Matthew Chantry

Hi! Meet Matthew.

We met through a Charlotte AMA event I participated in and caught up recently to grab lunch. Admittedly, I have a hard time hanging with people in my industry especially ones that specialize like myself. Both Matt and I are Search Marketers. We both do the same thing every day. Despite past experiences I loved every second of our conversation. On the professional side, he get’s it. Our conversation about successes, struggles and everything we face on a day to day was refreshing. On the personal listening to him talk so lovingly about his family was just straight up awesome. Matt is awesome. You should know him. I asked him six questions.

What are you most passionate about?

I’m definitely passionate about soccer. I play as much as I can. I watch as much as I can. Sometimes too much. The team I support in England is a lower level team so it’s not a team many people have heard of called Fulham. I ran their supporters group when I lived in Florida. When I have free time I’m either playing a soccer video game, watching soccer or playing soccer myself.

What frustrates you?

People who don’t enjoy life. People that just seem to look for things to be miserable about or not enjoy rather than just appreciate the little things or something.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Soccer and Chocolate.

What do you think this community is missing?

I think it’s missing more public spaces. They’re doing better. There’s a couple now. Romare Bearden park is great on a small scale. I think more public, walkable spaces where people come together.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice 10 years ago what would it be?

That’s a good question. Travel as much as you can. When we lived in England we got around Europe a little bit. I don’t think I got to as many places as I would’ve like to get to given how inexpensive it was to do it while I was there. Now I don’t have the option to do that without spending thousands and thousands of dollars.

If I gave you $10,000 right now what would you do with it?

Back to traveling. I would probably take two or three weeks and go with my wife and baby Elizabeth on a awesome trip somewhere we’ve never been before. Maybe Australia, New Zealand or something like that. We would just have a blast. Make great memories. I think it’s the best way to spend money.

If you could ask one question to any person what would it be?

And they’d give me an honest answer? {yes} If you could achieve anything in your life in five years time whether it be personal, professional or a combination of the both what would that be and why?

{Now, I’ll ask that same question to you.}

I asked myself a tough one. I’d still be living in the same place I am with my family now. I’m pleased with our lifestyle. Possibly working independently at that point and having as much time around what I do professionally to enjoy life and enjoy my family. I feel like I could spend as much time with them as possible.

You can find Matthew on LinkedIn here.

Carolina Raptor Center

Hi! Meet Robert of Carolina Raptor Center. CRC is dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors. I had the opportunity to sit with Robert, learn more about CRC, his interest in organic gardening and how he wishes everyone would just slow down a bit and appreciate the small things. I wish I had scheduled our meeting to be a bit longer. He’s awesome.

Robert is also sharing the photo with his favorite raptor over at CRC, “Pishi” (short for “Pishimatakoa,” meaning rainbow in Comanche). Pishi is a King Vulture, the largest of the new world vulture species. King Vultures are native to Central and South America, from southern Mexico to Argentina.

Make sure you check out the bottom of the Q&A. I’ve attached to flyers to the CRC’s upcoming events. They both sound awesome.

What is your passion?

I’m going to say the outdoors. That’s why I love working at the Raptor Center. I love being outside. My biggest thing right now is I’m really into organic gardening. Imagine in uptown I have about this much space {measures about 2×5 feet with hands} and I’m doing my own gardening. I have tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers of all different varieties and I had a watermelon that didn’t make it. A little disappointed about that. I grew up gardening with my grandparents and my dad so that was always one of my favorite things to do. It got me in touch with the earth. It got me outside and got me doing a little bit of work. Anything outdoors is really where I want to be.

What frustrates you?

That’s a hard question. I’m not easy to phase. I guess the one thing that really gets me, at least here in Charlotte is that people are so busy that they don’t take time for the small things in life. I’m glad that Charlotte does still have a little bit of it’s small southern charm but I’m starting to feel like people are just running, running, running and they’re started to miss the small things. Things as simple as smiling as people passing by and saying hello. I grew up in a small town in the South so I always appreciated knowing everyone in the neighborhood and talking with them. Not everybody takes that time these days.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Don’t rush it. Ten years ago I thought my career would not be where it is. I didn’t think I’d be living in Charlotte. I was so quick to model my life after my friends because they were all about being successful and getting stressful corporate job. I was really stressed out about not being at that place in my life and that was right out of school. So I was in such a hurry to be that alpha successful person and I’m glad I took it a little slower because now I’ve come to appreciate where I am in life. I never would’ve gotten into non-profit work if I hadn’t have taken the path that I would and I don’t believe I would’ve been happy.

