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Today’s Woman / September 2019


contents SEPTEMBER 2019





“We are still judged by the cover — So, we need to pay attention to what the cover looks like.”

36 DON’T MISS EVENT Homeless to Harvard


Does timing matter on divorce?


Logan Street Market


Forest Bathing: It cleans your mind and spirit


California is a big state


September 2019 /





10 Loving Louisville


21 We’re Changing

Writer shines light on dark experiences in debut memoir I’m angry at my husband most of the time. Is there one short of divorce?

72 27 THINGS Happenings, news and tidbits that caught Today’s Woman’s eye this month


“Ballet has been in my heart since I could walk...”


Stefanie Villajuan and Michael Whitpan

Adding urbancy to our city

Louisville and Southern Indiana

Companies that are making an impact 40 Home Section • Does your home need an update? • Eight quick updates • Traditional with a modern twist • Sink into luxury 59 Way To Go Woman! Get inspired by our five winners

Today’s Woman / September 2019


SEPT. 2019 | VOL. 29 | NO. 10

September 2019 Today’s Woman Manifesto

“It’s always a sense of

‘LET’S CLIMB THIS LADDER TOGETHER.’ 38° 15’ 9.593” N 85° 45’ 30.441” W

Derby City

“...the gentleness of the scenery and the considerate people.”

“Be a city where inclusivity is a strength, and economic growth and prosperity is a certainty.”


“is cool, and it doesn’t even try to be.” The only way we will move this forward is if everyone in this community takes an attitude of:


Stay Local

SOUTHERN INDIANA Quotes from our featured women.


Cynthia Knapek, president of Leadership Louisville, has great vision for bringing good things to the area. Read more about her and others on page 10. Photo by Erika Doll

To inform, inspire, and encourage all women in the region.

PUBLISHER Cathy S. Zion EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anita Oldham EXECUTIVE EDITOR Tiffany White CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Lucy M. Pritchett EDITORIAL DIRECTOR April Allman DESIGN DIRECTOR Jill Cobb PHOTO DIRECTOR/PHOTOGRAPHER Melissa Donald GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jillian Jones CAMPAIGN MANAGER Jessica Alyea OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Scheri Stewart Mullins BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Rachel Reeves SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS Susan Allen Teri Hickerson MEDIA CONSULTANTS Bailey Crush Jennifer Phillips Pasqual Ross-Gathright CIRCULATION MANAGER W. Earl Zion INTERNS Emily Elliotte Quinn Fitzgerald Aimee Jones Today’s Woman is published monthly by: Zion Publications, LLC 9780 Ormsby Station Road, Suite 1400 Louisville, KY 40223 Phone: 502.327.8855 The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publisher. Today’s Woman magazine does not endorse or guarantee any advertiser’s product or service. Copyright 2019 by Zion Publications LLC, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited without permission from Zion Publications LLC.

ADVERTISE: Call 502.327.8855 or email

REPRINTS: Call 502.327.8855 or email

SUBSCRIBE: Send $18 to the above address for 12 monthly issues.


September 2019 /

Today’s Woman / September 2019


HER CURRENT OBSESSION: PARKS AND MORE By Lucy M. Pritchett Photos by Melissa Donald

What better way to get to know Today’s Woman than through her Current Obsessions? This month we meet a woman who is charged with protecting our Olmsted parks and has a passion for dahlias.

Layla George has served as president and CEO of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy since the beginning of 2018. Prior to that she was director of development for Louisville Public Media. She has a background in local food farming, land conservation, and environmental issues. She grew up near Cherokee Park and loves Louisville’s parks and parkways designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.


l Layla George is looking over plans for the restoration project for Tyler Park.


September 2019 /

I love books. I love having books around. I love Carmichael’s and independent bookstores. I love reading. Every year, as my husband (Mike Clark) and I read a book, we line them up on top of a dresser. Then, at the end of the year I take a photo of the books that we have completed. I read a mixture of fiction, which I enjoy the most, and nonfiction as it relates to Frederick Law Olmsted’s life and work, or books on business strategy and marketing. I recently read Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz, who followed the journey taken in 1850 by Olmsted. He traveled as an undercover reporter for The New York Times and wrote on the lives and beliefs of Southerners. It offers a look at a specific period of Olmsted’s life and shows the way that his experiences shaped his view on landscape architecture. That time he spent camping out each night and seeing such a wide variety of natural landscapes inspired him to design public parks that could create transformative experiences for people in their everyday lives.



This year is the 30th anniversary of the Conservancy, and I've been busy planning a fundraising progressive dinner celebration in Iroquois Park — Fête in the Forest. It takes place September 14. We will start with cocktails and music at the North Overlook followed by a catered farm-to-table dinner under the trees. The evening concludes at the Iroquois Amphitheatre for a concert with Preservation Hall Brass Band from New Orleans. (For more information about this event, check

Lately my husband and I have been enjoying a weeknight dinner seated at the bar in a local restaurant. We'll have a full dinner, but instead of taking three hours it's just a quick, enjoyable time. It feels a little more festive on a weeknight. We'll sit at the bar and have dinner and we can chat and be a part of that crowd. We especially like going to The Pine Room or Grassa Gramma. Sometimes we will walk the scenic loop in Cherokee Park and then walk up to ROC on Bardstown Road for dinner.



I have both a vegetable and a flower-cutting garden. This year I have 14 different varieties of the dinner plate dahlia, which are really big. My newest is one called Cafe Au Lait. I have four raised beds outside the back door, and every morning I go out and water and weed. The beds were built about five years ago and they bring me so much happiness.

At the Conservancy, we are working on a project to develop a free play program, which will offer kids an unstructured environment where they can use their imagination and is more engaging than just your typical playground with a slide and swingset. Studies show that kids actually are injured far less during free play because in a too-structured playground, they get bored after a while and inject risk on their own. Free play encourages teamwork as well. For example, children have to work together to move around loose hay bales to create a fort or other structure. Free play offers them a space to imagine and entertain themselves.

INTERPRETIVE HIKES Once a month the Conservancy offers members an educational hike to identify spring wildflowers, trees, or birds. I go on all of them. I love knowing the names of the parks’ trees and the flowers. It's been really fun. It enriches my experience when I'm out on my own and can identify what I'm seeing. Also, it's great to have a staff that knows all the answers. I can take photos and ask one of them the name of the flower or the tree that I have come across.

Today’s Woman / September 2019



“We are still judged by the cover — So, we need to pay attention to what the cover looks like.” By Marie Bradby Photos by Erika Doll


t’s Friday. Janet Lively, vice president for marketing and business development for Schaefer General Contracting, is commanding in her pastel blue and white shirt with ruffled bell sleeves over denim jeans that look like they’ve been pressed. She steps into the cafe at Barnes and Noble in buff sandal heels and a silver David Yurman necklace and matching bangles, gives a firm handshake, and orders a frappuccino. “Women want people to know that they deserve the position they are in, that they belong at the boardroom table,” says Janet, 48. “Regrettably, we are still judged by the cover. So we need to pay attention to what the cover looks like.” Janet handles internal and external marketing and the website for Schaefer, a construction firm that builds senior living facilities for companies like Atria Senior Living and Kindred. The firm just completed an addition at Louisville Slugger Museum and the renovation of the historic Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery at Main and Eighth streets. For her work wardrobe, she selects “outfits that express my personality in a business environment,” Janet says. “I pay a lot of attention to color and fabrics. And try to find pieces that are timeless. “I spend a little more money on pieces that are foundational — black pants, black shoes. You can lose a look if your shoes are worn-looking.” Janet goes for versatility. “I pick clothes that can go from day to evening or can cross over to the weekend. Most of us don’t have the money to buy a Monday-through-Friday wardrobe, a 6-to-10pm wardrobe, evening wear, and a weekend wardrobe.” She got her fashion sense from her parents and a former colleague. “My father, who is in construction now, started his career in the custom clothing business.” From him, she learned about nice fabrics and how clothes should fit. Her mother was a vice president for an association, and loved to dress and read fashion magazines. “I watched her dress. She always looked amazing — professional and fun at the same time.” Janet worked with Sally Judah at NTS Development Company when she first started her career. “Sally Judah is a mentor of mine. She was elegant and professional — every day. She had a classic style with a modern and sophisticated flair.” As Janet’s career progressed, “I dressed for the jobs that I wanted...I want to be viewed as appropriate at the table that I sit, and I want to look nice doing it. All along my career, I have paid attention to making sure that I was dressing for my personality and age.”


September 2019 /

JANET’S TIPS: • Keep your nails and feet manicured, and take care of calluses on your feet. • Keep your makeup natural. But, red lipstick can go with everything. • Find a good alterations person and have your clothes tailored to fit you. “I see people with sleeves that are too long, clothes that could be more generous. Seams that pull are not good.”

Today’s Woman / September 2019


Loving Louisville Adding Vibrancy to Our City By Tonilyn Hornung Photos by Erika Doll

Inspiration comes in different forms: an inner voice, a sunset, a person. To find inspiration in our hometown, one doesn’t have to look much further than the people who live here. Every day, there are remarkable residents taking inspiring strides, adding their vibrancy to the richness of our city. Whether it’s making a more personal connection with food, shifting people’s perceptions through music, creating a space for artistic courage, or motivating dynamic leaders to thrive, all are making Louisville a more desirable place to live, work, and play. Community in its basic form is connection, and these men and women are weaving a tapestry that provides a more inclusive, connected, and inspired version of the city we love to call home. PAGE 12 >>


September 2019 /

(l-r) Mama Said String Band: Dand O’Neal, Stephanie Kidd, Katie Didit, Kaitlen Farmer, and Adlai Filiatreau.

Today’s Woman / September 2019


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Harvey’s Cheese Shop Bringing a Slice of Community

A sense of personal connection and some really great cheese is what Harvey’s Cheese Shop brings to the table. Husband and wife owners Brent Mills and Ashley Urjil-Mills are thrilled to offer Louisville the best local, regional, and domestic artisanal cheeses. Louisville’s first stand-alone, cut-to-order, specialty cheese shop, Harvey’s is located at the Logan Street Market, so let the drooling commence. Named after the couple’s young son, Harvey’s Cheese Shop provides a genuine one-on-one experience centered around cheese and other Kentucky specialties like country ham and local preserves. “What excites me about this whole venture is getting to share the cheese makers’ and farmers’ stories with the people that come into the shop,” Ashley says. Traveling to different farms to connect with farmers and their products is one way this couple’s hands-on approach is making their shop unique. “We’re trying to focus on things that you wouldn’t see in a big grocery store chain,” Brent says. His love of cheese began with his family in Australia, where they’d occasionally skip dinner and indulge in a cheese plate instead. This is where he and Ashley met while she was studying abroad. After a friend suggested they check out Louisville, Ashley attained her Masters degree in Social Work at the University of Louisville, and Brent pursued a degree in Culinary Arts at Sullivan University. The couple moved away while Brent worked in restaurants all over the country, but after having their son, both decided to move back and make Louisville their home. “Louisville is cool, and it doesn’t even try to be,” Brent says. In fact, Louisville is so cool that Ashley’s parents moved here in order to create a more supportive family unit. Adding to Louisville’s already flourishing food scene is the idea of a shop that supports their love of food and community. “I feel like having a space where people can connect,

Ashley Urjil-Mills and Brent Mills decided to move back to make Louisville home and start a business.

and serving a product that people can connect over, can contribute to our community,” Ashley says. This building of community through connection is an idea that Brent fully supports. “We want our store to be approachable, sharing foods we think are awesome,” he adds. Their inclusive vision for success fits right in with Logan Street Market’s goal of maintaining a space for all residents to come together over locally grown food. “I wanted to be a part of Logan Street because it’s a gathering place that brings people of all ages together,” Brent says. With special events that include educational classes and cheese pairings, Harvey’s Cheese Shop is interested in making a conscious connection with Louisville food lovers. “I have an appetite for doing new things with food. These are things that I’m excited about,” Brent says. And without a hint of cheesiness, Ashley adds, “The whole idea of a cheese plate is something that people enjoy together,” and creating a shop which fosters this tradition is what they’re setting out to do.



September 2019 /

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


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Mama Said String Band:

Mama Said String Band is a Louisville-based bluegrass ensemble.

Banding Together To Include All

A new local band is breaking stereotypes and adding its own different brand to Louisville’s music scene. Influenced by a combination of classic musical styles like Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana, these musicians have banded together to deliver a message that’s uncommonly modern. They call themselves Mama Said String Band. Breaking traditional bluegrass band stereotypes, this 5-piece group is comprised of four women and one man, all of whom grew up in Kentucky. Their distinctive set-up gives way to intricate vocal harmonies and inventive instrumentations that add up to a fresh sound. With melodies ranging from haunting to toe-tapping, each song builds on the next, creating a varied and innovative catalog. The Bluegrass state inspired their love of music early on. “I grew up in Southeast Kentucky, and there’s a lot of traditional music going on there,” says bass player Katie Didit. “I came to Louisville because there are numerous opportunities to do music here.” It was their love of music and their love of the Louisville music scene that brought them together. They started playing at local venues and music festivals where they were finalists for Bluegrass Artist of the Year at the Louisville Music Awards. These days, all five band members call Louisville home. The support they’ve found here keeps them inspired. “There’s no sense of competition,” Katie says. “It’s always a sense of ‘Let’s climb this ladder together.’ We can all really come together and do it all. That’s my favorite part.” It’s this sense of support that comes full circle for this band of talented musicians. Mama Said

String Band has found a fan base here like no other, and giving back to the music community is an aspect they love to bring to their performances. “Everyone is so open and accepting,” says Adlai Filiatreau, one of the two guitar and banjo players. “There’s such a diversity of it all…where everybody can be in this one world and coexist.” Bringing out a sense of inclusiveness is as inherent to this group as their tight harmonies. This is why Mama Said String Band invites audience members to let go of their preconceived stereotypes and remember it’s not about what good music looks like, but what good music sounds like. With four women and one man, their sound creates a one-of-a-kind live experience. “I feel like we give them a sense of something brand new,” says Kaitlen Farmer (guitar/banjo). Mama Said String Band is creating an all-embracing Louisville music scene with every song they play. Adlai says, “It’s a good thing to think outside the box and not feel like you have to fit into any social or cultural guidelines, because that’s something we pride ourselves on. We try to live that in our lives, too.” Their shows create a safe place for everyone to come as they are, and as fiddler David O’Neal says when he looks out into the audience, “It’s beautiful out there.”


