Posted tagged ‘North Carolina’

Meet a Member: Clara Cartrette

May 10, 2016

Clara Cartrette helped organize the North Carolina Press Women affiliate in 1978 and has been active ever since.  At the Idaho conference in 2008 she was honored as NFPW Communicator of Achievement, the highest honor given to a member. She is a hard working, dedicated member who has helped her affiliate and NFPW succeed. I missed seeing her smiling face in Alaska, it was the first conference she has missed since joining, so I can’t wait to see her again this fall in Kansas. Meet another outstanding member I am honored to call a friend.

Name: Clara J. Cartrette

City and State: Tabor City, North Carolina


Clara Cartrette

Affiliate and any leadership positions: I was the first state affiliate president of North Carolina Press Women for four years, which might have bending the rules somewhat at that time, but I was the only one attending NFPW conferences and members voted me to serve. I have held various other offices on the state and national level, including being a charter member of the NFPW Education Fund. I have served on the NFPW elections board a couple of times, membership director, elected NFPW third vice president in 1985, served as NFPW President Gwen White’s “Fun and Frivolity” chairman and introduced the “First Timers” program, POPPS secretary  and I’ve been “recycled” to serve as state president for quite a few years.

One of the most important things to happen to me was when I was honored to be selected as NFPW’s Communicator of Achievement at the Idaho conference in 2008.

Years a member of NFPW: 38

Tell us a little about you.

I got a job as a reporter through a mistake. I thought I was going to be a secretary until I was told I would be taking over the “women’s department.” It was the best “mistake” I’ve ever made. I started covering news a couple of years later, then took over the police, fire, courthouse beat for 20-plus years. I have covered every “beat” there is but my first love is writing people features. I had a very supportive boss who sponsored my state and national conferences and the best thing he did for me was turn me loose to decide what I would cover and choose feature stories I wanted to write. I started winning state awards a year after I began work and continued to win…. until NFPW stopped accepting paper entries. I have covered every news beat and have dabbled in advertising, starting an annual Bridal Edition and County Fair tabloid section. I chose the couples for the Bridal Edition, sold the ads, wrote the ad copy and features on the couple, and even laid it out until we went to computer layout. I have done the County Fair tabloid for 36 years, writing all of the copy and using photos I made at the fair in previous years for each 40-page issue.

Any career advice you would give?

If you like to write, don’t mind working 50-60 hours a week for a salary that isn’t fantastic and love talking to people and telling their stories, becoming a reporter might be a great career for you. If this doesn’t measure up to your standards, look for another career.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I always wanted to tap dance and play a guitar (but not at the same time)!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Where I am right now — next door to my youngest daughter, son-in-law and two wonderful grandsons, 10 miles from my oldest daughter and son-in-law and five miles from my son.

What book are you reading?

Just finished Bob Sloan’s “Home Call,” which I bought at an NFPW conference some years ago. It had gotten covered up in a stack of books and I found it recently. Reading Bob’s book is like talking to and listening to a good friend. It’s the story of Appalachia that most of us don’t know. Great read!!! One that I didn’t want to put down to sleep and one I didn’t want to end. Reading is my passion. My next read will be “We Had A Job To Do,” a basic history of World War II through the eyes of those who served. Theresa Anzaldua selected several veterans to tell their personal stories, based on official U.S. government documents and her interviews with veterans.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I always wanted to tap dance, and signed up for an adult class at age 38. I didn’t learn a lot, but I satisfied that desire to tap. A couple of years later, a Middle Eastern belly dancer came to town to teach classes and a friend and I signed up for classes. It was a barrel of fun, especially our in-house “recital.” (I haven’t been bombarded with requests to perform…yet!)

Clara and NFPW CoA.Winners

Clara Cartrette, right, poses with other former NFPW Communicators of Achievement. They are from left, Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas, Cynthia Price, Karen Stensrud, Betty Packard, Donna Hunt and Cartrette.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I was so excited when I learned that NFPW President Charlotte Schexnayder and Mary Lou Webb were coming to North Carolina to affiliate N.C. Press Women, organized in 1942 when newsmen went to war and their wives took over newsrooms. But when Charlotte and Mary Lou got here, the NCPW board had changed its mind and didn’t want to affiliate because they wanted to remain a “pure” organization of only newspaper journalists … no advertising, magazine, radio, TV, public relations personnel, etc.

I was very excited about NFPW and had joined as a member at-large two months earlier. I was disappointed and embarrassed that Charlotte and Mary Lou had come so far to get the door closed in their faces. They invited me to join them in their hotel room and during a long discussion, “Peacemaker Charlotte” said if there was any dissention it would be better not to affiliate, but if as many as 10 were interested we could affiliate. I ran into the hall and gathered 13 members who wanted to join NFPW.