If I gave you $10,000 right now what would you do with it?

Phew. What can I do with ten grand? I’d probably take half of it and give it the Raptor Center for a really cool need. That sounds a little contrived but I’m not really sure what I would do with it. I mean I’d probably go on a really awesome trip. I’ve never been to Italy and Greece. Those are the two places I’d really like to go and funny enough I’ve had trips booked there twice and had to cancel both of those trips. I’d probably make that happen.

Scott Lundgren asked you to describe your perfect day.

My perfect day? So I’d wake up in the morning and I get to meet five new people that day. I love meeting new people. Going to work and doing my desk job can be fun but the biggest thing I like to do in my day is get out and go meet with new donors. Really figure out why they support this organization. I think if I could do that five fold I’d be very successful. Otherwise just going to the gym, get a yoga class in and have an amazing dinner with a really nice bottle of wine.

Christie Kahil asked who do you look up to and why?

There are so many people I could pick. I would have to say Chase Law. She’s over at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Before that Discovery Place. Chase is an amazing mother. She is a kickass development professional. She knows what she’s doing. She always has strategy behind what she is doing. She gets to know people really well and she’s just a mover and a shaker in the community. She’s awesome.

You can find Robert making things happen over at the Carolina Raptor Center. Below are two flyers to upcoming events taking place at the Center. Check them out!



Corley May

Hi! Meet Corley. I will forever associate her with the birth of my little girl Olivia. That day she was born we were in hospital and my wife just could not decide whether to get an epidural. It was going against her birth plan but she was in so much pain. I turned to Twitter and asked what we should do expecting zero response. Corley was right there. “Do it. Best decision I ever made.” That was the push we needed. The rest of the birth was smooth sailing. That was pretty much our first interaction. It was perfect. She’s awesome.

Also, ask her about her feelings on libraries and how they are the center of creativity and education in a school. You’ll leave pumped… guaranteed.

What is your passion?

I’m passionate about making sure that I am doing my best to deliver the best version of myself to whomever I’m surrounded by. So I have to make sure I’m feeding the right parts of myself. That’s why I’m so into follow your bliss because if I sit in a job that I don’t believe in or that’s not nurturing me I’m not coming home the best version of myself for my husband and my son. I’m also not showing up for work the best version of myself for the people that are paying me. My passion isn’t following my bliss but I think my slogan is follow your bliss because that’s how I get to that best version of myself.

What frustrates you?

Bad customer service, incomplete processes and people who seem like they would rather strike down than build up.

What’s something you failed at but learn from the experience?

My god. I fail daily. {long pause} I honestly can’t think of one instance of failure. I fail at something every day and usually it’s just realizing that you have to do it better the next time. The best lesson I have ever learned is to just acknowledge it, own it, say I screwed this up, here’s what happened and quit trying to hide it. Quit trying to hide your poop in the garden but that’s a whole other tangental story. Oh god. I just failed by saying don’t hide your poop in the garden while being recorded.

What is your greatest indulgence?

My greatest indulgence is Murder She Wrote on Netflix. {laughs} Time is my greatest indulgence and I feel like I usually put a lot of pressure on myself to use my time wisely or with great value. So I feel the most indulgent when I get in bed at eight o’clock and watch Murder She Wrote on Netflix. All twelve seasons.

Who do you look up to?

My parents. My mom because she is constantly looking for the best in a person even if they’ve given her a reason to think the worst. My dad because he’s not apologetic about being done with you if he’s done with you. They’re very polar opposites in that way and I’ve always tried to start by handling things the way my mom did and if that doesn’t work out don’t be apologetic about handling it the way my dad did. That means cutting out what’s toxic and not looking back.

What is your least favorite trait about yourself?

