Spring is almost here

A message from WPF President, Cecelia Anderson

It’s nearly spring, which is a time for growth and new beginnings.

One area of growth I have been focusing on recently is getting to know more of you, my fellow WPF members. We are likely all guilty of walking into our monthly lunch meetings and gravitating toward our close friends. Many of us, myself included, may not even realize we’re doing it. It’s our habit, our routine. It’s comfortable. We’re on autopilot.

We don’t realize that we might be missing out on getting to know some pretty incredible people. WPF welcomes a new membership class once a year, and we typically have 5-10 new members join. After a few years, that adds up and before you know it there’s a large group of members you may not have had the chance to meet.

When I was welcomed into membership in 2017, other than my sponsors, I didn’t know anyone in the organization. Fortunately, I had signed up for a small group dinner the evening of the day I joined. I went from the excitement of being welcomed into the group at lunch to a lovely dinner at a member’s home that same evening. As a newbie, it greatly helped me to make some connections quickly. It made our large organization not feel so large.

As we enter this season of new opportunities, I encourage you to reach out to a member who recently joined. Fostering new relationships is key to the growth and sustainability of WPF. Sharing our stories with one another feeds connections that strengthen relationships. And all of us want to see WPF grow in strength and numbers.

MARCH MEETING …Wednesday, MARCH 8, 2023

Welcome Sheeba Dawood, Co-founder and CEO,  Minerva LithiuM

Fueling the EV revolution

As a follow-up to our meeting with Toyota, we will hear from Sheeba Dawood about developing batteries using sustainable technology.

Sheeba Dawood is co-founder and CEO of Minerva Lithium LLC, a mineral extraction company that has developed technology to enable a clean, domestic, and streamlined supply of critical minerals for the clean energy transition. Dr. Sheeba Dawood leverages years of experience working on sustainable technology in many of the top international research labs, developing patented Nano-mosaic processes that she and her team are commercializing at Minerva Lithium LLC.

Prior to founding Minerva Lithium, Dr. Sheeba Dawood was an Entrepreneurial lead in the National science foundation I-Corps program and was a visiting researcher at University of Queensland. Dr. Dawood received her PhD in Nanoscience from University of North Carolina, Greensboro and was listed as top CEO in mineral space.


Reminder:  Wear green for Maureen!

Wear green to our luncheon in celebration of our beloved former member, Maureen Hartigan.

Prior to founding Minerva Lithium, Dr. Sheeba Dawood was an Entrepreneurial lead in the National science foundation I-Corps program and was a visiting researcher at University of Queensland. Dr. Dawood received her PhD in Nanoscience from University of North Carolina, Greensboro and was listed as top CEO in mineral space.


From Meryl Mullane, Membership Committee Chair

“The power of women gathering is Immeasurable.” ~Author Unknown

It’s new member time! Applications for new members will be accepted until June 1st. You’ll find the updated application on the WPF website. We look forward to getting your applications and sponsorship forms.

Just a reminder that prospective members will attend a WPF luncheon meeting with each of her sponsors for a total of 3 meetings prior to her application.  Please let me know if you’re planning on sponsoring a candidate this year.  It will be helpful in the planning process for the Membership Committee. And I would love the opportunity to meet them at one of our meetings.   Another reminder: according to our Policies and Procedures, Active members need to attend 50% of our regularly scheduled meetings.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at merylmullane@gmail.com or call me at 336-312-3381. I look forward to seeing you at the March meeting!


From Kim Eder, WPF Foundation President

As you know, your Foundation is well underway in our 2023 grant cycle.  By the time you read this we will be narrowing down the applicants.  From that we will start granting funds that have been so graciously, and generously, donated by our sisters to the WPF Foundation.  And for those donations, we are so very thankful!

As you think about the organizations you will support this year have you ever wondered how you can make your charitable gifts have more impact?  One excellent way to do that is with matching gifts.  What are matching gifts you may ask?? Corporate matching gifts are donations companies make to match the charitable gifts made by their employees.  It’s a great way for companies to get involved in the communities where they operate.  It also helps corporations support the causes that are important to their employees.  If a matching program is in place, once an employee makes a charitable donation, they’ll request the matching gift from their employer, who then donates to that charity as well. Companies usually match donations at a 1:1 ratio, but some will match at higher levels.   If you think (or if you know) that your company has a corporate matching gift program, please ask about having your charitable gifts matched.  You will help the causes that are important to you and your company will broaden their charitable footprint as well.  If your company has a corporate matching program and you need help connecting your gifts from WPFF, please reach out to the Foundation and we will be glad to help.

Small Group Dinners

It’s time to start planning our spring small group dinners! Our plan is to have all the dinners scheduled between May 1 – 28. If you would like to host a small group dinner (or brunch, or lunch), please email Directors at Large Nicole Hayes (nicole.hayes92@gmail.com) and Jennifer Mencarini (jennifer.g.mencarini@gmail.com) no later than April 1.

In your email, please include your date/time preferences, the location where you plan to host (at your home or a restaurant), and the number of guests you would like to have.

We look forward to helping put these fun connection events together!

