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Each Monday, we shine a light on an amazing Southern woman who is making an impact on Nashville and beyond. We call this our “FACES” series because these women are the “faces” of positive change in our community and throughout the South. In every interview, we ask them to give us the words of wisdom that have changed their lives, and their answers are always inspiring. Here is each woman’s response to the question: What is your best piece of advice? We hope you glean a bit of wisdom — we sure did!

The Best Advice from Our 2019 FACES

Welcome Tiffany Hancock - FACES advice

Tiffany Hancock: I received the best piece of advice from my wonderful grandfather, Dr. Howard Senter. He went through many struggles to become the first black veterinarian licensed to practice in Tennessee. His mantra was “Never let anyone steal your dream.” I live by that mantra today, and his beautiful spirit encourages me daily. Image: Molly Peach Photography

Jessica Honegger- FACES advice

Jessica Honegger: One piece of advice that’s changed me on this crazy journey came from brilliant author and thinker Andy Crouch, who talks about the importance of having rhythms for your life and holding yourself to them. That includes not just having rhythms for working and being productive, but for rest, too. I’m a future-oriented person, so it’s hard for me to make space for rest. I am always thinking ahead to the next thing I could be doing. But by committing to a life rhythm that includes space for rest and holding myself to it, I’m able to remember better that life is not all about the hustle. And, ultimately, that rest is going to allow me to keep going for the long haul. Image: Submitted

Stacey Garrett Koju- FACES advice

Stacey Garrett Koju: It would be by my mother, who always told me to love myself. Image: Leila Grossman

Welcome Michelle Reeves

Michelle Reeves: Do right. My dad gave that to me. Image: Leila Grossman

Beverly Robertson- FACES advice

Beverly Robertson: You’ve never lived a perfect day until you’ve done something for someone they could never do for themselves. Image: Mary Kate Steele Photography

Chakita Patterson

Chakita Patterson: My grandfather provided for my entire family before he passed away. When I was leaving to go to college, he pulled me into his room and said, “America is a melting pot. People come here from all over for opportunities. Although America is a melting pot, that does not include black people. There are going to be a lot of opportunities you’ll be left out of, and you can’t let that deter you. You have got to keep on keeping on.” Image: Leila Grossman

Sandy Howard

Sandy Howard: You can always achieve what you work for — my brother (Tim McGraw) taught me that. Image: Leila Grossman

Hannah Schneider

Hannah Schneider: I’m very much about being good to people and conducting business with integrity and being empathetic to my staff and my team. Basically, don’t be sh*tty to people. It will come back around in life and business. My mom always says that if you feel good about a decision and you feel that you did something out of integrity, then you will never go wrong. Image: Leila Grossman

Kallen Blair and Alie B. Gorrie

Kallen Blair and Alie B. Gorrie:
Kallen: Too many people have given me amazing advice! I am incredibly grateful for the people who have been placed in my life. This is not a piece of advice, but a mentor of mine recently sent me a message and signed it, “Wishing you bravery and abandon today.” I wrote that out and put it on my wall. What if we all lived in “bravery and abandon” every day? I think it’s a lovely thought.
Alie B.: My acting teacher in the city happens to work a lot with Simon Sinek, author of the book Start With Why. She spreads his message to us constantly: It’s not about WHAT you do, but WHY you do it. I am always coming back to my “why?”.  Because if we aren’t living every day based on our own personal “why,” then what’s all this for? Image: Keith Cromwell

Her Data Method

Shannon Ware (left) and Melody Bowers:
Shannon: I took a class on the Enneagram and how to apply that to my every day, and I was told by my teacher, “You are wisdom in human form. You know what to do.” That has resonated with me for years. Anytime I think I’m not enough or start to second guess what my gut is telling me, I remind myself of this and so far, no major letdowns!
Melody: Growing up, my dad always encouraged me to speak my mind. But, he also made it very clear that just because I spoke my mind didn’t mean he had to like or agree with what I said! He ran a business for 40 years and was very good at navigating client and employee conflicts because he was always willing to see both sides. When a client isn’t happy or something goes wrong that I need to be responsible for fixing, I have to address the situation whether I like how they respond or not. Image: Leila Grossman

