by co-contributors Erin Breeden and Susan McDonough and sponsored by Charlotte Radiology Breast Services.
We may only be a few weeks into 2019, but this year is already shaping up to be a big one for many of the all-star women in Charlotte. We are excited to present you with the Women to Watch in Charlotte list for 2019. Many of the women on this list were building momentum in 2018 and their energy and creativity is only increasing in the New Year. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish over the months.
Please note this list does not reflect all of the amazing women doing amazing things in Charlotte. It is just a sampling based on reader feedback, research and nominations. Please nominate yourself or your personal heroes in the COMMENTS section below, so all can see and support.
Without further ado, here is our 2019 list of the Women to Watch in Charlotte….in alphabetical order.
Owner and executive pastry chef, Wentworth & Fenn
Samantha Allen is an acclaimed pastry chef receiving accolades such as ‘Best Pastry Chef’ in Charlotte (2017) and was nominated for the ‘Best Pastry Chef of the East Coast Region’ James Beard award in 2016. In 2018, Samantha left her job as the executive pastry chef for The Fig Tree to focus on her business, Wentworth & Fenn, which she opened with her wife, Cassie. Making delectable cakes and other sugary confections, we can’t wait to see the Wentworth & Fenn 1961 Shasta Camper around Charlotte, and, hopefully, a brick and mortar shop in the near future.
Founder/Executive Director, INTech Foundation, Inc.
Khalia Braswell is known as the digital diva. Throughout her career in technology space, Braswell noticed that few people in her niche looked like her–a black woman. It would be this observation that would lead Khalia to create INTech Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire girls, through hosting one-day camps, summer camps, and mini-camps, to fall in love with the technology industry. Things are just ramping up for INTech Foundation in 2019 and opportunities to donate and to volunteer are available to help with the programming this year.
Founder, SPHERE SERIES
Hilary Burt, Professor of Art History and Arts Leadership + Administration at Queens University, formed the SPHERE SERIES in 2017. The SPHERE SERIES is a collaboration of a group of arts leaders, including Jennifer Sudul Edwards, Neely Verano, Kathryn Miller, Jessica Moss, and Liz Faison, dedicated to bringing innovators in the arts together to engage in thoughtful and relevant discussions on how arts and creativity can be a catalyst for social change. Their 2019 schedule of events and discussions have just started to be announced. We look forward to seeing the caliber of programming Hilary and her collaborators have planned.
Dr. Alyssa Daniel, MD, FAAD
Board-Certified Dermatologist and Physician-Owner, Remedy Skin, Hair and Wellness
Dr. Alyssa Daniel is the physician-owner of Remedy Skin, Hair and Wellness. A Board Certified Dermatologist, she created Remedy Skin, Hair and Wellness from her passion for healing and her understanding that treatments are not always one size fits all. Focused on nutrition, environmental triggers and stress management, Dr. Daniel believes in healing from the inside out when it comes to skin health.
Manager, On-Demand Content & Audience Engagement, WFAE
Joni Deutsch joined WFAE in late 2017, and has become the queen of podcasts. At WFAE, she’s helped produce such podcasts as FAQ City, SouthBound, and She Says, as well as host her own music-focused podcast, Amplifier. She recently helped launch the WFAE PodQuest, a citywide search to find the next best podcast to be part of the WFAE lineup. Look for the finalists to be announced and a public vote to be taken on the ideas.
Founder & CEO, Feminist Goods Co.
Lauren Harbury has always had a passion for celebrating and empowering women, and in 2015 that passion led to the creation of Feminist Goods Co. From shirts to onesies to calls for action and blog posts with information, Lauren’s goal is to support and educate women on what is going on at the local and national level.
Lisa Haper took the reigns as CEO of Belk in July of 2016 and began making changes to refresh the established retailer. Those changes included renovations to stores, closing underperforming stores, and additions to the Belk label brands, such as Madison and Belk Beauty. Harper oversaw upgrades to in-store technology, as well as to the website to meet their audience where they are, and often times, that’s their couch.
Hannah Kay Herdlinger
Founder, Thread Talk
Hannah Kay Herdlinger had a picture perfect life, until Super Bowl Sunday 2014. That was the day when the abuse she had suffered behind closed doors at the hands of her husband was exposed after a brutal attack. Hannah Kay launched Thread Talk in October of 2017 as a means to empower survivors of domestic violence. Thread Talk sells soft throw blankets to symbolize comfort and a portion of the proceeds from every sale is donated to help domesticshelters.org fund critical wish list items needed across over 2,600 domestic violence shelters.
