There are not enough weeks in a year to draw attention to the many women in Nashville who are directly responsible for making our community better. Selecting just one woman each week to celebrate as a FACE of Nashville is not an easy task — but it is a challenge we are lucky to face. Women are making moves in their field, whether it be finance, food, nonprofit or public relations. They give us all something to aspire to and inspire us through their personal and professional achievements. By celebrating select women each week, we hope to bring attention to every woman in the community who makes our city so rich and vibrant. Today, we take a look back at the many wonderful women we’ve had the pleasure of introducing to you as a FACE of Nashville in 2018 and share their most treasured pieces of advice. Let’s quickly reflect back before we dive into the new year!  

55 Pieces of Advice: Nashville FACES 2018

Vi Lyles: Be fearless!

55 Pieces of Advice: Nashville FACES 2018

Wendy Burch: In regards to business, my grandfather always said, “Take as many forms of payment as possible.” In regards to life in general, [my friend] Sarah Gates once told me, “Even when someone hurts you, respond in love.” Image: Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography

Meet Diane Janbakhsh, today's FACE of Nashville!

Diane Janbakhsh: Be flexible — in life, love, relationships, work, planning. It saves people a lot of trouble. It is something that has made all of this more fun and enjoying. Be flexible. Go with the flow. Take a risk, and ride the waves. Image: Ashley Hylbert

FACES of Louisville: Alice Gray Stites

Alice Gray Stites: “We are responsible for the lives we change … Believe in yourself. Go ahead. See where it gets you.” These are verses from a poem written by Rita Dove, Virginia state poet laureate. I heard these read at a bicentennial celebration last fall at the University of Virginia, and they rang poignant and beautiful and true for me on many levels. Applying this advice will be the work of a lifetime. Image: Adele Reding

Welcome Carolyn Peck as today's FACE of Nashville!

Coach Carolyn Peck: “When a task has once begun, never leave it ‘til it’s done. May the task be big or small, do the task great, or not at all.” From my Grandma Bill. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Meet Ingrid, today's FACE of Nashville!

Ingrid McIntyre: My sweet dad said “Remember whose you are” every time I left the house. It sticks with me. Keeps me grounded. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Elizabeth and Liza are right at home in Ed Nash's studio. His signature style is one their favorites, and his work adorns the walls of StyleBlueprint's corporate offices in Nashville.

Elizabeth Fox & Liza Graves: E: When faced with competition, play your own golf course. | L: “Windows of opportunity close quickly. Take them while you can.” Image: Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography

55 Pieces of Advice: Nashville FACES 2018

Jennifer Puryear: I’ve been fortunate to participate in Leadership Nashville this year, an intense discussion-based group. The 44 members of this year’s class hail from distinctly different backgrounds and bring wildly different outlooks, enthusiasms, political opinions and priorities. “Be who you are, because we’re going to figure it out anyhow. You might as well just be honest to start with,” advised Jerry Williams, the executive director, in our opening session. I think that’s pretty good advice for everyone. Image: Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography

55 Pieces of Advice: Nashville FACES 2018

Laurie Hickson Smith: There is a quote by one of my favorite authors, Barbara Brown Taylor, that states, “The only real difference between anxiety and excitement is our willingness to let go of fear.” In my life, I find it is fear that has usually created the most unnecessary stumbles and heartaches. My best piece of advice to eliminate fear is to trust God, for each and every one of us is created for great purpose! Image: Mary Kate Steele

Welcome Liz Veyhl as today's FACE of Nashville!

Liz Veyhl: “Don’t be afraid to fail.” That has given me a lot of confidence to do what I love. If you are really passionate about something, others will see that. Like minds attract like minds. My parents instilled in me, from an early age, the value of giving back and serving. Jake and I work hard, and we want to do well with the idea that we can give more with our time or financially. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Chrissy Hagerty as today's FACE of the South!

Chrissy Hagerty: In my current role as spouse of U.S. Ambassador, I have benefited from many mentors such as Nobuko Sasae, the spouse of Japan’s outgoing Ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC. Nobuko once told me, “relax and have fun and everyone else will too.” She said by being herself, she was more successful at deepening the relationship between the United States and Japan. She also told me to enjoy every day, as the time goes by very quickly. These pieces of advice have been very useful. Former U.S. ambassadors’ spouses, such as Ed Schlossberg, Susie Roos, Nancy Kassenbaum Baker and Heather Foley, have also have given us helpful and invaluable advice.

Welcome Ink Nashville's Jessica Clark as today's FACE of Nashville!

Jessica Clark: It is simple: be kind. My mom always preached, “Remember the Golden Rule.” Image: Ashley Hylbert

Count It! Lock It! Drop It! is one way in which Caty Davis is working to attack addiction in Tennessee!

