Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers: Matthew Troy

I had the pleasure of watching Matthew Troy conduct a concert with another famous Winston-Salemite, Ben Folds, this past December at The Lawrence Joel Coliseum (Video of Rock this Bitch with Ben Folds, Matthew, and The Piedmont Wind Symphony). Matthew came to the the Winston-Salem Symphony in 2008 as the Associate Conductor. In January of 2015, he became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony.


After earning his bachelor’s (music as violist) and master’s degrees (orchestral conducting) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Matthew has conducted orchestras all over the country from New York to the Pacific Northwest. Although he travels frequently, he has always called Winston and the Triad his home.

Along with his work with the Piedmont Wind Symphony, Matthew also currently works with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as their Education Director. He is an advocate for music education, and created an innovative program partnered with the African Library Project, which helped to to raise over 50,000 books for 50 libraries in Botswana (Read his full bio and see videos of his performances here).


Read Matthew’s thoughtful answers about his time in Winston-Salem and his favorite parts of our great city:


Winston-Salem Questions:

Where all have you lived besides Winston?
Although I have traveled extensively around the world, I have always lived in Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The Triad area has been a wonderful place for me to call home.

 What did you miss most about the Triad when you were gone?
Often when I travel to other cities I notice the energy and the pace of my surroundings, and also the character that you find through people, restaurants, architecture, etc.  So, when I am away I always think about the incredible vitality of Winston-Salem that is literally growing before our very eyes, and I think about the joy of running into my friends and colleagues on every street corner.

When all have you lived in Winston-Salem?
I have lived in Winston-Salem since around 2007…my how time flies!


What are three things that you think make Winston-Salem a great place to live?
I love that our city embraces the old and the new. That is something very appealing to me as a musician, and more specifically a classical musician.  I love the new restaurant, bar/brewery scene; not only does it help the local economy but it adds personality to our city. And finally, the people that make up the fabric of the city. It has always been my goal to provide great art and musical experiences to the larger public to help enrich the community.

Which Winston-Salem streets/neighborhoods have you lived in?
Too many to name! But, I have lived in West End, near Robinhood Rd., Ardmore, and in the Washington Park/Sunnyside neighborhoods.  They all have their charm!

Are there any music teachers/musicians in the area that have been a key to your success?
I think that my musician colleagues have helped me nurture and develop my talents here in Winston-Salem, and for that I am forever grateful.  The truth is that there are too many to name, but names like David Levy from WFU, and Scott Rawls from UNC-G come to mind by being great role models. Also, Bu Scherf for being a great “idea” person and even better conversationalist.

Where all have you had jobs in Winston-Salem?
Currently, I am the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony. Previously, I have been the Associate Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Music Director of the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony, taught conducting on the faculty at UNCSA and conducted the orchestra, and I have taught on the faculty at Wake Forest University and conducted the orchestra there. Additionally, you can still see me perform as a violist with various string quartets.

What are your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants?
Truthfully I have more than three, but here goes.

  1. Foothills Brewery
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. The Porch

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Moravian Sugar Cake!


What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
Topsail Island

Where is your favorite place in the mountains of North Carolina?
I love the Boone/Blowing Rock area.  But Asheville is always a fun place to visit!


What are some of your favorite shows that you have conducted since you took over as the Artistic Director and Conductor for the Piedmont Wind Symphony?
I loved conducting our “Frankenstein” concert which showed the old black-and-white starring Boris Karloff while we played the soundtrack live! It is always a challenge as a conductor to work on a project like this, but it was very innovative and unique!  Also, our holiday concert a few months ago with Ben Folds is a real standout in my career as one of the most artistically gratifying and fun evenings I can imagine! We finish this season with an all Gershwin program featuring the original jazz version of “Rhapsody In Blue,” this promises to be a very memorable and entertaining concert!






Famous Winston-Salemites: Paul Defiglia

Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that lived in Winston-Salem and now have moved on to do great things. 

With all of the news typically covering depressing events, my blog has opened my eyes to just how nice people can be in this world. Paul Defiglia, a member of one of our country’s biggest bands, The Avett Brothers, is a prime example of how there really are good-natured people out there.


I had a small connection with Paul through Becca Stevens (my blog with Becca), who has also become a very successful musician and I sent Paul a message on a whim. He not only got back to me, but we had a long conversation about his time with The Avett Brothers and growing up in Winston.

Paul currently resides in Nashville with his wife, Mickela. She has a television show called Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozi. Paul grew up in Winston-Salem and says, “I always felt like Winston was a home to me. Winston isn’t trying to be what it isn’t and I really like what is happening with the downtown there.” In fact, Paul took his wife to a movie at my sister’s theater, a/perture cinema, last time he was in town. “I am really proud of being from Winston-Salem.”

After Paul graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) in 2001, he went to school at New York University and majored in jazz performance. In 2004, he met Langhorne Slim, and he was the double bass player of Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles until 2008. During that time, he met fellow North Carolinians, The Avett Brothers, at a show with Langhorne Slim and Paleface. “I was from North Carolina too, but I hadn’t heard of them at the time.”

In 2011, after taking some time off from music, Paul was working at his aunt’s farm in North Carolina one summer and got a call “out of the blue” from The Avett Brothers asking him to sub-in on bass for Bob Crawford, who was expecting the birth of his son. Later that year after the band returned from Europe, Bob’s two-year-old daughter, Hallie, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Bob took some time off from the group, and they again asked Paul to step in on bass. Paul had just been married the previous week to Mickela.  “I was floored, because these were the biggest shows ever,” said Paul.


For the next year and a half, Paul subbed off and on for Bob. After Bob started to return more regularly to the road, Paul really didn’t know what to expect. “They heard me tinkering backstage with the piano, and they thought I knew how to play piano, even though I am not a piano player,” said Paul. He was able to use a lot of the information he learned at NCSA to “kind of fake it,” when playing piano for the band.

In 2012, right after the band’s album, The Carpenter, came out, Paul started to play piano on a more regular basis. He started to take piano lessons and practice it a lot more. It speaks volumes of his musical abilities that he could play an instrument that he didn’t have a background with in front of thousands of fans in one of the biggest bands in the world. “There were a couple of times I really freaked out. I was learning to play piano in front of thousands of people,” said Paul. Here is a video of Paul playing bass with just Scott and Seth Avett (Pretty Girl from Annapolis) and one of him playing bass at Austin City Limits (Satan Pulled the Strings) with the full band.

“At some point, I convinced them to get a Hammond B3 Organ and it made a lot of things come together,” said Paul. He still plays bass for the band when Bob switches over to fiddle. “It is like a musical chair situation for the band now. Within one band, there are three different looks, which is really cool to me.”

