Reflecting on my time in WLF

A message from WPF President, Ashley Madden

Well, this is it, ladies!  My final newsletter as your 2021 Madame President.  First and foremost, I want to acknowledge the opportunity, the absolute gift to me personally, to serve as President of WPF this year.  I remember joining WPF in 2006 at the age of 32, in the early years of my career and being in absolute awe of the women surrounding me.  The door opened for me to experience true sisterhood when I joined WPF and I have never looked back.  I have spent the past six years on our Board in various capacities, two years as Membership Chair and then working my way up to President.  But while I acknowledge that I have given WPF the gift of my talents, time, and passion over the years, WPF and the women within, have been the gift that I have received in return.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be mentored and perhaps mentor others, wonderful travel experiences, eating at fun restaurants, drinking wines and cocktails I would never think to try, reading books I would not have otherwise read, hearing inspiring speakers I would have never known about, countless Bazaar purchases around my home and in my closet, and most importantly, true and enduring friendships that have shaped the woman I am today. 

In the fifteen years since I joined WPF, I have moved homes four times, gotten married (and then ten years later, divorced), endured a grueling and ultimately unsuccessful battle with infertility, lost two cherished pets, gained another (love you, little Orphan Buddy!), lost my beloved father, had three different employers, earned a master’s degree with honors, and earned both the CFP® and CPA designations.  WPF has been a constant, positive source of energy and inspiration for me through it all.  The opportunities to engage with strong, amazing women through WPF and resulting friendships have been invaluable to me through all the turbulence and change, the periods of sadness, and the times of triumph and joy.  I hope sharing the reflections from my own personal story is somehow inspiring to you! 

As for this year, it has admittedly been challenging to serve as President largely from a virtual platform.  Unfortunately, a work obligation prevents me from attending our December meeting, so I only stood before the group at the lunch meeting one time.  But it was an experience I will never forget.  And I felt the energy in our Zoom meetings this year was amazing!  I set out this year with a desire to keep our membership strong and energized despite the challenges of the pandemic and I am finishing out the year feeling we collectively accomplished that goal.    

So, in closing, I would like to thank you all for a wonderful year despite great obstacles and for all the love and support I have received as your 2021 President.  I’m so excited to see what next year brings for our wonderful organization!




WPF Annual Business Meeting – Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Each December, we hold our annual business meeting to review highlights of the year and hold elections for both WPF and WPF Foundation Board of Directors. We’ll also have some special recognitions and a program on Sunset Hill’s lighted balls presented by Anne and Justin Smith. This member only annual business meeting will take place at Starmount Forest Country Club on Wednesday, December 8 from 12:30-1:30pm. A zoom option to attend will be available.

The WPF Nominating Committee is pleased to present the following slate of nominees. New Board and Committee members will begin service in January. Additional committee members will be appointed according to the Bylaws by the incoming President and Committee chairs.

President……………..Amy Baradell

President-Elect……..Cecelia Anderson

1st Vice President…Dede Potter

2nd Vice President..Tamieka Howell

Treasurer………………Kris Landrum

Secretary………………Catena Bergevin        

Director at Large……Christie Soper

Director at Large…….Lorri Yaskiewicz

Membership Committee Chair…………..Jody Susong

Membership Committee Chair Elect…..Meryl Mullane

Membership Committee Member……….Keyshia Gray

Programs Committee Chair……………….Ronnie Grabon

Programs Committee Chair Elect………Murphy Sullivan

Programs Committee Member…………..Maria Hanlin

Nominating Committee Member…………Pam Barrett   

Nominating Committee Member…………Janice Lanier

Designated Board Positions ~ not elected

Past President & Nominating Committee Chair…….Ashley Madden


Many thanks to this year’s nominating committee:  Adrienne Jandler (Immediate Past President and Chair), Anne Smith, Valda Ford, Lisa Dames and Jennifer Mencarini.


December Lunch Menu:Tuscan Kale Salad with Coq au vin style chicken served with parsley potatoes, roasted asparagus, and rolls. Chocolate Mousse to finish with perfection!

