Here to Stay

People come to the City of Oaks,
and its surrounding communities, to put down roots. 

By Connie Gentry

New in town? Most of us are! In fact, even those of us who’ve lived here for years still can’t keep up with all the newness and excitement coming to our communities. The one thing that seems certain: Every day we’re growing, evolving, and adding more opportunities for work, for play, and for great experiences. 

The numbers are staggering: More than half of the adults living in our state were born somewhere else. And we just keep on welcoming more folks, with 43 people moving into the Raleigh area each day—12 from another county within North Carolina, 20 from another state, and 11 from another country. Whatever brings people here—school, career, retirement—it’s a place they want to be; and for many, they come believing they are here to stay.  

That newcomers arrive with the hope of putting down roots bodes well for the future of our communities. Many of our local leaders came to the area with that same kind of commitment, and we talked with some to learn their suggestions for newcomers—mostly, they share their ideas for making the most of today and planning for tomorrow.

Photo by Dyyymond Aerials

Photo by Dyyymond Aerials

Adrienne Cole, president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, is one of those rare residents who was born here—but her family moved to New Bern when she was 3, so Raleigh wasn’t really home until she and her husband returned in 2001. (This after spending her undergraduate years at Meredith College, then moving on to Appalachian State for grad school, followed by the start of her career in eastern North Carolina.) “I traversed the state, but always came back to Raleigh,” Cole says. “For young people, it’s a great place for career trajectory and for families.”

adrienne cole; Photo by cara galati

adrienne cole; Photo by cara galati

And Raleigh is also a popular retirement destination, she notes, not only for parents whose adult children have come here for careers and to raise a family, but also for seniors who appreciate the opportunities for reinventing the next phase of their lives. “People are coming because they can stay active here into retirement. They can take classes at NC State—there’s a whole program for people who want to continue their education—and Raleigh’s urban living is appealing to many seniors who may not want to take care of a yard but want walkability.”

Of the 64 people added to our population each day, Cole says 21 are born here and 43 are moving here. “It’s an exciting time to be in Raleigh; this is an ascending marketplace, and we have over 700 international companies in our market now. We have this thriving tech sector fueled by what I believe to be the strongest education ecosystem in the country.” 

She points to the quality of K-through-12 education in Wake County, the strength of Wake Tech’s offerings, and the strength of the region’s university system as fundamental reasons this market is so dynamic. But the biggest factor, she says, is this: “There’s this spirit of optimism and momentum that makes this a really special place. It doesn’t mean we aren’t without our challenges, and it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things we need to be paying attention to around affordability and upward mobility and equitable economic development.”

One of the most significant trends: Growing interest from companies looking to bring their headquarters here. At the Chamber, Cole says 20 to 25 percent of their project load now consists of possible headquarters coming to town, and the benefits go beyond job creation and bragging rights. “It’s great for philanthropy, because very often headquarters in a market are strong supporters of philanthropic efforts in their market as well.”

Her advice to newcomers: “Just get involved. This is a community where you don’t have to have been here for a long time to get engaged and be a partner in what the future of this place is going to look like. There are some cities where you’re only accepted into those leadership opportunities or engagement opportunities if you’ve been there a long time. This isn’t a place like that, so newcomers can become as engaged as they want to be—whether that’s volunteering on boards or getting involved in organizations, there are different opportunities for engagement.” 

What our city becomes will be a product of many visions, and Cole attributes the success and opportunity here to a “rich history of collaboration,” a characteristic she believes is unique to this market. “I hear from people, ‘You guys work so well together.’ That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because people are very intentional about working together to create the community and the kind of future we want here.

That doesn’t mean we are always going to agree. But that means we are going to come to the table and have the discus-sion in a civil way, where we can debate things and come to the right conclusion. I don’t want to lose that; it’s something very special about this community.” 

Mountains or coast? “We do both, but we also pick right here and do a staycation.”