Paul said, “the Avetts and Bob are some of the most honest and generous people I know. It really became their decision if I stayed. They could have easily said thanks for your time, but they didn’t and I am extremely grateful to them.”

At that point the band had already added the talented cellist, Joe Kwon as a full-time member. Scott Avett would give Paul small clues like, “I don’t know if you are ready for this.” Paul would think, “ready for what?” In 2013, Bob, Scott, and Seth Avett brought Paul in and asked him to become a full touring member. Since then, Mike Marsh (drummer) and Tania Elizabeth (fiddle) have joined The Avett Brothers to make it a seven-member touring band.

Paul NCSA 2-1
Paul in NCSA Dorm


Paul recently helped the Avett’s with his first studio album with the group. They recorded at famed-producer Rick Rubin’s studio in Malibu, California. “They really didn’t have to ask me to be a part of it,” said Paul. “I can’t believe I am a part of a record this big. The longer we play together, the better we sound. It is awesome to be a part of this.”

Paul mentioned that The Avett Brothers have a great respect for Winston-Salem. They have done a lot of recording in Winston and Kernersville. Along with playing with The Avett Brothers, Paul also is interested in exploring outside projects as much as he can. He likes to play gigs with different people and try to keep working on improving his abilities. “It is important to constantly refresh my musical environment and keep growing, and the Avetts have helped to facilitate my growth.” Here are a couple videos of side gigs Paul has done: (With Nashville Musicians) and (With Matt Haeck).

It will be exciting to follow another Winston-Salem native continue to grow in his successful musical career, both with The Avett Brothers and in his side opportunities. He will be touring all over the country this spring, and if you haven’t seen them in concert, watching Paul and The Avett Brothers is one of the greatest musical experiences you can have. Paul answers several questions about his time in Winston-Salem:


Winston-Salem Questions:

When all have you lived in Winston-Salem?
I went to school at Lewisville Elementary for four years and to Hanes Middle School. I also lived in Greensboro, Raleigh, and Florida growing up. My dad lived in Greensboro, so I went to Grimsley for a couple years. Then I came back to Winston to go to the School of the Arts for 11th and 12th grades from 1999 to 2001. I left to go to New York University in 2001.

Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
I lived off of Polo Road across from Speas Elementary. My aunt also lived off of Robinhood, and I hung out there a lot growing up.

What are some of your favorite Winston-Salem restaurants?
I used to go to Little Richard’s a lot. I liked going with my family to the Zevely House and The West End Café. I also hung out a lot at Morning Dew and Rubber Soul. I used to go to a lot of punk-rock shows at The Werehouse. I also really liked hanging out at Recreational Billiards, The Garage, and Elliott’s Revue.

What were some areas that NCSA really helped you with your career?
I specialized in classical bass performance at The School of the Arts. I had a lot of great teachers there. The School of the Arts was such a good primer for me musically. Ear training and music theory at NCSA were so important to me.

How did you get to know Becca Stevens, another famous Winston-Salemite?
I actually grew up with my mom playing her family’s band, The Tune Mammals, in the car to my sister. So the first class we had together, I recognized her immediately and asked her about being in that band. I actually dated Becca for a while in high school.

Were you in any bands in Winston?
Yeah, I was in a band with Becca called Cabbage Row. It was right around the time the movie, O Brother Where Art Thou? was in theaters and it was my first attempt at bluegrass. I was really into jazz and hip-hop at the time. I played in a band that ended up having a lot of the same members as Gomachi.

Cabbage Row

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Man that is hard because I love Bojangles. I took my wife to the Krispy Kreme across from Thruway last time we were in town. I would have to say Dewey’s sugar cake though. My wife also loved the Moravian sugar cookies.

What was your favorite concert at the Ziggy’s on Baity Street?
I saw Medeski Martin and Wood and that was probably my favorite show there. It was packed. I also saw P Funk and Junior Brown there. It was really a cool place.

What is your favorite nickname for Winston’s minor league baseball team: The Spirits, The Warthogs, or The Dash?
The Spirits because they used to be a farm team for the Cubs and that is my team. My dad took me to see Mark Grace when he played for them.

Do you have a favorite team in the ACC?
I never had an ACC team, but if I had to choose, I would say Wake Forest. I remember watching Tim Duncan play there.

Paul NCSA 2-2




Famous Winston-Salemites-Austin Highsmith

Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that lived in Winston-Salem and now have moved on to do great things. All of the questions will be about their time in the Twin City.

Austin Highsmith spent her first nineteen years in Winston-Salem, where she was one of the nicest people ever to attend R.J. Reynolds High School.  She left Winston to major in Political Science/Studio Arts at UNC-Chapel Hill. Highsmith currently lives in Los Angeles, CA where she is an actress and improv comedian. She has over 12,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.


She has starred in such movies as Dolphin Tale (1 and 2) and Gangster Squad alongside such famous actors as Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, and Ryan Gosling. Highsmith won the Crystal Reel Award for Supporting Actress in Dolphin Tale. She has also had television roles on such shows as Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Criminal Minds, and Castle. She is currently working on the upcoming films: The Unwilling, Open Roads, and The Bone Box.


All About Winston-Salem:
What years did you live in Winston-Salem?

I lived in Winston from 1981 (when I was born) until I left for college in 1999.

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian Sugar Cake, Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuit, Krispy Kreme Hot and Now Doughnut?
Oh man, this is a really tough question! I have to go with the Moravian Sugar Cake. I’m actually really surprised that I just said that because I can CRUSH a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts in mere seconds.

Which Winston-Salem neighborhoods did you live in?
I don’t even know the names of the neighborhoods I lived in! It’s around the intersection of Country Club and Peacehaven. And then we moved further down Peacehaven just past the 421 entrance/exit. Both (thankfully) are in the Reynolds High School district.

What different schools did you go to?
I went to Sherwood Forest Elementary and then Cook Middle School. I don’t think Cook exists anymore. And then I went to RJ Reynolds High School.

Who were your favorite teachers at each school?
Mr. Smith at Sherwood Forest was one of my absolute favorites along with Mrs. McCabe. I loved Mr. Clauset and Mr. Holbrook at Cook. And then there were so many that I loved at RJR like Mr. Michel for chemistry for sure, Mrs. Laning for art, Mrs. Storch for English, Mrs. Jenkins for Latin. This list could go on forever. I loved Reynolds!