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Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


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Cynthia Knapek and Leadership Louisville:

Cynthia Knapek is president of Leadership Louisvlle and has big visions for Louisville’s future.

Inspiring Louisville to Greater Good

A special kind of synergy is created when individuals band together for the greater good, and Cynthia Knapek, president of Leadership Louisville, understands that it’s this collaborative spirit that brings about great change in a community. “Leadership Louisville was started with this idea of, ‘How do we elevate the number of people who are interested in contributing their skills and their talents toward advancing the greater good?’” Cynthia says. This is why for 40 years, this nationally-recognized organization has supported the city by motivating up-and-coming leaders whose desire is to contribute and connect within the community. “Our purpose is to inspire and equip leaders to be better and do better,” Cynthia reveals. In order to achieve this vision of service, Leadership Louisville has created five civic programs and one skillbased workshop. With its varied courses and experienced instructors, this center is available for anyone with a calling to get out there and help. Cynthia has been getting out there and helping since becoming Leadership Louisville’s president in 2012. Her certifications in leadership training and organizational development assist her in supporting the center and its newest community leaders. She’s deeply committed to her center’s mission statement, which she further explains: “We’re trying to get a person internally to show up as a better version of themselves so that then they will go out into the community and do better for the greater good.”


September 2019 /

Showing up and putting leadership into action takes a courageous spirit, and Cynthia feels courage is a key trait for making a strong leader. “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for, and really amazing leaders ask for really amazing things — and then things happen,” she says. There’s evidence of this courageous work impacting Louisville today. For example, the The Housing Partnership created in the 1990s is still going strong, and several years ago Louisville saw the creation of OneWest, a community development organization committed to elevating West Louisville. Still, one doesn’t have to be a participant of this program to get out and help. There are many ways to inspire goodness in the community. “There are plenty of opportunities. The only way we will move this forward is if everyone in this community takes an attitude of, ‘What can I do?’” Cynthia says. Dynamic leadership can begin in one’s own backyard and can start a ripple effect to create a brilliant and bold vision for the Louisville community. “My vision for a better Louisville would be a city where inclusivity is a strength, and economic growth and prosperity is a certainty,” Cynthia says. “I think we need both in order for us to move forward as a community.” Leadership Louisville and Cynthia Knapek are championing the good in all. “Embracing the attitude of The Greater Good is an easy thing that everyone can do,” Cynthia says. Together, Cynthia and the team at Leadership Louisville are lighting the way for all leaders to help our community shine brighter than ever before.


Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



By Carrie Vittitoe


t’s a paradox, but change is the only constant in life. Change can be uncertain or scary, but it can also be invigorating.

Louisville and its surroundings have changed since its founding in 1778 by George Rogers Clark. And thank goodness! Had nothing changed, we wouldn’t have indoor plumbing, central air, or a life expectancy into the seventh decade. The individuals and businesses that have changed Louisville in the past have a lot in common with the individuals and businesses featured in this section that are changing Louisville now: a dedication to offering innovative services and goods, a commitment to customer service, and a belief that the city and its environs have the capacity for improvement despite already being pretty amazing.

Email us at about how you or your business is making a difference.

PROMOTION Today’s Woman / September 2019


We’re Changing




or many women, selecting an ob/gyn is not a decision to take lightly. It is a lifetime relationship that spans from a young woman’s entry into adulthood through her pregnancies into middle age and many years beyond. An ob/ gyn may not only witness many of the wonderful experiences of a woman’s life, but some of the scariest, such as a breast cancer diagnosis. All Women is a practice that strives to offer choice, convenience, and compassionate care no matter the stage of their patients’ lives.

and patients do not have to take time off work. The cost is also much less because it is an office visit rather than a hospital stay.

Choice and Convenience

Compassionate Care

Because All Women is independently owned, its patients’ choices are not limited as to which hospital they choose for their care, whether they are delivering babies or undergoing surgery. All Women physicians can better tailor their care for their patients’ financial and emotional needs.

All Women offers Mona Lisa Touch, a hormone-free laser solution for vaginal atrophy and dryness that is especially helpful for breast cancer survivors who experience painful intercourse as a result of their chemotherapy medications. For many women, these issues can impact their body image and self esteem, causing additional stress beyond the cancer diagnosis and treatment.

This year, All Women began offering in-office surgical procedures one Saturday per month in coordination with an anesthesia group. Procedures such as endometrial ablation, dilation and curettage (D&C), hysteroscopy, or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) can be safely done in the office,

“There is this misconception that you are 20 until you turn 50.” —Dr. Elena Salerno, All Women OB/GYN

As an all-female practice, All Women is especially in-tune with how hormones positively and negatively impact women’s health. They are committed to both educating their patients about the hormonal changes

associated with aging and helping them adjust to these changes in a safe and responsible manner. Each patient is an individual, from the top of the head down to how they respond to different medications, which is one reason All Women’s physicians have explored a variety of hormone options. One of these is BioTE pellet therapy. Rather than simply following an algorithm, All Women’s physicians use their judgment on how to use the hormonal options on the market and whether to use them on their patients, depending on the individuals’ needs and health histories. One of the most important facets of All Women’s compassionate care is their commitment to conversations with patients to help them through all stages of life, especially middle age and menopause. “There is this misconception that you are 20 until you turn 50,” Dr. Elena Salerno says. Many women in their early- to mid-40s don’t think they can experience menopause-related issues because they aren’t 50 yet. All Women’s physicians counsel their patients not just as physicians, but as women who have often gone through, or are going through similar situations.

502.895.6559 4010 Dupont Circle, Suite L-07 | Louisville, KY 40207


September 2019 /

Photo Submitted by All Women OB/GYN

Back (l-r): Dr. Lisa Crawford, Dr. Elena Salerno, Dr. Amy Deeley, Dr. Kira Powell, Rachel Thompson, NP. Front: (l-r): Dr. Tanika Taylor, Dr. Aimee Paul.


We’re Changing


BUILDING A PARTNERSHIP WITH HER CLIENTS or nearly 15 years, Crystal Kehrer has been changing people’s lives as a financial advisor, both in Sellersburg, Indiana, and throughout the country. Even when her clients have moved across the U.S., they have retained her services because they value the partnership and knowing she has their best interests in mind.

Photo by Erika Doll


Crystal Kehrer, Financial Advisor | Edward Jones Investments

Even before she was a financial advisor, Kehrer worked in the industry and saw how difficult it was for people to make sudden financial decisions, especially when they hadn’t planned in advance. She has seen what happens when individuals who haven’t consolidated their assets into one place pass away and loved ones are left to contend with various accounts in various places. “If you’re the loved one who has to deal with that, you don’t just go to one financial advisor and let them help you complete a set of paperwork. You have to go to multiple financial institutions and deal with 1-800 numbers, and each one of those places has paperwork,” she says. Having a trusted financial advisor means a bereaved family has one less thing to worry about.

Kehrer feels good “when I can help people find a way to reposition what they already have and get more out of it.” — Crystal Kehrer, Edward Jones Investments What drew Kehrer to Edward Jones Investments was the training and support it offers financial advisors, which ultimately leads to more satisfied clients. Edward Jones doesn’t require a high minimum initial investment. “Where I come from, in small-town Indiana, I know my doctor and lawyer; I didn’t know 10 doctors and 10 lawyers,” she says. “The hard-working families that raised four children could be my clients right alongside local professionals.” Kehrer has clients across the spectrum, from a new investor at her first job who opens a Roth IRA to an experienced business owner offering a 401(k) to employees. There are four primary services that Kehrer offers clients: helping consolidate assets to one place; building wealth; protecting wealth from risks; and, over time, putting plans in place to transfer that wealth where clients want it to go upon their deaths. One of Kehrer’s favorite aspects of her job is when she can assist clients whose lives and needs have changed, but whose portfolios haven’t. “When I can help people find a way to reposition what they already have and get more out of it, such as income, that’s when I feel like I’ve done a really good service


for the day,” she says. “I also love helping clients with their estate considerations, where we partner with a CPA and estate planning attorney.” One of the things she strives to help her retiring clients understand is how important it is to have an adequate emergency fund. Clients may have a solid nest egg of $500,000 in a 401K and Social Security, but taking a chunk out for a new car, furnace, or roof reduces the amount that will generate income over time. When Kehrer’s clients run into these situations, she gives them numerous options and explains how each choice will impact their overall wealth and lifestyle.

Over time, Kehrer says her business has changed. When she was just starting out, relationships with clients felt a bit transactional in that people came in the door because they needed her to take care of just one issue. Now, however, she has established long-term relationships with clients. “Today it is more holistic in that we’re looking at the whole picture, trying to poke holes in the strategy to make sure all the ‘what ifs’ are covered,” she says. Kehrer holds sacred her responsibility to clients, keeping what’s most important to them in the forefront of the partnership.

Crystal P Kehrer, AAMS, Financial Advisor | 812.246.0640 7613 Old State Road 60, Suite 1 | Sellersburg, IN 47172 | Member SIPC Today’s Woman / September 2019


We’re Changing


FAMILY COMPANY KEEPS UP WITH COUNTERTOP TRENDS racy Leet comes from a long line of experts in the marble business. Her grandfather was a “Marble Man,” who then taught her father the trade at a very young age. Her father started his own business McDonald Marble & Stone in the early ’90s, and when he retired, Tracy and her brother, Mark McDonald, took the reins, although they branched into two distinct operations: ELeet Stone Countertops in Middletown, Kentucky, and McDonald Marble & Stone in New Albany, Indiana. Along with her husband, Marty, whom Tracy calls her “Chip Gaines,” she has grown ELeet into a prosperous fabrication and installation company.

Tracy Leet, right, pictured with Client Services Manager Allison East, learned everything about countertop fabrication and installation from her father.

“We learned everything we knew from our father; he’d been doing it all his life. He taught me the bidding aspects of the job, knowing how to quote jobs, and all the stones,” Tracy says.

“When hand-selecting a natural stone, we think it’s best to actually see your slab and tag it with your name.” — Tracy Leet, ELeet Stone Countertops Over the years, Tracy has seen the fads and trends in countertops change. She remembers when granite’s popularity was overshadowed by Corian. She says quartz is the current top trend among consumers because it has a more solid look, while granite and marble have more patterns. She admits she is biased in favor of natural stones because of their long-term durability. She has also seen how equipment and fabrication has transformed, which for Tracy has meant learning about all sorts of new technologies from water jets to CAD programming to digital templating. ELeet purchased their manufacturing equipment from Northwood, which is also a local company. “I felt like it was important to have someone local we could call in if we ever had issues. They were right here, hands-on, training us,” she says. Tracy attends trade shows so she can keep current on the newest products coming to market. The range of countertop materials available to customers is wide, including quartz, granite, marble, quartzite, travertine, slate, and limestone. ELeet Stone Countertops has numerous local suppliers, where clients can select their slabs. “When hand-selecting a natural stone, we think

it’s best to actually see your slab and tag it with your name. It changes from bundle to bundle,” she says. One sample of a natural stone will not match any other sample. When clients select a slab, they only pay for the square footage of the slab that they use for their project, which means ELeet has a wide selection of remnants to choose from at great prices. Tracy says these slabs are perfect for use in a powder room, a laundry room, or a wet bar. “We do a lot with our remnant yard, which I love because I hate to see it go to waste,” she says.

Tracy loves working with clients to help them create their dream kitchen or bath, and she works hard to ensure there are no surprises by laying out the template with the client on their hand-selected slab of stone. “Customers love to do that. We have some clients who want to come back and watch the whole job be cut,” she says. Working with ELeet means a personal relationship BUILT IN STONE and the ability to see the work at any given stage of the fabrication or installation process.

502.254.7055 13042 Middletown Industrial Blvd | Louisville, KY 40223


September 2019 /


Photo by Erika Doll




By Tiffany White


Jeanine Triplett, chief development officer of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, says members are exposed to diverse environments and situations that enhance their intellectual and social development. “I had an engineering professor at Murray State who is a parent tell me: ‘Oh my gosh, my daughter was so introverted until she started selling cookies.’ The cookie sale experience brings them out of their shells and teaches them how to interact with people, and they are getting a lot of skills that are being lost in schools, like the personal contact and the one-on-one conversations,” she says.

Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana

irl Scouts of Kentuckiana is giving girls a chance to succeed and grow into well-rounded women who aren’t afraid to lead. Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana offers girls of all ages activities to help them grow to be leaders.

Selling cookies, which is not mandatory, also gives troops an introduction to entrepreneurship. “A huge part of the Girl Scout experience is learning to be independent and to learn to be an entrepreneur, so they manage their troops. They plan the money they need to manage their troop and we give them the opportunity to sell cookies,” Jeanine says.

“Pilot program Zones of Hope helps develop troops that we are starting in low income, higher risk areas where girls would not normally have the opportunity to join a troop.” — Jeanine Triplett, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana Helping girls unearth their talents and build self confidence is a large part of what the organization does, but it continuously looks for other ways to keep the momentum going. The organization’s Kentuckiana Council, which is the governing body, has an annual meeting to vote on its guidelines and gives girls a prominent role in the process. “We have 200-300 at the meeting. Every Girl Scout and every troop sends a delegate. We have a board of 28 that govern us, and five of them are girls, so our board of directors has five high schoolers who are members of


our board. They are the whole part of our governing body,” she says. Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana is also passionate about recruiting kids whose opportunities to join the organization are limited due to lack of transportation and other barriers. Three years ago, they worked with grant funders to develop a pilot program called Zones of Hope. “These are troops that we are starting in low income, higher risk areas where girls would not normally have the opportunity to join a

troop, and we have targeted some schools that we have partnered with,” she says. Since these troops are dealing with obstacles that are different from the typical troop experience, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana provides staff support who work with the parents to prepare them for involvement in the organization. The Zones of Hope program has received funding from the Gheens Foundation, Women 4 Women, Lift a Life Foundation, the Louisville UPS Regional Airline, and the Cralle Foundation.

