2014 Razor Walker Award Winners
Sheri L. Carroll, M.D.
"Dr. Carroll's vision and tenacity have resulted in extraordinary, measurable outcomes in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as immeasurable gifts that she has bestowed on so many young lives through her work and her life."
Sheri L. Carroll, M.D., has distinguished herself for many years as a devoted medical professional fully committed to the health and healing of children, especially the tiniest and most fragile members of the community. As the medical director for the New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), she has waged a personal and professional war on premature births, working tirelessly to improve the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants. Dr. Carroll shares her skills and talents at state and national levels through the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina and the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), which works to improve the quality of care delivered to neonates.
Under Dr. Carroll's leadership, and in collaboration with Coastal Carolina Neonatology, the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital was among three featured centers of innovation selected to participate in a project being produced by VON. The project, an Internet-based quality improvement collaborative to be shared with NICU facilities worldwide, is named NICQ Next: Innovations in Newborn Care in 2014.
Dr. Carroll, a Wilmington native, received her medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed her pediatric residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., and completed her neonatal perinatal fellowship at UNC.
Sheri Carroll exemplifies a true Razor Walker through her passionate and unwavering commitment to improving the medical outcomes and quality of life for newborn infants and families in Wilmington and beyond.
J.H. Corpening II
"Judge Corpening II continues to have the vision and the inclusive spirit to step out of his comfort zone and make significant differences in our community."
J.H. Corpening, District Court judge for New Hanover County, has volunteered his time in schools, scouts, community agencies, and religious and professional organizations for more than 30 years in an effort to improve the lives of children in the region. Judge Corpening's philosophy is that we need to provide positive avenues for children and families so that they don't end up in the U.S. judicial system, and his myriad contributions to this end are too numerous to recount.
In addition to his official duties, for decades Judge Corpening has found time to serve as a daily morning volunteer at New Hanover Schools, with assignments ranging from reading tutor to traffic coordinator to "word caller" at the spelling bee. He has served four terms as PTA president and received recognition as Volunteer of the Year at elementary, middle and high schools in the region.
In recent years, Judge Corpening has reached out to elected officials at the city and county level, and to police departments, community agencies and the university to join forces to combat gang violence, bullying and the exploitation of children. He was instrumental in the creation of a Local Safer Schools Task Force and makes frequent presentations at schools in the region. He and the other task force members remain optimistic that the state will adopt the recommendations the committee presented in December 2013.
In other volunteer activities in the community, Judge Corpening has participated at both the regional and national level in Boy Scout leadership and training, served as a charter member of the New Hanover Partnership for Fatherhood, taken a leadership education role in his church and lent his support to a number of local community agencies.
As a passionate and engaged citizen committed to maximizing opportunities for children in North Carolina, J.H. Corpening has displayed the vision, tenacity, sacrifice and courage of a Razor Walker Award recipient.
Public Service / Policy
"Stephanie has devoted her life to our children and to giving back to our state."
Stephanie Fanjul began her career as an elementary school teacher. Hoping to make a positive impact on the lives of more children, she founded Workplace Options, a company devoted to establishing employer-based childcare. The success of the organization came to the attention of then Gov. Jim Hunt who was looking to expand early childhood education in North Carolina.
With vision, tenacity, hard work and backing from the governor, Fanjul helped shape the state's Smart Start preschool program in the 1990s and subsequently oversaw its growth and implementation in every county. Under her guidance, Smart Start came to serve as a model for the nation, securing North Carolina's position as a leader in early childhood development programs that significantly improve the lives of countless children and families.
Fanjul's passion is to serve all children by creating opportunities that will enable more to succeed. In 2007, she was selected to serve as president of the North Carolina Partnership for Children where she oversaw a partnership between Smart Start and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to combat childhood obesity. She has served on numerous city and state boards in support of early childhood education, and led the team for North Carolina's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, which received the highest score in the nation.