Where all did you have jobs in Winston-Salem?
I had so many jobs! My first job was at Old Navy at Hanes Mall. Then I worked at the Juice Shop in Thruway for about four seconds. Then I worked at what used to be the Soda Shop across from Thruway. Then I worked at what used to be Lucky 32 (now 5 Points I think). During the summers, I was a lifeguard/swim coach/swim instructor at Jonestown Pool. I also babysat non-stop. Clearly I was a tiny work-a-holic.

What were your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants?
Village Tavern is the clear #1. I love that place so much! I go every time I’m in town. They have the best menu and the food is just amazing every time I go. #2 recently would have to be 4th Street Filling Station. I really love how much time has been put into building up the downtown area. It is super cute now, which I can say was not the case growing up. My family & I love going to 4th street during the summer and sitting on the patio. There are so many awesome restaurants in Winston, so for my #3, I’ll go with my favorite “cheat” meal which is Pulliam’s hot dogs. They also have BBQ sandwiches and you can have a bottle of Cheerwine and chat with the owner Mark. It’s always a super fun trip.

If you were to move back to the area, where do you think you would want to live?
If I moved back, I would probably like to live around Reynolda Gardens. I love how green and quaint the neighborhoods are around there. And also being able to hop over to the Village at Reynolda or just run around the Gardens….that would be awesome.

What is your favorite nickname of our minor league baseball team: Spirits, Warthogs, or Dash?
I’ll have to go with the Spirits, because that is what they were when I was a kid. My dad used to bribe me with the promise of a hot dog and a soda to go to the games, but we always had a blast while we were there. We went to many games as a family growing up, and of course the fireworks on the 4th were always a great time.

Were you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
Growing up I was a Hanes Mall girl. I LIVED there on the weekends. But now whenever I’m in town, my mom & I always end up at Thruway and spend the whole day there.

What was your favorite place to go in Winston?
This is tough because I love Reynolda Gardens and all of the stuff to do around there. But my favorite place would have to be Jonestown Pool. I spent most of my childhood summers there from when I was four until I was twenty years old. My memories of my time there are some of my most fond and I just always remember being so happy there. I also made friends there that have lasted a lifetime.

Where was your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
As a kid, my parents would take us up to Pilot Mountain or Blowing Rock for the day. Both of those places were so much fun. I have two brothers and we could just run around the mountain and climb on stuff. I loved that fun little getaways were so close. It allowed my family to have a lot of fun for not a lot of money.

What was your favorite North Carolina Beach?

Oh, that is tough. Carolina beaches are my favorite. I live in California now and I hardly ever go to the beach because they aren’t Carolina beaches! My family always goes to Oak Island every summer (still!), so that is probably my favorite. But Wrightsville will always hold a special place in my heart. My buddies from high school & I spent tons of time on Wrightsville beach and had an absolute blast. Trolly Stop hot dogs and a pink lemonade on a hot summer day…..there’s nothing like it.

austin dolphin tales

Where is your favorite place in the mountains in North Carolina?
Boone. There is so much charm in Boone. Both of my brothers went to App and so I visited often. There is so much to do in Boone and great restaurants. Although how can I not also mention Asheville?! I went to the Biltmore Estate a lot as a kid on school trips. Asheville is just gorgeous and I love how they have so many little artist communities!

Did you ever go to Ziggy’s?
Oh yeah. It feels like I was at Ziggy’s every weekend in high school.

What was your favorite concert there?
I can’t pick one! One of my favorite experiences was having Dave Matthews pop up and play out of the blue. That was pretty awesome. But there were so many great concerts at Ziggy’s that I just can’t choose. I love that Ziggy’s provided a place for emerging artists to gain a following. Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill is like that too. It is so vital for up and coming musicians to be able to play venues like Ziggy’s.

Who is your favorite ACC team?
Well this question is going to drive my dad nuts! We grew up going to pretty much every Wake event that happened. My dad graduated from Wake Forest (both the University and the Business School), so we were always at Wake growing up. But then I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill… So I’ll probably have to stick with my alma mater and go with UNC. Sorry dad.

Are there any special memories you have of Winston-Salem?
I could write an entire book on all of my fond memories of Winston. Growing up at Calvary Baptist Church and all of the friends I made there. Playing on many sports teams, be it soccer or swimming. I had a wonderful childhood growing up in Winston and I love that my parents are still there so I can visit several times a year. I can’t wait till I have kids of my own and can share all the Winston has to offer with them too!

Follow and Like Austin below:

Famous Winston-Salemites: Becca Stevens

Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that lived in Winston-Salem and now have moved on to do great things. All of the questions will be about their time in the Twin City.

Becca Stevens, a resident of Winston-Salem for seventeen years, sings a fusion of folk, jazz, and pop and she has been compared to such musical geniuses as Joni Mitchell. She was born and raised in Winston-Salem and her musical family traveled the region in the band, The Tune Mammals. Becca started her musical journey before some kids can talk and was on the stage by the age of two. To this day Becca says, “Winston-Salem is where my heart is.”


Becca’s music has received a lot of praise, including a New York Times feature in 2008 that quoted her as New York’s “best kept secret.” She just released a song, “I Asked,” with Snarky Puppy, a two-time Grammy winning band (“I Asked” Video). Last year the Becca Stevens Band released their record Perfect Animal, which The Daily Beast named as one of its 20 Amazing Under-the Radar Albums of 2015 (Article). Becca will be traveling to Japan, Estonia, Poland, and the United Kingdom this spring to perform with various artists.

In 2002, Becca lived in Winston and sang and played guitar in the band Gomachi. I saw her play at Ziggy’s , which led us to go on one date (we were confused during the interview if it was to a Chinese or Sushi place and if it was on Peters Creek or Stratford Road). I thought Becca would have this grand memory of our date and that she would go on and on about what a great time we had, but she had to look up my picture to put everything together! As my wife can tell anyone, I am about as picky of an eater as possible, and there is no way I would ever eat sushi, so Becca and I joked about how I could have never hung with her in the food category. To give myself a little credit, Becca was moving to New York to become a star in a month or two when we went to dinner, and things turned out great on my end as well.


Winston-Salem Questions:

How long did you live in Winston-Salem?
I was born in Winston and stayed there until I went to boarding school for ninth and tenth grade. I moved back for the next three years. I have been in New York since 2002.

Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
I lived on Club Park Road during my childhood. After I went to the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA), I lived on Sunset Drive in the West End for a year.

What different Winston-Salem schools did you attend?
I went to the Creative Learning Center for daycare. I then went to Summit for junior kindergarten through eighth grade. I studied at the Peddie School in New Jersey for ninth and tenth grade, before I came back to NCSA to finish high school and focused on classical guitar. When I moved to New York in 2002, I attended The New School for jazz and contemporary music.