Special Interest Group Upcoming Events


Wednesday March 15 @ 6 PM
Village Tavern
Westridge Road

Join us for an early St. Patty’s Day celebration on the patio of the Village Tavern (weather permitting). RSVP to Lorri at Lorriyaskiewicz@gmail.com


Thursday, March 16 – 9AM – 5PM
Art in Bloom at the NC Museum of Art, Raleigh

The Ladies of Leisure SIG is headed to Art in Bloom on March 16 and we have one ticket left! Margaret Bertrand has pre-purchased 10 discounted member tickets at a rate of $33.25 per person. If you want to go, RSVP to retired@wpforum.org for confirmation. Once you’re confirmed, you’ll pay Margaret for your ticket directly.

Jennifer Thomas will coordinate carpool and lunch. We will depart approx. at 9:00 AM and will have an early lunch somewhere TBD around 11:00 AM prior to the museum entry at 1:00 PM.


Saturday, March 18  9 AM thru lunch
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art
750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem

Beverley Gass is organizing a trip to SECCA to view the Beverly McIver exhibit currently on display. McIver was raised in Greensboro, taught at Arizona State University and is now an art professor at Duke University. She has received many awards for her painting. There are 50 of her works on display at SECCA. Visit SECCA’s website for more information about the exhibit and the artist.

We will carpool to Winston-Salem and leave the parking lot at Belk’s in Friendly at 9 am. SECCA opens at 10 and admission is free. After viewing the exhibit, we will head to lunch. Please RSVP to Beverley Gass is you would like to go.


Tuesday, March 21 12-1:30 PM
Print Works Bistro
702 Green Valley Rd.

Join us for lunch at Print Works.  Open to moms of all ages!  RSVP to Marlee Foster at marlee.foster@conehealth.com


Wednesday, March 22, 9-10 am
Weaver Park Center Bldg, 324 W.Wendover Ave, Suite 140

Financial Divas continue to meet each fourth Wednesday monthly! For any questions about our upcoming March 22nd  (or other) meeting, reach out to me, Paula McMillan (pmcmillan@stearnsfinancial.com  or call 336.337.9507)…. This month we’ll be exploring INVESTMENTS and INVESTMENT PLANNING.  You won’t want to miss this month! Come prepared to ask your questions about these areas identified during our kick off and more:

• asset allocation

• tax efficiency and maximizing returns

• Individual securities vs. mutual funds vs. ETFs

• incorporating alternative investments in the overall allocation

We will again gather in the U to share discussion-style. Any advisors interested in sharing, please let me know ASAP!

Last month, everyone shared their favorite financial and organization tips, wrapping up with vacation guru Christie Soper sharing some super-insightful insider best practices! Thanks Christie!


Thursday, March 23 @ 6 PM
Mt. Pisgah UMC – 2600 Pisgah Church Rd

Topic Meeting: “Taking Action,” My Financial Confidence Workbook.  This meeting, along with a continuation of the Topic Meeting in October, should provide some excellent education and useful information for all.


Wednesday, March 29 @ 6:30 PM – Gia
1941 New Garden Rd #208

Hosted by Judy Piper. RSVP to  Amy Meinecke


Thursday, March 30, 2023, 4:00-6:00 pm
Mullin Life Center
First Presbyterian Church, 706 N. Greene St.

We will be volunteering at Hot Dish and Hope at the First Presbyterian Church.  We will be serving and eating with our homeless neighbors.  Parking is available on Greene Street.  Many thanks to Maria Hanlin for hosting this month’s Service to Others project.

We have eight volunteer spots available for WPF members so please RSVP asap to Jody Susong at jsusong@triad.rr.com.


Wednesday, April 19  8:30 AM -3 PM
Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham

Join us for an extraordinary visit to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.  The beauty of the gardens and tulips will inspire you!

Here’s the schedule:

8:30 am – Meet at the Whole Foods parking lot in Friendly Center and carpool to the Duke Gardens.

10:00 am – Docent-led, one-hour walking tour for 10 ladies. Afterward, wander and enjoy the gardens until 12:15 pm.

12:30 pm – Lunch reservation at Nasher Café in the Nasher Museum of Art a block away.

1:30 pm – Head home unless some people want to tour the Nasher Museum of Art while we are there.

Admission to the Museum is free, and the docent tour of the Garden is $15 per person. Parking is $2 an hour.

Please send questions or RSVP for the event to retired@wpforum.org


March 24-26, 2023
Blowing Rock, NC

The tradition continues!  The dates for 2023 Wild Women in the Mountains are set, housing has been confirmed (well most of it) and Sarah Shoffner is ready to take your check.  Unlike most things, our 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!!

This year, along with the usual shopping, hiking trails, shopping, reading, shopping and good times we will be offering Corks & Canvas ($50 each, minimum of 10) and 5 Stand Clay Station – a cross between trap, skeet and sporting clays (approx. $100, good for experienced and unexperienced, there will be instructors).  Please let me know if you are interested.  No matter what you choose, we can promise you a great time!!  Contact Mebane Ham at mebane@mebaneham.com


Travel Survey

Over the years, small groups of Books and Arts members have participated in biking trips to Italy and the Netherlands, sailing trips to the BVI, trips to England, numerous trips to NYC, and informal trips by two or three members to Alaska, Yellowstone, and the circle of National Parks near the Grand Canyon.  Participation in the trips has ranged from groups of 10 to 20 women, with our NYC trip this year involving 26. here are travel options specifically geared to women’s groups and Christie Soper, our member travel guru, is a wonderful resource in looking for opportunities.  The challenge is to figure out where we’d like to go.

The attached survey is designed to figure out if there is any consensus among us that would make it possible to pursue such a group trip.  Please complete the survey if you are interested in such travel with your WPF sisters.  Thank you.