Springmoor is

beauty with remarkable depth

Category: Family

Honoring our Springmoor Employees

This week we honored our employees at the Years of Service Ceremony. Over one hundred employees received recognition for their service to Springmoor. Some have been here three years and others as many as thirty! Awards were given for three, five, ten, twenty, twenty-five and thirty years. The staff at Springmoor is a dedicated group of individuals all pitching-in to make this a wonderful place to live.

Congratulations to our Springmoor Employees with over 20 years of service!
Congratulations to our Springmoor Employees with over 20 years of service!

With Special Recognition and Congratulations!

20 Years of Service: Rose Fleming, Zhiying Gu, Eleanya Akaronu, and Shronda Wall

25 Years of Service: Jacqueline Daniel, Michel Davis, Kenneth Dunston

30 Years of Service: Terri McMahon, Gloria Wilkins and James Dixon

Behind the Scenes

This week, we would like to introduce you to just a few of our 450+ outstanding employees. Terra Hunt is the Dining Room Manager and has been working at Springmoor for 15 years. Terri McMahon is the Supportive Living Nursing Manager and has been here for 30 years! Dee Redmond is in an Accountant and has recently celebrated her third year anniversary with Springmoor.

Terra Hunt, Springmoor Dining Room Manager
Terra Hunt, Springmoor Dining Room Manager

What was your first job as a teenager?

Terra: I had a babysitting business when I was 13.

Terri: Babysitting

Dee: I worked for the City of Albany in a Summer Adolescent Vocational Educational Program

How many positions have you had since you’ve been here?

Terra: Two – Supervisor and Manager in the Dining Rooms

Terri: Three – Stewart Health Center, the Out Patient Clinic and Supportive Living

Dee: Two – Accounting Assistant and Accountant

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Terra: Heavenly Hash

Terri: Butter Pecan

Dee: Butter Pecan from Stewart’s Shops in NY

Terri McMahon, Springmoor Supportive Living Manager
Terri McMahon, Springmoor Supportive Living Manager

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Terra: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Meteorologist.

Terri: I want to play like a kid!

Dee: When I was 8, I wanted to be an Accountant.

Where were you born?

Terra: North Carolina and raised outside of Atlanta, GA

Terri: Pensacola, FL

Dee: Albany, NY

What time do you wake up every day?

Terra: 5:15 am (Work starts at 11:00am)

Terri: 5:45 am (Works starts at 7:00am)

Dee: 5:30 am (Work starts at 8:00am. I have a five-minute commute and I am usually late!)

Dee Redmond, Springmoor Accountant
Dee Redmond, Springmoor Accountant

What is the coolest thing you do during the day?

Terra: Talk to the residents. I learn something new everyday.

Terri: Watch over the residents.

Dee: Put a smile on people’s faces!

What job at Springmoor would you like to do for one day?

Terra: Activities Manager in the Stewart Health Center

Terri: With a laugh, “Not the Executive Director, that’s for sure!”

Dee: Executive Director

What do you do on the weekend?

Terra: Sleep

Terri: Track meets, soccer games and all things grandchildren!

Dee: Shopping, walking at Shelly Lake and Church

Ken Dunston with 25 years and James Dixon with 30 years of service to the community
Ken Dunston with 25 years and James Dixon with 30 years of service to the community

Do you sing to the radio in the car?

Terra: Oh yes!

Terri: Yes

Dee: Yes and I sing walking down the halls too!

What is your favorite pizza topping?

Terra: Spinach and tomato

Terri: Pepperoni

Dee: Veggies

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Terra: Santorini, Greece. It has beautiful whitewashed houses and overlooks the water.

Terri: Italy

Dee: Only one place?! I have a list: an African Safari, Australia and then Dubai.

Terri McMahon with 30 years and Jeanne Gu with 20 years of service to the community
Terri McMahon with 30 years and Jeanne Gu with 20 years of service to the community

Were you on a sports team or in the band in high school?

Terra: I was in the Orchestra and played the string bass, the violin, the clarinet and the piano.

Terri: I was on the Volleyball Team.

Dee: I played Soccer and Basketball.

What book are you reading now?

Terra: I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

Terri: No books just Sudoku puzzles everyday

Dee: I am Number 8 by John Gray Continue reading →

A Path With Many Turns

Ernest Carraway, a member of the Springmoor Board of Directors

The Springmoor Board of Directors includes a dedicated group of volunteers with a variety of careers. This week we introduce you to Ernest Carraway, a Real Estate Attorney, CPA and NCSU lecturer.

