Raleigh’s Most Eligible

Meet 10 Raleighites from all walks of life—including politics, television, food and real estate. More than half are entrepreneurs, building businesses that fuel the local economy. We asked them all the same questions, but got all kinds of responses—from funny to homespun. You’ll find good advice and neat stories as you take a peek into their lives. The fact that they’re all single makes it even more fun. Pull up a chair and sit in on our Q&A with Raleigh’s most interesting singles.

Angelica_AlvarezAngelica Alvarez

31, News Reporter for ABC11

Alvarez spends her days at WTVD, covering news and social issues, among other things. Before she landed in Raleigh, she worked in Tallahassee, Florida. She loves the Seminoles and her abuela’s red beans and rice recipe (which she’s still trying to perfect).

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

That can range from jumping in my car for a random day trip to just relaxing at home catching up on my T.V. shows with my two dogs.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

What’s meant to be…will be.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

Raleigh is beautiful and its location is awesome; in just a few hours you can find yourself at the beach or the mountains.

Q. Favorite place to unwind:

In North Carolina, the Outer Banks

Kevin_Tyndall

Kevin Tyndall

36, Territory Manager at Natty Greene’s Brewing Company

Tyndall served six years in the Navy before graduating from NC State in three and going to work in brewery sales for Natty Greene’s. He’ll pour you a drink since he’s also a Cicerone Certified beer server. We’re not sure what that means, but it sounds impressive.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

Work hard, play hard, drink craft beer and don’t forget to laugh.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My Grandma told me when I was a kid that “God has a plan.” That sentiment has stuck with me through good times and bad.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

I enjoy anything related to NC State along with hiking, camping and cooking.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

Don’t take the moment for granted. You may never get that opportunity again.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People not being nice to each other. Seriously, it’s not that hard to be nice.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

Raleigh is the epicenter of the best state in the Union! We have a fantastic small-town, Southern culture with big city amenities—not to mention the mountains and beach are both on our doorstep.

Q. Favorite place to unwind:

Loaded question for me. My back patio with a roaring fire is real nice!

Amanda_Bordeaux

Amanda Bordeaux

32, Founder/Owner of Stellar Sitters

Even as a kid, Bordeaux loved taking care of little ones. By the time she was a senior at Meredith College, she had nearly 30 families in her babysitting network—and a real business. She founded Stellar Sitters more than a decade ago, which matches reliable sitters with families in Raleigh and Wilmington. She also works with youth in the high school ministry program at Hope Community Church in Raleigh.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

Love God, love others. Work hard, play hard. Take advantage of opportunities. Create experiences and collect friends wherever you go. Eat well, travel often. Celebrate well. Be thankful.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Relationships are more important than accomplishments. You’re responsible for your own happiness. You cannot be everything to everyone, but you can be something to someone.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

Enjoying meals with friends, hanging out with high school students from my church or just enjoying time journaling or reading.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

Don’t wait until Friday to have fun. Spend money on experiences, not on stuff. Call your mom.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people are unwise with or unappreciative of the time they have and the resources they’ve been given.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

That no matter how far I roam, how much it grows, or how long I’m away, it always feels like home. And I love that Raleigh is home to the best pizza place I’ve found: Lilly’s Pizza.

 Dee_Stewart

Dee Stewart

42, President & CEO, The Stewart Group, Inc.

Stewart began his foray into politics as the National Youth Leader for the presidential campaign to elect Phil Gramm. Since then, he’s been to Capitol Hill as the Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry, and his firm now advises politicians regarding strategy, campaigns, polling, research and media.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

Enjoy each and every day.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My mom once told me to always dress well for every occasion. Being the best dressed doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll have an edge, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

I love to travel; I’m into food and wine, and I enjoy art and the performing arts.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

Always find the best hotels along any route of a road trip.  Hotel restrooms are always key in making the best pit stops.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

It’s a tie: When technology doesn’t work properly and the fact that there aren’t enough charms in a box of Lucky Charms.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

I love the people. They are generally well-educated, polite and very accepting of newcomers. It’s no wonder our community is booming.

Q. Favorite place to unwind:

If I’m staying in town, the best places to unwind are at Players’ Retreat or C Grace or on my back porch.  If I’m driving or flying somewhere, please just get me to a warm beach where I can veg out and regroup.  Sand in my suitcase on a Monday means it’s been a great weekend.

Nunzio_Scordo

Nunzio Scordo

43, Chef/Owner, Driftwood Southern Kitchen & Farina Neighborhood Italian

Scordo made his way to Raleigh from Chicago a few years ago and jumped immediately into what he knew best—life as a restaurateur and chef. He launched the successful Driftwood Southern Kitchen first and just recently opened Farina Neighborhood Italian, where he serves the kind of Italian food he grew up with.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

Be humble, be kind and do good things. Try to remember that we are where we’re supposed to be right here and now.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

To learn to get out of my own way and let things happen.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

I enjoy cooking, even at home, hanging out downtown and spending time in western N.C. and the beaches.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

Don’t take yourself too seriously, and enjoy your life because time flies.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people are chronically late.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

I love the versatility of travel, the great food scene, weather and meeting so many great people here in the city.