Claire Gibson- FACES advice

Claire Gibson: My friend Dionna McPhatter is a West Point graduate. She is one of the women I interviewed for the novel, and she is the one I met with in New York City to talk through my writer’s block. During that conversation, she looked at me and said,  “Claire, what do you need to do in order to be proud of it? Do that and then move on.” It really unlocked a lot of potential for me, because it helped me see I didn’t have to make the novel perfect, I just had to make it something I was proud of. Image: Leila Grossman

Martha Wilkenson

Martha Wilkinson: The best advice I received was probably from my dad, who said, “Keep your mouth shut, and do your job.” He also told me I should always walk into every audition like I’m the best SOB for the job but that I don’t have to act like that. Image: Leila Grossman

Chicken Salad Chick Stacy Brown

Stacy Brown (aka “Chicken Salad Chick”): The best piece of advice I have ever received came from my mother. She told me to never fear change. Depend on it. When things are going well, do not take them for granted, because things will change. When things are going badly, do not let that paralyze you because things will change. Image: Emily Jane

Kristen Rector

Kristen Rector: My mom’s mantra was, “Worry a little, pray a lot.” You’re never alone in your battle. Surround yourself with people who will love you through anything. Image: Leila Grossman

Kate Gazaway

Kate Gazaway: “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” — Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. This is one of my favorite quotes/life advice because all of this would be happening without us, we just have the privilege to be here in this place and this time. It’s a reminder for me to be less controlling and more present; to show up and appreciate the beauty and grace that’s happening within and around me. It’s opened my perceptions of people, the world and my place in it. I’m just happy to be here. Image: Leila Grossman

Dr. Heather Robinson

Dr. Heather Robinson: I don’t remember who said it, but it’s what’s gotten me where I am: “It doesn’t hurt to ask.” Image: Leila Grossman

Pam Gaffney- FACES advice

Pam Gaffney: Take it one step at a time, get educated, get involved and be an advocate. Image: Leila Grossman

Rose-Marie Swift

Rose-Marie Swift: “Less is more.” I love that. Image: Leila Grossman

Mary Laura Philpott- FACES Best advice

Mary Laura Philpott: I tend to worry over things, and I have a good friend who always turns my worry around on me. Like when someone hasn’t texted me back within a day, and I’m sure they’re mad at me — or dead — she’ll say, “Well, when you don’t text someone back immediately, is it because you’re mad or dead? Or just busy?” Image: Leila Grossman

Mattie Bush- FACES best advice 2019

Mattie Bush: Before I started, it was that threshold moment of, Am I really going to do this or not? And my friend, who has a popsicle empire in Florida, said, “I’ve seen more people not do something because they were scared, than try and fail.” Image: Leila Grossman

alli webb drybar-FACES advice

Alli Webb: I have always had a tendency to react and respond immediately. I have learned the benefit of thinking things through before we make any decisions or react impulsively, and as founders, we want to react to everything and manage everything immediately. Business moves so fast, especially in the entrepreneurial stages, and it’s so important to pause and look at the big picture and overall goals of what you are trying to achieve. Image: Drybar

Katelyn Silver Howard

Katelyn Silver Howard: It wasn’t advice, but rather real-life experiences that have shaped me over the years. Throughout my career, I have been extremely lucky to have several incredible and inspiring bosses who are women, and whether they know it or not, they were extremely instrumental in my development as a businesswoman. Image: Leila Grossman

Dee Patel Hermitage Hotel- FACES advice

Dee Patel: We all get lots of advice from parents, peers and mentors. I’ve gotten, “Be confident, be yourself and speak up,” and “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” My best advice comes from conversations I have with my kids — Elissa, who is 8, and Evan, who is 6. Image: Leila Grossman

Cristina Oakeley Allen

Cristina Oakeley Allen: Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Image: Leila Grossman

Dr. Frances Tunnell Carter- FACES advice

Dr. Frances Tunnell Carter: Women can be catty if we want to be, and you know what I mean by catty. But try to be human about everything. Try to work alongside each other — women and men, and be your own person. Show respect for each other. Show love for each other. Just be good to one another. Image: Eric & Jamie Gay of Eric & Jamie Photography

Ellen Einstein

Ellen Einstein: That would from my mom and dad. “Do what you can while you’re young because the golden ages are so golden.” Dad always said, “Just go and do. Go travel and do before you get to a point where you can’t anymore.” I live by those words. Image: Leila Grossman

