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Kaye Headshot
This year, Kaye McGarry was voted as one the “50 Most Influential Women” in Charlotte.  Kaye is humbled to receive this award and would like to thank Mecklenburg Times for bestowing it on her.  Thanks also go out to all her supporters, most especially those who wrote letters of recommendation for her.  God bless you!

Kaye Bernard McGarry


Kaye Bernard McGarry believes her solid upbringing, including her parents’ faith in God and strong work ethic, gave her the necessary tools to be the mom, wife and community leader she is today.
    McGarry, a former high school teacher and college professor, has provided guidance, counseling and learning opportunities for numerous children in the Charlotte region. In addition to serving as vice chairman and at-large member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, McGarry also is active in professional organizations that help educators.

Kaye Headshot

For 12 years, McGarry served as a board trustee for Central Piedmont Community College.
      In 1992, continuing her commitment to education, McGarry founded Survival in College Seminars, which advises college-bound high school students and their parents on the transition from high school to college.
      The idea sprouted from a parking lot conversation at Myers Park High School after a parent presentation.
      “As a parent of four children, all teenagers at the time, I had heard this presentation before and many parenting seminars over the course of many years. This topic, however, was the one that hit home for me,” says McGarry.
      In 1998, she published her first book, “A New Beginning: A Survival Guide for Parents of College Freshmen.” In 2003, the second and updated edition came off the press. The third edition was published last May.
      McGarry shares her leadership and mentoring skills with several organizations, including the National Association of Women Business Owners, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Women’s Impact Fund and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Republican Women’s Club.
      McGarry also makes a commitment to being engaged in the community by volunteering with her church, Friends of the Opera, Charlotte Jaycettes, Charlotte Panhellenic Congress and “South End Jazz.”
      Her contributions don’t end there. McGarry also has worked with the National Association of Women Business Owners, United Family Services, Arts and Science Council, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Women’s Impact Fund, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Republican Women’s Club and Toastmasters International.


    Becky Bergman

Position: Founder, Survival in College Seminars


Age: 64


Family: Husband, Dennis; children Dennie, Denise, Deborah and Derek; three granddaughters


Education: Secretarial science degree, Barry University; bachelor’s in business administration, University of South Florida; master’s of education in guidance and counseling, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


What’s your secret to happiness? Balancing family, faith, business and volunteer commitments is the crux of being able to maintain my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would It be? Greg Mortenson built 53 schools in Pakistan, one building at a time. Mother Theresa helped one person at a time. I believe I make a difference, one person at a time. I wish we could inspire more Individuals at a faster pace.


What’s been most helpful to you in achieving your goals? The ongoing support of my husband, who taught me to strive for perfection, and my children, who taught me how to grow as a person.


What have you always wanted to do but haven’t? Earn my Ph.D.

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