Women In Business

BY Bill Walsh

Karen Carter
Wrightsville Beach Landscaping and Lawn Care Inc.


Number of Employees: 41.
Years in business: 18.
Job Title/Description: President.


Describe your career launch: We wanted to operate our own business. We drew up a vision and mission statements and stayed focused.


Describe your first time At Wrightsville Beach: I came to Wrightsville Beach to celebrate my high school graduation. I knew then that I would be back.


Where were you born? Clarksburg West Virginia.


Where did you attend college? Louisburg and University of North Carolina Wilmington.


What degrees do you hold? A B.A. in parks and recreation with a minor in business administration.


Organization Membership(s): Wrightsville United Methodist Church.


What has been your proudest moment in business? Realizing that we had created 41 jobs in our community.


Who has had the biggest influence on your business or your decision to go into business? The decision was made jointly with my husband Michael. There were no outside influences only our determination and hard work.


What quality do you value most in others? Respect. Anything can be resolved when people are respectful toward one another.


What is your pet peeve? Rude people.


What is your worst nightmare? Natural disasters such as a hurricane damaging this beautiful area. We are resilient. However it does break my heart when we view the properties that we manage after a storm and see all of our hard work destroyed.


What is a little known fact about you? It’s no secret to my close friends but I love to cook. I can make some pretty good Italian dishes.


What have been your observations about doing business on Wrightsville Beach? The pride businesses and homeowners take in their properties is wonderful. It has come a long way from when we started. We have implemented a flower division due to the demand a demand that did not exist when we started our business.


Where would you like your business to be in five years? Our emphasis is to continue to serve our clients with care concern and quality. We attribute much of our success to our strong and loyal staff.


What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in the business world? Generally speaking I’ve had very minor obstacles. When faced with a difficult challenge I make a plan and work it.


Have women achieved equality in the business world? If not why not and what can be done? I believe women’s issues are better than they were 10 to 15 years ago. My business relationships appear to be on par with my husband/partner’s. I would say women should expect equal treatment and conduct themselves professionally.







Carolyn Gersbach
Gramma’s Here Petsitting


Years in business: Four.
Job title/description: Owner/Operator of pet-sitting service.


Describe your career launch: I am semi-retired after 20 years in the public school system. I wanted to follow my heart and do what I can do best. Now I am appreciated — both by owners and loving pets.


Describe your first time At Wrightsville Beach: I actually got lost on Market Street. I came to a fork in the road Jacksonville one way Wrightsville Beach — which I had never heard of — the other. We — two geriatric dogs and a 10-year-old son who claimed I was ruining his life by moving — bore right. We found a motel then a Realtor and leased an off-season oceanfront house. That was 19 years ago. The recalcitrant son now owns a home in the area and loves it here.


Where did you grow up? Shortsville N.Y. a small village in the Finger Lakes area of western New York.


What degrees do you hold? B.S. in family/consumer sciences from Cornell University Ithaca N.Y.


Organizational membership(s): National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.


What has been your proudest moment in business? Earning my Red Cross certification in animal first-aid and CPR. This makes me akin to a first responder able to confidently deal with emergencies.


Who has had the biggest influence on your business or your decision to go into business? My oldest son Matt Farrell who gave me the encouragement and push to do what I had always yearned to do.


What quality do you value most in others? Honesty.


What is your pet peeve? People talking on cell phones while driving.


What is your worst nightmare? Hurricanes and getting all my ‘babies’ safely ensconced.


What is a little known fact about you? That I won the “Bisquick Invitation” recipe contest for professional chefs some years ago.


What have been your observations about doing business on Wrightsville Beach? It is a great place to do business. About 85 percent of my clients are in Landfall.


Where would you like your business to be in five years? Right where it is. I have a great client base.


What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in business? I was affiliated with the Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce for two years but it is not genuine. A vast majority of the members live and have their businesses in Wilmington so it’s not about our beach. It’s all about politics and networking.


Have women achieved equality in the business world? If not why not and what can be done? As a woman called “Gramma ” I have major nurturing qualities and a genuine love for animals. My clients feel this so being a woman is a plus for my business.





Theresa Kramer
PT by the Sea Inc.


Years in business: Nine years in business as an owner of PT by the Sea and 19 years as a practicing physical therapist.
Job title/description: President/Owner of a physical therapy business that also provides yoga instruction and massage therapy.


Number of employees: I have five employees and work with two other physical therapists on a regular basis. Nicole Becken and Susan O’Carroll have excellent skills and are very dedicated to their work.


