Mitchell Kelling: Family law attorney makes time for community
Mitchell Kelling, who specializes in family law with Horack Talley in Charlotte, has had a breakout year.
Kelling has made exceptional contributions to her profession and the community, including leadership roles with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Girls on the Run Charlotte and the Children’s Law Center, now part of the Children and Family Services Center.
Mitchell serves on the Children’s Theatre’s board of directors. She is part of the transition team that will hire a new executive director and ensure a smooth transition from the previous director.
She chairs the advisory board for Girls on the Run, focusing on fund development, community advocacy and expansion to strengthen the organization.
Mitchell is a volunteer attorney for the Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit that provides legal counsel for children, typically in high-conflict cases involving families of limited financial means. Cases can involve domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, and other serious issues.
Mitchell has been very active with the Family Law Council in the past year. The council provides training to family law attorneys in the state.
Kelling’s practice is devoted to family law, representing clients in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. She is certified as a family law specialist by the N.C. State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Her expertise includes alimony, child support, separation agreements and property settlements, and many other family law matters.
Charlotte Klaar: Klaar connects students with colleges
Charlotte Klaar, PhD, a Certified Educational Planner with more than 20 years of experience, recently moved her business, Klaar College Consulting, to serve the Fort Mill and Charlotte areas.
Klaar is already active in the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling and is a nationally recognized leader in the independent educational consulting industry.
She was awarded the Steven R. Antonoff Award for Professional Achievement, which recognizes an IECA professional who has distinguished him or herself by their outstanding contributions.
While searching for colleges with her daughters, Klaar became aware of the struggles and stress young people and their parents go through during the college planning, selection and admissions process. She realized many families needed professional, knowledgeable guidance. Her background as a Fortune 500 company manager, her time as a school teacher and her real-life experiences, inspired her to become an educational consultant in 1995.
Klaar College Consulting helps students and parents sort through the overwhelming steps of college application and financing, and find the best fit for a rewarding college experience.
“Every one of the students I worked with went on to attend a college that was a good fit for both their grades and personality, and most graduated with their bachelor’s degrees,” Klaar said.
She is also known for her community service, providing free college prep seminars, and working with students with different learning abilities, student musicians, athletes and artists.
Visit www.cklaar.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-487-9777 for details.
Lynn Ivey: Mother inspired new life direction
Lynn Ivey was a successful banking executive, but 25 years of banking was losing its luster. Three things changed the course of her life.
Ivey’s co-worker went missing. Worried, Ivey stopped by the friend’s home only to find her dead in bed. She was 47 and single, just like Ivey. The experience shook Ivey deeply and made her realize how short life is.
The second jolt came two weeks later when Ivey learned her department was downsizing. She would have to lay off 200 people.
The final blow landed about a month after that. Ivey learned her mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ivey took a leave of absence from the bank to be with her parents in Wilmington. Her mom began attending a daytime care center for people with Alzheimer’s. Ivey saw ways the field of adult day care could be improved.
Ivey never returned to the bank. She broke ground on The Ivey Memory Wellness Day Center in 2006, the same week her mom passed away.
“It only takes a minute to remember why The Ivey is so special when I see the joy on members’ faces as they sing familiar songs or when I receive a tearful hug from a family member in appreciation for taking care of their loved one,” Ivey said. “Each time, it’s like watching and hugging my parents.”
Jessica Ross: Insurance agent found destiny after hardship
I changed my major to risk management in college after suffering a devastating auto accident caused by a drunk driver. The driver was not adequately insured, and I was left paralyzed for six months my junior year of college. I had to pay many of the bills myself.
Then, my uncle passed unexpectedly, leaving three children at home with almost nothing but his retirement fund due to an exclusion his employer’s life insurance policy had.
Finally, my father suffered many years of debilitating cancer treatments, which caused my parents’ nest egg to quickly crumble.
The frustrating part, was every one of these instances was avoidable. I found my calling and knew this was my destiny.
The reason I am in the insurance industry is to try and prevent people from suffering devastating losses, or to be there to help them recover when life throws unavoidable tragedy our way.
I am beyond blessed to serve the Charlotte community in this capacity every day.
Aside from my client family, I am a recent mom of a bouncing 8-month-old little girl and a wife to my husband, Taylor, of six years. We attend Five Stones Church.
Taylor actually handles the commercial accounts and works with businesses on succession and buy-sell-planning. Our daughter is part of the workday, as she has her own space at the office, too!
We try to end every day by answering the question, what are we thankful for today?
Dianne Kennedy: Village Emporium helps showcase creativity
Welcome to Village Emporium! I am Dianne Funderburk Kennedy, a North Carolina native, Mint Hill resident and owner of “the little shop beside Harris-Teeter” on Sardis Road North.
