Announcing Our 2020 Most Admired Woman Winners

Apr 15, 2020 | Most Admired Woman

Our 2020 Most Admired Woman winners have been selected! Learn a little bit more about them and what makes them so admirable.

Arts • Erika Holmquist-Wall

Chief Curator of the Speed Art Museum since 2016, Holmquist-Wall has organized major museum exhibitions in 2019, including “Tales from the Turf: The Kentucky Horse, 1825-1950”, “Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell”, and “Gonzo! The Illustrated Guide to Hunter S. Thompson”, while acquiring artwork for the permanent collection ranging from 16th century French sculpture to 20th century Italian Futurism. 

Athlete/Fitness • Cynthia Williams

Meet Cynthia Williams, Owner of Cynthia Williams Fitness LLC. Cynthia is also an ACE CPT, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Functional Fitness Specialist, Athleta Influencer, Business Owner and Entrepreneur. Her level of fitness may well have helped bring about the gift of a daughter. After being told she could not have children, she found that she was 17 weeks pregnant and unaware of it due to bodybuilding training. After an easy pregnancy and difficult delivery, her doctor told her that her general level of fitness and good diet helped her daughter arrive healthy.

Beauty & Fashion • Tawana Bain

Tawana loves mixing her entrepreneurial acumen with her fashionista edge. As owner of AFM Threads, the trendy curated boutique located in both St. Matthews and Oxmoor Mall she is thrilled to collaborate with Faith Yascone of Yascone Enterprises — an African American owned and operated Luxury Lifestyle Curating Organization to launch Derby Fashion Week here in Louisville. The designs on the runway are inspired by Derby events from around the globe from Asia to Africa and everywhere in between! 

Business Owner • Demetria Miles-McDonald

Founder of Decide Diversity, Demetria specializes in bringing the experiences of people who identify with two or more marginalized groups to the forefront, to better understand and utilize the strengths they bring to the workplace. Demetria’s concepts have traveled as far as Iceland during the short but exciting life of her company and she’s excited by the growth. Her diversity training has benefitted many people both in business and in their personal life by helping them see things from more than one perspective.

Community/Non-Profit • Natalie Harris

As Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, Natalie has coordinated hundreds of community partners to make the best use of limited resources and improve services for the homeless. She worked to bring the Rx: Housing Program to Louisville, which coordinates the efforts of multiple agencies on specific sub-populations of the homeless like veterans and the chronically homeless. Natalie also organized a team of community volunteers that housed 115 homeless young adults in 100 days, an effort that helped Louisville acquire a $3.45 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to address youth and young adult homelessness.

Corporate • Victoria Russell 

Victoria is using her voice to bring change and stepping up to the challenge of ensuring Diversity Equity & Inclusion is in the DNA of Papa John’s International. The vision is to enable everyone from employees to customers to feel included. Recent accomplishments include Leadership Louisville Class of 2020, UK Gatton College of Business and Economics’ alumni recipient of the 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award and founding member of the Adweek Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Education • Kathy Beam

Kathy is planning to retire this July after nearly 45 years in the field of special education. During her career, Kathy has worked as a Child Development Specialist at the Louisville Deaf Oral School, served as a Special Education Consultant for the Archdiocese of Louisville, and has served for the last 18 years as Head of School at Meredith-Dunn, an Independent elementary school for students with learning differences. Kathy is a past recipient of The Charles Sandman Excellence in Education Award from the Learning Disabilities Association, the Catherine T. McNamee Award by the National Catholic Education Association, the Art of Excellence in Leadership Award by the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, and was named an Alumna of the Year by Mercy Academy.

Food/Entertainment • Rachelle Starr

It all started with Rachelle’s desire to help women escape the cycle of abuse and exploitation that characterize the adult entertainment industry. She founded Scarlet’s Hope, then spun off Scarlet’s Bakery, a social enterprise bakery that strives to equip and empower women as they transition to a new career. In 2019, they celebrated the grand opening of their second bakery location in St. Matthews! This expansion has allowed them to employ more women out of sexual exploitation. One woman who graduated from their job training program is now enrolled at a culinary arts school to pursue her dream of opening her own restaurant.

Healthcare • Beth Riley MD FACP

Deputy Director of Health Affairs at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Beth established the region’s first program dedicated to the unique needs of young women diagnosed with breast cancer. The HER program aligns specialists with expertise in fertility, medical and surgical options, sexual health and survivorship to ensure young women diagnosed with breast cancer survive with full meaningful lives.

Home • Stacye Love

Stacye Love Construction, founded in 2002, is a niche leading design build firm offering clients direction in new construction, remodeling and interiors. Stacye, a Louisville native and second-generation contractor, has received numerous awards over the years, including Best Design, Best Kitchen Design, and Best Landscaping/Outdoor Design from Homearama. Recently, Stacye was selected to film a nationally televised show called Fix It and Finish It with Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Media • Monica Hardin

An Emmy-winning news anchor, breast cancer survivor and busy mother of 2, Monica is a graduate of Assumption High School and UofL who loves working in her hometown. Monica, Miss Kentucky 2001, is featured on the MTV documentary “True Life: I’m A Beauty Queen” and is a contributing author in the book, “Under The Crown.” She has a combined 22 years of experience in communication as a motivational speaker, accomplished singer and professional model.

 Politics • Nicole Yates

With more than 10 years’ experience in government relations, Nicole Yates has both knowledge and skills to successfully coordinate with government and regulatory agencies. Having served both U.S. Congressman Baron Hill and Mayor Greg Fischer, Nicole has spent the last three years as District Director for U.S. Congressman John Yarmuth.  She has successfully navigated local, state and federal collaboration and has influenced and interpreted policy. Nicole also has actively participated in both community service and leadership development in both Louisville and Southern Indiana.

 

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