May News Header

We Empower Women & Girls!

A message from WPF Foundation President, Kim Eder

What an exciting time of year! Each May, your WPF Foundation reports on our work to empower women and girls. The highlight each year is announcing our new class of Grant Recipients – and boy have we got a line up for 2023! 

We’ll be introducing you to 7 organizations from Guilford County who are doing innovative projects, programs or initiatives that carry our mission forward. Because of your generous support, we are able to grant $28,000 to these worthy organizations – the largest grant pool in our history. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This group of grantees will provide exposure and education to middle school girls about the healthcare field,  teach Latinx high school girls leadership development through our own GLE program, provide immersive community programs for civic leadership development for girls to be active in their school and communities, support women’s workforce development, teach technology skill building, train women in public speaking, provide resume and interview preparation, guide team and community building, provide entrepreneurship support and apprenticeship opportunities, and train the next generation of women leaders in the social justice sector. Talk about IMPACT!

Thanks to the vision of our membership, the WPF Foundation was founded in 1989 to develop the next generation of women leaders. Over the past 39 years, we’ve given our support, time, energy, talents, and donations to the cause, contributing over $300,000 to our local community. The impact has been tremendous. At our May meeting, we’ll hear about the work of our 2022 grantees, including:

Action Greensboro who supported college women in their 10-week Summer Fellows Program and helped connect women owned local businesses to a talent network of college students.

AAUW College Leadership Program who sent 75 women to workshops and 3 to the National Leadership Training Conference.

The Beloved Community Center who trained and equiped emerging women leaders in our community for the NC Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Committee

The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship who helped 8 women complete their program to promotes economic self-sufficiency and provided tools to support women as they established businesses, stabilized their companies, and learned strategies for growth.

The YWCA of High Point who delivered of our very own Girls Leadership Edge program in two sessions.

Your Foundation Board is looking forward to sharing these projects which your gifts support.  If you have not contributed to the Foundation before, we hope you’ll consider a gift this year.  You can always give securely online or mail a check to: WPF Foundation at PO Box 38594, Greensboro, NC 27438.

I hope you’ll join me to thank our Grants Committee who worked diligently to present our 2023 grantees: Jennifer Mencarini (Chair) with members Laura Burton, Kim Eder, Keyshia Haithcock Gray, Chandra Hackenbruch, Frenesa Hall, Robin Hager, Margaret Kantlehner, Linda Morris, Kate Panzer, and Jeri Whitfield.


From Meryl Mullane, Membership Committee Chair

There’s nothing better than a new friend—unless it’s a friend with chocolate.

We’re excited about the new members who might be joining and the Membership committee is looking forward to getting applications—no chocolate necessary. You’ll find the forms on the page “Forms & Bylaws” on our website. Please be sure to complete both the New Member Application and the Sponsor Packet for your applicant and email it all together. Send to by June 1st.

Here’s a FAQ and if you have any other questions, please contact me by email or 336-312-3381.

Who can join WPF?

To be considered for membership in WPF, an applicant must:

• Be an upper-level management executive, licensed or degreed professional, business owner, or an elected or appointed public official who resides in Guilford County.

• Be employed full-time or work in a career where the content and professionalism of the work is the measure of eligibility and not the number of hours worked.

• Have a minimum of five years’ professional experience and a minimum of two years’ experience in the same or related field of work in which she is engaged at the time of her application.

What if my prospective member has only attended two luncheons with a sponsor by June 1? Will the June meeting count?

Your prospective new members must have attended a WPF luncheon meeting with each of their sponsors, a total of three meetings, within the twelve months prior to the application: June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023. If not, you have the next 12 months for her to attend at least three meetings and apply on June 1, 2024; she may attend additional meetings hosted by a WPF member.

When will new members be introduced?

This year, new member introductions will be at the August meeting, moved from September.

It’s Time for Small Group Dinners!

A note from Nicole Hayes & Jennifer Mencarini, Directors at Large

Join us for the opportunity to gather for a casual evening (or lunch) of fun! We hope you’ll leverage this chance to engage with current members and meet some new ones. Spring gatherings will begin on Monday, May 1st and run through Thursday, May 25th. Click here to register by April 30th for the date that best suits your schedule. Hostesses, be sure to register for your own dinner to ensure an accurate headcount.

Your Host will be in touch with details; contact her directly with any questions. Please select only one date so everyone has the chance to join a SGD. If your schedule changes, you can change your previously chosen date on SignUpGenius. We hope you enjoy a lovely time together.

4-Minute Special: Susan Fields Russell

When I was asked to write a “4-Minute Special” my immediate reaction was that I do not have a story to tell!  But I guess everyone has a unique story just as everyone has their own unique fingerprints.

