Leading Ladies

Amanda Harper


Sherri Mosley

Sherri previously worked in Kingsport, TN as the Executive Director of the Downtown Kingsport Association. “Through that role, I was able to promote locally owned small businesses which led to my interest in one day being on the other side and owning my own,” she said. “I think it is extremely important for cities to support their locals’ endeavors. To me, this is what makes an individual city’s culture so unique, and it’s what separates us from other places.” 

When Sherri moved to Lexington, she had the opportunity to help carry on one of the businesses that makes this city so special. She said, “Carl’s legacy has been a huge inspiration to me. I appreciate all of the work that Carl had put into the store and it is an honor for me to be able to carry on that tradition by putting amazing women in gorgeous clothing. I will go above and beyond, working tirelessly to make sure that we can deliver exactly what our clientele wants.” 

Sherri explained that her family is involved in the store and that helps her strike a better work/ life balance. “My daughter works alongside me in the store while my son and husband are extremely helpful with anything that we may need,” she said.

Clare Miller & Michelle Jimenez

Upon entering Market on National, the locally owned furniture and home accessories boutique located in the heart of the Warehouse Block, customers are greeted by one of two friendly faces. Clare and Michelle have one goal in mind, and that is to create a space that is a reflection of their client’s personality and lifestyle. 

Clare has been working in the furniture industry for over six years. Two of those years were under Hugh James at Lexington Furniture Company while finishing her Interior Design degree. It was through her strong work ethic and determination that she and Hugh decided to open Market on National. “Working hard is part of my innate being. I really don’t feel like myself if I’m not working on a project or working toward a bigger goal,” Clare explained. “Maintaining a good balance of work and life has always been the toughest thing for me to achieve, especially as a young business owner that is constantly on the go." 

Michelle started her career in design as an intern for Market on National in 2015. Upon graduating with a degree in Interior Design at UK, Michelle came on board full-time. Michelle is passionate about her job and loves working for a locally owned business where the focus is the customers. 

To other ladies considering leadership or ownership positions, Clare gives this piece of advice: “Go for it! Take the risk and prepare to work hard. Step back every once in a while and be proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish!”

Lauren West

As a female entrepreneur, Lauren knows dedication is key. “You must be relentless in the pursuit of your dreams. There have been many times I’ve felt discouraged or frustrated, and the natural human reaction is to quit. Those moments are when you have to force yourself to push through and get across the finish line,” she explained. "No one is going to do the hard work for you." Lauren said she found inspiration in Drybar’s Founder, Alli Webb. “She was dedicated to the pursuit of her dream and it has resulted in the great success that is Drybar!” 

“Creating a life that I love to live and am proud of is my goal every day. There is no way I would have been able to accomplish the things I've done without such a strong support system,” she said. “My mom and I own Peplum together, and she has really stepped up to take over the day-to-day operations while I have been focused on Drybar. My husband has also been very hands- on during the ramp up to Drybar’s opening." 

What is Lauren's next goal? "To find more balance! Recently, I’ve been totally consumed with the opening of Drybar, but I know the hard work and intensity is necessary. I try and remind myself that right now, I am in a season of my life where it’s all about work, but it won't always be this way.”

Emily Grant, Carol Breth, & Alison Sheshull

Since graduating from the UK College of Law in 2012, Emily has practiced transactional real estate law for Bluegrass Land Title. “The commitment of my partners and the staff at Bluegrass Land Title inspires me every day,” Emily said. “They are the hardest working team I’ve ever known, and their commitment to our clients is second to none.” 

“My secret weapon is a commitment to working hard for my clients and doing the right thing–no matter the circumstance. It’s a simple philosophy that my father preached to me when I was just entering the business world,” Emily continued. “I believe it led me to where I am today, and it continues to drive our success as a company.” 

Carol has over 20 years of experience in the title industry business. “My mother always told me, ‘You can achieve any greatness with hard work.’ I believe it, live it and witness it every day at Bluegrass Land Title,” she said. “I love to be a part of a team of other hard workers with such dedication, focus and loyalty.” 

Alison is thrilled to work for a company that invests in her. “Find an organization that believes in you and shares the same vision for your future,” she advised. “You have to work hard for what you want. I think with both those things working in your favor, you’re unstoppable!”