Buy or rent?  “It’s such a personal decision, to rent first or buy immediately. My husband and I rented for about six months before we bought a house because we wanted to get a handle on where we wanted to be. But I’ve talked to other people who fell in love with a community and bought immediately.”  

Personal favorites? “Doing things around the community with my family—we love the festivals, like Artsplosure and Wide Open Bluegrass; we go to concerts and theater; and we’re on the greenway often.”  

One Year In

hallie Johnston; Photo By scott kelly

hallie Johnston; Photo By scott kelly

She arrived just a year ago, and the one thing that Hallie Johnston, store manager for Wegmans Food Markets, would change is that she wishes she could have come sooner. It’s been a rollicking year, about to culminate in the September 29th grand opening of Wegmans’ first North Carolina store, located in the Midtown East Shopping Center on Wake Forest Road.

Coming from Rochester, New York, what’s surprised her most is that it’s not as hot as she’d anticipated—that and the blue skies. “Definitely the blue skies! Coming from the North, we’re not used to blue skies every single day,” she enthuses. 

Actually, that blue skies outlook has colored the thinking of all the newcomers Wegmans is bringing to the market. “We’re relocating 82 folks to this market from the six states where we currently do business, and all of them will arrive by September 1st,” she says. “It’s an easy sell; folks want to come here, and Raleigh has been a great market because we’re relocating whole families—everyone is so excited to be coming here.”

Johnston and her family have settled in Apex, and she says the best thing about this area is that there are so many affordable options here. “A lot of our people are moving into Garner and Clayton, and buying their first homes at an incredibly affordable rate. They’re able to start their roots there,” Johnston says. “The majority of people who want to own are buying,” she adds, and sometimes that happens even before they get here. For those who want to rent, she says there are folks who are choosing to live in downtown Raleigh. “All of us coming here are saying how welcoming this community is, how helpful everyone has been, and that it’s so refreshing.” 

Aside from the differences in weather (Johnston says she’d be happy to never see snow again), the school systems in our market have been most surprising. “No one was ever exposed to a year-round school system before, and our employees who are involved with it here absolutely love it,” she says.    

But there is one conundrum that she’s grappling with. How to answer the question she’s asked most often: Who do you root for? “We’ll have stores near all of [the Triangle universities].  Right now, NC State is closest to our Raleigh store; but soon we’ll have a store right in-between Duke and Chapel Hill. It’s terrible. I don’t have an answer, but I’ll probably have to stick with NC State, since it’s closest to our first store.”

Except for the team loyalty quandary, she says the Raleigh area is a perfect fit for Wegmans. Pragmatically speaking, Raleigh has the density and population growth that Wegmans requires, since those are the prerequisites for hiring a lot of people and maintaining the volumes that support low prices. Johnston adds, “Raleigh is a family-friendly community; it’s a diverse area in thought, food, and experiences—we embrace all of that and want to be a part of it.” 

Favorite restaurant: “The Provincial in Apex”

Favorite foodie spot: “The food halls! Love Transfer Co. and Morgan Street! (Wegmans is a food hall as well, with chefs making fresh food daily, and you can dine in the café or take it home.”

Raleigh Plays Manhattan to Durham's Brooklyn

Lamar Heyward; photo by scott kelly

Lamar Heyward; photo by scott kelly

This is a man who really gets the Raleigh vibe; that’s what comes across as you track the soft tempo of Lamar Heyward’s voice, more an inflection than a Southern accent, even though he’s called Raleigh home for nearly 20 years. Here’s a guy who’s totally at ease in the posh surrounds of the Civic Federal Credit Union (which he describes not as posh, but rather “brand, spanking new”) and sporting a Kermit (yes, the frog) meme on the lapel of his suit. As the senior vice president of marketing at Civic, Heyward is poised to help government workers and their families understand banking via a totally digital presence, sans brick-and-mortar branches.  

