Thursday, December 28, 2017

December Activities

We started the holiday season in late November by decorating the Brentwood Country Club, followed by our luncheon on December 5 with vendors for shopping and our special speaker Joan Betros and a fashion show of her Middle East garments modeled by our members and one member's daughter.

Then several of our members made a outing to Cheekwood.

Monday, November 20, 2017

November, 2017 Program Speaker

Secretary of State Tre Hargett was unable to attend our November meeting and sent Mark Goins as a replacement.  Mr Goins heads the State of Tennessee Division of Election as the Coodinator of Elections.

We were delighted to learn about the elections process in Tennessee.

Mark Goins, originally from La Follette, TN, a graduate of Lincoln Memorial University, with his J.D. from Regent University School of Law, and a student of comparative law at Oxford University in England, was appointed by Secretary of State Tre Hargett as the Coordinator of Elections on February 11, 2009.  
Mark served on the State Election Commission from March of 2005 to February of 2009.
In addition, during the years of 1996 to 2002, Mark held the office of District 34 Representative in the Tennessee House of Representatives.  During his tenure in the legislature, he served on the Elections Sub-Committee and was selected as the 2002 East TN Development District Legislator of the Year.  Mark recently served as Chairman of the Election Assistance Commission Standards Board and was selected by his peers to represent State Election Directors on the Critical Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council.
Mark is married to Rebecca, and they have two sons, Brody and Noah.

The Division of Elections is headed by the Coordinator of Elections, Mark Goins, who oversees the election process in the State of Tennessee. The Coordinator of Elections works directly with ninety-five (95) local county election commissions, candidates and the public on election related issues.  The county election commissions are appointed by the State Election Commission.  There are ninety-five (95) county election commission offices throughout the State. 
Division of Elections
Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Snodgrass Tower, 7th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

December 5 - Holiday Luncheon Speaker: Joan Betros on "Sharing the World of Sisterhood"

Joan Betros has over 35 years of experience in the media and entertainment field, which has covered every aspect of production. Her medium is Television, Radio, Network News, Live production, Documentaries, and Motion Picture.  Her main areas of expertise are producing and directing family television programming and large, live events.  She has a production/entertainment company (JDB Entertainment, LLC) in Nashville and is currently establishing satellite offices in the Middle East in music, arts, family television programming, and live events with global production.

Mrs. Betros is the Chairman and Founder of FUTURE (Families United Toward Universal Respect), a global, USA based, non-profit that facilitates and organizes international "Sharing the World of Sisterhood" conferences. These conferences promote and educate women on FUTURE's organizational model of volunteerism to create unity of family programs dedicated to the health, education, welfare, and humanitarian aid programs for women and their families nationally and internationally.  She is bringing a "Sharing the World of Sisterhood" conference to Dubai, along with  the East-West Connection - Voices 4 One, a music cultural exchange in October, 2018.

Other experiences in the Middle East include serving as the Director of Women and Children's Family Television programs under the direction of the Coalition Provisional Authority and creating pre-production of indigenous family television programming for the Iraq Media Network.   In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Mrs. Betros was commissioned by the Royal Family and the King Faisal Foundation to produce marketing documentaries.

Knowing how important volunteerism is to the fabric of our society, the Brentwood -Franklin Woman's Service Club is excited to  hear about Mrs. Betros' efforts of promotion in the Middle East and how our area can contribute to her vision of world sisterhood.  

The public is invited to attend:  December 5, 10:30am - 1:30pm.  Cost:  $50   Reservations can be emailed to

Saturday, November 4, 2017

New Members Orientation, Nov. 3

The membership committee members and 4 new members attended an orientation workshop at the Brentwood Library.  We viewed a GFWC video, checked out online resources at the GFWC web-site, GFWC of Tennessee website, and BFWSC website, in addition to discussing club and federation history and structure.

Those who could went to lunch at Amerigo's afterwards...Fun, Friends, and Fellowship!