CEO/ Founder, SportPort™
Kim Highfield, like many women, would put her cell phone in her sports bra as she worked out. Kim started to become aware of the potential dangers of storing a cell phone close to the body, so the idea for SportPort™Active was born. What started as a sports bra line, Kim designed her products with cell phone pockets to hold the phone, but to also create a protective barrier against harmful electromagnetic frequency, (EMF). In early January 2019, Kim and SportPort announced their initial plans to expand into markets and stores outside of Charlotte.
Executive Director, Latin American Chamber of Commerce Charlotte
The Latin American Chamber of Commerce Charlotte (LACCC) was created to support Latino owned small businesses by offering services in English and in Spanish, eliminating the language barrier that may hinder some businesses. Rocio Gonzalez joined the LACCC as a member in 2004 and through leadership roles, she was hired in 2012 as the Director of Memberships and Resource Development. After assisting with a 300% increase in membership, in 2015 she was the hired as Executive Director. She has continued to grow the membership and the presence of the LACCC in the community.
Principal, Ashley Park PreK-8 School
Meaghan Loftus is the principal at Charlotte-Mecklenburg School, Ashley Park PreK- 8 School, which serves about 500 children on the west side of Charlotte. Loftus joined Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 2008 as a Teach For America corps member and was named the school’s first-year teacher of the year in 2008. She became principal of Ashley Park in 2015. In 2017, Loftus was one of 16 people in North Carolina, and one of two from Mecklenburg County, chosen for the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission, an advisory group created by the North Carolina General Assembly.
Executive Director, League of Creative Interventionists
Jonell Logan is an independent curator and arts advocate dedicated to supporting artists, transforming communities, and creating accessible creative spaces. Jonell is the founder of 300 Arts Project, an arts consulting company, and is the art curator at Advent Coworking. In late 2018, Logan was hired as the executive director of the League of Creative Interventionists. In this role, Jonell has been tasked to oversee the programing of the League to use art and culture to redefine neighborhoods and cities.
Executive Vice President and System Chief of Staff, Atrium Health
Carol Lovin was recently named the Charlotte Business Woman of the Year by Queens University and rightly so. In her role as executive vice president and system chief of staff, Lovin oversees communications, marketing and external affairs with Atrium Health, and that’s only a fraction of what she does. The question is, what will she do in 2019?
Founder and digital literacy program leader, Foundation for Girls
Although she is a high school senior, Shreya Mantha has accomplished more than most people, and she did it all before turning 18. When she was 13, Shreya founded Foundation for Girls, a nonprofit focused on providing care and help to girls in shelters, safe homes, rescue and rehab facilities, and crisis centers. The foundation pairs the girls with “caring coaches” to help with everything from budgeting and leadership to health and their overall well-being. In 2018, Shreya was a L’Oreal Paris Woman of Worth honoree and a recipient of the Princess Diana Award. If this is all while she’s in high school, imagine what she’ll do in college and beyond.
Bernadette Maulion launched Dressed Charlotte two years ago while she was getting her MBA at UNC-Chapel Hill. The concept of Dressed is that, for under $100, clients make appointments for a one-hour one-on-one session to find the perfect outfit to rent for whatever event may be going on. In 2018, Maulion moved Dressed Charlotte out of her home and opened a brick and mortar location. Also in 2018, Maulion unveiled the Crush this Debt podcast outlining how she paid off $70,000 in debt, as part of her Bernadette Joy financial advising venture.
Lindsay Hance McCullough
Architect/Owner, Lindsay Hance McCullough Architecture + Design
Lindsay Hance McCullough established her architecture practice in 2012 in New York City and then relocated it to Charlotte in 2015. McCullough takes on both residential and commercial projects/clients of varying scale and is known for embracing different architectural styles and not having a set aesthetic. It was because of her ability to embrace both traditional and modern design that she was recently featured in the January issue of House Beautiful.
Artistic Director, Charlotte Ballet
Hope Muir became artistic director of Charlotte Ballet in 2017. Muir’s first season as artistic director included the introduction of eight new choreographers to the company, the creation of five new ballets, two ballets making American premieres and the newly established Choreographic Lab. Since she came to Charlotte, she’s worked to introduce us to the classic and modern sides of ballet. She’s keeping Charlotte on its toes and we are looking forward to see what she has in store for this season.