It’s another sign of the times in a city that is increasingly on the cutting edge of tech and of living with ease and convenience. “One of the great things about this area is that it’s designed so you can go all over or you can stay in your little five-mile radius. There are all these great places—Midtown, Cameron Village, downtown—wherever you are, you can find places to hang out, to go eat,” he says.  

Heyward’s advice for someone moving to the area: Check out the digital resources, like, but also connect and have conversations with people in different communities around the area. “Between the internet and talking with coworkers and people you meet, you can figure it out. You’ll learn if you’re an ITB (inside the beltline) person, a Midtown person, or where you want to be,” he says. 

As for what makes Raleigh so appealing, Heyward thinks it has to do with access to all that the area has to offer. “It’s the diversity—the presentation of all these people from different areas—that creates more of a melting pot than Charlotte might have,” Heyward explains. “And I tend to think what we have is that [Raleigh/Durham] gives us that Manhattan/Brooklyn feel. When you go to Charlotte you lose that, because you only get Manhattan. A lot of people are very attracted to the edginess that Durham brings, the complexity of not just having the
suits and the high-fashion people.”

Favorite  restaurants? “Taste, Whiskey Kitchen, so•ca, ORO Restaurant & Lounge”

Favorite hangout? “Fox Liquor Bar or Foundation (on Fayetteville Street)”

Rent or buy? “My recommendation is to rent first, so you can see where you really want to be. You can learn a lot about the area and determine in that first year or two if you want to stay in the area where you’re renting, or move.” 

What's needed? “A transportation solution / system”

A Full-Circle Homecoming

lee davis; Photo By scott kelly

lee davis; Photo By scott kelly

When I sat down with Lee Davis, he was two months into his role as managing director of Clean, Raleigh’s preeminent integrated branding agency. His arrival was a homecoming of sorts—he played basketball down the road at Guilford College and then launched his career in the Triangle as his wife completed grad school at Carolina. But that was some 20 years ago, and he spent time at agencies West and Vaughan (before it added French to its name), and at Howard Merrill, where he worked with Jeremy Holden, now president and chief strategy officer at Clean. Davis circled the country, leading projects and agencies from Richmond, Virginia, to Portland, Oregon; Manhattan to San Francisco—and ultimately finding his way back to Raleigh this summer.  

Two months in town and Davis quips, “Some things haven’t changed, some have—and some should have, but haven’t.” Specific to North Raleigh, he observes, “Char-Grill is still there; I love Char-Grill, happy to see it still there. And that sandwich place, Boondini’s, I never thought it would still be in business, with the same guy running it. I hadn’t been there in 23 years and I felt like I’d gone back in time: exact same guy taking my order, same menu, same everything.”

What’s the best new thing he’s discovered about this area? Downtown development. “It’s really exciting to see the downtowns growing like they are. It used to be one of those areas where people went to work downtown and then went home. Now, [downtown Raleigh and downtown Durham] have made a turn; I love that. It makes this area so vibrant. How the downtowns have transformed is what’s exciting; that’s the future. And we’re a little bit ahead of other places [in that regard].” 

But when Davis describes this area, he does so by leveraging a story from Robert Schwartz, CEO of TBWA. “Schwartz told me he grew up in the advertising business in New York, and, ‘Just like the city, all my thinking was vertical. Then I went out to L.A. and everything opened up; and when that happened, all my thinking opened up.’ I feel the same about coming back here; when you come here it opens up your thinking. So that’s the story I share when I tell people about this area. The region allows us to have broader thinking.”

He credits the area with fostering a “mental spirit,” one that is driven by the diversity in people, culture, and thinking that this area is known for. As is often noted, Raleigh is a city of entrepreneurial ambition; like Davis says, there’s a prevailing attitude of: “Let’s just do it and see what happens.”

This is possible, in part, he believes, because there aren’t the pressures of other places. “In Manhattan, you’ve got so many pressures. You can’t afford to make mistakes there. Affordability has a lot to do with it. So does diversity. What’s interesting about the Northeast is that it’s amazing how segmented the communities are, the lack of diversity in areas.  Here, I don’t feel it’s that segmented. I think people a hundred years ago would have said the exact opposite: New York would be the mixing pot and here would be the segmented part.