The path to the classroom and the courtroom was never expected. Ernest Carraway grew up in Greenville, NC, located in the eastern part of the state. After high school he moved to Chapel Hill to pursue an undergraduate degree at UNC in math. He was unsure where this path would lead him but knew his love for numbers was a great place to start.

The Mathematical Path

After four or five classes in calculus, he remembers taking a class in economics that peaked his interest. He is not sure now if it was the subject or the professor but his path made a twist from math to economics. As he approached his final exams in December of his senior year, he began to wonder where he was going with an economics degree. Off to graduate school, a job in a business field or law school perhaps? The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) was scheduled on campus the very next week so he quickly signed up for the exam.

Ernest and Teresa Carraway

The Law School Path

He received his scores within a few weeks and then applied immediately to UNC School of Law for the following fall semester. He was accepted. The path had twisted again. Upon graduation from law school three years later, he still wasn’t sure the type of law he wanted to practice so he returned to Greenville where a couple of opportunities awaited him.

Describing himself as a shy and quiet student, he was surprised when a family friend, Dr. James Bearden, Dean of the East Carolina University’s College of Business, approached him about a teaching position. Could he stand up in front of a classroom of students that were not much younger than him? Could he teach business law? Would he enjoy the classroom as much as the courtroom?

There was also a local law firm where he had worked during summers of law school that offered the chance to gain a variety of legal experience from the criminal cases in the courtroom to real estate closings.

Ernest with his NCSU Study Abroad Class in Germany

The Path to the Classroom

He became a part-time instructor at ECU while he was also practicing law. A dual career had begun! As a lecturer, the State of North Carolina offers the staff free enrollment in classes on campus. So Ernest signed up for an accounting class and then another and another. He wasn’t really thinking about another degree but realized that with the classes he had been taking, a CPA certification would be easy to pursue and probably help with his real estate and tax law interests. So once again, the path had twisted and he began to double up on his courses and to take some during the summer semester in order to sit for the CPA exam which he passed in May, 1982.

The Accounting Path

From his math beginnings to a law school degree, he now found himself applying for jobs with accounting firms and landed in Raleigh. He was hired to work for Touche Ross as a CPA but the classroom kept calling him back. His passion for the students and teaching was something he never expected but knew he wanted to continue to pursue.

Only a few years after his arrival in Raleigh, he began a part-time teaching position at North Carolina State University which soon turned into a full-time position as a lecturer. He returned to practicing real estate law which would not interfere with his teaching schedule. This dual career would continue for many years ahead.

Ernest’s favorite spot to kayak on the river

The Boardroom

The call to join Springmoor’s Board of Directors came after meeting the Ammons family at Greystone Baptist Church. With his real estate and tax law knowledge, he was a perfect fit for the investment committee and the Springmoor Endowment Fund Board of Directors. He was asked to serve on the board of SpringShire, an Ammons property under development in Greenville, NC. Serving on these boards and committees has been an education for him too. He feels lucky to have joined such a dedicated group of people. He says he has learned more from them than he could ever give back. The quality of people and the responsibility that the directors offer is a gift to each community. He looks forward to serving for many years ahead.

The Carraway Family

The Path Ahead

He and his wife, Teresa, hope to retire “sooner rather than later,” he says with a laugh. Their two children, Ford and Maggie, have graduated from college and are forging their own paths in the career world.

A path with many forks, Ernest’s career has given him a unique niche in the classroom, the boardroom and the courtroom. He looks forward to soon enjoying a little more time on the Pamlico River in his kayak, a good book or a long bike ride. A devoted UNC sports fan and an avid runner, he has a long list of things to do. For now, he enjoys his accounting students with the one-on-one time in the classroom being his favorite part of teaching. He has had the opportunity to teach a study-abroad course in Germany. He is learning new technology to keep up with the increasing demand for online classes. He offers these video presentations for those who might miss a class but he believes it’s always better to spend time face to face. Continue reading →

Rise AGAINST HUNGER: By The Numbers

Our RISE AGAINST HUNGER was a huge success this year! Thank you to the many volunteers that gave their time and talents to make it such a wonderful day.

How many meals were packaged during our Rise event on Tuesday?

51,192 meals were packaged

How long did it take to package the meals?

Less than 6 Hours (record time!) and lots of dedicated volunteers

What was the total donated to purchase the meals?

