I’m excited to kick off a new year of Moms on the Move by introducing you to three wonderful Triad moms. Each of these hard working ladies has an inspiring story to share, and we encourage you to connect with them by leaving a comment below.

We have many more Moms on the Move features coming your way this year. If you know of a mom who is doing wonderful things, please let us know. We’re always looking for new faces to profile. Email me at Katie@TriadMomsOnMain.com. Enjoy!

Courtney T Barnhill

It’s safe to say Courtney was always destined to be a part of the McDonald’s family. Her father is currently an owner/operator of three restaurants in the Triad, and Courtney’s career with McDonald’s began as a birthday party planner at age 16. After college and other odd jobs, Courtney decided her passion was in the restaurant industry. She enrolled in McDonald’s Next Generation program, and became an owner/operator of four Triad restaurants not too long after.

A mom to Thomas (6) and Johnny (4), Courtney and her husband, Tee, live in Pleasant Garden – a short drive to Courtney’s four restaurants (High Point Rd in Greensboro, West Market St in Greensboro, Fenhurst Way in Greensboro, and Mt. Hope Church Rd in McLeansville).

Courtney says she loves the people she works with, and the community in which she operates. However, the best part of her job is having a schedule that allows her to be there for her kids when they need her. “Being able to grab Grilled Snack Wraps, Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits, apple slices and milk on the way home from a busy day is also a nice perk,” she adds “They happen to be my favorite menu items for my kids, but my kids would say their favorite menu items are hotcakes or scrambled eggs and  a strawberry banana smoothie!”

Courtney and her father are not only business partners, but also local community supporters. Together – with the help of McDonalds – they support groups such as the Pleasant Garden & McLeansville Lions Club, Pleasant Garden Elementary, Southeast Guilford High, the Pleasant Garden Fall Festival, and various local youth sports organizations.

Dr. Nikia Artis, PT, DPT

Not many people can say they like finding areas of dysfunction in other people, but Dr Nikia does it for a living. As a physical therapist, Nikia studies the mechanics of a body and often has to diagnose why some parts don’t move as well as others. She says the human body is like a maze or a puzzle. “I like finding the root of a problem so I can place the pieces of the puzzle together. If one tactic doesn’t work, I get creative until I find another tactic.”

Originally from Greensboro, Nikia is mom to Ethan (5) and Jaden (4). In addition to her role as a PT, Nikia is a treating therapist and rehabilitation director at a local community where she manages a team of wonderful therapists and helps them to hone into their abilities/their skills.

In her spare time (of which there is not much), she runs. She has 5ks, 10ks, 10 milers, and half marathons all under her belt. Since we are in the thick of New Year’s resolutions, I asked Nikia her best advice for moms who want to start running or “up” their game. She said to “first check with your doctor and make sure there are no limitations to your desired activity. Start slowly and listen to your body. If you start an activity too fast and don’t know the proper training schedule for you, you are likely to burn out or cause injury, which being a mom, is not really allowed,” she jokes.

Nikia also suggests to always try new activities so your body is continually challenged, and consider joining a group or exercise with a friend. At the very least, aim for fun!

Shannon McGinnis Koontz

A Southerner born and raised, Shannon saw a unique opportunity to start a new business and she ran with it. Last year, she and her best friend, Missy (pictured left in the photo with Shannon) launched Bourbon & Grits Boutique, an online apparel store for female fans of southern collegiate football. “At most Southern college football tailgates, women tend to wear team-branded apparel less, and dress up more. I wanted to start a business that was an easy ‘go to’ if you are searching for something pretty to wear to tailgate. We had a great first season… there is definitely a need in this market!”

Shannon tackles the marketing while Missy calls the shots on shipping and quality control from her home in Atlanta, but they work as a team with everything else. “Being in business with your best friend takes it to a whole new level of fun. Since the company is online… we both work from home and talk every day.”

After researching tailgate styles at more than 50 Southern schools, Bourbon & Grits Boutique now offers selected styles and colors for customers looking for that perfect tailgating outfit. “The great thing about our styles is that you can wear them anywhere… so our styles work outside of tailgate season,” Shannon adds.

A Triad native, Shannon is married to Hoyle and together they are raising Beckett, 9, and Emerson, 6. She says she’s lucky to have the support of her entire family. “Beckett talks about Bourbon & Grits Boutique to nearly every woman he meets, and Emerson has even been with me to a photo shoot!”

Customers can order apparel by visiting their website at www.bourbonandgrits.com. You can also follow Bourbon & Grits Boutique on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Shannon and Missy are planning trunk shows around the Southeast, including one in Winston-Salem and Greensboro this coming spring and summer.