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.

It’s a realtor’s job to sell a community along with selling its houses. But for Jay Brown, selling Catawba County is the easy part. An ardent advocate of the place he calls home with his wife Aspen and two children, Huckleberry and Scout, Jay Brown loves helping people – and as both a business owner and realtor, Jay makes living better for people every day. In a conversation that ranges from literary works to Taco Bell, host Hal Row gets the inside scoop on what makes Jay Brown tick.

How strong is Catawba County’s draw? Just ask Jennifer Rowan and her husband, who fell in love with the Town of Maiden and bought a house there on their first day visiting from southern California. Their family grew quickly here too, from fostering two children to ultimately adopting them as their own. Jennifer’s big heart extends to a passion for working with a local dog rescue, where she regularly fosters dogs along with several of her own rescued pups. Listen in as Hal talks mutts, Maiden, and motherhood with Featured Catawban Jennifer Rowan.

If hard work pays off, then Patrick Broos is a millionaire. From working in aviation maintenance through his career in healthcare, Patrick and his wife Aimee juggled jobs, school, moving, and parenting to create a good life for their young family. That included leaving their native Salt Lake City to pursue opportunities in Tampa, Roanoke and the Houston area before landing in Catawba County. Listen in as host Hal Row learns about the many things – mountain biking with his boys, walking his dogs, his famous college-campus barista wife – that make Catawba County feel like the best reward of all for journeyman Patrick Broos.

Shortly after moving to Catawba County, Anna Price landed the career of her dreams in the hospitality industry. She extended that passion for serving others into longtime involvement in the Jaycees, which led her to preside over both the local chapter and the statewide organization. But this native Pennsylvanian wasn’t a stranger to the area, where her mom’s side of the family – including a family tree full of NASCAR royalty – still resides. Listen in as host Hal Row gets the scoop on Anna Price’s life and deep roots in Catawba County.

In college, Justus Rowe wanted to get back to the basics – like living-in-a-tent-in-the-woods basics. Inspired by the homestead lifestyle, he learned everything he could about it – building things, moving water, and growing his own food. His passion collided with real life when a large-scale aquaponics project turned into the business of bringing agriculture to people who happen to be in an urban setting. In this episode, host Hal Row digs into the story of how Featured Catawban Justus Rowe went from creating a homestead lifestyle for himself to helping others do the same.

Not every woman gets confused with her grandma, but 31-year-old Asia “Mae” Magness does. Owner of Mae’s Bakery in downtown Maiden, she has reimagined recipes from her two grandmothers so well that people think her Mamaw made them. This mother of three has earned a loyal following thanks to a supportive family, a heart for people, and the best ooey gooeys in town. Listen in as Hal talks pound cake and pumpkin spice with Catawba County native Asia “Mae” Magness.

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