Richard Dowdy may be busy running his own business, but more often he’s running after his three spirited young boys. This devoted father and husband found himself in Catawba County after relocating more than once for work – but when he and his wife landed here, they knew it was where they wanted to plant roots for their young family. Listen in as Hal talks entrepreneurship, fatherhood, and community with Richard Dowdy on this month’s episode of Making. Living. Better.

Vino Paul was reluctant to follow his family from Michigan to North Carolina – and when he eventually did, he quickly realized there was nowhere else he’d rather be. Within a year of moving, Vino met and married his wife and began a career in manufacturing that now has him certified in mechatronics and working as a lead technician for a German chassis components manufacturer. When he’s not working, he’s spending time raising his three kids, growing his local Romanian-American roots, and riding a Harley named Blueberry. Listen in as Vino Paul shares his Catawba County story on this month’s edition of Making. Living. Better.

Dr. Gener Augustin could have chosen to live anywhere. An accomplished vascular surgeon with time at Rochester University and Harvard under her belt, Gener came to Catawba County and realized it was where she needed to be – if she wanted to stay married, that is. While she was interviewing with Catawba Valley Health System, her husband Edward had already decided Catawba County would be their home. Hear more of Gener’s story – including her endless search for the best ice cream, and how she became an algorithm – on this month’s episode of Making. Living. Better.

In Catawba County, the Appalachian Trail is right in our backyard – and it has beckoned two local hikers in two very different ways. George Place uses the AT as a place for personal meditative journeys, venturing out on solo 10-to-12 day hikes on a near-annual basis. For Lori Wray, the AT is something to conquer in its entirety – which she has been doing, segment by segment, for the past three years. Listen in as host Hal Row digs into their unique and compelling AT stories on this special edition of Making. Living. Better.

Kevin Lyford could be called a modern-day Renaissance Man. He not only serves as a part-time EMT, but he also trains future EMTs as director of the Emergency Medical Science program at the local college. A crossfit enthusiast, he co-owns a local gym where he helps people reach their fitness potential and finds innovative ways to give back to the community. But even three jobs aren’t enough for this avid learner, a multilinguist who is also pursuing his master’s degree in biology – all while raising two kids and finding time to enjoy life in Catawba County. Listen in as host Hal Row discovers how Kevin manages to pull it all off on this month’s episode of Making. Living. Better.

For Luis Millan-Lara, taking pictures is all about capturing happy moments. Having learned the technical skills that helped him become a professional photographer, he could have taken his talents anywhere. But he knew Hickory, which was home to his family and friends, was the place that would bring the most joy to his work. It’s also been a launching pad for the entrepreneurial spirit he inherited from his father, who helped create a local hidden gem his family still operates. Listen in as Luis talks food, family and photography with host Hal Row.

Jared Clark comes from a long line of teachers, so the career path to being a middle school teacher and coach came naturally to him. But his road to playing baseball was a little different. Listen in as guest host Rob Eastwood learns about how Jared’s father and Major Leaguer Jim Abbott inspired a boy born without a left hand to play baseball from the age of five all the way through college. That boy has now become a Catawba County Teacher of the Year and father to a new baby girl. Check out Jared Clark’s inspiring story on this episode of Making. Living. Better.

Anthony Lawing’s life is like a storybook: growing up in small town, playing college football, and returning home to marry his high school sweetheart and start a family. But Anthony’s story doesn’t stop there. Learn more about Catawba County resident Anthony Lawing in this month’s episode of Making. Living. Better.

When Jessica Lopez followed her faith to Puerto Rico after finishing high school, a two-month personal mission turned into a four-year cultural immersion. Inspired by the diversity and exuberance of the Puerto Rican people, she came back to Catawba

County and immediately began sharing what she’d learned. From helping local Spanish-speaking students bridge the academic and cultural gap to encouraging fellow parishioners to express their faith through interpretive dance, Jessica discusses her fascinating journey with host Hal Row on this episode of Making. Living. Better.

When someone’s been a fixture in a community like Austin Pearce has, you think you know him – until he gets to talking with Hal Row. Known as the energetic and resourceful director of the Hickory Soup Kitchen, Austin shares some lesser known parts of his story – how he left home and traveled through Europe on his own after high school, managed a brewery (among other odd jobs) in Breckinridge, Colorado, and found the love of his life in Hickory, North Carolina. Learn about what fuels Austin’s passion for Catawba County and the people he’s met along the way on this episode of Making. Living. Better.

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