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FAB FEMALE PROFESSIONALS: Hometown Heroines & 9-5 Names to Know

Onto Day 2 of full questionnaires from our Cover Feature: Fab Female Professionals. Today we're featuring Hometown Heroines and 9-5 Names to Know. These strong women show up and work day in and day out to make Elizabethtown a wonderful place to live and give back to the community. In case you missed what the feature is about: We are honored to feature so many Fabulous Female Professionals from all over Hardin County. This is a Q&A-style feature. Each of the 72 lovely ladies answered up to 10 questions about her business or profession, giving insight as to what it means to be a female professional and sharing a bit on how they give back to the area. Featured in print is one answer from each lady, but the full questionnaires are available on our blog, RIGHT HERE. Photos by the amazing and talented Elaina Janes Photography.

SiDonna H. Cox, Kerr Workplace solutions


What made you decide to become a designer/project manager?

My story as to how I first became an interior designer is different than most others in the sense that I was raised with a close family member who was a paraplegic, who is confined to a wheelchair. During a portion of this time, ADA, Americans Disability Act compliance was nonexistent. I witnessed many struggles he encountered as we often attempted to navigate his wheelchair in public settings. I vowed that I would do my part in making a difference by becoming proficient in ADA compliances and attempt to educate our communities to look at facilities through the eyes as an individual as “David” (My hero).


How did I get started in the profession?

While at UK, I began commuting for a required internship at a Design firm in Louisville, and from this experience obtained continued in the field additional jobs over the last 24 plus years, allowing me much diversity in interior design and project management.


How many years have you been in the business/worked at your job?

Almost 25 years in the industry and 4 with Kerr Workplace Solutions.


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area?

We are truly a hybrid in our business, providing a variety of design and office services in addition to the extensive furnishings, supplies, and equipment. The versatility in our business allows us to be a true standout.


How does it stand out? 

Most businesses advertise A-Z business but truly walk the walk and talk the talk under one company name... KERR WORKPLACE SOLUTIONS. (i.e., consult, specify, procure, install and service products we provide).


What do you love most about your job? 

I love that my job is absolutely different every day. I have never enjoyed the day in day out predictable routines; however, I strive on each day is a different challenge (i.e., on any given day, I could be consulting, designing on a job site surveying or project managing. It’s simply never the same, and I love it!).


Are there any special challenges you have faced as a female in the Design/Project Management industry? How do you overcome those?

I sometimes faced with interacting with a male dominated community; however, I think we are finally approaching a working industry where men are beginning to understand the advantages of collaborating with women and appreciate our perspectives, intellectual additives, or experience in a field. If we continue this practice, we will become more oblivious to male/female or even race/color and simply celebrate in the successes we can achieve working together. The more success, the more these walls will continue to be broken. I do not shy away from a male dominated situation and would suggest others approach the same. I know I have worked just as hard, if not harder, to earn the positions I have obtained throughout my career.


How does your job help local ladies?

I strive to offer equal opportunities and not single out individuals. However, I will say that I am part of three organizations that aim to support women: The Fillies, Women Who Wine for a Cause (one of the founders), and OPWIL (Office products women in leadership). Kerr Workplace Solutions has supported my involvement in each one and realize the importance of supporting our communities.


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

Keep an open mind to endless possibilities. Realize that you do not know everything and embrace any and all opportunities to grow as not only a professional but as an individual. Take each day one at a time and AWAYS, with purpose. Know that you will make mistakes, but also look at this as an opportunity that you will learn from and, as a result, accomplish growth.


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work, what would it be?

I think most who know me, ”Make it a great day!" Simple, but empowering that you have the power to do just that. What making it a great day means to one is likely different from another, but as long as you own it, the choice is yours!


If you a mother with children living at home, how do you balance work and motherhood? If you have adult children and worked while they were growing up, give one piece of advice for working mothers now.