Describe your career launch: I started out in 1987 working in a hospital setting in Rocky Mount. Since then I have worked in a variety of healthcare settings including outpatient orthopedics sports home health cardiac rehab and industrial rehab. I developed the aquatics program at Cape Fear outpatient rehab worked as a traveling physical therapist in Maine and Florida and in California for the Dean Ornish heart-disease reversal program. It was there that I was introduced to the benefits of yoga. I began incorporating yoga into my physical therapy practice after completing a 200-hour certification program in Santa Barbara.


Describe your first time at Wrightsville Beach: In 1988 I came to Wrightsville Beach to participate in a bike trek for the American Lung Association and rode 100 miles from Wrightsville Beach to Holden Beach and back. I remember lying in the sand exhausted and loving the feel of Wrightsville Beach.


Where did you attend college? Where I was born and raised St. Louis University St Louis.


What degrees do you hold? B.S. in physical therapy 1987; I am a licensed massage and bodywork therapist and a registered yoga therapist.


Organizational membership(s): American Physical Therapy Association North Carolina Physical Therapy Association Yoga Alliance New Hanover Pender County Medical Society Alliance.


What has been your proudest moment in business? Graduating from physical therapy school. It was a grueling four-year degree and it took quite a bit of discipline and dedication for an undergraduate program. I was 21 when I graduated. The program now requires either a master’s or doctorate. Every day that I am able to successfully eliminate someone’s pain so they can obtain a higher level of functioning makes me very proud to be able to offer this kind of work. It is a most rewarding profession.


Who has had the biggest influence on your business or your decision to go into business? My husband Dr. Peter Kramer has always encouraged supported and guided me through the ups and downs of private practice.


What quality do you value most in others? I cherish the opportunity to work with clients who have a good solid moral character who serve God first and do good for others.


What is your pet peeve? Posture. So many of us sit or stand slumped. Sitting at the beach is a great opportunity to observe good and bad postures. So many of our aches and pains are posture related.


What is your worst nightmare? Having to work in a clinic where I am forced to see four or more patients per hour and cannot give folks the attention they need and deserve. My staff and I are very fortunate to be able to spend an hour with each client at our clinic.


What is a little known fact about you? When my husband graduated from medical school in Maine I was very proud to be the recipient of the “Donna Moritsugu Award” for being supportive of him his endeavors and the osteopathic profession while maintaining my own identity and level of professionalism.


What have been your observations about doing business on Wrightsville Beach? PT by the Sea began as a small office in my home on Wrightsville Beach. If I had moved to Figure Eight Island this would not have happened. Working out of my home allowed me to grow the business without incurring excessive start-up costs.


Where would you like your business to be in five years? I hope to be in a new facility that offers more full service an onsite aquatics center gym and private exam rooms.


What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in business? Trying to manage and run a growing business while keeping it all together on the home front — raising three children ages 1-6.


Have women achieved equality in the business world? If not why not and what can be done? Physical therapy has always been a female-dominated profession. Most of my clients prefer to be treated by a woman. With this in mind I would say if you work in the physical therapy business women have an advantage over men.







Alison Long
Motts Channel Seafood


Job title/description: Office manager plus the mother of two children Elizabeth 11 and Lambert 8.
Number of employees: 8.
Partner: My husband Gene Long.
Years in business: 17. I’ve worked four years as the office
manager.


Describe your career launch: Lambert my youngest child started kindergarten and our office manager left so I took over thinking it would be temporary. But I realized that no one will run your business like you will. I’ve learned an enormous amount from my husband. I respect him for all of his hard work and dedication.


Describe your first time at Wrightsville Beach: My family vacationed at Wrightsville Beach every summer since I was a baby. We always stayed on the south end in an old beach cottage. I have wonderful memories of Newell’s The Marina Restaurant and Faircloth’s. Things were much more peaceful back then.


Where were you born? Charleston West Virginia.


Where did you attend college? West Virginia State College West Virginia University.


What degrees do you hold? B.S. in elementary education.


Who has had the biggest influence on your business or your decision to go into business? My husband Gene. He told me if I didn’t start working I couldn’t go to Home Goods or TJ Maxx ever again.


What quality do you value most in others? Honesty. I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around.


What is your pet peeve? People who let their dogs run free without a leash.


What is your worst nightmare? Being that seafood is perishable sometimes a fish gets overlooked and has to be thrown away. That is literally like throwing money down the drain. It’s rare that it happens because we have the best manager — Tom Franz — in the world.