I believe that’s flipped now.” He’s thrilled to be back, working with friends, discovering the breweries and newness in Raleigh, and intent on building a better, broader future at the Triangle’s top agency as well as in the community. 

What hasn’t changed that needs to?  His answers come quick: “Public schools. Education is the most important thing we can do for our future, and we don’t pay enough attention to it. I’d love to see the companies that are moving into this area have an emphasis on driving education. And mass transit is a massive problem; but we’re not alone in that. Anyone outside New York City feels that pain.”

Overall, he’s convinced we’re ahead of the curve in many areas, from downtown revitalization to healthcare, innovation to sustainability. “Garbage pickup here is on par with what we had in Oregon, and Oregon is way deep into the green world. 

“From a technology standpoint, I’m using Google Fiber, and I never heard of that anywhere else I’ve been. It’s not available in New York, so there are things that are happening here that are more interesting,” Davis says. “I’m not savvy enough to know other things where tech is stronger, but we aren’t behind at all—like I can pay to park downtown on my phone. There are interesting things here because it is a market where you can try things.”

Favorite aspect? “The craft brewery scene. It’s fantastic. There are a lot of similarities here with Portland: Great beer, great coffee, great food.”

Hangout spot? “Raleigh Brewing Company”

Unexpected discovery? “The dog culture in this town! Runners and dogs just hang out at craft breweries. It’s Interesting, but I’m not sure what the connection is.” 

Opportunities Overload

Everyone talks about the great outdoor living in North Carolina. Even the folks who are spending most of their outdoor time on an al fresco patio still rave about all we can do outside—the greenways, the coast, the mountains. Wit Tuttle, vice president of tourism and marketing for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and executive director of Visit NC, talks about it more than any of us—not only because it’s his job, but also because he and his family are avid bikers and greenway enthusiasts.  

wit tuttle; Photo by joe reale

wit tuttle; Photo by joe reale

Before moving here 13 years ago, Tuttle hailed from Alaska and Florida—so when he talks about the grandeur of our Blue Ridge Mountains and the unique qualities of our beaches, his frame of reference includes some pretty amazing settings. But this is the place he chooses to call home. To newcomers, he would say, “This is the most diverse state for activities, I believe, of any in the country. Where else can you go on a 30-mile stretch of beach that’s completely undeveloped—and in the same state, ski and golf in the same day? People don’t realize how much there is to do and see here; we’re the 6th most-visited state in the country.”

And living in the Raleigh area is just about perfect, as he points out: “You don’t get the difficulties of living in a beach community or mountain community, but you can go to both. And there’s a tremendous amount of things to do here—hiking, biking, lakes. I’m always experiencing things, and trying to keep the perspective of a newcomer.”

Tuttle and his family lived in Fuquay-Varina for 12 years, which they loved, but they recently moved to Raleigh for easier access to some of their favorite biking along the Neuse River trails. “What North Carolina has done really well is maintain each community’s individual personality. Cary’s personality is definitely different than Fuquay-Varina. Unique and distinctly different, people look for that authenticity.”

The challenge he struggles with is making time to venture around the state when the Raleigh area also has so much to explore and enjoy, but he encourages everyone to make that effort. In fact, 40 percent of the tourists visiting different parts of North Carolina are in-state residents. And it’s a very mobile-friendly venture, with 90 percent of visitors choosing to drive. That’s due in part to convenience and excellent highway systems, but it’s also a reflection of the lack of mass transit options in our cities.   

“The challenge for areas like Wake [County] is managing the growth, to make sure it’s done in a smart way that benefits as many people as possible and allows for future growth,” Tuttle says. “Transportation is key—[whether] it’s mass transit or it’s an interconnected greenway system that allows for individual transit on different types of vehicles. We have to set ourselves up for the future. How do we deal with electric scooters? How do we deal with automated cars? I think transportation is a huge part of the future, making sure everything is connected and works for our communities.”