502.636.0900 | 888.771.5170 2115 Lexington Rd | Louisville, KY 40206 Today’s Woman / September 2019


We’re Changing




Photo by Robin Conway Photography

arah and Justin Rosenbaum were ecstatic upon learning they were expecting their first child, Lola. Sarah’s pregnancy was easy, and their baby was meeting all developmental milestones. When Lola (now nine) was born, she was immediately taken to the NICU and diagnosed with Down syndrome. The Rosenbaums were in complete shock. Lola had shown no markers for Down syndrome during pregnancy. Not only were the Rosenbaums first-time parents, they were now processing having a child with special needs. “The initial news of her diagnosis was the hardest to date,” Mom Sarah Rosenbaum says. “…the navigation of it all, the unknown, is difficult.” Kosair Charities enhances the health and wellbeing of children by delivering financial support for healthcare, research, education, social services, and child advocacy. The Rosenbaums soon connected with Kosair Charities-supported agency, Heuser Hearing, among other organizations, for Lola to navigate this new world, and she thrived.

“Kosair Charities has played so many roles in the life of our children, from caretakers, to teachers, to friends, to family.” — Sarah Rosenbaum, Mother of two Kosair Kids When Lola turned three, the Rosenbaums decided to have another baby. Halfway through the pregnancy, they learned son Ollie would also have Down syndrome. “We thought, what are the odds? After the initial shock, we came back to the reality that we already have some idea of what to expect,” Sarah says. Though born with Down syndrome and a heart condition, Ollie (now six) was a happy baby. At two years old, Ollie stopped meeting developmental milestones — smiling, making noises, or forming eye contact with others. Before Ollie turned three, the Rosenbaums learned he was non-verbal, moderately autistic, visually impaired, and had severe low muscle tone. Raising two children with special needs takes a village of specialized care. Kosair Charities supporters have helped provide that village for the Rosenbaums. Down Syndrome of Louisville, Visually Impaired Preschool Services, and Heuser Hearing and Language Academy, are

From left, Lola (9), Sarah, Ollie (6), and Justin Rosenbaum feel blessed to be a Kosair family.

Lola and Ollie’s village, dedicated to helping them reach their full potential. “Kosair Charities has played so many roles in the life of our children, from caretakers, to teachers, to friends, to family,” Sarah says. Kosair Charities also helped provide a therapeutic playhouse to further the children’s development through play. Thanks to this support, Ollie can walk without a walker and communicate with a speech tablet and sign language. And Lola? She can go horseback riding and attend dance classes with her friends.

Some days are harder than others, but as the Rosenbaums share, “Being parents of a Kosair Kid is such a blessing, and we are doubly blessed to have been chosen to be the lucky parents of not one but two Kosair Kids! It has been an unexpected journey, but one of love and joy.” Sarah and Justin consider Kosair Charities and their supported organizations to be part of their village and family. To support kids like Lola and Ollie, visit

502.637.7696 | 888.454.3752 982 Eastern Parkway | Louisville, KY 40217


September 2019 /


We’re Changing


LOCAL COMPANY PROVIDES AFFORDABLE, SAFE MEDICINES hen we stand in line at the pharmacy, we may not realize there are smaller, locally grown, pharmaceutical companies that work diligently to improve people’s health and quality of life. MAGNA Pharmaceuticals, located in Bluegrass Industrial Park in Jeffersontown, is one such company.

Photo by Erika Doll


Dr. Warren P. Lesser, President and CEO | MAGNA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

MAGNA has been in business nearly three decades and remains committed to its charter: “to provide products that are unique, highly effective, have been proven safe for a long period, and are also inexpensive,” says President and CEO Dr. Warren P. Lesser.

Emotional disorders affect more than Not only does MAGNA have its own line of products, over-the-counter medications 16.2including million Americans each year. for cough, cold, and allergy and a range of dietary

supplements, it also works as a tradeDenoVo vehicle Could for other companies, including MainPointe Pharmaceuticals, also located in Louisville. tional disorders affect more n 16.2 million“We peopleprovide each year products that e United States. Unfortunately, really affordable for t of 3 patientsare currently taking depressant medications will require patients, even patients e than one therapy.

help you?

Sponsored by:

who have no insurance.”

ents receiving 15mg of L-methylfolate — Dr. Warren P. Lesser, Magna Pharmaceuticals calcium salt experienced an 84% mprovement in depressive symptoms when added to of SSRI placebo.MAGNA and MainPointe are One thevsproducts

working on together is NexaFed, an abuse deterrent Placebo +SSRI form of pseudoephedrine for which MainPointe owns L-Methylfolate the rights. Unlike other pseudoephedrine +SSRI medications that can be used to make -4.5 -3 -1.5 0 methamphetamines, if Nexafed is cooked down, it Mean Change in HAM-D 17 becomes a gel that is unusable. If DEA officials will P=.05 N=75 allow Nexafed to be sold in front of the pharmacy receiving L-methylfolate calcium salt 15mg demonstrated a counter, customer preferences and market dynamics nt decrease in depressive symptom scores vs. treatment with lone in a 30-day randomized controlled trial.6 The long-term will15mg cause competitors have been shown with of L-methylfolate calciumto salt.follow. This domino effect can result in the eradication of the societal scourge of Denovo capsule contains of Lesser has been working domestic meth 15mg production. thlyfolate calcium salt which enhances with legislators, retailers, and magistrates to enable production of neurotransmitters Nexafed sales in front of the pharmacy counter. ired for antidepressants to work tively. The L-methlyfolate calium salt One of the challenges of the pharmaceutical enovo is already bioactive industry is thetherefore changing nature of government not requireregulations. conversion once taken,to Lesser, there used to be According ting in quicker results. legacy drugs that were safe to use and had been used for long periods of time but had never gone our pharmacist does carry through thenot FDA’s New Drug Application (NDA) o™, Denovo™ is available online at made it mandatory that process. However, the FDA all legacy drugs had to get NDA approval. “What the FDA was trying to do was level the playing field to ive an additional 10% off by entering the makeTW2019 it fair so that every drug on the market had to Promo Code: go through the same rigorous testing,” Lesser says.

which led to what most shoppers now recognize as Mucinex. “When Mucinex came on the market, all the other extended-release guaifenesin products out there that didn’t go through Phase 1, 2, and 3 testing to prove efficacy and safety had to go off the market,” Lesser says.

In 2011, MAGNA lost almost every product it had in the marketplace except for one, as a result of FDA regulatory changes. Lesser says it took over One of these legacy drugs was guaifenesin, fiveAdmired years to right the ship in andthe get Arts. MAGNA on Congratulations to Winner Name,an the Most Woman expectorant that loosens mucus. A company solid footing once again. “It was a major “Here is a quote from the Most Admired Woman winner. Here is a quote went through the NDA trials with guaifenesin, mid-journey correction,” he says. from the Most Admired Woman winner. — Winner Name

One of the biggest advantages of being a small pharmaceutical company are the prices it can offer patients. “We provide products that are really affordable for patients, even patients who have no insurance,” Lesser says. MAGNA had a product called Zolpimist, an Ambien spray, that it sold for $38 for 30 sprays and $68 for 60 sprays. When MAGNA sold this product to another firm, the cost rose to over $300 for 30 sprays and over $600 for 60 sprays. “We really want to help people,” Lesser says. “If all we do is make money, we haven’t done anything with our lives that has real value.”

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502.254.5552 888.206.5525 Louisville, KY|40299 10801 Electron Drive, Suite 100 | Louisville, KY 40299 888-206-5525 PROMOTION

Today’s Woman / September 2019


We’re Changing



From left, NCJW Board members Phyllis Present, Sonia Levine, Nearly New Shop Manager Jerene Nash, and NCJW Board member Judy Shapira.


rowsing for a cute top in the Highlands could make a difference to children and families dealing with drug addiction if that cute top is purchased at the Nearly New Shop, located in the lower level of the Mid City Mall on Bardstown Road. Passersby might overlook the shop as just another thrift store, but it is the primary fundraising vehicle for the national Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section, a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates that has been making positive changes in the lives of Women, children and families since 1895. With a staff of 12 and volunteers from NCJW, the Nearly New Shop collects and resells gently used donated items for the entire family, everything from clothes to shoes, household items, furniture, and collectibles. Before there was a storefront, members would store donated items in their basement until Fashion Encore, which was held every year at the fairgrounds. Eventually the Nearly New Shop acquired a store front located on Market Street. With time the shop relocated to the Highlands, where it has been for the past 30 years. While Fashion Encore remains an annual event, it now occurs onsite.

Proceeds from daily sales along with Fashion Encore and Spring Fling are used to fund a wide variety of community service projects sponsored by the NCJW.

“We are open to everybody... all genders, all ethnicities, and all religions.” — Ellen Rosenbloom, National Council of Jewish Women One of NCJW’s long term projects has been its 20-year involvement with Court Watch, leading to the recent creation of the Jefferson County Family Recovery Court, which helps parents with drug and alcohol addiction get the help they need while insuring their children’s needs are also met. NCJW was able to raise over $500,000 to start this program. In addition, proceeds from the Nearly New Shop and many other events make it possible for NCJW to help sponsor Keystone Learning Academy, Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C), and Gilda’s Club,

a weeklong summer camp for children affected by cancer. NCJW volunteers also help provided meals and snacks to attendees. NCJW has also worked to support Maryhurst, which offers counseling, foster care, residential treatment, and transitional housing for young people. Madeline Abramson, an NCJW member and longtime Maryhurst advocate, recognized that “the two organizations seemed to be a natural fit given the fact that Maryhurst serves predominantly abused and neglected girls.” Louisvillians may not realize that the National Council of Jewish Women is not strictly an organization for Jewish women. “We are open to everybody,” says council member Ellen Rosenbloom. “We are open to all genders, all ethnicities, and all religions.” Any person wanting to be active in the community for the benefit of women and children is encouraged to join the organization. “There’s a whole lot of stuff that wouldn’t get recognized or done without these pockets of NCJW members working throughout the community,” says Jerene Nash, Nearly New Shop manager.

502.454.6633 1250 Bardstown Rd Ste 24 | Louisville, KY 40204


September 2019 /


We’re Changing


GIVING FAMILIES COMFORT WHEN THEY NEED IT MOST xperiencing the death of a loved one can elicit many emotions and be a period of great sorrow, pain, and loss. Deciding who to turn to during your time of need to help make final arrangements can be an overwhelming proposition. Thankfully, the Owen Funeral Homes in Louisville and Jeffersontown are here to help you, offering personal guidance and lasting support.

David Owen, president and CEO, and Genene Nisbet, bereavement services specialist, at Owen Funeral Homes.

Owen Funeral Homes began as a family-based operation and has followed that path for 80 years. Bird S. Owen, Jr., his wife Edith R. Owen and her mother, Anna G. Roberts, opened the doors to their first funeral home in 1939. The homes are now owned and operated by their son David L. Owen, president and CEO, his sister Linda Owen Miller, vice president, his wife Pam Owen, vice president, and daughter Rachel Barr, director of operations. They are also business partners with Highlands Funeral Home. The Owen family is very involved with helping the communities it serves, and doing its part to give back.

“That’s just the way Mom and Dad taught us to be — you’ve got to give back.” — David Owen, Owen Funeral Homes If a family loses a child who’s a year old or younger, the staff at Owen Funeral Homes will pick up the baby after it’s passed away, prepare the baby, and put it in a preemie casket. They do this all for free. “My dad did this in 1939, and we still do it today in 2018,” David explains. The family can have their child buried at Calvary Cemetery for free in an unmarked grave, or purchase a grave. We care about the families, and we understand,” David says. For the past 18 years the Jeffersontown location of Owen Funeral Homes has held the Indigent County Contract through the City of Louisville. “Those who don’t have funds for a funeral go through the county coroner’s office to receive approval to have us take care of their needs,” David says. “Once it’s approved we take care of the families and they [the city] pay us. We do 300-400 burials of this type annually.” David says it’s important to support his community because they’ve supported Owen Funeral Homes for so many years. “That’s just the way Mom and Dad taught us to be — you’ve got to give back,” he says. The family is compassionate toward all those suffering loss, even the very youngest members of a


family. “At the funeral homes we have a little plush seal,” says Manager Kyle O’Bryan. “On that seal is a life preserver with the family name. When a child is going through a hard time after losing a parent or family member, we give him or her that toy to keep. We want to reach out to everyone.” Owen Funeral Home also extends their grief support services to the community with the goal of keeping the bereaved socially engaged. Their services include: support groups for people who have either lost their spouse or child; monthly luncheons, a men’s breakfast; road trips and other

activities. “We want to serve families not just at the time of the funeral but after as well,” Kyle says. Genene Nisbet, bereavement services specialist at Owen Funeral Homes, provides individual grief counseling and support groups, and says there are things you can do to begin the healing process. “Sometimes we just don’t take the time to sit down and talk with someone — especially if you’ve lost a close confidant. You can talk to another friend, a spouse, a partner, a clergy person, or a grief counselor. Finding a place to take it is important. Don’t carry it all by yourself,” she says.

502.447.2600 (Dixie) | 502.266.9655 (Jeffersontown) 5317 Dixie Highway | Louisville, KY 40216 9318 Taylorsville Road | Louisville, KY 40299 Today’s Woman / September 2019


Photo by Melissa Donald


By Tiffany White

We’re Changing


GRAND OPENING TO BOLSTER HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS fter 10 long years, the YMCA is on the cusp of a major milestone: the grand opening of its health campus at 18th Street and Broadway, scheduled for October. This project is, according to YMCA President and CEO Steve Tarver, one of the most impressive collaborations in the country, bringing together the combined talents and efforts of the YMCA, Norton Healthcare Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, ProRehab Physical Therapy, Family & Children’s Place, Republic Bank, Gilda’s Club, and Best Buy Teen Tech Center.