What have been your observations about doing business on Wrightsville Beach? It’s a small town. If you have a high-quality product word gets around. It’s a great community because area businesses support each other.


Where would you like your business to be in five years? It would be nice to be known as “the” seafood market in North Carolina.


What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in business? I have a bubbly personality and sometimes people take that as a weakness. There are times when I have to be stern and that surprises people.


Have women achieved equality in the business world? If not why not and what can be done? I think so. There are so many women running their own companies and heading up departments I think we’ve finally arrived.





Wylene Booth McDonald RN MSN
Merck & Co. Inc.



Years in Business: 21.
Job Title/ Description: National account executive/managed care Merck vaccine division. My responsibilities include representing Merck vaccines and total account management of major national and regional managed-care organizations.


Describe your career launch: I worked as a public-health nurse at the New Hanover Public Health Department in Wilmington. After working full time and attending graduate school part time I started my career with Merck as a professional pharmaceutical representative in 1985. My growth and development with the company continued assuming different roles and responsibilities — as a senior pharmaceutical representative senior executive hospital representative and as a business manager with 12 people reporting to me. Although my current position covers major portions of the country I am able to live in Wrightsville Beach. I do travel approximately 50 percent of the time. It’s worth it to be able to cross the bridge and know I am home.


Describe your first time at Wrightsville Beach: When I was a child my mom and dad would bring the three kids to the beach. My grandmother lived in Wilmington and we would come down to the beach and have dinner at Faircloth’s Restaurant (where the Bridge Tender restaurant is today). Then my brother sister and I would go to Newells (where Wings is today) and my dad would buy the long packets of bubble gum. I grew up with fond memories of mouth-watering scallops and sand between my toes.


Where did you grow up? Where I was born in the charming small town of Kenansville about 60 miles west. It was a fabulous place to grow up and close enough to allow us to spend extended time at the beach.


Where did you attend college? Barton College in Wilson N.C. as an undergraduate and East Carolina University in Greenville as a graduate.


What degrees do you hold? A B.S. from Barton College and an M.S. from E.C.U.


Organization Membership(s): American Association of University Women North Carolina Public Health Association American Nurses Association North Carolina Nurses Association Who’s Who of American Women and Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society.


What has been your proudest moment in business? I have two proudest moments. In 2000 I received the National Executive Hospital Representative of the Year Award. This was especially rewarding as I managed hospital accounts including New Hanover Regional Medical Center and smaller hospitals in southeastern North Carolina. Other nominees were from major teaching hospitals such as Mt. Sinai Johns Hopkins UCLA Medical Center and so on. Second about 10 years ago my stepdaughter Robin followed my lead and became a professional representative in the pharmaceutical industry.


Who has had the biggest influence on your business or your decision to go into business? My parents. They owned and operated a successful insurance and real estate business in Duplin County. My parents instilled the idea that their children could accomplish anything we wanted if we prepared ourselves and worked hard.


What qualities do you value most in others? Integrity and the ability to accept responsibility for your actions. A sense of humor always helps too.


What is your pet peeve? People who are not accountable for themselves. Also tardiness drives me crazy.


What is your worst nightmare? Loss of health for self and loved ones. A category 4 or 5 hurricane hitting the North Carolina coast would also be a nightmare.


What is a little known fact about you? That I can be quite introverted. I love to curl up with a great book turn the phone off and spend time alone.


What have been your observations about doing business on Wrightsville Beach? The business community has always been a close-knit group. Either you own or manage a local business or you are a frequent road warrior and spend much of your time away. I fall in the latter group and have friends in both business groups. Every business person I know is willing to take the positive with the negative to be able to call Wrightsville Beach home.


Where would you like to be in five years in business? My thought now is to do the best job I can in this position and we will see where the future leads. I am always looking ahead.


What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the business world? When I was a new business manager I found that not everyone has the same work ethic I do. I learned that in order to be an effective manager you must treat people differently. You have to determine exactly what motivates that specific individual.


Have women achieved equality in the business world? If not why not and what can be done? We have come a long way in our strides to achieve equality. There are many more women in senior-level positions in corporate America than ever before. However there are not as many women in CEO positions. It is hard to have it all.







Nancy Louise Mullineaux
Dezign Inspirations



Number of Employees: 4.
Years in business: 23 years total; 10 years in Palm Beach Florida and 13 years in Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington.
Job Title/Description: Owner/President design resource showroom/ interior designer.


Describe your career launch: After obtaining my degree I worked in Palm Beach as a freelance designer for several years. It was a very exciting place to start my career. I was privileged to be involved in a wide range of interior design.


