Reflections on an Unprecedented Year

A message from WPF President, Adrienne Jandler

What a year it’s been! I can say with certainty, it has not been the year I’d planned for my Presidency of WPF, and yet through all the challenges, it has shown me (perhaps you, too) what a remarkable sisterhood we share. I’ve seen that we are resilient, creative, and flexible. Despite significant challenges, we band together to find solutions; the bonds of our friendships are strong, our care for each other is deep, and together we truly can make an impact on each other and our communities.

As I write this, on the heels of Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful for all of you, and for the joy and privilege of serving you and WPF as your President this year. I’m also especially thankful for the many sisters who rolled up their sleeves to ensure WPF’s success in 2020.

A huge thanks to our dedicated Special Interest Group chairs, who were both flexible and creative in planning ways for us to continue to enjoy activities together safely. The monthly meetings are the foundation of our organization but getting involved in the SIGs is where our friendships grow. Many thanks to the awesome SIG chairs who made it happen for us: Nicole Hayes, Terri Harris, Rebecca Ben-Gideon, Kris Landrum, Michele Smith, Sandy Doyle-Jones, Peggy Ward, Mebane Ham, Kim Trone, Polly Sizemore, Amy Meinecke, and Marlee Foster.

This year’s Board has worked hard behind the scenes to ensure we moved forward despite the challenges of the pandemic. Thanks to their efforts, and that of their committees, we have:

• continued key growth and improved operations throughout the shutdown, including inducting a full membership class and virtual hosting of small group dinners.

• improved our organizational infrastructure with the implementation of a new CRM platform for both WPF’s and WPFF’s use.

• approved 2 new SIGS: Devoted to Diversity and Sippin’ Sisters.

• unanimously approved the release of a board statement, written in solidarity as an organization, to denounce the horrific murder of George Floyd, and formally and unequivocally state WPF’s repudiation of racism.

• donated our (budgeted, but unused) meeting funds to provide direct support to local nonprofits actively helping those impacted by COVID. Five contributions were made, in addition to a contribution to the WPFF, in lieu of being able to hold the Bazaar. 

• provided funds to assist with 2021 dues for WPF members directly impacted by COVID. 

Many thanks to our 2020 Board: Ashley Wigglesworth, Amy Baradell, Erica Parker, Christie Soper, Erin Bailey, Melanie Tuttle, Brook Wingate, Cecelia Anderson, Hollie Shelton, and Susan Russell. I have to especially thank Board member and Immediate Past President, Anne Smith, who was always just a phone call away with excellent guidance and support.

Staying connected also requires being kept well informed so we know what is happening and when. Nobody has done a finer job of keeping communication flowing than Beverley Gass, Altina Layman, and Pat Arnett. Beverley’s News of Our Sisters has helped us share the joy of personal celebrations, as well as support each other through the sorrows of losses and challenges. Altina has created beautifully designed newsletters for us, as well as serving as our technical director for the monthly Zoom meetings. Pat has done a great job keeping us organized throughout the chaos of this year and helped us seamlessly shift to meeting together online.

Most of all, I am thankful for you. Thank you for being a member, for sharing yourself at a time when we’ve all been stretched, and for continuing to participate actively even when it meant enduring another hour of Zoom. I’m thankful we have made it through a very challenging year—together, stronger.

This month, we’ll celebrate the end of the year, the strength of our sisterhood, along with our annual business meeting. We’ll also feature a special guest to lighten our spirits for the holidays. I look forward to seeing you there, online!

Staying Strong Amid Challenges in 2020

Your WPF Board of Directors worked swiftly to support our members and community through each of the initiatives below:


The pandemic deeply impacted some of our most vulnerable neighbors. From food insecurity to the immediate shift to online schooling (with many students lacking laptops to be able to adequately participate), need in our community was great.

WPF saw an opportunity to help by contributing to local nonprofits that directly worked to assist those impacted by COVID. Since we were not incurring the (already budgeted) expense of meeting at Starmount during shelter-in-place, we decided to contribute the meeting funds to select, vetted nonprofits providing immediate COVID relief. The contributions made were:

Backpack Beginnings (April) $2,226

Guilford Education Alliance (May) $2,226

Second Harvest Food Bank (June) $2,226

WPF Foundation (July) $2,000

Guilford Education Alliance (August) $2,000

Out of the Garden Project (September) $2,000

Total donated: $12,678



Starmount Forest has been a wonderful partner to WPF and has honored a better-than-competitive rate for our lunches for years. Starmount needs to increase our fees to more fairly align with costs and going rate; they have agreed to do so incrementally. As such, our costs per person will increase next year. Due to the pandemic, the Board did not want to increase our dues at this time. As such, and because we are closing the year below budget, the Board has allocated funds to cover the heightened costs in lieu of a dues increase for 2021.



