MEET OUR TEAM
Janie and Glenn Withers became full-time residents of Ocean Isle Beach in 2004. They have two daughters, five grandchildren and at least three dogs at any given time.
Janie’s career included working in customer service for Eastern Airlines for 17 years, and as an event coordinator for the R J Reynolds Tobacco Co in Winston Salem, NC. Upon moving to OIB, Janie served on the Recreation Advisory Board for four years, and on the Ocean Isle Beach Land Conservancy Board of Directors. She completed four terms as secretary of that group, managing membership drives each year directed to more than 3,000 potential members.
Janie has for many years been an advocate for the protection of animals and has always had an interest in animal welfare. In 2007, Janie founded Paws-Ability. She continues to serve as President and is its chief spokesperson. In 2010, Janie was nominated a Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year in Brunswick County for her efforts in fundraising for Paws-Ability. Under her leadership, each year Paws-Ability has grown in membership and funds raised.
Mercy McCurdy retired from the Maryland Public School system in 2005, after teaching biology and other life sciences for 30 years. During her years in Maryland she volunteered as a guide for the Baltimore Zoo, and as a docent for the Baltimore Aquarium. In addition she volunteered for the local SPCA working with socializing dogs.
Mercy was a member of the National Teacher’s Association and the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association. She was awarded Marine Science Teacher of the Year in 2002.
Since retiring, Mercy became a Certified Master Gardner under the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and she volunteers as a 4-H Leader and volunteered with the Junior Master Gardener program at Supply Elementary School. She also volunteers at the Brunswick County Animal Shelter, helping to socialize dogs, preparing them for adoption. Mercy and her husband Dave also foster dogs in their home, until the dogs are adopted.
In 2010 Mercy joined Paws-Ability. Mercy was elected to its Board of Directors in 2012.
Anita and her husband, Leon, retired to Sunset Beach, NC in 2003. Anita had enjoyed a thirty-year career in Human Resources with Campbell Soup and consulting for various other Fortune 500 companies. During that time she also volunteered in various capacities with the American Society of Training and Development and the Society for Human Resource Management.
Anita has always shared her life with cats and dogs and other animals. She introduced her husband to “rescue” work when they rescued a young Boston Terrier from a house where he had been abandoned. After losing Spanky to dementia ten years later, they adopted another Boston Terrier from a rescue group in Charleston.
In 2010 the Augusts joined Paws Ability, and Anita was elected to the serve on its Board of Directors in January, 2015.
Sue’s early career was corporate finance and event planning. In 1987, she completed her degree in Early Childhood Education. After teaching for over 20 years, Sue was asked to be a part of the Before and After Child Care program (SACC) in Paramus, NJ. She quickly became Co-coordinator of the program, overseeing 7 schools, with a staff of 50 people, while continuing to teach part-time. In her spare time, Sue and a friend also started a gift basket and design home-based business.
After her move to Carolina Shores, Sue felt her work with small children was over, until she joined Paws-Ability. Sue had an interest in teaching children about compassion and kindness for animals. She found a Pet Education Program in another county and felt it was right for Brunswick County. She brought the program to Paws-Ability’s Board of Directors in 2014 and the rest is history! The program was begun when Sue persuaded the new Principal at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School to give it a try. She recruited 15 former teachers to begin teaching/assisting with the curriculum. The program has now grown to include 3 Brunswick County schools, with more to come. In 2017, Sue wrote and received a grant from ATMC which helps to fund the program. Sue joined the Paws-Ability Board of Directors in 2017.
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology at Virginia Tech and an MBA at Marymount University, Mary Beth was a Probation Officer for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, from which she retired in 2011.
After retirement, Mary Beth served as the Deputy Director, and later Acting Executive Director, of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, VA. Later she was one of the co-founders of Caring Hands Animal Support and Education (CHASE), a non-profit organization focused on providing a low-cost or no-cost spay/neuter services.
In October 2013, Mary Beth and her husband, Jeff, relocated to Southport NC with their three cats and two dogs. They have since added a second Italian Greyhound and a Chihuahua to their furry family. Mary Beth joined Paws-Ability in the fall of 2013 and also volunteers at the Brunswick County Animal Shelter and with the Brunswick County Teen Court.
Jerri retired from Bell Atlantic (n/k/a Verizon) in 1999 after a 31 year career in Information Systems. She moved with her parents and companion David to Hilton Head Island, SC. During her 16 years on Hilton Head she worked in banking. Jerri spent 9 years as a volunteer with the Beaufort County United Way Community Investment Committee and 12 years with the Zonta Club of Hilton Head Island. As a member of Zonta she held the position of treasurer for 8 years and was the fundraising chair for 7 years.
In 2015 Jerri and David decided to downsize and move closer to friends. They have made the Cottages at Ocean Isle Beach their home. Jerri will fill a board internship during 2017.