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 October 8, 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.
When you spend time around a university you will see leaders emerge in all different aspects of the campus. Lorna McNeill Ricotta is one of those leaders that I got to meet while she was a student at UNC Pembroke, then as a valuable member of the university’s advancement staff, and today as a member of the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees.
May 2015 Commencement at UNCP (l-r) Rudy Locklear, Dan Kenney, Caroline Williamson, Wendy Lowery, Rich Cosentino, Lorna Ricotta, Bob Caton, and Kellie Blue.
When you look at what Lorna has accomplished in her professional life to this date it is pretty humbling. She is a former Miss North Carolina winning the crown in 2000.
Her becoming Miss North Carolina was the first time an American Indian had done that. Lorna is Lumbee and grew up in Robeson County, NC so there is a great local pride in her accomplishments. In her role as Miss North Carolina she represented the state here at home, but also across the country, and internationally. She has performed professionally as a singer and traveled across the world performing on cruise ships. She has even got to sing the National Anthem at a Carolina Panthers NFL Game.
Lorna today serves as Executive Director of the Fayetteville Tech Community College Foundation in Fayetteville, NC. Lorna is also a small business owner of Ethos Creative Group, an interior design and event- planning company.
In addition to her serving on the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees she finds time to be a mom and serve others in the region. Some of her volunteer work has been with Cumberland County Education Foundation, Community Concerts, and ReStore Warehouse. Her work as a leader has not gone unrecognized. She was selected in 2011 as one of Fayetteville’s 40 under 40 Leaders.
I live in a home in Lumberton, NC that was built in 1910 and one of the special moments in that building history was having a fundraising event that Lorna agreed to support in 2002. The theme of the event was an Italian Evening. She agreed to sing a few Italian songs during dessert and she was beyond wonderful she was superb. Every time I walk thru my dining room I think about how powerful that performance was. Ironically she married a man of Italian ancestry.
Lorna and her husband Patrick Ricotta have two children. Patrick Ricotta is a podiatrist.
The Friend-LORNA MCNEILL RICOTTA
The Friend of the Friend-PATRICK RICOTTA
The New Yorker meets Miss North Carolina
Patrick Ricotta grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y., and attended Saint Bonaventure University, where he earned his four-year premedical degree in biology. He then spent four years in medical school at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine located in Cleveland, Ohio. He was honored with the Marvin Shapiro Podiatric Surgery award for outstanding performance in surgery at graduation from medical school.
His professional career brought him to Fayetteville and eventually Lumberton where his path would cross with Lorna. Patrick has been practicing in Lumberton since 1997.
Not sure how some one who goes to school in or near Buffalo, NY becomes a Miami Dolphins fan but Patrick likes the fins.
I do know that doctors have busy and hectic lives. I also know Patrick married a woman in Lorna who stays busy. I only hope that being a podiatrist will allow Patrick to keep on his toes-he is married to a dynamic leader in Lorna and together they make a great team as parents, friends, and community leaders.