In recognition that some members may have experienced job loss or significant cuts in salary due to the pandemic, the Board has established a COVID Abatement fund. The fund will provide partial assistance with 2021 dues upon statement of need. The funds will be available upon application on a first come, first served basis. Additional details on the application process will be made available in early 2021.

WPF Annual Business Meeting, December 9 at 12:30 – 12:55 pm on Zoom

Each December WPF holds our Annual Business Meeting to recap the year, for both the Forum and the Foundation, and to hold our annual elections. New Board and Committee members will begin their service in January. Below are our 2021 nominees:

2021 WPF Board & Committee Nominees

President Ashley Madden

Pres Elect Amy Baradell

1st Vice President Cecelia Anderson

2nd Vice President Erica Parker

Secretary Melanie Tuttle

Treasurer Kris Landrum

Membership Committee Chair Sue Schwartz

Membership Committee Chair Elect Tameka Howell

Membership Committee Margaret Kantlehner

Program Committee Chair Anne Brown

Program Committee Chair Elect Janice Lanier

Program Committee Dawn Kane

Director at Large Dede Potter

Director at Large Jody Susong

Nominating Committee Member Lisa Dames

Nominating Committee Member Jennifer Mencarini


Board Designated Positions ~ Not Elected

Treasurer Elect Lauren Cox

Past President & Nominating Committee Chair Adrienne Jandler


2021 WPF Foundation Board Nominees

The following individuals have been nominated to serve three-year terms beginning January 2021.

Kim Cummings Second Full Term

Jean Pudlo Second Full Term

Susan Russell Second Full Term

Phyllis Lancaster First Full Term

Chandra Cherry First Full Term

Dee Blake First Full Term

Frenesa Hall* One Year Term

* Nominated to fill a vacancy for the remaining year of a resigned board members term.


Special Holiday Entertainment!

After our business meeting, we’ll move over to Facebook for time with motivational speaker Kelly Swanson.  Kelly is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, Huffington Post Contributor, and cast member of The Fashion Hero television show airing on Amazon Prime. She is also author of Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale, The Land of If Only, The Story Formula, and The Gutsy Girls Pocket Guide to Public Speaking. She was a featured entertainer for Holland America Cruise Lines, keynote speaker for the International Toastmasters Convention, and has keynoted major conferences and corporate events from coast to coast.


Instructions for joining our December Annual Meeting & Special Entertainment

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our December monthly meeting on December 9, 2020. We will begin promptly at 12:30, so please be sure to be logged in prior to 12:30!

We’ll be having our Annual Business Meeting on Zoom AND then enjoying some special entertainment – but it will require us to do some jumping around on the internet!


1.  NO LATER THAN MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, register to attend the WPF Annual Meeting on Zoom by clicking this link: REGISTER NOW   Once you register, you’ll receive the Zoom link.

2. NO LATER THAN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, ask to join the private Facebook group for a watch part by going to this link:

3. On WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9 at 12:20pm go to Zoom using the link you received after registering

4. At 12:55, leave Zoom and go to this FB link for the watch party:  If you’re comfortable having two browser windows open on your computer, you could login to the Facebook page before 12:55 –  but minimize the page until our Annual Business meeting concludes. This will help with the traffic going into the FB private group – so thanks in advance to anyone who can do this.

Questions? Email Altina at

Help the WPF Foundation  & give a great gift to loved ones!

Although we are not having the Holiday Bazaar this year, there is still a small thing you can do to get gifts checked off your list and still help the Foundation!  Through the Community Partners program with Our State magazine, you can gift the magazine to friends, family, and neighbors and they will in turn give $5 for each subscription back to the Women’s Professional Forum Foundation!  Go to and use code CP651!  Tell your friends – anyone who uses that code for a subscription will be helping us.


Special Interest Groups


The Christmas Tree by Julia Salamon on Tuesday,  December 1, 7pm via Zoom

The classic New York Times–bestselling tale of friendship, generosity, and the magic and wonder of the holiday spirit. On his annual search for Rockefeller Center’s next Christmas tree, the chief gardener spots an ideal candidate: a stately Norway spruce located on the grounds of a convent. There he meets Sister Anthony, a nun for whom the tree has special meaning. Orphaned and sent to the convent as a lonely young girl, Sister Anthony befriended the then-tiny spruce whom she lovingly named “Tree.” Over the following decades, as the tree grew, so did Sister Anthony’s appreciation for the beauty and wonder of nature.