Who all in your family are musicians?
Everyone! My dad plays multiple instruments like the guitar, various folk instruments, and keyboards. He is also a serious classical composer and has written every type of music from musicals, to symphonies and string writing, to choral music for Augsburg Lutheran Church, where I sang in the choir during my teens. My mom went to NCSA for her masters in opera and now teaches and performs in the Atlanta area. My sister also went to NCSA for ballet. My brother is a brilliant classical composer and co-owner of Ovation Sound, an awesome recording studio in Winston. He also performs in tons of bands in the area like Big Daddy Love, Yarn, Camel City Collective, and The Lee Boys.

The Tune Mammals-Father-Bill; Sister-Katie; Brother-Bill; Mother-Carolyn Dorff

Who were your favorite teachers in Winston?
I loved Mr. Turner (elementary education), Mrs. Kerr (drama), Mrs. Hopkins (music), and Mrs. Hamilton (English) at Summit. At NCSA, I loved my English writing teacher, Becky Brown, and my guitar teachers, Joe Pecoraro and Gerald Klickstein.

Are there other musicians in Winston-Salem that helped inspire you to become a musician?
Besides my family, I started to get into jazz in Winston by going to listen to jazz bands at Leon’s on Marshall Street when I was at NCSA. My friend Paul Defiglia (currently in the Avett Brothers), and my brother and his friends introduced me to a lot of jazz, funk, and hip hop. After I graduated, I performed with Gomachi, which was a fusion of all of those types of music, until I left for New York.

Where all did you have jobs in Winston-Salem?
I was a teacher at the Creative Learning Center, where I also attended daycare when I was a child. It was right next to NCSA. I also did a lot of performing in the area as a kid in theater productions and touring local festivals and schools with The Tune Mammals. I performed a lot at The Little Theater, The Christmas Carol, and I played the kid parts at various theater productions at NCSA. When I was ten, I played the lead role in a year long national tour of The Secret Garden with my mom.

What were your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants?
Nawab’s Buffet is great, and I used to love Mary’s of Course. My uncle, Joe Hsu, doesn’t have a restaurant, but I would say his kitchen is another one of my favorites. When I come back to town, I like to go with my cousins (the Hsu brothers) to Foothills and Finnegan’s.

If you were to move back to the area, where do you think you would want to live?
I loved living in the West End. I also love the Asheville area. I grew up going to Eagle’s Nest Camp, and it was a favorite part of my childhood.

Were you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
Thruway! Hanes Mall gives me panic attacks. Even when I was of driving age, I would lose my car in their huge, circular parking lot. I did go to Hanes Mall some in my early teens, but I definitely enjoy Thruway more.

We had to briefly pause the interview at this point because this wreck happened outside of Becca’s New York residence:


If you were on a stranded island and could just have one Winston-Salem food for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cookies, Bojangles biscuit, or a Krispy Kreme doughnut?
Oh my god! I used to eat Bo-Berry biscuits all the time and those things are heaven in the mouth. At NCSA, we would go dumpster diving at Krispy Kreme for the warm, deformed doughnuts that they threw out each night. I feel I would live longer on a stranded island eating Moravian cookies, since they are probably the healthiest of the three. I do like a good biscuit though. I know I am not really answering your question.

What was your favorite Carolina Beach?
In the seventies or eighties, my grandmother bought a house in Hilton Head, and I loved to go there. It’s sad because it isn’t there anymore. Growing up, I used to go with my childhood best friend, Maria Guidetti Olson, to Sunset Beach. I also more recently went to the Outer Banks and love it there too.

Where is your favorite place in the mountains in North Carolina?
I love Boone and Lenoir, where my dad grew up.

Follow Becca Below:
Band Website

Stories of The Dash-The Memory’s

George and Jen Memory have a story that needs to be shared. It is a story of fast love, followed by tribulations, and then of the two conquering the odds. Jen’s story is one that all women need to take to heart and make sure they take the appropriate steps to help avoid everyone’s worst nightmare, cancer. Jen became the “Susan G. Komen Survivor of the Year,” through her fight. George’s story is one that all husbands should read to learn how to treat your wife. George left his job as a wealth manager to start selling cold-pressed juices at his new company, Organix Juice Bar and become a pioneer of the local organic industry of Winston-Salem.


George grew up in Winston-Salem, attending Summit and Forsyth Country Day, before he headed to Elon for college. Jen grew up in neighboring Yadkin County, and moved to Winston to attend Forsyth Tech in the early 2000’s. In 2011, George was working as a wealth manager at Stephens, and Jen worked at SunTrust Bank. They both previously had been in long relationships, but decided to try out online dating.

Jen was living off of Country Club Road, and George was living in Ardmore when they came across each other’s profile. Jen told her mom that she thought George might be the one. George set up their first date right across the street from his Ardmore  house at Cafe Roche on March 20, 2011. He told his friend that he wanted to have the first date there, in case it didn’t turn out great and he could head back home. He estimated the first date to last five to ten minutes. Over an hour later after first meeting Jen, he finally left the date.

The two didn’t waste anytime getting to know each other. They went on five dates that first week, and George took Jen to meet his family at the end of the week. He said, “I wanted to throw her right in, because I thought she was the one.” They went on an out of town date to Asheville soon after and never looked back.

George contacted Jen’s best friend, Clare Hector, a couple months after their first date to take her out to lunch. Clare was confused and told Jen that her boyfriend, George, had just asked her on a date. When in all reality, George wanted to take Clare to lunch to try to figure out Jen’s ring size.

George liked to keep notes on things that Jen told him that she really wanted to do in life. At one point, she told George that she really wanted to try a hot-air balloon ride. He nonchalantly played it off like he really wasn’t paying attention. He already had a ring and a plan. On August 01, 2011, George surprised her with a hot-air balloon ride on her birthday. She was happy with the surprise, but had no idea of what his plans would be while they were in flight. After Jen got over narrowly missing some telephone poles, George popped the question. They were married on May 19, 2012 in Winston-Salem.


During the next year, George continued his job at Stephens and Jen really got into photography and started working at Monkee’s, a designer fashion boutique. Like all newlyweds, there comes a time to start thinking about having children. In September of 2013 everything changed for the couple. With the medical history of her family, Jen decided that she needed to take extra precautions before trying to get pregnant. The last step she took was to get a mammogram, and this ended up saving her life.

This is really important for all women. Originally it was suggested for women to get their first mammogram at the age of forty. They have now incredibly moved that age to forty-five. Jen wants all women to know to get it done earlier. If she hadn’t gone for that mammogram at the age of thirty, she would have never known that she was suffering from stage one breast cancer, since she had no symptoms. The day they found out was the day that they planned to start trying to get pregnant.

