By TMoM Team Member Katie Moosbrugger
I’m sure you are familiar with The Greensboro Children’s Museum, The Produce Box, and McDonald’s. But did you know much of the success behind these three local businesses is attributed to Triad moms? It’s true, and I invite you to get to know Althea, Emily and Ginny. These moms who are not only working hard at their jobs, but are also making the lives of us local parents much easier!
We encourage you to show your support of these ladies in the comments below! Enjoy!
Even if you don’t know Althea personally, chances are good you recognize her. As Marketing Director for the past four years at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, she’s often spotted around the museum promoting many of the museum’s on-going programs, 20+ exhibits, and special events that keep us coming back time and time again. She also oversees and grows the museums trusted list of sponsors and partners who help support the museum’s programs, exhibits and scholarships.
She and her husband, James, have two children: Ava,10, and Zoe, 5, who love playing at the museum on a regular basis. Althea often uses them as “talent” with informal focus groups and as models in images around the museum. Althea says she scores “major cool points” from her children because of her job.
“As a mother of two young girls, I get to see first-hand how impactful what we do at the museum is to the development of children. Play really is the work of childhood. Our exhibits and activities are all interactive and hands-on. Children are encouraged to experience, explore and touch. That is what makes GCM unique,” she adds.
When she’s not at the museum, Althea occasionally freelances for Process Music and Sound Design which allows her to stay connected to her love of TV, radio and film. A fan of pop-culture, Althea enjoys staying connected with celebrity news, blogs and web sites that feature a variety of topics, Pinterest, and happenings around the Triad.
Summertime is the perfect season to encourage your child to try new fruits and veggies, and no one know this better than Emily Lyons. She recently guest bloggedon TMoM about smart ways to get your child to eat healthy, and one of the options Emily suggested was a membership with The Produce Box.
As the Alamance County Area Manager for The Produce Box, Emily and her team deliver boxes of fresh produce weekly (or as often as you like) to its members – and it’s just like visiting a local farmer’s market. Members have the flexibility to choose which produce they want, they can swap items, and even create custom boxes from available produce and artisan items like breads, cheeses, mixes, jams and jellies, or grass fed beef and seafood. The Produce Box works with over 160 NC farmers to bring seasonal produce from strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupes, peaches, sweet potatoes, and so much more!
Emily and her husband, Davis, are parents to Alexandria, 17, Patrick, 7, Robert, 6, and Laura Lee, 4. She began a Produce Box neighborhood coordinator, and she now heads a team of eight neighborhood coordinators who deliver weekly from Whitsett to Mebane. The Produce Box delivers all over the Triad by neighborhood coordinators who live locally, and to join, simply sign up on the website.
“My children have now tried foods that might not have tried thanks to The Produce Box. The Produce Box also includes recipes for the produce you order. Our family has mastered kale chips! And my children love them!”
In addition to her part-time job, Emily serves as Vice President for the Parent Teacher Together organization at her childrens’ school, volunteers with the Alamance County Service League, assists teaching preschoolers at her church, and is an avid yard sale and thrift shopper.
Triad resident Ginny Whan has been in the McDonald’s family since the day she was born. “My parents met as employees at a McDonald’s in Florida. As my dad moved up the corporate ladder we moved around Europe (Ireland, Germany and France), and I was constantly tagging along to the restaurants. My parents moved my family to North Carolina and became McDonald’s owner/operators in 1985.
“During that time, I waited on customers between Algebra homework and putting happy meal boxes together after school and on the weekends. Once I was in high school, my parents hired me as a crew member, and I became known as ‘fry girl,’ which was my favorite job. My first license plate read ‘Fry Girl’ just as it does today!”
So it’s no surprise to learn that Ginny created “Fry Girl Management,” purchased two of her parents’ eight McDonald’s restaurants, and became a second-generation owner/operator of McDonald’s restaurants. Today she and her husband, Paul, own three Triad-area McDonald’s (5998 University Parkway in Winston-Salem, 1040 Bethania Drive in Rural Hall, and 731 S. Key Street in Pilot Mountain).
Ginny and Paul have four children: Christian, 19, Matthew, 14, and twins Olivia and Victoria, 4), and they know first-hand the challenges of managing a busy household alongside a growing business. “During the early years, getting a shower and leaving the house was the biggest challenge (especially with twins). Fortunately, we have always had an amazing support system!”
On top of it all, Ginny is proud to be a business owner for a popular brand because it gives her plenty of opportunity to give back to the Triad community. She loves getting involved in local school functions, the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem events, athletic programs and other activities in our communities.