November Member Spotlight
St. Henry Catholic Church
I wear many hats and have held various roles in broadcast, print and web.
I'm a business owner and writer when I'm not managing our household composed of a wonderful husband of 18 years and four coon hounds.
What you should know about me:
I enjoy meeting, introducing and connecting people. Every person has a story to tell and I love to hear their stories so they would feel included, accepted, appreciated and loved. I hate for people to feel alone and isolated in this world.
I have found neuroscience to be fascinating. My current podcast addiction is the Huberman Lab.
Why you joined NCBWL:
After attending a meeting as a guest in July of 2015, I was encouraged to join a committee to help with the Pearls of Wisdom fundraiser. I totally enjoyed getting to know the wonderful ladies of the league. As a business owner, I felt I needed to connect with women that support, uplift and empower other women; and NCBWL was the perfect haven to meet amazing women with the same strong Catholic Christian faith and shared values.
Owner/CEO of Tanzu Skincare
TANZU, an all-natural handmade skincare line. Our mission is to provide quality products and service and to give God the glory.
What you should know about me:
First, I do not enjoy talking about myself. I let my actions speak for me and allow others to decide how they experience me. Those who feel they know me best have described me as creative, hardworking, forth right, tenacious and loyal; one who faces life challenges with grace and courage. I would agree. However, above all else I am a child of God, who in the evening of my life enjoys learning about my Lord and Savior. I enjoy learning, hiking, gardening and quilting.
Why you joined NCBWL:
Honestly speaking, initially it was to be able to participate in the Vendor Fair. It soon became a desire to be in service.
St. Ignatius of Antioch
Case Manager/Short Term Assistance
Catholic Charities of TN
Degrees in Social Work and Early Childhood Education
What you should know about me:
I am not ready for retirement! For the past 18 months I have been immersed in disaster relief and have a deeper sense of how our lives can change in seconds.
Nashville has become an adopted home town over the past 24 years since moving here to join the Nashville Predators' organization. My son teaches at Indiana University and we have a orange tabby named Max!
Why you joined NCBWL:
I was invited years ago by Tricia Casa Santa who still inspires me to connect more with our community. I am also the beneficiary of Catholic education through high school and credit my parents' example of faithfulness and fun in helping with our group's activities. The work of Catholic Charities can also be aligned with our mission
Spiritual Life Chair
Currently DRE at Holy Rosary Catholic Church and soon to be IT trainer at VUMC.
Marriage and Motherhood
What you should know about me:
I will soon be moving to a new industry and position at Vanderbilt while pursuing a master's degree. I am married with 10-year-old twins. My Catholic faith is extremely important to me and my favorite church activity is teaching RCIA. When I am not doing church things, I am traveling with my family (also not during a pandemic) and knitting or crocheting.
Why you joined NCBWL:
I joined NCBWL to meet other business minded Catholic women to get to know some ladies outside of my parish circle.
"I love helping people improve their health, feel their best and live the life of their dreams by making lasting changes in what they eat as well as supporting their health through the power and scientifically proven benefits of using essential oils every day."
Paula Antonini’s mother died at the age of 55 from a stroke, and her mom had also died of a stroke. So, she set out trying to figure out how not to do that! “After I retired from the corporate world at 64, I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York to learn the real deal about food and health. From there I became a Certified Health Coach in 2008. In 2014 I discovered essential oils and realized they were a good fit with my philosophy of eating real food and using natural solutions. So, I've been educating people about living a healthy lifestyle through food and oils for 5 1/2 years now,” Paula said.
Paula works as a Platinum Wellness Advocate with doTERRA, an essential oils company and works with people all over the world.
“I have a geographically diverse team in the US, England, Australia and several other countries. I love helping people improve their health, feel their best and live the life of their dreams by making lasting changes in what they eat as well as supporting their health through the power and scientifically proven benefits of using essential oils every day. My goal is to achieve the rank of Diamond in 2020.”
