Chatter Meet 20 of Chattanooga's most beautiful people [gallery]

Chatter Meet 20 of Chattanooga's most beautiful people [gallery]

April 3rd, 2017 by Mark Kennedy in Chatter

Megan Bales

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Gallery: 20 Beautiful People

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On the morning of one of the Beautiful People photo shoots last month at a modern home on the side of Signal Mountain, model Allison Rattanaxay had taken time off from her studies at Chattanooga State, Devante Williams had paused the hip-hop classes he teaches, and Trent Brockie was on break from his job at The Local Juicery.

"It was important to us to show the diverse kinds of people who make up Chattanooga, but it honestly was something that happened naturally," says Chatter Executive Editor Jennifer Bardoner. "Each of the semifinalists and, ultimately, finalists had something that jumped out to us even from a simple photograph."

While the 20 finalists are unquestionably beautiful people, we avoided the superlative "most beautiful" in the title of this piece.

Why?

The Man Behind the Camera

Dan Henry has been working as a full-time photographer since 2001 when he graduated from the University of Georgia and set out into the newspaper world as a photojournalist. Over the years his assignments have taken him throughout the country and have given him the opportunity to document everything from tornado devastation to celebrity portraits. Dan now resides in the Tennessee Valley, where he works for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and pursues outdoor endurance adventures when he’s not working. To see more of Dan’s recent portrait work visit his website at danhenryphotography.com.

It became apparent during the recruiting for the "Beautiful People" list that narrowing the field to 10 men and 10 women would be highly subjective. Even after it was done, some of the judges thought the second tier of finalists were just as beautiful as the winners. (If you entered but didn't win; please, please enter again next year!)

Most of the Beautiful People are just ordinary folks, despite one Facebook naysayer who predicted Chatter would pick the city's "most influential people."

Or that all the honorees would all be young and blonde.

Nope.

After we spread the word around the city and teased the feature on Facebook, we got more than 350 nominations — mostly emailed photos. Some people self-nominated, others were sent in by friends. Our favorite was a teenage Signal Mountain boy who entered his mom.

We checked in with civic groups, professional organizations, and beauty and fitness businesses, to make sure we cast the net widely. Hundreds had a hand in the nominations. The final judging panel included a professional stylist (special thanks to Splash! salon stylist Bobbie Nations), a marketing expert, a digital media manager, magazine staff and other communications professionals.

Plans are to make the Beautiful People edition an annual entry on the Chatter editorial calendar.

If you are not pictured here, get your photos ready for 2018.

 

TRENT BROCKIE

Trent Brockie

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Trent Brockie

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 26; owner of Local Juice; St. Elmo.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I think it’s very nice and an honor. Although being “most beautiful” is very subjective, I attribute it to a positive and active lifestyle.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Entrepreneur. Endurance athlete. Plant-based. Green juice connoisseur.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Eating clean healthy foods, sweating every day, and lots of yoga. Also, living your highest truth.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Coconut oil is about the only thing I put in my body. Oil pulling is an amazing habit for your teeth and health. (Look it up.)

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Business-athletic.

 

DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Devante Williams

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Devante Williams

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 25; choreographer/coach with D. Williams Dance Co.; South Chattanooga.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I feel honored. There are so many beautiful people in Chattanooga, so I’m grateful to be selected in the top 20.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Artistic workaholic.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

The key is to be yourself, live your life, do what makes you happy. Taking a second to breathe and enjoy the moment will do wonders for your body. Stressing will only take away from you realizing your blessing.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Vintage.

 

ROB HEADRICK

Dr. Rob Headrick

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Rob Headrick

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 52; thoracic surgeon with Alliance of Cardiac and Vascular Surgeons; North Chattanooga.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I’m honored and very humbled … and maybe a little shocked.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

To me, I’m Anita’s husband, dog dad, surgeon and very lucky guy.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Being happy. Every day, I work with some of the best health care professionals around. Every evening, I go home to a beautiful wife and beagles who are trained therapy dogs and keep us on our toes. Growing up in the South, I know how important my roots are. It’s what keeps Anita and me grounded. I’m truly a blessed guy.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Sleep. Lots of sleep.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Happy (and blessed, but that’s two)


JUSTIN ARAGON

Justin Aragon

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Justin Aragon

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 30; creative director at Spectruss; Hixson.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I am not the typical all-American Southern boy, so I am very proud of Chattanooga to recognize a more diversified view on beauty that I confidently possess. As a designer, beauty plays a huge role in all my decisions, and it is very crucial for me to exemplify a reflection of the level of work that I do in how I present myself.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Urban. Minimal. Refined. Boho. Chic

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

When I walk in a room, I want people to look at me and say, “I want to be friends with that guy!” So I think being approachable, highly likable and having a confident yet humble persona with an edge — topped off with a charming, friendly smile — is very attractive!

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

All you really need is a positive outlook in life. Less stress means less frowning and more smiling. Happy people are always beautiful!

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Rebellious.

