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The views expressed by blog authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of each member within our organization.
Follow on Instagram: @brandandbook | @cynmacgregor_art
Can you give us a brief introduction of who you are and your current business?
My name is Cyn Macgregor and I live in North Raleigh with my husband and my mother. He and I have four children together. We have three girls: one in San Francisco, one in Brooklyn, and one in Knoxville. And one son also in Knoxville. I have been a business owner for the majority of my work life. My business Brand & Book is focused on helping business owners build their brand and publish a book and Cyn Macgregor Art creates original, often abstract artwork that elevates your spirit, enhances your living spaces and inspires you, at work or at home.
Why did you join BPW and what positions have you held during your tenure with BPW?
Because my mother told me to! It’s true. When my mom, Irma, moved to the area 10 years ago she searched for a networking group to help her business. She went searching around town and after visiting this group she found BPW to be very warm and welcoming. And then she said, “You should join too!” And so I did. I’ve been in this group for about 10 years, I guess. I have held positions in marketing, programs, and I was President for the 2014-2015 year.
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of work?
I live in a community that has a community garden. I love it. It used to be a tennis court and was converted to a garden. I like to “try” to grow vegetables in my little five-by-five raised bed. It’s a nice comforting spot to be. I also like to make Kombucha. It’s a kind of brewed fermented tea is supposedly good for your gut. It’s healthy but it’s kind of an icky looking bacteria. And it’s delicious! I also write and produce movies with my filmmaker/actor husband. Our recent award-winning movie “Katie’s Dog” premiered at Peak City International Film Festival and will screen November 21, 2018 at Carborro Film Festival.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Caitriona Balfe. You might know her as Claire Fraser, ya know married to Jamie Fraser in Outlander. I really love her spirit and determination and I love how she is living in the past and present at the same time. Although she knows the future, she cannot change it. It must be frustrating. Plus we’re both Scots. She’s my kin somewhere. I think she could probably play a better me!
What did you want to be when growing up?
I have a little story about this. They say you can know your true self by looking at the 10 year old version of yourself. For me, that was travel, painting, making friends, and being in awe of the Universe. That was my 10 year old self. And that year, the first man set foot on the moon. My family took a long road trip to California. That was also the year that my mother said, “No, it is not appropriate for the boys to climb inside your bedroom window.” And also I did my first abstract painting. When I was a little older, I dreamed of being either a photographer for National Geographic or creative director for a fancy NYC magazine.
What do you like to do on your days off?
I like to explore. Walkabouts. Visit new places. Play with my Nikon camera. Contribute to the creative community. Change the world.
Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
Maldives. It’s located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. I love the idea of being in a luxe hut on top of crystal blue water, with air conditioning and a wet bar of course!
How do you define success?
The ability to work on projects that make your heart sing, without worry of money or time, with some of recognition. I want to share, also, my sweet husband is one of those guys who leaves little notes and cards every now and then. And today was one of those days. Inside the card, part of what he wrote was appropriate so I thought I’d share: “Success is not about what's in bank accounts but about what's in a person’s soul.” I thought it was really sweet. So I’m going with both of those things.
What is your favorite food?
What can BPW do to support you in your career?
Oh, BPW has already given me so much support. Like I said, it’s been 10 years so I have met some amazing women. I have found great friends and business associates. If you find you need something, you have a group that is ready to help you if they can. The ladies in this group support me by asking how they can help and by being open to helping me when I ask. As a solopreneur, finding new clients is an ongoing process. Currently, I am looking for contacts in two areas: (1) business people who are subject matter experts and wish to publish a book as part of their marketing strategy and (2) interior designers who are looking to build relationships with artists who provide artwork and decor. Email Cyn.
Top photo by: Rhesa Versola | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bottom photo by: Larry E. Evans
Give us a brief introduction of who you are and what you do at your current organization.
My name is Olivia Scarbrough. I am from Greenville, North Carolina originally and then I went to Ole Miss so I was in Mississippi in that area for about 5 years and then out of college. I moved to Memphis, and I lived in Memphis for 3 years and then last July my husband and I moved back here to be closer to family. I am a CPA with a regional accounting firm. I do tax work mostly with closely-held businesses and I sort of recently narrowed my focus down to construction and real estate.
Why did you join BPW?
I joined BPW as a way to stay involved with the community and to try to find a way to give back to the community. I was involved with some young professional type stuff when I was in Memphis and so when I moved here, I was doing some Googling and researching and that sort of thing. And then I had a really good conversation with Donna and Allison and decided this would be a good fit for me.
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?