My daughter is now 20, and I have always worked. My family while they are my priority, I have always made sure that she sees the value of becoming educated and being contributing individual. I’ve always found importance in her witnessing my drive for balancing family, spirituality, work, and community involvement. I will be the first to admit while some days exude less grace than others, I feel for me, personally, firing up all these areas makes me a better person for myself and others around me.


https://kerrws.com

https://www.facebook.com/kerrworkplacesolutions/

https://www.instagram.com/kerrworkplacesolutions/


Laura Dickinson, Clarity Solutions for Women


What drew you to Clarity Solutions for Women? When I was pregnant with our first daughter, my husband and I lived in Los Angeles, where the standard of living was so high, and we had a modest income. I was scared about how we were going to provide for her, and I wanted to give back to pregnant ladies by directing an organization that gave them the resources and hope they needed in a vulnerable time. How did you get started in your profession? For five years, I oversaw international missions programs overseas and learned how a faith-based non-profit worked behind the scenes. I feel this experience has lent itself well to leading Clarity in this season of its ministry.

How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? I came to Clarity in 2014, so six years this summer!

What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? Clarity is unique in that we are an organization of excellence and always striving to have the best standards of care. We also like to give back to other pregnancy centers in our area - and around the world! - to help them in their area of service as well.

What do you love most about your job? I love it when I hear stories of how Clarity has helped a client feel empowered and better equipped to parent their child. I also love leading my staff and creating a culture of teamwork and friendship.

How does your job help local ladies? Clarity helps local ladies who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant by offering medical services and ongoing support in a vulnerable time of their lives. We walk alongside them to equip them to know they're not alone and that they have support. I love it when I hear stories of how Clarity has helped a client feel empowered and better equipped to parent their child.

If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? Keep your God-given mission at the forefront of your mind and heart at all times. Sometimes the battle is hard, but perseverance in the fight will bring such fruit in the end!

Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work? "Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." - Galatians 6:9


http://clarityky.com/schedule-an-appointment/

https://www.facebook.com/ClaritySolutionsForWomen/

https://www.instagram.com/clarityky/


Dr. jillian Carden, Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services


What made you decide to become a psychologist? 

When I was very young, I had a family member who suffered from significant depression. He received treatment and improved. I told my parents, at age 6, I wanted to be a therapist.


How did you get started in your profession? 

I’ve always enjoyed working with kids who have experienced trauma, and I had learned some valuable management skills at my previous employment. When the ED position opened at Silverleaf, it was an excellent fit for what I loved to do.


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? 

I’ve been a psychologist for ten years, and I’ve been the Executive Director at Silverleaf for two years.


What sets Silverleaf apart from others like it in the area?

Silverleaf is this region’s Rape Crisis & Child Advocacy Center. We are the only agency solely dedicated to providing a wide array of services to individuals impacted by sexual violence. And, as a non-profit, all services are free.


What do you love most about your job? 

I know that our agency is working alongside survivors in our community to heal and thrive, which is very rewarding. But what I love most about my job is the passionate, smart, and driven individuals I have the pleasure of working with every day.


Are there any special challenges you have faced as a female in the field of sexual violence services? How do you overcome those? 

Our biggest challenge is convincing our communities that sexual violence is not a “women’s issue” – it is an “us” issue. We overcome this challenge when we consciously include all individuals to be a part of the solution. We want, and have, men providing support, encouragement, and healing to survivors. 


How does your job help local ladies? 

Silverleaf is this region’s Rape Crisis & Child Advocacy Center. We are the only agency solely dedicated to providing a wide array of services to individuals impacted by sexual violence. And, as a non-profit, all services are free. Our agency provides free services for all individuals impacted by sexual violence including therapy, advocacy, education, and support. We want our local survivors to know that healing is possible, and we are here to assist on their journey.

If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? 

Practice self-care! Don’t just talk about taking care of yourself, do it! It is vital in this field. Spend time filling your emotional, social, physical, and spiritual life.


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

This quote hangs in the conference room at Silverleaf:

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou


https://silverleafky.org

https://www.facebook.com/silverleafservices/

https://www.instagram.com/silverleafservices/


Shellie Hansen & Amanda Hansen, Hansen Home Team


What made you decide to become a Realtor? 

Shellie: My mom was a Realtor in California, and I thought it was the "coolest job." I was right!                                      

Amanda: My mom and dad became realtors when we moved out here to Kentucky, and I see how much they love their job and helping others that I wanted to pursue this career path and join their team! Also, I wanted to be able to provide the best I could for my son! 


How did you get started in your profession? 

Shellie: When we moved to Kentucky, my husband and I decided it was time for me to start the career that I always wanted. It is a big leap to start something completely new in a new place. I am so thankful I did!

