True Resolve: 20 Inspiring Charlotteans Share Their 2020 NY Resolutions

Haymaker CLT
Haymaker's Chef William Dissen

20 Charlotteans Share Their 2020 Resolutions

There was more to sourcing resolutions from the Charlotteans we look up to than innocent curiosity and a bit of benign voyeurism. Sure, we wanted to peer behind the veil to catch a glimpse of the inner workings of some very high-achieving people. (Are the Kindreds, as they spearhead one of the most critically-acclaimed restaurants in the nation, trying to workout more and get to bed a little earlier, too…?)

What we really set out to see, initially, was how the movers and shakers would be moving and shaking in 2020. It’s a year that, at least in numerical presentation alone, seems prescient and important, and there’s a lot of talk of clarity and clear sightedness—a good intent no matter the coming age but an especially fitting one this go ‘round.

But even beyond that, what we discovered we really loved about curating this list was finding out that there truly is a common thread through many of them, and really a common thread to what we’re all doing (and feeling a little guilty about not doing). We seem to each share in a bit of reflective nostalgia come the ball drop, and we all know, it seems, the things worth renewed effort: Connection, professional growth, personal health, kindness and generosity to others.

Maybe there’s something to that, to shedding light on the fact that many of us do want to work toward similar things. Can that not make us better, more supportive, and more engaged community members? And can it not help uncover a little commonality and shared ground in a time when we could all use that reminder? Maybe there is more we share in 2020 than there is that divides us, as each of us steps tentatively into another decade.

These are the 2020 resolutions of 20 people who inspire us year in and year out, people who have made themselves integral members of the Charlotte area. Who inspires you? And whose 2020 goals and efforts can you not only get behind but also help create? Here’s to a year better than the one that came before, and may we all support each others’ positive efforts.

Katy and Joe Kindred
We have been reflecting a lot in advance of Kindred’s five-year anniversary next year. We have some professional plans, for sure. We want the next five to be better than the first five; that is paramount. We want what we already have, but built even better. Second, we want to grow in a strategic and sustainable way. And finally, we want to find innovative and creative ways to be more effective change agents in our community. This may not all happen in one year, but we are laser-focused on these goals right now.

Charlotte Chefs - Joe Kindred
Joe and Katy Kindred outside of their Davidson restaurant – Photos by Jamey Price and LunahZon

Erin McDermott
Figure out all of my passwords. Floss. Call my grandmother more often. Say yes more. Say no more. Put my kids clothes out for school the night before. Drink more water for clarity. Drink more wine for sanity. Be more patient with my kids. Leave unexpected notes for my husband. Actually go to bed instead of saying “I’m going to bed”. Stretch. Be a better godmother. Put my clothes in their drawers after folding them. Figure out how to wear a scarf. Learn how to use a semicolon. Tell my parents they’re doing a good job.

erin mcdermott
Photo Provided by Erin McDermott

Uncle Jut
I’ve never been a New Year’s Resolution type of person. Nothing really changes for me except for the calendar. Every day I try to do the things that make me happy and surround myself with people who motivate me to be better. Today, tomorrow, and every other day, including January 1, I hope to have the same mentality: Be better than I was yesterday, be happier than I was yesterday.

Uncle Jut Photography

Chef Greg Collier
Next year, in addition to all the things I need to eat less of and the exercising I need to do more of, I want to start writing. Subrina and I have been thinking about a cookbook or memoirs for a while.

Joe Haubenhofer
Lose just enough weight so iPhone Face ID doesn’t recognize me.

Chef William Dissen
At our restaurants (Haymaker, The Market Place, Billy D’s Fried Chicken), we focus so much on the sustainability of our products and the care of their preparation, as well as our work with the local community, to create a sustainable place where farm to table happens on the regular. But a lot of times we forget to be sustainable to ourselves. They say success is measured by hard work and achievement, but without balance how can you truly achieve success? So my resolution is to work to be more sustainable to myself and my family, and to create a better work/life balance. Many of us strive to be “the best” in our field, but let’s also strive to be the best to ourselves and our families, and lead by example. That’s real sustainability and something I can get behind.