One of the biggest segments of vacationers are those who are coming to visit friends or family, and Tuttle encourages newcomers to learn all they can about places to take their out-of-town guests. “People who move here probably don’t know about Cape Hatteras National Seashore; it’s the first national seashore ever. They don’t know there are over 200 scenic overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway or that Wilmington has one of the biggest historic districts in the country.”

Whatever the reason for traveling in our state, the most impressive measure is that 90 percent of people who spend one vacation here become repeat visitors. Like all the people who move here with the intention of putting down roots, people who come tend to stay or return. 

Favorite eats: “I’m a barbecue guy; I love all kinds of barbecue—I’m partial to Danny’s Bar-B-Que, but I like some eastern North Carolina barbecue, too.”

Which team? “I’m for anyone who’s playing against Florida State. I went to the University of Florida, so my hatred of FSU outweighs any loyalty to anyone else—I’ll cheer for NC State or Duke or UNC, or anyone else playing FSU.”

Connecting Local and Global Art

“It's been an incredible journey to meet talented, creative colleagues across the state and to recognize the level of passion everyone has for the arts.”

By Kat Harding

valerie harding; photo by scott kelly

valerie harding; photo by scott kelly

Valerie Hillings’ office at the North Carolina Museum of Art overlooks one of the most iconic works of art in the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park—Thomas Sayre’s Gyre, 1999, three monumental rings made from local red clay—
and one of the newest additions, Heather Hart’s colorful house Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off, 2019, on view through October. “It announces itself, in a way,” Hillings says about Hart’s piece. “The first few weeks, I saw someone doing a sun salutation [yoga pose] on the roof. Of course I’m thinking ‘please don’t fall,’ but it was a moment when no one else was around except for that person, and it was amazing to see the experiences that can be created here.”

Hillings, who, as director of the NCMA, is focused on the entire state, has been on a tour, getting to know artists, community leaders, and business owners from Asheville to Wilmington and everywhere in-between. “There’s a wealth of knowledge and talent that we can drive in, rather than fly in,” she says. “It’s been an incredible journey to meet talented, creative colleagues across the state and to recognize the level of passion everyone has for the arts.” 

Hillings isn’t a stranger to the state, having earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University. After Duke, she got her MA and PhD in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation and in 2009 joined the Guggenheim’s Abu Dhabi Project staff, where she was charged with building a collection for a new modern and contemporary art museum, which is still under development in the United Arab Emirates. 

She returned to North Carolina last November, following the retirement of Larry Wheeler, who had been at the helm of the NCMA for nearly 25 years. Stepping into his colorful shoes, however, has been no problem. “I am grateful to have been able to take time to get to know the staff and hear about their ideas about our museum’s future,” Hillings adds. “It turned out we were thinking about many of the same opportunities, and armed with their knowledge and love of the NCMA, I am confident that our next chapter will be exciting.” 

And the next chapter includes connecting the arts of North Carolina to the national scene and to the global art world beyond. This fall, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism will open October 26th to do just that. 

“Frida first came to my attention because she was in [Madonna’s collection],” Hillings says, laughing. “She was an artist I learned about in my modern art history class, and I’ve been thinking about her work for years. She has transcended her original context and become an icon of fashion and popular culture.” 

And there’s a local element as well: With the same ticket, visitors can see the first solo exhibition by North Carolina artist Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers band. “[His] large-scale self-portraits and portraits of his family share an intensity and honesty with the work of Frida and Diego,” Hillings explains. 

Connecting the local, national, and global is also exemplified in Front Burner: Highlights in Contemporary North Carolina Painting, coming in March 2020. The exhibition includes Joan Mitchell Foundation grant winners Ashlynn Browning and Antoine Williams; chef Vivian Howard’s husband and A Chef’s Life cast member Benjamin Knight; Juan Logan, whose work appears in the Smithsonian, the Whitney, and more; and Donald Martiny, whose work was commissioned for the lobby of One World Trade Center in New York City. 