Photo by Erika Doll


Pictured on the construction site of the new Republic Bank Foundation YMCA due to open in October are YMCA President and CEO Steve Tarver, right, and the newly appointed Executive Director for the new location, Bruce Jeffery.

The vision for the project is to promote and improve community integrated health by focusing on many of the issues that impact Kentuckiana residents’ overall health, including education, access, and economics. Even though the public may imagine treadmills and elliptical machines when they think of the Y, “healthy relationships are at the core of what we do,” Tarver says, and this has been the case for 166 years. The YMCA’s core mission has always been “the balanced development of spirit, mind, and body,” Tarver says.

“Healthy relationships are at the core of what we do.” — Steve Tarver, YMCA Because community health is all-encompassing, the YMCA is challenged to revise and refocus its efforts to ensure it is keeping up with the needs of residents. “The breadth of what we do is both our greatest gift and our greatest challenge,” Tarver says. Not only does administration create a strategic vision for the organization and conduct studies, they also gather insights from the public the YMCA serves. Ultimately, however, the branch staff and boards are the ones who have the best insight into the needs of the communities. “We turn it over to branches, who are experts in their spheres of influence,” Tarver says. The increasing importance of social media in people’s lives — and the social isolation it can engender — has led the YMCA to revise its character development program. While social media can connect people, not being face-to-face sometimes means people speak — or type — before they think. While knowing right from wrong remains important, “acting on what is right instead of wrong is the bridge that has to be crossed,” Tarver says.

Safe Place Services to Black Achievers. It is not only how children are instructed, but also in how adults behave in youth programs. Each fall the YMCA Youth Character Awards honors teenagers who are developing strong character by living the YMCA’s values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Each honoree receives a $1,500 scholarship for academic and leadership pursuits.

Character development is a thread that runs through all of the YMCA’s programming, from the Summer Learning Loss Prevention program to

Social isolation and increasing rates of depression among people of all ages are two of the YMCA’s concerns. The Y’s focus on relationships and



September 2019 /

building good self-concepts are things that Tarver and his staff “hope can be antidotes for issues relating to depression.” While learning to swim, joining a fitness class, or playing youth soccer are physically beneficial, the emotional benefits that result from these activities are what really matter. The confidence-building, the camaraderie, and the feeling of achievement are just some of the results of what the YMCA offers the community. “It is joyful what can be done with a little opportunity and care,” Tarver says.


We’re Changing



Treyton Oak Towers provides an array of activities to its residents, including Third Thursdays events featuring a luau, an art show, and an Octoberfest event.


he days of senior retirement communities being all about bingo and little else are over. Many communities think of themselves as cruise ships on land, offering their residents varied activities, events, and excursions to keep them engaged with the community at large and purposeful in their passions. Treyton Oak Towers offers a three-part series of events in the late summer and early fall, called The Third Thursdays at Treyton Oak Towers, that celebrates the seasons, showcases the talents of its residents, and offers the public a chance to see what the senior community is all about. In August, Treyton Oak Towers hosted its annual Island Oasis Luau, which was held in the community’s gardens that house reflecting pools and fountains. Residents and guests hula danced to the music of the Aloha Trio and sipped fruity drinks. There was also a pig roast and luau buffet. Treyton Oak Towers’ Art Show (September 19, 3-5pm) is the second event in the series. “We feature resident artists who live here, and we bring in some additional local artists. We provide live music and


refreshments,” says Rhonda Harding, director of sales, marketing, and residency development. While residents don’t normally sell their work, local artisans will have art for sale. Treyton Oak Towers has a rich history of supporting the arts and humanities in Louisville and Southern Indiana as well as within its own walls. “It gives us a chance to show how much talent there is in this building,” Harding says. There is an art studio on the 12th floor where art lessons are offered and residents can set up an easel and paint or draw on their own.

“[The Treyton Oak Towers’ Art Show] gives us a chance to show how much talent there is in this building.” — Rhonda Harding, Treyton Oak Towers The final event in the series is Octoberfest (October 17, 4-6pm), featuring a “near beer” garden, games, live music from the Boom Pah Pah Band, and a German buffet.

“Our residents believe that they live in the most vibrant, active, fun, and welcoming retirement community in Louisville,” Harding says, and they want to share that enthusiasm with others in Louisville. Some of the most unique activities at Treyton Oak Towers have been created by residents who wanted to share their passions with their peers. Dr. Acton Ostling hosts two series, about opera and orchestra respectively, and shares his expansive library of music in the theater room. Mr. Jessie Alexander began a lecture/discussion series called Conversations on Race, which keeps residents aware of current events. One of the newest arts-related features at Treyton Oak Towers is a woodworking shop. Resident Bob VanBruggen not only donated everything in his personal woodshop collection to the community, but he will soon be giving woodworking lessons to his peers so they can develop the skills to make their own wood projects. The public is welcome to attend these free Third Thursdays events. Please RSVP at 502.357.6556 by September 16 for the Art Show and by October 14 for Octoberfest.

502.589.3211 211 West Oak Street | Louisville, KY 40203 Today’s Woman / September 2019


We’re Changing


LOUISVILLE’S ‘COOKIE LADY’ MAKES LIFELONG BONDS izito Cookies has been a fixture in Louisville for over 40 years, and Elizabeth Kizito still has her body in the kitchen and her hands on dough daily. “When I started out, grandparents would buy them for grandchildren, and now these grandchildren buy them for their grandkids,” she says.

Photo by Melissa Donald


Kizito Cookies graced the tables at the Today’s Woman Most Admired Woman event in June.

When she isn’t actively baking at her shop in the Highlands, Elizabeth can often be found at various festivals and events throughout Kentuckiana. She is a regular at the Kentucky State Fair every August, as well as the St. James Art Festival. This fall marks her second year at Harvest Homecoming in New Albany, Indiana. She is regularly at Louisville Bats and Louisville City games at Slugger Field. One of the best parts of going to different venues at different times of year to sell her cookies is that she gets to see longtime customers who don’t get an opportunity to see her at the store. Some people come from small towns to the Kentucky State Fair each year. “They tell me, ‘My destination is to come see you before I do anything else,’” she says. “They’ve known me for 20 or 30 years.” Kizito has 14 different flavors of cookies, and she has started selling two different tarts, lemon and chocolate, at the ballpark and says they are selling well. Kizito’s tarts can also be found at Paul’s Fruit Markets, where she has been testing them.

Being prepared for these festivals and events means a lot of planning. “We bake in the morning, and then we go set up. My husband keeps baking them and bringing them to me. We just bake, bake, bake,” she says. In

addition to the shop and community events, Kizito Cookies also makes special corporate orders and produces dough that is used for fundraising for various schools, churches, and nonprofit organizations.

502.456.2891 1398 Bardstown Rd | Louisville, KY 40204


Search for Care Communities Online NEW FEATURE @ TODAYSTRANSITIONSNOW.COM! Becoming a new caregiver can be overwhelming when you don't know where to go for help. Today's Transitions, a magazine for seniors and caregivers, provides articles and resources for people seeking a new living and healthcare situation for themselves or their loved one. "We want to give caregivers the power to make informed decisions about the care of their loved one and

understand the care communities and long-term care options that are available," says Cathy Zion, publisher of Today's Transitions. How can you find help? Now, along with the magazine, you can go to to search for solutions for specific care options by location. You can search by the type of care, such as home health

or assisted living, or you can search by location to find all the options that are available in the area. You can even see photos and lists of features for each of the options. Today’s Transitions keeps providing you solutions for later living — everything from living life to the fullest to finding help for those loved ones in your life who need extra care.

9780 Ormsby Station Rd, Suite 1400 | Louisville, KY 32

September 2019 /



September 2019 /

Submitted photos


or Mamaw. This is the dedication inside the covers of Deb Spera’s recentlyreleased novel Call Your Daughter Home, which brought the Louisville native back to her hometown, where she spent many years with her beloved grandmother, who passed away 24 years ago. Owner of her own television company, Deb Spera One-Two Punch Productions, Deb is known for work on Army Wives, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and Reaper. She also co-wrote a play, On the Road to Kitty Hawk, produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville. In June, Deb returned to her hometown to promote her first novel. Although completely fiction, Call Your Daughter Home resonates with the hardship and Southern roots from “This is a photo of all of the aprons left that my great-grandmother made," Deb says. stories Deb’s grandmother, Edna Alma Erwin, used to tell “There are seven in total. The blue and white check one in the middle used to be a her growing up. Deb says she knew she wanted to create dress she wore, but when the material got too thin she turned it into an apron.” a book for her, “a book that she could read in love and months later, and within a year, she sent it out to the market understand the voices and the rhythms of the deep South.” where five major publishing companies bid on it. Soon enough, About four years ago, Deb found herself in search of HarperCollins Park Row would publish her first-ever novel. something creative to do, something to create that she “And that’s how it all happened.” could call her own. So she wrote a small novella exploring A Southern Gothic adventure, Call Your Daughter Home five generations of women from the same Southern family, centers around three women each battling to overcome and wrote a story for each generation and time period. After different obstacles in their troubled city of Branchville. receiving positive responses from literary journals, Deb Through their personal journeys, Annie, consulted various experts, like Mark Retta, and Gertrude discover the bond Bowden, who wrote Black Hawk Down. of motherhood, which ultimately unites She was finally connected with an them. agent, but it came with a plot twist she Deb says these women reflect the didn’t expect. motherhood and community she Deb was told to take the first short wanted to explore. She says as she story in her novella and turn it into a was writing the book, the women novel. “At which point, I hung up the would speak to her, which helped her phone and cried on the couch for two determine what commonalities and straight weeks like somebody shot differences she shared with them. my mother.” Still, there is no greater woman Deb When she pulled herself together has connected with more than her weeks later, Deb convinced herself to grandmother: the woman who raised simply write. Badly. “I thought, OK, This is a photo of the four generations of Deb's family. (from left to right) Deb's mom, 3-year-old Deb on my each of her children and grandchildren if I can just write for one hour a day great-grandmother's lap, and Mamaw, to whom the book “like crops” and who she considers her and give myself permission to fail, is dedicated. role model. then maybe I can get through this,” “There was no flowery language, but I knew I was loved she says. and cared for. I felt safe with her,” Deb says. “I would give And that’s what Deb did. One hour turned into two hours, anything to know what she thought [of the book], but I’d like which turned to three hours. Despite doubting herself and to think she’d be happy with it.” believing her agent had buyer’s remorse, Deb had a draft five

Submitted photo


SITUATION: Should it matter when I file for divorce? What things should I be considering? ANSWER: While love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, divorce is more about not being the one left to clean up the manure. Important questions to ask regarding timing, as crass as they may seem, revolve around money.

Liz Murray: Homeless

to Harvard to Louisville By Quinn Fitzgerald


rom living on the streets of New York to studying at Harvard University, Liz Murray has a story to tell. And she’s coming to Louisville to share it at the Women 4 Women luncheon later this month. Liz grew up homeless and became widely known when she turned her bleak life into a success story. At the age of 10, Liz began taking care of her two, drug-addicted parents, and by the age of 15, Liz was homeless, watching her parents eat from dumpsters and take shelter in all-night subway stations. Despite living on the streets, Liz was able to graduate from high school in only two years. She received a full scholarship and was accepted into Harvard University. Liz became the subject of a Lifetime Television, Emmy-nominated, original film, Homeless to Harvard. Today, she is co-founder and executive director of The Arthur Project — a program aimed at redefining mentoring by using professional mentors to work intensively with at-risk middle school youth. At the luncheon on Sept. 25, Liz will be addressing


homelessness and its connection to drug abuse. “Homelessness has a major impact on our community for a number of reasons, including insufficient finances to maintain the household, medical issues, and as it relates to Liz’s story, substance abuse,” says Misty Cruse, executive director of Women 4 Women. Women 4 Women is a nonprofit organization engaged in helping women and children in the Louisville community. The theme for this year’s luncheon, Rise Against Homeless Women and Children, was chosen as part of the organization’s focus on health and safety. Misty hopes guests will recognize that they can have a positive impact on the lives of women facing similar situations. “Women 4 Women not only supports programs that serve these individuals, but we also serve as a resource for women, organizations, and law enforcement to connect these women and children with resources that help them get the services they need.” Register at

September 2019 /

INSURANCE REASONS: Who carries the health insurance between the spouses is important to know so no one loses their benefits after divorce without being prepared. If a client needs health insurance and a separate policy is cost prohibitive (they almost all are), or if a Legal Separation: spouse refuses to pay COBRA While nearly every costs, the client could consider client who says “we’re legal separation versus divorce separated” means to continue coverage for the 12 simply the spouses do months the client must wait to not live together, that turn a Decree of Legal Separation arrangement is far from into a Divorce Decree. legal separation. It can RELIGIOUS OR FINANCIAL REASONS: You could choose legal separation over divorce to assuage a moral or religious objection to divorce or even for tax purposes and financial/ estate planning.

trigger more problems as the spouses continue to accrue interest in each other’s property as long as they’re still legally married (i.e. not legally separated or divorced).

IF MONEY IS COMING: If one of the parties is in graduate school and will have a lucrative career thereafter, the spouse might choose to defer divorce until they can realize a return on their investment in the marriage. Same thing with a business a spouse began during the marriage, which might take off at any minute. END OF LIFE: If your spouse is unhealthy and you would receive a statutory share of the estate upon death of the spouse who might prefer to pay you nothing at divorce, it might better serve you to remain married. (This is the crass part.) Since Kentucky has some of the least strict criteria for how long parties must live separately before they can file a divorce, as well as how long parties must wait before the Court can enter a Decree of Dissolution, you should consider other things. Timing in law really is everything as property terms, once settled or ordered by the court, are set in stone as a general rule. Spousal support, once waived, is forever waived. Markets, on the other hand, fluctuate daily and the date of assignment of a retirement or investment account can make all the difference. Playing the waiting game can be to your benefit or detriment and is best left to the experts: a family lawyer, an accountant, a tax advisor, or even a physician. Holland Houston is a local family court lawyer and a mediator with more than 20 years of experience.