Amanda: With the help of my parents, they guided me in the right direction on where to start, and I am so grateful to have had that support as I was able to start my career as soon as I got out of school. 


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? 

Shellie: Five years

Amanda: It will be a year in April. Time flies when you're having fun.

 

What sets your business apart from others like it in the area?  How does it stand out? 

Shellie: We are a family team that enjoys working with people in all the different stages of home buying or home selling. With Greg being retired Navy, we understand the stress a military family has when PCSing. With our team three, we provide a unique client experience as we can usually accommodate the clients' schedules better than most as you have three realtors working for you. 

Amanda: We are a family team willing to help out at all hours of the day/night. If one of us is out showing a home, there is always someone that can accommodate you! We thoroughly enjoy what we do, and I believe it truly shows.


What do you love most about your job? 

Shellie: I have the best job! I get to meet great people, Make new friends, I get to show houses, I work a lot but still have some flexibility, and I work with my family! I love all of that! 

Amanda: What is there not to love? I absolutely love meeting new people daily and help them get into the home of their dreams. The smile on my clients' faces at the closing table makes all of the long hours and hard work worth it! I also love working with my family! 


How does your job help local ladies? 

Shellie: I help get local ladies into their dream homes.

Amanda: I feel that my career really empowers local ladies that may think it is impossible to own a home on their own, but when they see that they can, there is nothing like it! 


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? 

Shellie: Safety! Make sure you are always thinking of your personal safety as you start showing homes etc. 

Amanda: Always pay attention to your surroundings when showing a home! You can never be TOO safe.


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work? 

Shellie: "To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Douglas Adams Amanda: "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." -Albert Schweitzer


http://www.hansenhometeamky.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HansenHomeTeamKY/

https://www.instagram.com/hansenhometeamky/


Kara Montgomery, Service certified Banker Regional Coordinator, South Central Bank


What made you decide to become a Bank Regional Coordinator?

I’ve worked in nearly every department within the bank, from loan and deposit operations, IT, to branch management because I love the opportunity to learn something new. I embrace the challenges that change can bring. When a regional position became available, it was a natural transition.  


How did you get started in your profession?

I started in banking through the JHHS co-op program and immediately fell in love with the professional work environment and the diverse career opportunities within the banking industry. 


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

17 wonderful years!  


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

South Central Bank is a family-owned financial institution that sets the foundation for what we do. We genuinely care about our clients and their families, and we’re here to help them through all their financial decisions. 


What do you love most about your job?

My clients! I love getting to know them and supporting them through all of life’s big moments.  


How does your job help local ladies?

I’m able to help ladies in so many ways. Some days it’s helping a young lady set up her first bank account, and other days it's helping ladies navigate wealth management or estate planning decisions and everything in between.   

If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

The best career advice I could give is to maintain a high work ethic standard for yourself and don’t be afraid to stand out above the crowd. These attributes won’t be overlooked at a good company.  

Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching." C.S. Lewis


https://www.southcentralbank.com

https://www.facebook.com/South-Central-Bank-Inc-368824094659/

https://www.southcentralbank.com


Andrea Haire, Detective, Elizabethtown Police Department

What made you decide to become a detective?

I decided to become a law enforcement officer during my first year of college. I developed a strong interest in the process of our legal system and statutes. I took several criminology and law enforcement courses. (I also loved watching CSI: Miami and Law and Order: SVU). I wanted to gain a better understanding of the reason why individuals committed crimes, then to investigate those crimes that the individuals committed thoroughly. 


How did you get started in your profession?

How I started in my profession: After graduating from college, I applied for the FBI and was advised I needed more experience. I applied and was employed as the first victim advocate for the Hardin County Attorney’s Office. After working with victims and being involved with court proceedings, I knew I wanted to have more of an impact and an active role in providing the safety of victims and the safety of our community. I worked closely with many officers being a victim advocate. They observed the work I was doing and encouraged me to apply for a law enforcement officer. 


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

I have worked in this profession for seven years. I spent four years on patrol and the past three years in investigations. 


What sets Elizabethtown Police Department apart from others?

Here at the Elizabethtown Police Department, we strive to have a good relationship with the people in our community. I think what sets us apart from other agencies is the active roles and programs we as officers are involved in. Our Citizen’s Police Academy, for example, provides individuals the opportunity to put a face with the officers that serve the community and to gain more knowledge on how the police department operates. 