I was born in Wilmington and spent my early years around Ocean Isle Beach. Once I hit school-age, we moved to a little town called Wadesboro, NC and that is where every memory of growing up is located.  I could draw a floorplan of the house I grew up in right now if I had to.  I had the best of both worlds.  One set of grandparents were farmers.  When spending summers with them, I would play with the animals on the farm, help grandma snap green beans, and take my spare change to the country store to buy penny candy and chewing gum which I would proudly carry back in a little paper sack.  My other set of grandparents lived here in Greensboro and owned a company.  Summers with them included ice skating lessons, shopping, and lunches at the Governor’s Mansion.  Obviously two very different worlds, but it was wonderful for me to be exposed to everything!

I went to UNC-Greensboro and majored in Apparel Arts and Design with a Minor in Communications.  (Yes…I like all things design and like running my mouth, so this combo was a good one for me!)  It was after my graduation that I was introduced to the world of Contract Furniture and Design and have been in this field for the last 29 years!  I recently accepted a new position and am using this forum as the formal announcement! On May 15th I will begin a new venture with Innvision Hospitality.  I will be the North Carolina Design Consultant for the company calling specifically on Hotel Developers.  We handle the design, furnishings, and procurement for every aspect of hotel/resort new construction and renovations.  We are brand experts serving Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Wyndham and IHG Brands among others.  So excited!

Life slightly changed for me in 2016 when my marriage of 23 years ended.  During the process of that transition, I bought a little “fixer upper” house and did much of the work myself. I kept a shower cap and work clothes at the house so that in between my appointments and when I could get away on the weekends, I could go over and paint, saw, clean, hammer, etc. without anyone knowing.  Throughout the renovation process (or therapy as I now call it!), I would find pennies in random places – always heads up.  I found them stuck in the floor molding, in back of closets, etc.  I started calling them my “pennies from heaven” and saw this as a sign of luck and joy to come.

Within a six-month time period, my divorce papers were signed and I lost my best friend, former WPF Member Anne Gundlach, to cancer.  It changed me in ways I did not recognize at first.  Suddenly I saw things differently.  Appreciated things more.  I also cried more for quite a while, too.  But through it all I discovered two things:  One, the need to reconnect with my friends and to bring more joy and people into my life; and Two, that this precious life can be very short.  One night I came across a quote, Author unknown, that said, “One day you will wake up and have no more time.  Do it now”!  Reading that jarred my soul and I immediately grabbed a pad of paper, a glass of wine, and started working on my Bucket List!  I have a list of places I want to visit within the US, places to visit overseas, and a long list of crazy things I just want to do or learn!  I have hiked through the Rainforest in Puerto Rico.  I have zip-lined though the jungles of Mexico.  I have climbed the Mayan ruins in Belize.  I have driven a race car at Lowes Motor Speedway (got up to 143 mph!)  And thanks to many of my soul sisters in WPF, recently took surfing lessons in Hawaii and climbed a volcano and crossed the crater!  We women have incredible, special powers that enable us – once we allow ourselves the permission to – accomplish anything we set our sights on.  Don’t forget that you have made it through 100% of your worst days and that you only hit the targets you aim for!

So that’s my story.  A girl who is a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n roll. A girl that is 100% in love with her life and who intends to keep working hard and knocking off those bucket list items!

Special Interest Group Upcoming Events


Saturday, May 6th – 9:00 AM (rain date May 20th)
Gardens @ AuthoraCare Collective (Hospice)
2500 Summit Avenue, Greensboro

We will be working in the beautiful gardens on May 6th starting at 9:00 AM under the direction of their horticulture therapist. Please bring gardening gloves. Thank you to Polly Sizemore for hosting this month’s project.  RSVP to Jody Susong.


Thursday, May 11 8 PM
@ Steven Tanger Performing Arts Center

Come for a night with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra joined by guest artist Branford Marsalis. Choose to join us for the concert or concert and dinner. Learn more about the program here.  The symphony is discounting tickets for us so please send $40 for each ticket to Anne Smith by check to 2205 Madison Ave Greensboro NC 27403 or Venmo @Anne-Smith-4.

A group will be going to dinner before the concert abound 5:30 to give us time to eat as a group and walk to the concert.  Please RSVP to Anne Smith at  if you would like to join us so we will have a good seat selection and so I can secure a restaurant reservation.


Tuesday, May 16 12-1:30 PM @ Green Valley Grill
622 Green Valley Road

Join us for lunch at Green Valley Grill – always a favorite!  Open to moms of all ages.  RSVP to Marlee Foster at


Tuesday, May 16 @ 6PM
Nancy Radtke’s home

“Come fly with me!!!  Let’s fly away…” Let’s enjoy a 60’s cool vibe and fly the friendly skies with our hostesses-Nancy Radtke and Mebane Ham-as they introduce the “paper airplane cocktail”.  We will also try out our flight skills with our creations!  So come listen to Sinatra and mix and mingle with the Sippin’ Sisters!!! Please RSVP and Venmo $30 to Mebane Ham ( Thanks !


Thursday, May 18 @ 6 PM
Mt. Pisgah UMC Church, 2600 Pisgah Church Rd

Join us for the second quarter Business Meeting where we will review the portfolio and make any necessary changes.  Please feel free to share any information you have relative to the companies we own.