On October 25, 2013, Jen had a bilateral mastectomy at Forsyth Medical Park, and one of her nurses was my wife, Katie. She would have had the surgery earlier, but the couple decided to freeze embryos, just in case. Jen had pretty intense rehab in November and December of 2013, and she ended up losing sixteen pounds. During that rehab, George and Jen met with a dietitian and that meeting changed their future.

George has been a type one diabetic and insulin dependent since the age of nine. Jen would eat fast food twice a day before she was diagnosed with cancer. The two binge-watched Netflix documentaries about healthy eating habits like Forks Over Knives, Hungry for Change, and GMO-OMG. Jen also credits The Anti-Estrogenic Diet by Ori Hofmekler, which was the first book she read after being diagnosed, as being a huge help in their change. On December 02, 2013, Jen got the fantastic news that she was officially cancer free.


They found out that smoothies weren’t enough, and George started to research how to make organic cold-pressed juices. They found out that the community of Winston-Salem didn’t have the type of organic foods that Jen needed for her diet. George and Jen began to make cold-pressed drinks out of their Ardmore house. They also made healthier, organic meals at home. If they were heading out of town for a trip, they would make enough meals to last the entire vacation, since it is so hard to find truly organic meals at restaurants, except in places like Asheville.

George pressed Jen like a drill sergeant to make sure she stuck to the regimen, and he made sure to eat the same meals. 2015 was a year of change for the Memory couple. George started to sell his cold-pressed juices to the Winston-Salem community. He left his job at Stephens to start selling them full-time. First he had a cart that he would set up at Stella’s Brew on Hawthorne Road and at the Tanglewood Farmer’s Market. They would press the juices late at night at Tarts Sweets Bakery across the street from Stella’s. Later in 2015, Tart’s moved downtown to a bigger location and the Memory’s knew it was time to open up their first shop.

On November 19, 2015 they officially opened Organix Juice Bar at 1318 S. Hawthorne Road, which just happens to be next door to where George and Jen had their first date. The juice bar uses organic, non-gmo fruits and vegetables from local farmers like Faucette Farms, Plum Granny, Fair Share, and Coltrane Farms. George is receiving 2,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables per week. He puts in over eighty hours of work per week, pressing the juices, selling them at the shop, and delivering them on Tuesday’s to places like Wake Forest, Salem College, and several local businesses. He has the help of Jen and his mom, Katherine Memory, but they hope to hire more workers soon.


The shop has board games like Checkers and Jenga on the tables, and log chairs at the bar along the window. Keeping with the Winston-Salem theme, the drinks have names like the ardmore, the west end, the camel city, and the old salem. The juices come at a premium, but it is well-worth the expense. Jen says, “one of my mottos is that I would rather pay for the juice than pay $15,000 later for chemo treatment.” The couple not only support local organic farmers, but they also donate proceeds to a non-for-profit group each month.

In 2015, Jen also switched jobs and pursued her dreams. After doing photography part-time, she finally had enough of a clientele to leave her job at Monkee’s and start her own company, Inspired Memory’s Photography. She has an office at their Ardmore house, but the majority of her job is on location. She specializes in high school seniors, family photos, and head-shots and does several local events. Just this past week the blog, Triad Moms on Main, awarded Jen as their favorite photographer of Winston-Salem, which is voted on by members of the community. In 2015, Jen was also honored as the “Susan G. Komen Survivor of the Year” for the Northwest, which covers twenty-three North Carolina counties.

2016 looks to be another exciting year for the Memory family as they look to expand their businesses, but they also are hoping they can expand their family. Like many breast cancer survivors, Jen’s oncologist put her on Tamoxifen for ten years, which women can’t take when trying to get pregnant. The family made a deal with the oncologist that if her blood work looked okay after two years, they could go off of the Tamoxifen for a year to try to get pregnant. Jen has to go in so they can check her blood work every three months.

George and Jen are hoping that they can start to try to get pregnant this coming October. Their story still continues, and hopefully in 2017 the next chapter will be a third member of the family.



Famous Winston-Salemites: Wells Thompson

Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that lived in Winston-Salem and now have moved on to do great things. All of the questions will be about their time in the Twin City.

*Wells not only is a great soccer player, but he is also as nice of a guy as you can be. We were showing the 2011 Women’s World Cup at a/perture and did a giveaway. I wrote Wells and asked if he could get us a signed autograph, and he next day delivered it to get it to the theater in time for the championship game and giveaway.


Wells Thompson was born and raised in Winston-Salem. After a successful career at Reynolds and Forsyth Country Day, he went on to be a star at Wake Forest. He was selected fifth overall in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Superdraft in 2007. After three years as an all-around midfielder for the New England Revolution, he was traded to the Colorado Rapids. In 2010, Wells was an integral part of their run to the MLS Cup Championship title. Wells played in 2013 for the Chicago Fire, and has played the last two years for the Charlotte Eagles and the Carolina Railhawks (Raleigh) in the United Soccer League.

Wells also excels off the field, as he was named the 2011 Rapids Humanitarian of the Year. He currently hosts soccer camps and private coaching in the North Carolina area (www.wellsthompsonsoccer.com), and he also writes a blog. Wells has been married to his wife, Daphne, for four years as of this past December. They have a son, Declan, that will turn two this April, and a golden retriever, Spirit.


Winston-Salem Questions:

How long did you live in Winston-Salem?
I was born and raised in Winston. Since I went to school at Wake Forest University, I lived in Winston from birth until I was 23, except for a one and a half year period in high school when I lived in New York.

Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
When I was born, I lived for several years on Red Oak Lane until we moved to Englewood Dr.,  where my parents still reside.

What different Winston-Salem schools did you go to?
I went to Summit School from Kindergarten through eighth grade. I then went to Reynolds for one and a half years. And then after one and a half years in New York, I came back to Winston to attend Forsyth Country Day School for two years.

Who were your favorite teachers at each school?
Summit School had the best teachers. Some that come to mind are Mr. Wilcox, Mrs. Greene, and Mrs. Standefer. At Reynolds, I was very fond of Coach Williams. At FCDS, Hank Battle, Mrs. Funk, Mr. Cordray, Anne-Taite, and Coach Turner were all great teachers and people who blessed my life greatly.

Did you play any other sports besides soccer growing up?
I did. I played competitive baseball, basketball, ice hockey, golf and even swam on the swim team.

What club soccer teams did you play for in the area?
Winston-Salem Twins.


