Category Archives: Leadership


Julia Maulden, Habitat for Humanity, Julia’s Coffee Shop

I just read this incredible story and wanted to pass it along. Julia Maulden was an incredibly giving person and very active in Habitat for Humanity. The coffee shop adjacent to the Habitat Restore on Wendover Ave in Charlotte NC is named for her. Help continue her legacy of giving by visiting Julia’s Coffee Shop and the Habitat Restore. It is a great way to help yourself while helping others. The following is taken directly from the coffee shop website:

“Julia’s Coffee Shop is named after one of Charlotte’s pioneering public servants, Julia Maulden. As the first volunteer executive director, she helped get Habitat for Humanity started in Charlotte. She not only worked on the first Charlotte Habitat home, she also brought Jimmy Carter to the Optimist Park Neighborhood for a fourteen house Build-a-Thon.

Julia grew up poor in the segregated South, borrowing and working her way through Greensboro Women’s College during the Depression. That experience, combined with her religious beliefs shaped the course of her life. She said, “You can’t just sit around loving your neighbor abstractly; you have to get out and do something for him.”

Her public service began in Kannapolis with the local Girl Scout movement where she helped to build the Girl Scout camp that still bears her name–Camp Julia. In 1945 she was named Kannapolis’ woman of the year.

In 1960 she moved to Davidson, North Carolina with her family where she became active in the school system for her kids. Her involvement led to her eventual membership in the Charlotte Mecklenburg school board, which lasted from 1966-1974. This time proved to be an extremely turbulent period, when people were openly at odds over the desegregation of schools. With her firm beliefs, she became a strong advocate for integration, despite the risk and ridicule it involved. “Her innate intelligence helped her see the world in broader terms than most people around her,” said her Reverend, Will Terry. Julia’s determination to fight for what she knew was right earned her Charlotte’s Woman of the Year in 1973.

At the age of sixty she resigned from the school board and spent the next eighteen months in the Peace Corps teaching children in the African Nation of Zaire in a very challenging environment. When she returned, she spent the next chapter of her life bringing her former students to the US and paying their way through prominent schools such as Columbia University and Davidson College.

In 1991 she told the Charlotte Observer’s Tom Bradbury that to ask yourself, “Am I better off,” is the wrong question. “Are we better off? is the question.” Because of Julia, we know that the answer to that question is “Yes.””

Visit Julia’s Coffee Shop website at:


Sam Ervin, North Carolina, Watergate and NC influence

I just got through watching a documentary on NC Public
TV about Senator Sam, Sam Ervin. Sam Ervin is best known
for chairing the Watergate Committee, his knowledge of the
Constitution and his down home wit. He was known to say “I
am just a simple country lawyer from North Carolina.” Well,
he was from NC, but he was a Harvard Law School Graduate,
with honors, and extremely intelligent. Sam Ervin was also
influenced by his religious upbringing and by the values of
his community in Morganton NC.
Watching the documentary brought back memories of the Watergate Hearings and Sam Irvin but also brought back memories of other famous and not so famous people from NC. We were all influenced by those surrounding us and I can say with a high degree of confidence, that I was surrounded by some of the most decent and caring people to be found anywhere. From my parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, neighbors and people I ran into, there was that spirit of community, morality and caring that comes through on the Andy Griffith Show. I guess that on some level I realized this as a youth but it is only now that I really appreciate how fortunate I was to grow up in North Carolina.

To learn more about  North Carolina Click here

Office Depot, bad experience, online shopping hell

I have been shopping at Office Depot for many years due to the fact that I have bought a lot of computer equipment over the years, they seemed to have what I wanted and appeared to be the lesser of evils. I have been shopping for a notebook computer recently and going to the Office Depot site and checking out their selection. I received a gift for $ 75 and decided to take it in the form of a Office Depot gift card to apply toward the purchase of the new computer. I have been leaning more toward Office Max recently because they have gotten away from the rebate nonsense. I will definitely give Office Max more attention. Here is the experience I had with Office Depot. I will say the customer service reps that I ended up calling were friendly, but powerless to help. It is the fault of the idiot management. Consumers beware.

  • The Office Depot website was slow when I searched for computers.
  • Regarding the online gift card order. I tried to take the option to pick up the card locally and pay online. It would not let me. I then decided to have it shipped and completed the order.
  • The next day I checked the status online. It showed a 2 week shipping delivery date.
  • I tried to chat online and get an answer. I was knocked off 3 times. The response time was horrible (I have high speed internet access).
  • I finally called customer service. The first lady said it takes 2 weeks because it is a special order. I mentioned that I see gift cards on every store shelf. No go.
  • I asked to speak to someone else. Same answer. Both ladies were nice and I was nice to them.
  • Conclusion. Management is obviously on drugs. I am ready to spend some more money at Office Depot and Office Depot obviously has a death wish. This is so typical of corporate America. They obviously are not on top of their website and 2 weeks to get a gift card. I don’t think so!

WCNC news Charlotte NC, John Snyder, Terri Bennett

WCNC news tv, Charlotte North Carolina, has reacted like many companies in corporate America. Instead of getting to the root of a declining market share of audience, they have let go some of their best assets, veteran newsman John Snyder and professional weather forecaster, Terri Bennett. I will venture a guess that they will lose more market share after this move. The only reason some people even watched WCNC news was because of people like John Snyder and Terri Bennett. People are already disenchanted with network news and many people, particularly the young, are getting their news from the internet. Wake up corporate America, your most valuable assets are your customers and your employees. Listen to the public and your employees. I watch less network news, but I did watch John Snyder and Terri Bennett. Maybe there is something wrong with the way you are doing business, your product for example.

I went to the Charlotte Observer online and the article about John Snyder being upset and saying goodbye. There were posts from people echoing my thoughts about  WCNC, John Snyder, Terri Bennett and their “death wish”. The article is dated Dec 08, 2007. If you share my concerns, post a remark on this blog, on the Charlotte Observer site or contact WCNC or The Observer link is here or you can search on John Snyder WCNC.

To learn more about Charlotte and  North Carolina Click here


Barack Obama projected winner by CNN in Iowa Caucus

Barack Obama has been projected as winner of the Iowa caucus by CNN. Hilary Clinton and John Edwards are currently tied for second place.

Mike Huckabee projected winner of Iowa Caucus by CNN

Mike Huckabee has just been announced as a projected winner by CNN. Mike Huckabee, who in the past few weeks has risen from an obscure candidate to a frontrunner, has a commanding lead in Iowa. John McCain is focusing his attention on New Hampshire where he has a much better chance.

Iowa Caucus, presidential election, choices

I am still on the west coast with time to reflect on the Iowa Caucus, presidential election and candidate choices. I was sitting in the Whidby Coffee Shop this morning, overlooking the Puget Sound, drinking a great cup of coffee, reading some news and actually slowing my pace enough to delve deeper into the candidates backgrounds. I, as I believe most people are, am having a more difficult time deciding on a candidate to support. I had one in mind 2 weeks ago, but am leaning toward another. Of course, this means doing some old fashioned research. I plan to watch the Iowa Caucus carefully.  I have been to Iowa and the people there are good people, generally down to earth, hard working and sensible. They are a lot like the people in North Carolina. In fact, Iowa and NC have several things in common. Iowa is the number 1 hog producing state. North Carolina is second. Sounds like a greenhouse gas situation to me. I bet the candidates won’t bring that up.

To learn more about  North Carolina Click here