Fall Donations Trip

Thanks to all who brought donations to our October 3 meeting for The Second Time Around Boutique in Wartburg, TN., operated for the benefit of the Unicorn Fund.  And, thanks to our members who drove the donations to Cookeville and met the Unicorn van.  The proceeds generated from re-sale through the boutique will be used to assist those in need in Morgan and Scott counties.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Volunteer Opportunities

Saturday, Nov 11:  7 - 10am    The events coordinator with Carnton Plantation is wondering if any one would be able to help them out with the water station at their annual 5K  ? They need a couple volunteers to hand out water cups/man the water station and pick up cups/keep event litter-free. All KWB/BFWSC volunteers would be at the 1 water station. Respond to Jennifer via email:  

Models for our December 5 luncheon to model Middle Eastern clothing.  The height range required is 5'4" to 5'8".   A fitting and rehearsal is tentatively planned for Nov. 27 @ Brentwood Country Club.
Email Lisa Ward:

 Are you a football fan looking for volunteer opportunities? SUPPORT THE TENNESSEE ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL by working a stand at Nissan Stadium during one of the following games:
Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (11/05/17)
Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals (11/12/17)
Titans vs. Houston Texans (12/03/17)
Titans vs. Los Angeles Rams (12/24/17)
Music City Bowl (12/29/17)
Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (12/31/17)    Details/registration at

BFWSC Members Volunteer at Williamson County Fair

The Brentwood/Franklin Woman's Service Club had fun at this year's county fair, manning the Keep Williamson Beautiful booth.  Thanks to all who participated and handed out information.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

November Guest Speaker: Tre Hargett, Secretary of State, Tennessee

We are pleased to welcome our Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, as our guest speaker at our November 7, 2017, meeting at the Williamson County Library.

Mr. Hargett was elected by the Tennessee General Assembly to serve as Tennessee’s 37th secretary of state in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017. Secretary Hargett is the chief executive officer of the Department of State with oversight of more than 300 employees. He also serves on 15 boards and commissions, two of which he is the presiding member. The services and oversight found in the Secretary of State's office reach every department and agency in state government.

GFWC and the Brentwood/Franklin Woman's Service Club, as part of our Public Issues Community Service Program seek to

  •  Educate club members and local communities on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship
  •  Use resources, to increase patriotism, pride in heritage, and active community involvement.
  •  Encourage active involvement in the legislation and regulation of issues that affect the world around us.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our October Program

We are delighted to have Col. John Krenson, Executive Director of Operation Stand Down Tennessee, as our Veterans' program speaker on October 3.

Col. Krenson completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and was a project officer at the Joint Forces Headquarters for the Tennessee Army National Guard in Nashville before joining Operation Stand Down within the last year.  He is a 2012 graduate of the prestigious US Army War College where he earned a master's degree in strategic studies and is a permanent deacon at Christ the King parish.

Operation Stand Down Tennessee is the only Veteran Service Center recognized by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  Serving Veterans is their sole focus with 1) a Veterans Service Center, 2) a transitional Housing program, 3) Stand Down Events, and 4) a thrift store.

The GFWC Brentwood/Franklin Woman's Service Club is a proud supporter of Operation Stand Down.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Flag Presentation

Finding that the Williamson County Library, where we hold most of our monthly meetings, did not have its own American flag, the Brentwood-Franklin Woman’s Service Club set out to provide one.  On September 5 @ 10am a formal presentation was be made in the large meeting room, Williamson County Library, 1314 Columbia Ave., Franklin. 

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn's office provided the flag and our club, through the networking contacts of our member Colleen Smith, provided the holder.

Collaboration with Williamson County Arts Council

The GFWC Brentwood/Franklin Woman's Club is pleased to have sponsored  an Arts Council Artist in Residence project at Page High School earlier this year.  Members of the club met Nan Zierden, president of the Arts Council, at Page in August to view the finished mural.