After teaching ninth- and 11th-graders, I became a stay-at-home mom, continued as a church organist and enjoyed being a city fireman’s wife and mother to our two children.
I fulfilled my early love for creativity by teaching tole and decorative painting and sold my hand-painted artwork at juried shows from Virginia to Florida. When we no longer worked shows, I rented a space at Village Emporium to sell the remainder of my artwork.
When I decided to give up my space due to needing more time with family, I was approached about becoming a partner in Village Emporium. With the help of a supportive husband, I became a partner and years later, the owner.
The shop has been in business for 18 years. Many customers and some vendors have been here from the beginning. Our merchandise is varied since we offer new, lovingly used, antique, vintage and handmade items. I invite you to see the variety of gifts, home décor, wall art, furniture, art glass, creative knitted hats, carvings, jewelry, Charlotte skylines and so much more.
Paint Couture the Collection, a complete line of acrylic paint developed in Charlotte is also available, offering classes and demos. Our sidewalk sales and Christmas open house are favorites.
Village Emporium vendors and the workers are proud to be a part of small businesses in our area and we thank you for your continued support.
Charlotte Home Experts: Firm stays focused on families, homes
Charlotte Home Experts is a fast-growing real estate company, consistently recognized for its unique brand and caliber of service delivery.
Responsible for the success and outstanding reputation are the women who comprise “the team” – Broker-in-Charge Tiffany Johannes, Office Manager Amber Rodriguez, Transaction Coordinator Mary Canipe and agents Diane Chandler, Aundrea deJonge, Denise Gordon, Regina Harry, Paige Holloway, Betsy Jasinski, Beth Johnston, Diane Lucas, Leanne Morse, Laurie Santamaria and Cory Walsh.
More like family than office-mates, this distinguished group of ladies approach their work with a positive spirit, as reflected in the rave reviews consistently bestowed on them by their clients.
The culture of the business is evident in every team meeting or curbside chat, one of lending support to one another and cheering everyone’s successes as their own.
Collectively a diverse group, each agent brings her unique set of experiences, both in real estate and in other past endeavors.
It is precisely this “mix” that enables the company to provide hand-tailored service to its clients all across Charlotte and its burgeoning suburbs.
What they all share in common, however, is their dedication to their families. It may well be that precisely because each agent has a full and busy life outside the work environment that they have the capacity and empathy to always “have the back” of their fellow agent, who may be having a tough day and needs a little encouragement or advice.
Whatever the magic formula truly is, this is a group that’s going places – and home buyers and sellers will be ever-so-lucky to cross paths with this dynamic team!
Tiffany Johannes: Real estate broker doubles as role model
Office manager, Amber Rodriguez, wishes to recognize Charlotte Home Experts’ Owner and Broker-in-Charge, Tiffany Johannes, for her exemplary leadership and professionalism.
With a keen business sense and uncommon time management skills, Tiffany founded and built a formidable company with what began as a team of just two agents, and has now increased more than five-fold. The business has earned a reputation of excellence in service delivery for scores of home sellers and buyers throughout the Charlotte market.
Tiffany is a tenacious problem-solver, has an unquenchable thirst for new ideas, and is known for her ability to keep a cool head under pressure – three qualities that have been crucial to her success as a businesswoman in the sometimes bruising world of real estate.
A devoted wife and mother, she finds the time to give to the community, sitting on various boards and serving in capacities that improve quality of life for people from all backgrounds.
Whether it’s helping her clients achieve their homeownership dreams or mentoring new agents as they seek to establish themselves in the profession, she measures her success through the prism of goals met among those she helps along the way.
Fabi Preslar and Carolina Aponte: Duo earns awards for business ownership
CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners presented Fabi Preslar and Carolina Aponte with awards at its 32nd annual Women in Business Awards Gala held Tuesday, May 2, at The Charlotte City Club.
Preslar, of Mint Hill, won the Woman Business Owner of the Year Award. Aponte, of Indian Trail, won the Rising Star Award.
As founder and president of SPARK Publications, Preslar oversees the Charlotte-based graphic design and custom publishing firm that specializes in the design of print and digital magazines, books, catalogs and marketing materials. The firm started 19 years ago as a home-based business but has moved, expanded and restructured several times.
Aponte brings more than 20 years of experience serving clients to her role as CEO of Caja Holdings. Aponte divides her time between business development, client services, consulting and analysis. In five years, Aponte has grown Caja Holdings’ revenue an average of 40 percent for the past three years. Her business services multi-million dollar companies, law firms, and diverse small businesses and provides bookkeeping for local accounting firms.
“Fabi and Carolina are wonderful representatives of business owners in the Charlotte region, who are establishing and cultivating companies, creating job opportunities and contributing upwards of a billion dollars to North Carolina’s economy,” said Penny Benkeser, president of NAWBO Charlotte.