$29,400 was donated to cover our 50,000-meal event plus enough to help Rise host another 51,372-meal upcoming event.

How many people participated today?

150+ Springmoor Residents and Staff volunteered for the event

How many students came to help?

28 Middle School Students (6th – 8th Grade) and 4 Teachers from The Montessori School of Raleigh came to help. They are students of a former Springmoor employee who loves to participate.

How many Fire Fighters came to help?

5 City of Raleigh Firemen helped haul the boxes and bags to refill the buckets with the dehydrated meal ingredients – rice, soy, vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

How many families came to help?

This was the big story of the day! We were thrilled to have the Residents invite their family members come and help package meals.

Libby Woods brought her son Paul.

Betty Duke was joined by her son Kent.

DG Harwood and his two daughters, Sheron and Lynn helped package meals.

Robin Wright brought her whole family plus a few extras – Scott, Spencer, Stephanie and two of their friends!

Edna Hicks was joined by her daughter, Lauren, and a friend.

Robin Hardison brought her daughter, Chadisey.

Jim and Shirley Overcash were joined by their daughter, Donna.

Kelli Sullivan’s husband, Joe came to help unload the truck.

How many years has Springmoor been doing this event?

This was our 7th year hosting a meal-packing event.

How many total meals has Springmoor packed during these events?

The Springmoor community has now packaged over 300,000 meals

RISE numbers Continue reading →

Building It To Look Like Home

Bruce Ballard, President of the Springmoor Board of Directors

An all-volunteer team of dedicated leaders guides the Springmoor Board of Directors. Their life experiences and expertise have helped build a community for many residents over the past three decades. Bruce Ballard, the current President of the Springmoor Board of Directors, was on the job site when the first shovels were breaking ground on the corner of Sawmill and Creedmoor. He and his store employees were here quite often as the walls of Springmoor were being built.

Home Builders

Bruce began working at Lowe’s when he was in high school. Raised in Weaverville, a small town west of Asheville, his first summer job was at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store located near the Biltmore House. He attended Asheville-Biltmore College now known at The University of North Carolina at Asheville. With his summer job experience and a college degree in business, he knew that the building industry is what sparked his career interest. With a move to Wilson, North Carolina to become a Lowe’s store manager, he and his wife, Sue, began their early careers. The two met in the first grade and were married in their senior year of college. Now with two children and a grandson, they have made Raleigh home for many years.

Bruce and Sue with their daughter, Susan and her husband and son, Mark and Dylan

Store Manager

Bruce managed the Downtown Boulevard Lowe’s store when he first met the Springmoor team. The Springmoor blue prints were complete and the next step was to purchase the building materials, the appliances and the interior finishes. Making Springmoor look like a home was the most important part of the equation when choosing all of the doors, windows, cabinets and trims. A commercial building has to have fire doors unlike a home you would build for yourself, but the owners were adamant that Springmoor have the look and feel of the home they were leaving and moving to in their retirement years.

Celebrating Grandparent’s Day at Dylan’s school

The Details

Finding the six panel commercial doors meant the Bruce had to place a special order for this new style. He remembers requesting the peepholes also be placed lower than normal for these custom-made doors. The trim on the exterior of the buildings had to have a similar look to a residential home too. Placing orders for kitchen cabinets and appliances all came through Bruce’s store too. The orders were large and the home building vendors were more than happy to help as each new alcove, apartment, villa and house became individual homes for over 500 residents.

The desert tan roofing color was used to cover everything, including the gazebo

The roof of the buildings was impressive from the ground as well as from above. The desert tan color and style was featured in many builders’ magazines as the largest expanse of a single color for the roofing vendor. While most of their products went to homebuilders building individual homes, the Springmoor site was using it to finish every home and building on the campus. “It was impressive,” Bruce said.

As he looks around at the buildings now, he remembers discussing so many of the interior details. The 24” stoves were also custom-made for Springmoor. The small 24” apartment style stoves with only three-burners were not what a resident was going to be accustomed to using so Bruce was tasked with finding a vendor to produce a 24” four-burner stove. The Douglas fir doors and the custom stained cabinetry were all part of what made Springmoor unique.