Paula was a vendor at the 2019 NCBWL Business Expo last year and felt the welcoming spirit of the organization. She is new to the Nashville area and joined the league to meet new like-minded people and expand her connections and new friends. “I like the energy of the group and have already made some great friends!”
She said she has gained clients among the league membership and looks forward to referrals from the networking opportunities provided by NCBWL.
“I'd love the opportunity to do an educational presentation about the benefits of essential oils for the group,” she said of her future goals as a member. “I love doing classes - in homes and as Lunch 'n Learns for companies.”
Paula grew up in Bowling Green, KY. She attended St. Joseph School for 12 years. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a major in Russian Studies and earned a master’s degree from Western Kentucky in French/Education. She has lived in many places, including St. Petersburg, Russia for 2 years, where she launched the Tupperware business in the 90's.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to use my Russian,” she said. “I've been married to Bill for 54 years. We have 3 children: Mark and his family live here in Bellevue, which is why we relocated here. Gini and her family live in Southern California. Eric and family live in Lake Oswego, Oregon. We have 7 grandchildren - two in college now!”
Shelley Heile was a stay-at-home mom at the time when she decided to start her own business with Thirty One Gifts, a monogram, embroidery and gifts company.
“I was initially just thinking Thirty One Gifts looked fun, but I was skeptical because it was direct sales. I had a lot of common misconceptions,” Shelley explained. “I realized very quickly -- ten years ago -- that this “fun” with Thirty One Gifts, could be something more. I rose to the highest level of Leadership in Thirty One in 2011 and have been honored in many ways. I have represented Thirty-One Gifts on Capitol Hill with the Direct Selling Association, asked numerous times to facilitate conferences and seminars, earned many gifts! Thirty-One was the perfect vehicle to use my skills from my prior professional life and life with more flexibility as a Mom.
Besides helping other women reach their goals such as earning income or just having time with girlfriends, Shelley now has her own mobile boutique and gift shop.
“I love it! My immediate future goals are always centered around how to make life better for other women and myself! We can’t pour from an empty cup! I set a goal each year to be completely finished with Christmas shopping by December 10th (wrapping, too) so that I can really be present during the season of Advent. There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate the season. It makes the wait for Christmas a joy and not a hassle. That’s my immediate goal to help others do the same.”
Shelley was invited to a vendor event at St. Henry where she heard about the mission of NCWBL.
“I just knew it was right up my alley! I volunteer at St. Matthew with the Religious Ed program (middle school 7th and 8th grade Group Leader) and I have two sons who have been/currently educated through Catholic Schools. To be able to assist in fundraising for girls is always an honor,” she said. “I feel like anything that encourages me to grow as a Catholic woman is a win/win in business and life.”
Shelley grew up in a small town in Kentucky and converted to Catholicism.
“It seemed God just kept putting Catholic friends and roommates into my life at every turn,” she said. “I am married to cradle Catholic, Doug (20 years!) and we’ve been at St. Matthew Church for 17 years. We have two sons. Grant is 20 (Father Ryan ’18) and Griffin is 13 (attends Christ the King) and Molly, the best ten-year-old Golden Retriever on the planet.”
Lisa O’Neill-Sullivan returns for her second term as the second Vice President of the Nashville Catholic Business Women’s League overseeing the programs at monthly meetings.
Lisa is a veterinarian in small animal practice at Animal Care Center of Brentwood, which she co-owns with her husband. She runs her own business as an independent distributor for Neora anti-aging skin care and wellness.
“I've wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 8 years old,” Lisa said of her career calling. “I was attracted to Neora by my own results as a customer, and by the positive culture of the company. For 35 years I have enjoyed serving my veterinary patients and their owners. In a similar way, I serve my Neora clients by helping them to solve problems.”
Lisa was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Atlanta. She moved to Nashville as she was starting college. “My husband and I met in vet school, and after several years as associates in other practices, opened our practice together in 1991,” Lisa said. The couple have three children. “Our oldest is in inventory allocation at Tractor Supply's headquarters in Brentwood, one is heading to vet school in the fall, and our youngest is a junior at UT.”
