May 2019 – The Women’s Issue

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I drove into work on April 10 listening to one of my all-time favorite songs, “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. It’s on the Spotify playlist I often listen to when I’m under stress, and as we were on deadline with this issue, I needed a little reminder that “every little thing is gonna be alright.”

I got to work and was on a roll with edits. Then, one of my colleagues asked if anyone felt the building shake slightly. (Our office is just across the Durham/Orange border in Chapel Hill.) Her husband was downtown and felt the impact of what we would soon learn was a catastrophic gas explosion, which leveled the Kaffeinate cafe.

Like many of you, I’m sure, my heart sank to my stomach, tears welled in my eyes and frantic texts and calls were made as the coverage continued, and we assumed, and then learned, of injuries, of eyewitness accounts, of one well-loved business owner, Kong Lee, who was unaccounted for. I don’t need to explain the feelings experienced during the next hours and days. You lived them, too.

I look forward to producing this issue every year, celebrating the outstanding women in our community. A darkness fell on the tail end of it, but also what comes to mind – even as I’m still reeling from the tragedy – is Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis, whose department worked in cooperation with the City of Durham Fire Department and undoubtedly saved lives by evacuating as many as they could prior to the blast, and then stayed on the scene in the aftermath. I thought about Fire Department Captain Carol Milligan Reardon, who we highlighted in last year’s women’s issue, and whose words still stick with me: “I’m here to make the worst thing better just with compassion and love. These hands, that’s what they are for.” I thought about Katie Galbraith, one of the women featured in this issue (pg. 36), president of Duke Regional Hospital, which received several of the victims. But mostly I thought about Kong, who was killed in the explosion, and his family, especially his daughter, Diana Lee.

“While the delay is disappointing, it just validates how invested we are in bringing quality products and service to the Durham community, which we are so excited to be joining very soon,” Diana wrote to me in September 2017, when Kaffeinate’s opening had been pushed back a month. “As Triangle residents since 1993, we are especially delighted to be a part of Durham because of its inspiring culture of diversity, inclusivity and innovation. We hope to be able to highlight the local talent and spirit of Durham through the offerings and events at Kaffeinate. … We are dedicated to being a shop that honors the history of North Carolina while showcasing the progressive, sustainable and loving culture its people have embraced today.”

Now, it’s up to us as a community to return that promise, and help the Lee family, the injured and our city, heal and rebuild. We must, always, remain Bull City Strong.


32 Janeen Gordon, Krystal Harris, Rhonda Stevens, Catherine Williamson-Hardy and Jovetta Whitfield
Durham County Department of Social Services

34 Afreen Allam
Founder and CEO, SiNON Therapeutics

36 Katie Galbraith
President, Duke Regional Hospital

37 Erica Field
Professor of Economics and Global Health, Duke University

38 Vandana Dake
Principal architect, Alliance Architecture

39 Elisabeth Chadbourne
Founder and CEO, Lo & Behold Naturals

40 Kimberly Ferrell
Principal, Burton Elementary School

41 Tess Mangum Ocaña
Owner, Sonic Pie Productions

42 Leah Bergman, Cynthia Hill, Rochelle Johnson, Selina Mack, Leila Wolfrum and Wendy Woods
The Women of West Chapel Hill Street

44 Mary McGranahan Moss and Susan Cranford Ross
Partners, moss+ross


48 A Fresh Look
Put some spring in your step next time you go out

62 Free-Range Family
The Mills did their homework, and then got on a school bus

72 Thrift Seeker
The Goldbergs find their happy place in thoughtful, scavenged surroundings


96 Hot Shot: Gretchen Walsh

100 Biz Briefs

102 Take No Bull Women’s Conference

103 Community Leaders Breakfast | WillowTree Grand Celebration

104 An Evergreen Business Model
Local garden centers have thrived by offering the right mix of expertise and customer service


28 Healthy Durham: Supporting Community Health

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

60 Adopt A Pet
Three cats at Animal Protection Society who are looking for forever homes

86 Our Top Dentists


8 Go. See. Do.
The hottest events in May

20 Noted
What we’ve heard around town …

24 Coming Up Roses
The majesty of Sarah P. Duke Gardens

26 Find Your Own NorthStar
A church at the intersection of arts and spirituality

30 Wellness
Brain tumor survivors share their stories to commemorate National Brain Tumor Awareness Month

110 Taste
Discover our city’s best restaurants

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


12 Partners for Youth Opportunity’s 2019 Rise and Shine Breakfast

14 Fourth annual wimmin@work at Hayti Heritage Center

16 Aura Galleria’s Our Minds, Our Voices awards luncheon

18 “The Best of Enemies” red-carpet screening at The Carolina Theatre

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