One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for April 18, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
I love the fact that my entire professional career has been spent in higher education. A college campus is a unique place to work because you have many different occupations all working together to make a university function. In some ways a campus is in fact a small city you have housing, dining, infrastructure, utilities, trades, police, maintenance, recruiters, coaches, and of course faculty just to name a few of the careers that people can have working at university.
I have tried to connect people from one division of the university to another or to the community. In the early to the mid 2000’s I was very active with the Robeson Road Runners and was always on the lookout for UNC Pembroke employees that were into fitness. In 2002 I met Amie Ward, an outgoing admissions counselor at UNC Pembroke that had been hired by Jackie Clark the UNCP Vice Chancellor for Enrollment. Jackie always had a discerning eye for talent and she hit a home run in hiring Amie. She personalized the recruiting process for new students and genuinely cared about each new UNCP student success. She had the complete package in that position but you knew she was capable of doing so much more.
I suggested to Amie and she took me up on the offer to join Robeson Road Runners. In that group she met a lot of new friends including Alison Travis DeCinti, Allison Harrington, Maria Parker, Shannon Ransom, Sonia Tinsley, and Scott Billingsley just to name a few who were all part of that running group. Amie really got hooked into running and today some ten years later she is quite the accomplished runner having completed a bunch of 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon races.
Amie on May 17, 2008 got married to her best friend Randall Graham who is from Lumberton, NC. She was kind of enough to invite my wife and many others from UNC Pembroke to be part of her wedding day in Laurinburg, NC.
Amie is also a very compassionate person and if you need proof just ask her about the 2 Boston Terriers that her and husband Randall have at home. She just has a big heart. The Boston thing also spills over to her favorite baseball team the Boston Red Sox’s.
When I met Amie she impressed me and many others at the university as a talented leader who one day would elevate beyond her position as an admission counselor. In 2010 she enrolled in graduate school at UNC Pembroke seeking a professional counseling degree. In 2012 she earned that master’s degree and shortly thereafter landed a position as school counselor at Panther Creek High School in Cary, NC. I have a feeling that will not be the last professional career for Amie Ward Graham.
Amie’s compassion, leadership, discipline, and her wonderful sense of humor are all ingredients for her to continue to grow as a leader. The sense of humor comes in quite handy being married to Randall Graham who is a leader also.
The Friend – AMIE WARD GRAHAM
The Friend of the Friend –RANDALL GRAHAM
Laughing your way thru the day
Amie has been gone from UNC Pembroke since 2012 so I do not get to interact with her personally but I still get to catch up with her via social media. She and her husband Randall have a relationship that is built with at least one cornerstone on laughter and humor. A lot of people on social media attempt to be humorous but Randall Graham delivers laughs to me on an almost weekly basis.
Randall went to Lumberton High School in North Carolina and graduated with my daughter Becca. I have known him for a while but when he started dating Amie I got to see who he was really all about. Randall graduated from East Carolina in 2001. His love for East Carolina University runs strong.
Today he is the Marketing Strategist for The Edwards Companies, one of the premier full service real estate investment, management, maintenance, and brokerage firms in Raleigh, NC. In addition Randall is also the Marketing Director for EDJ Enterprises a well-established brand in the point of sale industry for major retail and supermarket chains.
Randall sense of humor and his ability to make people laugh is wonderful. His track record with practical jokes and surprises probably deserves him some type of award. I can always count on a social media photo that will just crack me up. Below I have posted a few-trust me there are many more.
Randall is also a professional that is recognized in his industry. Two weeks ago he was recognized by East Carolina University as one of their Top 40 under 40” for his creative work in marketing strategies.
I know that Randall and Amie are both very hard-working professionals that have accomplish a lot and will continue to generate results in the future. As a married couple they are a reminder to all of us that laughter will make any relationship stronger.