ASHEBORO — Greta Anita Lint passed away on Aug. 9, 2022, at 11 p.m. Many wonder if this was her debut for the 11 p.m. news in Heaven. Greta was an amazing woman, who touched many lives, supported numerous communities throughout the Carolinas and had admirers around the world. Greta fought a noble battle against metastatic breast cancer and lasted three years longer than what was originally predicted.
Born on Aug. 6, 1957, in Charlotte, she grew up in Conover and later lived in Wilmington, Spartanburg and Asheboro.
She is preceded in death by parents, Carmen Darbritz Straw Lint and Elmer Dean Lint. of Conover.
Greta’s life interests and achievements were contributable to her parent’s talents in art, music, public speaking, writing, theater, public service and their love of travel.
An award-winning debater at Newton-Conover High School, Greta attended the University of North Carolina on a 4-year debate scholarship from 1975-79. She was the college’s first student to advance to the National Individual Events Championship tournament in 1978 and was one of the school’s first two graduates in Mass Communications.
A life-member of Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity, Greta organized many special events during her academic career and was a co-founder of UNCW Campus Republicans. She was honored in national publications for her accomplishments. In 1980, she was a Youth Delegate to the Republican National Convention in Detroit.
From 1976-81, Greta was a producer/director/copywriter at WWAY-TV, an ABC affiliate in Wilmington. From 1981-82, she produced and was a substitute host for The Jim Burns Show on WECT-TV6, an NBC affiliate in Wilmington, a daily hour-long public affairs show. Her travel and beauty segments sparked the show’s first ratings increase in years. She was an on-air commercial talent from 1981-84. Her love was in the editing booth, working with the production team where she could be creative with audio and video.
While working at WECT, Greta taught the first television production classes at Pembroke State University.
In 1984, she moved to WSPA-TV7, in Spartanburg, SC, where she produced and directed news and a weekly children’s program. As a South Carolina disaster volunteer for the American Red Cross, she handled all public relations during Hurricane Diana.
In search of a new career, she returned to Conover and sold advertising, wrote copy and produced the first promotional video for WNNC AM Radio in Newton. While there, she was a writer at the Observer-News-Enterprise. She also taught television production classes at Lenoir-Rhyne College.
In 1984, she moved to Asheboro and established the first outside sales position and tourism program for the North Carolina Zoological Park. Working with the NC Division of Tourism, the NC Department of Commerce and Burroughs-Wellcome, Inc., she wrote and co-produced the Zoo’s first award-winning promotional video for use in the NC Welcome Centers.
While at the NC Zoo, she forced administrative efforts to meet requirements established by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). She was recognized by the Mayor’s Council for Persons With Disabilities for her achievements and for establishing a special annual day when handicapped persons and families could visit the Zzoo.
From 1986-95, Greta collaborated with the NC Division of Aging to create the state’s only Grandparent’s Day celebration. The event brought Seagrove potters to the zoo to showcase skills being passed between generations. Each year set new attendance records.
Greta developed the Zoo’s first group sales revenue source for group outings and on-site catering. She was a member of the National Tour Association, American Bus Association, NC Motorcoach Association, NC Association on Aging, NC Association of Festivals and Events, International Special Events Society, Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce, Travel Council of North Carolina and the list goes on. She leveraged her volunteer time with tourism events statewide for free zoo publicity, such as with the National Tour Association national convention in 1988. She gave humorous zoo presentations to hundreds of civic organizations across the state.
Greta organized 11 international zoo conventions, working with Dr. Jane Goodall and “Sabu”, the Ringling Brothers’ elephant boy. She coordinated hundreds of company picnics and private group outings at the zoo and developed the first private functions policy for the state facility.
Promoting county events and attractions while at the zoo, she initiated efforts with the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce to write legislation for an occupancy tax to fund a tourism development authority. The process took 10 years.
She was a regular instructor at the NC Parks and Recreation Academy held at the NC Justice Academy in Salemburg. As a shared State employee, she was a public information officer for the NC Division of Forest Resources and NC Division of Emergency Management.
She continued her work with the American Red Cross as the Disaster Chairman for the Randolph County chapter. And, she volunteered public relations services for the NC Aviation Museum.
While working at the NC Zoo, she taught Adult Basic Education for five years at Randolph Community College.
In 1997, Greta joined the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau where she co-produced and organized the state’s second-largest tourism convention – TravelSouth USA.
In 1999, Lint oversaw marketing efforts at Chinqua-Penn Plantation in Reidsville, but moved on that same year to be the executive director of the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau. Throughout the following four years, she won five awards from the NC Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus for her promotional work and was recognized by the NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development for her efforts and dedication in elevating the awareness of barbecue through a massive on-line and public relations campaign that resulted in the state’s first Legislative competition and award.
In 2003, she launched her own consulting/writing firm landing international press for festivals and events, researched material in the Carolinas for a variety of thematic trails and motorcoach itineraries and wrote for The Courier-Tribune, Davidson Magazine, the Observer-News-Enterprise and The Randolph Hub. She enjoyed writing municipal grants.
In 2018, Greta served in the Public Relations Department with the NC Department of Transportation. Greta loved to work with area media outlets to make sure that the public was aware of the transitions under way of the I-40 renovation project through Winston-Salem.
In 2019, Greta was honored by Gov. Roy Cooper for her efforts to grow North Carolina by being inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
She is survived by her lifetime partner, Joel Leonard; two cats and cousins.
An avid gardener, a memorial garden will be created in Greta’s honor in March, led by area gardeners. Participants will plant flowers around Greta’s house and share Greta’s stories on how she impacted their lives.
Condolences may be sent to the Lint family at www.bennettfuneralservice.com.
The Lint family is in the care of Bennett Funeral Service of Newton, 828-465-2111
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