Nancy Elam & Jessica Cull

Nancy and Jessica started Design Link 12 years ago, just after Jessica graduated from UK with her interior design degree. Nancy had been in the industry for 20+ years, and the timing felt right for them to team up and go out on their own to create a residential and commercial design firm. 

Jessica admits that being a working mom has its challenges, but said that “both Nancy and I have amazing support from our families. Our husbands are our biggest cheerleaders.” 

The staff at Design Link is made up of 2 additional degreed designers and 3 ladies that keep the behind the scenes operation running. Nancy shared, “Without the team we are so fortunate to have, we couldn’t begin to juggle it all. They play an enormous role in our success.” - 

In addition, both ladies attribute much of their success to their clients. “We have been blessed to have established long term relationships with many of our customers. Their loyalty has been pivotal is helping us succeed.” 

Design Link is excited about the future, their continued growth and new opportunities.

Rebecca Hern

Rebecca began her career as a retail banker. “I was able to learn all sides of the business, including how to develop long lasting relationships with my clients,” she explained. “What I believe to be most important is making sure my clients are happy with the service I provide. I always have my clients' best interests at heart.” 

She said that one of her early challenges was not being taken seriously. She knows that is common for young people entering the workforce so she says it’s important to always go for what you want. “Don’t allow yourself to be overlooked,” she advised. “If you have an innovative idea, share it until someone listens to you.”

Yajaira Aich West

Yajaira has been with PNC for thirteen years and in her current role for the last ten. She manages the philanthropic investments in eleven counties where PNC has a presence in central and southeast Kentucky. “I am inspired by the fact that my job responsibilities help make a positive impact on the counties where PNC employees and community members live, work and play,” she explained. She is also an active member of the community through volunteerism and board service. 

“I come from a family of fearless, independent and resilient women. I believe in leading by example and strive to be thoughtful, strong and compassionate in my daily life, so these characteristics may come naturally to my two amazing daughters.”

Susan Kennedy, Taft McKinstry, & Johanna Ellison

Upon graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law, Taft joined the law firm that is now known as Fowler Bell, PLLC. “At that time, there were only five other female attorneys in Lexington,” Taft explained. Today the firm is a respected leader in commercial, bankruptcy and litigation law, known for finding practical solutions to complex matters. “I am forever appreciative of the support that Fowler Bell gave me then, and has given me throughout my career.” 

Susan has been practicing law for 34 years, and 26 of those years have been with Fowler Bell. Like Taft, she has found the Fowler Bell environment to be one of support. In those years, she has found inspiration in women who show courage in their lives, professions or roles as leaders. “I admire brave women who just ‘go for it’, whatever ‘it’ may be for them,” she said. 

Johanna believes that focus is essential to not only providing great service, but also to building success. “Whether it’s as small as responding to a client’s quick question or as big as preparing an appellate brief on a key legal issue, each task is a building block for your reputation,” Johanna said. “Everything you do is an opportunity to show someone that the work you do is quality and that you are there for them."

Carrie Patterson

Carrie Patterson has been working for the family business since she graduated college. She helped transform their showroom into a beautiful showcase of flooring products, including rugs, carpet, hardwood and tile. She loves seeing new projects through, from the design stage to installation. “Seeing how excited our customers are after installation is the real reward!” 

For Carrie, finding work/life balance is her biggest challenge. She is inspired by other women who work hard and take chances. She said, “Focus on long term goals and be fair to people. Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight!”

Ranada Riley

When Ranada set out to create her namesake restaurant, she wanted the experience to be about more than just great food. “I love connecting people with food, art, music and their community,” Ranada said. “I have strived to create an atmosphere that helps people feel welcomed and embraced. Having a team with a shared vision makes it all possible!” 

Ranada’s biggest inspiration is her mom. “She has always supported me and inspires me to do the same for others,” she explained. “Remembering my mom and grandmother cooking and snapping beans are memories that I cherish. There's a little bit of them in everything I make.”

Crinda Francke

“My husband and I formed ExecuTrain of Kentucky, which offers training and development for business owners and their employees," she said. “We help other entrepreneurs increase the skill level and productivity of their employees." 

Crinda knows the challenges of being in a male-dominated industry. “There have been so many times where I have been underestimated or made to feel lesser than because people wanted to make me feel like I didn’t belong," she said. She is proud to say that by doing things the hard way, she’s learned her own presence and personality, making a huge difference in her own self- confidence, and her business. 

