Press Releases

EWI is often in the press. We try to collect each press release as well as publication here. Other ways to keep up with EWI news include 'liking' our Facebook page and subscribing to the monthly Connect newsletter.

  • Thursday, January 14, 2010 8:04 AM | Anonymous
    The Jean Bradford Memorial Scholarship at UTC was given $11,000 raised by philanthropic efforts from the Executive Women International Chapter of Chattanooga.

    With a record amount of students attending UTC this year, this scholarship provides students who are single parents the opportunity to attend school for a college degree.

    Chuck Cantrell, vice chancellor of university relations, said, "Single mothers represent a growing segment of the college population, and the stress of being a single mother and a college student can be overwhelming."

    "This scholarship offers not only financial support to a deserving candidate but also gives a psychological boost," Cantrell said.

    Becca Love, a senior from Chattanooga, said she believes that with the continuous increase in tuition and the economic slump, having more scholarships designed for single mothers would be beneficial for those who qualify and have a desire to improve their well-being. She believes that any type of aid made available will encourage anyone with the willpower and or desire of finishing a degree.

    While single parents are eligible for any other scholarships UTC offers with appropriate qualifications, Love said she thinks this scholarship will entice more single parents into pursuing a degree.

    Lindsey Black, a sophomore from Memphis, said, "This scholarship is good for single mothers because it is less stressful and it will help with financial obligations, while allowing those students to focus on their studies."

    Cantrell said that the Jean Bradford Memorial Scholarship was established by Executive Women international Chapter of Chattanooga, an international organization of women professionals, with the request that preference be given to a female student who is a single mother.

    He said the Educational Opportunity Center on campus will help to identify candidates and present recommendations to the local Executive Women International chapter.

    More Executive Women International information can be found at www.executivewomen.org.
  • Wednesday, December 23, 2009 8:02 AM | Anonymous
    The Chattanooga Chapter of Executive Women International (EWI) recently presented a check for $11,000 to Chancellor Roger Brown in support of the Jean Bradford Memorial Scholarship at UTC.

    Established in 1996 by the Chattanooga Chapter of Executive Women International in memory of former member Jean (Mrs. James) Bradford, the Jean Bradford Memorial Scholarship assists women, particularly displaced homemakers and single mothers, returning to school in order to enhance their career opportunities.

    “As a single mother who went back to school to get her degree, I am very passionate about helping other single mothers get their degrees,” said Chattanooga Chapter EWI President and CEO, Luken Holdings, Lynda Childress. “Furthering their education enables them to feel good about themselves and provide a better living for their children. It teaches their children the importance of education and hard work.

    “EWI gives money annually for scholarships. In the past 12 years, we have given over $133,000 dollars in support of single mothers furthering their education. We believe that literacy and education are vital. We are very proud to give scholarship money to UTC, as it is our own Chattanooga local college that gives so much to, and is so important in, our community.”



    left to right:
    Kristina Smith, First Tennessee Bank
    Nancy Harrison, Law Offices of Lloyd Stanley
    Denise Reed, The Concierge Level, LLC
    Jody Hermann, Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc.
    Lynda Childress, Luken Holdings, Inc.
    Chancellor Roger Brown, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
    Tanya English, Miller & Martin PLLC [no comma]
    Margaret Browning, Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company United
    Barbara Verhine, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
    Catherine Cox, Lyndhurst Foundation
    Kerry Smith, State Farm
  • Friday, October 30, 2009 9:00 AM | Anonymous
     Front Page

    Nancy Harrison, paralegal at the Law Offices of Lloyd Stanley, will serve as secretary-treasurer for EWI's national organization through September 2010. She's the first member representative from Chattanooga to serve on the corporate board.

    Chalk up another first for Chattanooga: a local member representative of Executive Women International has been elected to the organization's national board of directors. Nancy Harrison, paralegal at the Law Offices of Lloyd Stanley, will serve as secretary-treasurer for EWI's national organization through September 2010.

    Harrison was elected in September during an annual meeting in Louisville, Ky., attended by more than 400 businesswomen representing 63 chapters from across the U.S. and Canada. The event combines professional and leadership development for EWI's membership with philanthropic efforts in which the organization is involved.

    As secretary-treasurer, Harrison will oversee communications within EWI and handle the organization's treasury. She says her most enjoyable task to date has been communicating EWI's congratulations to the presidents of chapters celebrating milestones, such as Denver, which recently observed its 55th anniversary.

    “It's my privilege to write those letters and then call the presidents to find out what they're doing to celebrate,” Harrison says. “And for me, my position is all about establishing those personal connections and making communications from the corporate level accessible.”

    To be placed on the ballot for a corporate position, a member representative must have served as president of her local chapter. Harrison was president of EWI of Chattanooga during the 2006-2007 year. She faced over a dozen candidates in her bid to become secretary-treasurer.