Of course, as veterinarians, they also have pets: two dogs and three cats. As you can imagine, Lisa stays very business. She said her faith keeps her grounded. “I try to ask for God's help daily in my work,” she said. “When I remember to bring Jesus into what I am doing, things always seem to work out better!”
“I joined NCBWL several years ago when I started my Neora business. It was so different from my veterinary career, I realized I needed to get out of my shell and network with other women in business,” she explained. “What I have found in NCBWL is a wonderful support group of women who uplift me and are a constant example of service to others.”
Lisa works to book speakers for monthly NCBWL meetings in her role as second vice president. She said she enjoys looking for interesting speakers and programs to the meetings, and “serving in any other way that I can.”
She has booked Michele Johnson, co-founder and Executive Director of the Tennessee Justice Center, as the July guest speaker; Sister Mary Agnes, Aquinas College president, as the August speaker; and Bishop Mark Spalding as the October speaker.
You work in a small business, tell us about your business and what drew you to your career?
Chantilly Belle is a family owned small business. We are three generations of female entrepreneurs with over 80 years of history in the fashion industry. Our mission is to bring the quality craftsmanship and artistry we’ve developed as an atelier into the retail fashion experience. These are the different types of clothing we offer (from everyday to your special day, there’s a Chantilly Belle creation for everyone):
Virage – Tailored wardrobe essentials structured with ease and the feel of casual luxury
Ensembles – Multi-functional dresses and separates perfect for styling groups such as bridesmaids, dance teams and show choirs
Prestige – Fashion that makes memories of life’s special occasions from prom and pageants to galas and weddings
Why did you join NCBWL?
I learned about the organization through a friend’s posts on Facebook. I did my research and realized that I wanted to be part of this fellowship and great cause. We need more women empowering women and helping young girls prepare for the future through education and spiritual mentorship.
What excites you about the growing business community in Nashville?
Nashville is becoming a melting pot of cultures and professions. We definitely see the impact of big companies that are moving headquarters and opening up locations in Middle Tennessee. But what really excites me is the wealth of support that communities are giving to small businesses. Not a day goes by that I see a friend post about their new shop or restaurant. These are people taking chances to make their dreams come true.
How do you want to be a role model for the young women for whom we provide scholarships?
I have been blessed enough to go to Catholic school from kindergarten through college. But I didn’t really appreciate that until I was out on my own figuring out what adulthood is all about. I want to be there for these young women. If they ever want to learn from someone else’s challenges, I’m happy to share. I want my experiences to teach others because maybe, just maybe, that will make navigating this crazy stressful world a bit easier.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Manila, which is in the Philippines. The population is over 90% Catholic. It’s an archipelago in south east Asia and its location makes it a hub for traveling between east and west. Because of that, I was able to grow up around people from different ethnicities and backgrounds.
Can you share with us about your family, education and any other experiences you would like to share.
I come from a tight-knit family. I have 3 sisters, 2 daughters and 2 nieces. My dad and husband have been surrounded by women! Although I live far away from my parents and sisters now, I’m lucky that I get to talk to them often and text even more.
Lynne spent 30 years in various corporate communications roles: PR, marketing communications, and employee relations for such companies as Honeywell in Minneapolis and Vought Aircraft/Triumph Group in both Dallas and Nashville.
“Though I enjoyed working in the corporate world, I left it to oversee the construction of our third Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery,” Lynne explained. “My husband managed the build-out of our bakeries in Nashville and Franklin, and he needed me to take the lead in Murfreesboro.”
“I never envisioned being an entrepreneur when I was growing up; it’s something we decided to do when my husband was in between jobs and needed to make a living for our family,” she said. “What a blessing! We created and co-own four local Burger Republic restaurants (TripAdvisor named it a top 10 burger restaurant in the nation last year based on customer reviews!) along with the three bakeries. Most of my days are spent marketing and responding to emails. You’d be shocked by all of the donation requests!”