Describe your first time at Wrightsville Beach: My parents grew up in this area and moved away. We moved back to the Wrightsville Beach area when I was only 5 years old. At 18 I moved to South Florida to go to college. I would often come home to visit my family and I missed the beautiful beach and friendly small-town charm that is so very evident here especially in contrast to the big-city high-speed race that is standard in such an area as Palm Beach. I finally had to follow my heart and move back to serene Wrightsville Beach and to be closer to my family.


Where were you born? Albany Georgia.


Where did you attend college? The Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale Florida.


What degrees do you hold? An A.A. in interior design/business merchandising.


Organization Membership(s): Interior Design Society American Cancer Society.


What has been your proudest moment in business? There is nothing more gratifying than the excitement in my clients’ eyes when they are able to see how I captured their personality through design.


Who has had the biggest influence on your business or your decision to go into business? I’d have to say that my clients have been my biggest influence and inspiration.


What quality do you value most in others? Integrity honesty loyalty and dedication.


What is your pet peeve? Someone who says they will do something then doesn’t follow through.


What is your worst nightmare? Manufacturers who decide to drop something without informing anyone.


What is a little known fact about you? My first career interest was fashion design. I’ve always had an eye and passion for combining unusual colors and textures. Now I’m able to help people dress and accessorize their homes.


What have been your observations about doing business on Wrightsville Beach? When I first moved back I noticed a big burst of growth in the area. I haven’t seen it let up yet. A large percentage of my clients are new to the area. Many of them have been vacationing at Wrightsville Beach for several years and finally decided to move to paradise rather than just visit. Wrightsville Beach’s growth has awarded me amazing opportunities to work on very exciting projects with amazing clients.


Where would you like your business to be in five years? My desire in five years would be to have larger design-resource showrooms in Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington and Palm Beach. This would enable me to display more resources and samples for my clients and builders.


What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in the business world? In my line of work I deal with contractors tradesmen installers laborers — in other words mainly men. Being a woman in a man’s world can sometimes be difficult. I have sometimes felt the need to prove myself because I am a woman. I try to overcome that obstacle by showing them respect but also showing that I do have hands-on construction knowledge thanks to more than 23 years in the business.


Have women achieved equality in the business world? If not why not and what can be done? I don’t feel that we have achieved equality on all levels of business although I do believe that we are being continuously more recognized by men for our abilities and capabilities. We are a new generation of working women. Today we are a generation that is changing things for women throughout the world with our achievements hard work dedication and perseverance.







Catherine Yearwood
Hallelu



Job Title/ Description: Owner/Buyer/Manager.
Number of Employees: Three.
Years in Business: One as of Aug. 19.
Partner: Dave Yearwood.


Describe your career launch: I lived in California for about five years. While studying I was blessed with the opportunity to be a buyer for one of the largest surf shops in southern California. That is when I fell in love with fashion and the idea of one day starting my own business.


Where did you grow up? I was born here at Wrightsville Beach. My great-grandmother bought property here in 1929 and my family has been here ever since.


What degrees do you hold? I received my formal education from Mira Costa San Diego California but most of my training to become a business owner came from years of experience working in retail and the fashion industry.


Organization Membership(s): Wrightsville Beach Merchants Association.


What has been your proudest moment in business? Opening day. I had so much support from my family friends and the local businesses. Opening was not only a huge accomplishment for me but also for all the people who had supported me along the way.


Who has had the biggest influence on your business or your decision to go into business? God is the biggest influence in my life; therefore the decisions I make with my business are all grounded in my faith.


What qualities do you value most in others? Humility and selflessness. Being humble involves having a true perspective about yourself doing nothing out of selfish ambition. My husband is a great example always doing things for others looking for nothing in return.


What is your pet peeve? Not having the backbone to stand up for what you believe.


What is a little known fact about you? When I was growing up my family would take off about every third year to travel around the Caribbean by sailboat.


What have been your observations about doing business on Wrightsville Beach? Wrightsville Beach is such a tight-knit community. I have had so much support from Café Del Mar Sweetwater Jerry Allen’s Adamantine and others. We all have to work together to get through the winter.


Where would you like to be in five years in business? I would love to have stores all over the country maybe even having a Hallelu clothing line.


What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the business world? I guess being young. I am only 26 so it was sometimes hard to get people to respect my opinions.


Have women achieved equality in the business world? If not why not and what can be done? I believe they have. Anyone with enough drive and motivation can achieve his or her goals.