Katie McDougall and Susannah Felts- FACES advice

Katie McDougall and Susannah Felts:
Katie: That’s hard. [There have been] so many good people with good advice along the way … and also, words on a page. Passages from novels, lines of poetry and meaningful quotes have always had staying power for me. This might be cheating, but I’m going to go with Socrates. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I’m fairly intentional about building space into my days for the “examined life,” — journaling, “Sunday reading,” long walks, soulful conversation, listening to On Being, hammocks …
Susannah: Oh, I love that bit about the examined life — a thousand yeses to that! I can’t help but think of something my folks drilled into me: “Look for people’s toes and don’t step on them.” It’s a good principle to live by, and I like to expand or modify it to thinking about people’s toes and what it’s like to have those particular toes. You know, empathy. The writer’s most necessary tool. Image: Leila Grossman

Juliana Ospina Cano

Juliana Ospina Cano: I don’t think it was advice given by one person, but a lesson that I’ve come to appreciate with time. Finding our own voice as new Americans, as immigrant women, is not easy. Too often, we neglect our true authenticity to fit in, to belong, to succeed. But now, more than ever, I believe that we need to own our voice, our culture, what makes us, us — in my case, an immigrant Latina who is proud of her journey and the experiences that have shaped my identity. Image: Leila Grossman

Kayce Hughes: Artists of Nashville

Kayce Hughes: I am thankful for many wise words over the years, for many situations, but this prayer has been a constant help — especially when I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” — Reinhold Niebuhr Image: Provided

Katherine Stratton Miller: Artists of Nashville

Katherine Stratton Miller: My grandmother Peggy once said to me, “Don’t worry about what others think. People will talk about you no matter what. Whether you are perfect or spreading your dirty laundry, they will talk. So be true to yourself, and you will persevere.” What great advice! Image: Leila Grossman

Angela Simeone: Artists of Nashville

Angela Simeone: I like the quote “You are being presented with two choices: evolve or repeat,” then “Be the change you wish to see in the world” by Gandhi.  For me to be happy, it is important that I focus on being a more intentional person — mother, wife and friend. Image: Provided

Carrie Morey- FACES advice

Carrie Morey: Treat people how you want to be treated. My father has told me that from as early as I can remember. Image: Kim Graham of Kim Graham Photography

Priscilla Presley- FACES advice

Priscilla Presley: Listen. And think before reacting. Image:

Lola Honeybone and Anne Gunnel

Lola Honeybone and Anne Gunnel:
Lola: My dad has always told my boys to carry the mantra, “I am responsible.” I try to live by that as well.
Anne: “You can do anything you have to.” I tell myself that as often as I tell my children. Image: Leila Grossman

Berenice Denton

Berenice Denton: For this industry: Don’t go into this business if you don’t want to work hard. If you have a family, they have to understand. I get calls at all hours of day and night. Find special people to work with. For life: Make the most of every day and make every day count. Image: Leila Grossman

Laurie Rice

Laurie Rice: It’s from Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Never fails. Image: Leila Grossman

Carrington Fox

Carrington Fox: Any carpenter will tell you, “Measure twice, cut once.” Image: Leila Grossman

Pamela Leonard

Pamela Leonard: My parents taught my siblings and me the importance of telling the truth from a young age. “No one can take away your word,” my dad used to say. It’s a great policy for life in general, but in an industry that sometimes gets knocked for being less than forthcoming, honesty is super important. Earning and keeping my clients’ trust is crucial. Image: Leila Grossman

women contractors- FACES advice

Nolee Anderson: My father has always told my sisters and me, “The harder you work, the luckier you get,” and I fully subscribe to that idea. The hard work has only brought me good things so far. Image: Wolverine

Karen Van Guilder Little

Karen Van Guilder Little: When I was maybe 25, I went to my boss at ASCAP to gripe about a coworker who just wouldn’t stop coming to me with their problems and kept cornering me to dump their troubles on me. It was so time-consuming and draining for me. It was making me uncomfortable, and I wanted my boss to do something about it. She said to me, “What are you doing to make this person feel like they can keep coming to you?” I was so angry that she had made it about me. I wanted her to say, “I’ll take care of this. I’ll get them off your back.” It took me a while to realize that I was allowing them to continue to use me in that way. So, while it wasn’t a piece of advice exactly, this was a way to get me to realize that I have control of situations. I can set my boundaries, and I can make rules in my life. Image: Leila Grossman