Founder/ CEO, Urban Skin Rx
After suffering from acne and other skin conditions as a child, Rachel Roff knew she wanted to embark on a career in skincare. As she continued on her career, she noticed the lack of education and services available for treating darker skin tones. This observation would turn into her founding of Urban Skin Solutions Medspa & Weight Loss Center in 2006.After treating thousands of patients, Roff realized she wanted to help women in other states and across the globe. She launched Urban Skin Rx Clinical Skin Care Collection. The products are available online and at various stores.
After embarking on a health and fitness journey that included weights, Chrystal Rose began having trouble finding clothes that would fit her new athletic build. Realizing that there weren’t clothes out there for women with muscles, the idea for Rebellia was born. Rebellia is an online clothing destination for the athletic woman with the focus on pretty and strong not being mutually exclusive. Clothing has been bought locally, nationally and internationally.
Natalie and her husband, former Panther’s running back Jonathan Stewart just announced their purchase of local digital platform CharlotteLately (sold by Courtney Schramm, one of our recently recognized entrepreneurs). Ex fashion financier and an instagram presence in her own right, we can’t wait to see what Natalie has in store for one of Charlotte’s best local photography driven media platforms. (photo credit: TheFaceMagazine | @thefaceclt via @nataliestewart1
Jenise Tate, MBA
SVP, Global Talent Acquisition, Head of Women’s Strategic Initiatives, Bank of America
Jenise Tate serves as senior vice president leading Women’s Strategic Initiatives for Bank of America. A dynamic leader, in her current role, Tate’s primary responsibility is to effectively execute on talent acquisition strategies that create awareness and opportunities for women to join the bank, with the primary focus on experienced professionals who map to senior and executive roles.
The Amazing Women of Thrive Carolinas: Dr. Nancy Palermo Lietz; Dr. Amy Fletcher; and Dr. Tracy Larson
Founders/Doctors, Thrive Carolinas
Recognizing that there was a level of care missing in Charlotte, Dr. Nancy Palmero Lietz, Dr. Amy Fletcher, and Dr. Tracy Larson are three of the four founding members of Thrive Carolinas. Thrive is a collaborative health center comprised of physicians, dieticians, health coaches, yoga and fitness instructors, massage therapists, aestheticians, and medical personnel. The hope is that the Thrive concept will serve as a progressive model of healthcare throughout the region.
Founder/Editor, Unpretentious Palate
Kristen Wile is the former food editor and editor of Charlotte magazine. In 2018, she left her role as the youngest editor of Charlotte magazine to launch Unpretentious Palate. Unpretentious Palate is a subscription digital publication covering food and drink in Charlotte. Kristen delivers thoughtful restaurant reviews, articles on those within the food and beverage industry, and even offers her concierge services. Have a question on where to take that picky eater in your life? Kristen has the answer. Will this be the evolution of food coverage in Charlotte? With Kristen at the helm, we think yes.
If you have a four-legged family member, you will probably do anything to keep your pet happy and healthy. An animal lover all her life, Meggie Williams and her husband, Sebastian, moved to Charlotte and started Skipper (formerly Waggle Co.) as a dog walking and pet sitting service. The concept took off and Skipper has expanded locations to cities including Charlotte, Dallas, Austin and, in 2019, Meggie and team will add Atlanta to the roster. Where will she take Skipper next?
Sarah Wrenn is a food, dessert and event planning dynamo in Charlotte. She works with Jim Noble’s restaurants and his Noble Food and Pursuits company, including his Copain Gatherings event business. For her event planning, execution and menus, Wrenn has been featured in Garden & Gun and Charlotte Magazine. But why would she stop there?! Wrenn is also the owner of WRENNHOUSE where she makes cakes and other delicious sugary goodies for customers.
This series, brought to you by Charlotte Radiology Breast Centers, highlights the Charlotte Women making our community the vibrant, growing, exciting place they’ve been calling home for 50 years. At Charlotte Radiology, they know women, seeing over 100,000 women a year for their breast health needs. The professionals at Charlotte Radiology believe the key to beating and detecting breast cancer early is annual mammograms starting at age 40.