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Published on January 14, 2022

Koury Family Philanthropy Lifts Up Community Women

Koury Family Philanthropy Lifts Up Community Women

Joseph Koury

The son of Lebanese immigrants, Joseph Koury
began his career as a home builder.

When visionary businessman Joseph Koury arrived in Guilford County in the 1950s, no one could imagine the real estate empire he would build or the family legacy of philanthropy he would impart to his four daughters and their families. Today, his family’s gifts to the new Cone Health MedCenter for Women Fund honor his spirit of giving back by supporting wraparound health services and a welcoming place for all women.

“To this day, we share his passion: aspiring for Greensboro to be a thriving city,” shares Richard Vanore, president of Koury Corporation and son-in-law to the late Koury. “A strong business climate, public schools and health care system…make our city the best it can be.”

“While our business is about real estate development, our passion reflects our desire for all citizens to have equal opportunities, including access to quality health care,” adds Kelly Harrill, executive vice-president of hospitality for Koury Corporation and another son-in-law to the late Koury. “We are grateful for the patronage we have received. Supporting a center that not only serves the women of our community, but future generations, is the perfect way for us to give thanks.”

The four young Koury daughters are pictured with their late mother, Linda Koury.

The four young Koury daughters are pictured
with their late mother, Linda Koury.

“As a family with many women, we share a special sisterhood bond, a common understanding of our challenges, of our responsibilities, and of taking care of others,” says the other Kelly Harrill, one of Koury’s daughters. “Over the years, we have received medical care from the Cone Health system – for childbearing, cancers, mental health issues and other illnesses.”

“In the spirit of women helping women, our family unanimously agreed that supporting the MedCenter for Women would make a difference in the lives of thousands of women in our community each year for generations to come,” adds Ashley Vanore, another of Koury’s daughters. “With a state-of-the-art facility in a convenient location, women can receive a full range of services, including prenatal care, wellness classes, counseling, as well as nutrition and education center with a food market supported by Backpack Beginnings.”

Ashley Vanore paints “Better Together” in her studio.

Ashley Vanore paints “Better Together” in her studio.

Another meaningful aspect of the new MedCenter is the original art initiative to uplift and inspire women. An abstract artist well-known for her trademark palette knife paintings, Ashley has created a new piece called “Better Together” to support the center. Based on her popular “Solitude” figure, her painting depicts three contemplative women, instead of the usual single figure, leaning towards one another in conversation. Using a palette knife to build up and scrape down to the color underneath, the painting began in the same collaborative spirit it depicts.

“The art initiative for The MedCenter began at a community event in which all of the women guests were able to pick up a brush and lay paint down on the first conceived work of art for the center,” shares Ashley. “This colorful base laid the groundwork for my piece, and I have purposely made sure that these base colors show through in the painting. This piece is not mine alone; it was a community effort that reflects the spirit of the sisterhood.”

“My hope is for the painting to convey the quiet beauty of women’s interconnected experiences,” offers Ashley, who has also served on a committee to help curate and place original art throughout the center.

“It is our hope that as more women receive the care they need, their lives – and our community as a whole – will improve,” concludes Richard.

The extended Koury family

The extended Koury family continues Joseph Koury’s business and philanthropic legacy. Pictured left to right are: Kelly Harrill, Kelly Harrill, Andrell “AJ” Johnson, Lisa Johnson, Ashley Vanore, Richard Vanore, Stephanie Craft and Carter Craft.