WGHP's Cindy Farmer to be keynote speaker at Moms@Work Luncheon
No matter how busy she gets, Cindy Farmer, morning and noon anchor for WGHP, makes time for what's most important.
"People are always saying, 'I don't have time. I don't have time,' but if something is important and you want to do it, you make time for it," she said.
Farmer, the mother of two teenage girls, will be the keynote speaker at the 3rd Annual Piedmont Parent Moms@Work luncheon Sept. 25. The event celebrates working moms and work-life balance.
"I hope mothers who attend laugh a little and think a little about where they stand in life and with their children," Farmer said. "Theirs is without doubt the hardest job in the world."
The veteran newscaster began her career after graduating from Virginia Tech in 1985 at a Roanoke, Va., television station. In 1990, Hank Price, then general manager of WFMY, brought Farmer to Greensboro to host the local edition of "PM Magazine," a nationally syndicated show that swapped locally produced stories among stations that aired the show.
Her work with "PM Magazine" took her across the country and around the world.
"It was a great job to do before having kids," she said.
After the show was canceled in 1991, Farmer stayed with WFMY and returned to doing local news. During that time, she met her husband, Bill Wood, while gathering background information for a local crime story. Wood was an attorney in the Guilford County District Attorney's office who helped Farmer on the story and eventually asked her for a date. They were married nine months later. Today, Wood is an assistant district attorney in the same office.
Having a family took the couple more time than expected. Farmer had difficulty conceiving, the result of treatment for cervical cancer while in college. After four years of visits to specialists and a lot of praying, the couple's first daughter, Kylie, was born in 1997. Their second daughter, Abby, was born a year later.
Farmer moved to WGHP after the birth of her first daughter in 1997. Through the years, she has learned how to successfully juggle the demands of work and family. She and her husband work long hours, but their schedules alternate so that one of them is available to their daughters, 15 and 14, when needed.
"I hope mothers who attend laugh a little and think a little about where they stand in life and with their children. Theirs is without doubt the hardest job in the world." - Cindy Farmer
In addition to their parents' busy schedules, Kylie is a cheerleader and Abby a swimmer, and both girls participate in soccer. The family keeps a large calendar on their refrigerator to track everyone's activities.
"The rule is that if you have an appointment, practice or public appearance, it must go on the calendar," Farmer said. "My husband's most frequent question for me is, 'So what do we have tomorrow?' "
One of the greatest challenges Farmer faces in parenting teenagers is keeping involved in their lives.
"It is so important now, maybe even more so than earlier in their lives, to keep lines of communication open so I know what is going on in their lives," she said.
Farmer stays involved in her daughters' activities as well. She volunteers at their school and serves as a Girl Scout leader with the Peaks to Piedmont Girl Scout Council. Farmer has been with the troop since the girls were 5 and has promised to see all 14 girls through to their Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. Abby will soon receive her silver award after completing a community service project of her own design.
Along with her commitments to others, Farmer makes time for herself. Being physically fit is important to her. She participates in a CrossFit training program, which she said has helped her lose 42 pounds and drop three dress sizes in the 10 months since she began.
"I will turn 50 this year, and I feel better now than I did throughout my 40s," she said.
She also plays USTA tennis competitively. Her team won the state championship this year and will soon travel to Mobile, Ala., to compete nationally.
Above all, Farmer makes time to accentuate the positive.
"I am always pointing out God's little gifts that we tend to overlook; the song of a bird, the sun setting or rising, or the stories of good things people have done."
She enjoys photography and loves to capture her daughters' sporting events or images of those everyday gifts she sees around her. A photograph she took of a newly hatched sea turtle making its way to the ocean won a recent Our State Magazine reader photo contest. She titled it "Hello World."
Farmer believes you must dwell on the positive to succeed in today's world and hopes to pass this message on to her daughters and to other women, not to ignore the negatives, but to know that positives outweigh them.
"Don't see the glass as half-empty," she advises. "Fill that glass yourself, with your own hands and heart."
Jan Wharton is a Winston-Salem-based freelance writer and mother of three.
If You Go
Piedmont Parent's 3rd Annual Moms@Work Luncheon
Tuesday, Sept. 25
Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem
The event kicks off with Coffee & Contacts at 11 a.m., a networking hour where working moms will have the opportunity to visit exclusive vendor tables and network with other working moms. Join us for lunch at noon with keynote speaker Cindy Farmer. We will also recognize Carolina Parenting's Family-Friendly 50, the top companies in the state for working parents.
Tickets are $35. Corporate tables are $320 (seats 10). Advance registration is required. No tickets will be available at the door.
We are anticipating another sell-out event, so order tickets today.