Wilson County, Tennessee, is a special place for former "Yankee" Monica Duvall.
Although she is originally from Champaign, Illinois, and spent the rest of her formative years in Gainesville, Florida - Wilson County is where her heart is, where her youngest son was born and where she and her husband, Dr. Josh Duvall, own and operate their business, Cumberland Animal Hospital.
"This is rewarding because we get to do what God has led us both to do. We also get to employ 17 local Wilson County residents - which is rewarding in itself," she said.
Duvall met her husband at Murray State University in Kentucky. They were married in 1994.
The young couple moved to Knoxville so that Josh could attend veterinary school at the University of Tennessee. Their oldest son, Griffin, was born in Knoxville in 1997. The following year, they relocated to Wilson County.
"Josh's family lived in Coffee County and through their connections in Wilson County, Josh took a job in Mt. Juliet with Dr. Mike Harris in 1998," Duvall said, adding that their youngest son, Gavin, was also born that year at University Medical Center.
In 2004, the Duvalls opened Cumberland Animal Hospital. "We felt that Lebanon needed another veterinarian that was devoted exclusively to small animals," she explained. "We saw it as an opportunity to serve our local community."
When she isn't at work managing public relations or "cheerleading for Cumberland Animal Hospital" Duvall's interests include wine, reading, going to the beach and fashion.
The woman she most admires is her mother-in-law, Mert Duvall.
"She gave me the treasure of the amazing son she raised. Mert is also amazing because she never fails to shower everyone around her with kindness and words of encouragement," she said.
Duvall also noted that her former landlady, Helen, who resides in Knoxville, had a positive impact on her life.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at email@example.com.