The Christmas Tree is a short (necessary during holiday) but lovely book about a lonely young girl and the comfort of a young tree and how friendship can have many meanings. RSVP to Kris Landrum at or a text to Kris at 336-271-5243


Though Books & Arts activities have been limited this year, we encourage you to take advantage of these wonderful local events. If you have other suggestions for a holiday event we can pursue safely, and are willing to organize (Zoom or otherwise), please contact either Kris Landrum at or Michele Smith at We wish you a wonderful and safe holiday and look forward to enjoying activities with you in 2021!   

Greensboro Ballet’s Nutcracker “Drive In” at White Oak Amphitheater Greensboro Coliseum Complex happening December 18 at 7pm AND December 19 & 20th at both 4pm and 7pm.  Click here for tickets.

Winter Wonderlights at the Greensboro Science Center  Stroll through the beautiful new exhibit at our beloved Science Center. Click here for tickets.

Bel Canto’s Wassail: Good Tidings We Bring! Listen to the sounds of the season with Bel Canto online December 18 at 7:30pm for their world premier! Click here for more information on this free virtual event.

Green Hill’s Winter Show  This year’s Winter Show is a free exhibit and opens December 6th. The gallery and shop are open for viewing and sales. Click here for more information and hours.

Downtown in December  Presented by DGI with downtown businesses, our annual festival has been re-imagined! Events begin on December 4th. For a complete listing, including “Light the Night”, click here.


Tuesday,  December 15, 7pm via Zoom

We will be checking in on each other and having a little fun with an online holiday game.  RSVP to Marlee Foster for zoom information –


Tuesday,  December 15, 6pm at the home of Lisa Yoakum

Cheers from the Sippin’ Sisters!!!! Lisa Yoakum is hosting our holiday party with her famous “Pom-tinis “ – a juicy fun Christmas cocktail to warm you all by the hearth.

Although this event is full, please contact Kim Trone at or 336 707-2136 if you want to add your name to the SIG contact list to learn about future events.

Stay tuned for more information about our January “ Shaken not Stirred” Martini night with Dee Blake.


Wednesday, December 16, at 5:30pm via Zoom

We have a special guest presenter for our December Wine class!  “How the French Resistance Saved the French Wine Industry” Carol McGinnis Kay* recently taught this class at the Shepherd’s Center of St. Andrews in SC and offered to visit our WhINE Divas to share her presentation. She is a wonderful teacher and I think we’ll all enjoy and learn from a pro. She will teach this as a class with pictures, with lots of time for questions and some time for sipping and sharing.

If you want to prepare for the class, all you’ll need is a bottle of bubbly, the real French version if you choose. Carol recommends any champagne from Tattinger or Laurent-Perrier if you want to really connect to her class examples and tasting notes… so you can more joyfully enjoy this holiday class!

Here’s are instructions on how to participate:

1. RSVP to Sandy Doyle Jones at if you are a definite “YES.”   

2. Register in advance for this meeting by clicking this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. And, I will email you a reminder the day before the class for a quick connect.

Space is limited but your face and participation will add a warm glow to the event! Any questions, please call or email me! 336.202.5769

* Dr. Carol McGinnis Kay is a member of the Ben Tuller Chapter (Columbia, SC) of the American Wine Society. She is a retired English Professor and was an Academic Dean at the University of SC.


Thursday, January 21 at 6:00pm via Skype

We will not meet in December due to hectic holiday schedules.

We are postponing our January holiday party until spring when we can gather safely; however, we will have a brief business meeting to discuss incoming/outgoing members and the portfolio.

Mark your calendars, too, for Thursday, February 18, at 6 p.m.  for our February business meeting.

NOTE: Once a year in January, we open the Club for new members. Contact Peggy Ward at if you need information or are interested in joining the Club.

For current members, if you are wanting to go out of the Club or add to your share in the Club, please contact Pat Price, or Patty Blair, by Wednesday, December 16, 2020.  Happy Holidays to everyone!


Devoted to Diversity is not having a meeting in December, but not to worry, December is full of events to celebrate!  For example, December 10 is International Human Rights Day, which was established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  According to the United Nations website, the theme for the 2020 Human Rights Day “relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts. We will reach our common global goals only if we are able to create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systematic, and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion and discrimination.”

You may also wish to celebrate or learn more about the following spiritual, cultural, and awareness events in December:

December 1: World AIDS Day

December 3: International Day of Disabled Persons

December 10-18: Hanukkah

December 16-24: Las Posadas

December 21: Yule Winter Solstice

December 25: Christmas Day

December 26: Boxing Day

December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa

We will meet again on Zoom Tuesday,  January 19, at 6:30 pm.   As always, be in touch with any questions and ideas: Nicole Hayes, Terri Harris, Rebecca Ben-Gideon


Dining Out is currently on hold.  If you are not already on the Dining Out email list, please get in touch with Amy Meinecke at to receive the latest updates and news on Dining Out.