Make Your Opinion Count

kate fellman; photo by scott kelly

kate fellman; photo by scott kelly

After new voter requirements began changing, back in 2013, Kate Fellman decided folks deserved to be better informed on the mechanics and requirements of voting. “We try to translate things into a positive empowering message: ‘You can vote, here’s how,’” says Fellman, founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization You Can Vote. The goal of the nonpartisan group is to help move voters beyond misconceptions and beyond apathy—to empower individuals “to make informed decisions instead of being overwhelmed by this whiplash of changing voting rules,” she explains.  

One of the best ways to impact the future of our communities is to vote in local elections. “We believe the more people who are informed about the processes and see how these lawmakers impact our lives, the better decisions we can all make together,” Fellman adds. Her No. 1 recommendation is that people take advantage of early voting. There are 17 days of early voting in North Carolina, and voters can even get a photo ID at early registration.

This year Election Day in Raleigh and Cary is October 8th; both towns will be electing a mayor as well as filling council seats. Raleigh will vote to fill all seven seats on its city council; Cary will be voting for three council seats. In the surrounding communities, Election Day will be November 5th. Mayors will be elected in Apex and Fuquay-Varina; town council members will be elected in Apex, Holly Springs and Morrisville, while Fuquay-Varina and Wake Forest will be electing seats on their board of commissioners. has a wealth of facts to educate and enable the voting process.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

After successful runs in large cities around the country,
WEX adds Raleigh to its agenda.

By Brittany Murdock

Alexa Carlin might be a few months new to Raleigh, but her popular Women Empower X (WEX) event has been bringing women entrepreneurs together for years, and it’s headed to Raleigh on October 12th. 

As a successful public speaker, Alexa saw power in community and wanted to help women collaborate in a positive environment. WEX aims to bring together a diverse community of women from different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, with the mindset that there is enough room in this world for all women to be successful. It’s an opportunity for female leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives to reinvent themselves, create lasting relationships, and grow their business. But, most of all, it’s an event to help women feel empowered—because when you feel supported, you feel empowered.

This one-day event features keynote speakers, breakout workshops, authentic networking, insightful panels, and 60 exhibitors, along with resources, coaches, and products to help women get to the next level in their personal life and their business endeavors.

Visit for general admission and VIP tickets. 

Welcome to Tobacco Road:

What Color Do You Bleed?

By Cindy Huntley and Jody Maness

Welcome to the Triangle! Now that you’ve unpacked and registered to vote, let’s get down to business: You have to pick a team. We’re not talking professional sports, like hockey or baseball. This is Tobacco Road: We live and breathe college basketball (plus a little football in the off-season). Even with all our miles of coastline, the hurricane season here pales in comparison to the storms brewing in March. With Duke and UNC located just 11 miles apart and NC State right down the road in Raleigh, you don’t have to go far to find your enemy. And that’s what we love about these rivalries—your favorite neighbor could also be your No. 1 archrival.

While the focus is often on the mens’ teams, the womens’ basketball teams at our universities are solid national forces as well. Or if basketball and football aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other teams to support at each of these universities: Baseball, gymnastics, soccer, lacrosse, golf, and field hockey, to name a few.

And don’t think you’re completely off the hook because you already have a college team in another state. We’ll let that slide, because boy do we understand team loyalty…as long as you pick one of ours that you dislike more than the rest. 

(Just in case you’re not familiar with your options, take a quick peek at our primer on the next page before we talk more about this important decision.)


Want to hear the numbers? In men’s basketball alone, these three universities hold a combined 14 National Championship titles. 24 National Championship appearances. 38 Final Fours. 76 Sweet Sixteens. (We could go on, but the numbers will just keep growing.) Players of the Year, ACC titles, draft picks…you get the picture.

