Meet the talented Historic Ghent neighborhood volunteers who are making New Bern's very own Mardi Gras better than ever in 2019.
Margaret Bartlett: Mardi Gras Co-Chair, Sponsors Coordinator
Margaret is a real estate broker with Coldwell Bander Willis-Smith and a 20+ year Ghent resident. Margaret is also the vice-president of the Ghent Neighborhood Association and says she loves the Ghent neighborhood because it's friendly, charming, and eclectic.
Nancy Bradley: Mardi Gras Co-Chair, Vendor and Entertainment Coordinator
Nancy moved to New Bern two years ago, and she and her husband and daughter became a part of the Ghent neighborhood a year ago. Nancy is an interior designer working from home, specializing in fresh and current, yet budget-friendly design. She loves the Ghent neighborhood for the sense of community it inspires.
Suzannah Cockerille: Mardi Gras Copywriter and Graphic Designer, Website Assistant
Suzannah is a writer, poet, and freelance copywriter and graphic designer. She's lived in New Bern just shy of thirty years. The things Suzannah loves most about Ghent are the beautiful old houses and that Ghent is filled with friendly neighbors who care about each other—plus, it's a great neighborhood for a laid-back bike ride.
Mary Giere-Merrell: Assistant Mardi Gras Sponsors Coordinator
Mary has been a florist for 36 years and manages the Harris Teeter floral department. She's a mom of four and beloved "MeMe" to four grandchildren. Mary is on the Ghent Neighborhood Association board, a member of the executive leadership board for the New Bern Heart Association's annual Heart Ball, on the advisory board for Tryon Palace, on the advisory board for the New Bern Woman's Club's annual Holly & Ivy Homes tour, and regularly gives talks and demonstrations on floral design to local garden clubs and other groups.
Mary has lived in Ghent for three years, and this is her third year on the Mardi Gras committee. She can be reached at 910-297-7308 or Unforgettable_heart67@yahoo.com.
Catherine and Blaine Statt: Mardi Gras Social Media & Advertising
Blaine and Cat moved to New Bern in July 2018 after living away from the East Coast for far too long. She’s from Virginia, he was raised in South Carolina; Ghent is their happy place. They have a son in Virginia Beach, a daughter in Morocco, and their two youngest pursuing dreams at Berea College. They currently share their home with three dogs, one cat, a lot of love, and very little sanity.
Cyndi Papia: Mardi Gras Website Developer and I.T. Chair
Cyndi moved to New Bern in June 2018, from New England, and moved to Ghent in October. She is a freelance website designer/developer and started her business, Office To-Go, in 1998. She shares her home with Charlie, a rescued cat.
When she's not building websites, you’ll find Cyndi volunteering for nonprofit organizations and all things animal/wildlife related. She can be reached at Info@OfficeTo-Go.com
Pam Sewell: Mardi Gras Queen
Pam Sewell and her husband are twenty-year residents of Ghent. Pam has chaired the Mardi Gras committee for the past two years, alongside her role as the New Bern Mardi Gras Queen and ambassador.
This is Pam's third year on the committee and as Queen. Pam is active throughout the community and volunteers for a number of organizations, including one of her favorites, the Coastal Capital Humane Society.
Pam is available to speak on the history and traditions of Mardi Gras and can be reached at OsikSewell@aol.com.
Nancy Hill: Accountant
Nancy is a Pennsylvania native who spent twenty years in Texas before arriving at last in New Bern in 2011. She's a gardener and cat lover, and found what she joyfully calls her perfect home in Ghent.
Nancy has worked for Bank of America for more than two decades, most recently as a Process Designer in the area of Consumer Lending and Small Business, making her the ideal Mardi Gras accountant. This is Nancy's first year on the Mardi Gras committee.
Trent Aiken: Mardi Gras King
Trent is an engineer, and he and his wife - and several sweet cats - have lived in Ghent for four years. They love the friendly and caring residents of Ghent, and that everyone comes together to help and support each other.
This is Trent's third year on the Mardi Gras committee. You'll see Trent the most on the day of Mardi Gras - setting up the parade route, vendor booths, and the music stage, as well as preparing the King and Queen's float, directing festivities and festival-goers, and all-around boots-on-the-ground hard work.
Terri Philyaw & Mary Traina
Terri Philyaw and Mary Traina have been living in the Ghent area for a little over a year. They report that "living in this area is absolutely the best - charming homes, great neighbors, and the feeling of being home!"
Terri is from North Carolina and is currently employed with the Defense Logistics Agency. Mary moved to North Carolina from Virginia after retiring from D.L.A. and is an active volunteer in New Bern.
Terri and Mary are happy to be volunteering for the New Bern Mardi Gras 2019 and are thrilled to be part of the parade coordinator team. You can reach Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org