Did you have any coaches in Winston-Salem that had a major impact on your growth and your career?
Absolutely. Coach Jerell York was my first club soccer coach and he was phenomenal. I just remember him being an awesome guy who loved the game of soccer and loved us kids. He made his players want to play for him because of the kind of man that he was.
My dad is certainly someone who comes to mind here. He was also my YMCA basketball coach. My dad, and mom, played such a pivotal role in my life and still do. They encouraged me and my brother and sister to stay active and involved in sports. They were athletes growing up so that, no doubt, played a huge role in why my parents encouraged us to stay involved.
Coaches play such an important role in kids’ lives. Dr. Billy Graham said, “One coach will impact more young people in one year than the average person does in a lifetime.” All the coaches that I have had over the years have played a part in my development as a man and athlete. With certain coaches it is easy to make that correlation, but not so much with others. I’ve been so blessed to have some great men coach and mentor me throughout my entire life. I’m grateful for these men, for they have helped me become who I am today.

What were your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants?
Village Tavern, La Carreta, Sherwood Plaza.

If you were to move back to the area, where do you think you would want to live?
This is a great question. I am frequently back in W-S because most my family still lives there and I was asking my wife this last time we were in Winston. I’m not totally sure either. It would be nice to find a nice piece of land on the outskirts of town, but then again you can’t beat the charm and family feel of being in the Buena Vista area.

Were you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
I was way more of a Thruway fan. I never have been a mall guy and because Thurway was way closer and more convenient, that pretty much sealed it for me.

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian Sugar Cake, Bojangles Biscuits, or Krispy Kreme Doughnuts?
Wow! This ain’t no joke. How the heck am I supposed to choose here? I can’t believe I am not going to choose Krispy Kreme, because they are my absolute favorite, but I’m going to have to go with the Moravian Sugar Cake. I think I could probably eat that on a more regular basis.

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
Atlantic Beach. We grew up spending our summers here at my Grandmother G’mommie’s beach house. My mom’s brother and sister both have a place at Atlantic Beach as well, so it’s always a big family affair when we go down. It’s probably one of my top three, if not my top, favorite places in the world.


Where is your favorite place in the mountains in North Carolina?
Valley Crucis. My parents good friends have a cabin there. It’s idyllic. There’s a creek that runs through the backyard and it’s about the most peaceful place I’ve ever been.

Did you ever go to Ziggy’s?
I absolutely went to Ziggy’s. I feel like everyone from W-S had to have at least experienced this place once in their life. And because I went to Wake, I had lots of opportunities to get down at Ziggy’s.

What was your favorite concert there?
Pat Green was probably my favorite concert that I saw at Ziggy’s. I went to see him while I was at Wake with a bunch of my college buddies. I was having a blast. I remember seeing a good buddy of mine at the concert. He was ahead of me, closer to the stage. I’ll never forget this. I wanted to get his attention, so I did what any buzzed college kid would do and threw an empty beer can at him. I missed with the first and chucked another one, not thinking anything of it. Well the bouncers didn’t respond too kindly. I got tackled and dragged outta that place so fast. I never did get my buddy’s attention, but that’s something I’ll never forget. Good times at Ziggy’s.

Follow Wells:

Famous Winston-Salemites-Caleb Caudle

Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that have lived or live in Winston. All of the questions will be about their time in the Twin City.

Caleb Caudle left the Winston-Salem area for a year to move to New Orleans, but with some persuasion from his father, he felt like he needed to come back home. This Thursday night, he will release his new country album, Carolina Ghost, with a release party at the Garage (Event Details).

As a huge fan of fellow North Carolinians, The Avett Brothers, it is refreshing to have such a talented, singer songwriter in our neck of the woods. If you are a fan of musicians in the same realm as Jason Isbell, you will love Caudle’s stuff. I have spent the past two days with the title track (listen here), “Tuscaloosa” (watch a live video here), and my favorite, “Piedmont Sky” (watch a live video here) on repeat.

Caudle was born in Columbia, SC and moved to Germanton (just north of Winston) when he was 12. After high school, he moved down to Winston. When he moved back to Winston after his brief hiatus, Caudle fell in love with fellow Winston-Salemite, Lauren Harden, who went to Mt. Tabor and currently works at Airtype. The two will get married locally this fall.


Winston-Salem Questions:

When all have you lived in Winston-Salem?
I lived in Winston for 7 years, moved to New Orleans for a year and then back here in 2014.

Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
Spring, Carolina, Washington Ave, Wachovia, West End Blvd and Summit.

What different local schools did you go to?
South Stokes High School.

Who were your favorite teachers at each school?
Mr. Jones was the coolest. He was my art teacher in high school. He made me listen to great music and allowed me to just play guitar in the classroom. Pretty amazing. I need to go see him sometime. He was really into letting folks just be themselves.

Where all have you had jobs in Winston-Salem?
Mellow Mushroom, Cat’s Corner(RIP), Fresh Market, Jersey Mike’s. I’m happy to say that I just hit 3 years doing music full time.


What are your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants?
Mary’s (of course), La Botana and Sakura.

When you lived in New Orleans, what did you miss most about Winston?

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Cajun Filet. It’s always “Bo” time.

What is the ideal date night for you and your fiancé in Winston?
I suppose just grabbing a bite to eat and maybe catching a movie. We are both pretty laid back.

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
Kure. It’s the beach I went to growing up.

Where is your favorite place in the mountains of North Carolina?
Hot Springs.

What was your favorite concert at the Ziggy’s on Baity Street?
I opened for both Jason Isbell and Shooter Jennings there. Both were a lot of fun. I saw My Morning Jacket on the It Still Moves Tour and that was pretty great too.

Band Website
Bandcamp Page
Facebook Page
Instagram Page


Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers-Aubrey Linville

Aubrey Linville was born in Rockville, MD, before he moved to Winston-Salem for fourth grade. Linville and his wife, Holli, have two children, Grayson and Preston. In 2012, he joined with Coleman Team to form Linville Team Partners (Firm Website), a commercial real estate firm located on Fourth St. in downtown Winston-Salem.

After graduating from North Carolina State, Linville began his work in real estate at RAL Properties. He also worked for four years at the Meridian Realty Group, Inc., before venturing out with Team to found their successful firm. Linville also recently co-founded with Team, a private equity real estate investment fund, Front Street Capital.

For the past decade, the Linville’s have dedicated their lives to the memory of their son, A.J. Linville, with the A.J. Linville Foundation. A.J. was born on March 9, 2004 and lived twenty happy months with his parents, before he passed away in a tragic accident. Through a golf tournament and the Angels Race Triathlon, the family has raised $275,000 with one-hundred percent of the donations going back to charities. Every year, the foundation is able to gift prosthetics and equipment to three to four children.