Valentina Harper

Valentina Harper: I cannot say these are pieces of advice I got, but there are two phrases that are inspiring to me. Once I heard on a TV show (I wish I could remember which), something like, “I hope that just once in my life, I can make a difference like that in someone else’s life.” That struck me because I believe there is nothing as beautiful as inspiring and making a difference in someone else’s day. The second one comes from the book Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered and is from one of the authors, Karen Kilgariff: “We barely get any time on the planet. Do not spend it pleasing other people. Live life exactly how you want to live it, so you can love the life you make for yourself.” Image: Leila Grossman

Tanya Tucker -country music.

Tanya Tucker: Get out there and perform everywhere you can. You never know who’s listening or paying attention. Image: Danny Clinch

FACES of Nashville: Jessi Baker

Jessi Baker: Kindness matters. Manners are extremely important, and hard work defines your character. Image: Jamie Wright Images

Jenny Hannon- FACES advice

Jenny Hannon: Oh gosh, do I have to pick just one? What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger; Live in the truth; Be part of the solution, not part of the problem; Prior planning prevents poor performance; and eat the whale, one bite at a time! Image: Leila Grossman

Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith: When I look at a patient, I hear Doc Cheney’s voice, “Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut.” When I look in the mirror, I hear my mother say, “You can do everything that you want in your life, you just can’t do it all at the same time.” Image: Leila Grossman

Granny Rich- FACES advice

Granny Rich: Be caring and loving and look at everything in a positive way, instead of looking for the bad in everybody and everything. We sometimes think things are the end of the world, but it’s not. The world keeps turning, and good things keep happening. Image: Leila Grossman

Sheila Calloway

Sheila Calloway: My best piece of advice comes from the Bible: 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, which states, “Be joyful ALWAYS, pray continually, and give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Image: Leila Grossman

Rhonda Cammon

Rhonda Cammon: Recently, I was speaking with a director at Dell Computers, and I asked him this same question. His response was, “Be nice to everyone and do the right thing.” I have to agree, as I would not be where I am today if others were not as generous with their time, knowledge, and unselfish assistance to me and my endeavors. Gratitude is on the top of my list for sure. Image: Leila Grossman

Heather Daily, FACES advice

Heather Daily: Keep doing what you love, and when opportunities come, it’s your responsibility to walk through the door. You have nothing to lose. You have “no” to start with, but if you choose to go forward and walk through that door, who knows? It could be “yes,” or “maybe,” and sure, it could be “no,” but nothing is lost in trying. Image: Leila Grossman

Farris Benko

Farris Benko: Be yourself, and don’t let anybody hold you back! Image: Gray Benko

Maggie Sananikone-FACES advice

Maggie Sananikone: I always go back to this quote: “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated  to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” We can all do something, and we can all start by getting to know our neighbors and all of their diverse stories — do not be afraid of people who are different. Image: Leila Grossman

Stacy Downey, Founder and Director of The Little Pantry That Could

Stacy Downey: Just do it. Don’t wait until you have everything figured out; the world is ready for you to change it right now. Image: Leila Grossman

Candy Christmas, Founder and CEO of The Bridge, Inc.

Candy Christmas: Stay in the moment. It’s very easy, with cell phones, computers and social media, to let special moments slip by unnoticed. I try to be aware of others (especially my family) around me and completely focus on them, their feelings and what they are saying. Make the main thing the main thing. Family, friends, relationships are the main thing. Image: Leila Grossman

Helen Bransford- FACE

Helen Bransford: My father told me, “Happiness is a byproduct, not to be confused with a goal.” Image: Leila Grossman

Devora Fish- FACES advice

Devora Fish: My grandfather, my zayde, he would say to always be a mensch. Wherever you are, whatever opinion you have about anybody, you can always say, “Good morning,” and you can always end the day saying, “Good evening.” Image: Leila Grossman

Thank you to all of these incredible women and their inspiring advice!


He’s seen tremendous changes in mental health since he began his career nearly two decades ago. Dr. Roy Asta shares some of that insight as well as some of the best advice he can offer for how to manage stress during the holidays. Meet our newest FACE of TriStar, Dr. Roy Asta of TriStar Skyline Medical Center. Click HERE.

dr. roy asta

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