Building with his grandson and Magna-Tiles

The Next Phase

Bruce now leads the Springmoor Board of Directors. The visions the team had in the earliest days continue to evolve as we add larger stoves, built-in microwaves, custom quartz countertops and a host of other amenities. Retired as a regional vice president of Lowe’s Companies Inc., Bruce now fills his time building homes with his ten-year old grandson. “He loves Magna-Tiles and can build just about anything with these.” He is fascinated with his grandson’s skills and his creativity.

Bruce and his wife, Sue, are active in their church, both leading and participating in numerous committees. No surprise, Bruce is on the buildings and grounds committee as well as the finance committee. He finds time for a few rounds of golf each week too. The best part of retirement is working on his golf game! The friends he has known and competed with for years as well as being outside are what make it such a great game to play.

The Springmoor vision began years ago when the Sawmill and Creedmoor corner was only a forty-two acre plot of land filled with trees. The beautiful campus it has now become is a success because of the attention to detail. From the custom doors to the extra millwork, Bruce Ballard helped build a community that he now leads into the next phase with a team of dedicated Springmoor Board of Directors. Continue reading →

A Storyteller, Teacher and Writer

Julia and Earl McCullers, a Storyteller and a Veteran

The Storyteller

Julia McCullers grew up in a family where storytelling was a valued tradition. As a child during World War II, she observed how profoundly everyone was affected when her grandparents’ five sons and two sons-in-law were whisked away to serve in the armed forces around the world. As a mature woman she wrote about those difficult war years in a memoir she called “News from the Homefront.”

After Julia’s Veterans Day reading of that story here at Springmoor, the buzz in the hallways reflected awe and admiration for her skill as a storyteller:

Julia sets the stage

She sets the stage both literally and figuratively. Surrounded with memorabilia behind her on the stage, she paints such beautiful pictures with her words. With the old radio, the photos and flags encircling her, the stories she tells will bring you to tears. – Peg Bedini, Springmoor Resident Association President

That event was not the first time Julia had captured a Springmoor audience with a story based on personal history. A year ago, in a presentation called “Almost Armageddon,” she told of her experiences as a young Navy wife who was living on the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay during the tense days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. She and other wives and children were swiftly evacuated from the base on very short notice, forced to leave behind their husbands and their homes and to face a world where nuclear war seemed imminent.

Julia McCullers lived these stories; they make history come alive.

One of Julia’s uncles featured in her memoir, News from the Homefront

The Teacher

Julia is also a teacher. She and her three daughters, as the family of Earl McCullers, whose career in the Navy spanned 28 years, were transferred from coast to coast and from one duty station to another. As they moved around, she continued her passion for words by teaching English in situations that included a North Georgia high school, a girls’ private prep school, an overseas school for military dependents, two community colleges and three universities. Looking back over her long career, she says that her beloved high school English teacher, Mrs. A. G. Glenn, probably inspired her to become an educator. She and Earl, who were high school classmates, both give Mrs. Glenn credit for their love of the written word.

Never Far From Home, a collection of columns from the Smithfield Herald

The Writer

For many years, Julia wrote a column for the Smithfield Herald. A collection of these columns, titled Never Far From Home, was published in 1998. In 2005, she and fellow Smithfield High School alumna, Ann Huckenbeck (a retired vice president of the University of Connecticut), realized that the history of their old school was in danger of being lost. The building, more than a century old, was to undergo drastic changes that threatened to erase any evidence of a proud school that had educated many successful North Carolinians. After a hyper-active Alumni Association formed, the members lobbied the Johnston County Board of Education to rename the building in honor of Principal A. G. Glenn, who had shaped many lives during his long tenure. At their urging, space was set aside for a small museum, and, over a period of three years of intense effort, memorabilia and displays turned the revamped building into a site that now handsomely houses the Johnston County Board of Education and hosts special events and meetings. Julia realized that she had enough material to write a book about the old school, and it was published in 2007. A History of Smithfield, NC High School 1903-1969: A small town, a good school, was sold to underwrite a dedication ceremony for the A. G. Glenn Building – a 2008 event that attracted more than 650 alumni and friends.

A History of Smithfiled, NC High School written for the dedication of the A.G. Glenn Building

Here at Springmoor, Julia is putting the final touches on another book. And she is enjoying writing with the Springmoor Writer’s Group facilitated by Dr. James Clark, NC State’s English Professor Emeritus. The group gathers monthly to read their latest stories. Some write about family history and add a new chapter each time, while others write about a recent event. She loves the opportunity to laugh and listen with her fellow writers.