Soon after the foundation was formed, the Linville’s were able enough to raise enough money to build a playground for the Ronald McDonald House. The foundation has helped the family keep an important connection with A.J.


What made you want to get involved in real estate?
Commercial real estate was always an important part of my dad’s company, Adventure Entertainment. When I was at N.C. State, I started my first company called National Junior Golf Club. I sold this company four or five years later and started flipping residential houses and small commercial properties. Just as we were heading into the Great Recession John Ruffin, who is one of my all-time favorites, hired me at Meridian. My first year there, I wasn’t able to close a deal. The second year I closed a couple, but then it took off from there. I am really passionate about the art of the deal of real estate, reconnecting with people, and helping small businesses and investors through the entire process. Commercial real estate makes me tick!

Could you ever imagine leaving Winston and if so, where would you go?
I may be one of the most passionate people about Winston-Salem. Most of my family and extended family live here, so it would be hard to leave. I am also heavily invested in my companies and the relationships I have through them, so I will never leave here. I love Winston, but I do feel I had a calling to go out west and live in the Rocky Mountains.

What is your favorite part about working downtown in Winston-Salem?
My favorite reason for working downtown is being involved in many significant projects that have helped change downtown. I used to ride my bike downtown from my house on Runnymede and there was nothing down here except Recreation Billiards and the Stevens Center. Now my company gets to work on projects like Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, BB&T Ballpark, the Wells Fargo Tower, Texas Pete in the Nash Building, and our building here on Fourth Street.

Which Winston-Salem/Clemmons neighborhoods have you lived in?
On my move from Rockville to Winston, my parents actually dropped me off at Camp Seagull for a month. So their first month in Winston, I didn’t live here. We lived on Watson in Ardmore, while they built their house on Runnymede.
I married Holli my senior year of college, and we lived back in the house on Runnymede for a couple years. Our first house together was on Wiley Avenue in Buena Vista, before we moved to Clemmons.

What different schools did you go to?
I went to Summit from fourth through ninth. Then I went to Reynolds for high school.


What are your top three Winston-Salem restaurants of all time?
Not many people will know my number one, but it is La Perlita on Waughtown Street. My dad and I were out one day visiting where he grew up, and we ran across this tiny Mexican restaurant. I have loved it ever since. I am also a big fan of the original Ronnie’s in Clemmons and Milner’s on Stratford Road.

What is your favorite nickname of our minor league baseball team: Spirits, Warthogs, or Dash?
The Dash. I do have to say that I have a lot of memories of when the Warthogs used to play at Ernie Shore Field. I was a regular at Thirsty Thursdays there.

Are you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
I don’t like shopping, but I avoid Hanes Mall at all costs. I am a huge fan of Great Outdoor Provisions, so definitely Thruway.

Where is your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
The Wilson Creek area in Pisgah National Forrest. It is about two hours away and is just north of Morganton. I love to fly fish and it is hatchery supported water.


If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian Sugar Cake, Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuit, Krispy Kreme Hot and Now Doughnut?
That is a hard one, but I would go with Moravian Sugar Cake.

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
I actually haven’t spent a lot of time at North Carolina beaches. I lived in Wilmington for a while, so I am very familiar with the beaches there. We have a camper and we like to go to the North Myrtle area.

What was your favorite concert at the original Ziggy’s (Baity Street)?
That is a long list. I spent a lot of late nights in that place. Some notable shows would be when we walked there to see Dave Matthews in an ice storm. I saw Kenny Chesney there for a relief show. The electricity went out when I was at a Leftover Salmon show, and they performed under candlelight. I also saw Blues Traveler and The Black Crowes at Ziggy’s.


Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers-Katie Paterson

In addition to celebrating Winston-Salem natives that have moved on to do significant things outside of Winston, this blog will also celebrate local people who make a difference currently in Winston-Salem. 

Katie Paterson is a life-long resident of Winston-Salem. She is currently a Lieutenant in the Operations Support Division of the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD). She was sworn in as an officer in 2001, and will celebrate her fifteenth year of service this March.

She oversees police training and recruiting, including all in-service training for veteran officers and the Basic Law Enforcement Training for police recruits. Paterson also teaches Subject Control/Arrest Techniques and Physical Fitness for the WSPD.

“Law enforcement officers are never ‘off duty.’ They are dedicated public servants who are sworn to protect public safety at any time and place that the peace is threatened.”
-Barbara Boxer

Could you ever imagine leaving Winston-Salem?
I could never imagine leaving Winston-Salem.  Almost my whole family is here and I would never want to venture far from them. I love this town and everything about it.

Why did you decide to become a police officer?
I wasn’t the kid who grew up knowing I wanted to be a police officer.  I was working as a lifeguard for the Winston-Salem Parks and Recreation Department and, as a result, I was able to meet the WSPD Park Ranger, Bobby Boyd.  He was so interesting to talk to and I enjoyed listening to the stories about his job. When I went to college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do so I tried a criminal justice class. That got me hooked. I knew at that time I wanted to be a police officer. I graduated from Gardner-Webb University in May of 2000 and started at the police department in August.


If you could choose one event during your time with the WSPD that had the greatest impact on you?
That’s a very hard question. My time at the WSPD has really changed and formed me as a person. I think what has impacted me the most was the death of Howard Plouff in 2007.  He was the first officer to die in the line of duty since I joined the department. It was shocking to hear of his death and to be reminded of the dangers that police officers face.  His funeral was so powerful. Howard was a great man.

Are there any police officers that were special mentors to you during your development with the WSPD?
My first sergeant at the police department was Dennis Scales. He was everything you picture when you think of an “old school” cop. He had the mustache, gruff voice, smoked cigarettes all the time.  He was a intimidating figure for a 22-year-old girl fresh out of the academy. At the same time, he had so much experience and had worked as a detective for years. He taught me so much about investigations and I absorbed everything he said. I truly thank him for getting me started on the right foot at the department.  I learned pretty quickly that he wasn’t as scary as I thought….as long as you did your job.


If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian Sugar Cake, Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuit, Krispy Kreme Hot and Now Doughnut?
Wow, now that’s a hard question.  I think I’d go with the doughnut (and that’s not because I am a cop…it’s because everyone loves doughnuts, not just cops).

Which Winston-Salem neighborhoods have you lived in?
I grew up in Hope Valley which is near Wake Forest University. My house was right beside Polo Park and Polo Pool (that made it very easy to get to work as a lifeguard).  I still live near Wake Forest. I have always liked that area.  There are plenty of sidewalks for running and it is convenient to get around.