Crinda believes entrepreneurship runs in her blood, and says that her mother inspired her to achieve success. “My mom really had a huge influence on my career path and instilled a confidence in me that I could do anything if I was willing to do the work," she explained. 

Her key to success? “Approach every opportunity as a long-term relationship,” she said. “I start with a ‘can-do’ attitude. It’s rare that you’ll hear me say ‘we can’t do that’: rather, ‘How can we make this work for them?’”

Kelly King

Encompassing five event spaces, the Venues of the Grand Reserve is a multi- tasker, just like it’s owner, Kelly King (co-owner Jill Bakehorn). “The Venues of the Grand Reserve was conceptualized and brought to life in 2010 with the opening of the Barrel House Events Center,” said Kelly. “From there, the Grand Reserve opened in 2012 along with the outdoor space called Garden Branch.” These ever- evolving spaces have now grown to include the Distillery Square and Speakeasy, compiling over 52,000 square feet of event space in Downtown Lexington’s Distillery District. 

Part of what has helped Kelly and her incredible team is their ability to meet obstacles head on and continue thriving. “We love a challenge and find ourselves constantly welcoming new events with new needs,” she said. “Being able to meet those needs is very rewarding!” 

With outstanding parent mentors, it is no surprise that Kelly remains extremely family oriented and family driven. She shared, “Juggling work, triplets and everyday life is definitely hectic at times but when you have the support of family, friends and co-workers, it becomes less stressful. My parents are great role models, which has inspired me to be the best for my kids. They taught me to always work hard, and that your word is your bond.” Anyone who has been to the Venues of the Grand Reserve can see that hard work and attention to detail around every corner. Kelly says, “I love being a business owner and I love being a mom. So I stay organized and try my best to excel at both.””

Dr. Susan Neil

As a leader in advancing aesthetics in Lexington, Susan E. Neil, MD has enjoyed learning about and introducing the latest treatment options over the last two decades. She was among the first physicians in the US to use Thermage®, a unique non-surgical procedure for firming and contouring skin and reducing wrinkles. She said, “I love getting instant natural-looking results that patients can see.” 

Dr. Neil, a fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery since 2004, has been offering Sculptra® for over 15 years – ever since it was introduced as a way to treat HIV lipodystrophy. Today, Dr. Neil is helping patients achieve a more youthful face shape through this natural, minimally invasive treatment. It helps rebuild and stimulate collagen, improving the look of wrinkles and folds over time. Often times, Dr. Neil combines Sculptra® with other fillers to soften lines or enhance the results. 

Dr. Neil has run her own private practice since 1999. “What I enjoy most about my practice are the long- term relationships I’ve had with my patients–some over 20 years,” she said. “I like knowing all of my patients and avoiding the bureaucracy associated with some larger, corporately-owned practices.”

Mary-Alicha Weldon

Mary-Alicha, known by many as “MA”, began her career in the financial services industry at Fifth Third Bank while completing her MBA at UK. Since then, she’s held both sales and management positions in a variety of divisions, including spending the last 11 years as a relationship manager in commercial banking. 

“24 years and several roles later, I reached what I consider my pinnacle goal and was named city president of Fifth Third Bank Lexington,” she said. “This new opportunity allows me to connect more deeply with community leaders and organizations and continue representing and servicing the many valued relationships we have with our clients and their companies.” 

When MA joined the bank, she was fortunate to see women in senior leadership positions who served as role models as she worked to advance her own career. She said, “I have always had a strong drive to succeed and approach most situations with a defined goal in mind and a determined drive to attain it.” 

“The opportunities for working women in Lexington are many and diverse,” Mary-Alicha said. “Networking is a key component to growing your career and finding that next great opportunity. Get yourself out there. Position yourself so others think of you when they need a key hire–or know someone that is looking!” “Lastly, don’t shy away from opportunities that may be outside your comfort zone – step into them!”

Keni Parks

As a professional photographer for 18 years, Keni takes great joy in helping the people she photographs feel at ease. “From behind the lens, I get to connect with so many people,” she explained. “It is my goal to make everyone feel special, and to make everyone feel comfortable. I love hearing people say after a shoot ‘that was easy!’” 

Keni has grown to feel confident in her work. “I know that I know how to do my job, and I can just focus on the relationship with the client and product completely. With every shoot, I want to produce great images, but even more, I hope to make a new future friend or further a business relationship.” 

