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Forsyth Magazines writer since 2006. Originally from Pfafftown, Carolyn now calls Clemmons home. Carolyn was a model for 20 years, and for five years, she was a hand model for Bojangles’ print and television advertising. She has a degree in journalism and psychology. Carolyn’s day job is as a pharmaceutical sales representative and, in her free time, she enjoys cooking, the arts and traveling. “I love learning about the businesses and people in my community who are making a difference in big and small ways, many of whom I am blessed to write about in my articles,” said Carolyn. Carolyn is also the magazines’ resident go-to writer when it comes to anything with animals. She has four dogs and loves all wildlife.
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2008. Denise hails from Gastonia, but grew up in Kernersville. With two brief stints living in other states (Texas and Ohio), Forsyth County kept calling her home, where she plans to stay. Denise has a grown son, Charlie, and shares her home with husband, Wayne, a local drummer. Denise loves her coffee and also loves animals, especially cats. In her spare time, Denise is an active volunteer for Proverbs 31 Ministries and serves in several capacities. Denise also writes a faith-based blog, MyGraceFullLife.com. On writing for Forsyth Magazines, Denise said, “I am so blessed to be a part of this incredible team, to meet these wonderful local business owners and to interact with our super-supportive readers!”
Meghan Corbett grew up in Winston-Salem and has been with the magazines since 2009. She graduated with honors with a degree in mass media communication and a minor in journalism from NC State University. She married her high school sweetheart, Will, in 2008. Meghan and Will welcomed a baby girl (Avery) to their family in 2016 and a baby boy (Hugh) in 2018. They also have two rescue beagles named Moze and Charlie. Meghan writes, edits, and manages the calendar of events for the Forsyth Magazines family of publications. She moved to Wilmington in 2015 and loves coastal life, but she also loves being able to continue working with so many wonderful people through the magazines!
Originally from Raleigh and Charlotte, NC, Karen took a detour to NYC for college and stayed there for 12 years before moving back to the South in 2001. She now lives in Clemmons with her husband, Phillip, teenage sons, Max and Sean and Australian Shepherd, Sawyer. “We love our town”. Karen has two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Business and one in Nursing. In fact, she went to Nursing School at age 41 after a long career behind a desk which she says was a dream come true. She loves being a nurse, working in the hospital and having a direct impact on people’s lives. Karen has always loved words and language and says writing has always been her creative outlet. She especially loves to read stories about history and read and write poetry. She also loves attending her son’s sporting events and trying new restaurants. She is thrilled to be working with the Forsyth Magazines team.
Brooke Orr is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, mom, and wife. She is an adjunct professor at Wake Forrest University co-leading the study abroad program Blue Zones: Lessons in Wellbeing from Ikaria, Greece. She enjoys traveling, cooking, yoga, pilates, tennis, board games, and reading. She is happiest spending time outside with family and friends!
Amy relocated to Winston-Salem in 2019 from Durham, NC. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in human resources from Western Carolina University. As a child, Amy spent hours writing stories in her bedroom and always had a passion for writing. Growing up with a pilot for a father, she was fortunate enough to discover the joy of traveling at an early age, and began solo traveling as a young adult. When she’s not working or traveling, you can find Amy working out at the gym, hiking, or trying out new restaurants in the area.
Brittany Orie Leak is a freelance writer, Faith Blogger, and Preschool Teacher at Winston Salem Christian School. She studied English and psychology at Forsyth Technical Community College and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Brittany’s interest include reading, writing, traveling, music, and the arts. She has a passion for African American studies and loves to write on those topics as well as inspirational and human interest pieces! Writing means so much for Brittany because it’s her strongest medium of communication, inspiration, enlightenment, and exploration. Brittany loves God and serves in ministry! She is happily married to Pastor Robert Leak III and resides in Winston-Salem.
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2017. Debbie Barr earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Pennsylvania State University and her master’s degree in health education from East Carolina University. She is a master certified health education specialist (MCHES) with interests in work site health promotion, Alzheimer’s and dementia education, health literacy, and Christian growth. A versatile writer and enthusiastic speaker, Debbie is the author/co-author of six books, more than 600 disease-specific patient education articles, low-literacy employee benefits materials, medical education scripts, and newsletters for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers.
A Winston-Salem native, Elisa has been writing for Forsyth Family, Forsyth Woman and Forsyth Woman Engaged! (now known as FW Engaged) for many years. Today, Elisa calls Charlotte home, where she works as a middle school English teacher. She has three degrees – a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies & Spanish, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Professional Writing. When given downtime, Elisa enjoys spending time with her husband, two little ones, and dogs. She also enjoys running, yoga, and of course writing for the Forsyth Magazines! “I love working with such a talented and ambitious team,” said Elisa, when asked about how she enjoys writing for the publications. “I like the flexibility I receive when pitching new story ideas.”