Logan Street Market Story and Photos by Madeleine Dee


ou are going to want to know about Logan Street Market, Louisville’s new public market. It features over 30 vendors, year-round local produce, a microbrewery, coffee, and all the Kentucky Proud goodness you can handle. I am the owner of the Fond Originals shop and the Resident Chef, offering cooking classes, demos, and special events in the Market Kitchen furnished by GE. My job is to make sure you know all about the businesses inside.

Submitted photo

Let me introduce you to four vendors who will get you excited about the Market:



Ever wondered what a record store disco party run by three friends serving bubble tea would be like? Look no further than Boba Fete, the quirky milk and tea bar brought to Logan Street Market by Lexie, Britt, and Jess. They wanted to spend time together and honor the memory of Britt’s sister, who passed away at a young age and was deeply loved by Jess.

University of Louisville grads Chanel and Tennel Bryant bought their first location of The Country Meat Co., which is inside of Findlay Market. Their space at Logan Street Market is their second step in a plan to create a mini-empire of meaty goodness.

What to order: Ask for the Breakfast of Champions, a secret menu item featuring Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal milk, Safai cold brew, and fresh boba with a brown sugar simple syrup.

MIXING FRENCH AND WEST AFRICAN FLAVORS Meet Bapion Ziba, the cheerful face of Ziba’s Bistro, a French-West African fusion restaurant with global influences. Born in West Africa and educated in France, Bapion assisted in the openings of multiple restaurants after culinary school. His dream is a brick and mortar version of Ziba’s Bistro within 1-2 years, then restaurants in France and West Africa. What to order: Tigue-digue chicken, basmati rice, caponata, jerk shrimp, eggplant Parmesan, and crèpes. Stop in for new specials each week.

What to order: The Country Meat Co. is known for smoked meats, beef, pork, and Amish poultry. When Thanksgiving comes around, don’t forget a fresh turkey.

UPSCALE MEAT & THREE Jeff and Brooke Brantley have followed the classic path to running a restaurant — starting at the bottom and working your way through until you’re the one in charge. Their first restaurant, a fast casual southern place called Bramble, is an upscale “meat and three.” Bramble is warm, inviting, and substantial, just like its owners. Here you can find genuine southern food with Georgia roots and Louisville charm. What to order: Catfish, fried chicken, Atlanta brisket, deep-fried Italian pickles, and boiled peanuts that will take you right back to roadside stands on warm summer days.

Madeleine Dee (AKA The Seasoned Cynic) is the resident chef of Logan Street Market and the owner of Fond, Fond Originals, and Bold Bird Productions.


September 2019 /





enna Schulten, DMD and owner of Dupont Pediatric Dentistry, recalls how emphatic her father was about she and her siblings maintaining good oral hygiene as a child. “I wanted to become a dentist, because my father was the only one in his family who had his original teeth. My grandparents had dentures at a young age, and my aunt and uncle had dentures in their 20s,” she says.

Jenna Schulten, DMD

Since starting her practice in 2014, Jenna has been devoted to helping parents understand that having healthy teeth goes beyond the standard practice of regular brushing. “[The kids] come to us once or twice a year, but the in-between is the most important part. If they are not taking care of their oral hygiene in between, we can’t do much,” she says. As a mother of three kids, Jenna understands that every parent wants their child to be healthy, and she strives to create an environment that will make the parents and their children more comfortable.

If a child is fearful, Jenna allows the child to sit in their parent’s lap during the entire dental visit. “I try to put myself in the parent’s shoes, and I treat every child like they are my own,” she says. The services Jenna offers include an overview with the parent about oral hygiene. She and her staff do fillings, silver crowns, pulpotomies, space maintenance, frenectomies, and dental trauma. They also offer sedations and have privileges at several ORs. In addition, they provide habit appliances for kids who suck their thumb or have a tongue thrust. The appliance, which is similar to a retainer, prevents kids from inadvertently damaging their dental oral cavity. Jenna, who also has a dental practice in New Albany and Frankfort, says she wants to be a leader for her staff and is excited about her achievements. “Almost every day, I feel a little more accomplished — especially with being a woman in this profession and a boss. I learn something new from my staff,” she says.

DUPONT PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY 3934 Dutchmans Lane Louisville, KY 40207






ne of the things Dr. Rana Mays likes best about being a dermatologist — a physician whose focus is on care and diseases of the skin — is that she gets to see patients of all ages, “from newborn to 100+,” she says. With patients age 18 and under making up about 40 percent of her St. Matthews practice, Dr. Mays enjoys educating parents about the best ways to care for the skin of children and adolescents — a topic that’s important to her personally as the mother of a 4-year-old and 6-year-old twins. In fact, when Dr. Mays was pregnant with her twins, she researched skin care products marketed for babies and was distressed to find that toxic chemicals like sulfates and anesthetics are present in many. In consultation with pediatricians and other dermatologists and after extensive research, she went on to develop an all-natural, clinically tested baby wash called

Clean Baby, available through her practice and online at The product line will soon include a bug repellant stick, and a sunscreen stick that protects the skin physically with ingredients like zinc and titanium, rather than with chemicals. Dr. Mays says the Clean Baby products offer pure, safe skin care options for all children, including those with chronic conditions such as eczema. She also sees young patients with rashes, skin lesions including congenital and other moles, and teenagers with acne. “There’s a lot of misconception about acne,” she says, which is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can be successfully treated via systemic and topical medications to prevent future scarring. Dr. Mays urges parents to consult a Board Certified Dermatologist for expert skin care advice for babies, children, and teens. Learn more about her practice at


Dr. Rana Mays

Louisville, Today’s Woman / September 2019KY 3940207




NEED AN UPDATE? By Marie Bradby Photos by Melissa Donald


efore you spend one dime, before you drag out your paint-splattered old sweatpants or hire a contractor to update your house, read what the experts recommend. PAGE 42 >>

Find more inspiration from our home advisors: Bliss Home: (p. 55) Bluegrass Backyards: (p. 45) Digs Home & Garden: (p.31) Eleet Stone Countertops: (p.39) Fackler Homes: (p. 55) Living Spaces: (p. 43) Semonin Realtors: (p. 51) Watsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: (p. 49) Wâ&#x20AC;˘R Realtors: (p. 43)


September 2019 /

The Atkins family waited six years to redo their dark cherry and black granite countertop kitchen. They worked with interior designer Joan Waddell to design the home to be what they wanted.

/ July 2019 Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sTodayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s WomanWoman / September


HOME << PAGE 40 Joan Waddell, an interior designer with J. Waddell Interiors, wants you to do some soul-searching before you start making a home update. “Think about how you want to live in the spaces in your home,” Joan says. “It’s important that you evaluate that aspect upfront. Think about what you love about your home and what you don’t love. From that viewpoint, you can narrow the scope of what would make you feel better in that space.” Joan’s clients, Bob and Carolyn Atkins, took her advice on a remodeling project. Bob and Carolyn had downsized from a 4,800-square-foot home in Anchorage to a 2,600-square-foot, one-story house in White Blossom. Their triplet daughters had moved on and they were empty nesters. “We weren’t using the basement or two-thirds of the second floor,” says Bob, a senior medical director at Aetna Medicaid. “It just didn’t make any sense.”

Joan Waddell created this space that included everything from ceiling lighting, cabinets, and overall flow of the kitchen.


July 2019 / September 2019 /

They loved their new home. “It had a lot of what we were looking for,” Carolyn says. “It had a lovely dedicated office, cathedral ceilings, lots of light and windows.” But they knew they wanted to redo the kitchen. “It was very dark, with black granite countertops and dark cherry cabinets,” Bob says. “There wasn’t enough counter space or storage.” Last July, about six years after they’d moved to White Blossom, they called Joan and started working on plans. In January, the nearly 20-year-old kitchen was demolished. “We gutted it back to the walls and removed a closet and a pantry for more square footage,” Bob says. “The kitchen now is much lighter, with white countertops and white cabinets,” Carolyn says. “There is all new lighting in the ceiling and under the cabinets.” Joan helped the couple think through all the details, like whether to choose marble or quartz countertops (they chose quartz). Carolyn says, “Her expertise

and experience were great. She had a lot of ideas, things we weren’t able to visualize.” “If you are going to put in this much time, emotional energy, and money, it doesn’t make sense to learn from your mistakes,” Bob says. “It made more sense to have someone who knew all the trade-offs. We don’t have second thoughts about any of it.” “Joan knows so many different people — who would be a good contractor, what person to talk to about cabinets, where to get appliances,” Carolyn says. “We didn’t have to figure out where to find this and that. She made it easier for us. She would meet us at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery to look at different appliances and hardware.”

REMODEL FOR HOW LONG YOU PLAN TO STAY IN YOUR HOME Once you decide what bothers you about a space, then how long you are going to stay in your home will narrow down what updates to tackle. PAGE 44 >>

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


HOME << PAGE 42 “If it’s not your forever home,” says Brenna Brooks, a house flipper who provides design services, “I would advise you to update differently than if you are going to live there only two to five years.” But safety issues get priority. “First, repair anything that could cause a disaster in your home, such as a leaky water heater or a hole in the roof,” Brenna says. “Fix those for the safety of the person living there, to protect the integrity of the home, and to keep you from having huge repair bills in the future.” When you are updating a house to sell immediately, “make changes that will appeal to the most potential buyers,” says Brenna, who started Brenlow Properties with her father. For instance, don’t get rid of the bathtub in your master bath. Don’t put in a funky tile. Don’t carpet over your hardwood floors. It comes down to a balance of what you want, what buyers want, and cost. “Be aware of how much money you are putting into the house and what it’s likely to sell for in the end,” she says. “Don’t fall in love with an expensive material, because it’s not necessarily going to get you more money.”

The bar sink has lots of pizazz near the dining space.

MORE PEOPLE ARE REMODELING Joan has been seeing more homeowners remodeling than ever before in her 25-year career. The majority of the remodeling trend is being driven by millennials, who are buying older homes that are closer to downtown and have amenities nearby, she says. “They are not about square footage at all,” Joan says. “They are about not having a financial burden. “They say, ‘Give me a comfortable place to live where I have walking access to everything,’” Joan says. Home prices in St. Matthews have skyrocketed because of millennials and baby boomers. Everyone wants that ability to leave the car at home, get exercise, walk the dog, or walk to a restaurant. PAGE46 >>


September 2019 /

Be aware of how much money you are putting into the house and what it’s likely to sell for in the end.”

— Brenna Brooks

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



EIGHT QUICK UPDATES THAT WILL ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME By Marie Bradby Photos submitted by Idea Source


on’t have the time, patience, or money to do a full-blown remodeling project on your home? A smaller project can be just as effective and you don’t have to skimp on style or return on your investment.

“Small updates can go a long way,” says Page Thomas, lead interior designer for Idea Source at Home, the design company for Huber Decor. “They can increase the value, style, and comfort of your home.” Here are Page’s eight surprisingly simple updates that take from an hour to a weekend and won’t break the bank. LIGHTING. “Light fixtures can completely transform a space, set the ambience and the mood, and serve as a focal point of a room,” Page says. “Lighting is constantly evolving with different lighting trends, shapes, and styles. New hot lighting fixtures come out every year. You can increase the value, style, and comfort of the room by changing the fixtures.

HALLWAY — AFTER Quick little updates such as paint, rugs and lighting can make a big difference.



September 2019 /

LIGHT BULBS. “A lot of people don’t think about this, but it’s important to have all of your light bulbs match so they are giving off the same light. Updating your light bulbs can go a long way.” PAINT. “Color trends evolve,” Page says. “I work with a lot of clients who built their homes in the 2000s and 1990s, and the colors were dark and moody. Today, colors tend to be more neutral, light, and airy.

“There are ways to utilize color in other ways. Where there’s a lot of natural light, lighter colors make the room look larger. Sometimes we paint a ceiling darker to draw your eyes to the top and make the space feel larger. For a long narrow room, you can paint the far wall in a darker color, which leads your eye to the dark wall and makes the room feel longer.” PAGE 48 >>

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



Paint and accessories go a long way in changing this dining space.


BUILT-IN CASEWORK. “For a lot of clients, we add built-in casework in living rooms, family rooms, hallways,” Page says. “Not only does it add value, but it adds character to your home.” EXTERIOR UPDATES. “Sometimes, the outside of the home is the last thing the client will look at,” Page says. “But you can’t forget about curb appeal. It’s the first thing people will see about your home. Paint or replace your front door. That’s something you can knock out on a Saturday afternoon. Update the door hardware and house numbers. Paint or remove your shutters. Update landscaping by adding shrubbery or exterior lighting. DECLUTTERING AND RE-ORGANIZING. “We really like to take everything off the walls, shelves, and tabletops and relocate them. We find organizational containers for things that people are going to see, and containers for things that people aren’t going to see. It makes things feel fresh, new, and more finished. BATHROOM UPDATES. “There are lots of small ways to upgrade your bath: update your faucets, paint your vanity, replace all tile. If the tile’s dated, it can put off the rest of the room.” KITCHEN UPDATES. “Kitchens and baths sell homes,” Page says. “If you can’t do a full remodel, update the countertops and backsplash. Paint the cabinets in one of the new colors. Update appliances.”