Caty Davis: Never doubt yourself! Image: Sergio Plecas, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Welcome Rachel Freeman as today's FACE of Nashville!

Rachel Freeman: My first supervisor when I finished grad school with a master’s in social work told me that MSW does not stand for Must Save the World. It was a punch to the gut at that naïve time in my career, but it has really stuck with me over the years, and I’ve taken it to heart. Remembering this is part of the reason why I’m still in this field. Of course, I want to save the world, but surrounding myself with allies and partners, I’ve learned we can save the world together! That’s a lot less pressure than trying to do it alone. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Tisha Wilson: Trust the process. Sometimes I get frustrated in myself, and I think my past will never let me be great because I run up on these hiccups and I start beating myself up. But “trust the process” means nothing happens overnight. Success is not measured in weeks, months and even years. In six years, I’ve gone from being a dropout to a Ph.D. So trust the process. It’s amazing! Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Michelle Kennedy as today's FACE of Nashville!

Michelle Kennedy: There is no magic bullet. Never lose sight of where you are centered, ethically. It is the combination of hard work, being a good person and staying centered. It doesn’t matter what you do, where you go or where you stand on the org chart; if you keep those things in mind, you will be on an upward trajectory. I learned that in my own career. Image: John Russell, Predators team photographer

Welcome JoAnne Haynes as today's FACE of Nashville!

JoAnne Haynes: My mom told me that everything always works out like it is supposed to, and she was right. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Hot Chicken's Leading Lady: André Prince Jefferies of Prince's Hot Chicken

André Prince Jeffries: As mother said, keep moving. Digest it and keep on going. Make adjustments and keep moving. And that is the word. That is what she always said, and that is true and welcome advice. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Jamie Bibler as today's FACE of Nashville!

Jamie Bibler: Stacie [Standifer] once told me that I was someone who would always give 110% no matter where I worked. If that was the case, why wasn’t I working for myself? Those words had such an impact on me. It was her words — and the fierce support of my family and friends — that gave me the courage to follow my ambitions and start Bon Vivant. Since my time in Nashville, Stacie has so willingly shared her experiences and words of wisdom with me. I am beyond grateful! Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Jilah Kalil as today's FACE of Nashville!

Jilah Kalil: It was from my parents. It was: do good, be kind and do something you love – something that makes you happy. Life is too short not to be happy. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Stephanie Silverman as today's FACE of Nashville!

Stephanie Silverman: I’m not so good at pinpointing one piece of advice that’s hung with me, but my parents both taught me the key lessons of doing what you love and taking your own route. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Aisha McWeay: The best piece of advice that has served me well was from my Dad: “No one can be you the way you can be you. So just do that.” Image: Ashley Hylbert

Donna Hopkins: A friend of mine told me something like “We only get to live this life one time, and we can’t go back and change anything about what has happened. We can only move forward.” So I think the best advice I’ve heard from somebody is don’t waste time because you only have one life to live. And I believe that totally, and I don’t want people to go through what I’ve gone through to realize that. I was already doing that, but now I’m really digging into living every day as if it will be my last day. Image: Provided by Donna Hopkins

Welcome Walk Eat Nashville's Karen-Lee Ryan as today's FACES of Nashville!

Karen-Lee Ryan: My parents raised me to believe that I could do anything I wanted to do and be anything I wanted to be. That always gave me the confidence to try a whole bunch of things in my career. And, my first female boss told me: “Proceed as the way opens.” That has kept me aware of the possibilities in front of me and encouraged me to take them, despite ambiguities and risks. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Senzela Atmar as today's FACE of Nashville!

Senzela Atmar: My mother has been my role model and someone who has been able to advise me a lot about RWB. She has spent the last 11 years working for the U.S. military as a linguist. She has spent the past decade living in Afghanistan and only seeing her family 10% of the time, on average about a month a year. During her time in Afghanistan, she showed so much compassion and love to everyone and anyone. From the military men she treated like sons to the orphans in villages she was sent to — she had the opportunity to be a vessel of God’s love to people. While I don’t have one memorable piece of advice from her, she is who I turn to for that. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Joanna Teplin & Clea Shearer: JT: “Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution.” This was the advice that my (very entrepreneurial) grandfather always reminded all of his kids and grandkids. | CS: “Never take the first room the hotel gives you.” — my mother Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome New Hat Founders Elizabeth Williams and Kelly Diehl as today's FACES of Nashville!