Lynne, who is full of life and arrives at most NCBWL leagues with one of her delicious Nothing Bundt Cakes in tow, said her life motto is “Live while you’re alive!” When dealing with customers in her bakeries and restaurants she tries to always have an attitude of gratitude.
Lynne grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota, the fourth of six children. Her 91-year-old father, who doesn’t take any medications and drives himself to church each week, is still living in the same farmhouse where she grew up.
“The land was homesteaded by my ancestors who came to America after the potato famine occurred in Ireland,” she said. “My dad grew soy beans, field corn, sweet corn and peas. He also raised pigs. I spent my summers pulling weeds and picking up rocks out of the fields...dreaming of a day when I could work in air-conditioned comfort.”
Lynne and her husband Jeff married in 1986 and have two children: Jack (26) and Katie (24), both of whom live and work in the Los Angeles area. Jack works for a firm that specializes in voice recordings, primarily for the video gaming industry. Lynne said he’s currently working on the new Elder Scrolls game. Katie works for a firm that excels in geo-targeted advertising. “Yup, those annoying pop-up ads,” Lynne added.
Lynne and Jeff lived in Minneapolis until a transfer took them to Dallas in 1999. They moved to Nashville in 2006 for Jeff’s job and they plan to stay. Lynne joined NCBWL about a year and a half ago after reading an article about the group in The Tennessee Register.
“As an entrepreneur, I need to connect with various women’s groups to network and find support,” said the St. Henry parishioner. “This organization is a perfect fit! I love how we rally around each other and the causes that are near and dear to our hearts.”
She is looking forward to getting to know her responsibilities and duties as president-elect.
“I want to serve with integrity and do everything that’s expected of me,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to getting to know all of the board members better.”
Patricia Vance is a broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Woodmont Realty and the newly elected recording secretary for the NCBWL.
“I believe my success lies in the fact that I listen to what my clients’ needs and wants are, and I treat people the way I want to be treated – with honesty and respect,” Patricia said of her successful career working with buyers and sellers in Middle Tennessee. “I want to be their trusted advisor for life.”
Patricia grew up in Nashville, thus has seen a lot of change in and around the city over the years.
“I love it,” she said of watching her hometown become the “It City.” “There is so much to see and do. One can find anything that fits his/her interests, either in or not far from the city.”
Patricia joined NCBWL a few years ago for several reasons.
“I always enjoy meeting and getting to know people. I like to learn about them and what they do. I also wanted to do something to help my faith journey grow,” she said. “I have been so blessed with those I have met and gotten to know thus far.”
Patricia is married to “a wonderfully faith-filled man” with whom she has two children.
“We have a son, 22, who loves Ninja fitness and loves working with youth. We also have a daughter, 24, who teaches preschool special education and truly wants to see them grow. I’m thankful for how they bless me.”
Patricia said she is looking forward to serving on the board and learning and growing her faith further through this service.
“I also look forward to offering my time to help the growth of this wonderful community and the outreach ministries we are supporting.”
Teri Hasenour Gordon
Teri Hasenour Gordon will take over as president of the Nashville Catholic Business Women’s League in April after serving as vice president for two years. She is a practicing attorney, is married and the mother of two grown sons and is working on her MBA but finds time to devote energy and creativity to the NCBWL.
“I saw an announcement in the St. Philip church bulletin,” Gordon said of how she found out about NCBWL. “I wanted to join an organization of like-minded women and couldn’t imagine a more compatible group than Catholic business women. I jumped right in and never looked back.”
Teri grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, as the youngest child in a restaurant family, which served people in Louisville for more than 50 years. She is much younger than her siblings – she has five nieces ranging from age 61 to43. Her brother died in 2017 at the age of 80 and her sister still lives in Louisville. She broke out of the family restaurant business when she worked for the local police department one summer in high school.