    Harrison will serve with directors from Michigan, California, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Canada, including incoming president Louise Anderson of Jackson, Mo., who represents Maurice H. Joseph, Inc. In a press release, Anderson says her vision for the coming year involves placing EWI at the forefront of professional organizations dedicated to fostering the core values of EWI, which are “connections, careers and community.”

    “As our membership is facing economic challenges, company restructuring and personal priority shifts, EWI will help them meet these challenges,” says Anderson. “We are at a crossroads like many organizations; however, our commitment to our mission to embrace new ways of connecting our membership, to enhance our members' careers and to encourage their community project goals will lead us toward the path of growth in the coming year.”

    Harrison can personally testify to the benefits of her affiliation with EWI, as she met Stanley through an EWI connection after she'd been laid off and was looking for work. “We have a reputation for being well-trained professional women,” Harrison says, “so when companies are looking for someone to hire, they come to us.”

    A paralegal currently earning a degree in organizational management from Covenant Quest, Harrison says she's grateful for the support Stanley has given EWI. “I can't thank him enough for his belief in me and in EWI. None of us would be here without our employers, so we try to do everything we can to bring value back to our firms.”

    Other highlights of the conference included the distribution of $84,500 in scholarships to high school juniors, non-traditional students in scholastic transition and EWI representatives continuing their education. (Harrison is a two-time winner of the latter endowment.) In addition, EWI presented The Allstate Corporation with the Lucille Johnson Perkins Award, the highest honor EWI gives to its member firms, and named EWI of Chattanooga the winner of the Tillie Award, which recognizes a chapter for its membership growth.

    “A lot of people are talking about the economy and how there's a fear that organizations like EWI might falter or fail to grow at the same rate as when the economy was better,” says Harrison. “But it's during a weak economy that membership in EWI achieves its greatest value because you need a large network and strong connections to continue growing your business.”

    EWI of Chattanooga, which has over 60 member firms, grew 53 percent in 2007 and 44 percent in 2008. “We just keep growing,” Harrison says. “When people come to our meetings, they pick up on our energy. They quickly recognize the value of being a member.”

    Harrison is just as enthusiastic about the potential for personal professional development through EWI. “I've gone on record as saying one of the biggest benefits of EWI to me is the mentors I have, connecting with women who have more experience in business and developing relationships than I do,” says Harrison. “I like being able to pick up my phone and ask someone how an e-mail sounds, and I like knowing I'm going to get an honest, professional response.”

    Established in 1938, EWI is a non-profit organization with more than 2,500 member firms and 2,800 representatives in major cities through the U.S. and Canada. EWI brings members together to promote member firms, enhance personal and professional development, and encourage community involvement.

    As an organization for networking and leadership development for business professionals, EWI offers professional development through its Academy of Leadership, scholarships, online learning and philanthropic initiatives, with a focus on literacy.

    For more information on EWI of Chattanooga, visit ewichattanoog.org.
  • Monday, October 19, 2009 8:58 AM | Anonymous
    Executive Women International® (EWI) recently hosted more than 400 Business Women representing 63 Chapters from across the United States and Canada in Louisville, KY.

    The annual event combines Professional and Leadership Development for EWI's international membership with Philanthropic Efforts the organization drives throughout the year.

    Election of the 2009/2010 Board of Directors is one of the items of business that transpires during the annual meeting.  The Officers and Directors installed were:

    President: Louise Anderson, representing Maurice H. Joseph, Inc. and EWI of Jackson, MS

    Vice-President:  Sharon Bennett, representing Lifetouch and EWI of Cincinnati/Northern KY

    Secretary/Treasurer: Nancy Harrison, representing the Law Offices of Lloyd Stanley and EWI of Chattanooga

    Membership Director:  Renea Callery, representing Detroit Edison Credit Union and EWI of Detroit/Windsor

    Education/Professional Development Director: Darlene Banogon, representing North Island Credit Union and EWI of San Diego

    Expansion Director:  Karen Skirten, representing TravelMasters and EWI of Calgary

    Marketing/Public Relations Director:  Lisa Stokes, representing B.R.P. Entertainment and EWI of Harrisburg, PA

    Advisor to The Board:  Peggy Quinn, representing The University of Memphis and EWI of Memphis.

    Incoming President, Louise Anderson stated her vision for the coming year as being at the forefront of professional organizations,

    “As our membership is facing economic challenges, company restructuring, and personal priority shifts EWI will help them meet these challenges.   We are at a crossroads like many organizations, however our commitment to our mission; to embrace new ways of Connecting our membership, to enhance our members' Careers, and to encourage their Community project goals, will lead us toward the path of growth in the coming year.  We Are EWI and as such will strive to be at the forefront of professional organizations dedicated to Connections, Careers, and Community.”

