The South is filled with amazing, brilliant, talented and passionate women who are making a difference in their various fields. We are honored to be able to feature them in each of our StyleBlueprint markets each week. Today, we’re spotlighting these wonderful women, whose backgrounds run the gamut — from crime scene investigator to divorce mediator, arts advocate, NHL franchise COO and more. Get to know these amazing Southern FACES!
6 Amazing Women to Inspire You
A good work day for you might be crossing everything off your to-do list; a satisfying work day for Sheryl McCollum may involve solving a 30-year-old cold case and helping law enforcement decipher clues from current and unsolved crimes. Sheryl is a crime scene investigator (CSI) for the Metro Atlanta Police Department and the director of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, which she founded in 2004. She and a huge team of forensic professionals and student volunteers devote thousands of hours to help victims of crime and research cold cases, including the Boston Strangler, Chandra Levy, Tupac Shakur and more. Her career began helping rape victims, and her professional path led her to work with the Department of Corrections, the Secretary of State, a federal task force to combat crime in dangerous areas, Mothers Against Drunk Driving — she even was the coordinator of a statewide response team to help victims of crime during Atlanta’s 1996 Olympic Games, which if you remember, involved a bomb that injured more than 100 people. In fact, her professional bio is so impressive, varied and lengthy, I just don’t have the word count to include everything. Besides keywords like “captain,” “director,” “CSI,” “educator” and more, the most encapsulating word I can use to describe Sheryl McCollum is “rockstar.” We are honored to have Sheryl McCollum, all-around cool mom/wife, hero and resident rockstar, become our newest StyleBlueprint FACE of Atlanta! Click HERE to read the article by Atlanta writer Melanie Preis.
Whether traipsing through France in a box truck or behind a computer screen bringing the magic of French antiques to life online, Mimi Montgomery certainly has the “joie de vivre” innate to French culture, despite her American roots. A longtime French antiques enthusiast, Mimi is now living her dream at Birmingham’s Lolo French Antiques et More as she works alongside her fiancé Laurent as they source, restore and share the most fabulous French and European antiques with their clients in Birmingham and online. They are “bringing brown wood back,” and are doing so with style and spunk. We are so excited to introduce today’s FACE of Birmingham, the lovely Mimi Montgomery! Click HERE to read the article by Birmingham writer Kellie Grammer.
According to Divorce Source, nearly 80% of divorces are initiated by the wife. This comes as no surprise to Sandra Lee, a Charlotte divorce mediator and coach who runs a successful practice called Emerge Victorious, in which she mediates the separation of marriages. She knows from both personal and professional experience how overwhelming, scary and unpredictable going through a divorce can be, and she feels strongly that education and a proper roadmap are empowering, which is why she serves as a “thought partner” and facilitator throughout the process. As a coach and mediator, Sandra is a voice of calm in the midst of the divorce chaos. Meet today’s FACE of Charlotte, Sandra Lee. Click HERE to read the story by Charlotte writer Sherri Johnson.
On paper, this woman’s job title seems pretty cut and dry: Financial Representative at Northwestern Mutual. In reality, it is anything but basic. Seema Sheth has made a career of advising people on how to manage their money. But dig deeper, and you’ll discover that she concentrates on women, teaching them to be more knowledgeable about their money and how to plan for just about anything life throws at them — divorce, job loss, death and moving, just to name a few. A first-generation American (her mother is from India and her father from Sudan), her experiences with defensive money management began with her parents’ divorce and later, with her career as a professional model. Her honest advice and ability to change the perspective of the way women view their money has made her a successful advisor. She recently was named as an honoree of the distinguished MOSAIC Award, which “recognizes new or first-generation immigrants and refugees who are making a significant contribution in their professions and in our community.” Meet Seema Sheth, our newest FACE of Louisville. Click HERE to read the story by Louisville writer Heidi Potter.
After 10 years as a special education teacher, Virginia Murphy was inspired by her school’s use of arts as a therapeutic tool. She pursued a graduate degree in counseling psychology and drama therapy. It was in this academic environment that she was first introduced to the theatrical concept that would change her life and the lives of thousands around her. Virginia has spent the last decade leading Playback Memphis, a theater company she created to build individual and community healing through deeper listening. Welcome today’s FACE of Memphis, Virginia Murphy! Click HERE to read the article by Memphis writer Andria K. Brown.
Last Thursday night, the Nashville Predators were defeated in game seven of the Western Conference Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets. Deemed unfair by many to play this team so early in the competition, our newest FACE reminds us that on the way to the cup, everyone is good — and that is how tournament seeding works. While disappointed the season ended sooner than anyone had hoped, Nashville has shown their true colors in support of the team and a season well fought. P.K. Subban, Pekka Rinne and Mike Fisher are now household names, but a name you might not know is Michelle Kennedy. Acting Chief Operating Officer, Michelle is responsible for (almost) everything that happens off the ice. She joined the franchise in 2008 as in-house counsel, in 2010, she was named General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer, and in the fall of 2017, she moved into her current role. Holding what she calls a “double professional disability,” Michelle is both a lawyer and an accountant; as well as a former Vanderbilt basketball player and long-time Nashville resident. She brings a breadth of talents to the world of sports, and her work is making women more relevant on an executive level in the sports industry. Welcome Michelle Kennedy as today’s FACE of Nashville! Click HERE to read the article by SB Nashville’s lead writer Alex Hendrickson.
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