September 2019 /




Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019




MODERN TWIST I By Megan Seckman

Gretchen Black and her husband Jason, have just finished remodeling and designing their 12th home together — the historic Edgewood, a 150-year-old property in Glenview, Kentucky. “Our joke has always been. ‘Well, a light bulb just went out, must be time to move,’” Gretchen says with a laugh. “I love to design a new home, but the moving is always painful.” While the couple have primarily built and designed newly constructed homes, this 7,000-square-foot historical gem was definitely a labor of love. Years ago, Gretchen and Jason met and fell in love while attending Bellarmine University, so when this home came on the market from Bellarmine’s former president Dr. Joseph McGowan, they felt it was meant to be. Now, it just might be where they stay, but if not, like most of their collaborative projects, it will forever be documented on social media. Each step of the acquiring, demolition, and remodeling can be viewed on their YouTube channel “Building a Better South.” In 35 episodes, Gretchen and Jason narrate the construction and intentional design choices meant to preserve the home’s legacy — a summer and weekend retreat, one mile from the river, where original families used to travel from Old Louisville via horse and buggy. But this is not the story of Edgewood, this is the story of Gretchen Black’s tenacious DIY spirit and eye for design. Gretchen, 44, didn’t set out to be an influencer, but her Instagram success — she has 42,000 followers PAGE 52 >>


September 2019 /

This space designed by Gretchen Black in a home in Norton Commons.

Photo by Tim Furlong Jr.

f you are an Instagram-famous interior designer and your husband is a homebuilder, you will probably move often.



Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


HOME << PAGE 50 — has come from her perseverance and passion. She graduated from Bellarmine with a nursing degree and spent 10 years in the nursing field while raising their three boys. Each weekend, however, she and Jason would dabble in home renovation and design. “I grew up in a creative house, took sewing classes from sweet nuns when I was young, and my liberal arts education allowed me to take plenty of art history classes, but I didn’t go into design because it wasn’t an option for me. My mother told me to go into nursing because it was safe, but like I tell my boys, if you find your passion, you’ll figure out a way to make a living out of it,” Gretchen says. Gretchen and Jason did just that — turned their weekend hobby into a successful partnership. Jason is now the CEO of Artisan Signature Homes and Gretchen, the owner of Greyhouse Design. She also designed the 2019 Designer Welcome Home Tour home and is the brand ambassador for Our House Furniture and the New Cafe appliance line by GE. While each works a different facet of the home industry, they have a shared commitment to creating the modern-classic Southern aesthetic. “I like to call my style traditional with a modern twist,” Gretchen explains. She is drawn to bold patterns and tends to work with a blush, navy, aqua, and pale gray palette. In her design, you will see bright whites interrupted with mixed wallpapers, tile patterns, and fret work. Geometric and floral patterns adorn shiplap, textiles, and lighting. Above all, incorporating vintage and antique elements is a consistent thread in her design, as is her signature feature: a brass swan. Southern architecture is Gretchen’s main inspiration, and each time she travels to Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, or New Orleans, she comes back with new ideas. “My boys know that when we go on vacation, at least one day will consist of Dad and me driving around and looking at houses, getting all the yummy inspiration from Southern towns.” You can see these Southern elements in homes they’ve designed for Homearama, spec houses in Glenview and Norton Commons, in Jason’s Norton Commons office space, and at Edgewood. Shutters that line the length of the door, porch railing, tall trim and baseboards, herringbone and chevron patterned floors, and loads of warm brass tones. “We love to push the envelope with design, not design cookie-cutter [spaces]. I love when a room is filled with patterns and you don’t know why it all works together, but it does. It feels intentional,” Gretchen explains about how her family’s ideas help others live beautifully. “We build for the sake of keeping architecture interesting.” Despite the fact that Gretchen is uncomfortable with the term “influencer,” thousands look to Gretchen’s Instagram and Pinterist pages for


September 2019 /

The textures make all the difference - the flooring, the walls, the ceiling show the layering of the textures in the Black’s office. Photos by Melissa Donald (top and bottom)

This house in Norton Commons was built and decorated with an easy access to outside and even included a bar in the garage.

Photo by Tim Furlong Jr.

inspiration, whether for a paint color (Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams is her go-to) or for fresh ideas on tile design (use gold or brass strips instead of grout). Her biggest advice for design, however, is to make sure your home is a reflection of you. “Your home should feel wellcollected over time; use family heirlooms and keepsakes over what is popular or trendy...and you can never go wrong with a brass swan,” she says with a chuckle. She does caution against using social media too often, though, and knows when to step away. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” Gretchen warns. But most of her experience with social media has been positive. “It is fun to see your room has been repinned on Pinterest or that someone has used your paint color in their home. Long after the paint dries, these images document our design legacy. It is a way of being published, of leaving a legacy. Someday my boys can look back on my design aesthetic and see what I was able to accomplish.”

Gretchen and her husband work together.

I like to call my style traditional with a modern twist.”

Photo by Melissa Donald

- Gretchen Black

Today’s Woman / September 2019



SINK INTO Luxury By Lauren Dahl Photos by Quinn Fitzgerald


hen achieving a luxury look in your home, each item you bring in should be deeply considered and play well with the other items you own. Don’t look at price tags to determine whether an item is “luxurious” or not; look at the elements the item embodies. Scale, sheen, texture, authenticity, and overall color palette need to be considered. It’s the small doses of luxury details balanced within the bigger picture that are going to create the look and feel you want.

PAGE 56 >>

mThe Maverick Dining Table, $2,495, 30” x 40” x 96,” Merridian Home Furnishings This table means business — a stunning statement piece made from mixed materials and reclaimed top. The most luxurious aspect of this dining table is the vision of family memories surrounding it. Time spent together is always the best luxury. The urban vibe it brings can easily be paired with shinier things — a sideboard with glam knobs, heirloom serving dishes, and other delicate pieces. lAphrodite Mirror, $985, 72” x 40,” Merridian Home Furnishings With Palladian architectural lines and brass framing, the Aphrodite Mirror is an elegant and grandiose piece that is versatile within any interior setting. The arch is what truly does it for me; it carries my eye around and is soft but substantial. The size alone will captivate, but pairing it with an identical counterpart is sure to wow, as symmetry is almost always a settling sight to see.


September 2019 /

lDianna Serving Bowl, $96, Red Tree Furniture A serving bowl, while used sparingly, is still a highly functional item and staple in the home, especially if you entertain frequently. The mixed metals in combination with the floral base craftsmanship give this bowl the high-end touch.

kPillow Grouping, $100+, Scout on Market Let textures do the talking. Layering your home with textures containing a neutral or monochromatic color palette will add sophistication to your space and ample amounts of coziness when enveloped in blankets and pillows, sipping on cider, and binge watching shows.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



Photo by Lauren Dahl mThe Loraine Rug, $875, 9x12, Merridian Home Furnishings The Loraine rug encompasses all of those beautiful warm neutral autumn colors. The aged patina of the Loraine rug can transition from décor that falls within the realm of traditional, all the way to a modern home. While it’s a busy piece, it remains neutral and versatile, and is going to give a homefeeling of abundance and care.

mRussell Tripod Table Lamp, $399, Bliss Home The base of the Russell lamp is modern, with vintage undertones in the materials. The sheen of the base paired with the white shade is what brings the luxe factor. This lamp would pair perfectly with an identical lamp, on either side of a long buffet, with large scale artwork in the center. Or, even on matching nightstands next to a high back tufted bed frame. When thinking of lamps, think in pairs, as a pair of lamps is going to have high impact for any interior space.

lSandalwood and Vanilla Soy Candle by Ella B. Candles, available at Bliss Home A candle has the ability to affect all who enter your home. We can get caught up on the sense of sight when focusing on home décor, but other senses matter, too. Allow a candle to set the tone for the season, mood, or occasion in your home.


September 2019 /

mSculptural side table, $525 concrete, 2.5 x 2, Scout Luxury breaks the rules, it defies the norm, items that feel luxurious also feel like gems — hard to find. Give your home something unique, and give guests something to talk about. This concrete side table from Scout has all the artful elements that will elevate your space. It’s curvy body is appealing, and the materials defy the norm. Ditch the average side table, and replace it with an unusual and beautiful alternative.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


Way To Go Woman! O

ur Way to Go Woman winners are making significant strides in our community — and we are taking a moment to celebrate their contributions. Find out what they are doing to move our city forward.

2019 Winners

The 2019 WAY TO GO WOMAN! winners are women under the age of 40 who were selected by the editorial board of Today’s Woman based on nominations from our readers. By Tiffany White Photos by Melissa Donald Styling by Emily Elliotte and Jillian Jones Makeup by Lakin Gream, Emily Roberts, and Amber Schnobrich, Strandz Salon and Threadz Boutique

Today’s Woman / September 2019


Reinvented I believe my success will be measured by those I help thrive and succeed whether by my words or my deeds, just as so many others supported me, believed in me, and contributed to my success.”


anisha Ann Hickerson has proven that the biggest obstacles can’t stop us from fulfilling our aspirations. Instead of succumbing to the pressures of being a teenage mom, Tanisha pursued her dream of working in the legal system. “What my mother told me is that ‘now you just have to fight harder,’ and that was really motivating for me,” she says. After graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law, Tanisha worked as an attorney at Boehl Stopher & Graves, and in 2014 she became a partner at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. Tanisha, who was elected a district court judge in 2018, says she wants to be an encourager for kids who need more guidance. “So many of my family members, friends, teachers, and mentors pushed me and offered support. Not only will I forever be grateful, but I am compelled to do the same for others as much as I can,” she says. REACHING HIGHER GROUND “After delivering my valedictorian speech in high school, I proudly took pictures with my infant daughter on my hip. Entering college with a one-year old was very challenging, but my hard work, persistence, and willingness to never give up provided rewards beyond any diploma.” BECOMING A TRAILBLAZER “I like to believe I have created a significant change by being a part of a more diverse and inclusive judiciary. As a black woman, I want to be a visible example, especially for women and minorities, that discriminatory barriers are meant to be broken down in order for our society to reach its full potential."

TANISHA A. HICKERSON, 39 District Court Judge, Jefferson County Family: Joseph Bivens, significant other; Kaelyn Drane, daughter; Joseph Bivens, Jr., and Jada Bivens, step-children TANISHA IS WEARING: Navy polka dot jumpsuit, Dillard's, $148; Waterdrop earrings, Besos, $20.


September 2019 /

Professional [My grandfather says] Good things come to those who wait if you work like hell while you wait.”


eather Felton believes being a good doctor starts with love — and a little goofiness doesn’t hurt. “I love the children and their families. I get to know them and plan my day for their visits. If I know that one of my patients loves Star Wars, then I make sure to wear my R2D2 skirt to work that day.” For Heather, it’s about making patients feel comfortable while giving them the best care possible. Since joining UofL Pediatrics in 2013, she has expanded the level of services at the UofL Pediatrics Kosair Charities clinic in an effort to provide care to more children in the community. A BUSY FEW YEARS “Two years after working at the UofL Stonestreet clinic I was asked if I would like to be the medical director of the UofL Kosair Charities clinic. I have really enjoyed this leadership role. I have been able to really grow that clinic in the volume of patients we see and in the services we offer.” Heather was promoted from assistant to associate professor two years ago while having two babies in those four years.” KEEPING KIDS SAFE “I offer the car seat checks at our office, and I participate in community car seat check events. I became a Child Passenger Safety Technician two years ago because motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death in children.”

HEATHER FELTON, 35 Pediatrician with the University of Louisville; Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the UofL School of Medicine; Medical Director of the UofL Pediatrics Kosair Charities clinic Family: Adam Felton, husband; Katherine, Claire, and Caroline, daughters HEATHER IS WEARING: Olive chiffon shirt, Dillard's, $24; cream pants, $129, Dillard's; Seaside earrings, $24, Besos.

Today’s Woman / September 2019




ytianna Nikia Maria Wells is using her business as a medium for celebrating and encouraging children of color. “Particularly in literature, traditional publishing companies have two percent of books that are dedicated to people of color. Seeing that this number has maintained its consistency is definitely a gap I have always wanted to fill,” she says. Tytianna is the author and illustrator of six books including the children’s book series Sweet Pea And Sugar Tea’s Country Family Adventures: A Collection Of African American Poems, and The Bridge Kids: An African Heritage Family Activity Book. CRUSHING CULTURAL BARRIERS “In 2013, I stepped out on faith and started Honey Tree Publishing, LLC. As a child, I grew up with two books with characters that looked like me. Many of the stories that I wanted to read didn’t exist, so I started writing these stories myself and selling them. It was a natural solution to a pervasive problem of having limited access to culturally representative books." EDUCATING A COMMUNITY “Honey Tree Publishing, LLC is different from other publishing companies because all books are curriculum-based and can be used in the classroom. I do a lot of live book readings in different libraries and community centers.” Tytianna also contracts with Sacred Heart and the Jefferson County Public School system to offer creative writing and book publishing programs." THE FUTURE “Honey Tree Publishing will grow as a publishing company that houses young and adult authors, as well as other genres including music (audio books, spoken word/ poets, Hip Hop, etc.). I am excited for what the future holds.”

TYTIANNA NIKIA MARIA WELLS, 32 Founder and CEO of Honey Tree Publishing, LLC TYTIANNA IS WEARING: White 1/4 sleeve turtle neck, $48, Free People; navy striped jumper, $39, Besos; leopard print heels, $120, Dillard's; Gold flake earrings, $16, Besos.


September 2019 /

I have desired these books for all children, because all people and their cultures matter.”

Community Offer compassion and empathy rather than pass judgment..."


manda Mills is giving the homeless community a chance to start a better life through her nonprofit organization Southend Street Angels, Inc. The organization provides meals, basic necessities, and services to people living in southern Jefferson County. “We try to help families in the community who have faced hardships and may need a hand up such as a food box or bill assistance without prejudice,” Amanda says. ANGEL IN DISGUISE At age 3, Amanda experienced homelessness when her mother had to seek refuge from domestic violence. it became the impetus behind founding her organization. “I studied to become a probation officer, and because of the cards I was dealt in life, I knew that I was called to give back. So I left the justice and public safety field and decided to work with social services and nonprofits. "We serve approximately 150 people each week. Because of our services, rapport has been built, and we have seen 21 people enter into recovery, families reunited, and watched people transform their lives so much that they are involved in giving back today as well.” NEXT STEP “My future goals include expanding my nonprofit organization to offer services to those who are most vulnerable in all parts of Jefferson County. I want to continue to build community partnerships and improve communications not only with city leaders, but on a state and federal level as well.”