DECEMBER 4-Minute Special: Amy Baradell

I was born in Jackson Tennessee to Harold and Jeaneen Lile in 1963, the third of four children. In 1970 we moved from Tennessee to Raleigh North Carolina. I graduated from Needham Broughton High School in 1981. A love for music resulted in 10 years of piano lessons, playing clarinet in the band, and singing in the chorus.  Discovering a love for sewing at an early age led to my first project, a pillow for my grandfather when he had had a stroke. I was about 5 years old at the time. Through the following years, my sewing skills grew as did my enjoyment of it. I began creating costumes in junior high and was sewing for friends in high school. I attended UNC-G and majored in clothing and textiles, graduating in 1983. My first job after graduation was at a large costume company in upstate New York. It was a dream job as I was paid to do something I love. In 1987, at the birth of my first son, I began a home-based sewing business. My first window treatment job was in an historic home in downtown Charleston. I took my six-month-old baby with me to measure. Crazy times! That baby turned 16 in 2003 when I moved my business out of my home and into its present Jamestown location. In 2009, Amy Meinecke and I merged our two businesses and formed Window Works Studio, Inc. We have lived the ups and downs of business ownership together. We joined WPF in 2011. It has been a great encouragement to me.

In November I celebrated my third wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband, Don. I am ever grateful to Amy Meinecke for introducing us. Don and I are both avid runners. We just completed the Greensboro Half Marathon on November 20 and had a blast. We also share a love for music. He is an amazing guitar player and singer. We have four children between us, one grandson, and another grandchild on the way. We look forward to more travel in the years ahead, with retirement in sight.

As I think of WPF, I am thankful for the women here who have been such an encouragement to me. I also think of other women that have had an influence on me. My mom, who loved God and loved people. My grandmother, Eleanor Faye, after whom I am named. (I am Amy Faye.) She was a business owner in the 40’s and 50’s; I would love to have a business discussion with her today. My older sister Lisa, who led my siblings and me as we cared for our parents in their later years.

In looking forward to 2022, I know things will not always go as I expect. As I look back at my life, it has not taken the path I thought it would. What I have seen is that God is faithful in it all. (My “headshot” is a picture taken when I was two years old. My mom gave it to me near the time of her death. It was one of her favorites.)

A Note from Jean

A Message from Jean Pudlo, WPFF President Jean Pudlo

We are grateful for our membership’s support and contributions to our Foundation this year.  These contributions strengthen WPFF so that annually we help girls and women succeed in their lives. We know many of you make your charitable decisions in December and hope whether it is your first-time gift or your tenth, a gift of $50, or $2000, that you will support our foundation.  We thank you in advance for your generosity.

Thank you WPF for the unprecedented gift of $30,000 to the WPF Foundation!  While we have not finalized our 2022 budget, we are considering using a portion of this gift to increase our grant budget for 2022 (we awarded $24,000 in grants in 2021). There is plenty of need in the community right now. We also plan to use a significant amount of this gift to continue to build the endowment which will provide grant funding sustainability for years to come.

We are grateful for the input that you have provided during our small group dinners this fall for opportunities to address empowering women and girls in our community. We look forward to reviewing and incorporating these suggestions. And of course, you can always feel free to contact one of our board members with your thoughts. Thank you to Ashley Madden and the WPF board for their leadership in this gift.

To our foundation directors who are rotating off our board, we are grateful for the years of service that each of you have provided our foundation. Ladies thank you so much for your dedication to ensure our foundation is active within our community as an advocate and enabler of success for girls and women. Thanks go to Sue Kennedy, Anne Smith, Melanie Tuttle, and Katie Klod for their dedication, service, and leadership to the WPF Foundation.

Nominations for 2022-2024 terms on the WPFF board will be presented to WPF membership for election at the December 8th luncheon.  Nominees are as follows:

Keyshia H. Gray

Frenesa Hall

Jennifer Mencarini

Murphy Sullivan

Jody Susong

2022 Grant applications will be available on the website in early January with a deadline of February 15th to submit them in a one round granting process. If you know an organization helping to empower women and girls in this community let them know about this opportunity to apply for support.

Wishing you all a happy holiday season, good times with friends and family and a new year filled with happiness and health!

Special Interest Group Upcoming Events


Sunday, December 5 @ 11:30 AM
Cille & Scoe, 312 S. Elm Street

Laura Burton is hosting our Holiday Brunch this year. Please join us for this long-time WPF tradition at a new location. There are only 20 seats available! RSVP to Amy Meinecke at





Friday, December 10 @ 6 PM
Maria Hanlin’s home

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Sippin’ Sisters!  Come celebrate the season with us.  There will be festive food, wine, and a special Santa’s brew! We will do an ornament exchange and be sure to wear your holiday duds!  Cost is $25 per person/ limited to 15 people (we ask that all sisters be vaccinated due to special needs).