Wine. My husband and I, we like to hike and we’ve been doing a bunch of state parks in the area. And we have two dogs so they go with us and get some of that energy out. I love to be on the water. My parents have a house on the river in little Washington. So anything by the water - the beach, the mountains - anything. Anything water related, I’m there.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do?
My husband and I discussed this the other night before the big drawing because we had a pool at work, but I think the first thing I would probably do is give a bunch of money to the two rescues that we got our dogs from. They’re awesome organizations. One’s here: Cause for Paws. And one is in Memphis. So I would probably just try to do something for them first… and then I’d probably go make some other bad decisions.
What is the best thing that happened to you within the past couple of months?
You’ve already heard about my dogs, but at one point I only had one and my husband and I got one after we kinda got settled here in Raleigh. We rescued a 3-and-a-half year old… I’m not sure what he is really… but his name is Sampson and he’s been the perfect addition to our family, because we’re not ready for human children. And I couldn’t really narrow it down to one because that was a really great thing and I also found out earlier this year that I was gonna be an aunt. My brother and his wife are expecting a little boy in January.
What is your favorite superhero and why?
So my husband says I had no childhood because I was not into cartoons and movies and I was an outside kid. I guess it’s a little unconventional but I would have to say my mom. She’s pretty awesome so if I can be half the person she is, I think that’d be pretty good.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
There’s a lot, but being in taxes I have to say people who bring in their tax work late. Don’t do it. Get in early. Get in early.
What is one TV or Netflix show you never miss?
This is Us.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I think I’d like to be creative and decorative like in a Joanna Gaines-type way. Like, take a room and totally transform it. That is totally not something I am good at.
I guess I kind of mentioned this with the other, “Why did I join BPW?” I guess to just find a way to meet other people that are very similar to myself, have similar goals, and that sort of thing. But also a way to give back to the community a little bit. I know we’ve been talking about some of our nonprofit stuff and getting involved there. So I guess creating a network of people that you admire and are similar to and that you can bounce ideas off of each other and that sort of thing. I haven’t been here very long, but hopefully in the future. There’s a lot of good stuff going on.
Member: Kim van der Heijden
Can you give us a brief introduction of who you are and what you do at your current organization?
I’m a National Marketing Director with The JuicePlus Company. My passion is to educate people/families on the importance of nutrition and specifically the power of fruits and vegetables. I love providing a solution to a problem most of us have, which is eating enough fruits and vegetables daily. I also believe that women should have the ability to be home with their kids and have a thriving career. I love helping women launch and build their at home virtual business around their families lives.
When I first moved here 3 years ago, I was searching for a way to be around like-minded empowered women. I met Marcy Stahl at a networking event and she inviting me to a meeting. I loved it and join that night.
I love to workout out especially outside – running, tennis, boot camp. I also love to watch my kids basketball games. Most weekends you will find me in a gym.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
Oprah – I think she is an amazing role model and inspiration.
Again, 2 boys and the first thing that came to mind was the Transformers and I just remember watching them and they all had their own different powers but together they could stand together and pretty much conquer anyone and so kind of made my think of women when we band together we can do anything together.
How much time do we have? I think probably the biggest thing for me would be to be authentic with your word. I have a hard time with people telling me that they are doing something and then don’t follow through with it.
What would you do for career – if you were not doing this?
This will come as a shocker but I would be a basketball coach.
What is your favorite game/board game?
Cribbage - I grew up in a family that played a lot of cards if I was really being truthful, I would say poker but with my kids I don’t play poker with them at the dinner table.
I would love to be a good photographer.
What can BPW do to support you in your business?
I would say that in the business I am in it is all about awareness and understanding. Everyone in the room knows of fruits and vegetables are good for us so just having that good understanding you might be more apt to see the people that are looking for ways to improve their health and introduce me. Or even knowing other women that may also be looking for a way to get home and be with your kids and having a career and family. If you are open to education, please contact Kim at email@example.com.
How did you end up in your current career?
In college I had the privilege of playing basketball in Europe and my body broke down because I was I was not nutritionally fit even though I was physically fit, I was not nutritionally fit. Came back to the States and had a great career starting off with Reebok, traveled the world and landed in high tech recruiting. I did that for about 10 years and just been working outside of the house in raising kids was fine for a while until it wasn’t – long commute, working for a boss, not having time for you and then I thought there has to be a way for women to be able to have a thriving career and be home with our kids, why do we have to choose. I looked for 2 years and could not find anything and then a friend called me one day and said I found what you are looking for and I said – no you didn’t because I had been looking for 2 years. Fortunately, she was persistent and I went and took a look and just absolutely fell in love with the company. Left corporate, cut my family’s income in half and got to work.