Jean Marie Johnson is the first to say that she entered this life “with an inquisitive mind, a mush-melon heart, a significant degree of sass, and a passion for all things beautiful.” She has spent her journey focused on making meaning of it all. She secured her first full time summer job at the age of twelve as a babysitter, sold Avon and babysat through high school, won a scholarship to a commuter college and tutored and worked in the placement office for extra cash.
The ensuing decades filled her mind and her heart with the experience of the professional workplace. There she hired, trained, coached, promoted, fired, laughed and cried with others at all levels and developed a reputation as a wise and unconventional leader who held others accountable while always focused on doing the right thing. Over time, she evolved as a writer, speaker, and provocateur, channeling years of life experience to support women on their journey to embrace and express the person they were born to be.
Close to Jean Marie’s heart is the poem, “God Speaks to Each of Us” by Rainer Maria Rilke. A “spiritual believer” with no specific religious affiliation, these words resonate:
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
Then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
Go to the limits of your longing, embody me.
Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Currently the author of the blog, secondstagelifestylecoach.com/, Jean Marie focuses on personal style while offering insight and inspiration for cultivating an authentic, “perfectly-imperfect” life. In addition to providing one-on-one style and closet curation services, Jean Marie continues to write with and for leaders, crafting communication that supports organizational change and enhances the employee and customer experience. Jean Marie holds a BA in Social Work and an MS in Human Resource Development and Counseling. You will frequently find her walking, tending her herb garden, feeding her backyard birds, hunting for great finds, and always cultivating the beauty and the raw authenticity around her.
Jen Oleniczak Brown is the Founder of The Engaging Educator (EE), a women-owned and operated company dedicated to helping people find their unapologetic, authentic and best voice, communication style, and self through improv-based education and Fearless Winston Salem, a collaborative collective for and by women. Jen’s work can be found in publications like Bustle, Fast Company, Forbes and Moneyish, as well as her first self-published book Improv(e): Using Improv to Find Your Voice, Style and Self (Balboa Press, 2018) and the upcoming Think on Your Feet: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Impromptu Communication Skills on the Job (McGraw Hill Education, November 2019) and Care and Keeping of Museum Professionals (May, 2019). A firm believer in the idea that Yes, And can change the world – so firm it’s tattooed on her arm, Jen’s personal mission is to empower as many women as possible to stop playing small and know their incredible supernova powers. She currently lives in Winston Salem, NC with her husband Alex, dog Drumstick, and about two-dozen houseplants.
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2018. Julie Fritz moved to Winston-Salem in 2013 and has been writing professionally since 2012. She has two small children and enjoys hiking, trail running, swimming, travel, cooking, and volunteering. Julie graduated from college in 2006 and is a dental hygienist.
Lauren Sephton is currently a senior at Liberty University, majoring in digital marketing/advertising with a minor in creative writing, and has been named to the Dean’s List. In the past two years, she has self-published her first cookbook (Farmers Market to Family Gatherings) and established her healthy food blog. Lauren is a self-taught baker who is in love with the idea of creating recipes that inspire others in the kitchen. Lauren founded ABrightMoment.com blog to assist with her cookbook in hopes that it will help save a little time for those with busy schedules, including parents, college students and anyone in need of a tasty and health-minded recipe. Inspired by childhood memories of thoughtful lunches, picnics and picking fresh produce from local farms, Lauren tries to create family recipes that will satisfy both parent and child.
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2012. Lisa is originally from Maryland and, after living in New York, Colorado and Texas, she’s proud to finally call North Carolina home. Lisa shares a home with her husband of 10 years, Kevin. Together, they have daughter, Sayre and their angel-son, Finn who lived two years. Their family also includes two dogs. Lisa has a degree in education and, as such, writes many educational articles for the magazines. Lisa enjoys traveling, is an avid reader and has done extensive work on her family’s genealogy. She is a state certified beekeeper since 2018 and a certified master gardener since 2019. When it comes to writing for Forsyth Magazines, Lisa said, “I love writing spring themes in winter, back to school articles in the heat of summer, and, best of all, starting to anticipate the Christmas season in October.”
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2012. Originally from High Point, Martie now calls Greensboro home. She has a degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and is a Carolina girl in every sense of the word – she loves Carolina basketball! Martie works for Randy McManus Designs and has two grown sons, Beau and Matthew, who are the light of her life. She has a dog (Lucky) and cat (Dusty) and loves to travel, read and listen to music. “I love the camaraderie of the women involved and the women we reach,” said Martie. “This is a great outlet to promote the success of small businesses.”
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2015. Born in Texas, Megan was brought to North Carolina when she was only two months old. A recent graduate from Salem College, Megan has a degree in communication with a minor in history. She has a toy poodle named Gidget and, in her spare time, she loves cooking, music, reading and travel. Megan has also spent time in film, having appeared in two movies – an independent production and as an extra in studio film. “I love listening to an interviewee’s story and then sharing it with the community. Everyone has a story to tell, and I’m glad I can be a part of it,” said Megan.