“I worked for a special division of the local police department,” she said. “There was an attorney who was a consultant and he would have me type abstracts of cases that were of interest to the department. I found it very interesting and would read all I could about the cases. This piqued my interest in the law.”
After graduating from Vanderbilt in 1977 with a business administration and history degree and failing to find jobs that piqued her interest in the same way, she enrolled in the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She graduated in 1982 and is admitted to practice before the state courts of Kentucky and Tennessee, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts and the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Her solo practice focuses on creditor’s rights as she has extensive experience in financial matters as a former attorney for Sovran Bank, Nations Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“My clients are mostly small businesses, financial institutions and individuals who loan money,” she explained. “I also write wills and powers of attorney and help start-ups organize and prepare business agreements for them.”
Never content to sit still, she is currently “slowly” working on her MBA.
“My future goal is to retire from the practice of law and possibly teach or work part time for a nonprofit or business. I don’t like to be idle.”
She taught as an adjunct professor of Business Law and Communications at Aquinas College. She is also a member-at-large on the Tennessee Economic Council for Women. Serving as president of NCBWL will also keep her busy for the next two years.
“This has been a wonderful group for which to be associated. The women are warm, genuine and filled with the Holy Spirit,” Teri said. “The group is interested in supporting each other but also looks to the world beyond with a charitable heart. I have met many caring individuals who I am proud to call friends and can’t imagine my life without them.”
“The events carry out the mission of the group. They are fun and entertaining but have a business and charitable purpose. My favorite event is the visit to the convents at Christmas time. I realize how blessed we are as Catholics to have such dedicated women in our midst.”
Jennifer Vedral-Baron is the Health System Director at the VA’s Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. As CEO, she is responsible for the management and administration of 4300 employees working in two hospitals and 19 community-based sites of care across Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
“Currently, we serve over 100,000 Veterans with over 1.5 million clinical encounters each year,” Vedral-Baron said of the system. “This is my second career and thus I expect I will finish out my work life in this position. I am honored with the opportunity to do so.”
Jennifer began her career in the Navy as a Nurse Corps officer (Ensign) in 1986 after finishing her BSN program.
“My dad was a 30-year Navy Veteran and was such an inspiration to me. He and my mom raised all four of us to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy, to love our country and to somehow always be a positive influence on our communities,” she said. “In the image of my dad, I wanted to be a patriot, serve my country and be able to make a difference.”
Jennifer is the fourth child and youngest in her Navy family. Her father retired when she was five when the family was stationed in Jacksonville, FL, which became home for her. After joining the Navy, she moved to Long Beach, CA for her first Naval tour. There she met her husband, also a Naval officer serving on the USS Missouri, and married in 1989. Her husband eventually separated from the Navy and became a Merchant Marine officer, serving as ship captain for several merchant marine vessels across the globe. He retired from the Merchant Marine in 2013 and now works as a Maritime Transportation Officer with the Navy’s Military Sealift Command in Norfolk, VA. He travels home to Arrington on weekends. Her daughter, Kelsey, was born in 1990 and had the great opportunity to live all over and learn new cultures while meeting new friends.
“She grew up to be a very adventurous young woman able to meet friends easily,” she said. “After graduating from college, she worked as a Professional Staff member on the U.S. House Veteran’s Affairs Committee (HVAC) where she impacted several legislative actions improving the lives of Veterans. Currently, she serves as the Military and Veteran Legislative Assistant for Senator James Lankford (R-OK). I am so very proud of her accomplishments.”
Jennifer met Kathleen Pohlid in her professional role as our government legal counsel. While getting to know each other, they both realized they shared the Catholic faith. Kathleen invited Jennifer to NCBWL.
“I then did my research and realized this is a great opportunity to meet other professional women (especially given I am new to the area) who share my values,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed the meetings/dinners thus far –disappointed I missed the big fund-raising event in September as I was out of town—next year, I do hope, eventually my work schedule will be less frenetic and I can participate more actively.”
Jennifer also has two English bulldogs, Maximus and Maggie, who are her best friends!