What different schools did you go to?
I went to Speas Elementary School, Paisley Middle School and then Mt. Tabor High School.  I went to Appalachian State for my freshman year of college and then graduated from Gardner-Webb University.

Who were your favorite teachers at each school? 
My favorite teacher at Speas is easy…I would have to say Mrs. Paterson (my mom!!!).  She was my 4th grade teacher. And yes, I had to call her Mrs. Paterson. At Paisley Middle School, my favorite teacher was Mr. Rash. He taught my least favorite subject (math), but was the most fun teacher ever. In high school I would have to say that my favorite teacher was Mrs. Davis. She also taught math. She was a kind, patient teacher and I always liked her a lot.

Where all did you have jobs in Winston-Salem before becoming a police officer?  
I was pretty active in sports in high school so I didn’t work during the school year. I was a lifeguard at Polo and Bolton Pools every summer from 1993-2000. It was the BEST job. I am so thankful for working as a lifeguard. It was tough work, but very fun. I also worked at Polo Park Recreation Center as a recreation leader. I worked at Rosie’s Hallmark store and Etc. Consignment Shop too.

What are your top three Winston-Salem restaurants of all time? 
My favorite local restaurant is West End Café. Such a great atmosphere and the food is delicious. TJ’s Deli will always be near the top of my list.Good, classic deli food. My 3rd favorite would be Sherwood BBQ before it closed. If I had ever skipped school (I will admit nothing since my parents might read this), but if I had ever skipped class, I have heard that Sherwood BBQ might have been the best place to get a biscuit for all Mt. Tabor students in the 90’s.

What is your favorite nickname of our minor league baseball team: Spirits, Warthogs, or Dash?
I always like the Warthogs. No real reason why, but I think it sounds the most like an actual sports team.


Are you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
I definitely like Thruway. It has some great stores, and it has Dewey’s.  Who can go wrong with Dewey’s??

Where is your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
I love going to Millers Creek in Wilkes County.  My boyfriend’s grandparents have a house there and it is so relaxing.  We love to trout fish and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. I also always love a day trip to Chapel Hill. Anytime I am in Tarheel Town is awesome!!

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
I usually go to South Carolina beaches, but last summer my family went to Carolina Beach and we really had a great time. It was a quiet beach town that gave us lots of fun, family memories.

Where is your favorite place in the mountains in North Carolina?
As I said before, I love Millers Creek, but I also love West Jefferson. It is a great town with fun little shops and delicious restaurants.

Did you ever go to the original Ziggy’s?
Too many times to count!!! I loved that place.

If so, what was your favorite concert there?
That’s another hard question. I’d say the best concert I ever saw there was by far, The Roots. They were amazing. Such a talented group of musicians, and now I can enjoy them every weeknight on Fallon.

Who is your favorite ACC team?
Love my Carolina Tarheels for almost every sport, but in soccer, I root for the Deacs.  Wake Forest has such an amazing soccer program and they are so fun to watch.





Winston-Salem Difference Makers-President Lorraine Sterritt and Bert Lain

In addition to celebrating Winston-Salem natives that have moved on to do significant things outside of Winston, this blog will also celebrate local people who make a difference currently in Winston-Salem. 

I have had the pleasure of working with three great presidents during my decade at Salem College. In 2014, President Lorraine Sterritt was hired as the 20th president of Salem Academy and College. In our two hundred and forty-four year history, it is hard to imagine that this historic institution has only had twenty presidents!

When President Sterritt first walked onto campus, you could feel a breath of fresh air right off the bat. The Ireland native immediately made her mark on Salem and the Winston-Salem community as she was named one of the Triad’s Most Influential People by Triad Business Journal (November of 2015). President Sterritt and Salem are in the middle of The Women of Purpose campaign to help with faculty support and academic programs, infrastructure and technology, scholarships, and financial stability (Women of Purpose website). She also travels the country on the Salem Ever tour, where she meets with alumnae and friends who have committed themselves to Salem’s success. During her short time at Salem, the department of admissions has welcomed the largest class in school history and a new apartment style residence hall, The McHugh Sisters Flats, has been constructed.


Twenty eight and a half years ago, President Sterritt met Bert Lain in Chatham, Virginia. The two have worked at prestigious colleges all over the country together like Princeton, Penn, Stanford, and most recently, Harvard.

In the soccer world, famous players like Pele and Messi are just known by one name. Bert has made such an impact that you can simply say Bert to anybody on campus and their face will light up. It is impossible to walk through campus without seeing him talking to a student or faculty/staff member. He is also one of the biggest supporters of our athletic department. In fact, our new tennis center is named the Bert Lain Tennis Center.

Below you will find out why President Sterritt and Bert have enjoyed their time so far in North Carolina, and some of their favorite parts of Winston-Salem:

 Winston-Salem Questions:

Before I ask any questions about Winston, I have a pressing question that I have always wondered about: You two both have a history of teaching Latin. Do you ever find yourselves speaking to each other in the classical language?

Occasionally we lapse into Latin!

You two have lived all over the United States. What are some things that are unique to Winston-Salem that you two have really enjoyed?
Knowing so many people everywhere we go in Winston-Salem; being in a city that has so much and is so easy to get around.

What is your favorite season of the year in Winston-Salem?


Did you ever imagine that you would live on a street that literally feels like you are two hundred years back in time? What is your favorite part about living in Old Salem?Absolutely love the history. Love being in a quiet area within a vibrant city.

President Sterritt: Is there anywhere in Winston-Salem that reminds you of Ireland?The Salem soccer field.

Bert: Besides any Salem athletic event, is there a sporting event in the area that you would really like to see?
A Carolina Panthers game and a Duke vs. UNC basketball game

You all have worked at prestigious schools such as Princeton, Stanford, Penn, and Harvard. What are some areas of Salem College that stand out from where you have worked together before?
A smaller institution gives you a very strong sense of community. We love that we know so many people.

If you two were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which Winston-Salem delight would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Moravian sugar cake

What are your top three Winston-Salem restaurants to go to together?
Mozelle’s, Noble’s, Rotisserie Chicken Factory

What would be your ideal date night in Winston-Salem?
Movie at a/perture, dinner at Noble’s.

Would you two rather go to Hanes Mall or to Thruway?
We like both.

Where is your favorite day trip outside of Winston?
Chapel Hill

Have you been on any vacations in North Carolina during your time here? If so, where was your favorite North Carolina trip outside of Winston? Is there anywhere in the State you two hope to visit?
Asheville, Chapel Hill, Pine Knoll Shores, Duck, Wilmington, Boone, Blowing Rock, Highlands.
Loved all of them.
Hope to see more of the coast.