AMANDA MILLS, 33 Homeless Outreach Worker at Family Health Centers Inc. and founder of Southend Street Angels Inc. Family: Isaac, son; Lorianna, daughter AMANDA IS WEARING: Floral print jumpsuit, $148, Dillard's; Clay earrings, $22, Besos.

Today’s Woman / September 2019




atie Fussenegger wants to turn Shelby County into a prime spot for tourism while helping to move the community forward. She manages strategic planning, budgeting, marketing, event promotion, supervision of staff, consultants, and agencies. She also advocates for the tourism industry at the local, state, and federal levels. SUPPORTING A COMMUNITY “For every dollar spent on marketing and advertising, $15 is returned to our area in the form of state and local taxes. That major tax benefit in Shelby County alone saves each household over $618 in local and state taxes. WORKING TOGETHER “My biggest goal is to exemplify authentic leadership. I believe in leading by example and showcasing an attitude and interactions that I would expect to receive in return. I believe in candor from my staff and expect them to feel confident in airing their opinions and calling me on things when they do not think something is right. A UNITED FRONT “I think it’s necessary to give back to others. One strategy I implemented in our Commission was a quarterly day to give back in the community. On “Voluntourism” days, the entire staff of the Commission devotes the work day to a not-for-profit or community organization that needs assistance. The team-building aspect is an unintentional benefit, and there truly is something fulfilling about working side by side with a coworker, rolling up your sleeves, and getting your hands dirty together.”

KATIE FUSSENEGGER, 32 Executive Director, ShelbyKY Tourism Commission Family: Joe Fussenegger, husband; Sophie, daughter; Dominic, son KATIE IS WEARING: Navy textured jumpsuit, $188, Dillard's; leopard print heels, $119.99, Dillard's; Pine earrings, $16, Besos.


September 2019 /

No matter the position (but especially in leadership), we should always take time to listen, reflect, and make an informed decision.”

FP-Mortenson Dental

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



It Cleans Your Mind and Spirit

In Japan, Shinrin means “forest” and Yoku means “bath,” so Shinrin-Yoku. The art of “forest bathing” was developed in Japan in the 1980s as a preventative health care and healing method. The country has now incorporated it into its health program, according to a report by The Guardian.

HER FAVORITE LOCAL SPOTS? Cherokee Park, Bernheim Forest, Iroquois Park, and the Parklands of Floyds Fork.

By Taylor Riley Photo by Tatiana Rathke


eep in the woodlands of Louisville’s many green spaces, there is a group who considers immersing themselves in nature a soothing pastime. The Shinrin-Yoku Society of Kentuckiana, led by Ecotherapist and President Jennifer Owens, participates in forest bathing, which members say is beneficial to their health. A forest bathing session does not include soap and a washcloth. It simply means figuratively bathing yourself in the forest’s surroundings. A session usually entails at least two hours of a guided, leisurely walk under the forest canopy. The first portion of the practice offers a guided awareness of each sense, Jennifer says, to reconnect with oneself. Jennifer Owens has been backpacking, trail running, and hiking her entire life and now has more than 15 years of experience in holistic health and nine years in mental health. She’s the co-founder of Bridge Counseling and Wellness, an integrative mental health and wellness center, and the founder of The Academy of Integrative Mental Health, as well as a licensed clinical social worker and licensed massage therapist. But, it wasn’t until she made a goal to pick up trash for a whole year on a wooded path that she had a “shift eternally” in her relationship to nature. “I thought, I’m pretty sure this is therapeutic,” she says. “This is a game-changer.” Time Magazine projected by 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, so a little time in nature may be good for us. Now, Jennifer specializes in an outdoor-mindfulness based, somatic approach to individual therapy. She wants to reconnect humans with nature for “the increased well-being of ourselves and our planet,” Jennifer says in a press release. She facilitates retreats, nature-connection groups, and workshops including forest bathing.


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Jennifer asks the wilderness for permission to come in, because she says there is a doorway between the real world and the “wood wide web” of trees. She likes to go barefoot, to “slow down.” Next, volunteers find a clear spot that speaks to them. This is followed by a movement and then sitting practice and meditation on one’s own. Participants listen to the birds chirp, smell the fresh air, see the light stream through the trees, and feel the leaves. The session ends with a ceremony with homemade tea, organic fruit, and conversation about the experience. Jennifer suggests leaving electronic devices in the car for the full effect. “Connecting is stressful,” she says, as everyone is on alert for a buzzing phone. Instead, she says, being disconnected can make participants feel safe, rested, and free. “Sometimes when we’re tethered, there’s not freedom there,” she says. Really, forest bathing is all about breathing. You could compare it to yoga without the exercise. Its goal is to have the bathers clear the clutter out of their heads and meditate, even to see the world a little differently. In Dr. Qing Li’s book Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, the world’s foremost expert on forest medicine shows how forest bathing can reduce stress levels and blood pressure, boost energy, help you lose weight, and live longer. Even if one does not think nature is relaxing, Jennifer says buy a houseplant. Even those, she says, can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Skeptics should just try forest bathing before they judge it. “Just do the practice, and decide for yourself if it doesn’t work,” she says. Bridge Counseling and Wellness offers upcoming forest bathing sessions for free at Jefferson Memorial Forest. Reservations are required at

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



Last year, my family left the continent for a vacation in the Scottish Highlands, so this year I wanted to do something that was simple, less expensive, and stateside. We decided on a two-week trek through California. Pretty much the whole state. Turns out it’s a really big state. While our two-week California journey was not cheap nor easy, it was epic. Where else can you see every geological feature in one location — desert, farmland, mountains, rivers, lakes, plains, and beaches — and experience so much cultural diversity? We passed through rural agricultural and mining towns, gave away our camping gear to the homeless in Los Angeles, visited the posh coastal communities along the Pacific Coast Highway, and tasted the culinary treasures in the iconic cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

mFIRST STOP: SAN FRANCISCO Our journey started in San Francisco in mid-June. We have relatives there, so we were able to crash in their basement and live like locals for a couple of days. My teen (Will, 15) and tween (Nadine, 12) learned from their cousins how to take public transportation and buy fresh fruit from a Chinese market. They shopped at Amoeba Records and the hippie-fied boutiques in the Haight (where I’m sure they experienced their first — at least I’m hoping it was their first — contact-high on the street), ate giant burritos in the Mission District while checking out the best alleyway graffiti art I’ve ever seen, and savored delicate falafel in the Sunset District. As a family, we toured Muir Woods (make reservations and set aside two-three hours for the hike) and Golden Gate Park, saw (and smelled) the sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, and dipped our toes in the ice-cold Pacific. All in all, it was a great two days of fog-filled fun in The City.


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mSECOND STOP: LAKE TAHOE On the third day, we packed up the car, shed our sweatshirts, and headed to Lake Tahoe, a three-hour, drop-dead gorgeous drive through the Sierras from San Francisco. Lake Tahoe covers the market on summertime vacation needs. You can lounge on the sunny beaches along the lake (I highly recommend Nevada Beach where the locals hangout), take a remote hike to smaller, less-populated lakes and beaches (try Angora Lake Trail), golf, gamble across the border in Nevada, or walk the kitschy boardwalk. North Tahoe offers more pristine views and fewer tourist attractions.

THIRD STOP: YOSEMITE AND BIG SUR k After the resort-esque respite of Lake Tahoe, we embarked on the more challenging stint of our trip. From Tahoe, we headed southwest to Yosemite (a four-hour drive) where we found a family-friendly campground along a river not far from the National Park entrance (all sites were booked when I attempted to schedule six months prior). While the site was perfect, sleeping on the dry, packed earth without an air mattress was a challenge. My son aborted mission in the middle of the night and slept in the car; the rest of us had to flip over every 30 minutes and still ended up with bruised hips. As for the park (a $35 fee good for a week’s entry), Yosemite is known for its giant sequoias and the breathtaking mountain faces of Half Dome and El Capitan. We hiked a lesser-known trail in order to avoid the crowds, but if I had the whole trip to do over, I would have skipped Yosemite and headed straight to Big Sur. Yosemite was too much to see in a day trip and was too crowded to find my forest zen.

Carmel by the Sea is a posh seaside town known for its fairytale houses, boutiques, art galleries, museums, and restaurants. Our motley crew, road weary and dirty from the previous night’s campground, hid our black feet under the cast iron table of Treehouse Cafe restaurant where we ate a fabulous meal al fresco and sipped some California Chardonnay.

mFOURTH STOP: MONTEREY Monterey is home to top-notch dining and a world-class aquarium (and the setting of Big Little Lies, which I started watching on the flight over). We stopped for a quick fresh-catch fish taco and beer once we hit Monterey, but had to keep moving. We wanted to make sure we saw the coastal drive from Monterey to Carmel. The Pacific Coast Highway is mesmerizing with its iconic views of the crashing sea below. Don’t expect to drive over 25 miles per hour on this cliff-side road, though; the zig-zagging, narrow highway demands your undivided attention.

l FIFTH STOP: LOS ANGELES The next morning, we leisurely broke down camp, meditated along the river, just a stone’s throw from our tent, and headed from Big Sur down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. The views were incredible. In hindsight, we should have camped two nights in Big Sur and spent more time in Monterey and Carmel. However, we were still able to witness the pristine coastline. You can see the natural mating grounds of elephant seals and might even witness a whale break the surface of the churning sea below. The beaches are mostly private or preserved along the coast, but you are able to witness the beauty from above — the way nature intended it to be. We arrived that evening in Los Angeles with its sprawl and congestion — a shock from the slow meandering of the day’s road trip. I had reserved an Airbnb ($120/night) in the Glassell neighborhood (a quiet, primarily Latino, residential neighborhood) to avoid the chaos of downtown LA. Our Airbnb host, Mika, suggested Manhattan Beach, a lovely southern California-style beach town where, she said, the locals hang out.

NEXT STOP: HOME On the third day in LA and our last day in California, I came to the realization that I loved Louisville and was ready to return — what I find to be the perfect end to an epic vacation. Travel can be the perfect reset to the monotony of life. Beyond broadening one’s world view, interesting travel helps create perspective, empathy, and gratitude for the things we never noticed we had.

Today’s Woman / September 2019


Writer shines light on dark experiences in debut memoir By Quinn Fitzgerald


here’s just a connection I feel with the city.” Author Grace Talusan wasn’t born in Louisville, nor did she grow up anywhere near it. But during the press tour for her newly-released memoir, The Body Papers, Grace made sure Louisville was on the list of places to visit. Grace, who was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at a young age, has been to Louisville several times in the past 20 years, partly because her husband’s family lives in Louisville, but also because it’s one of the locations where she worked on her memoir. “Because I was working on the book for so long, I have these wonderful memories, going to different coffee shops like Heine Brothers and Quill’s Coffee,” Grace says. The Body Papers is Grace’s first published work. Supplemented with photos, government documents, and medical records, Grace’s story is filled with encounters with racism, sexual abuse, her family’s legal status, and more. “I think there are so many things that we don’t talk about, and I don’t talk about,” she says. “All these different pieces and stories in the memoir, it’s almost like these things that I’ve saved up I found difficult to express.” Some of these things, Grace says, are just avoided when in polite company. But the more difficult topics, she says, she felt mixed about expressing, like her trip to her birth country with her husband. For six months, Grace says she felt uncomfortable because she knew she possessed more privilege as a Fillipino-American. And when writing about being sexually abused by her grandfather for seven years, Grace says she not only felt uncomfortable, but she also felt the need to censor parts of it. But when the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum, Grace was in the midst of writing and editing her book. Seeing countless stories from women on social media, Grace was motivated to include her own story. She says she “felt something shift in the culture” and wanted to participate. “I realized it is so ubiquitous. It’s happening in many, many ways on different levels to women and girls all the time. If I can add voice to that with my story, then I would be doing something,” she says. “They helped me.” Grace’s hope is that leaders, who read her memoir, will think about things they need to talk about and think about why they’re silent about certain things in their lives. Sharing even the most personal, tribulating moments can bring a person pleasure. Writing her memoir was her favorite part, even the stories that bring sadness and pain. “If you have something you’ve wanted to do, let yourself do it,” Grace says. “People should allow themselves the joy and feeling of getting to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.”


September 2019 /


“I stay angry with my husband most of the time. He works late almost every day. He promises the kids to attend events but seldom gets there on time (if at all). Saturdays he says he has to catch up on projects around the house and is exhausted by the afternoon, so we all sit home while he naps in his chair. Sunday is our only family day, and he plays golf with his friends in the mornings and even into mid-afternoon. The kids adore him and put up with his disconnection. I’ve become less patient, highly frustrated, and am having doubts about my devotion to him these days. When I address the issue of his time, he tells me I don’t appreciate his provision for the family. I’m at my wits’ end but willing to listen to a way out. Is there one short of divorce? JOYCE’S FIX: One redeeming quality I see is the heart of a hard-working man. I perceive a man who envisions doing things with his kids, although I believe he is short-sighted regarding how quickly they grow up. I observe your husband as someone who takes care of projects that are on his to-do list for the home, but he’d be better served if they were a “family affair.” I take note of a man who understands the value of friendship, but his priorities are a bit askew. These are a few great traits to work with, but he’s a bit lacking in reaching his full potential. So, let’s ask him some pointed questions. Who is he really working for? It’s hard to say whether his many hours are by choice or are necessary to keep his job. Regardless of his profession, the reality is that life is passing before him. What good will all of his hard work do anyone if his kids no longer believe in his promises, nor care if he breaks another? The point of no return will arrive for the kids. Their social life will become more important than spending time with their dad. Where does he see the two of you in 10 years? Should you meet resistance, and you likely will, it’s ultimatum time. Pull out the plan you have for making a change for you and the kids. Am I telling you to divorce? Absolutely not. I am, however, encouraging you to let him know it’s time for him to choose — job, projects, and friends or his family. Working as an expression of love is one thing. Working your way out of love is quite another. His job is not his shortfall, or even putting his friends above his family. However, his selfishness will cost him everything he’s worked hard to achieve. Ask a question by sending it to Read the whole answer at

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


27 THINGS (Why 27? Because we are 27 years old!)

Happenings, news, and tidbits that caught Today’s Woman’s eye this month By Anita Oldham

Some Daily Nature Taylor Riley has a busy calendar as a freelance journalist and college instructor, so stress is inevitable. Fitness and meditation, she says, are the keys to staying sane, and being outdoors and connecting to the simpler things in life made “forest bathing” something she wanted to explore. “Connecting with nature and turning my phone off was eye-opening,” she says. “I found I need to do more of that in my daily routine.” Read about Taylor’s experience with forest bathing on page 66.