More than 20 years ago, a reporter asked Fanjul's then kindergarten daughter what her mom's job was. The answer, which appeared in an article in the Raleigh News and Observer, was, "She has 575,000 children." This response succinctly captures her worldview and commitment.
Over the course of her career Stephanie Fanjul has continuously "walked the razor's edge" by embracing the challenges facing young children in North Carolina and working tirelessly to address them to enhance children's prospects for success.
Peter D. Hans
"Time and again, Peter has rendered significant and distinguished service that has had a real and tangible effect on the future of North Carolina's children and youth."
For more than two decades, Peter Hans has given generously of his time, talents and vision for the betterment of public higher education in North Carolina. Serving in member and leadership capacities with the State Board of Community Colleges and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors, Hans has demonstrated consistent support for educational opportunities essential for children, families and communities in the state.
In 2000, he helped win voter support for a $3.1 billion capital allocation to public colleges and universities for renovation and expansion of access to affordable, quality education. In 2007, as a member of the UNC Tomorrow Commission, he helped guide long-range planning for the UNC system. Elected chair of the UNC Board of Governors in 2012, Hans has worked closely with UNC President Thomas W. Ross to develop a long-term strategic plan and set priorities for North Carolina's university system extending to 2018.
Hans received an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard University. Over the course of his career, he has served as senior policy advisor to U.S. Senators Lauch Faircloth, Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr. Hans is currently a senior policy advisor for the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Raleigh and chair of the UNC Board of Governors.
Through his many long-term leadership contributions and continued dedication to furthering educational opportunities for North Carolina's students in community colleges and universities, Peter Hans has distinguished himself as a true Razor Walker.
"Jack has often said: 'You are nothing if you don't give back.' Jack Viorel gives his all for the underserved children of North Carolina."
Jack Viorel is a former elementary school teacher, avid surfer, owner of the Indo Jax Surf School and founder of Indo Jax Surf Charities, a Wilmington-based nonprofit committed to empowering disadvantaged, medically fragile and special needs children by teaching them to surf. A passionate believer that the healing properties of the ocean and self-confidence gained by surfing can transform lives, Viorel volunteers his time teaching the sport to hundreds of children every year.
Born and raised in California, Viorel moved to Wilmington with his family in 2006. He continued his career teaching first grade at St. Mary Catholic School and received the prestigious Monsignor Gerald Lawrence Lewis Award for teaching excellence in the 2010-11 school year.
Viorel decided to combine his love of teaching and surfing and held his first outreach camp for children with HIV/AIDS in 2008. The experience was uplifting and soon Indo Jax Charities was born. As demand for the surfing camps grew, in 2012 Viorel made the difficult decision to retire from a 20-year teaching career and devote his time and talent to serving underserved children in this unique and innovative way.
Over the years Viorel has offered surf camps at no charge to children with autism, visual impairments, hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and other special needs. He has worked with local children from the Boys and Girls Clubs who had never before seen the ocean, held camps in California and Norway, and taught the joy of surfing to orphans living in extreme poverty in India. In 2013 alone, the charity served more than 1,000 children in the Cape Fear region, the state and around the world.
With his energy, generosity, compassion and extreme devotion to children, Jack Viorel truly embodies the spirit of a Razor Walker.
Sponsors for the 2014 Razor Walker Awards:
Dr. Robert E. Tyndall, '00
Mr. James H. Faison, III, '13
Mr. David Jones / Pawn USA, Inc., '06
Dr. H. David Bruton, '99
Mr. Cedric Dickerson, '09
Ms. Elizabeth H. Frasier, '05
Mr. Charles F. Green, III, '98
Ms. Anna W. Hattaway, '95
Dr. Noel K. Jones, '06
Ms. Tannis F. Nelson, '03
Mr. Robert F. Warwick, '98
Dr. Eleanor B. Wright, '08
Other generous contributors
Dr. Heyward Bellamy, '02
Previous honorees designated by the year in which they received the award