I am hard on people. I expect too much and I’m unforgiving when people don’t meet my expectations and I don’t think that’s very fair of me.

Kerri wants to know if you could hang out with one celebrity for a day who would that be and why?

Oh geez. Probably Amy Poehler. I think that she is so hilarious. It would be a great fun time. I think that she’s also doing so much for the promotion of sisterhood and tearing down that notion that we constantly have to be at each others throats. I would love to just osmosis some of that into my life.

You can find Corley on Twitter at @corley_may.

Charles Thomas

Part 2 of 3: We’re introducing the entire team over at Queen City Forward. After meeting Charles meet Christie Kahil and Tori Karlek. The full team is here.

Hi! Meet Charles. Not only has he been somewhat of a mentor and inspiration in my professional life, he has really effected me on a personal level. When my wife was pregnant and after the baby was born he was always genuinely interested in how we were doing. Not only how my wife was doing but how I was doing. I distinctly remember many of the conversation during some of the roughh times. Having someone that listened, understood and shared real experiences… not advice was something I appreciated more than anything. He’s awesome. You should meet him. I asked him five questions.

What are you most passionate about?

Let’s see. I’m passionate about solving problems, particularly social problems. When you first asked that the first thing that comes to mind is peace which is a general thing. Very broad but I do have a vision for all of it. I have a Star Trek vision of the world. This is the real me. I believe in Star Trek and what that means is that all these humans relating and getting along and getting along better. The role that I play in it right now from an economic perspective is how can we all participate in this economy in a way that we all have opportunity and benefit to grow ourselves and our family. I think we all pursue the same thing. The better we are at knowing each other and knowing that the better processes we have in place like the economy to allow for connection and community it leads to this peace. It’s not a very clear answer but it’s something that my wife and I think about quite a bit. We’re trying to create an ideal world. That’s my passion.

What absolutely frustrates you?

I want to say ego. I think a lot of problems in the world are because of people getting in their own way. I feel like we can house the homeless. We can feed the hungry. When you look at how aid and such flows through the world there’s always these human dynamics that block the flow. What frustrates me most is when we are locked in our paradigms and they are so rigid that they don’t recognize our own contribution to the problem therefore our own contribution to the solution. That’s again maybe abstract. So let’s say what really frustrates me for instance is when you get into political debates when it’s about the problem and solving it as a community but people are so intrenched in their ideas and aren’t willing to listen to others. That’s what frustrates me most. It creates inefficiency.

What is your greatest indulgence?

Star Trek. I’m a big sci-fi TV watching guy but I also like to read fantasy books. I don’t like sci-fi books though. I like magic books. Like wizard worlds and such. I’d say it’s just reading and watching sci-fi movies I’m really happy. Babylon 5. Time travel shows. Dr. Who. The old Dr. Who though. That counts as an indulgence.

What’s your least favorite trait about yourself?

It might be my favorite trait as well. My strength is my weakness. It has to do with the level of taking things seriously. What came to my mind is that I work too much. Maybe too hard. It’s kind of a compensation for me feeling like I haven’t done enough. That I should do more. Not that I’m not enough. It’s more that I need to make more money. It comes from growing up and not having a lot of money so I have to work harder than anyone else. I have to run faster. At the same time, particularly lately if you asked me i’d say i’m just trying to balance that. How do I balance that with my family and my wife. Probably my least favorite trait is when i’m not present. When i’m not present with people in front of me. Especially when i’m not present with my family.

If you had visitors in town and had two hours to take them anywhere in Charlotte where would that be?

I’d probably take them to my house. Meet my family. Where would I take them in Charlotte? My favorite restaurant is Crepe Cellar. I would take the to an On Q PLay. I’m not sure where i’d take them. I’m happy to tell people about Charlotte when they are here because I am from Charlotte and there’s so many things to talk about. To me it’s more of a what are they interested in and i’ll put them somewhere that they will appreciate.

Joanne asked if you could combine two animals what would they be and why?

I know! I saw it at the McColl Center. This is going to be the statue in front of QCF. I’m not exactly sure what it’s called. It was a combination of three animals. I believe each of the animals were endangered species. It had the wings of a condor. Some sort of jackrabbit like animals and another with antlers.

