Local News

Committee announces new branding: Can do Carolina

10 Branding New logo collageSince February of last year, the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Branding Committee has been researching, surveying and developing a new strategy to impress locals and outsiders.

The group has come up with what it hopes will elevate greater Fayetteville’s image. Its unified brand is designed to communicate the community’s strengths, celebrate diversity and attract prospective residents and businesses.

The basic platform is “Can Do Carolina” which is intended to showcase the best aspects of the locality. It is designed to replace “History, Heroes and a Hometown Feeling.”

The Fayetteville Cumberland Collaborative Branding Committee is a partnership of the city of Fayetteville, county of Cumberland, the Tourism Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Crown Complex, Vision 2026, Cool Spring Downtown District, Cumberland County Schools and the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation.

Robert Van Geons, President and CEO of FCEDC said the participants have agreed to adopt the “Can Do Carolina” concept which harnesses community values: a low cost of living, north-south midpoint along I-95, patriotism and proximity to Fort Bragg, the world’s most populous military reservation.

Branding consultant North Star led the process of in-depth research via individual conversations, focus groups and surveys. More than 4,000 people were directly involved.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around … in other words, your reputation,” said Will Ketchum, president of North Star.

North Star will now lead the creative development to include the creation of messaging, taglines, logos and a brand narrative.

A FCCBC media release announcing the new branding said the new regional logo includes the state of North Carolina with a star that marks Cumberland County. The star has emerging beams which represent the vibrant community where anything is possible.

A variety of creative applications for Fayetteville and Cumberland County and participating stakeholders has been developed.

The next step is to include local organizations that want to take part in the initiative by rebranding their entities in alignment with “Can Do Carolina.”

“Cumberland County is a welcoming, diverse community that offers a favorable quality of life,” said County Commission Chairman Marshall Faircloth.

Van Geons said he hopes the “Can Do Carolina” campaign helps open people’s eyes to the community’s attributes. He told Up & Coming Weekly he was astonished to learn that many of the local people questioned had a negative impression of their community.

Van Geons outlined four pillars upon which the “Can Do Carolina” concept was built: we find a way, we care for one another, we protect the world and we always go further.

The branding committee noted that “Can Do Carolina” is a simple message of optimism and action that provides unified countywide enthusiasm.

“We want people to know that we are one of the best U.S. cities to start a career … our number one product is our people,” said Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin.

Van Geons noted that Fayetteville is best known worldwide as the home of Fort Bragg. Roughly 7,000 people transition out of the military into the local workforce every year.

Colvin referred to them as “technologically advanced leaders” who contribute to our diverse community.

Manna Church hosts a gift give-away for families in need

11 129188592 10158638406302332 2254970133696088295 oManna Church is hosting a Christmas Gift Giveaway for families in need this year. The church is collecting toys at all their locations across Fayetteville to include the Cliffdale campus, Anderson Creek, Executive Place, Hope Mills, Ramsey St., as well as the Raeford location.

The church does some outreach projects each year, but this is the first centralized gift give-away coordinated with all the church locations in the area, said Michele Damato, Manna Dream Center Administrator and Benevolence Coordinator.

Manna Church will be partnering with United Management that manages several low-income housing communities and the Department of Social Services for the toy giveaway.
After working with United Management for Manna’s “Trunk or Treat” event in October, Outreach Pastor Tommy Cartwright arranged to partner with them again for a Christmas toy outreach.

“It was a need they had heard from the residents and we decided to meet that need,” said Damato. “It’s just a simple way to show the love of Jesus with no strings attached.”

Toys will be distributed among Cross Creek Pointe, Blueberry Place, Tera Gardens and Brookside Hills Apartments in Spring Lake. The church will also be working with DSS to purchase gifts for children at Hope Mills Middle, East Hoke Middle and Overhills High School.

“We’re collecting toys from church members who have the heart to serve the community,” Damato said. Church members can sign up from lists provided by parents. The lists include not only toy requests but also clothing sizes. Church volunteers will wrap the gifts and deliver them the weekend of Dec. 17-20.

