At The Inspiration Lab, we have a few core beliefs. We believe in the power of community. We believe in encouraging professional growth. And we believe in shining a light on one another.
That’s why we’re so excited to reveal that four of our members, plus Inspiration Lab founder Stephanie Lanier, were recently named to the 2020 WilmingtonBiz 100.
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal spearheads this annual list celebrating the “top 100 Power Players, Influencers, Innovators, Connectors and Rising Stars impacting Southeastern North Carolina’s business landscape.” Nominees can submit themselves for consideration or be nominated by someone else. The winners are chosen by the paper’s editorial team.
We couldn’t be more proud to see Natalie English, Anne Gardner, Jenna Curry, Julie Andrews and Stephanie among this year’s honorees.
As the president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Natalie has no doubt earned this recognition as an Influencer on the WilmingtonBiz 100. After all, she’s been in leadership roles for chambers of commerce for more than 20 years! Though now a Wilmingtonian, Natalie was previously named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte in 2009 and 2013. And this Inspiration Lab member was also celebrated as an Influencer on the inaugural WilmingtonBiz 100 list last year.
As the head of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Natalie has helped lead the business community through the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and also steered local businesses through other recent crises, like Hurricane Florence. She also serves on boards for United Way of the Cape Fear Area; the Wilmington/New Hanover County Port, Waterway & Beach Commission; and the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority.
This Inspiration Lab member was championed as an Influencer on the WilmingtonBiz 100 for her extensive work in the real estate industry. Anne previously worked with the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®, and she just marked one year as CEO of Cape Fear REALTORS®, the largest trade association in our region.
Anne’s influence is apparent when you consider she is also a founding member of a peer group for REALTOR® association colleagues, in addition to a nationwide conference speaker and a member of state and national committees for professional nonprofit management and real estate organizations. On the local level, she has taken an active role in promoting affordable housing, access to living-wage jobs, and economic development, and is continuing to run community outreach programs through Cape Fear REALTORS® to aid the community.
Jenna has built a huge network through Port City Young Professionals (PYCP), a group she founded in 2009. More than 10 years later, and during a pandemic no less, this organization has grown to more than 2,700 members and is still going strong. Is it any wonder, then, that she was officially named a Connector on the WilmingtonBiz 100 list?
Besides PYCP, this Inspiration Lab member also connects locals and tourists alike with the community as the co-owner of Wilmington Today, a guidebook to the area. Jenna is also the owner of Remedy Digital Agency, through which she helps businesses with digital marketing. And she was even named a Rising Star on last year’s WilmingtonBiz 100. Keep on rising, girl!
We have another star in our midst! This Inspiration Lab member is officially a Rising Star on the WilmingtonBiz 100, not long after being named a finalist for WILMA’s 2020 Women to Watch list in the Rising Star category. Sensing a pattern? Julie just shines!
That’s evident in her work as the marketing manager for Logan Homes, where she conceives and implements marketing strategies for multiple companies under the Logan Developers Inc brand. In 2019 she was named Employee of the Year, and in 2020 she was honored as a UNCW Distinguished Young Alumna after serving on the alumni association’s board of directors as well as the president of the communication studies’ alumni chapter. She is also currently the president of Cape Fear CREW, which connects commercial real estate professionals in the region.
It comes as no surprise that Stephanie, The Inspiration Lab’s founder, was selected as one of this year’s Connectors. This marks the second year in a row she was recognized after also being named a Connector on the inaugural WilmingtonBiz 100 last year.
As the driving force behind The Inspiration Lab, Stephanie has connected more than 300 women in the Wilmington region and beyond. During this unprecedented year of social distancing, she has kept The Inspi Lab going by moving all programming online and even showing others how to adapt to our increasingly digital world through our Virtual First Impressions Series.
Stephanie’s commitment to relationship-building is also evident in her work with Lanier Property Group, which merged with Intracoastal Realty earlier this year. A natural extrovert, she sees connections where others don’t and is constantly innovating new ways to foster bonding. We can’t wait to see what Stephanie comes up with in 2021.