The Faces of ISF…Meet Rachel Wood
Names/ages of children: Asher (9), Haldo (20) and Conrad Jr (25)
Years married and to whom: Conrad- 12 years
Years in Charlotte: 14 yrs
Neighborhood: Piper Glen Area
Hometown: New Bern, NC
College Alumni: Meredith College, Raleigh NC
Occupation: For the past 10 years, I have shared a Marketing business with a childhood friend. We provide full circle marketing for several green building products as well as provide specific marketing needs to many other industries/markets. My love is graphic design and turning ideas/thoughts into a visual presentation.
Years Involved with the Foundation: 6 yrs
What is your role with the Foundation: Director of Marketing
How did your involvement with ISF begin? Our youngest son, Asher, was in preschool at Calvary with Isabella’s brother Grant. We became good friends with the Santos family during that year. As I got to know them better, I started helping out in marketing related activities for the foundation.
What is your favorite story about Isabella? We used to have playdates at our friend Karen’s house. One night, all of the kids wanted to have a dance party. We danced for hours with our kids singing at the top of our lungs… Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Taylor Swift. All Isabella’s favorites…. she danced and danced and sung so loud. After that night she begged for dance parties. She was always dancing and singing. She was the best snuggler, would much rather be with 30-something old ladies than kids and had the best high pitch laugh. I miss that laugh- it truly was one of a kind.
What is one of your top ISF moments? Becoming part of Isabella’s Dream Team last year. Bringing a group of passionate people together for one cause is extremely powerful. Not only do you grow so many unexpected relationships, it is amazing how much good a group of people can do. If just feels right being part of something bigger than yourself. Even though I hate running! And in the process, Conrad and I ran our first half marathon! And we just started training again for our second half marathon.
Where do you see ISF in 5 years? I see ISF with a wider national presence raising funds for orphan cancers.
What is something you think ISF could improve on this year? Telling our story better. ISF has accomplished so much in just a few short years. As a marketing team, we are working on telling those stories better and the impact… where exactly is all the money you donated going to, what clinical trials we are involved in and the story of those trials, ect. People want to know where their donations went and telling the impact story will hopefully help people continue donating year after year.
How has ISF impacted your kids? Bringing awareness and raising funds for ISF has become a family effort. Our kids have always taken part in ISF events and been given specific volunteering duties. I loved having my last parent/teacher conference and having the teachers ask more about ISF… because Asher talked so much about Isabella and raising funds. It is so important for kids to be aware of others around them that are in need. And it is so important that our kids grown up volunteering and giving to those around us.
Who are your role models? My parents. From being married 45+ years and still being in love and good to one another, to doing so much for the people in their community and church, to loving my insta-family the very moment they stepped into my life, to supporting every ISF race we have put on, to being big kids at heart with all the grandchildren … my parents are the epitome of what parents should be. I can only hope that my kids, family, friends and community will think the same of Conrad and I one day.
What is something about you that would surprise people? I am deathly afraid of the dentist.
What is your biggest pet peeve? Popping/clicking your gum drives me up the wall. Keep your gum chewing to yourself please!
What is the hardest thing you have ever done? Becoming an insta-mom at age 24. My husband Conrad was a single father to 7 and 11 year old boys when we met. I instantly went from the single girl life to being a insta-mom to Haldo and Conrad Jr. Diving in head first was the best thing that ever happened to me.
What do you love to do in Charlotte? We love the Whitewater Center (even with it’s current troubles). I have a new found hobby of Paddle boarding and would be out there every day if I could. I love being out on the water. Most days you can find me working out at Orange Theory or Flywheel. My workout group is my backbone. They keep me sane, healthy and in-check. Love backyard cookouts with good friends/kids… and of course anything to do with the PANTHERS!!
What are a couple of your guilty pleasures? Binge watching netflix shows with my husband. Currently trying to get through House of Cards and it is madly obsessive. I am gluten free; but I crave donuts almost all the time. A good donut goes a really long way.
Who is your celebrity crush? Channing Tatum
What is your favorite drink? Wine
Love! Love! Love! Rachel. As Isabella’s grandma, I have seen first hand the love Isabella had for her and the many dance parties and cuddles between them. Rachel is someone that if she says she will do it, you know it will get done. She gives selflessly of her time to ISF and she is a big part of its success. Thank you for all that you and Conrad have done and continue to do for ISF. See you at the race!