In attendance to view the mural were:  Nancy Deal, BFWSC president, Liz Martin, Pat Grove, Helen Holzen, BFWSC Arts Community Service Area chairman, Nan Zierden, Williamson County Arts Council president, and Gail Miles, BFWCS immediate past president:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Musical Evening at Marilyn's, February 2017

Our wonderful pianist, Marilyn Tolk, entertained us with a story and musical performance in her home.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Veterans' Needs

We support Operation Stand Down TN (OSDTN).  Their on-going needs are listed below.  Members can bring donations to any meeting - next one is Feb 7 at the Williamson County Library.  Members of the public can contact us at email address:

Help us help Veterans in our Community!

OSDTN currently needs:
Travel Size Hygiene Items: toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, sun screen, bug sprayMen’s Underwear: Medium, Large, X-Large, 2XLMen’s T-Shirts: All Sizes
Men’s Jeans: All Sizes
Casual Shoes: All Sizes
Cases of Bottled Water
Coffee, Creamer, and Granulated Sugar
Knit Caps
SocksRain Ponchos
Regular Needs
  • 1G Thumb Drives
  • 4 lb., 5 lb. or 10 lb. bags of granulated sugar
  • Coffee
  • New men’s and women’s underwear
  • New men’s white underclothes style t-shirts
  • New or used sweatshirts
  • New or used men’s and women’s jeans
  • New or used men’s and women’s coats
  • Backpacks for Veterans in Need
    • Items to include: wet wipes, tissues, dental floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, toothbrush holder, deodorant, lotion, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hats, gloves, note pad, pen, comb, brush, rain ponchos, small food items – crackers, small pop-type canned food like beanie weenie, hard candy, granola bars, etc. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Advocacy for Children in 2016

 Our Club supported the Davis House with a donation and a brief promotion of the charity at our December Holiday luncheon attended not only by our members but the members of the public.  The Davis House serves the 21st Judicial District of Middle Tennessee including Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry Counties, coordinating services to abused children and their families in crisis. Their multi-faceted approach supports law enforcement efforts and provides community education focused on prevention and early intervention. As a 501c3 not-for-profit charity, all of their services are provided at no cost to families. The Davis House is a nationally accredited advocacy.

We have been long-term, monetary supporters of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) whose mission is to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children.  Their vision is that every child be in a safe and permanent home.

       And, members made direct monetary donations to GFWC Partner, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

GFWC Signature Project - 2016 Accomplishments

Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention is the signature project of the General Federation of Women's Clubs International.  The Brentwood Woman's Club supports this project by increasing awareness of the fact that Williamson County, TN., is not void of domestic violence.

We annually adopt at least one family through BRIDGES

In 2016 we adopted 2 families and provided Christmas gifts based on their wish list.  We presented the gifts to BRIDGES "Christmas elf" at our December luncheon and heard an update on the domestic violence statistics for 2016.

We were in touch with both BRIDGES and Morning Star Sanctuary, providing them with info on the $1000 Purple Education & Job Grant we had available.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in International Outreach

Our GFWC Partner for International Outreach is Operation Smile

Operation Smile was founded in 1982 when Dr. William (Bill) P. Magee, Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen (Kathy), a nurse and clinical social worker, traveled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates.
What they found was overwhelming. "People pushed their babies at us." recalls Kathy. "They tugged at our sleeves with tears in their eyes and begged us to help their children." In Naga City, approximately 300 families arrived hoping their children would receive surgery, but the team could only treat 40 children. As they prepared to leave, the Magees made a promise they would return to help more children.
They began soliciting donations of surgical equipment and supplies from manufacturers, threw themselves into grassroots fundraising and assembled a volunteer team of 18 doctors, nurses and technicians for their own medical mission to the Philippines.  They helped approximately 100 more patients, but again, hundreds still waited.

They saw the need and Operation Smile was born.

For the last several years our club has collaborated with volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints to sew "smile" dolls, surgery gowns, armbands, no-sew blankets.  In 2016 together we completed 40 dolls, 70 gowns, 90 armbands, 15 blankets, and 3 quilts that we shipped with 47 toys to Operation Smile headquarters and donated funds for 2 surgeries.