Jeremiah Allen
in 2018, Cam Newton wore my Hamsa Hand Lapel Pin several times publicly and in 2019 the actor Sterling Brown wore my Om II during the Angry Birds movie premiere. I would be honored to see even more high profile people wearing my pieces in 2020. It would also be a privilege to get my little Charlotte based business featured in GQ with all the legendary brands in men’s fashion.

Richard Israel: My 2020 resolution is to eradicate “I tried” from ever passing my lips again.

Amy Vermillion: My resolution for 2020 is to be fully present, aware and to slow down so I can fully appreciate my life and my people! I think sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of day to day that we forget what is truly important. Whenever I unplug and focus on the moment, I feel so much more free and happier. My sweet daughter recently said to me, “Mommy, I like it when you don’t have your phone!” That took me aback because I realized that what I thought was a quick text or answering a non-crucial business email after hours was really taking away from precious time with my girl. As Ferris Bueller says…”Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Amy Vermillion at Rocky Creek Sporting Clays

Emily Breeze: In 2020, I want to survive an international trip with my crazy family. Traveling with three kids under four years old is no small feat, but we’re excited to take on the crazy adventure that it will definitely be. Hopefully this time we can make it through a flight without any huge diaper blowouts! On the business side, my goal is to reach 10,000 people on my online fitness community in 2020. I want more people to realize that the gym is wherever you are and fitness doesn’t have to be a stressful hassle!

Emily Breeze

Alejandro Torio: My New Years resolution would be to open two more restaurants in 2020 and spend more time with my parents.

Bill Evans: I get morose as another year goes by. Did I do enough? Did I get enough out of [the year]? And I’m older. On my birthday from now on, I’m going to take a trip. I went to Russia for 2019 and am going to do Lithuania and Estonia for 2020. I want to go meet people in places far away and to discover how much we are the same.

Chandra Johnson: My resolution is to spend more time in the present and less time thinking about the future…. and to go on more nature walks 🙂

Chandra Johnson

Chef Jim Noble: My New Year’s resolution for 2020 will be to love on my family more and try to fish just a little more. Also, to stay serious about barbecue!

Liz Hilliard: 2020 – The year of clarity! My resolution is to gain more time and freedom from the daily noise and chaos of life by choosing to be still and listen. Just like all of us I’ve got an inner voice that tells the truth when I’m not drowning it out with running a business and reaching for my phone. The clarity and creativity that comes from simply listening then setting an intention in line with that voice has changed my life before so bring on the 2020 vision!

Clary Hilliard: Over the past ten years, I was never big on resolutions. I think I was probably just trying my best to keep afloat as I co-created and grew two businesses as well as two actual babies! At the precipice of a new decade, looking back, I see two healthy, thriving school-age children and two healthy, thriving business, one of which we have just sold. All of a sudden, it seems like I have space to reflect. In 2020, I wish to continue to create and grow. In which direction, only time will tell. The possibilities that this new decade holds excite me! I resolve to be open to them!

Stacee Michelle: My intentions for 2020 are to be more immersed in the Charlotte community. I vow to visit locally owned restaurants and businesses at least once per month. I resolve to build more relationships with local artists and creators. I want to share and absorb industry knowledge through workshops and events. Lastly, I plan to continue to live a life full of passion, growth and happiness…with fewer trips to Starbucks.

Stacee Michelle
Photos by Jamey Price

Berkeley Minkhorst and Kelley Lentini: Our resolution for 2020 is more sleep, less coffee, more water, and an extra stamp or two in our passports. With our recent shop opening, we’d love to be a destination for Charlotteans and beyond to get their travel fix, and a place to collaborate through workshops and events that we have up our sleeves! We are so excited to see what 2020 has to bring.

Sybil Godwin: My husband and I have had a very exciting and busy year with the purchase of Paper Skyscraper, so my resolution for 2020 is to slow down and spend more time with our little girls!” [Grace, 5, and Louise, 2]

Morgan Kline: Enjoy the little things. As an entrepreneur, I tend to just focus on the big goals and celebrate major successes, but in 2020 I want to focus on the small things too! After all, small things compounded over time add up to progression. It’s often the small things that we can find the biggest joy in!

Morgan Kline

Toska Husted: My resolution is to help people understand that skincare isn’t just for vanity, but rather an important part of your overall health and wellness.

Toska Charlotte
Photo of Toska by A Beautiful Mess Photography