You can find Charles on Twitter @sankofaphotog.

Christie Kahil

Part 3 of 3: We’re introducing the entire team over at Queen City Forward. After meeting Christie meet Charles Thomas and Tori Karlek. The full team is here.

Hi! Meet Christie. Since day one I’ve been a fan. Her desire to always be learning and then taking that knowledge and educating as many as possible is so awesome. She’s always been responsive and available whenever I’ve had questions or issues whether it’s answering it herself or pointing me in the direction of the right person to talk to. That’s awesome. People like her are an invaluable resource. More importantly i’ve made an invaluable friendship through it all. She’s awesome.

Also, Her answer to question six has me concerned. This is some mad science gone wrong that creates a creature which puts humans a spot down on the food chain. Yikes… pretty scary. She wants to pet it’s mane. Bad plan.

What are you most passionate about?

That’s a hard question because i’m passionate about a lot of things. They all connect in my head but maybe not on paper. I’ve always been really passionate about the arts. That’s a life long passion. I’m also very passionate about learning. That’s my other life long passion. That’s played out in my personal and professional life. I’ve always been trying to both help people express their creative spirit as well as learn to their capacity. I love teaching people. I love watching people learn. I love that light bulb that lights up when people learn things. That’s just amazing to me. Part of that creative energy goes into creating new ideas and how new ideas can really impact and change our world in profound ways. Sometimes in ways that we aren’t even aware of right away. The ideas that people can get from such simple things… art, life, a process behind a craft that can then have incredible, profound impact on the way we live is really amazing to me.

What absolutely frustrates you?

I guess what frustrates me the most is when people have the opportunity to do something positive. When they have the opportunity to move forward. When they have the opportunity to make things better around them and they don’t. Whether it be being polite or just listening to someone or whether it’s just failing to educate themselves before making a decision that impacts others or thinking through what they’re or doing or how they might impact others around them. Those careless decisions that people make. That’s what really makes me angry. You could do something that could make people happy or make the world a better place but instead you chose to be negative or angry or mean.

What is your greatest indulgence?

It always feels like an indulgence and I know it’s not but it’s feeding that creative spirit. Whenever I take the time to do something artistic or something creative I always feel like i’m indulging myself and I know that it’s really not. For me that’s really fundamental but I still have to say that it feels like an indulgence sitting down for a couple hours and being creative. Other than that… wine.

What’s your least favorite trait about yourself?

I can not remember names to save my life and it is the most frustrating thing to me. I will meet someone and by the time they have finished their introduction to me I will have forgotten their name. Then I spend the rest of the conversation trying to get them to repeat it because I can’t remember it and feel really bad. That is horribly frustrating especially when later on when I want to tell someone about an awesome person I met but I can’t remember their name. I’m not sure what’s wrong with my brain.

If you had visitors in town and had two hours to take them anywhere in Charlotte where would that be?

I would have to say that it would be one of a couple cool walkable places here in Charlotte. Like NODA or South End because I believe they really embody what we want to be as a city. So if I only had two hours I would take someone there, eat, get coffee and walk down the street. Have conversations. Really just ensure they get the experience. It’s the best way to see the city and it’s people.

Joanne asked if you could combine two animals what would they be and why?

I’m a huge Godzilla fan so if you could take a really cool lizard but make him fuzzy. Combine a Lion and an Komodo dragon it would be awesome. Really scary… but awesome. I’d want to pet it’s mane.

You can find Christie on Twitter @cartistk.

Tori Karlek

Part 1 of 3: We’re introducing the entire team over at Queen City Forward. After meeting Tori meet Charles Thomas and Christie Kahil. The full team is here.

Hi! Meet Tori. She’s the newest addition to the QCF team. I have the pleasure of seeing her quite regularly working out of @809. She describes herself as awkward below. I call it unique, charming and being real. She also has an unrivaled ability to light up a room with her positive attitude and smile. We need more people like Tori here in Charlotte. She’s awesome. You should meet her.

What are you most passionate about?