Keni’s first professional photography job had her working alongside Allyson Jones and Leslie Childers of Holifeld Photography. “I learned from them how to confidently think fast and perform under pressure. They both are still trendsetters in the portrait industry,” she said. 

Keni admits that her biggest challenge is the comparison game. “I’ve spent hours in the middle of the night looking at other photographers’ Instagram accounts, wishing that I could come up with witty captions or always pick just the right photo to post,” she said. “Competition is healthy–embrace it! Just own your style and your way of doing what you do. Let your work speak for itself.”

Chasta Foust

Chasta has spent over a decade in the bridal industry. “Starting a business from scratch and learning about the market has been my biggest challenge yet,” she said. “I came to Lexington from Knoxville. I’m so excited to plant roots here and grow alongside the many other successful women in this city. I also want to be a great role model for my daughter: knowing she is watching me is what drives me every day.” 

What’s her secret to success? “The secret is there are no secrets. It takes hard work, dedication, authenticity and compassion to be successful.” She added, “Find a group of like-minded women and stay connected with them throughout your journey.”

Elizabeth Hobbs

Elizabeth’s career began over 13 years ago in the Internal Audit Department. In 2010, she transitioned to lending to be able to work directly with customers. She believes it’s important to step outside of your comfort zone. She said, “The only person that can shortstop your success is yourself.” 

Elizabeth knows firsthand that striking the right work/life balance can be a challenge. “I think you have to accept that it is almost impossible to be 100% in all areas 100% of the time. The balance is knowing when you need to shift gears, and knowing which obligations demand the greatest attention,” she said. “We all want to be all things to all people, but we also need to take time for ourselves.”

Michelle Krentz

World Champion and Gold Medal Equestrian Michelle spent seven years in the non-proit sector with an equine organization before making the leap to open Blo. The UK alumna comes from a family of entrepreneurs and had always dreamt of building something of her own. Blo was the perfect fit for her passion and drive. 

Michelle credits her staff as her secret to success. “The most fulfilling aspect of owning and managing Blo is watching each client leave happier and more confident and seeing the pride my staff has in their work. The culmination of bettering lives and providing a creative outlet and opportunity for my staff inspires me to work hard every single minute of every single day,” she said. “I believe in any industry, workplace culture can make or break your business. My team respects and admires each other, which translates to a wonderful support system.” 

Michelle knows that balancing career and home is a common challenge. “The work/life balance is one of the toughest struggles for the professional woman,” Michelle said. “While my family and home will always be my priority, I am lucky to have a fiancé that has really taken the reins on ensuring that everything runs smoothly at home while I work.”

Sarah Dougherty

Prior to her PA schooling, Sarah received her first clinical experience working as Dr. Jennifer Fuson’s medical assistant at Lexington Women’s Health. She returned to the practice in 2014, where she now specializes in women’s health and obesity medicine. She and the staff focus on helping women feel supported, secure and special, no matter what brought them into the office. 

“My patients inspire me. They trust me with their health each day, year after year. Seeing them achieve their health goals invigorates me to be the best medical provider I can be,” she said. “We have experience, both professional and personal, to help you through almost any situation. Whatever you face, chances are, we’ve been there.” 

Sarah believes her secret weapon to success is discipline. “I prioritize my time with family, my health and my obligations. I enjoy setting time aside for myself each morning to work out or read a book. This allows me to recharge and set my intentions for the day.” 

“My biggest challenge as a working mom is staying present in my life. I am always reminding myself to slow down, take deep breaths and enjoy every minute of my day,” Sarah explained. “My husband and I have a shared family calendar, which helps us organize our work schedules, workouts, date nights, dinners with friends and travel without overbooking our days.” 

Sarah encourages other women who want to build their careers in Lexington to get involved with local professional organizations or charities. “This provides a wonderful place to not only support our community, but to network with other working moms, professionals and business owners.”

Karla Stephen, MD

Born in Pikeville, Kentucky and a UK College of Medicine graduate, Karla Stephen, MD has always loved helping people become their best self. “I realized early on that aesthetic care was tremendously important for maintaining confidence, as well as how you present yourself to others,” Dr. Stephen explained. In private practice since 2007, Dr. Stephen serves as the sole owner, medical director and provider at Center for Anti-Aging MedSpa. “I find it is very rewarding to help people feel better about themselves. My team and I love taking care of our patients and look forward to coming to work everyday." 