What do you love most about your job?

What I like most about my job is the variation of what each day will bring and the challenges I will face such as, arriving at a crime scene that might seem chaotic and having limited evidence on what took place, but then using my knowledge and training to thoroughly investigate every minor detail that will provide a successful end result in the case. It is so rewarding to have victims of a crime and/or the family members of a victim of a crime to see your dedication, hard work, and how much you care about making them feel safe again and providing closure and to give them justice. 


Being in a male-dominated profession, I did not feel as if there were any particular challenges I had to overcome. I completed the same training and have the same common goal within this profession as the other male officers. I have always been treated with as much respect as the next person. 


How does your job help local ladies?

My job helps to provide an example for local females to understand that they too can have a successful career in law enforcement or any other male-dominated profession. 


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

The advice I would give women who have an interest in entering into my line of work would be to go for it and give it your absolute best. Always know you can do this job, and no one can stop you but yourself. Never stop wanting to learn, never stop listening, never stop wanting to improve, and to be better than you are now. With that being said, always remember to take care of yourself first, mentally, and physically. 


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." - Charles R. Swindoll

“It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.'” ― Maya Angelou

"If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou


https://elizabethtownky.org/police-department/

https://www.facebook.com/Etownpd/


Jennifer Swope Scarbrough, Genesis of Elizabethtown & Swope Hyundai


Why did you go into the automotive industry?

I fell into the car business fairly naturally as I am a third-generation owner of the Swope Family of Dealerships.  


How did you get started in your profession?

I worked odd jobs across the stores throughout my high school and early college years, then actually took a job at a dealership in Nashville, where I went to college. I stayed at that dealership for almost ten years working my way from a receptionist to a Finance & Insurance Manager.  


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

I have been in the auto industry all my life, but have worked consistently in the retail automotive space for 12 years.  


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

Our store is unique in that we offer both a core brand, Hyundai, alongside a fully luxury line, Genesis, in the same location. We truly have something for everyone! We also have multiple women as product specialists, as well as product specialists and management that are bi-lingual. I also think that our commitment to the community sets us apart. We support over 100 local organizations and non-profits, so a portion of every dollar spent in our stores goes directly to our community.  


What do you love most about your job?

I love connecting with people and getting the opportunity to get out in the community. All of my years at the last dealership were spent behind a desk. My grandpa had a saying, “Go out and do some good today.” I love getting out there and encouraging our associates to do some good today too.  


Are there any special challenges you have faced as a female in the automotive industry? How do you overcome those?

I’m super blessed to have a forward-thinking employer that is all for this industry shifting and being ahead of the times. We have many women in our ranks and multiple women in executive roles. The auto industry is historically male-dominated, but I think that that is shifting. That being said, it wasn’t always easy coming up the ranks at my last dealership. There were plenty that thought I was undeserving and/or wouldn’t make it when I was promoted to a finance manager. I’ll just say that I exceeded expectations.  


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

I’d say jump on in the water is warm! I think that the retail auto industry is for any and everyone.  


If you a mother with children living at home, how do you balance work and motherhood? If you have adult children and worked while they were growing up, give one piece of advice for working mothers now.

I am blessed with the world’s most amazing super-dad husband. We are a partnership, and I truly couldn’t do it without his support. There are definitely things that I miss, but one of us is always there. He’s our family’s rock.   


https://www.genesisofelizabethtown.com/

https://www.facebook.com/GenesisofElizabethtown/

https://www.instagram.com/genesis_of_elizabethtown/


https://www.swopehyundai.com/

https://www.facebook.com/swopehyundaietown/

https://www.instagram.com/swopehyundai/



Tracie Oliver, Senior Vice-President, Assistant Senior Lender & Lending Administration Officer, The Cecilian Bank


What made you decide to become a banker? 

I enjoy working with people and learning about businesses, construction, and partnerships.


How did you get started in your profession? 

I started in banking in Bowling Green at Bowling Green Bank & Trust. The bank was opening a branch inside their local Walmart Supercenter and was looking for professionals to train in all aspects of banking and sales. I never looked back and pursued a banking career.


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? 

I’ve been in banking for 25 years and have always been involved in lending.