UNC vs Duke:
The Carolina/Duke rivalry is unarguably the most heated college basketball rivalry in the nation—there are even books about it. (Check out the Blue Blood duo, or the astutely named To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever.) They’re only 11 miles apart, they’re both blue, and they’re both consistently in the top 25—and often top 5—teams nationwide. You’ve never been to a basketball game until you’ve been to a Duke/Carolina game: There’s no predicting who will win, because adrenaline scores some of the points in these matchups. 

NC State vs UNC:
NC State fans hate Carolina with a passion. (Dislike, I mean; it’s not nice to hate.) But seriously, State fans are among the most loyal and passionate you’ll ever find—both at loving their team, and at hating Carolina. Since both are state universities, the majority of students grew up cheering for one or the other of these homegrown teams. And while UNC generally wins more of the basketball matchups, NC State is often on top in football (and tailgating!).

Duke vs NC State:
Eh, there’s not quite so much of a rivalry here. Maybe even a little bonding over their mutual hatred of Carolina. But if you think Duke trumps State on all counts, think again: NC State generally dominates them on the football field. 

Now you know the teams and the rivalries, so get to googling and figure out which team best aligns with your personality and character. Or you can take the easy route and choose by city, coach, or team color. Just know that once you pick one, you are expected to stay loyal to that team, and that team alone—no bandwagon fans allowed here. Your blood will either remain red, or will become a very specific shade of blue. Choose wisely! 

NC State University, located in Raleigh

Photo courtesy of nc state athletics

Photo courtesy of nc state athletics

Color: Red

Men’s basketball coach:
Kevin Keatts

Women’s basketball coach:
Wes Moore

Football coach:
Dave Doeren

Known for:
Late coaches Jim Valvano (men’s basketball) and Kay Yow (women’s basketball);
Pack Pride; Cinderella men’s basketball championship in 1983

On the radar:
Some early predictions are looking at NC State to be a national contender this year in football. Coach Dave Doeren has dominated in state recruiting for the last several years, and that has translated to head-to- head success against NC State’s Triangle rivals. In basketball, look for DJ Funderburk and Markell Johnson (who is returning this year despite his positioning as a promising draft pick) to lead the Pack.

Notable basketball players:
David Thompson, Julius Hodge, Chris Corchiani, Charles Shackleford, T.J. Warren,
Spud Webb, Tom Gugliotta, Dennis Smith Jr, Rodney Monroe

Notable football players:
Roman Gabriel, Bill Cowher, Phillip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Torrey Holt, Mario Williams

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

photo courtesy of Unc athletic communications

photo courtesy of Unc athletic communications

Color: Light blue

Men’s basketball coach:
Roy Williams

Women’s basketball coach:
Courtney Banghart

Football coach:
Mack Brown

Known for:
Michael Jordan; the late Coach Dean Smith and ‘The Carolina Way’;
Women’s soccer star Mia Hamm and women’s track and field star Marion Jones

On the radar:
Perhaps the biggest sports story in the Triangle this year is the return of UNC head coach Mack Brown, who previously coached the Heels from 1988-1997. His return makes UNC the first Triangle team with a national championship–winning coach (Brown won the national championship in 2005 as coach of the Texas Longhorns). The men’s basketball team lost five of their top players from last year, but look for freshmen Cole Anthony and Armando Bacot to fill some of their shoes. And women’s basketball welcomes a new coach as well: former Princeton coach Courtney Banghart.