On January 20, 2017, we held our 2017 Operation Smile Day and will be reporting its results soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Public Issues

Civic and Social Responsibilities are key components in our lives.  Our Public Issues Community Service area focuses on Citizenship, Military Personnel, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, and Safety and Crime Prevention.  In 2016 our club members accomplished the following:

Members contributed 70 volunteer hours as poll workers in August primary and November general election.

1.       Our Club made a $700 donation to the Joshua Chamberlain Society (JCS), a grass roots non-profit whose mission is to provide long term support to veterans that sustained permanent combat injuries fighting the long war on terror for our nation and long term support to the children of local veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in our service.  JCS Nashville was formed in 2013 and has adopted 2 veterans injured in Afghanistan.  This non-profit raises funds for the benefit of these veterans and there are NO administrative costs.   We made our donation and publicized this non-profit at our May “Step Up – It’s a Charity Affair” luncheon and hosted a speaker from JCS for our monthly program in November.

2.       We collected magazines, paperback books, and past National Geographic magazines at various meetings and delivered to the Nashville VA Hospital in December to re-supply waiting areas with more recent reading materials for Veterans and their family’s enjoyment.

3.       We made a $700 donation to Operation StandDown Tennessee, the only Veteran Service Center in our state recognized by the US Department of Veteran Affairs.  Serving honorably discharged veterans is their sole focus.  There are four major components of OSDN – 1) Veteran Service Center, 2) Transitional Housing Program, 3) Stand Down Events, and 4) a thrift store.

4.   In support of our GFWC Partner, the USO, members made direct monetary donations  in support of our military personnel.

 Our First Vice-President, a retired Army colonel, presented a program on travelling safely in this age of terrorism after the bombing of the Brussels’ airport and provided members with a safety checklist at our April general meeting.

Monday, January 23, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Home Life

Through our Home Life Community Service area we address issues that affect the well-being of individuals, families, and communities such as women’s health, theft prevention, service dog programs, people with disabilities, healthy lifestyles, childcare, and eldercare.  Our projects in 2016 were:

1.   The second Monday of each month (12 months of the year), club members entertained a group of residents at Grace Healthcare, a local nursing home in Franklin, with Bingo.  We collected and supplied small prizes for the winners.  We averaged about 30 residents playing each month and everyone won a prize before the final game ended..  This project promotes cognitive activity, fosters fellowship and friendships, and provides an entertaining diversion from the loneliness felt by many residents.   In the months with special occasions we made the atmosphere festive with center  pieces, colorful beads, stuffed animals and other decorative items associated with that holiday.  This is our longest established project.               

2.       In the Spring and Fall, members collected and transported several vehicle loads of used clothing and household goods to The Second Time Around boutique in Wartburg, TN., for the Unicorn Fund GFWC Mountain Project.  Wartburg is in an economically depressed county in East Tennessee.  The boutique, part of the Unicorn Foundation, sells the items to area residents at a minimal charge and uses the proceeds to fund educational scholarships for area students.

3.       Our club purchased infant items to help supply Joey's Pouch at the Williamson Medical Center for distribution to mothers who have limited resources when discharged from the hospital after giving birth.  In 2016 several of our members attended a tour of the new Children’s Emergency Department and Hospital Wing, which is a large improvement on care for children in Williamson County.

4.       We collected the aluminum tabs off cans and donated to the Ronald McDonald House. 

5.     We presented a donation to GraceWorks at our December Holiday Luncheon event, allowing the designated board member to highlight her organization to the attendees.  GraceWorks, a ministry organized in 1995 by area residents who saw needs in Williamson County that were not being filled, focuses on four areas:  family support, hunger prevention, seasonal needs and educational programs. 

                Several new members adopted GraceWorks for donation of their preferred volunteer service hours.  They assisted in various ways by sorting, pricing, and organizing clothes for sale in the thrift shop and organizing food in the food bank.