The toy give-away is not limited to members of Manna Church, but open to anyone in the community who can help, Damato said. Those wishing to participate can visit https://my.manna.church/outreach to sign up.

The goal for Manna’s outreach is to give away gifts for 300 children this year.

For more information about Manna Church, visit https://fayftbragg.manna.church

Holiday Jubilee at Museum of the Cape Fear Canceled

01 01 Coventry Carolers Perform at the Jubilee 2018 4Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex is canceling this year’s Holiday Jubilee at the 1897 Poe House in order to protect the health and safety of staff and visitors. The Holiday Jubilee was originally scheduled for Dec. 6.

In a media release Museum staff said routine operations will remain open to visitors.

Guided tours of the 1897 Poe House are offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and on the hour on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors must check in at the Museum of the Cape Fear lobby to sign up for the tour. Tours are limited to 10 people at a time, and visitors must wear a cloth face mask and observe social distancing guidelines. The 1897 Poe House will be decorated for Christmas through Jan. 9, 2021.

The Museum of the Cape Fear is open for self-guided tours Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors must wear a cloth face mask and observe social distancing guidelines. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

The Museum and the 1897 Poe House will be closed December 24-26.

Visitors are encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services – WEAR a cloth face mask; WAIT in line at least six feet away from others, and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit.

Diabetes and nutrition

12 food platesIndividuals diagnosed with diabetes may have found themselves asking, “What am I allowed to eat?” Have you gotten a good answer to this question? Probably not. That’s likely because everyone responds to the same foods differently. There’s not a single “magic” diet that works for everyone who has diabetes. The good news is there are some simple rules that everyone can follow to help make sure your diet is working for you.

The next time you fix yourself a plate of food, try to imagine dividing your plate into four sections that are about the same size. Two of those four sections should be full of non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables are things like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, lettuce, spinach and zucchini. That’s right, half of your plate should be made of vegetables. One of those sections should have grains and starchy foods. Grains are things like beans, bread, pasta, rice or tortillas. Starchy foods are things like apples, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, corn, potatoes and peas. Finally, look at your plate again. The last section of your plate should be protein. Chicken, eggs, low-fat cheese, fish, tofu and turkey are all good sources of protein.

Another important part of building a diet that helps you manage your blood sugar is looking at what you’re drinking. Sugar sweetened beverages are loaded with sugar and carbs, which increases your blood sugar and your waistline. When you can, choose unsweetened tea rather than sweetened tea. Try to stop drinking sodas and soft drinks. Even diet sodas raise your blood sugar. Water is always a safe choice. If water is too boring, try flavored seltzer waters. Seltzer water has no sugar, no calories, and no sweeteners but more flavor.

If you’re looking for a more measurable way to use diet to manage your blood sugar, give carb counting a try. Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the starches, sugar, and fiber in food. Your body breaks down the carbs you eat into glucose, or blood sugar. Your body then uses that blood sugar to fuel your muscles and brain throughout the day. When you have diabetes, your body has trouble using the carbs in food. Carb counting is a way to keep your body from being overwhelmed by the food you eat.

Carbs are naturally found in most foods. You can find the number of carbohydrates in a food by looking at a food label. You’ll find this value under “Total Carbohydrate.” If a food doesn’t have a nutrition label, there are plenty of online applications which can help you find this information. Get started today by writing down what you eat and drink at each meal and snack throughout the day. You’ll want to make sure you write down the serving size of the food you’re eating as well. A serving size is how much of the food you’re eating at one time. Add up all the carbohydrates you ate at each meal and snack on any given day. Bring your diary to your next appointment and your diabetes care team will help you adjust your meals to help you better manage your blood sugars.

Kelsey Simmons, D.O., is a family medicine physician who completed a fellowship in diabetes at Duke/Southern Regional AHEC in Fayetteville. She provides care at Southeastern Health’s Southeastern Medical Clinic Gray’s Creek.

Methodist University director of career services offers advice for new graduates entering job market

11 Antoinette Bellamy 3The year 2020 has seen many ups and downs due to COVID-19, especially in the job market. Many students who are finishing out their college time virtually now face a job market that is global, online and more competitive than ever.