Susan B. B. Schabacker is a proud writer, team member, and fan of Forsyth Magazines and writes multiple articles every month for Forsyth Woman and Forsyth Family. She loves writing and is also pleased and honored to write for National Geographic and National Geographic Kids. Susan is a co-author of a children’s book, Huckleberry Robin, based on a three-generation true family story and hopes to write more children’s books. Susan is also a local singer/songwriter/musician (and aspiring artist) working on recording her third album about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), called Beyond the Virus, that has become both a local and international collaboration. Currently, she lives in the Winston-Salem, Piedmont Triad area of NC, where she has resided for over 20 years. Susan graduated with a B.A. in Corporate Communications and a minor in dance from Elon University. She has had the opportunity to travel internationally to Budapest, Hungary for classical ballet, when she attended UNCSA (University of North Carolina School of the Arts); London, UK; and Beijing, China, where she studied abroad through Elon University. In Stockholm, Sweden, she had a marketing internship at Hachette-Filipacchi, publisher of Elle and other magazines. She also had another marketing internship in London with the Bramah Museum of Tea. Susan is the founder, owner, and master tea blender of a local tea business, Tea-lation! (@Tealation on FB + IN), which she has designed ads for in Forsyth Woman. She hopes to share her love for life + teas and encourages everyone to share, sip, and savor their cuppa happy! Susan looks forward to writing more articles and books and embarking on a long and successful career in music. Susan’s other passions include: photography (@SBBSPhotography on FB + IN), acting, cooking, and arts + crafts.
Sara Migliarese lives in Advance, NC, but is originally from Tyler, Texas. She holds a bachelors’ degree in biology and master’s degree in physical therapy from Texas Woman’s University, as well as a PhD from UNC Greensboro. She is currently an associate professor at Winston-Salem State University in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, where she leads the WSSU-Novant Health Clinical Neurologic Residency program and the MSFit pro bono multiple sclerosis clinic. Her areas of research, teaching, and service include fall prevention in older adults, wellness and fitness for adults with multiple sclerosis, and vestibular rehabilitation. She has four grown children, four grandchildren, and spends her spare time hiking, running, and keeping up with her boyfriend, Ron Willard.
Tabatha grew up in western and central New York State before migrating her way south to Winston-Salem. She has an associates degree in travel/tourism and aptly so! Her first job was on a cruise ship when she was 18 years old and she has visited more than a dozen countries. Tabatha has been married to her husband, Bobby, for 22 years. They are proud parents to a son, Beau, who is a Sailor in the U.S. Navy and they share their home with two crazy Boston Terriers. By day, you’ll find Tabatha in Reynolda Village where she is the Sales Manager for a historic event venue, The Barn at Reynolda Village. Working with the Forsyth Magazines team is a great outlet for her enthusiasm for weddings and community! In her spare time, Tabatha enjoys kayaking, painting, camping and reading. And, of course, with a degree in tourism – she loves to travel!
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2018. Tabi Falcone has lived in Winston-Salem since 2014 and finds it is the perfect mix of country and city for her lifestyle needs. With a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, she works in the apparel industry during the day and muses about her life as a crafty working mom in her blog, Gray Hair or Glitter, by night. She lives in a self-proclaimed “Art Gallery House” with her husband, Matt, and their two children Liam and Maxwell. With a background in art, she dabbles in just about every craft imaginable and enjoys sharing this passion with her children. Her other interests include camping, hiking, reading, running, and she is never one to turn down an adventure.
Founder of One Crafty Miss, LLC, Taryn Jerez is a brand expert, creative business coach and speaker with a heart centered on teaching and serving creatives who have a vision for their businesses and their lives. She believes crafting a career where passion and purpose intersect is possible for everyone and she excels at getting them get there! Prior to launching her own business, Taryn obtained her B.F.A in Fashion Design and Marketing. Taryn is a creative professional with experience working for multiple Fortune 500 companies and diverse brands both big and small, which has provided her with extensive experience in everything from branding and content marketing to product development, vendor relations and more. She is passionate about taking community offline and incorporating real life experiences and events that allow creatives to learn from one another and find connections that remind them that we are all in this together! When Taryn isn’t working with clients or hosting workshops, you can find her at home with her husband, newborn son and fur babies binge watching Netflix, dancing in the kitchen or painting furniture in her garage.
Graphic designer since 2016. Aron Daniels is originally from Charlotte, NC and currently lives in Greenville with his wife Amy and their two adorable boys, Elijah and Malcolm. Aron earned his degree in graphic design from Western Carolina University. Aron enjoys reading, photography, drawing, computer games, and camping. On working for Forsyth Magazines, Aron shares, “I love the variety about my job. We have a great team in place and with the diversity of each design project, I stay moving and creative all the time!”
