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 August 25, 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.
Yesterday I wrote about a great couple that lived in Lumberton, NC and moved away. Today I want to continue that theme.
Back in 2005 I met a young woman named Alayna DeFalco who had just moved from New Jersey. She had just moved to Lumberton, NC to be with her future husband Rich DeFalco who was working for Dr. David Allen owner of Allen Orthopedics as a Physical Therapist.
Alayna had a background in Exercise Physiology. She was looking to find something challenging in the workplace and I gave her some advice on how to network both professionally and socially in our community. The professional advice I gave her was to drive over to UNC Pembroke and introduced herself resume in hand to Dr. Tommy Thompson the chair of the HPER Department. That meeting led to Alayna becoming a lecturer in the HPER Department for five years from 2006-2011. Alayna also worked with the color guard for the UNCP Spirit of the Carolinas Marching Band.
Alayna became a great resource to Dr. Thompson in the HPER Department and she wound up teaching a wide variety of courses. Some of the courses she taught at UNCP included:
- Wellness and Fitness
- Fitness Walking
- Aerobic Dance
- Exercise Physiology
- Outdoor Recreation
- Tourism and Commercial Recreation
The social advice I gave Alayna was for her to consider joining the Robeson Road Runners. She did that and immediately became immersed in the club events and began to make friends that she still holds on to this day. If you know Jerry and Von Johnson you know that they worship Alayna and her two children.
Alayna’s daughter Raegan and son Roman.
(l-r) Von Johnson, Dan Kenney, and Jerry Johnson.
Alayna didn’t just stop with the Robeson Road Runners in becoming involved in our community. Her love of animals and especially dogs drew into the mission of the Robeson County Humane Society. Today that love of animals and her expertise in fitness has her bringing animal care and wellness together. She currently teaches a class called “Human and Animal Interaction in Health Care”.
Alayna loving up on a dog.
In 2011 Alayna applied for a position at Coastal Carolina University which is in Conway, SC and secured it. Today she is a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology at the university which is located just outside of Myrtle Beach, SC.
So in ten years after a move from New Jersey to Lumberton Alayna continues to great stuff. She has a five-year old son, Roman and almost one year old daughter, Raegan. Alayna also has 3 furry children. If that wasn’t enough Alayna has started a business called Fit4everyone.
The move to South Carolina for Alayna also involved her husband Rich DeFalco both becoming entrepreneurs.
The Friend-ALANA DEFALCO
The Friend of the Friend-RICH DEFALCO
Dogs, Fitness, and Small Businesses
If you met Rich DeFalco you could not help liking him. He was intelligent, caring, and wanted to know what he could do to help others. His profession is that of a physical therapist but since he got married in 2008 he and Alayna have used a lot of energy to create a wonderful life in a number of different roles. They have gotten married, sold a house, started a new business, became a business partner with Professional Rehabilitation, and had two children together.
Some links to what the DeFalco’s are involved with:
They have done all of this while still being very concerned about animals.
Rich while he was in Lumberton also became involved with our community. As a physical therapist he helped out at UNC Pembroke by serving as a clinical instructor for the Athletic Training Program.
Dr. David Allen got him interested in the Robeson Road Runners and before he knew it he was a race director.
Rich presenting a $10,000 check in 2010 to Southeastern Heart Center from the Robeson Road Runners.
(l-r) Scott Billingsley, Matt Thompson, Von Johnson, Rich DeFalco, Joann Anderson, unknown, Cat Gaines, and Sissy Grantham.
Rich and Alayna DeFalco made Lumberton, NC a better place while they were here. I know I speak for many when I say we miss them.