Dr. Stephen says one of her most important qualities is her ability to multitask. In addition to owning the MedSpa, she also works as a hospitalist at Baptist Health and helps her husband run their thoroughbred horse farm in Nicholasville, KY. Dr. Stephen has two sons. Andrew is in college at University of Alabama and is majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Ethan is a sophmore at Dunbar High School. “My life is pretty busy,” she said. “My biggest challenge has been learning to say no. I love my job and it doesn’t feel like work to me, so it’s easy to work too much.” 

Dr. Stephen’s best advice for other women professionals? “Find your tribe. A group of supportive women who encourage you. Involve yourself in things that are important to you and you’ll meet like- minded people who can help you grow,” she said.

Leah Taylor-Wright

Leah has been in banking for over 13 years. She began her career as a loan administrator, which gave her a solid footing in lending. She specializes in residential and consumer lending, including purchases, refinance, VA, FHA and RHS, as well as in-house options and personal loans. 

“I am so motivated by my clients,” Leah explained. “I enjoy helping people accomplish their goals.” 

To achieve that, Leah believes in prioritizing her time and staying focused. “To me, it is important to be present and to make the most out of each day. Life is much more enjoyable when you actually take the time to enjoy it,” she said. “I try to do that whether it be work or personal. I’m committed to what I am doing at that given moment.” 

Leah looks to other women in her life for inspiration. “I’m inspired daily by multiple women who strive for personal and professional growth, yet support and build each other up while setting positive examples for those following in their footsteps,” she explained. 

For other women professionals, Leah’s advice is simple: “Surround yourself with great people. Be open to opportunities.”

Rosie Mahan & Ana Guzman

Meet Rosie and Ana, commonly known in their industry as "The Stone Sisters"! 

Stones & Granite is a family owned business since 2003. Rosie joined the team the year after, and she loves being a part of the home renovation business. “I love being able to provide the materials that allow customers to bring the natural beauty of stones into their homes or businesses,” she said. “We love meeting and exceeding their vision of what it can be.” 

Rosie knows that it’s hard to fulfill a leadership role and a positive “working woman” role model in a male-dominated industry. For her, it’s important to think forward. “Have a positive work ethic, always give 100% and never let anybody tell you what you can not do,” she advised. 

Ana knows that balancing work and life can be a struggle for women. “It takes a lot of patience. When I’m at work, I give all of my attention there. When I get home, I leave work issues behind,” she said. “My secret weapon is lots of determination to get things done on time.” 

Ana has lots of encouragement for other would-be entrepreneurs. “Follow your dreams of owning your own business,” she said. “It’s hard work, but if you set your mind on it, then it will happen for you!”

Adriane Polyniak

Adriane worked to put herself through college, where she earned a degree in accounting. She worked in various roles in a number of business sectors, but often working in entrepreneurial endeavors. “My career path is not one that would probably make sense to anyone but me,” she joked. “My experience has given me the opportunity to face a variety of environments and conquer the challenges thrown at me.” 

Today, Adriane manages the operations of Kentucky Cannabis Company and Bluegrass Hemp Oil, two vertically integrated, locally owned, Kentucky based businesses focused on high quality, full spectrum CBD extracts. 

“My professional inspiration is grounded in the thrill of being part of an organization whose mission is to make a positive impact on people’s lives,” she explained. “To be given and trusted with the opportunity to help people of all ages feel better and live better, that motivates me to do more each day.” 

Adriane encourages women to acknowledge their own struggles. “One of the biggest challenges facing women today is the pressure we put on ourselves to be everything to everybody,” she said. “We are quick to give grace to those who need it but don’t ever give it to ourselves.”

Dana Ensley

Since her collegiate soccer days at James Madison University in Virginia, Dana has had a passion for health and wellness. “I find great satisfaction in helping others create and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” she explained. Throughout her career, Dana has served in roles that have enabled her to lead. When she was offered the opportunity to move to Lexington and manage the new Whitaker Family YMCA in Hamburg, she jumped at the chance. 

She leads the staff team and board volunteers each day. “I have a career that enables me to strengthen my community. The time I spend with my staff and volunteers connecting with their community will create everlasting impact on the families we serve day in and day out.” 

"Because of the women before me, the challenges I face as a working woman continue to shrink. I have a seat at the table and know my voice is heard,” Dana stated. 

“The most important challenge I face–and the one I truly embrace–is being a role model for young girls, my daughter and other young women. I don’t want them to hesitate on their own path to success.” 