Kelly Diehl & Elizabeth Williams: KD: It’s hard to isolate just one. My friend since high school, Lizzie Napier, is an emotional lighthouse for me when life feels difficult. She reminds me that we either choose to live with fear or live with love. Love lets us function, fear never does. If something isn’t working out for me, I can always trace it back to this principle. | WD: I think I’m going to nominate my mom for this one. I was going through a hard time last year, and she kind of uncharacteristically grabbed me and looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Elizabeth, don’t lose your sense of humor. Life can take that from you, don’t let it.” Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Ann Satkoski as today's FACE of Nashville!

Ann Satkoski: Both of my parents always gave the sage advice that you’ll never know if you don’t try. That has been very true my entire life and career. I have done things out of my comfort zone over and over again. Unless you give it a shot, you will never know what you are capable of. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Ashleigh Newnes & Tracy Burks: AN: This is buck standard but true: Never give up; TB: She doesn’t ever give up!; A: My mom told me that and she is very much like that — she doesn’t ever give up being strong and fighting; TB: My mom taught me that everything is always about the food. There is so much depth in that. You are not just eating. Family meals gather people together and slow you down for half a second. Food is medicine – food is everything. So thanks, Mom! When she told me that, so many things were opened in my eyes. Image: Ashley Hylbert 

 Welcome Denice Hicks as today's FACE of Nashville!

Denice Hicks: My mother was a wise, tough, creative woman. She encouraged me to be me and to not try to compete with other people. She also taught me to live for the day, because you never know which one will be your last. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Sharon Hurt: The best piece of advice I received is that you cannot serve but one master. Meharry Medical College gave me that advice when they fired me. I thought I would be Mrs. Meharry 2089, but when I was forced to swim, I swam. And I kept going and never stopped. God knows no limits, and He said, “I come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.” Image: Ashley Hylbert

Jeanette Irakunda: One time, my mom told me, “Never compare yourself to anybody, because your path is not the same as someone else’s. Just because you might be behind, doesn’t mean you are heading towards failure. Focus on you and no one else — what they have going on doesn’t have anything to do with you.” Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Joyce Searcy as today's FACES of Nashville

Joyce Searcy: When I got married, my mother told me, “Only argue over the big stuff. Don’t waste time arguing over the little stuff ’cause you know what you are gonna do anyway.” She was right. I have now been happily married for 47 years. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Genie Lockwood as today's FACE of Nashville!

Genie Lockwood: I have been lucky to have so many wonderful people give me all kinds of advice that have gotten me through all types of important situations. I don’t want to get too deep here, so a quote I love that I heard from Ricky Gervais, “No one else knows what they’re doing either,” always rings true. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Megan Beaven Feeman as today's FACE of Nashville!

Megan (Beaven) Feeman: I’ve gotten a ton of great advice from my parents, Jimmy and some other mentors, but this question just takes me back to the book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. He’s the founder of Nike, and in the last pages of his book, he writes a couple of paragraphs of advice for young entrepreneurs. Hearing it from someone like him, someone who started with nothing and is now one of the richest men in the world who created one of the largest companies in existence, hits you in a different way. Here are a couple of great sentences from it: “I’d tell men and women in their mid-twenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.” Image: Ashley Hylbert

Elizabeth Locke: When I decided to go into the jewelry business 30 years ago, I took a well-known estate jewelry dealer out to lunch and excitedly told him that I was going to become a stone dealer. He told me that I would be eaten alive by the competition and begged me to reconsider my choice. Because of this advice, I changed my plans and instead decided to design jewelry. So although my career plan was mercilessly crushed, he did me an enormous favor! Image: Elizabeth Locke Jewels

Welcome Sandy Obodzinski as today's FACE of Nashville!

Sandy Obodzinski: A good friend and mentor once told me that fundraising isn’t about money. It’s about people. And helping people realize the difference they want to make in the world or in their community. Financial gifts are the by-product of relationships. Relationships come first, always. I believe this whole-heartedly. Image: Ashley Hylbert

FACES of Nashville: Valerie Wilson, Tennessee Cheesecake

Valerie Wilson One of my favorite quotes is by Abraham Lincoln. “Folks are usually as happy as they make up their mind to be.” It reminds me that happiness is truly a moment-by-moment personal choice. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Emily Miller: Julia Cameron who wrote The Artist’s Way, which is this amazing book on the creative process, she has these basic principles for staying creative and in tune with yourself and your practice, and one of them is to write three pages every morning. This is one of the greatest things I can do for myself, and I really feel it when I don’t do it. Image:

Tess Erlenborn: A little obvious I suppose but, “No one accomplishes anything alone.” It’s one of those things that I’ve heard so many times by so many different people in this business, but my dad initially said something like this to me when I was just starting to pursue my art career after leaving my full-time job a couple of years ago. I am constantly asking questions, seeking advice and help from fellow artists and creatives, my patient financial advisor dad, my friends and family who have helped me hang up and take down tons of shows at this point, the lovely ladies at Tinney Contemporary, The Nashville Artist Collective … and the list goes on. I am beyond grateful to the amazing community here, but it goes both ways. I want to be a helpful, team player and find ways to donate my time and energy to support other artists or organizations and creatives in this city, too. It’s easy as an introverted artist to let my social anxiety get the best of me and be afraid to ask for help or for opportunities, but being nice and admitting that I definitely don’t always know what I’m doing goes a long way! Image: Cedrick Jones

Tara Aversa: I was doing hair for a shoot years ago for the opening of The Standard, and the makeup artist told me to fake it ’til I make it and to just say ‘yes’ to things and learn along the way. It gave me the courage to put myself out there and to not be afraid of failure.

Welcome Kelli Turner as today's FACE of Nashville!

Kelli Turner: Embrace your team by listening and don’t be afraid to let them manage up. At the end of the day, it’s the collective team who achieves the success, and I owe my accomplishments to them. And don’t forget to say thank you. These are true words of wisdom spoken by a dear friend and mentor Dick Parsons, former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Inc. Image: Michael Gomez

Welcome Gina Waters Miller as today's FACE of Nashville.

Gina Waters Miller: My mom’s teachings I still hear and practice. She’d say: Don’t start something that you can’t finish or continue. My mom also helped me to understand that it is okay to begin again. She emphasized that we were special, gifted, beautiful but not better than anyone, no matter who they were, where they lived, what they did or had. My mom is a musician, career educator, retired special education teacher and devout Christian. Those words were a huge part of my upbringing. She taught me that my life was not my own, and my actions represented and were a reflection on everyone connected to me. She still reminds me to be a good steward with what is in my hands. My mom sees God, good and potential in everyone. Those principles, plus more advice from mom shaped my personal mission statement: “So much of the world is down; I want to be one who lifts. So much of the world is dark, I want to share my light. So much of the world is broken; I want to be a part of its healing. So much of the world is unloved, I want to be one who loves.”

Welcome Sarah Hays Coomer as today's FACE of the South

Sarah Hays Coomer: My mom always used to say, “Slow and steady wins the race,” which is an Aesop’s Fable. I find that to be true in writing, in fitness, in politics and in relationships. It applies across the board. Image: Molly Peach Photography

Welcome Rhonda Schmitz as our FACE of Nashville!

Rhonda Schmitz: I don’t know who said it (I found it on Pinterest, probably!), but it’s this: “Leave a little bit of sparkle wherever you go!” Again, you never know everyone’s story, so leave someone with a smile no matter what you are doing. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Suzanne Sevier Rowland as today's FACE of Nashville!

Suzanne Sevier Rowland: “Sometimes you have to move back before you can move forward.” This is from one of my mentors, Kendra Cooke, who owns Cooke Realty Partners in Rutherford County. At lunch one day, I was explaining to her how I wanted to dissolve the sales rep program for Sevier Skirts because I didn’t feel it was the right direction for my company, and the future was very uncertain for Sevier Skirts. She explained scaling back and going smaller is sometimes the only way to pivot and move forward in the right direction. Image: Ashley Hylbert

Welcome Jessica N. Turner, author of Stretched Too Thin, as today's FACE of the South!

Jessica N. Turner: I don’t know who said it, but I once heard, if it isn’t a hell yes, it is a no. That is my litmus test for everything. Is this something I really want to do? If not, then I politely decline. I’ve learned that you never regret a no, but you might regret a yes, so I give those yeses out sparingly. Image: Molly Peach Photography

Rachel Martin: I am so goal-focused and not very retrospective, but someone once said, you are exactly where you need to be. That one hits me on so many levels — personal, career, being a mom. Don’t worry about where you are going; don’t worry about the past. Own where you are today. Image: Molly Peach Photography

Phoebe Venable: My first professional job was working as an assistant in the Trust Department of a bank. I supported portfolio managers who were building and maintaining investment portfolios for trust clients. I asked the head of the department how I could move from being an assistant to a portfolio manager. He told me that I needed more education, an MBA. One year later, I resigned from my position and went back to school as a full-time student. When I completed my MBA, I landed a position as a portfolio manager! As hard as it was to be told I didn’t have enough education or the right education, I have always been grateful for his direct advice. Image: Molly Peach Photography

Cheers to a new year! 


Our newest FACE of TriStar is a neurologist who specializes in telemedicine for TriStar Skyline Medical Center. Find out more about this fascinating merger of technology and medical care, learn the stroke warning signs and more. Click here and meet Dr. Sonya Brooks!

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