Charlotte and Mary Lou came back two months later to charter us. We chartered in June 1978 and I went to my first NFPW conference 10 days later. I got a royal introduction to NFPW, as Charlotte asked me to “bunk in” with her and husband Melvin because she had a presidential suite and didn’t need the extra bedroom. For years Melvin and I got odd looks when we yelled across the room, “Hey, Roommate!”

I had never missed a conference until 2015. I couldn’t justify the time, expense and wear and tear on my body to fly to Alaska for a three-day conference and I couldn’t take off any more time for the tours for the same reasons. Hope to see all of you in Kansas in September!

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Meet a Member: Joan Leotta

August 11, 2015

National Federation of Press Women loves new members. One of our newest members is Joan Leotta of North Carolina. She is an award winning journalist , short story and book author. I have enjoyed getting to know her better. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member. Meet my new friend Joan Leotta.

Name:  Joan Leotta

Joan L

Joan Leotta

City and State: Calabash, North Carolina

Affiliate and any leadership positions: North Carolina Press Club. I tried to join Media Women of South Carolina as well, but was not successful in hitting the right buttons on the online form.

Years a member of NFPW: Only one—I cannot believe that for the 30 years I worked as a journalist (freelance) I thought you had to be on staff of a paper to join presswomen.

Tell us a little about you

Joan Leotta has been playing with words on page and stage since childhood. In addition to her work as an award-winning journalist, short story writer, author, poet and essayist, Joan performs folklore and one-woman shows on historic figures. She currently has two folklore shows on Strong Women, (one folk stories and one using real women), and three one-woman historic figure shows, one featuring the spy Belle Boyd, another featuring a colonial woman who meets George Washington, and a third called a Time to Heal that depicts a Civil War Nurse. To have her speak on writing or perform for your group, contact her at

As a journalist, she has written for the Washington Post, has had columns in other Washington D.C. area papers and currently writes regularly for the Myrtle Beach Sun News. Joan has poems, short stories and essays current or forthcoming in the Knox Literary Magazine, and Eastern Iowa Review and Silver Birch Review. She has been published by Chicken Soup for the Soul and in several other anthologies including the Fish or Cut Bait 2015 Sisters in Crime Guppies anthology.

JoanLSecretsoftheHeartCoverArtHer four books of historical fiction (Legacy of Honor series), including the most recent Secrets of the Heart, are available from Desert Breeze Publishing and on along with her newly released collection of short stories, Simply a Smile, ( Her first picture book, Whoosh! (about a father and young daughter’s day out sledding) can be pre-ordered from and will be released August 2015.After a lifetime in snowier climes, Joan now lives in Calabash, NC where she walks the beach with husband Joe. She collects shells, pressed pennies and memories.

Any career advice you would give? Persistence and honesty.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Music!!! Singing, playing an instrument.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I am happy here – where is not as important to me as with whom. But if our daughter could be close, I would not mind a perch on the Amalfi coast drive.

JoanLwhoosh_cover_2500What book are you reading?

Just finished the Nightingale and am about to start Circling the Sun.

Also reading slowly a bio of Michelangelo that interprets his life through his great works.

What would people be surprised to learn about you? I am really shy.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

It has opened me up to new resources and new ways to share with others as I learn more about the organization.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

You can learn more at and

My twitter handle is beachfan12  but I hardly ever tweet.

North Carolina’s Gwen White spends career serving NFPW, others

January 19, 2015

The late Louise Shadduck was a role model for Media Network Idaho members. She was the first member from Idaho to serve as NFPW president and was known to many as the Lioness of Idaho. One of her dear friends was Gwen White of North Carolina who took the time, at Louise’s request, to spend a weekend with us at an Idaho conference while Gwen was NFPW president. I was impressed with Gwen then and I continue to look up to her today. Through the years I have enjoyed catching up with her at national conferences and learning about all the outstanding activities she continues to support. Meet this unique, unbelievable and dedicated NFPW member.

Name: Gwen Armstrong Whitegwens_pix

City and State: Lived in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina for 36 of my 46-year married career. When my husband, Rhett, retired and took another job we moved inland 40 miles to our childhood area in Columbia, N.C.

Affiliate and leadership: I am a charter member of the NC Press Club that chartered as Press Women of North Carolina. I believe that was 1978. I have served as president of that affiliate four times and currently serve as the treasurer. I have been active on the national level from the time I attended my first convention in the early 1980’s. I served as the national communications contest chairman for 25 years before stepping aside to let the newer generation take it into the digital age. I am very proud of the job they are doing with it.

I served NFPW by serving as each of the vice presidents and rose to the presidency in 1993. Even though I am not in any leadership role on the national level I still attend all conventions and enjoy the great fellowship and friendships I have made.

Tell us a little about you:

I have been a journalist, and am now a non-profit executive director, an event manager, humorist and motivational speaker. I worked for a daily paper for 17 years and 10 years in weekly and twice a week newspapers. I began my speaking career when I first took the stage as a teenage 4-H’er and have never stopped. I have addressed audiences in all 50 states and seven countries.