Q. Favorite place to unwind:

The amazing courtyard at Babylon. It’s such a unique setting and great for sharing a bottle of wine.

Sheri_Smallwood_Hagerty

Sheri Smallwood Hagerty

45, President/Owner/Broker of Sheri Hagerty Realty Group with Allen Tate Co.

A single mom running her own company, Hagerty is also dedicated to yoga and finding ways to give back to the community. She grew up in Raleigh and is a founding member of the Midtown Raleigh Alliance Advisory Board. In 2012, she was nominated as one of the Triangle’s Top 25 Realtors.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

Do your very best at anything you attempt, give it your all, make your enthusiasm for life contagious, and always remember that people are motivated by encouragement and praise, rather than negativity.  And most importantly, recognize grace and have compassion; we all just want to be heard and understood. 

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Celebrate the successes of others. In turn, you will find your successes.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

I love watching my 11-year-old son play basketball.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

I would say, be patient, but keep seeking. You will be amazed at how you can and will follow your dreams, but just be patient enough to see the beauty and grace along the way. Don’t miss the moment in front of you by focusing too much on the future.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Besides toothpicks and gum smacking? I would have to say disrespectful and rude people. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Even in business, when things get “heated,” I always try to remember this. 

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

There is so much opportunity here and so many amazing people!

David_Worters

David Worters

48, Broker, Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty

Once the president and CEO for the North Carolina Symphony, this Harvard grad helped oversee the opening of Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh. He launched a successful real estate career several years ago.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

On most days, symphony orchestra management and real estate brokerage feel worlds apart.  But the constant has been the incredible opportunity to be of assistance to others each and every day. That’s what brings me more satisfaction than anything else.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

You can never say “thank you” enough.  We’re surrounded every day by good people doing great things; take the time to notice and say thanks.  It was important advice and something I’ve tried to take to heart.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

My favorite things to do are travel to new places, discover new foods and restaurants and cheer for our Carolina Hurricanes. There are a lot more places on my bucket list than I’ll ever make it to in person, but I would love to see as much of the world as possible.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

Hold on tighter to childhood and college friends and find a way to keep them in your life. I admire my sister for having done this so successfully. I’m not sure it ever really occurred to me that we’d wind up in all corners of the country and, in some cases, the world, and I wish I was in closer contact with many of them.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Long and out-of-sync traffic lights.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

It’s really incredible how Raleigh has changed since I arrived in the very late 1990s. We’ve really grown and grown up, now to the point that it’s difficult to keep up with all the new places that open and all the events and performances that I’d like to attend. Four years ago, I had the opportunity to pick absolutely anywhere in the world to live. There were lots of great cities in the running but the right answer was Raleigh. This is home now.

Q. Favorite place to unwind:

Bald Head Island, North Carolina.

Duane_Hall

Duane Hall II

48, Attorney and Representative in the NC House

Hall, a democrat, joined the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2013, now balancing that and his career as a real estate attorney. In his first term, he was elected by his House colleagues to serve as Minority Freshman Leader. Hall spoke out against the Voter ID law and also against drastic education cuts. His voting record on the environment earned him a perfect score from the League of Conservation Voters.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

It’s soooo short.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I didn’t take it.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

Spend time with friends, play basketball and go to social and political events.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

Go to class!

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Slow left lane drivers.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

Its large socially conscious community of people.

Q. Favorite place to unwind:

Clockwork.

Kim_Hunter

Kim Hunter

39, Chef/Owner of Kimbap Restaurant

Hunter launched her career making fresh dumplings at local farmers’ markets. She blended her love of fresh foods with her Korean heritage to found Kimbap. Much to the delight of local farmers, last year nearly 50 percent of the café’s food purchases were from locally-sourced foods—including beef, chicken, eggs, fruits and veggies.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

To give more than I take, to try to leave things a little better than how they were found.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

A jog at Lake Johnson or Shelley Lake, eat at restaurants, cook at home.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

You know more than you think you do.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Dishonesty.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

I love the landscape at Pullen Park. I still head over there from time to time to sit under a tree and think.

Q. Favorite place to unwind:

Players’ Retreat and the bar at Bloomsbury Bistro.

Colin_Fickes

Colin Fickes

35, CEO/Founder of Humdinger Juice

You might recognize this former “One Tree Hill” actor (he played Jimmy Edwards), but Fickes wanted a less stressful career and found the perfect niche here. This Raleigh native and 1998 Broughton High School graduate is back home working hard to build the city’s first cold-pressed juice line, Humdinger Juice.

Q. What’s your life philosophy?

“The only journey is the one within.” -Rilke

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Never be afraid to ask for what is most decent.

Q. What do you enjoy when you have free time?

Exploring new towns and cities, yoga, my bicycle, coffee.

Q. What advice would you give to a younger you?

Take more chances and worry less about other people’s opinions.

Q. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Littering.

Q. One thing you love about living in Raleigh:

The Greenway Trails.

About Christa Gala 66 Articles
Christa Gala worked for 16 years as a newspaper columnist and freelance writer across digital and print platforms before joining Raleigh Magazine. Gala is in her fifth semester teaching Writing and Reporting at UNC-Chapel Hill’s renowned School of Media and Journalism.

1 Comment

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