Inspired: Summer 2020

Women Celebrating Women

The word inspire is defined as the act of filling someone with the urge or ability to do something, and here in Chattanooga, we have no shortage of incredible women who motivate those around them day in and day out. Whether they intentionally set out to be a role model or random acts of kindness are simply in their DNA, these women are making the world a better place. Read on to learn more about the individuals who encourage others to be the best version of themselves told by those they inspired most.

Photography by Emily Long

 

Stephanie Sinkfield with her inspiration Beverly Muse

inspired: Stephanie Sinkfield  |  inspiration: Beverly Muse

 

My husband, Gerald, came home 16 years ago and told me he had met this wonderful silver fox at church. After meeting her, I realized I had met a dear friend and mentor for life.

Beverly Muse is the epitome of a Renaissance woman. She is beautiful, wise, and brilliant; she has a calm demeanor and a magnetic personality. Bev, as we call her, has a vast background that includes working for the Chattanooga Police Department for more than 25 years, a licensed insurance agent for more than 15 years, an aquatics aerobics instructor for the City of Chattanooga, an avid cupcake baker, and a fur collector. And, she is the coolest mom of two amazing young men and the Gran Mama of three children.

What I love the most about Bev is her zest for life. She embraces each day with an energy that people half her age have. She is a fashionista and wears a signature spiky hairstyle that proceeds her. Bev is my friend, confidant, cheerleader, and mentor. An old African proverb says, “A friend is someone you share the path with.” I am delighted our paths crossed some 16 years ago!

 

“An old African proverb says, ‘A friend is someone you share the path with.’ I am delighted our paths crossed some 16 years ago!”

 

 

Heather Sveadas and her inspiration Cory Phillips

inspired: Heather Sveadas  |  inspiration: Cory Phillips

 

When I met Cory almost 12 years ago, she and I were juggling the demands of multiple young children after moving to a city where we did not have family. As our friendship grew, so did our family sizes, and it was only days after we each gave birth to our last children that Cory asked me the question that changed our friendship forever.

“I want to run a half marathon. Do you want to sign up for the race with me?” Cory asked. We were both postpartum, and I thought that was crazy! “Why in the world would you want to run 13 miles?” I questioned. “Because I have my health, and I can,” she replied.

That was 10 years ago. Cory and I trained together for 13.1 miles that first year because she would not let me quit. Every year since, we return to the same place to run another 13.1 or 26.2 miles, and each year more inspiring women join the “run journey.” Thank you, Cory, for pushing me to cross my first finish line and for the years of great memories. There will be a day when we cannot do this, but today is not that day!

 

“Thank you, Cory, for pushing me to cross my first finish line and for the years of great memories.”

 

 

Lynda Minks Hood and her inspiration Linda Moss Mines

inspired: Lynda Minks Hood  |  inspiration: Linda Moss Mines

 

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.”  – Nancy Rathburn

Anyone who knows Linda Moss Mines knows that she is a genuine, inspiring person. I have witnessed firsthand how she has inspired many students through her years of teaching, her volunteer work as the Hamilton County Historian, leading the Board Authority for Erlanger Health System, establishing the Medal of Honor Heritage Museum, numerous years supporting and now leading the Chief John Ross Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, plus much more – all while being a caretaker, standing beside her husband during a most difficult time in their lives.

For almost a year, she would live in Nashville to be with Tony while he was undergoing treatments for cancer. But she never lost faith, and she inspired everyone around her. Even with the diversion in her immediate path, she visibly demonstrated the faith, love, courage, and grace that accompanied her each day. She remained steadfast and faithful to her family and the work she embraces, all while staying positive. Linda deserves to be recognized, and I am honored to celebrate my friend.

 

“She visibly demonstrate(s) the faith, love, courage, and grace that accompanied her each day.”

 

 

Jenifer Amato and her inspiration Jennifer Shaughnessy

inspired: Jenifer Amato  |  inspiration: Jennifer Shaughnessy

 

From a young age I knew I wanted to start my own business. The only problem was I wasn’t sure what that business was going to be. So, there was a period of about 10 years where I tried out different business ventures only to realize they weren’t the best fit. When most people were shaking their heads at me for attempting yet another business, that wasn’t the case with my friend Jennifer Shaughnessy.

Jennifer and I met our freshman year of college, and she’s been a supportive, caring, and inspiring friend ever since. While others were advising me to give up, she was encouraging me to continue pursuing my dream. Today I own a small business that I absolutely love, and I never would have made it this far without Jennifer. She helped me paint the walls and hang shelving and décor; she brought me coffee or lunch on long days; she acted as a sounding board for my ideas. Not only does she take the time to support and be there for others, she also runs her own successful business – her strength and her drive to succeed inspire me daily! I will continue to be thankful for her friendship for years to come. HS

 

“She’s been a supportive, caring, and inspiring friend … While others were advising me to give up, she was encouraging me to continue pursuing my dream.”

 

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