Member Kim Hoover was inspired to earn her history degree at her first NCBWL meeting. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I attended my first NCBWL meeting at the invitation of Peggy Hunt in 2008. The speaker was Steve McCarthy, history professor at Aquinas College. He mentioned during his talk that Aquinas was offering a history degree starting in the fall,” Kim said remembering her first visit to NCBWL. “I started that fall and finished my bachelor’s degree at Aquinas in 2012 with a History major, and a Business Administration minor. Teri Gordon was my Business Law professor!”
“So NCBWL played a part in me finishing my bachelor’s degree. Fast forward 9 years to 2017, and Debbie Lassiter invited me to a meeting. I had worked with Debbie on campus. Debbie, Peggy and Teri were women I think a lot of, so I joined.”
Kim is the database administrator at The Dominican Campus where she manages the data lists of donors, the alums, parents, grandparents and friends of the campus. She helped at last year’s luncheon and also helps Debbie with things like mail-merge and other database tasks.
“It was very rewarding to know that some young women would be able to attend Catholic high school because of our hard work,” Kim said.
Kim grew up in Hazel Park Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Her husband, Rick, was transferred to Knoxville, Tennessee in 1990. His family is from Overton County, TN, so moving to Tennessee was coming home to Rick. The family moved to Franklin in 1992 and has lived there since. Kim has four grown children, three sons and a daughter. They all live in the area. She also has Sam, her 19-month-old grandson. She is a devoted Predators fan and attends St. Philip.
Connie Allison grew up in Nashville, taught at St. Pius X and St. Ann before becoming a full-time, homeschooling mom. She majored in elementary education at Vanderbilt, and later earned her law degree (J.D) from Nashville School of Law.
"I wish I could say that I was drawn to law for lofty reasons, but as my children grew, I realized I needed another challenge in my life, and I chose law school over other graduate schools," Allison said. "I am extremely fortunate that I truly love my work so much, because my decision wasn’t really that well thought out!"
"I began my legal career in litigation (courtroom work), with a primary focus in family law. I have always loved the feeling of being able to rescue people in unhappy situations, help parents have more time with their kids, and help prevent my clients from being taken advantage of,' she said. "However, litigation and especially family law can be extremely stressful. I returned to law school two more times, earning one LL.M in Taxation and another LL.M in Business transactions."
She still takes a select few family law cases, but today her practice is mostly focused on trusts and estate planning, tax planning for individuals and businesses, IRS negotiations, contract work and business consulting.
Allison was invited to join NCBWL by her long-time friend Cora Newcomb and attended the open house at Debbie Lassiter’s home.
"I enjoyed the friendly, kind, and welcoming women I met there so much. It is difficult for me to make the monthly Wednesday meetings in Nashville traffic, but I have loved every meeting I have attended," she said. "The sense of community in our church and within NCBWL is important to me; community was a big part of what attracted me to the Catholic faith when I was 21."
Allison has three grown children who are now in Nashville, Indianapolis and St Louis. She lives with a snobby elderly cat, and a very large two-year-old rescue dog who attends doggie school frequently and still has to be bribed with treats whenever she has company.
Lisa Link has a photographer’s eye, a teacher’s heart and business woman’s mind. Those characteristics led her to launch Keepsake Portraits by Lisa in 2014.
“I got the photography bug and my first good camera from my mom and eventually took over her title of official family photographer,” Lisa said of her introduction to photography. But her career began in the classroom not in the dark room.
She was born in Kansas City and lived there until her father was transferred to Nashville when she was in the eighth grade. She attended St. Henry School for one year and went to Father Ryan High School. After attending Auburn University and getting her master's degree at California State University at Northridge, she settled in the suburbs of Atlanta and lived there for 25 years working as a teacher and becoming a wife and mother.
“Once my daughter was born, my love of taking photos of her turned into taking photos of neighbors and friends which I continued as a part-time hobby while teaching full time. When I moved back to Nashville in 2014, I ‘retired’ from teaching and officially launched my photography business. “
“I am a natural light photographer who specializes in fun and relaxed senior and family portraits. I also offer headshots and event photography.