 

DAVID FILIPPINI

 

David Filippini

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

David Filippini

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 26; musician (drummer), web designer; downtown Chattanooga.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I feel very honored. I feel I’m stealing a place from the real Chattanoogans, since I’m not really from here. I moved here only one year ago. I’m originally from Italy.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Hmm. An accurate one could be “damned artist.” I truly love to be an artist. I dedicated my entire life to music and arts. Being an artist, to me, means having a kind of upgraded perception of reality. It’s great, but I also feel condemned because it brings many more emotional aspects that make everyday life more complicated and intense.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

I don’t see myself as an incredibly handsome man that feels entitled to give advice to other people, but I’d say that taking care of and respecting your body is the key to keep a sane balance between mind and soul. Exercise, cook and eat good food. (Thank you, Italy, for teaching me this!)

OK, I don’t want to lie — I like to take care of my looks, spoil and treat myself, and that’s probably because of where I was born. Italy is the land of style and fashion, so it’s hard not to care when you grow up over there. I love clothes and the good life: “LA BELLA VITA”. If you are happy, you look better, right?

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

SMILE, be happy, be thankful and be good to people. That’s the key! And drink lots of water!

6. Describe your looks in one word…

My look is definitely different, since I’m a foreigner. Lol. I would say edgy; lots of people say Dave Navarro-looking.

 

ZACK GALLOWAY

Zack Galloway

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Zack Galloway

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 25; engineer, model, actor; Red Bank.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I feel very honored. This is the city I’ve had my ups and downs in to become successful. Even in the midst of traveling so often, this is still home.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Entrepreneur. Fashion-lover. Health enthusiast. Foodie. Batman-obsessed.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Most definitely confidence. As long as you are proud to be who you are and what you represent, you will attract the people you want around you.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Limit your sugar intake! Focus on eating more lean meats and vegetables while drinking plenty water to have a well-balanced diet. Healthy eating influences your appearance/lifestyle. It is very true when they say: “You are what you eat!”

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Exquisite.

 

TONY WILLIAMS

Tony Williams

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Tony Williams

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 27; landscaper, home remodeler; Soddy-Daisy.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

Surprised and honored!

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Dad. Air Force veteran. Student. Food fanatic. Music enthusiast.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Staying healthy by exercising regularly.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Smile, and drink a lot of water.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Average at best.

 

KYLE MILLER

Kyle Miller

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Kyle Miller

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 31; entrepreneur, co-owner of Kyle House Fitness; Missionary Ridge.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I am flattered that people consider me to be beautiful, but I’ve never really thought of myself as the best-looking guy in the room, especially when I was younger. What I can say is I’m comfortable with who I am and I hope that’s what people see.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

One of “The Kyles.” Reader of two of the three “Hunger Games” books. Professional wannabe. Social media and communications guy. Oddly obsessed with all things Sylvester Stallone. Lover of cats with flat faces.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

No matter your imperfections or your struggles, you should strive to be unapologetically confident in who you are.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Bros need to keep their hair trimmed up, including those noise hairs, and buy a good daily moisturizer.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Effeminately masculine.

 

HODGEN MAINDA

Hodgen Mainda

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Hodgen Mainda

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 39; executive director of community development at EPB; St. Elmo (the oldest neighborhood in Chattanooga).

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I am humbled and honored to be one of the few chosen. Being beautiful is not only and all about looks, I believe it is more about the way you treat people and working to better your community.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Husband of a beautiful and stunning wife, Amber. Father of two beautiful children, Addy and Ellis. Vols fan. Avid golfer. A person who loves to workout.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Kindness, respect and humility.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Take care of your body, exercise and be healthy.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Bold.

 

CASEY PHILLIPS

Casey Phillips

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Casey Phillips

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 27; Realtor with Keller Williams; North Chattanooga.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I’m appreciative, however I want to be honored for what I strive to give to others.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e. “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Driven. Dedicated. Lover of people.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Radiate happiness and rock a good pair of shoes.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Smile at everyone you see.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Magnetic.

 

MAREN WADDELL

Maren Waddell

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Maren Waddell

1. What is your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 26; student and server; Hixson.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I’m honored! And grateful for the opportunity to promote myself and my passions.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e. “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Aerial dancer with aerial silks. Student of cosmetology. Finder of peace in nature.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Style is something that takes practice, creativity and an open mind. Do A TON of research, find out what you like and how to express yourself.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Sunscreen. All of my lotions and moisturizers and many of my cosmetics are SPF 15. Your future self will thank you.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Fearless.

 

MEGAN BALES

Megan Bales

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Megan Bales

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 36; medical device sales; Chattanooga.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

Surprised, honored and very appreciative.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

I don’t do Facebook. I’m more of an Instagram girl — I love how pictures tell the story.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Like my grandmother Gladys McCamish always said, “Pretty is as pretty does.” I choose to constantly work on the inside, as that’s where beauty is revealed.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Always hydrate and moisturize. And never forget sunscreen! #thesunisnotyourfriend

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Original.

