Wonder Women of Triad Today

Female super hero in a mask

Female super hero in a mask
A couple of weeks ago, YESWeekly editor Katie Murawski told me that this issue was going to salute Wonder Women of the Triad, and asked if I would participate.

Immediately my thoughts turned to the first two Wonder Women I ever met, both from the Triad. The first was Dr. Mary Griffith. In the 1940s and ’50s, Dr. Griffith supervised medical students, and was one of the first women named to the Wake Forest Baptist Hospital medical school faculty. She also brought me into the world, with help, of course, from the very next Wonder Woman I met—my Mom, Charlotte. One of them spanked me once, and the other one spanked me as needed. Mom had been a stand-out basketball player at the old Gray High School in Winston-Salem, and had a talent for creative writing. After marrying my Dad, she became a tireless volunteer for the Cancer Society, a long-time proof reader for Hunter Publishing, and, most importantly, the world’s greatest Mom. Unfortunately, Mom and Dr. Griffith are no longer with us, and I knew that Katie wanted me to write about women who are still actively working wonders in the Triad, so I decided to recognize just a few of the many thousands of ladies who have appeared on my Triad Today television program.

DD Adams has served on Winston-Salem City Council since 2009. She led the effort to raise pay for police, firefighters, and city employees, and in 2018, DD ran for Congress against incumbent Virginia Foxx. She lost that fight, but continues to fight for the rights of all people.

Karen Barnes is executive director of Venture Café, a venue for people to network with and be inspired by fellow innovators and entrepreneurs. In less than two years, VC’s Thursday night gatherings have attracted over 12,000 participants.

Avery Crump is the newly elected District Attorney for Guilford County. She is also the first woman D.A. and first person of color to hold that position. A former judge, Avery told me she gave up her black robes for a chance to prosecute criminals and perhaps help shape new laws in the process.

Eunice Dudley is co-founder of Dudley Beauty Products and Beauty School System. She and her husband Joe Dudley, Sr. went from selling Fuller brush products to creating a global presence in the beauty products industry. Eunice is dedicated to community service and sits on a number of local boards.

Ursula Dudley Oglesby is the daughter of Joe and Eunice Dudley, and she became President of Dudley Beauty Corp. in 2008. Ursula began working for her parents at age 7, went on to earn a law degree, then returned to the family business. Under her leadership, the company has expanded from 57 to over 300 products.

Margaret Elliott has been at the helm of Crisis Control Ministries for 20 years and during that time has met the emergency needs of countless thousands of individuals and families, while helping them to become self sufficient.

Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin is executive director of both the N.C. Black Repertory Company, and the biennial National Black Theatre Festival. In 2000 she also became the first woman to lead the Forsyth County Public Library system.

Dr. Tina Merhoff, founder of Tina S. Merhoff & Associates Pediatric Dentistry, doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. A dedicated advocate for children’s health, Tina holds an annual “Make a Kid Smile” event where she and her staff offer free dental care and procedures to children whose family couldn’t otherwise afford it.

Kim Record is the Athletic Director at UNCG who, last year alone, presided over five conference championships. She is responsible for overseeing 17 athletic programs, and in 2017, 169 of her student athletes made the Southern Conference honor roll.

Kimberly Roberts is Vice President of marketing and brand management for Crumley Roberts attorneys at law. Her passion is empowering women of all ages and educating families about child safety. Through the Roberts Center and her own Red Affect Boutique, Kim is able to fund and award college scholarships for students who are beginning their life journey, and women who are re-launching theirs.

Of course, no list of Wonder Women would be complete without a nod to my beautiful wife Pam Cook, who, in addition to running her own public relations firm, manages to find time to assist me with Triad Today, and keep me grounded. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t look at me and say, “Jim, there’s something really wrong with you.” Spoken like a true Wonder Woman.


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