This is one is kind of tough to answer and I say that because i’m passionate about a lot of things. People that know me know I get really excited about stuff. I would have to say the things that I care most about and think about most on a day to day basis would be just being kind and a good person. No matter what your belief system is at the end of the day we can all agree that we were created to be good. We are here for each other. We are here help each other out and improve each others lives. A measure of a successful day for me is whether I was the most kind and good version of Tori. That’s my biggest motivator.

I’m passionate about funny things. I like funny TV shows. I love when my friends send me random funny pictures from the internet. I saw a video of cat today with midget legs and watched it probably six times in a row. I’m also really passionate about awesome coffee.

What absolutely frustrates you?

Not being the best at what I’m doing and that’s kind of a personal thing. I wasn’t necessarily raised with a lot of aspiration. I didn’t have to make certain grades or reach certain achievements. It was all stuff that I had to put on my own shoulders. For me… I can use this job as an example. This job with QCF. I’m still new to the social entrepreneurial space and so not knowing everything there is to know about it which is a lot just bugs me. I want to have all the answers to every question. Whether it’s about QCF or our cohort. The students ask me questions and not being able to give them the best answer definitely frustrates me. Also traffic… it’s the biggest waste of time.

What is your greatest indulgence?

The obvious thing would be food and really donuts. I’m a pretty healthy eater but there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for a donut. Chips and guac too. More seriously…I hate to use the word lazy cause I’m very much a go getter but it’s also really easy to turn on Netflix and sit and do nothing for an hour and a half before i’ve realized how much time has gone by. I wish I was better about that.

If you had visitors in town and had two hours to take them anywhere in Charlotte where would that be?

Oh my gosh. Great question. When I go to new cities my favorite thing is to take in the skyline, the noise and the lights. I went to New York this past weekend and I’m pretty sure I spent a good chunk of my time just standing in Times Square spinning in circles and looking at everything. I would have to say for two hours I would bring them uptown, go out to eat and then just walk around. Maybe finish of at Not Just Coffee at 7th Street Market. Sounds like a good day to me.

What is your least favorite trait about yourself?

I think that I don’t have the confidence I should have. James Stewart of Detailed Block recently did a profile on me. I shared it with friends on social media and made the comment about myself being an awkward person. I joke about it but there are times that I’m comfortable with this kind of thing and others when I just really don’t take a compliment very well. I’m that person that turns around when someone compliments and me and says oh its nothing or make it seem like a less deal then it is. That’s something that I’ve tried to work on since becoming a career woman so to speak. I’m still young and I have time to grow but it still frustrates me.

Joanne asked if you could combine two animals what animals would they be and why?

Sea otter for sure would have to be a part of anything. They are literally the cutest things in the world. I feel like a cat would be good with a sea otter. I don’t love cats but I see that being a really interesting and adorable animal as long as the face is the sea otters face. It could have flippers, the body and tail of a cat. I want one now.

You can find Tori on twitter @Torikae_13.

Queen City Forward

Hi! Have you heard of and supported Queen City Forward? They provide a hub for entrepreneurs who have business ideas that address social needs and work to balance a triple-bottom-line of people, planet and profit.

This is kind of a special one for me. I couldn’t just introduce one person as QCF. Charles, Christie and Tori all play an integral part in making it all happen.

QCF, Charles and Christie have been in my world for a while now. Before Ready at 7, #WeLoveCLT and a lot of things were even an idea in my head. Back in the days of Hypothetical Failure. They’ve been nothing but supportive from day one when we showed up asking for advice and a lot of it. They could have easily shut the door on us. They didn’t. I attribute so much of our motivation and success to be surrounded by people like them. They are awesome.

Tori is the latest addition to the team and brings unrivaled positive vibes, a go getter attitude and a smile that can easily make you forget what is wrong on the worst of days. A welcome addition in my eyes. She’s awesome!

Click either Tori’s, Charles’s or Christie’s picture below to read their “Have You Met?”. They are all awesome. Guaranteed!

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Chef Robert Reinken

Hi! I had the pleasure of attending a private tasting of the restaurant Evoke’s new menu a couple weeks ago. I had never participated in anything of the sort. My thought was i’m going to eat a lot of awesome food. I never thought for a second it would be anything but the highest of quality. I was right. It was awesome.

