Meet Nicole Yates, 2020 Most Admired Woman — Politics

Jun 21, 2020 | Most Admired Woman

Nicole Yates, district director for Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY3), is the 2020 Most Admired Woman in the Politics category. Photo by Melissa Donald.
2020 MOST ADMIRED WOMAN — POLITICS
Nicole Yates

District Director for Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY3)
Family: Six sisters and one brother
Neighborhood: New Albany, Indiana

Nicole Yates feels blessed to continue to serve remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. She has completed a few projects around the house that she normally wouldn’t have had time to do, and best of all, she’s gotten to eat dinner at home. Her self care includes taking walks and doing yoga. She says she hasn’t worn a suit or heels, which is another adjustment because she normally dresses up for work. 

HOW ARE YOU STAYING CONNECTED?
I’ve kept in touch with friends and family through FaceTime and Zoom meetings and conference calls.

WHAT ISSUES DO YOU DEAL WITH AS DISTRICT DIRECTOR?
Normally I get calls from military veterans, questions about Social Security disability, student loans, visas or passports, and immigration issues. The call volume has been higher now and mostly concerning the CARES Act, SBA loans, and the status of stimulus checks.

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR SPIRITS UP?
I have a great faith and I depend on that. Meditation, checking in with my friends, and reaching out to see if there’s anything that anyone needs. I try to have a good outlook, do the best I can, and take each day as it comes.

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Although I watch a lot of news I do love reality TV, especially the Real Housewives shows. I’m a serious person and an A-type personality, but I do laugh out loud and have fun.

Nicole with President Obama during his 2015 Louisville visit. Submitted photo.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I get to be an advocate for the constituents in the third congressional district. I’m blessed to be in a position to advocate for someone who has maybe given up, and I can help bring about a solution to their problem. Sometimes I have to deliver bad news to folks and that’s not always fun.

I HAVE TOO MANY…
Shoes. I think I can never have enough.

HOW HAS YOUR LIFE TURNED OUT DIFFERENTLY FROM WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE?
Growing up I knew I would go to college, but I didn’t know I would end up in politics. Turns out, it’s my passion, and I’m very compassionate about people.

WORD THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOU?
Sassy.

WHAT IS YOUR SUPERWOMAN SKILL?
I’m a good strategist, and I’m good at connecting and bringing people together.

TRAIT YOU LIKE LEAST IN YOURSELF?
I am my biggest critic. I’m hard on myself.

Nicole at the podium at the 2019 Women’s March. Submitted photo.
DO YOU GET THE CHANCE TO TRAVEL?
In the last three years I’ve started traveling internationally with a group of 10 or so good friends. This year our trip to Spain and Portugal was canceled, but we will do that next year. I have been to the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Amsterdam, London, and Paris.

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
Stay true to myself. Help everyone that I can along the way. Show compassion for people and just be kind.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH 15 FREE MINUTES?
Sit down and be still.

WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME?
My faith and my squad of friends and family.

WHAT DOES THE AVERAGE AMERICAN NOT UNDERSTAND ABOUT GOVERNMENT?
Government is complex and complicated. Most frustrating for them is the bureaucracy, and I enjoy the part of helping people navigate through that.

P.S. Read more about the 2020 Most Admired Woman winners.

Nicole and her mother Versie Macon at the 2019 New Albany High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Submitted photo.

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