    Other conference highlights included $84,500 in scholarships awarded to High School Juniors,  non-traditional students in scholastic transition and EWI representatives continuing their education.  Awards included the Lucille Johnson Perkins Award, the highest honor EWI gives to one of it's member firms annually with this year's firm being The Allstate Corporation and The Tillie Award, recognizing a Chapter for their membership growth and awarded to EWI of Chattanooga.

    ###

    About EWI

                Established in 1938, EWI® is a non-profit organization with more than 2,500 member firms and 2,800 representatives in major cities throughout the United States and Canada.  EWI brings members together to promote member firms, to enhance personal and professional development, and to encourage community involvement.  As a premier organization for networking and leadership development for today's business professionals, EWI offers professional development through its Academy of Leadership, scholarships, online learning, and philanthropic initiatives with a focus on literacy.  For more information, visit ewiconnect.com.
  • Sunday, October 18, 2009 8:56 AM | Anonymous
    Oct. 22: Barnyard Auction, The Chattanoogan, $35 for dinner and auction, benefits Executive Women International scholarship fund. 870-1809.
  • Friday, October 16, 2009 9:43 AM | Anonymous
    What does it take to become president and CEO of a company? Some would say hard work and determination. Others would say countless hours in the office for years on end. Still others would say the right amount of luck mixed with opportunity.

    Lynda Childress
    But Lynda Childress, president and CEO of Luken Holdings, has a different answer – faith. One of six children born to a minister and his wife, Childress's religious convictions run deep.

     “My maiden name is Angel. My mother's maiden name was Christian,” she says. “When you have a basis like that…”

     Growing up in a large, religious family, Childress was taught the value of hard work at an early age. Her family worked together in the garden, around the house and anywhere else the opportunity arose. With eight people under one roof, each family member did what needed to be done.

     After graduating high school at age 16, Childress had no plans to go to college. Instead, she went straight into the workforce. At a young age, she fell in love, got married and began having children. Then, 10 years later, the 28-year-old mother of two found herself going through a divorce. And while she didn't and still doesn't harbor ill feelings toward her ex-husband, Childress suddenly found herself in a scary situation.

     “I felt like a child,” she says. “I had children that I was responsible for, so what do you do? You do what you have to do as a mom. So I started working two jobs.”

    While working full-time, Childress began accounting classes at McKenzie College and, before she knew it, her broken heart began to heal.

    “I know that may sound funny but it helped me get through my divorce,” she says. “It helped me build confidence when my life was shattered.”

    After graduation, Childress interviewed for her first accounting job at The Leader. And although she had no experience, she made a convincing first impression. When asked why she thought she was the right person for the job, she answered, “Because I can do anything you show me how to do.”

    “Herb Goldstein saw great potential in me and I appreciate him for that,” Childress says.

    She started at The Leader soon after, and worked there until one month before the company closed its doors. In 1990, she went to work for the Osborne Building Corporation and, while she loved her job, she eventually realized she never had enough work to keep her busy.

    “I multitasked,” she says, “and I really kind of worked myself out of it. There really was nowhere for me to grow or go there, so I was approached and asked to go work for another company.”

    She'd only been gone a few years when Bob Corker bought the Osborne Building Corporation. In April of 1999, she returned to the company as a bookkeeper.

    “My children, bless their hearts, they've been wonderful,” Childress says. “I've always had to work two jobs to provide for them and they love me to this day. I am blessed.”

    After a few years back at Osborne, Childress began doing Corker's personal accounting. Soon after, she was asked to sit in on the company's monthly financial meetings, which she says was “quite intimidating.”

    When Corker sold his properties to Henry Luken in 2006, Childress was promoted from controller to officer. In 2007, she was again promoted – this time to CFO. As she settled in to her new position, she was presented with an opportunity to join an organization that she says changed her life.

    “Carolyn Stringer, who is now my executive assistant, had approached (then-Luken president) Kim White about Executive Women International,” Childress says. “Kim walked into my office and said, ‘I think you need to join this organization.'

    “Kim said, ‘You have a lot to offer those women and those women have a lot to offer you. And you need to get out from behind this desk and let people know you.'”

    Within minutes of her first EWI meeting, Childress felt right at home. She became secretary/treasurer of the Chattanooga chapter three years ago, and today she serves as president.

    “We have a great time,” she says. “I'm very excited to be their president this year. I enjoy being with the ladies. We do have a sisterhood. They're smart. They're intelligent. They make me look good, just as my group here at Luken Holdings does.”

    And this, she says, brings her story full circle. In June of this year, she learned White was leaving the company. Childress was then offered the vacant position.

    “I thank Henry Luken for seeing something in me that I didn't see,” she says. “He said that he saw me as a president and CEO. He asked me if I would take the position and I said, ‘I don't know. I don't see myself as a president and CEO.'