This isn’t a food blog so I needed to talk with a real human. Meet Chef Robert! I was able to grab him towards the end and chat a bit. What’s my takeaway and what made me want to keep talking with him? He’s a family dude through and through. He understands that being a chef in a new restaurant and growing something takes time. He also understands that family is everything. As a new father myself and one that loves to get involved in all the things I can say I have done a shitty job myself of finding that balance. This conversation while short was super eye opening.

Thanks for being awesome Chef Robert. Also… your food is bad ass.

Full Disclosure. I forgot what emoji he loves using. It didn’t get captured in the audio and I didn’t have my laptop with me like usual. I chose ice cream for him because he talks about ice cream and it made me want ice cream… all of the ice cream.

What are you passionate about?

Definitely Family and food. So much of my life revolves around food though. Any time I’m not with my family i’m generally spending my time here at Evoke. Food definitely sounds stereotypical for a Chef to say but it really is. I love to cook. A lot of people are surprised to find out that even the few times I do have at home with family I cook every night I’m there. People are always like don’t you get tired of it. Don’t you want to go home after being here all week and not touch a pan. No. It’s even more fun cooking for family. Cooking for loved ones is even better.

What frustrates you?

It can be any of a number of situations but wanting to get something done and something stopping that from happening really frustrates me. There’s always rules and parameters that you have to abide by. You can’t always do exactly what you want. I did just move here from spending five years in Southern California and some of the things we had there completely spoiled me. Especially the produce. I could essentially order anything I wanted and have it on the door the next morning if I wanted. It’s a little different here. A lot of the stuff we get is from California. We have to call it in… takes a couple days. I’m learning though. I’m learning the area and of places to find things around here.

What is your greatest indulgence?

I probably have more of a sweet tooth than I would like to have. Again, a very common indulgence but for someone’s that not really a pastry chef I do have a little soft spot for the pastries. {do you have a go to dessert?} I don’t really have a go to dessert but I do love ice cream. There’s so much that you can do with it. Anything that you can come up with in your brain you can make it work. We just got a brand new ice cream machine here. I’m pretty excited to experiment with that.

If someone was visiting Charlotte and you had two hours to give them an experience where would you bring them?

That’s a really good question. If they were my personal family and friends I would want to take them here (Evoke) because this is where I spend most of my time since I’ve been back. Because of the amount of work it’s taken to open this place up. When I came here back in October (2015) this was just walls and boxes. It’s taken a lot to get it open. Unfortunately that means I haven’t had a chance to go out a whole lot. It’s hard to get around and see all the things. I have a big list of to-dos around Charlotte. There’s a lot of places I’d love to go eat.

If you could go back in time 10 years and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?

Can we go back 15 years? {sure} I would probably just to go ahead and tell myself to get serious about the cooking. I would have loved in those earlier years to have traveled more and cooked. When I could travel light and cook in different places. Maybe overseas. That’s advice I give to a lot of the younger chefs I work with now.

Katie Levans wants to know about your parents?

My parents were kind of opposites. I picked up some things from one and others things from the other. I think they blended together really well though completely opposite in every way. From neat versus messy to loud versus quiet. Everything. I’d like to think I got the better parts of both of them. Depends on who you ask.

You can find Chef Robert making awesome food at Evoke or on Instagram here.

Barbara Schreiber

Hi friends,

Meet Barbara. We met because of the #WeLoveCLT collaboration with HappeningsCLT. She visited @809 to check out the latest artist Anna Kenar so I asked her to sit down and answer five or so questions for “Have You Met?”. She looked nervous… like a what the heck am I getting into nervous look. How’d it go? It was awesome. I do this to learn. I truly believe in human interaction and conversation as the best form of education. Full disclosure. I had to Google “Dysthymic”, “Beatnik” and “affect” as a noun. I’m smarter now. I also love her passion for the Charlotte arts community. We need more advocates like her.

Thanks Barbara for being open to something different. I learned so much in such a short amount of time.

Also, check out the Charlotte Art Crush article HappeningsCLT did on her here. It’s awesome.

What is your passion?

My passion is creativity and intensity and that can apply to pretty much any endeavor.

What is your greatest indulgence?