Member: Dana Pyle
Who are you and what do you do for your current organization?
I am the marketing manager for Carolina Ale House. We have 30 locations in 6 states, so I handle their brand, any brand issues, public relations, corporate philanthropy, and catchall for anything else they possibly come up with.
I got to meet with Allison Cohan. I moved here about 2.5 years ago and one of the things I was really looking forward to was reconnecting with women that were similar in mindset, professionally in their career, and also just like to have a really good time and really just to meet different people and to learn new and different things. I interviewed, if you will, a bunch of different organizations and this one felt the best, it felt like I was at home and was welcomed right away and I had a really crazy schedule and somehow got put on the board and on committees. I know Allison would say, “No”. So that’s why I joined BPW.
What are your favorite hobbies or interests outside of work?
Work is my first hobby, but I really love to cook - so much so that I will go to friends’ houses for parties I’m not invited to and cook for them… and then leave. But I really love cooking, I love traveling, and just exploring where I live. I think there’s so much that is around our community that we don’t even scratch the surface on and I love trying new things. I love it.
Wonder Woman! I didn’t even have to think twice about this question. I wish I could understand why but I’ve loved Wonder Woman since I was a little girl. But I’ve been politically motivated my entire life, which is why I’m on the Legislative Committee, and was in politics for a long time. But I think that empowerment piece and that women can be strong and they can fight for what they believe in is just as strong of a power as knocking through walls and shooting things and whatever else some other superheroes do.
What chores do you hate doing?
Laundry. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Everything about laundry - putting in the washer, putting it in the dryer, folding - I hate laundry. Hate it.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I have always wanted to own my own event planning company. I love entertaining and what I love the most about it is seeing people happy. Whether it’s walking through the door, giving them really good food, giving them a lot of drinks (because I think that’s vital) but I’ve always really wanted to own my own event planning company and it’s still a dream goal of mine and I think one day it’ll come true. I think.
I actually had to think a bit about that one. Because I think success is dependent on your life and where you are in your career. For me, success is being happy. I have always said that the day I stop enjoying my job is the day I stop going to my job. (But obviously with giving notice and all that stuff.) But finding something new - because if you can’t enjoy what you do, why are you doing it? And I think jobs are a necessity and you need a paycheck and you need to put food on the table for our families, but for me success is finding the career and the path that you want to be on and enjoying it. And some days are gonna suck, you know that, but if overall you can be really excited, and you wake up and you know that’s where you want to be, then for me, that is what defines my success and really gets me going.
To play the piano. I’m so not musically inclined and I’m desperate to learn to play any single instrument and the piano has been like my baby that I have wanted to do. I just haven’t done it. I just really need to and somebody, anybody wants to teach me, I’m ready and willing. I’m ready! I can’t sing, I can’t draw - I’m not very good at that stuff. But I could try!
What is the coolest (or most important) trend that you see today?
So I couldn’t come up with anything cool, but there’s a lot of trends I really hate. Like I don’t understand why crushed velvet has come back? If you love crushed velvet, I’m so sorry - and I’m a believer in all things - but I just don’t understand it. And I spent an hour with my girlfriend who came to visit me - I just moved into a new house a few weekends ago and we talked about culottes. I don’t understand why things have come back. So I couldn’t find any cool trends, but all I could think of was ones I really don’t like right now.
Eat and drink at Carolina Ale House.
Want to be featured in our Member Highlight? Want to nominate someone else? Fill out our Member Highlight form and we will be in touch if you or your nominee are selected.
Check out this blog post from Ronisha Nanjiani. She held a bake sale at our BPW meeting on May 24th. She baked homemade chocolate cupcakes and Nankatai’s (Indian cookies). Through the generous members of BPW -she collected $170 that she could use to buy school supplies for underprivileged children in Charlotte. Way to Ronisha!!!
BPW Triangle Legislative Committee
Written: Sterling Fulton
There are 54 women running for office in NC and over 19 of them running for the NC House of Representatives for the first time in NC. Sydney Batch, JD is one of them. She is running for District 37, one of the few seats without an incumbent. Sydney just came from marching and supporting educators and teachers in downtown Raleigh to join the members of the BPW Legislative Committee for coffee and chatting.
Members of the Legislative Committee had an opportunity to talk to the mother of two and family law attorney, about her support of equal pay, education, livable wages and the challenges that she is overcoming running for office for the first time.