For others, Dana’s advice is threefold: become a lifelong learner, view challenges as opportunities to learn or grow and always ask yourself: do you love what you are doing?

Taryn Henning

Taryn began working at Ampersand (formerly the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center) in 2014 as their Prevention Coordinator. “Although I hadn't worked in the anti-sexual violence field before, I was drawn to the position as a way to engage young people in an important social issue,” Taryn explained. 

She transitioned to the role of the agency’s Director of Community Engagement. “This role allowed me to expand my reach to populations who, despite experiencing higher rates of sexual violence than others, have not historically been invited to join in conversations on the topic,” she explained. “My work solidified my conviction in the importance of creating new spaces where the experiences of marginalized communities can not only be heard, but also honored.” At the end of last year, she was asked to serve as the organization’s Interim Executive Director. In July, she will be transitioning to the University of Kentucky to work as the Director of the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, a campus space that provides services to students, faculty, and staff who have experienced sexual and other gender-based violence. 

Taryn said that some of her biggest challenges have involved being a woman of color in overwhelmingly white spaces. “I would recommend that women of color looking to start or grow their career in Central Kentucky create a system of support and make sure it includes people who truly understand your experiences,” she advised.

Sandy Allnutt

Sandy graduated from EKU with a BBA in Real Estate in 1998 and she obtained her real estate sales license the same year. She worked as an appraiser trainee for several years before transitioning to full-time real estate sales in 2005. She and her husband, Aaron, decided to form their own agency in 2018. “I enjoy the fast pace and the challenge involved in this career,” Sandy explained. “I’m motivated to grow a top notch, reputable, ethical real estate agency in our community that puts clients first.” 

As the Team Leader with the Allnutt Group and Co-Owner of The Agency, Sandy has the opportunity to share her experience with up-and-coming REALTORS®. “I love helping and mentoring other agents in our community,” she explained. 

For Sandy, three local women have been inspirations: the late Judy Beckwith, Carole Schoo and Sue Hall. “Judy was a genuine Christian woman, a mother, wife and mentor to other women who truly loved everyone. She helped me and my husband during a difficult time and invested in us on a personal level. Carole now works at The Agency as a managing broker and gives a lot of her time to mentor others. She's also a great friend. Sue was my best friend’s grandmother and took me into her home my senior year so I wouldn’t have to change schools when my mom moved out of town; I was inspired by her work ethic and how she balanced everything.”

Karen L. Sims

Karen L. Sims, RN, BSN began her career in the OR as a Registered Nurse and was a private scrub for Dr. William L. Dowden. In 1993, they established advanced medical skin care. 

She became self-employed when she opened Aesthetic Skin Care Center, LLC in 2000. In 2011 she relocated with Dr. David S. Kirn/Kirn Plastic Surgery. Karen specializes in chemical rejuvenation, microneedling, and has VP laser and all injectables available through Dr. Kirn and his team of Registered Nurses. 

Karen doesn't feel like what she does is hard work because she has such passion for what she does. “After 26 years, I especially love the relationships I have created with my clients,” Karen explained. “I feel really great about working with clients to achieve healthy skin, to minimize the aging process and promote inner beauty within.” 

Karen feels lucky to have the support of her family behind her. “I come from a family of many self-employed workers, which we know always means working more hours while balancing all of our commitments,” she explained. Her late mother, Louise Miller, worked in the nursing profession until she was 85-years-old. Her mother’s classmate at the St. Joseph School of Nursing, Mary Ellen Amato, is just recently retired at 90. “These ladies shaped and inspired me to be a better version of myself.”

Fariba Shirazi, Dawn Jones, & Dr. Camellia Shirazi

Dr. Camellia is a breast cancer survivor and mother of three who offers psychiatric counseling. “I am inspired by helping others to overcome their challenges,” she explained. “At Wellard, we take an integrated approach to healing and address the whole person... whatever hurts.” 

Dawn aids Dr. Camellia and helps develop the Wellward functional medicine program. “We are helping folks gain better health through comprehensive care, including regenerative interventions, nutrition counseling, supplements, exercise, physical therapy, improved sleep, bioidentical hormone balancing, MLS laser therapy, meditation, massage, reiki and when needed, medications,” she explained. “So often, people are saddled with an injury or diagnosis deemed hopeless by the medical community. I want to help people understand regenerative treatments.” 