        6.    For our major project for Home Life we chose 2 camps for children to support.  One is Camp Horizon.  This is a one week camp for children with cancer.  They stay for the whole week and all their needs are met for medicine and any necessary treatments.  They get to play games, do art projects and activities any child would do at camp.  There is a second week for siblings of these children because sometimes they don’t get the attention they would normally receive.  The cost is $500 per child and we sponsored 2 children.   One of our members personally volunteers during the camp helping the children with their art activities. 

        7.   Members personally made monetary donations to GFWC’s Home Life Partner:  Canine Companions.   Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs.

       8.   Our club made a donation to the local Easter Seals chapter, providing funds for disabled children to attend a summer camp.  Easter Seals is another GFWC Home Life Partner.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Education

1.       Our club continues to raise funds to build our endowment at Columbia State Community College which we created in 2014.  The endowment’s purpose is to benefit the neediest of our local females, be they recent high school graduates or women who are seeking to improve their career opportunities.  We presented our donation this year at our major fund-raiser in May to promote our efforts in education to members in attendance.

2.       We provided a $1000 to Unicorn Fund’s Scholarship program in Wartburg, TN.   In years past we paid our scholarship dollars directly to the college or community college the recipient attended.  So as not to diminish the what the Tennessee Promise scholarship program would pay, we send our donated funds directly to the Unicorn Fund and expect an accounting for how our funds were used to benefit the recipient  directly for out of pocket expenses associated with her college attendance.  Two members attended the Fund’s Scholarship Award Brunch.

3.        We collected “Boxtops for Education” for our local schools.

4.       We collected over 500 books for the GFWC of TN book tree, soliciting from our members, the public, and the Friends of the Brentwood Library.

5.       We publicized GFWC of Tennessee’s scholarship, and GFWC’s Success for Survivors criteria and application via emails and press releases. 

6.       We  offered a $1000 grant to local domestic violence shelters for a survivor who needed financial assistance for education or job training.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in Conservation

      Club hosted Mary Pearce, the executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County for a program in January and learned about a preservation project of the Franklin Old, Old Jail.  Members later attended a tour of the facility and presented a donation, earning a "key to the jail" shown above with our 2014-2016 club president, Paula Uhlir.

In February our club was recognized by the city of Brentwood with an Environmental Stewardship Plaque.

 Assisted the Brentwood Tree Commission with bagging 4000 trees for distribution on Arbor Day at the local schools and library. 

Club hosted a member of the Friends of Radnor Lake at our May fund-raiser and donated $500 to assist them in purchasing additional land for the Radnor Lake State Park.
          Manned a Keep Williamson Beautiful information and activity booth at the Williamson County Fair in August, distributing literature on re-cycling and assisting children with a re-cycling project.

Throughout the year our Conservation CSA chairman attended local Keep Williamson Beautiful monthly board meetings to assist in their plans and report back to our club.  Keep Williamson Beautiful is the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and we seek to collaborate on projects whenever appropriate.

         We picked up litter from our “Adopt-a-Mile” area twice in 2016 with the help of the Brentwood High School Honor Society. 

GFWC's Conservation PARTNER is The Nature Generation.  We receive this charity’s online newsletter and made an online donation.

Having completed the installation of a Butterfly Garden at  Owen Chapel, a local historic church’s public garden, we performed maintenance on 3 separate occasions.

We supported Owl’s Hill, a Williamson County 160 acre preserve whose mission is dedicated 
to education (particularly school-age children), conservation, restoration, research, and species protection with a donation and publicity.  This preserve has a butterfly garden and youth education programs which meet the guidelines of this GFWC partner.

      We announced a donation and introduced Owl’s Hill’s executive director, Margaret Cameron, at our December Holiday luncheon to publicize the Preserve to our luncheon attendees.  We also supported a matching grant online solicitation drive of Owl’s Hill by doing a blast email to all members to which members made additional donations. 

