Desoto County News

McNary: Honoring the Pillars of Progress: Celebrating Women Leaders in Business and Community

By Loretta McNary

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we take immense pride in spotlighting a distinguished group of women who exemplify leadership, innovation, and community service. 

These women have not only carved niches for themselves in their respective fields but have also made significant contributions to the community, inspiring countless others with their determination and vision. Each has turned possibilities into realities, proving that with passion and perseverance, there are no limits to success. 

Loretta McNary

It is an esteemed honor to present our Inaugural List of Remarkable Women:

Carolyn Michael Banks is the visionary CEO behind A Tour of Possibilities (ATOP), an initiative that shines a spotlight on African American history throughout the Memphis, TN area. Through her leadership, ATOP has become an essential educational resource, providing insight and understanding into the rich cultural heritage of the African American community. 

Miranda Griffin, the dynamic owner of Mir & Company, is not only an entrepreneur but also a creator who champions wellness with Healthy Memphis. Her efforts focus on fostering a healthier community, proving her commitment to improving the lives of those around her. 

Mary Lou Nowak manages to blend HR expertise with her entrepreneurial spirit, providing home care solutions and serving as a living coach. Her multifaceted approach to business and personal development makes her a beacon of guidance and resilience. 

Heather Donaho stands as the CEO of the HDI Group, showcasing her corporate prowess alongside her entrepreneurial spirit by building and selling businesses, marking her as a force to be reckoned with in the business world. 

Kathy Schrader has demonstrated her business acumen by successfully building and selling businesses, and she currently applies her vast experience in managing her husband’s orthopedic surgeon’s office, showcasing versatility and leadership in diverse settings. 

Angela Kidd, owner of Angela Kidd Insurance, stands out for her commitment to educating the public about Medicare, providing vital information and guidance that empower individuals to make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. 

Candace Davenport, founder of Loyalty Volleyball Club, is not just nurturing the next generation of athletes but is also instilling values of loyalty, teamwork, and dedication, proving that sports can be a powerful vehicle for personal growth and community engagement.

Lue Middleton Murray, as a minister, community leader, and advocate, embodies the spirit of service and leadership. Her efforts in advocating for social justice and supporting her community underscore the impactful role of faith-based and community leadership in fostering change and unity. 

Terri Panitz is celebrated not only as an artist but also as the owner of DCI Home, where her designer background infuses creativity and innovation into every aspect of her business, illustrating the power of integrating art with entrepreneurship. 

Laura Waring, a career coach at Lewisburg High School, plays a crucial role in shaping the futures of young individuals, guiding them with wisdom and empathy as they navigate their career paths. 

Cynthia Scales, owner of Cynthia Scales Allstate Insurance, has established herself as a trusted name in insurance, offering security and peace of mind to her clients through her dedication and expertise. 

Pamela Marshall Koons, through the WELLness Network and as the author of “The Art of Forgiveness”, promotes wellness and healing, offering invaluable resources for personal growth and self-improvement. 

Dr. Terrie Savage Reed, President of Alliance Bible College, leads with vision and integrity, providing educational opportunities that combine academic excellence with spiritual growth. 

Melissa Kaye, founder of MKaye Consulting LLC and a life coach, empowers individuals to realize their full potential, guiding them through transformational journeys with her expert coaching and consulting services.

Stacy McCall, as the President and CEO of ServiceMaster, exemplifies leadership in the corporate world, guiding the company with a steadfast commitment to excellence and service. 

Kim Heathcock has made a name for herself as one of the top female entrepreneurs in Memphis, transitioning from owning the top female-owned business in the city to becoming a respected author and entrepreneur, continually inspiring others with her journey. 

Linda White, CEO of FotoStories, harnesses the power of visual storytelling to capture and share compelling narratives, showing us the world through her lens and creating lasting impacts with every project she undertakes. 

Evette Lockett, CEO of Board & Bites and the Executive Assistant at Brown Baptist Church, brilliantly combines her entrepreneurial spirit with her commitment to faith and community service, making significant contributions both in business and in her church community. 

Lucinda Isom, owner of LuShell Boutique, has carved out a niche in the fashion industry by offering unique and stylish clothing options, demonstrating her flair for fashion and her keen business acumen. 

These remarkable women join our growing list of honorees this Women’s History Month, each bringing their unique contributions and stories of resilience, success, and impact. These amazing women live and work in cities all across the United States. Through their ventures and initiatives, they not only achieve personal milestones but also pave the way for others, serving as radiant examples of what is possible when passion meets purpose.

Let’s extend our heartfelt congratulations to these women for their achievements and contributions. Their stories are not just tales of personal success but are blueprints for future generations of women to follow. As we celebrate these leaders, let’s remember that together, we are stronger, and the paths they have paved serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of women everywhere.

Loretta McNary is our Lifestyles contributor. Catch “The Loretta McNary Show” on her channels, including broadcast TV, YouTube, Facebook, her website, and elsewhere.