Fariba believes that you aren't living your best life if you aren’t giving to others. She’s a erce spirit of hope who inspires the team to do more for each patient. She said, “ e future is created by new ideas. We are fearless in setting aside what doesn’t work to nd new ideas that do." 

Wellward loves being the home of so many innovative women and these three truly embody what it means to show grace in strength, guiding us into a future we can all be proud of!

Gentry Riddle, Crystal Booth, & Allison Briggs

After years of working in the skin care industry, Crystal Booth created a way to make getting a facial as easy as getting a manicure. “The purpose of Fizz Facial Bar is to break the rules of a traditional spa visit by offering effective facials in about thirty minutes,” Crystal explained. 

She knows that her team is the cornerstone to Fizz Facial Bar’s success. “They are what keeps everything in motion. The managers are so essential to the well being of the clients and employees,” Crystal explained. “Allison and Gentry understand client care and hospitality. They love what they do; it is a true passion for them, and they are two of the best estheticians I know.” 

"My family is very involved in the business and the Fizz team has become my family” she said. Her passion is what keeps her going. “I love what I do and I truly believe in our mission to make skin care accessible and affordable for everyone.”

Taylor Linville, Tammy R. Provost, & Sumer Miller

Taylor Linville, Tammy Provost and Sumer Miller are the women behind Community Trust Wealth & Trust Management’s investment team. 

Taylor is responsible for the research and selection of fixed income securities, contributing to fixed income strategies and managing individual client portfolios with an emphasis on institutional accounts. She said, “Part of staying inspired is to genuinely enjoy what you are doing. For me, knowing that some of the behind the scenes decisions we make in investments have an impact on someone's financial goals is extremely rewarding.” 

Tammy’s life and career have taken her all over the world, but she found a home at Community Trust Wealth & Trust Management. “It has afforded me the opportunity to work on large corporate accounts, interact with top bank officials, and work one on one with clients to achieve their financial goals,” she said. “I am most motivated by knowing that I am helping others, whether it be directly or indirectly.” 

Sumer just moved to Lexington a year ago, but has a diverse background that contributes to her success. “My ability and desire to learn has been the single most important factor in my career thus far. I'm determined to never allow that thirst for knowledge to fade,” Sumer said. “I feel that whatever I'm working on deserves my very best because someone, somewhere, is depending on it. People are putting their financial futures in our hands and I don't take that responsibility lightly.”

Gail Moses

Gail Moses, KYCID graduated from UK with a degree in Human Environment Design and she is a Certifed Interior Designer. She has owned her own business the majority of her career. She has had the opportunity to work on a broad range of residential and commercial projects. 

Gail said that her biggest challenge is to keep on top of her business schedule so that projects flow smoothly and deadlines are met. “When I am hired for a job I have an obligation to give that client my best effort and in a timely manner and in budget. I feel I have earned my reputation and will continue to work hard to fulfill my client's expectations.,” Gail said. “The satisfaction of a thrilled client fuels me.”

Tamara B. McCain

Tamara’s career in banking began in 1988, and has spent 14 years in treasury management. In that time, she said that her motivation has been serving others. “My clients and the colleagues who I support inspire me to give my best every day,” she said. “For me, that means living by The Golden Rule and establishing – and retaining – my clients’ trust in me.” 

For other women in business, Tamara suggests getting involved in order to make meaningful connections. “Find the right groups and network as much as possible,” she advised. “Gain a seat on a non-profit board for which you have true passion.”

Olga Marchuk

At just 24-years-old, Olga says her biggest challenge is being a young business owner. “People are hesitant to take advice from someone half their age,” she explained. “I have earned the trust and respect of my customers because I tell the truth and aim to be authentic, even if that means no sale is materialized.” 

Her entire 8+ year career has been in the insurance industry. She initially started in customer service for a local State Farm agent in Philadelphia. “Early in my career, I realized I had really found my purpose. I have experienced firsthand that what I do makes a difference, and I have seen the invaluable impact it has on peoples’ lives. Insurance can’t ease the emotional pain of a loss, accident or disability, but it can dramatically reduce the financial strain on a family. We provide guarantees in an uncertain world.” 

She was presented with the opportunity to become an Allstate agency owner with a business partner and in October of 2018, the Marchuk & Mills Agency opened. “Our success is built on a foundation of core values: quality service and relationships. This begins with providing unrivaled service as the customer’s trusted advisor. The goal is not to sell a customer on a product, but to sit with them and understand their needs.” 

