Susan Bercaw: January 2021 Wild Thing Award Winner

Susan Bercaw: January 2021 Wild Thing Award Winner

Intentional Adaptability is to embrace change, through mutual flexibility, strategic innovation, and purpose-driven versatility, to advance our people, products, and services. 

Susan Bercaw won our January 2021 Wild Thing nomination for having intentional adaptability. She is a technology wiz that overcomes many unpredictable challenges. Through strategic innovations and solutions, she tackles these problems with an unwavering drive. 

During January and February, Susan worked to move the River Wild company forward on Google Migration and setting up satellite offices, recent employees, devices for new software, and daily tasks. Through her work she values people’s needs and is willing to collaborate with others. 

Susan seeks the best solution to each problem while still learning different aspects of technology herself. This drive does not stop her humble ways and giving heart. Her fellow co-workers greatly appreciate her hard work and all that she has done for the company. 

Congratulations to Susan Bercaw on winning the January Wild Thing award!

Jessica Lloyd: February 2021 Wild Thing Award Winner

Jessica Lloyd: February 2021 Wild Thing Award Winner

To have Disciplined Execution means achieving operational excellence through safety, accountability, and an efficient, fast-paced environment. To live compassionately means having a humble and responsible approach to how we serve each other and our community. 

Jessica Lloyd won our February 2021 Wild Thing nomination for having Disciplined Execution and Living Compassionately. She has gone above and beyond in various ways for getting the job done in a fast paced and efficient manner. With a giving heart, Jessica is always serving needs in our community and assisting her fellow co-workers. 

Jessica is always tackling new projects with a will to win mindset. Full of knowledge outside of her role, she is very versatile and proactive, benefiting multiple brands. 

This hard working mom of three makes time to excel in her role while being a great friend and co-worker. Jessica’s open heart and hard work ethic is greatly appreciated by others and the community. 

She truly is a humble and kind person willing to connect and serve others. Congratulations to Jessica Lloyd, our Wild Thing award winner! 

RiverWild Receives Approval for Riverwood Golf Club Section Two Development

RiverWild Receives Approval for Riverwood Golf Club Section Two Development

RiverWild is pleased to announce that on Monday, April 5, the Clayton Town Council reviewed and unanimously approved the Riverwood Golf Section Two development. The walkable community will consist of 726 residential units (432 single family lots, 74 townhome lots, and 220 apartments) and will include an amenity center and golf course maintenance facility.

This development will provide a variety of housing options that meet the needs of executive and local workforce in accordance with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. The 300 acre site includes 81+ acres of open space, providing abundant recreational and lifestyle amenities throughout. 

“Having grown up in this community and now raising a family here, it is a true honor to create opportunities for people to call Clayton home. As Johnston County continues to grow, it’s critical that the workforce is supported by housing and lifestyle amenities that help them plant roots and continue to contribute to our thriving community” said Reid Smith, Founder and CEO of RiverWild

“This project will bring dynamic solutions to needs that our community has expressed. We worked hard to develop a plan that would provide a walkable community with a variety of housing options, lot sizes, and desirable amenities” said Dave DeYoung, Director of Development. “This community will offer opportunities for large and small families with various income levels and at different stages in life to call Clayton home.”

“As Johnston County continues to grow, so does the need for workforce housing. With companies like Grifols, Novo Nordisk, Caterpillar and others across the County announcing expansions and new investment, it is critical that all of our towns are able to secure diverse housing options that range from executive style homes to workforce housing” added Chris Johnson, Director of Johnston County Economic Development. “This is something that Johnston County lacked until recently. Residential development is one of Johnston County’s six cylinders of economic development. Communities with diverse amenities and recreational lifestyles that families are seeking across the Triangle region, will position those to meet the growth Johnston County is seeing and will continue to witness.” 

“We can’t wait to get started on this project. We’ve been working hard on this development for quite some time, collaborating with the local community and great partners to deliver a product that we believe will make a difference.” – Reid Smith, Founder and CEO of RiverWild

Riverwood Golf Section Two is set to begin construction in late 2021 or early 2022.

St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

Around here, we Work Hard Play Hard, and what better opportunity to do that than a festive holiday. Our team was channeling the Luck of the Irish on Wednesday as we dressed up to win prizes and enjoyed a festive lunch of corned beef and cabbage and shepherds pie.

Congratulations to Josh Cote, who won our most festive team mate award!

Candor and Confidence: How to Engage in Conversations That Strengthen Relationships | Eric Curran

Candor and Confidence: How to Engage in Conversations That Strengthen Relationships | Eric Curran

We’ve all been there. A conversation in the break room, a comment made at a company event, a knee-jerk reaction to a current event; when the dynamic in the conversation shifts because someone says something that someone disagrees with. While that situation may be common, the ability to navigate it with tact and maturity is often anything but common. And how we handle open and honest conversations is one of the pillars of healthy relationships and building culture. 

“Being taught to avoid talking about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion. What we should have been taught was how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.”

Historically, politics was a much different landscape than it is now. Politics have not always been the center of people’s worldview. Platforms used to be limited to historically political issues, such as tax laws, immigration, and national budgets. Now, you see people centering their entire belief systems around a party platform. Politics now goes beyond what you think are good policies and values, and insists on everything from health to self identity being politicized. But the greater question we as leaders must ask ourselves is, how are we getting over these hurdles within our organizations? That ability to have difficult conversations happens here; now; it plays into everything, not just politics. 

So how do you bring your whole self – your beliefs, your values, and your worldview – to work without having a falling out with a co-worker or family member who you need to be able to interact with again tomorrow? How can we as leaders have clarity instead of cloudiness of thought; to make great decisions based on conviction rather than what we think the public perception will approve? 