Notable men’s basketball players:
Michael Jordan, Phil Ford, Eric Montross, James Worthy, Tyler Hansbrough,
Vince Carter, Sam Perkins, Charles Scott, Lennie Rosenbluth

Notable football players:
Lawrence Taylor, Kelvin Bryant, “Famous” Amos Lawrence,
Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, Jeff Saturday, Julius Peppers, Mitch Trubiski

Duke University, located in Durham

photo courtesy of duke athletics

photo courtesy of duke athletics

Color: Royal blue

Men’s basketball coach:
Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski)

Women’s basketball coach:
Joanne P. McCallie

Football coach:
David Cutcliffe

Known for:
Cameron Indoor Stadium; Cameron Crazies; Krzyzewskiville (K-ville)

On the radar:
Football is on the rise at Duke, thanks to head coach David Cutcliffe. As former coach to both Petyon and Eli Manning,
Cutcliffe has secured a recruiting advantage, which has helped lead the turnaround of this once-woeful program. In basketball, all eyes will be on freshman Matthew Hurt, who ranked as the No. 2 high school power forward in 2019, and was also heavily recruited by UNC. Duke will need him, as they lost four of their five top scorers this year.

Notable men’s basketball players: 
Christian Laettner, Kyrie Irving, Grant Hill, J.J. Reddick,
Shane Battier, Johnny Dawkins, Zion Williamson

Notable football players:
Sonny Jurgensen, Jamison Crowder, Dave Brown,
Brian Baldinger, Daniel Jones

Our Local is Remarkably Global

A personal perspective on Raleigh's multicultural diversity.

By Jennifer Heinser / Photos by Fire Rose Photography


I moved here just over five years ago, so I am a relatively new transplant. After spending half my life in a bustling area of New York, and the other half in super-rural Pennsylvania, I consider Raleigh and all of Wake County as my Goldilocks Zone. Not too hot or too cold, not too busy yet not at all boring, and a day trip away from both the coast and the mountains. And with the talk of job opportunities emanating into the ether, it’s no wonder we all flock here.

For the same reasons I found to relocate here, people from outside the states find this area attractive when they make their big life-changing move. Our technology and healthcare industry are nationally known, and the secret is out far past our shores. In a purely personal, close-to-home account: I recently married an Egyptian man, and opportunity has always been at the forefront of our planning. He is tech-savvy with a diverse work history, so a little research was all it took to eliminate his fears of leaving Egypt and the company he’s been with for five years. IBM, Fujifilm, Lenovo, Delta, Cisco, and other global companies are nestled in the woods, mere blocks from my home in Morrisville. 

Even before I entered this multi-cultural marriage, I believed that ethnic diversity—all diversity for that matter—benefits anything it touches. Consider it the “Midas Touch” to any community or region. The technological, artistic, culinary, and other contributions by people of African, Asian, Arab, Hispanic, and Latino descent are too numerable to list. Without diversity, our lives would be vastly different. Diversity in thoughts, belief systems, climates, and lifestyles becomes the force that moves us forward. America is Europe, mixed with Africa, mixed with Asia, mixed with South America, all thrown into a pot and stirred together. What fun is a city without a mix of all the foods, all the clothing, and all the music?

And luckily, Raleigh is on the cutting edge of inclusivity. Just a simple example: HQ Raleigh, the coworking and office space company, sent out a newsletter recently on how to make workspaces more inclusive and aware. Things like being aware of dietary restrictions, like halal or kosher items, or making days off transferrable across holidays. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the foreign-born population in Wake County is more than 13 percent—and more than 34 percent of my neighbors in Morrisville were born outside the U.S.

Maybe Raleigh has not always been growing at this rate, but welcoming newcomers isn’t new, and some resources aren’t either. The Raleigh Newcomer’s Club has been active since 1957. Membership (they do charge annual dues) includes a directory, monthly newsletter, and activity groups for all kinds of interests: movie meetups, card games, wine tastings, women’s groups, and more. And there’s always, which has an easy-to-use app that is even useful for transplants with some roots! Some West Wake towns also have organizations like the Cary Welcome Service and the New Neighbor Welcome Service in Apex.

Raleigh and the Triangle area continue to impress me every day as a place I am proud to call home. Soon my home will be a bit more diverse, and this meansI am happy to help contribute even more love, culture, and spice to this beautiful community.