For those fresh out of college, and with less experience, trying to find a job in the pandemic can be challenging. Up & Coming Weekly spoke with Dr. Antionette Bellamy, the director of career services at Methodist University, on what guidance she is providing to local students about to enter the workforce.

“Recent college graduates should be very flexible with little geographic restrictions and a willingness to relocate,” Bellamy said.

“The job market can be different depending on the location of the position. New graduates must have the ability to effectively work remotely.”

Graduates should apply to organizations that have formal recent graduate and leadership development programs, she said. These programs are designed specifically for new professionals, and employers are not expecting a ton of experience. College career fairs are a good place to begin the job search.

Bellamy answered a few additional questions offering advice for those entering the workforce.

How can one set themselves apart while looking for a job?
Students or new professionals should focus on developing core career readiness competencies to enhance their professional profiles and be ready to demonstrate these skills through examples. These competencies include written/oral communication, critical thinking/problem-solving, and leadership. These skills can be obtained through internships, professional organizations, and athletics.The ability to write well and analyze data can make a huge difference in candidates.

What are some do’s and don’ts of resume writing?
Do’s for new professionals:
·Do limit resumes to one page.
·Do include contact information with a professional email address that is checked often.
·Do use power verbs and numbers to
clearly demonstrate your skills and
·Do proofread your resume and ensure it is error-free.

Don’ts of resume writing:
·Don’t include pictures of yourself or irrelevant graphics.
·Don’t include your high school
·Don’t include personal hobbies that are not related to the job.
·Don’t include your birthdate or professional affiliations related to your religion or political views.

Are cover letters important?
While not all recruiters or hiring managers consider cover letters, for those who do, they are important. Cover letters give candidates the opportunity to elaborate on their skills by sharing examples of their work and relevant accomplishments. While the resume is limited to short bullets, the cover letter will connect those bullets to your experience.

How can one be a good interview candidate?
Good interview candidates are prepared. They have researched the organization, they know why they want to work there, and they are able to articulate why they should be selected over other candidates. Good candidates also look the part. They are well- groomed, and they are dressed professionally. In addition, they speak industry language.

How does one network, and why is it important?
Networking can be done in small, informal settings and in organized settings such as career fairs. Young professionals can also network with professors, their parents’ colleagues, and former internship supervisors. Professional social media platforms like LinkedIn are also great for networking. Networking is important because it creates a pathway into the workforce. This is also why your brand is important. People should be confident in your abilities and work ethic so they can refer you for positions and serve as references.

What are some good websites to look for jobs?
LinkedIn is a good website that is used by recruiters to post positions in various fields. There are also a few industry specific sites that provide career opportunities such as agcareers.com for agricultural/environmental positions, usajobs.gov for federal positions including the Recent Graduates Pathways program, and ncworks.gov which posts positions state-wide.

Since COVID-19 many more interviews are virtual, do you have tips on how to do well in a virtual interview?
·Make sure you have a good internet connection.
·Test your camera and microphone.
·If you are using a video platform that displays your name, make sure your full name, not the computer’s nickname is displayed. For example, your name should read Jordan Doe, not Doe Family PC.
·Select a space that is free from noise, distractions and mirrors. You would be amazed at what people see from reflections in mirrors.
·Dress for the virtual interview as you would if it were in-person. You should assume that the interviewer will ask you to stand up for a complete picture.
·Participate in a virtual mock interview with a career services professional or a trusted friend and get feedback on your body language.
·If possible, engage in small talk prior to the interview beginning. This will help relax you.

What are some good questions to ask the company you are interviewing with?
First, never ask a question that can be easily found on the organization’s website. Secondly, you should always ask a question or two. A few good questions to ask are:
·Does the organization offer a formal mentorship or professional development program?
·What does a typical day in this role
look like?
·What do you like most about working here?

Methodist University offers resources through the Career Services Hub at www.methodist.edu/career-services.

Pictured: Dr. Antionette Bellamy, Ed.D., the director of career services at Methodist University spoke with Up & Coming Weekly to offer advice for new graduates navigating the job market during the pandemic.


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