The second annual Woman of Wilson Luncheon presented by Main Street Media of Tennessee will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Chop House on the Green, located at the Lebanon Golf and Country Club.
The event will honor ladies who have been featured in Woman of Wilson articles in The Wilson Post from May 2015 to July 2016. This year's honorees will include: Debbie Moss, Tina Brady, Jennifer Bradshaw, Sherry Kirkland, Julie Harrison, Judge Clara Byrd, Monica Duvall, Casey Cole, Betty Cantrell, Nancy Willis, Melanie Minter, Stacie Goodall Wahl, Lisia Tucker, Lori Seay, Darlene Craighead, the late Barbara Christian, Judy Cox, Debbie Jessen, Shelley Thompson Gardner, Heather Bay, Melinda Ledford, Allison Daniel, Jennifer Winfree, Cathey Sweeney, Dakota Weatherford, Karen Casey, Tressa Bush, Meleia Bell, Denise Moore, Mary Harris, Alene Gibson, Emily Gannon, Nicole McMillen, Paula Bussell, Erin Brown, Teresa Shelton, Pam Peery, Breeanna Straessle, Sherry Lester, Paula Crawford, Lounita Howard, Ashley Lawrence, Julie Miller-Wilson, Hattie Bryant, Stephanie Bentley, Carolyn Corlew, Madeline Jennings, Shannon Cooper, Brandy Dawson, Kimbel Lea Mengelberg, Linda Crutcher, Laura Beth Ray, Linda Armistead, Shannon Radel, Betty Davis-Fleming, Dr. Suzanne Wallace, Leslie Steele, Teresa Halbert and Kim Stroud-Hendrick.
Mt. Juliet native Diane Turnham will serve as keynote speaker. Turnham has had a successful career at Middle Tennessee State University, serving over 34 years with the Blue Raiders. She is the associate athletic director and senior women's administrator.
Turnham was voted Middle Tennessee's employee of the year in 2002 and was elected into the Blue Raiders Hall of Fame in 2012. Turnham also served as the chair of the Sun Belt Conference's Senior Women's Administrators and as a member of the league's executive staff committee up until 2008. Additionally, she served as a member of the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Committee from 2004 to 2008 and was chair of that committee for the 2008 season.
The inaugural WOW Luncheon was held in May 2015. The Wilson Post, with University Medical Center, now Tennova, honored 49 women honored in staff writer Sabrina Garrett's Woman of Wilson Columns that each Wednesday explored the lives and professions of local women.
Garrett told ladies at the luncheon that the column was inspired by her mother.
"Growing up my mom was a super mom. She made everything seem effortless. When I came back to work from maternity leave (in April 2014) I was curious how women managed to have it all - family, or career or both. And how they achieved things and juggle all the hats," she said. The first Woman of Wilson honoree was Maggie Lea, owner of Home Instead Senior Care.
Honoree Pat Bryant was named "Woman of the Year" by her peers during the event; a tradition that will continue at the second annual luncheon on Wednesday.
Nowadays, Garrett said she gets suggestions for the column all the time.
"When the column originated I handpicked ladies who I knew were making a difference in our community. It has really taken off since then. I get nominations weekly," Garrett said. "I think any time that we as women can celebrate each other's success - that is a powerful thing. I'm very fortunate that Main Street Media and my employers Dave and Ellen Gould share and have been so supportive of this vision. This year's crop of honorees include business owners, educators, medical professionals, homemakers, first responders, attorneys, stylists and even some in the construction field. They are an impressive group, and I'm thrilled to bring them all together for our event."
If you are a WOW recipient and have not yet RSVPed or have questions, email Garrett at email@example.com.