In support of EARTH Day, members read an environmental-friendly book to second graders at Edmondson Elementary school and enlisted their respective promises to promote "reduce, re-cycle, and re-use" practises in their homes.  This Environmental Reading program is a collaboration project with Keep Williamson Beautiful and which also qualifies under GFWC Partner “The Nature Generation” web-site program guidelines.



Monday, January 16, 2017

2016 Accomplishments - ARTS

The Brentwood Woman's Club had another productive year as evidenced in the reports we sent to our Music City District and our state federation:

In our Arts Community Service Area:

GFWC Youth Poetry and Short Story Writing Contests:
(1)     We held a Celebration of Arts reception in January, 2016, for the students with winning poems and short stories submitted for our 2015 local GFWC Youth Writing Contests.  Parents, teachers, and friends attended.  Photos were made for submission to local newsprint and online news outlets.    We obtained monetary awards from a member’s family charitable foundation for each of our winners:  $100 for each 1st, $75 for  2nd, and $50 for 3rd place winners.  Each 1st place poetry winner read his/her entry to the assembly of guests.
                To promote the ARTS in general              
(2)     We contacted the Arts Council of Williamson County to offer our support for the artist internship week for the Williamson County schools.  They were glad to receive our support and we gave the president of the council a check for $400 at our 2016 spring fundraiser luncheon.  They have chosen a resident artist for spring 2017.

(3)     We hosted a Nordic singer, Solveig Leithhaug, at our spring fundraiser who sang and talked about songs of her native Norway.
(4)     We hosted author Andrew Maraniss at the December fundraiser.  He spoke to attendees about his book Strong Inside, a biography of Perry Wallace.  In 1966 Perry Wallace became the first African American basketball player in the SouthEast Conference when he enrolled in Vanderbilt University.  Signed books were sold to interested attendees.

(5) We supported our local high school choir with a $250 donation and hosted them for a presentation of their holiday musical program at our December luncheon event.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Seeking Nominations for Woman of the Year

For the past 8 years the Brentwood Woman’s Club has selected a non-member, to honor as their Woman of the Year.  Nominations are due by February 7 and can be submitted to club via email or mailed to the club at PO Box 964, Brentwood, TN. 37024.  The selected recipient will be honored at our May 2 Step Up:  It's a Charity Affair fund-raising luncheon at the Brentwood County Club.  

The nomination criteria is as follows:

Woman of the Year Award

All nominations must be received by February 7, 2017
All nominees must be residents of Williamson County, Tennessee, or any of the adjacent counties of Davidson, Rutherford, Marshall, Maury, Hickman, Dickson, or Cheatham. You may nominate as many women as you like. Use a separate form for each Nominee.

Submit all nominations via email to or mail to GFWC Brentwood Woman’s Club, PO Box 964, Brentwood, TN 37024.

Your Name:
Your phone number
Your email address: 
Name of your Nominee: 
Nominee’s phone number: 
Nominee’s email address: 
Nominee’s principal occupation and/or area of volunteerism:

Nomination submission should cover the following questions:
Why you have chosen to nominate this woman?

What significant contributions has your Nominee made to Williamson County, the state of Tennessee, or our country on the national scene during the past year?

Highlight lifetime contributions and their cumulative benefits to communities and individuals.
If your Nominee’s community contributions are in conjunction with her occupation, how has she gone beyond what is required in her occupation, so as to contribute altruistically to the community? 

Describe the extent to which your Nominee may have identified an unmet need in the community, met that need, and created new value, or noticeable positive change, as a result of her contributions.
. . .

Prior honorees have been Linda Lynch, City of Brentwood Community Relations Director; Joyce Keistler, Director of the Martin Center; Susan Leathers, prior Editor and Co-Owner Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page and BrentWord Communications; Linda Jackson, Executive Director of BRIDGES; Nancy Osman, community volunteer and Director of Ty2 Foundation, Jennifer Wolcott, community volunteer with the American Red Cross (Natchez Trace Chapter) and the Oasis Center, Vicky Smith, Senior manager, Corporate Social Responsibility for Nissan North America, and Renata Soto, co-founder of Conexion Americas.