 

KATIE TREFFENSTEDT

Katie Traffenstedt

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Katie Treffenstedt

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 19; works with kids; East Brainerd.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

My friend had told me she nominated me and I thought that was sweet, but I was shocked to get a response back! It made my day, but I think that everyone is beautiful.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

College student. Obsessed with my dog. Loves to travel and eat almost any type of food.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Being happy and taking care of yourself.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Exercise!!

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Unique.

 

KACI CLOWERS

Kaci Clowers

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Kaci Clowers

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 29; mortgage loan originator with SunTrust, marketing exec for TROUVIER web design; Red Bank.

3. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

Flattered! Though I strive to be known for much more than my appearance.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

“Momma” to three beautiful boys. Lover of Christ, music, adventure and laughter. A big kid at heart who enjoys the small, simple pleasures of life. Truly blessed beyond measure.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Personality, humbleness and being true to YOU.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Beauty is a feeling, not something that comes in a bottle. Take a break! Relax! Find your happy place! Take time for yourself; splurge on occasion! Working from within will radiate to the surface.

7. Describe your looks in one word…

Confident.

 

CARYLON KILLEBREW

Carylon Killebrew

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Carylon Killebrew

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 68; artist; Walden.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

My first reaction was disbelief. That disbelief quickly turned to laughter. On closer inspection, after learning that this was not a beauty contest but rather a snapshot of the whole person, I was deeply honored.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

At 68, my profile runs deep! My foundation is Jesus Christ. I am a believer, a wife, a mother, a grandmother of 12, an artist and a seeker of adventure through hiking … also a former fitness professional and marathoner. I’m a homemaker and an exclusive artist for Ballard Design. I’ve been busy!

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

Work from the inside out! Real beauty comes from love, joy and peace from the heart.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Less is more.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Natural.

 

KRISTEN PERSON

Kristen Person

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Kristen Person

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 26; market specialist at Unum; East Brainerd.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

Honored and thankful.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Business woman. Beauty enthusiast. Helpless romantic. Family oriented. Passionate about health and fitness. Warriors fan.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

The key to looking beautiful is feeling confidence; understanding the true meaning behind carrying yourself with style and grace.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Prime your lips at night with one of your favorite skin care oils (i.e., Josie Maran, Tarte Maracuja Oil) then top it off with a lip balm/ointment to achieve smooth, soft, moisturized lips to last you all day long.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Natural.

 

ALLISON RATTANAXY

Allison Rattanaxy

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Allison Rattanaxy

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 23; student, server; Brainerd.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

As soon as I heard that I had been selected for this, I honestly could not believe it. It’s crazy to think that other people thought of me enough to select me for something like this. I feel very flattered!

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Sister. Mother’s favorite. Coffee connoisseur. Sneakerhead. Sports enthusiast. Netflix binge-watcher. Romantic.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

I think the key is genuinely being happy. If you feel good about yourself and who you are as a person then that radiates off of you toward others as well. When you feel good, you look good.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Always always wash your face! When my face is flourishing, everything is flourishing.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Radiant.

 

PAM TARVER

Pam Tarver

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Pam Tarver

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 53; executive assistant; East Brainerd.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

Speechless!

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Mom. Kiki (aka, Grandmother). Believer. Runner. Beach-lover. Always a work in progress.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” — Markus Zusak

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Wear sunscreen every day!

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Grateful.

 

MELISSA SCHWABENBAUER

Melissa Schwabenbauer

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Melissa Schwabenbauer

Age 25; vocalist for the Malemen Showband, portray Disney’s Princess Jasmine from “Aladdin” for Princess Nation; Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

Honestly, shocked! Chattanooga has SO many gorgeous Southern belles!

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

I am married to the best guy and we have a 3-month-old boy and a boxer. The three of them are my whole life! As a family, we spend a lot of our time volunteering at Venue Church. In the rare moments I have free time, you will find my son and I running a trail and exploring outside.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

I think the key to looking pretty is letting your inner light and kindness shine through. You can style your hair and wear makeup all day, but if you have an ugly personality, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

VITAMINS! The No. 1 thing I get compliments on is my hair, which I owe fully to being faithful in my intake of supplements.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Different? No one can ever figure out what my ethnicity is. I have been called Hawaiian, Alaskan, Japanese, Hispanic… I am actually Cherokee Indian and Caucasian.

 

LILA FISHER

Lila Fisher

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Lila Fisher

1. What’s your age, occupation and place of residence?

Age 23; student of civil engineering at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville; from Signal Mountain.

2. How do you feel about being chosen as one of Chattanooga’s most beautiful people?

I was very surprised. I was unaware that my fiancé had entered me into this contest, but nevertheless, I am very grateful! I am honored to represent women from Chattanooga.

3. Give us a Facebook style profile, i.e., “mom, Vols fan, chocolate lover, romantic, lover of life.”

Fiancée. Traveler. Nerdy engineer. Saltwater fishing fanatic. Queso lover.

4. What do you think is the key to looking pretty/handsome?

You look your best when you feel confident. Smile, have fun with your style, and don’t worry about what other people think.

5. Give us a quick personal beauty tip?

Olay moisturizer is the bomb. I use it every night and morning on my face and my skin feels great afterwards.

6. Describe your looks in one word…

Natural.