In order to communicate with candor, we need two things: conviction and trust. If our opinions are based on a party platform, what is politically correct, or what someone told us to believe, we will not be able to withstand the heat of healthy and challenging conversations with others about critical topics. Additionally, if there is not a mutual understanding of trust, neither party will feel safe communicating with honesty and authenticity about their worldview. 


When the world is telling you that everything is political, it is vital that we understand how to work, lead, and relate from a place of conviction. We need to have the knowledge and maturity to not be swayed by platform initiatives, but maintain convictions that are rooted in values. And that comes through strength and courage. 

It requires mental strength to know who we are, what we represent, and what those beliefs are rooted in; to be able to communicate with clarity from a deep knowledge of the roots of our beliefs. It also takes strength of the soul to know that if I can’t find this topic in the Bible, it’s arguably not worth being found. As tempting as it may be to search for scripture to found our base for an argument (which has tremendous value!), sometimes the Bible doesn’t actually back up my beliefs literally or directly, and it takes a humble and responsible strength to admit that.

Similarly, courage is also vital in communicating with conviction. It is our responsibility to muster the guts to communicate our beliefs without holding back; to put ourselves out there even if our beliefs are met with disagreement, judgement, or opposition. Courage doesn’t always show up as a loud and boisterous shout; sometimes courage is a quiet ability to lean in, trust, and open ourselves up to authentic relationships. 

Most people come to the table with convictions and values that are motivating their opinion. So they can, understandably, come across strong. As long as that’s coming from authentic and personal beliefs, it isn’t a bad thing, either! It’s when we come to the table with what sounds like strong convictions but are actually parroting someone else’s platform than we are in danger of unnecessary and disingenuous conflict. As leaders, our convictions cannot be tied to politics. We must conjure the strength and courage to pursue truth relentlessly, personally, and authentically, and let that be the place our convictions grow from. 


Authentic candor is rooted in mutual trust. We can’t fully be honest in communicating our convictions without feeling a sense of trust with the other person. Nor can we accept with an open mind and open heart what they are communicating back if we don’t trust that what they are saying is true and real. When we communicate with conviction, we are letting down walls and being vulnerable by showing our true selves and being open to who someone else might truly be. 

Trust also requires me to realize that I may not be privy to the full context of someone’s perspective or opinion. Their decision, whether that is who to vote for, how to manage their budget, or how to handle a personal situation, might be a reflection of making the best choice out of less than ideal options, rather than a true reflection of what they would choose given open-ended options.

We are called to listen, and to accept disagreement. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I should hate everyone who doesn’t align with my beliefs. Having convictions isn’t about being rigid; it’s about the undercurrent of my decisions that gives me freedom to respond to people with grace. Communicating convictions with trust is about an open heart and mind. 

In summary, while it may not be possible in all workplaces and some people may never feel comfortable engaging in challenging topics, imagine how conversations could be transformed if each of us reading this decided to lean in the next time a divisive topic arises and have a civil conversation. 

Courtney Ellis: 2020 Annual Wild Thing Award Winner

Courtney Ellis: 2020 Annual Wild Thing Award Winner

Once per year, we select someone from our Coordination Team as the annual Wild Factor award winner. This is considered a great honor in our company, as it signifies that the individual has exemplified all of our core values and is considered to be the WILDest of us all.

Congratulations to Courtney Ellis, the 2020 annual Wild Thing award winner! She has shown a Will to Win, Intentional Adaptability, Lives Compassionately, and Disciplined Execution on a high level and is an example of what all of our team members strive for when it comes to performance and values.

2020 was a challenging year to say the least.  Collectively, our team had to intentionally adapt to overcome these challenges as they relate to not only our work inside these four walls, but also at home. The definition of a Wild Thing Winner not Nominee is someone who excels at all of our core values consistently.

Will to Win – Courtney is a self starter, never having to be told what to do or what task to tackle next. Over her 5 years at our company, she has shown unwavering drive in how she does her job, day in and day out. In a year of quarantine, Courtney had to figure out how to be a controller, mom, wife, and school teacher, and rose to the occasion. With all the curve ball thrown at us, Courtney continued achieving success, making sure we never skipped a beat.

Intentional Adaptability – She remained intentionally adaptable, working until the job was done, even when that meant working late nights and weekends. But she didn’t lose focus on her family amidst all of that; she continued taking her girls to ice skating in the mornings, church on Wednesday nights, and set them up to succeed in learning online. Courtney has shown strategic innovation through developing Global Financial Systems for our companies and continuing to make our reporting better.

Living Compassionately – This core value is probably one of the things Courtney is best known for around here. When something is asked of her, she humbly responds with a stance of availability and a smile on her face. She is responsible in helping us be good financial stewards, and serves her teammates by being reliable and dependable. We even had to make a policy to keep people out of her office because she so wanted to help everyone all of the time! Born and raised Clayton, she is constantly trying to connect dots with resources and people in our local community.

Disciplined Execution – Courtney excels operationally in every area, handling big tasks in the treasury function of this company. She has also excelled in making her personal health and wellness a priority in 2020 with discipline and consistency. When it comes to accountability, Courtney is not only great at what she does she is alway striving to do better. She is efficient and able to be fast paced because of process and drive. 

She is the true definition of a teammate. She is the kind of person you want on your team that you can trust and know that when you ask for something it’s going to get taken care of.  When you are in the fight or battle – she is the one right beside you.  She is also a great friend to a lot of people in our company, and would do anything for any one of us.  She is very deserving to be the Wildest of us all for 2020!!

Congratulations, Courtney!