I enjoy capturing portraits that will become treasured keepsakes for years to come,” Lisa explained. “One of my future goals is to partner with other small business owners to offer a complete senior experience including hair, make-up and a new outfit for seniors who may not be able to afford professional portraits.”
She joined NCBWL this year because she “loved the idea of networking with and being around other like-minded women.”
“I have been impressed with the variety and quality of speakers at the monthly meetings, loved participating and helping plan the first Expo and am looking forward to attending my first Fashion Show, Auction and Luncheon,” she said.
Lisa is married to Eric, a Father Ryan classmate, whom she got back in touch with after attending her 25th high school reunion after her divorce.
“We hit it off immediately, dated long distance for five years, until we got married in 2014 and I moved back to Nashville. I love being back in town with my mom, my sister and brother and their families.”
Lisa and her husband attend Holy Rosary Catholic Church where she is very involved as a CCD teacher, lector, Eucharistic Minister and member of the Parish Council. In her spare time, she volunteers for Book'em and Cottage Cove Urban Ministries on a weekly basis and is on the board for the Nashville Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association, an adviser for the Kappa chapter at Vandy and just took on the role of Publicity Chair for the NCBWL.
Karen McCoy is the chair of the 2018 Pearls of Wisdom Luncheon this year. She joined NCBWL in December of 2017 and has jumped right into the action. We wanted to let all the members get to know Karen a bit more with this spotlight profile.
"After growing up and graduating from college in Upper Michigan, I joined Caterpillar Inc. I worked about 35 years, mostly in several manufacturing facilities in Central Illinois as a cost accountant and then did mergers and acquisitions while traveling the world," Karen said.
"One of my last assignments was a 6 Sigma master black belt at Cat Financial here in Nashville. That’s when this mid-western girl was introduced to wonderful southern living."
After being transferred back to Illinois, she decided to retire and move back to Tennessee.
"I have been blessed with three wonderful children and two amazing grandchildren. My husband, Larry is also retired and we just finished building our home in College Grove last year," she said.
"As I became more acclimated to the area, I was looking for a way to get involved and my good friend Donna Adams introduced me to NCBWL," Karen said. "I really thought the group was fun and I loved their dedication to education and women in business. And most important it was a Catholic group!"
"I found the member meetings a way to meet women from all around Nashville and continue learning. Then, last year I was invited to the luncheon and really saw the group in action," she said, adding that she was hooked at that first event. "I really enjoyed the auction and wanted to be a part of it this year. I hope this year will be fun for all as we already have some unique and fun auction items."
Karen said the group working on the luncheon this year is amazing.
"They are fun, dedicated to Catholic education and willing to get the job done! I want everyone to be part of the luncheon this year and look forward to working with y’all!"
Barbara Esteves-Moore grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, and attended Catholic schools from grades 1-12. She graduated from Cabrini High School, founded by Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, in 1988 and attended Boston University and the University of New Orleans for her undergraduate studies. She holds a bachelor of arts in mass communication. She started her career as a print journalist working in newspapers in Louisiana and Tennessee. She spent 8 years as a writer for The Tennessean covering Williamson County schools. She was given the Williamson County Task Force Against Domestic Violence media/press award in 2003, The Tennessean best headline news feature in 2002, the Gannett Recognition of Excellence award in 1999 and the Louisiana Press Association Awards: Gibbs Adams award, 1994; best news story, 1995; best special section, 1996.
In 2005, she became director of communications on The Dominican Campus. She spent 12 years on campus working with Overbrook School and St. Cecilia Academy helping to establish both schools' alumni magazines, design new websites and oversee all the marketing efforts.
In 2017, she started her own marketing and communications firm, Two Roads Communications, to help companies, organizations and individuals grow and improve their marketing and communication efforts. She provides professional writing, website design and content management, social media planning and management, as well as traditional marketing and public relation services.
