April/May 2022: The 10th Annual Women’s Issue

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Being a woman can look different depending on the day. To some, it means holding a baby to your hip as you toss food into an oven while also hosting a large gathering of friends, which I witnessed in amazement this past weekend. It might mean discovering an occupation that you enjoy and where you are valued and compensated fairly. For many of us, it means pursuing equality and protecting hard-fought rights, some of which are still under attack today.

But for all the variations in our life experiences, I think one thing unites us in womanhood: Strength. Nish Evans, who graces our cover, shared a good reminder in her story with us on page 64. “I always encourage women, especially women, to remind themselves that they are smart enough to figure it out.”

That persistence might come in the form of setting out to create your own business, like Nish did when she launched commercial real estate investment firm Lennox and Grae in 2018. Or as Chan Little (page 48) did with her fitness studio, The 360° Approach, where she embodies strength, both physical and mental. Strength might come in more of a spiritual form, as it does for Meredith Cohen and Molly Zimmerman of One Soil Farm (page 50), where the tough, hard work of managing a farm blends seamlessly with celebrating Jewish agricultural heritage.

Beyond strength is an equally important term that often goes hand in hand: support. The women in this issue who are lifting up others – from Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi’s advocacy for Durham’s Latinx community (page 54) to Kelly Smedley’s maternal wellness and counseling clinic (page 62) to Dr. Deanna W. Adkins’ championing of her young transgender patients at the Duke Child and Adolescent Gender Care Clinic (page 66) – are prime examples of what can be accomplished when women are devoted to a cause. It’s just one of the reasons that this issue remains among the most important that we publish; because showing the power of women, year after year, is just one small way we can elevate this fundamental work within our community, and encourage others to take notice and follow their lead. Amanda MacLaren, executive managing editor


42 Melissa Chappell
Executive director, Durham Tech Foundation at Durham Technical Community College

44 Michelle Vanderwalker
Co-owner and designer, Kingfisher, Queeny’s and QueenBurger

48 Chan Little
Owner and head trainer, The 360° Approach

50 Meredith Cohen & Molly Zimmerman
Owner and co-manager, One Soil Farm, and board president, Carolina Jews for Justice; co-manager, One Soil Farm

54 Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi
Associate professor and director for Health Equity, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke University School of Medicine 
Founder, Latinx Advocacy Team and Interdisciplinary Network for COVID-19

56 Nancy McKaig
Owner, Smitten Boutique

60 Indira Everett
Director, East region, Duke Energy

62 Kelly Smedley
Owner and founder, Waypoint Counseling & Maternal Wellness

64 Nish Evans
President and CEO, Lennox and Grae

66 Dr. Deanna W. Adkins
Pediatric endocrinologist and associate professor of pediatrics at Duke University
Medical director, Duke Child and Adolescent Gender Care Clinic

68 Arsheen Allam
CEO and Founder, GOLeafe

72 Victoria Creamer
Principal, Creekside Elementary School


19 Our Top Dentists
The results of our commissioned peer-to-peer survey of the local dental community

32 Batter Pup!
Let’s woof, woof, woof for the home team

80 Project Management
Global meets local in this updated Spanish Revival home in Duke Park

92 Emptying Your Nest
Tips on downsizing from professional organizer Perri Kersh

94 Family Frolic
The Xayavong family explores Sarah P. Duke Gardens on a summer day

98 Garden Variety
Experts at our local garden centers share top tips for getting your yard ready for summer


6 Letter from the Editor

8 Go.See.Do.
Mark your calendars for this season’s top events

14 Noted
What we’ve heard around our city …

36 What We’re Eating
Cugino Forno Pizzeria

118 Engagement & Wedding
Tying the knot, Bull City-style


104 National Companies Grab a Piece of the Real Estate Pie in Durham

110 Networking
Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting

112 Tiny Homes, Big Difference
Local educator tackles affordable housing crisis with new business

114 Biz Briefs


12 Book Harvest’s Dream Big Book Drive


74 The Big Give
Our local nonprofits, how they support the community, and how you can get involved

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