"Our meeting was delightful. Sydney is inspiring and based on our conversation, I am convinced that if elected, she is going to be a strong champion for women in NC." said Sterling Fulton, Co-chair of the Legislative Committee. Sterling, who is seated in between, April Chester and Sydney, is also pictured with Janet Chester, and Gordana Vujec. Marcy Stahl, co-president, attended the meeting as well but was not included in the picture.
For more information about Sydney Batch and where she stands on the issues important to the women of NC, click here: www.sydneybatch.com.
People pictured from Left to Right:
April Chester, Sterling Fulton, Sydney Batch, Janet Chester, Gordana Vujec
Our Friend, Lydia Ostrishko
By: Michelle Evans
Lydia, a former member of the Triangle Club, passed away on May 24, just past her 61st birthday. Lydia had many health problems over the years but more recently her renal cancer returned causing a quick decline. Besides her dear friends, Lydia is survived by her beloved Bella (Bassett hound/pointer mix), Ken (the love of her life), as well her father and two brothers.
Lydia and I have been friends for more than 20 years. Over the years, we traveled, laughed, cried, and enjoyed many wonderful times. She always said I was her sister from another mother. It warmed by heart as I am an only child who never experienced biological siblings. I believe what describes Lydia most is that she was one tough cookie. This was a lady who was strong in her faith, fiercely loyal, would give you the shirt from her back, and supported her friends when they needed an ear.
Lydia was indeed the definition of a workaholic. She enjoyed working and contributing. At age 50, she had at last found her calling in Human Resources and returned to college at Campbell University graduating manga cum laude. Most recently before her health took a turn for the worse, Lydia carried on this work at the State Library of North Carolina in Raleigh. Her attention to detail and understanding of intricate policies and processes made her a valuable asset.
We will miss her greatly.
BPW TRIANGLE – What a Ride!
Written by Mikki A Kline, Co-President BPW Triangle 2016-2018
In March 2016, in the wee early hours of a Saturday morning, Marcy Stahl and I gathered a few hardy souls to discuss ways that we could energize and build-up & out this chapter. Some of ladies were familiar with BPW, and some had never heard of our organization. It took several of these meetings, over the course of many months to assemble enough women to say “I’m in”. With complete optimism, hopefulness and a blurry vision where we wanted to go, we began to lay out a plan.
We determined fairly quickly that we wanted “FUN,” and this needed to be intertwined with learning, professional & personal growth, and that we had welcomed everyone. In laymen terms, we wanted cupcakes & champagne, but it had to come with high-level, high-quality speakers & learning. Plus, we wanted all members and guests to feel like they belonged; so much so, that they joined our chapter immediately and knew that their participation was vital in helping us grow.
Now, I’m not sure if it was the three tiered dessert table at Prestonwood Country Club, the various social events, or just our pure perseverance of our leadership team & members, but BPW Triangle has experienced fantastic results over the past two years. We have more members than ever, membership engagement is up, we have added additional programming (yes, some has worked and some has not), many of our members have stepped into leadership positions or found various ways to enhance our chapter, and our meeting attendance has soared; plus, each year we have increased the amount of money we have given out in educational scholarships. The results in just two years has been incredible… however, all of this pales in comparison to the connections and relationships that have been built between our members.
During the past two years, we have experienced so much together. Our members have welcomed babies and some have faced an empty nest; we have said goodbye to Dr. Lois Frazier, our longest and dearest member, and some of us have said our farewells to parents or loved ones; we have celebrated professional and personal successes, and we have wiped the tears of those that have experienced job loss, divorce and disappointments… The list goes on and on.
What has emerged is much more than a group of professional women who gather to hear speakers. Our chapter extends way past professional aspirations and has blended into our personal lives. I particularly love the picture from our last Holiday party, as it encompasses who we are - obviously we are very serious about Star Wars (or at least support the members that are); we want to have good time & connect with each other, and it is important that we include our family and friends.
What started as a few women with a vague vision of energizing our chapter, has become so much more than we ever dreamed or anticipated…. We are a community, a force… a TRIBE. It is with some sadness, but with tremendous gratitude that our two year journey as Co-Presidents is coming to close. However, there are a lot of amazing women ready to take the torch and run with it. Marcy and I will be next to you and behind you, cheering and supporting you, as you continue to grow, refine and alter the vision of our chapter to meet the needs of our membership…. Our community.
Next week, Marcy and I will thank our TRIBE leaders and members for being on this crazy, exhausting, amazing adventure with us, please know that we left nothing on the table as we slide into home screaming…. WOW!! What a Ride! Now keep running….
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