My garden. I garden for wildlife. I garden for birds. That’s my obsession.

What frustrates you?

A bunch of things. Insincerity, condescension, people telling when they should be asking.

Tell me about your parents and how they defined who you are.

My parents were sort of stealth beatniks. My mom is still around. They dodged conventionality but weren’t necessarily stylish about what they then went on to. They were eclectic, hilarious… I’ve never had so much fun as I did when we would go to salvage stores at Baltimore harbor and watch them open up a moldy crate of soap or when my dad was selling Christmas trees for the Optimist club. My sister and I were all jewish so we’d spend wonderful nights on the tree lot, warming our hands over a fire in an oil drum and just loving it. It was a very open minded, low key way of growing up.

How do you think people would describe you?

{laughs} I think people would describe me as cheerier and happier than I actually am. Cause I’m a dysthymic person with a cheery affect.

Corley wants to know if you have to sing a song for your supper what song would it be and why?

Ripple from the Grateful Dead.

Katie wants to know what the first thing that went through your head today was?

Where’s the coffee…


You can find Barbara writing about the arts for the Charlotte Observer or check out her own artistic endeavors here.

Sherrell Dorsey

Hi! We’re going onto month six now. I keep saying to myself how can this get more awesome. At least in my own head this whole initiative continues to floor me. Each speaker never fails to blow my mind. How can I top it? Have you met Sherrell? That’s how. I can’t get enough of her. That’s how I decide on speakers. If we meet and all I want to do is spend more time chatting… yup, that’s it. My conversations with Sherrell have definitely run the spectrum. Everything from making Charlotte a bigger, more unified city to why she’s chosen the monkey with hands over his eyes emoji. I soak it up. Y’all will too. I’m confident in that. I asked her five questions. Joel asked her one. RSVP’s open Friday the 19th of June. Bookmark this page.

What is your passion?

Oh geez. Let’s see. Outside of food I would say my passion is trying to figure out how can I help to equip people to help some some issues within either the community or society. I know that’s kind of a Miss America answer but it’s true. I think people are brilliant and I think they come up with awesome tools and ways to connect folks. I believe that if we continue to fuel that creative thinking then we can really do some awesome things.

What frustrates you?

So many things. Let’s see. I’m a foodie so I just don’t understand crappy grocery stores. This is what we eat every single day. There should always be some high quality groceries in your neighborhood. Whether it’s a corner store or chain grocery store. I hate crappy grocery stores. {what’s your favorite?} You can’t go wrong at Trader Joe’s. EarthFare has really great seafood.

What is your greatest indulgence?

I kinda like to break into old buildings… old, mid century buildings and take pictures. I’m fascinated by architecture and abandoned things. {that’s trespassing} A little bit of trespassing happens. I’ve not been arrested. I’ve very careful. I’m very quick. It’s just awesome. From city to city i’ve found some of the most amazing things.

How do you think people would describe you?

That is such a good question. Geez. I would like to say only positive things but that may not be always true. A little quirky. A big idealist. Completely optimistic. Challenging at times. Hopeful. Innovative. Of course these are things I’d probably say about myself so. A huge supporter. I’ve worked hard at being a good friend. The feedback I get from my friends is that they are thankful that I believe in them. Always. I’m probably most proud of that.

If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?

Hmm… That is so hard. I really feel like I wouldn’t change anything. Everything was purposeful. Even the bad decisions helped me to learn. I think at this point I probably wouldn’t change anything. If I have to speak something I always say I wish I had stayed in college in Seattle instead of leaving and going to New York. Just because knowing the other side of student loans. Man, I could probably own a Tesla if I didn’t have these student loans but I wouldn’t have the wanderlust and experiences if I hadn’t left. It’s hard.

Joel Tracey wants to know what you think is missing from this community?

Something that is a little more surface is real uptown. I am bothered by having to go all the way to South Park to go to the mall or go shopping. Online is fine but I think it would be interesting to see what happens when you do have people congregating around malls and stores whether it’s mom and pop or mainstream. I think I love that about New York. I think having retail uptown would bring an interesting change to how people spend time uptown. How they build community uptown?

You can find Sherrell on Twitter at @sherrell_dorsey.