Today is Thursday, August 24, 2017

Woman of Wilson: Monica Alsup

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Monica and her family

Monica McCoin Alsup didn't have an iPhone when she was a teenager - "In 1997 you didn't have cell phones, you had beepers."

However, it was through a fateful beeper blooper that she met her future husband during her senior year at Lebanon High School. "I went to 'beep' my friend, who was a guy, and he had loaned his beeper to Ryan (Alsup). Ryan called me back and that was it."

The couple celebrated their ten year anniversary on Thursday, May 22 and in that ten years have come a long way from the technology-challenged teens that first fell in love. The Alsups have owned a business, A-Plus Print & Design, on the Lebanon Public Square for almost seven years.

"The most challenging part of being a small business owner is the competitive world now of buying online. I am an avid supporter of shopping local and spending your tax dollars at home," she said. "We don't compete with online pricing. We hope to provide our customers with customer serves that they will want to come back and shop with us again."

Monica said she saw first-hand just how loving her hometown community could be following the flood in May 2010.

"We were here that weekend trying to put things on top of tables and chairs while watching the water move in. We didn't know if we would recover from that, being a fairly new business at the time - but with the help of family and friends and loyal customers we re-built and moved back on our wedding anniversary that year and have not stopped."

Along with their expanding business, the couple also expanded their family. They are parents to two daughters, Ava, 8, and Alaina, 4. "We also have three dogs - we chose our pets to be males because my husband is so outnumbered at home with girls," Monica joked.

Although Ryan is trying to interest their daughters in golf, Monica knows cheerleading is their sport of choice. Ava has been part of a competitive cheerleading team for the last two years and Alaina hopes to follow in her big sister's footsteps.

"I think having children actively involved in sports and activities in their community at a young age teaches them not only health and exercise, but team work," Monica said.

"Ava has so much dedication and determination with her cheerleading ... Even at the age of eight she wants to continue her cheerleading into college and hopes to get a college scholarship for cheer."

When she isn't busy at work or being a "cheer mom," Monica said she enjoys spending time with her family. Family activities include attending church service at Bartons Creek Baptist and taking beach vacations.

"If we get any time off we spend it with our kids. We don't want to miss any activity or function they are a part of. It is important for our children to know their mom and dad work hard for them."

So who does this Woman of Wilson admire? The woman who worked hard for her - her mother, Sue Vanatta. Vanatta has been the CEO of the Lebanon-Wilson Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years.

"She's always been my biggest supporter and biggest cheerleader. She encouraged me to go to college and get my bachelor's degree, which I did as the first in my family. She always told me my college degree is something no one can take away from me," Monica said. "She taught me to be a strong woman and to love and nurture the ones around me. She taught me to volunteer and help my community in as many ways as I can. People always tell me I am just like my mom and as I have grown up I see that more and more.

"She will always be my mom, my best friend, my mentor and my hero."

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