Cmdr. Mike Bencini

Cmdr. Mike Bencini (center) reconfirms his oath to protect his nation during his promotion ceremony on Ford Island on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Sept. 3.


The American Heart Association has named Debbie Cunningham, president of Cone Health Women’s Hospital and Behavioral Health Services and senior vice president of Cone Health, as the chairperson for the 2019-2020 Guilford Go Red for Women Campaign. This year’s initiatives will focus on awareness, prevention and risk factor management for heart disease and stroke for all women throughout the different seasons of their lives.

Go Red for Women is a year-round movement focused on awareness, prevention education, risk factor reduction, healthy behavioral changes and women’s heart health research. The year’s Go Red community initiatives will be celebrated at the 2020 Guilford Go Red for Women Luncheon, sponsored by Cone Health and Encompass Health, scheduled for May 2020.

To sponsor Go Red in Guilford County or get involved with the 2019-2020 Guilford Go Red for Women leadership team, contact Hollan Anderson at 336-542-4832 or email


Guilford Metro 911’s Chris Champagne was named the N.C. Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Telecommunicator of the Year at the recent N.C. Public-Safety Communications Conference in Winston-Salem.

Champagne, who joined Guilford Metro 911 in July 2016, is the department’s second consecutive Telcommunicator of the Year after Greg Cobb won last year.


Karlene Noel Jennings, executive director of development for University Libraries, has been appointed to the American Library Association’s Philanthropy Advisory Group for a two-year term. In this role, Jennings will be charged with advancing the philanthropic activities of the ALA and increasing the level of external funding that supports the work of the association.

As a member of this advisory group, Jennings will advise and report to the ALA Executive Board, investigate and analyze the state of philanthropic work in the association, work towards more effectively coordinating philanthropy within ALA, study the impact of new development goals and how the organization can evolve more efficiently over time.

The Greensboro Science Center has broken its fiscal year attendance record for the second consecutive year. During its 2018-2019 fiscal year (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019), the GSC welcomed 445,646 guests, an increase over the previous year’s record-setting attendance of 436,506 guests. This new record also surpasses 2018’s record-breaking calendar year attendance of just more than 444,000 guests.

Zip code analysis shows that these guests traveled to the GSC from all 100 counties in North Carolina and all 50 states — as well as from abroad.


After 20 years in practice, the Greensboro Center for Pediatric Dentistry has begun renovations. Upgrades include an improved office flow, new cabinets, floors and walls, a toy room, and an updated play space for younger patients.

Those with the practice include Dr. Matthew Applebaum, Dr. Marc Goldenberg and Dr. Kate Pierce.


Baseline Diagnostics recently began offering Baseline EEG scans. The business is at 21-A Oak Branch Drive in Greensboro.

For information, call 336-392-8682.


Truliant Federal Credit Union held a grand opening celebration Sept. 19 for its new Battleground Avenue location in Greensboro, its fifth location in Guilford County. Milli Herring is the manager.

At the event, Truliant presented a $6,000 donation to the Greensboro Aquatic Center for second graders at Joyner and Greene elementary schools in Greensboro to receive swim education. The center has a goal of teaching swim lessons to all Guilford County Schools second graders.

The new Truliant location follows the recent opening of its New Garden branch in Greensboro, and a second location in Asheboro last year.

Truliant plans to open the Triad Commercial Lending Office, 600 Green Valley Road in Greensboro later this year. As a part of this development, the West Friendly Avenue branch will move to the commercial lending office.


Greensboro’s Water Resources Department has been recognized as a 2019 “Utility of the Future Today” for excellence in partnering and engagement. The department was one of 48 utilities to receive this honor nationally from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation and Water Environment Research Foundation.

The city received a UotFT flag and certificate of honor at a ceremony Sept. 24 in Chicago.

Utilities receiving recognition through the UotFT program are expected to share their practices and experiences with other utilities. The purpose is for the industry to continue to grow and learn from each other for the strengthening of sustainable and livable communities.


UNCG received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, a diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The annual HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. It’s the second year in a row UNCG has won this award.

UNCG is one of four institutions in the 17-member UNC System to be honored with the HEED Award in 2019. Other recipients include: East Carolina University, N.C. State and Winston-Salem State University. Nationally, 93 other recipients received the award, including Columbia, Princeton, Swarthmore and William & Mary.


High Point University faculty in the Wanek School of Natural Sciences have been awarded a nearly $412,000 Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institute of Health through its General Medical Sciences Institute. This is the first NIH grant awarded to HPU’s department of chemistry, and the first AREA grant awarded to HPU.

Heather Miller, associate professor of chemistry, and Meghan Blackledge, assistant professor of chemistry, will use the funding to continue to investigate the enzyme Stk1, a novel drug target in the bacteria, MRSA. The grant provides funding to support 11 undergraduate students to participate in research over the next three years. They will research how Stk1 functions promote antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation in MRSA.


Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (CNSG MIDPAC) Sailor Cmdr. Mike Bencini was promoted to commander in a ceremony on Ford Island on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) on Sept. 3.

Bencini, a High Point native, is serving as the CNSG MIDPAC Deputy Chief of Staff, overseeing force generation for 10 JBPHH-based surface combatants and assisting in managing the overall warfighting capability of the surface combatant force in JBPHH.

After the oath of office, administered by DESRON 31 Commodore, Capt. Joe Ring, Bencini’s rank insignia was replaced by his family.

On average, it takes approximately 15 years to promote to Commander, a process of continuous development, education and growth, which often involves and relies upon the knowledge and experience gained from senior enlisted Sailors and the dedication of junior Sailors.

Bencini joined the Navy after graduating from Vanderbilt University, where he earned his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2004. Prior to CNSG MIDPAC, Bencini served onboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Mustin (DDG 89) and COMDESRON Fifteen.

Bencini received orders to transfer later this year to Everett, Wash., where he has been selected to serve onboard USS SAMPSON (DDG 102).

On the Move

Koury Corporation has named Richard L. Vanore Jr. as president of the company, succeeding Steve Showfety who recently announced his retirement. Vanore is a veteran of the company having served in various capacities over the past 27 years, most recently as vice president of construction and facilities.

Also, Mike Longmore has joined the company as senior vice president, commercial real estate. A 29-year veteran of the shopping center industry, Longmore will have overall responsibility for the company’s 2+ million square foot retail, office and industrial portfolio.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

Send Milestones to

Load comments