What do you love the most about your job? 

What I love most about my job is the variety of people I meet in all stages of life and finances.  


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? 

One piece of advice for women entering my line of work is to take advantage of every opportunity given to you – whether it be a new task, a further training, or a new position. Give it your best and learn from it, and always look for ways to share your talent. Be confident, and be willing to work hard.


https://www.thececilianbank.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheCecilianBank/

https://www.instagram.com/thececilianbank/


Mary Smith, Smith Family Homes, Inc.


What made you decide to become a Home Builder? Homebuilding is a challenging profession but also rewarding. The job is fulfilling, taking clients’ dreams, and making them a reality. Seeing the finished home and knowing all the months of hard work was well worth it. While long hours, homebuilding allows me a flexible schedule to spend time with my children and keep up with their active schedules.

How did you get started in your profession?

My husband and I bought three lots in our subdivision and partnered up with another builder to build the homes together. We then launched Smith Family Homes.

How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

We started Smith Family Homes together in April of 2005. I was working in banking at the time.

What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

My husband and I are both very involved in day-to-day operations. When you hire us, you get both of us throughout your build. In a male-dominated industry, we stand out because you get a female perspective and insight.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the customer interactions, and the excitement of watching as raw land becomes a home for families. I love meeting couples and getting to know them throughout the build as they allow us to bring their dream homes to life.

Are there any unique challenges you have faced as a female in the construction industry?

Not everyone in this industry is open to having a female lead a project, rather than be a potential client, subcontractor, or vendor. How do I overcome this? I set clear expectations and then follow through with hard work and attention to detail.

How does your job help local ladies?

I think being successful in this field helps local ladies by showing them that women can do anything. I also know that our clients appreciate the attention to detail and design that I bring to their projects.

If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

Be firm but fair.

http://smithfamilyhomesinc.com

https://www.facebook.com/smithfamilyhomesinc/

https://www.instagram.com/smithfamilyhomesinc/


Jill Potts, Hardin COunty Honda

Why did you go into the automotive industry?

My father decided on my path a long time ago. Once I got involved and learned about the business, I began to love what I do. He invested in me and our future by sending me to NADA Dealer Academy a few years ago. It broadened my knowledge for the automotive industry, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

How did you get started in your profession?

I started right out of high school at my dad’s used car lot in Louisville. In the beginning, I just did general office and title clerk duties.

How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? 

I’ve been in automotive for 18 years. I spent three years at the used car lot in Louisville. I’ve been here at Honda for 15 years and in my role as the Dealer Manager for five.

What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out? 

My business is set apart for multiple reasons. 

  1. The Honda brand is one of the safest and most dependable products on the road. Honda drivers are a select group of people. Once they drive one, they never stray.

  2. I am one of the youngest Dealer Managers around. I think being a woman and apart of the “Millennial” generation sets us apart from the other dealers in this area. My dad has handed the reigns over to me and trusts my vision. He knows that times are changing.

  3. Most importantly, we are family at our dealership. If you do business with us or have in the past, you know that you are apart of our big family. We remember you no matter what, whether you’ve bought one car or 25 (somebody actually has done this) or just got your car serviced with us. You feel welcome immediately. We are not run like a large organization; we operate as a mom and pop operation. That makes us unique. I think our customers and employees would agree.

What do you love most about your job? 

I love the customers. I sit and talk to customers. I’ve had some give me wedding gifts or just drop by with baked goods for their salespeople. We have the best customers. I have the best group of loyal employees. I wouldn’t trade the people that work in this dealership for anything. 


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? 

I would tell any woman coming into the automotive industry to have thick skin and keep pressing on. If everything bothers you, you’ll never make it.

Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work? “I like being a woman, even in a man’s world. After all, men can’t wear dresses, but we can wear pants.” – Whitney Houston.


http://www.hardincountyhonda.com

https://www.facebook.com/HardinCountyHonda/

https://www.instagram.com/hchonda/


Do you support female professionls? Yeah, I hope so. Head over to their social media pages adn give them a follow. Tag us when visiting their businesses and use the hashtag #elizabethtownlifestyle. If you don't already, check us out on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings with Elizabethtown Lifestyle and local community events.


Tune in tomorrow for more Fabulous Female Professionals and always remember to shop local Elizabethtown!!



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