“Women are breaking the mold on industry standards and misconceptions,” explained Olga, who is trilingual in English, Russian and Ukrainian. “Be consistent and persistent. Nothing happens overnight, but anything is possible if you are bold, dream big, believe in yourself and embrace your passion.”

Terri Stein

Even as a girl, Terri never dreamed of running a trendy women’s clothing store. But when the opportunity presented itself to not only be the proprietor of a boutique featuring stylish clothing, but to be one of the first stores open in Lexington’s hottest shopping center, it turned out to be the perfect itt. “Here I am, and loving it!” She laughed, “And to boot, I have my own Scout Kentucky print dress and pullover, exclusive to my place. Never stop dreaming!” 

Part of Terri’s job involves not only knowing what the women of Central Kentucky want, but knowing what they are going to want to wear next season. But all her work is worthwhile when they get to see their customers looking and feeling gorgeous. “It’s not hard to be at a place called ‘work’ when you’re having fun being there!” 

Terri is inspired by Scout & Molly’s Founder Lisa Kornstein. “She started the store 17 years ago solo, and today still runs her store after franchising 50 others while fighting MS,” Terri explained. “She inspires me to get up every morning and face the day with the courage, bravery and compassion for others that she has shown me.”

Jennifer Brandenburg, Katie Brandenburg Stallons, & Lindsay Brandenburg Wiley

The Olive You team believes that the secret to success is customer service. “It should be the most important aspect of every single business,” Katie said. “We listen to their ideas, order items specically for our customers, create events that we know will be fun for them and bring in new lines that they want to see.” 

"We have built so many wonderful relationships in the past seven years and our customers are one in a million!" Lindsay added, “We love making people feel good in their clothes and have a blast shopping. All the hard work is worthwhile when you see a customer with a big smile on their face trying on or wearing something they love!” 

Between them, Katie and Lindsay have six children under five-years-old. The girls said, “Always trying to give 110% at work and 110% at home is always a struggle, but we have a great support system, which is key!” 

Lindsay and Katie said they are most inspired by their mom, Jennifer. “Our incredible mom fills in as babysitter and jack-of-all-trades at Olive You Boutique, and we couldn't do it without her. She is the most hard working, loyal, stylish, go-getter and fun woman we have ever met,” they explained. “If we can be half the woman she is, we will be good to go!”

Kels Malicote

Kels has been working as a professional photographer for the last decade and has co-owned a creative branding company for nearly two years. For her, the key to success is a positive outlook. “For me, it’s the confidence I have in good things returning to me,” she explained. “I work hard, I give as freely as I possibly can and I throw compliments around like confetti. I speak positivity over my team and my business and I believe that a good attitude coupled with good intentions and acts of kindness create the perfect recipe to success!” 

Kels has a long list of women who inspire her to succeed. “I choose to surround myself with women who inspire me daily,” she said. She said her mother, Coach Coleen, Ty McBrayer and Bethany Bubenzer all helped her grow. "I’ll never be able to thank them enough for all they’ve helped me learn about myself." She also said that her “work wives”, Lauren McGaughey and Victoria Benson, are “the for real dream team!” 

For anyone else who may be sitting on their dreams or big ideas, Kels advises to go for it. “Listen up sister: if you’ve got a dream, it isn’t too big or too small, too out there or too boring. It’s yours,” she said. “So stop waiting. It deserves your effort because you deserve the dream!”

Allison Jenks & Dana Peddicord

Allison and Dana are both UK grads. Allison’s focus was Communications while Dana majored in Finance. They both spent time in the corporate world before joining forces in 2013 to focus on a career in hair and makeup artistry, merging their individual talents to create a successful business. “It’s so important to know your strengths. We can’t all be good at everything all the time,” Allison said. “Focus your time on what you are good at and it will improve the efficiency of the business for everyone.” 

Dana said that Blush + Glow is motivated by the clients. “It’s so fun to work with brides, mommies- to-be, birthday girls, grooms... you name it, we love them all!” She added, “They are celebrating big moments or events in their lives, and it’s so special to experience it with them in some small way.” 

They both agree that it’s important to network with other like-minded women and to always keep looking ahead. Allison said, “There are so many amazing women-owned businesses in Lexington, and we all benefit by learning and supporting each other!” Dana added, “When you get to the place you think you want to be, don’t stop. Find your next goal and keep going.”