I direct the North Carolina Lions annual Visually Impaired Person’s fishing tournament for more than 500 blind and visually

Gwen White with a young blind man who had won a trophy for catching a big fish at a Lions event. She says I was her pleasure to  grant his request to meet her.

Gwen White with a young blind man who had won a trophy for catching a big fish at a Lions event. She says it was her pleasure to meet him.

impaired people and guests. I was installed as Lions District Governor in Australia in 2010.  My honors are many but my highest honor is being named the Ambassador of Good Will for Lions where I was one of only 40 out of 1.3 million Lions in 208 countries who received the honor.

Career advice:

I’d say whatever career you choose or end up in, make sure you have a good time, look for the positives, have fun and mentor younger people. I love the communications field.

What talent would you like to have:

As for what talent I would like to have. I would love to be able to sing (as in carry a tune) and play a guitar.

Where would I live?

If I could live any place other than where I am, it would be: Inside the U.S. – Idaho. Outside the U.S. would be New Zealand.

What book are you reading?

I am reading “The Gift of Christmas Present” by Melody Carlson

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am an introvert. I have to make myself be outgoing at parties and events. I used to market leeches to the medical community.

Why is my affiliate and NFPW important to me?

It has been my educational tool. Everything I learned about journalism in the early years was from NCPC and NFPW workshops, institutes, and travel opportunities. I never went to college for the field I entered. I fell into journalism and learned as I went.

I cannot say enough about the travel opportunities and lifelong friendships that I have formed in this organization.

How to follow me:

I am on Facebook (thanks to NFPW). Email is I can be reached at I

Motley shows NFPW loyalty, delivers marketing strategy on national level

April 16, 2014

She is a popular national speaker, has over 200 professional awards and helps national clients communicate better. In her spare time, she will publish  book soon. What an awesome, unique and unbelievable NFPW member.  Meet Christina Motley.


Name: Christina M. Motley

Christina Motley

Christina Motley

City and State: Raleigh, NC

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

North Carolina, previously Virginia affiliate. Previous positions include NFPW conference host (helped plan the conference when it was in VA), High School Communications Contest coordinator, three times VA Sweepstakes Winner and contributor to newsletters and held a board position years ago.

Years a member of NFPW: since 1992

Tell us a little about you.

As CEO and CMO of Christina Motley, LLC—a Triangle North Carolina-based strategic integrated marketing and communications company—Christina and her team deliver Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) services on demand and on point marketing strategies WHEN & WHERE™ national clients need it.

Her management and marketing expertise in both corporate and agency environments, combined with her education, allows Christina to bring a unique perspective and unusual breadth and depth of knowledge to help clients build brand loyalty, foster customer engagement and drive new business.

Her leadership in operations, sales, talent acquisition and human resources has benefited many clients, including many the top Fortune 500 brands and earned her over 200 awards and accolades for leadership, creativity, writing, management, entrepreneurship and marketing.

A popular keynote speaker and member of the National Speakers Association, she provides dynamic presentations on leadership, marketing strategy, team building, content marketing, social media, writing and other topics designed to motivate, celebrate and empower her audiences.

Christina Motley

Christina Motley

As a successful writer, her articles have been published online and in print in regional, national and international publications.

Her first book–The Greater Roanoke Region: Your Open Door to Technology, Education and Scenic Beauty– won first place state and national awards from the National Federation of Press Women and continues to generate awareness and tourism for Roanoke Valley, Virginia.

Her third book–Reflections of a 150 Year History:  Roanoke County, Virginia Fire & Rescue– is scheduled for release in 2014.

She serves on the Board of Advisors for EntreDot, TransformED Leadership, Inc. and Career Pro, Inc. She remains active in a number of industry associations both nationally and locally and regularly volunteers in the community.

A South Carolina native, who spent most of her life in Virginia, Christina lives in Raleigh, NC with her daughter, Morgan M. Maccherone, and their dog, a Golden Retriever named Bella.

Morgan graduates this spring as valedictorian of the largest high school in Wake County.  Christina’s greatest compliment is that Morgan calls her the “World’s Best Mom.”

Any career advice you would give?

Get involved early. I started with a Girl Scout newsletter, high school newspaper and college paper. It has served me well. I also believe you have to give to get and am a huge advocate of internships.

Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could play the piano by ear.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Vancouver Canada

What book are you reading?

I practice daily reflections from A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson. Professionally I just finished Seth Godin’s All Marketers are Liars.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a self taught chef and an expert downhill snow skier.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

NFPW is the first professional association I joined so I feel a sense of loyalty to it. It  represents freedom of speech, the expression of writing and the importance of good, effective communications. As a professional writer and marketer with degrees in journalism and English that is of utmost important to me.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

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