Graphic designer since 2016. Laurie Dalton and her husband of 28 years, Jeff, call Lewisville home! Laurie graduated from UNC-Wilmington and has brought a fun, open and airy design style to Forsyth Family magazine! In her spare time, Laurie enjoys spending time with her three boys and now a daughter-in-law, hiking, and still trying to train her dog, Sierra.
As Forsyth Woman content editor since 2005, Kim Beane is an original member of the Forsyth Magazines team and has edited all of the publications at one time or another. Kim is from Nashville, TN, and has a BA from Vanderbilt and a JD from Wake Forest. She now calls East Bend, NC, home, along with her two dogs and two horses. She has taken competitive dog agility classes with one of her pups, and also enjoys reading, brush lettering and spending time with friends.
Forsyth Magazines writer since 2012. Vonda was born in Greensburg, KY. With a father who worked for the railroad, she grew up in several areas including various parts of Tennessee and Alabama. Eventually, Vonda relocated to North Carolina and has called Winston-Salem home for almost 40 years. Vonda has a degree in English and media communications and recently retired from HanesBrands after 37 years. She joined the Forsyth Magazines team a few years ago at the encouragement of her daughter, Denise, who serves as project manager. She enjoys traveling, knitting, cooking and reading (most of all, reading about military history). “I love the variety of articles (including human interest, historical, informational, local businesses, service organizations and humor),” said Vonda.
Shonda joined the Forsyth Mags family in 2018 after a move from Minnesota introduced her to the magazines as a great resource to get settled in her new community. “I started reading Forsyth Woman at my daughter’s swim lessons,” Shonda said. “It had everything I needed being new to the area – fabulous restaurants, unique stores, things to do, etc. I got a job working for Busy as a Bee Concierge because I saw an ad in the magazine. I liked the concept of helping people and getting more familiar with the area.” After a chance meeting with Brooke and Keela, Shonda began assisting with the magazine’s monthly Girls’ Night Out events, and the rest is history! “It has been the biggest blessing for me,” she said. “I love being a part of this amazing team!” In her spare time, Shonda enjoys fostering rescue puppies, paddleboarding, cooking, woodworking, being outdoors and spending time with her husband and two kids, Zach and Courtney.
Forsyth Magazines Account Executive and writer Kristi Johnson Marion hails from Mount Airy, NC and has called Winston-Salem home for 20 years. She’s received Smitty’s Notes Best of Winston-Salem “Mover & Shaker/Local Scenester” Award. She loves the variety of friendly locals she gets to know through sharing their stories here at Forsyth Magazines. Kristi also enjoys spending time with her kids, the arts, reading, cooking and the martial art of Krav Maga.
Forsyth Magazines account executive since 2009. A Winston-Salem native, Heather graduated from Salem College with a double major in English and communications and took graduate classes at the UNC-CH School of Journalism. She has the dual role at Forsyth Magazines of both account executive and writer of the popular Forsyth Family column, “Out and About in Winston-Salem.” She is married to Ron Spivey, and they have a son, Jackson. In her spare time, Heather enjoys reading, photography and travel. “I love working with our team, and the flexibility it gives me — it allows me to spend quality time with my family.”
Forsyth Magazines account executive since 2012. Tamara Bodford divides her time between Winston-Salem and Lake Norman. She and her husband, Paul, have been married for 28 years and have two children, Katie, a recent NC State grad living in Charlotte, and Zack, also an NC State grad, who lives in Kernersville. They also have a 16 year old Bichon named Chuck. Tamara has a degree in psychology from UNC-Charlotte and enjoys reading, travel, paddle boarding, and watching football. Tamara sells advertising for all four titles under the Forsyth Magazines umbrella and says, “I love interacting with the best clients, publishers and co-workers I could ever imagine!”
Keela Johnson — the one who started it all. Keela is originally from Winston-Salem, and for 30 years, she called Clemmons home. She is now enjoying (semi-) retirement life at Lake Norman with her husband, Tim, to whom she has been married since 1984. Together, they have two grown children, Brooke Eagle (who recently took over Keela’s position as publisher of Forsyth Woman) and Tanner, who works in technology and lives in Raleigh. Keela founded Forsyth Woman in 2005. Two years later, she launched Forsyth Family with friend and business partner, Robin Bralley. In 2011, she launched Forsyth Woman Engaged! (now known as FW Engaged) and, in 2015, Forsyth Community. Keela loves spending time at the lake with her family, where she’s picked up some new hobbies: paddle boarding, gardening and daily long walks with friends! Keela also loves to spoil her two grand-dogs, Carter and Ranger, and is an avid Carolina Panthers fan. While the magazines will always hold a special place in her heart, Keela loves her quieter life with Tim!