RSVP/ASAP to Kim Trone, or 336 707-2136.


Tuesday, Dec. 7 @ 7:00 PM
Kris Landrum’s home

Book Group has regrouped! Changes made!!! New book(s) and new host – same date and time. Book Club will meet at home of Kris Landrum. Please email or text if you plan to attend at or 336-209-2420.

The book for December book group is now “The Christmas Memory” and “One Christmas” by Truman Capote. These are two short stories with overlapping characters and are often read together.

The Christmas Memory

Largely autobiographical, the story takes place in the 1930s and describes a period in the lives of the seven-year-old narrator and an elderly woman who is his distant cousin and best friend. The woman was Nanny Faulk, known as Ms. Sook, elder sister of the household where Capote’s wayward parents deposited him as a young boy.


One Christmas

One unforgettable Christmas, young Truman Capote is sent from his childhood home and his beloved cousin Miss Sook to New Orleans, to a father he’s never met. Truman learns the painful truths about his father, about Santa Claus, and about love lost and found.


Monday, December 13 @ 6:30 PM
Home of Jody Susong

Come join us to make plans for 2022. We are wanting to have a different service opportunity each month. Even if you cannot attend the meeting, please email us your ideas. We will provide snacks and wine. Thank you!  Jody Susong (  and Amy Baradell (


Tuesday, December 14 @12:30 PM
Green Valley Grill, 622 Green Valley Rd

Join us for lunch this month as we celebrate the holidays!  We will have a cocktail napkin exchange.  RSVP to Marlee Foster at or 336-235-1596.


Thursday, December 16 @ 6:30 PM
Reel Seafood Grill, 2002 New Garden Rd

Come toast the season with Whine Divas.  We have the heated patio reserved for the wine presentation from Chuck at American Premium Beverage.  Seating is limited to 20, so please RSVP as soon as you can, to Cost is $25 per person. Hope to see you there! Cheers!


The WOW Investment Club will not meet in December.

The Club is open to new members once a year at the end of the year, so if you have an interest or would like more information, please contact Peggy Ward by the end of December at The purpose of the Club is to learn about the financial markets and strategies in a comfortable setting.  The Club has been going for 30 years, and we have a lot of fun!


• January – There are tentative plans for a holiday party the first part of January for those who feel comfortable in attending at a member’s home.  More details to follow.

• February will be the first business meeting of the year where we will welcome new members, elect officers, and review the portfolio.

• Finally, a trip to NYC is being planned for either April or May of 2022.


We’re back!!  March 25-27, 2022

We are so excited to announce that Wild women in the Mountains will be returning in 2022.  The date has been set – March 25-27, 2022, housing has been confirmed (well most of it) and Sarah Shoffner is ready to take your check.  Pricing will stay the same at $125.  That includes a 2-night stay at one of the best and most entertaining homes in the Rock, appetizers Friday night, breakfast Saturday and Sunday and the most delicious dinner on Saturday.  You will also be in the company of the best Wild Women in WPF!!  More details to follow.  No matter what, we can promise you a great time!! Contact Mebane Ham ( for more information.






Save the Date!  Chetola Symphony By the Lake Concert in Blowing Rock
July 21-24, 2022

Books and Arts annual July Blowing Rock trip (not to be confused with the always fantastic Wild Women in the Mountains spring trip) will be July 21st to 24th. Preliminarily, we think we will be able to book the Springhaven Inn on Main Street and a condo at Chetola. We have stayed in the Springhaven Inn before and it is a charming old house without updated amenities but it has a great location. The Chetola condo will give us an outpost for the Chetola symphony concert on the 22nd.   Details as to whether the annual Blowing Rock home tour will take place are not yet available.

The weekend is always loads of fun with activities including shopping, hiking, socializing with friends, the concert and other possibilities to be determined. Current projected cost is $210/person for the 3- night stay. We anticipate having 14 spots initially available and might add a few more if there is demand. If you want to be part of this trip, contact Kris Landrum at to reserve your space ASAP.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!