Date: March 7, 2009
About: Eryn Moeller - Class of 1994
Quincy girl follows familys footsteps from more than 1,000 miles away
ERYN MOLLER LIVES more than 1,000 miles away from her hometown of Quincy.
She's found a job and a place to call home in Wrightsville Beach, S.C. There's a big hole in the ground to the east called the Atlantic Ocean, and the breezes are often warm and soothing.
"I do like the weather a lot better here," the Quincy High School (1994) and Quincy University (1999) graduate says. "If we even have a threat of snow, everything shuts down. I think it's great."
But there are some striking similarities to Wrightsville Beach and her old stomping grounds. Once a Quincy girl, always a Quincy girl, as they say.
For one thing, Wrightsville Beach is the largest city in the county. It has a lot of history. And it's two hours away from the big city of Raleigh, and five hours from Washington, D.C. -- just like St. Louis and Chicago from Quincy.
And here's the big kicker -- Eryn, 32, is a Wrightsville Beach city planner. Her dad back in Quincy, Larry Moller, is a city inspector. Turns out Eryn's grandfather, Lawrence F. Moller, was Quincy's very first building inspector back in the 1930s.
"Well, I never really planned on it happening that way," said Eryn, whose mother, Glenna, works for Chaddock in Quincy.
Eryn remembers running around Quincy with her dad when he was on the job, and when the family had a lumber business.
"I'm sure that has a lot to do with it," she says of becoming a city planner. "I don't know -- it could be fate!"
"I encouraged she go forward, but what I've found with my children is that you don't need to tell them what's wrong," proud father Larry says. "You have to be positive and tell them what the good aspects of things are."
After graduating from QU, Eryn wound up working on her masters at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She's been conducting beach profiling and gathering elevation data for Wrightsville Beach as part of her schooling, and one day she found out the city was looking for a planner.
She put her name in with 40 other candidates. A few weeks later, she learned she had the job.
"I called my dad and said, 'Guess what I did?' " Eryn says. "I was super excited."
As a city planner, Eryn makes sure projects meet required setbacks and conform to building codes. With the beach being a huge part of the town's makeup, she's using her marine biology background in her job, which started Feb. 10.
"I'm really enjoying it," she says. "I'm involved with those beach developments, rehabing in an ocean area or marine shoreline. My environmental sciences degree will be helpful, so I like it a lot."
Eryn graduates with her masters in May. Proud papa and family will be there.
"I miss my family more than anything in the world, and certain aspects (of Quincy), I really do miss it," Eryn says.
"But I love it here. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are right here in North Carolina. I have everything right in my hands right here."