Music Maniac Blogger
As Greater Raleigh screams music, Derek’s life screams it as well. At the young age of four, being the son of a musician and then awed by a live Stéphane Grappelli performance on television, Derek began playing violin and learned under the Suzuki method. While enjoying playing in orchestras in middle and high school, Derek also soon felt “the urge to rock” and picked up the guitar, strengthened his vocal skills and formed a hard rock band. With promoting the band came the need for a website, album covers and flyers. Derek’s love for marketing and advertising was born.
Throughout his four years studying marketing at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and playing a tremendous amount of live shows throughout the state, Derek’s passion for music, marketing and the area grew tremendously. Derek’s favorite highlights during college are his weekends taking in concerts in Raleigh, winning an Honorable Mention award in the Billboard World Songwriting Contest, successfully marketing two self-written full-length albums (and promoting them with live shows and the band website he created) and graduating in 2008. After college, Derek began his marketing career in the tourism industry, continued to play shows and also started a Southern rock band with his father, in which he plays violin, guitar, lap steel and sings. He also began occasionally singing the National Anthem at major sports events.
Derek continues to play throughout Greater Raleigh and highly enjoys his position as the Internet marketing manager at the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, promoting the area in which he grew up in. A true Music Maniac, Derek loves taking in shows in Greater Raleigh, performing at music venues in the area, exploring local record stores and spreading the word to other Music Maniacs about Greater Raleigh’s hot music offerings.
Gadabout: a person who flits about in social activity. Webster might as well replace the word gadabout with my name, Kristen Baughman. My Google calendar is never empty. Life would be boring if I didn’t dedicate myself to spending time with my friends, family, coworkers, and CouchSurfers. There’s one common theme that runs through my numerous social activities, and that’s food.
My 22 years of life have revolved around my sincere love for food. I have to thank my Dad for turning me into a foodie at a young age. He taught me how to find the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants and even took my family on a mission to eat the most delicious key lime pie in all of Florida. Not only did my Dad teach me to appreciate good food, my Mom and Grandma taught me a thing or two in the kitchen. The best present I ever received was a book filled with all of my Grandma’s Southern recipes. I love eating, cooking, and just appreciating food. Food makes me happy.
North Carolina is a fantastic state. The local foods movement is huge and North Carolina has so much to offer due to our great agricultural diversity. I’ve lived in North Carolina my whole life. I was raised in Charlotte and was ready for a change after high school. I moved to Raleigh in 2007 to attend North Carolina State University for my undergraduate and Master’s programs in Extension Education with a focus in Nutrition Science. During undergrad, I worked as an intern with the dietitian at NC State University Dining. My favorite part about the job was taste testing new products, teaching cooking classes, and dressing up as a giant banana! I currently work for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. I help to coordinate the activities of the Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council, which has given me the opportunity to learn more about local foods. Working with the group also inspired me to start a blog, the 43 Day Local Food Challenge. I set out on a mission to only eat locally grown and produced foods. I’m finishing my challenge and have met some amazing people along the way.
I am thrilled to be the Foodie blogger for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. I promise to eat my way across the Greater Raleigh area, gain a few pounds, and hopefully make you laugh.
Creative Genius Blogger
Katie is a self-proclaimed arts nerd who grew up obsessing over musicals and dancing in her spare time. Her visual artistic passions were first realized during a high school trip to Europe where she became deeply enamored with the art and architecture of the Tuscan masters. She went on to study Art History and Public Relations at the University of South Carolina, graduating in 2011.
Katie made a cross-global move to teach English in Hong Kong for her first year out of college and had the opportunity to travel Asia and photograph the art and architecture of many intriguing cultures. A Raleigh native, Katie recently returned to the area and is excited to dig deep into Raleigh’s rapidly blooming visual and performing arts scene to help spread the word.