The Future

If you haven’t met Julia yet, you will certainly want to watch for her next speaking engagement on the events calendar. Be sure to ask her what she is reading too. An avid fan of the library, she can always recommend another great read. Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman has her attention for the moment. It deals with the increasing rapidity of change in our world and with human inability to adapt at the same pace. She readily admits that she often seeks the advice of her six grandchildren – especially regarding technology. She laughs when she thinks of how unlikely it is that her own grandparents would have asked her for advice on how to manage their slow-to-change farm. Continue reading →

It’s a Happy Place

Judy Hill, a member of the Springmoor Board of Directors

With a vested interest, Judy Hill was honored to be asked to join the Springmoor Board of Directors this fall. As a former member of the Endowment Committee, she is familiar with the community. More importantly, her vested interests live here. Barbara and Dick Volk, her parents, have been Springmoor residents for fifteen years. Judy and her family are here “all the time,” she says. They play games, eat dinner together and enjoy walks around the beautiful campus.

The Hill Family with Judy’s parents and Springmoor Residents, Barbara and Dick Volk

A Daughter

Judy describes Springmoor as a happy place to be. “There is so much fresh air, gorgeous grounds, lovely flowers and landscaping and lots of intellectual stimulation.” She laughs when she says she has to make an appointment with her parents to fit into their busy schedules. She says, “They are on the go all the time!” The two are season ticket holders to The Raleigh Little Theatre, the North Carolina Symphony and, until recently, the Durham Performing Arts Center. They play bridge several times a week on campus and with friends at their homes. Many at Springmoor know Dick for his jewelry making. He can often be found in the new Meraki Arts Center polishing his gemstones and designing and creating new bracelets, earrings and pendants.

Judy grew up working beside her dad in his soil science lab at North Carolina State University. She worked in the fields during the summer studying weed science. Her passion for math took her to UNC Chapel Hill as a college student. She continued to work through her college days as an assistant to her professors, grading and correcting calculus papers every night. At 8:00 each morning, she had to meet the professor with the corrected papers.

A happy time for the Hills as a new bride recently joined the family

A Volunteer

After college, she married and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. Filled with museums and tons of educational opportunities, she says this was the perfect place to raise their three sons. She loved being in the center of the world news. She volunteered with the Independent Women’s Forum, making connections across the United States. She was later asked by a friend in New York City to lead the Infant Care Project.

She coordinated the 9/11 Infant Care Project from her home in northern Virginia. Tasked with finding all of the expectant single mothers that lost a spouse during the tragedy, she made calls to over 480 companies that had offices in the World Trade Center. Without a spouse, the group realized that each family had lost a set of hands before their newborns arrived. Many families had other children to take care of as well. She helped hire night nurses and raise money for a baby shower for all of them. With generous donations, each of the 120 families received gifts worth $10,000. Her efforts to make life better for every individual are what drive her in her volunteer duties as well as in her business.

Judy and her husband have been very active in starting new Young Life programs in northern Virginia and North Carolina and new Fellows Programs in Charlotte and Raleigh. She has served on the boards of both. Her passion for the young students in her life also led her to be part of the team that created the North Carolina Study Center in Chapel Hill, a center that seeks to cultivate Christian life and thought at UNC. The center offers a comfortable place for students to study, enjoy a cup of coffee, have group meetings or participate in elective classes. It’s a warm and happy place, she says.

High Cotton was begun on Judy’s home sewing machine

A Businesswoman

When Judy’s oldest son was attending medical school, he told her that he was discouraged from wearing his silk ties to the hospital. They found this to be an easy way to spread germs from one patient to the next. As a seamstress (and problem solver), she decided she would make him a washable cotton bow tie instead. Combining her interest in crops, especially those from North Carolina, with her business interests, this idea led to the birth of her own company. High Cotton was begun! Her three sons worked by her side to take the business from her small sewing machine to a successful national men’s apparel brand headquartered in Raleigh.

The High Cotton line continues to expand with an assortment of cotton products

She still uses the knowledge she gained with from her dad as she searches for cotton suppliers and fabric vendors. She has tapped into the talent at North Carolina State University’s College of Design with a Paisley Pattern contest each year for their line of neckwear. All of their products are proudly made in the Carolinas. She loves knowing that she is helping someone do what they love to do – from growing cotton, manufacturing a quality men’s wear product, to assisting a wedding party with a fashionable ensemble for the big day. Her company keeps her active but she still continues to reach out to serve others. Continue reading →