She is married to Jay Moore, director of communications for the Tennessee Health Care Association and a realtor with Crye-Leike. They have a 16-year-old daughter, Emily, who graduated from Overbrook School in 2015 and is currently a junior at Father Ryan High School. They are members of Holy Family Catholic Church. They live in College Grove with their Beagle, Rudy, and two horses, London and Dusty.
Cindy Hinton Church
Cindy Hinton Church was used to having people tell her she had “missed her calling” as a comedian. One day, it occurred to her that if she was still living and breathing she could rectify the “missed calling” situation. In 2011 she enrolled in comedy writing and performance classes at Rik Robert’s School of Laughs at Zanies in Nashville. She immediately found her comedic voice and has not stopped performing since.
Shortly after the comedy classes, she began an ill-advised experiment to determine how much stress one woman could handle in a brief period. Cindy has moved 3 times in 5 years, winding up in Gallatin, TN. She has battled health issues and saw the demise of a 36-year marriage. During these stressful times writing and storytelling became a welcomed haven from real life.
Spending almost 25 years as an army spouse living in South Korea, Germany and exotic south Alabama gave her a stiff upper lip, a backbone and disdain for authority.
Cindy is a 2002 graduate of Austin Peay State University completing her degree as a non-traditional student with a BS in Public Relations.
She is mother to son, Caleb Church of Seattle, Washington; and to daughter, Jennifer. Jennifer and husband Neal Harris have produced two of the most adorable sons who lovingly call her GaGa.
Cindy is an active member of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Hendersonville where she is in her second year as a facilitator for Surviving Divorce.
"It's an exciting new ministry that will bring hope and healing to those Catholics who have experienced the pain and loneliness of a broken marriage," Cindy said.
She has been a member of the Nashville Catholic Business Women’s League since 2013 or maybe 2014 as she would have to check the records. She is a member of The Christian Comedy Association and is a Kroger Plus card holder.
In April 2016, she appeared onstage at Tennessee Performing Arts Center as a member of Listen To Your Mother cast reading an original story. In April of this year, she will participate with 350 writers from around the country at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop on the campus of the University of Dayton, Ohio.
Cindy is also known to break into her comedy routine for random unsuspecting strangers and once on a moving bus.
Catherine Herro is a research and recruiting associate for The Human Capital Group. HCG is a retained executive search firm for clients all over the country. She has been there a little over two years.
Before starting at HCG, she worked in television production as a Production Coordinator for music programming, game shows, and reality shows. She claims Western Kentucky University as her alma mater and Murfreesboro as her hometown.
Catherine married her love, Joey, in May 2016. In her spare time she loves to read, exercise, go to the movies, craft, cook, spend time with her family and friends, and eat cheeseburgers and fries. She is a volunteer with the Make a Wish Foundation, the Helping Hands committee at Holy Family Catholic Church and board member of Mission Honduras.
Lily Ayala Berlyn
Lily was born in New York after her parents fled Cuba and grew up in Miami. She attended Catholic elementary and high schools and is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in Advertising and a minor in Spanish.
Lily is a successful fundraising professional with more than 26 years of experience. She currently does part-time consulting but she most recently worked at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lily previously served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at The Dominican Campus, overseeing fund-raising, alumni relations and marketing efforts for Aquinas College, St. Cecilia Academy, and Overbrook School; and as Vice President of Community Counseling Service (CCS), an international fundraising consulting company. Lily’s work helped raise more than $350 million for her client’s projects. One of her projects, which is what brought her to Nashville in 2002, was the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia’s campaign to renovate and expand the Motherhouse.
Lily and her husband, Mark met here in Nashville and married at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. They moved to St. Louis in 2008 but are very grateful and excited that they had the opportunity to return to Nashville this past March. Lily and Mark share their home with three rescue Beagles. They are members of Christ the King parish. Lily is a member of the Leadership Council at the UMSL Honors College, just joined The Colonna Club and is looking forward to participating more with the Catholic Business Women’s League.