Girls Inc. honoring 10 women for accomplishments

photo Dorothy Grisham

TEN HONOREES FOR 2015:Darlene Boyd -- loan originator -- Regions Financial Corp.Jo Coke -- WTCI-PBS board member, community volunteerAmanda B. Dunn -- partner, Luther-Anderson, PLLPDorothy Grisham -- agency owner, Allstate Insurance Co.Dr. Everlena M. Holmes -- retired educator, community volunteerStacy Lightfoot -- vice president, college and career success, Public Education FoundationKelly McCarthy -- partner, Easy Designs, LLCMolly R. Seal, M.D. -- Seal, Lawrence and Duke, MDChristie Mahn Sell -- Judge, Division I, Hamilton County General Sessions CourtAmy J. Walker -- CEO and creator, Buy it LocalGIRLS IN HISTORY PROJECTEbony Boston -- Freshman at Chattanooga School for the Arts and SciencesA'Keia Colley -- Junior at Chattanooga Girls Leadership AcademyJestiny Desmond -- Sophomore at Chattanooga Girls Leadership AcademyMacy Hammon -- Sophomore at Hixson High SchoolDessa O'Neal -- Freshman at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative ArtsJasmine Pulliam -- Senior at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative ArtsJahReece Radden -- Senior at Ooltewah High SchoolAareon Reed -- Freshman at Chattanooga Girls Leadership AcademyMaya Thirkill -- Junior at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative ArtsTerri Wright -- Junior at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts

Girls Inc. representatives have announced their honorees for the 2015 UnBought & UnBossed Awards, according to a news release.

The awards honor 10 local women who have made significant marks on the lives of women and girls through their careers or community involvement. The community can nominate any woman who lives in Hamilton County, and then the 10 honorees are chosen by 10 high school-age girls who are participating in the Girls Inc. Women's History Project.

Phil Trammell, chief advancement officer at Girls Inc., said that during the selection process staff remove all identifying information from the applications, so the girls would judge solely based on accomplishments.

"We don't want to make it a popularity contest," he said. "[The girls] look for characteristics of women who have achieved leadership and have given back to the community."

Each girl chooses a woman who resonates with them, and then that woman will mentor the girl over the next year or so. The girls also spend the year learning about the history of women's rights, and each will deliver presentations at the UnBought & UnBossed Awards luncheon in April.

Dorothy Grisham, an exclusive agent for Allstate Insurance, was one of the honorees, chosen by Jestiny Desmond, a sophomore at the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy. Grisham said she was surprised by the nomination.

"It's an honor and what an amazing group of women and, more importantly, an amazing group of girls," she said. "It's really rewarding and such an opportunity."

Another one of the honorees is Stacy Lightfoot, vice president of college and career success at the Public Education Foundation. She said she's excited to get to know better the girl who chose her, A'Keia Colley, who is a junior at the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy.

"I'm just so humbled and honored," she said. "I'm on cloud nine, still."

She said although it's an honor that she'll be recognized at the luncheon, the bigger honor is to be chosen by A'Keia personally.

"The best part about this isn't the recognition from the hundreds of people who will be at the awards banquet," she said. "It's really the recognition I've gotten from the young lady ... who read something about me and said, 'She's special enough for me to get to know.'"

Contact staff writer Hannah Smith at or at 423-757-6731.