Please RSVP to Jennifer Mencarini so we know you’re coming.

The March Topic meeting and the April Dinner meeting were well attended! We will not meet during June or July as many are vacationing. Look forward to seeing you on May 18th!


Friday, May 19  10-11:30 AM and lunch
Trade Street Arts District, Winston-Salem

Join us for a walking tour of Trade St. Arts District, Winston-Salem, with author of the new book, 100 Things to Do in Winston-Salem Before You Die.  Local author Tina Firesheets will lead us on a 1.5 hour walking tour featuring the history and heritage of our neighbor city, specifically the Trade St. Arts District, in downtown Winston-Salem. She will include a mix of recreation, arts and culture, dining and retail featuring minority-owned businesses, and event recommendations. Cost for the tour is $20 and includes a copy of the book. After the tour, the group will have lunch at one of her recommended hot spots, Sweet Potatoes. Please RSVP to and advise if you would like to carpool.

More on the book:


Wednesday, May 24, 9-10 am
Weaver Park Center Bldg,
324 W.Wendover Ave, Suite 140

Financial Divas will gather Wednesday May 24th to discuss What You Need to Know about Medicare in Retirement Planning. For questions, contact Paula McMillan at  or 336.337.9507.

This is your opportunity to get answers to these questions and more for yourself and/or clients, friends and loved ones who depend on you. When do I need to sign up? What are the important distinctions between Medicare and Medicare Advantage? How much should I budget for all of this when I think about income needed for my retirement?

The Financial Divas meet the fourth Wednesday of each month Weaver Park Center Building.


Wednesday, May 31 @ 6:30 pm
Chop House
4001 Meeting Way, High Point, NC 27265

Host: Susan Watson  RSVP: Amy Meinecke.


Friday, June 2 @ 2pm for a Greenway Walking Tour

Join us for a tour of the Greenway’s history, infrastructure, art, social significance, financing, and more.  The tour will probably take about 2 1/2-3 hours – depending on the size of the group, the pace, and how chatty everyone is.  The tour can accommodate up to 20 people. Please RSVP to with names, cellphones, and emails. Backup rain date is Friday, June 9, at 2pm.

Cost: The tour is free, but donations are welcome. This event is coordinated by Denny Kelly.

Location: We will meet at Loft Park (corner of Smith and Eugene in front of Joymongers).  We can refresh ourselves at Joymongers after the walk.


Tuesday, June 6 @ 7 PM … Home of Kris Landrum

Join us for our next Book Club meeting at the home of Kris Landrum. Ronnie Grabon will lead our discussion. We will be discussing a highly recommended book – Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. It is a remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Bella da Costa, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation.  Please RSVP to Kris at


Tuesday, June 27 @ 6 PM … Culinary U, 1709 Fleming Rd

Have you missed those cooking classes we’ve enjoyed in the past (NYC, Reto, Children’s Museum)?  Now is your chance for another!  Join your WPF friends for a cooking class at Culinary U. We’ll be cooking and eating four different dishes (menu to be determined).  The cost is between $55 and $58 per person (depending on the menu).  We’ll get input from those who sign up and choose the menu.  Everything except alcoholic beverages is provided, but we’re welcome to bring our own wine/beer, etc.  Class size is limited to 12 so reach out to Kris Landrum asap if you want to participate (


October 6-8 … National Storytelling Festival
Jonesborough, Tennessee

Please join us for a delightful outing to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee the weekend of October 6-8. We will drive to Jonesborough on Friday when the storytelling begins and return home on Sunday. Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee, is a 3+ hour drive from Greensboro. Tents are set up around this picturesque town to provide a fun place to hear tales you will laugh and weep over. We will stay in very nearby, Greeneville, Tennessee and have dinner together on Friday and Saturday. It is a down-to-earth, entertaining weekend.

Hotel rooms have been reserved at the Hampton Inn in Greeneville. There is a slim chance we will still get reservations at the General Morgan Inn in Greenville. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the couple who plan to use the hotel as a site for their wedding party will decide that they really are not meant for each other after all. But they had made reservations before I called in February

Here is a link to storytelling:

Below are prices for tickets, but I would not purchase them yet. In fact, you may decide to buy them on site if you like to wait until the last minute.  Whatever!

Adult $165 for 3 days, $140 for Saturday/Sunday

Senior $150, $130 for Saturday/Sunday

I have reserved 6 rooms at the Hampton, each of which has 2 queen beds.  Room prices are for the room. So depending on how much you want to sleep with someone, you could get 4 in a room.  Hotel cost is $553.04 for 2 nights. If you share one, that’s $276.52 each or with 4 in a room, just imagine. And of course, you don’t have to stay both nights.

We hope you will decide to join us for a beautiful fall weekend in gorgeous East Tennessee.  Or, it could rain. But that’s lovely, too.  Please think about this! It’s a wonderful fall outing. Let me hear!

Questions? Contact Beverley Gass at 336-255-3173 or