agency. She has also volunteered with the Hispanic League since 2011. HL strives to improve the lives of Hispanic people living here in the USA. They provide scholarships for education and health. Jessie says that the Hispanic population has been hit hard during COVID because so many of them work essential jobs. They did not stay home during quarantine. Jessie says her staffing needs have not slowed down either. She needs more workers to fill jobs in light industrial, medical, and food industries. The stimulus checks and supplemental unemployment checks have made it easier for people to stay home instead of returning to work.
When we spoke last week, Jessie was heading home to see her mother who is in poor health. The airports in Guatemala were closed so she was going to fly to Mexico then drive 6 hours to cross the border.


Dr. Angela Pringle-Hairston

This is Dr. Angela Pringle-Hairston… Dr. Hairston has been Superintendent of WSFC schools since September. She started as a math teacher, then became a principal, then a regional superintendent, then the superintendent of Richmond County, Georgia before moving here. I asked Dr. Hairston how she delt with the stress of her current position. She responded, “I believe in collaborative leadership. Therefore, my decisions are generally collaborative in nature. Unfortunately, we are leading during a time without a road map. When things get too stressful, I work in my flowerbeds and go fishing.” Dr. Hairston has 5 children. She is pushing them all towards careers in education. She is very passionate about the calling. Dr. Hairston would like to thank her staff, “ I have an awesome team! My team members are brilliant, thoughtful, and great team players.”
Thank you to the Larsen and McPhail families for sponsoring Dr. Hairston’s portrait


Mayor Allen Joines

This is Mayor Allen Joines… He has been mayor of our City for 19 years and Chairman of the N.C. Economic Development Board for 11 years. He didn’t set out to be the Mayor. He had been working with the non-profit Winston-Salem Alliance and complaining that they couldn’t get anyone to run for city offices. A group approached him and convinced him to have a go. 19 years later he is still going strong.
Mayor Joines says these have been the most busy and stressful days of his career, but he is proud of how our city is handling the pandemic and the civil discourse. Personally, I’m proud of him for hearing the community’s opinions – even when they march to his home at night. That seems above and beyond the job description.
I asked Mayor Joines what his hopes for the city were before this pandemic hit. He told me about the progress they had been making with the program to reduce intergenerational poverty. It focuses on part-time jobs for high school junior and seniors who are living below the poverty line. It does more than put money in their pockets. It excites them about their career possibilities and helps guide them towards trade certifications and continued education.
When Allen Joines isn’t on the job, he likes to hike the Appalachian Trail. He makes sure to do 2 sections each year.


About The Artist

Anna Jarrell is primarily a portrait artist. She works in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel. She also creates layered abstracts from time-to-time. Anna grew up in High Point and graduated from Wake Forest University with an art degree and a concentration in drawing. She has lived in Winston-Salem for 18 years now and calls it home. She and her husband have a 7 year-old son. Anna works in her sun-filled studio generally with a standard poodle puppy sleeping at her feet. 

http://www.ajarrell.com

Instagram @ajarrellart