1 3-5 Thank You Interns!


Meet our interns who helped us explore new ideas this summer. You can see their work throughout this magazine and on our social media pages. (@TodaysWomanNow on instagram) (l-r) Emily Elliotte is a multimedia journalism major at Indiana University Southeast and was our graphic design intern. Quinn Fitzgerald is a multimedia journalism major at Franklin College and was our writing and photography intern. Aimee Jones is a English and film double major, with a specialized business major in marketing, at Queens University. Aimee was our editorial and digital marketing intern.

6. A new issue of Today’s Transitions hits the stands this month.


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7. Today’s Transitions magazine is targeted to those in later living situations and also those looking for caregiving options. We just launched a new website at!

PLAN A BIG VACATION If you need to go on a big trip, don’t miss Megan Seckman’s description of her family vacation to California (page 68). Here she is at the family’s first stop in San Francisco.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



WAY TO GO WOMAN! Finalists

We had a large number of nominations for Way to Go Woman! Our winners are featured starting on page 59. But we wanted to include quotes from the finalists, women we will be featuring at some point in the future. 8. “I am not overly concerned with getting credit or being in the limelight, and enjoy mentoring others and sharing my skills with them.” — Shelly Bringardner, associate with Terri Bass Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty 9. “I do feel it’s been beneficial for our kids to witness the growth of our company: They have learned some life lessons about adversity, work ethic, and dedication by sharing space with our home-based business” — Brigid Flood, Mercy Works Louisville Senior Care / Owner 10. “I am passionate about getting to work with clients directly to help support improving their mental health and overall well being as well as training students to go out into the world to competently do the same.” — Dr. Norah Chapman, Associate Professor and Director for the Center for Behavioral Health at Spalding University School of Professional Psychology

11. “I take great pride in the fact that I started a dental practice when others told me that Louisville was a ‘saturated market’ for dentists. I started with zero patients and now have a practice of more than 4,000 patients.” — Mary K. Shields MPH, DMD, owner, Dentist, Triple Crown Dentistry 12. Her goals? “Continue to grow my practice and find the perfect work, life balance. Expand my family. And currently I am actually working on starting a second business of an at-home bakery making custom decorated sugar cookies.” — Laura Steffen Kerns, owner and optometrist, East End Eye Care. 13. “It takes time, dedication, and a lot of no’s however, if you stick to the basics and consistency you will be able to succeed.” — Dolly Rivero, owner and founder, Elite KY Homes


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Purchase tickets at

14. “I wish I was given advice on all the fine lines of legality, meaning knowledge on budgeting, taxes, and inventory. The thought of owning your own business is so exciting but keeping all your affairs in order is a must!” — Cuita Robinson, owner, We R Family Entertainment 15. “Anyone who knows me, knows that I have this passion to help small and black-owned businesses. I am trying to convey a message that there are so many awesome local businesses that we need to support more.” — Tiandra M. Robinson, Lead Counselor, Educational Talent Search (KentuckianaWorks College Access Center 16. “I am actively trying to make our community a more inclusive environment by serving as a connector and building relationships amongst people!” — Heather A. Singleton, CFRE, System Director, Events and Community Outreach, Norton Healthcare 17. “I have never been a big risk taker by nature, but I was metaphorically at a place in my life where I had to fight or flight.” — Jamie Warfield, Recruitment Director, Waffle House

18. “I set 5, 10, and 15 year goals for myself, which gave me focus to meet small, attainable goals that add up to big life changes and successes. I’m proud that I was able to turn my life around when I felt like giving up…” — Jamie Ostermeier, Senior Catering Sales Manager, Louisville Marriott Downtown

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019



22-27. JOIN US

Some Louisville Trivia

Since this is our Celebrate Louisville themed issue, we found out some of Louisville’s mystifying mysteries from Tony Dingman, program specialist at the Frazier History Museum.

for these events we are partnering with because they are part of our mission!


Sept 11 | 100 Wise Women Keynote speaker is Wendy Lea, chief entrepreneurial advisor, Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership. *You can also sign up for next month’s October 22 speaker, Victoria Russell.

Photo by Melissa Donald

Sept 12 | Twisted Good Happy Hour Raise money for Twisted Pink and celebrate with Breast Cancer Survivors at Oxmoor Center. $20 donation gives you access to the whole reception.

Louisville stands where it does because of the Falls of the Ohio. The Ohio River had only one impediment to the passage of early flatboats in its entire length (981 miles). It’s the Falls of the Ohio that caused travelers to have to stop and traverse past them. This led to Louisville’s first settlement location.

Main Street Louisville is one of the largest and finest cast iron districts in the country. When walking down Main Street, notice the brick sidewalks and how some bricks are laid at right angles to the main pattern. These lines of bricks lead directly to the cast iron facades.

mThe widest point on the Ohio River is near the Falls, but via the 14th Street Railroad Bridge, it is also the narrowest obstacle to navigate. At the time it was built, the 14th Street Railroad Bridge was high enough for steamboats to pass under and was the longest bridge in the United States.

21. I MAY HAVE LEFT LOUISVILLE, BUT IT NEVER LEFT ME. After 20 years of living in perpetual sunshine, I was feeling sunburnt. The daily grind of Los Angeles was grinding me down. I’d get in my car and mentally prepare myself for being cut off in traffic. Maneuvering through crowded stores I’d hold my 4-year-old too close, wondering if anyone would create space for us to pass. I felt invisible. Sure, there were aspects of LA that I loved: I loved that I’d met my husband in LA. I loved that I’d started a family in LA. I loved that Colin Firth had smiled at me in LA. For me, though, I never found an ease to living there. That’s when I realized that spending a lifetime in the City of Angels might not be for me. Each time I’d come back to Louisville to visit my family, I felt like I could breathe. I could relax in the gentleness of the scenery and the considerate people here in my hometown — people who let my son and me pass in crowded shops. I felt seen. I may have left Louisville, but it never left me. That’s when I realized I wanted to come back and move my son closer to his grandparents. When LA friends ask me “Why Louisville?”, I tell them this story: A week after we’d returned to Louisville, I was out buying dog food. The man at the counter offered to carry the oversized bag to my car for me. Not being accustomed to that level of kindness from a stranger, I burst into tears. I’d come home. — By Tonilyn Hornung, who wrote our Loving Louisville feature on page 10.


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Sept 14 | Bike to Beat Cancer Grab your bike and help us raise money for Norton Hospital Foundation. Sign up at foundations. Sept 21 | American Cancer Society Gala Join us at the Omni and raise money to fight cancer. Buy tickets at Sept 23 | 5th Annual Women in Sports Honors Support female athletes at the Mellwood Art and Entertainment Center. Register at Sept 25 | Annual Women4Women Luncheon Get Inspired at the Annual Women4Women Luncheon — read more about the featured speaker on page 36.

Don’t Miss the BIG FOUR ARTS FESTIVAL on September 7 & 8, at Waterfront Park

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


TAKING A LEAP! By Gioia Patton/Arts Insider Photo by Melissa Donald

“Ballet has been in my heart since I could walk — a whisper telling me to dance. I have followed that whisper my whole life. It is my voice, my soul. It soothes that ache inside that pounds and pleads to be heard. Ballet is a love, and love makes you leap.” — Annie Honebrink-Menser The Arts Insider couldn’t help but wonder how Annie Honebrink-Menser was adjusting, after having read these farewell remarks to the Louisville Ballet during its last production of the 2018-19 season, Cinderella. It was Annie’s final production after nine seasons as a company member. In February, the Fort Mitchell, Kentucky native married Louisville native Keith Menser, and last month the 27-year-old moved to Provo, Utah, to be reunited with her husband, who’s finishing his medical studies at Brigham Young University. Today’s Woman: When at 18 you embarked upon a professional career as a member of the Louisville Ballet (being its youngest member for a few years), after being with Cincinnati Ballet as a trainee during your last two years of high school, what were your goals? Annie Honebrink-Menser: (laughing) “My goal at age 18 was just to get a contract…a job with a ballet company. Ever since I began my career I never imagined myself still dancing past my 20s. I actually married another dancer when I was 22, and had expected to begin having children after a year. But the marriage was a brief one, so I didn’t know what my future was going to be.” TW: What was your first Louisville Ballet role? Honebrink-Menser: “In the corps de ballet of Giselle.” TW: First role in The Nutcracker? Honebrink-Menser: “In 2010. I was ‘the Bear.’ I was cast as Marie in The Nutcracker the following year at age 19 (playing the role in the first matinee), and then played her every year since with 2018 being my final time. I’ve been dancing The Nutcracker since I was 2 years old…dancing along with the movie version in my childhood living room, after laying out costumes and performing all the roles. So being Marie for Louisville Ballet’s Nutcracker was quite literally a dream come true…cheesy, but true!” TW: Favorite Louisville Ballet roles? Honebrink-Menser: “Pas de deux in Western Symphony, Fairy of Gaiety in Sleeping Beauty, Spring Fairy in Cinderella, Marie in The Nutcracker, and The Rite of Spring (choreographed by Adam Houghland).” TW: How did you meet (your husband) Keith? Honebrink-Menser: “I had met his sister Whitney in church, and we’d become good friends. And in 2017, she said ‘my brother is coming home for the summer from Utah where he goes to school (studying public health, with the hope of becoming a primary care doctor). I think you two should meet.’ And after one year of long-distance dating we became engaged in the summer of 2018.” TW: When you got engaged did you realize it would involve leaving your ballet career at the age of 27? Honebrink-Menser: “We knew that from the beginning…from the time we got serious in what had become a long-distance relationship. And even taking Keith out of the equation, I had started looking forward to other things I wanted to be doing with my future beyond dancing. So the timing


September 2019 /

“It’s bittersweet to leave dancing. It’s such a huge part of who I am, and has greatly impacted the person I am today.”

worked out very well. And even though he now only has one more year of school left, I knew by the time we became engaged that 2018-19 would be my final season with the Louisville Ballet. As much as I love dancing and always will, I was just ready to do other things.” TW: What are your career pursuits now? Honebrink-Menser: “I love to write! I always thought I’d write novels and fiction. But in 2016 I had the opportunity to do a lot of research on and write the piece celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Louisville Ballet, and it broadened my perspective. I realized I enjoyed writing nonfiction as well, enjoying the research aspect of it. But I have a couple of novels that I have a lot of work put into that I would like to eventually do something with.” Upon the couple’s eventual return to Louisville, in addition to working on her novels, Annie’s plans include “working on getting my college degree, and teaching ballet.” Something she’s also really looking forward to one day is “becoming a mother!” While packing her belongings to join Keith in Utah, Annie says, “I felt a little bit like I felt after high school…a ‘we’re doing this!’ excitement, like when having a career in ballet was my dream…my passion. It’s a little scary jumping into something new. But it’s exciting. And I’m gonna go for it. “Ballet is a strange, beautiful, and difficult world. The process of seeking perfection has taught me to never stop seeking, growing, and becoming. I can always find more to give, and I will carry the lessons I have learned in the studio and on the stage into my next stage of life.”

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


CELEBRATIONS Photos by Naomi Ruth Photography


his past May, Stefanie Villajuan and Michael Whitpan had a small and intimate Friday night ceremony at a family friend’s property with their immediate family members. They followed the ceremony with a brunch reception on Sunday morning at the Ice House for 100 guests. “The entire look [for the reception] was completely different from the ceremony look. I wanted to go with a more dramatic look for the event,” she says. The reception was brunch-style, along with Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, along with the bride’s favorite brunch item — donuts. The bride’s favorite memory was exchanging private vows. “The vows read during the actual ceremony were different than what was read in private between the two.” Stefanie’s dress fit her personal style of “elegant, but boho” and was light and comfortable for their outdoor wedding. She wore custom-made earrings from the Philippines and a pearl necklace from the groom’s family, gifted by the groom’s mother.

THE DETAILS Ceremony Site family friend’s property in Borden, IN Reception Site The Ice House, Louisville Photographer Naomi Ruth Photography Videographer White Owl Weddings Coordinator friends of bride Flowers Bloominous Wedding Flowers Ceremony Dress Dreamers & Lovers, Torrance California Ceremony Accessories headpiece, Etsy-blueorchidcreations; earrings, Oakk and Stone Reception Dress BHLDN Reception Accessories headpiece, BHLDN; shoes, Kate Spade; earrings and bracelet, Bettie Jane Jewelry Ceremony Food Custom Foods Catering, New Albany, IN Ceremony Dessert cake pops and brownies, Sweets by Morgan, Jeffersonville, IN Ceremony Drinks Costco; Total Wine Reception Food Crushed Ice Catering, Louisville Reception Dessert donuts, Nord’s Bakery; crepes, Crushed Ice Catering Ceremony and Reception Music played on an iPod through Bluetooth speaker; equipment for reception, Doo Wop Shop Décor purchased from a friend, borrowed from a friend, or rented from The Ice House Rings Koerber’s Fine Jewelry, Inc. Stationery Etsy-cardsetcetera, printed at Staples Makeup and Hair Celia Striegel and Allison Peck, friend of bride


September 2019 /

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woman / September 2019


Profile for Today's Media

Today's Woman September 2019  

The Loving Louisville and Way To Go Woman! Issue

Today's Woman September 2019  

The Loving Louisville and Way To Go Woman! Issue