    “And he said to me, ‘It's not really how you see you, is it? Isn't it how I see you?' And that meant something to me, and I work diligently and give it a hundred percent every day because he's put his trust in me.”

    And quite frankly, that's what has motivated Childress all her life – trust and responsibility. If anyone puts trust in her, she works painstakingly to keep it. She attributes this trait to her faith, which has been an important part of her entire life.

    “I'm passionate for Jesus Christ,” she says. “I'm very passionate for Him. I'm going to say that the confidence that I have today comes from Him. I'm never alone and I think that He led me to Executive Women International. He led me back to Osborne Building Corporation.”

    Add to Childress's faith her desire to make a difference in the world, and you've got an amazing example of strength, integrity and dedication, who (luckily for those around her) never settles for less than her best.

    “I never saw the potential in me,” she says.

    “I really do thank Bob Corker for what he saw in me and, on top of that, I thank Mr. Luken for what he sees in me.”

    But as much as she appreciates the people who have opened doors for her, Childress is very clear that she lives her life based on only one opinion.

    “I live my life trying to please one person,” she says. “If He's pleased with me when I finish this life, then it's been good.”

  • Monday, October 12, 2009 9:42 AM | Anonymous
    Upcoming Fundraisers

    October
    22 Barnyard Auction, The Chattanoogan, $35 for dinner and auction, benefits Executive Women International scholarship fund. 870-1809.
  • Tuesday, October 06, 2009 9:41 AM | Anonymous
    Executive Women International® (EWI) hosted more than 400 Business Women representing 63 Chapters from across the United States and Canada in Louisville, KY, last week.

    The annual event combines Professional and Leadership Development for EWI's international membership with philanthropic efforts the organization drives throughout the year.

    A highlight of the event is the award named after the first EWI president,  Lucille Johnson Perkins.  This inaugural award recognizes an outstanding EWI Member Firm for their support of the EWI network as well as contributions they make within their community.  THE ALLSTATE CORPORATION was the proud recipient of this award.  Allstate was chosen based on their contributions to the three core initiatives of EWI, Connecting through EWI Membership for 49 years, contributed to the Careers of their employees by granting over $7,000,000 in tuition reimbursement and giving back to their Communities financially and through employee volunteer time.

    Other highlights of the event included a “Reading Rally” which honored Louisville's, Roosevelt-Perry Elementary students with a special luncheon where they received backpacks, school supplies, a new computer and a $5,000 donation to the school.

    Scholarships totaling over $84,000 were awarded during the conference.  They included the EWI Scholarships given to high school juniors to support academic endeavors, Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST), providing financial support to non-traditional students facing work/life challenges and Fellows scholarships given to EWI members to assist in furthering their educational pursuits.

    About EWI

                Established in 1938, EWI® is a non-profit organization with more than 2,500 member firms and 2,800 representatives in major cities throughout the United States and Canada.  EWI brings members together to promote member firms, to enhance personal and professional development, and to encourage community involvement.  As a premier organization for networking and leadership development for today's business professionals, EWI offers professional development through its Academy of Leadership, scholarships, online learning, and philanthropic initiatives with a focus on literacy.  For more information, visit ewiconnect.com.
  • Tuesday, October 06, 2009 9:40 AM | Anonymous
    Executive Women International® (EWI) hosted more than 400 business women representing 63 Chapters from across the United States and Canada in Louisville, KY, last week.

    The annual event combines Professional and Leadership Development for EWI's international membership with philanthropic efforts the organization drives throughout the year.

    Highlights of the event included a “Reading Rally” which honored Louisville's, Roosevelt-Perry Elementary students with a special luncheon where they received backpacks, school supplies, a new computer and a $5,000 donation to the school.

    Scholarships totaling over $84,000 were awarded during the conference.  They included the EWI Scholarships given to high school juniors to support academic endeavors, Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST), providing financial support to non-traditional students facing work/life challenges and Fellows scholarships given to EWI members to assist in furthering their educational pursuits.

    Other conference highlights included the Lucille Johnson Perkins Award, the highest honor EWI gives to one of it's member firms annually with this year's firm being The Allstate Corporation and The Tillie Award, recognizing a Chapter for their membership growth and awarded to EWI of Chattanooga.

    ###

    About EWI

                Established in 1938, EWI is a non-profit organization with more than 2,500 member firms and 2,800 representatives in major cities throughout the United States and Canada.  EWI brings members together to promote member firms, to enhance personal and professional development, and to encourage community involvement.  As a premier organization for networking and leadership development for today's business professionals, EWI offers professional development through its Academy of Leadership, scholarships, online learning, and philanthropic initiatives with a focus on literacy.  For more information, visit ewiconnect.com.
  • Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:38 AM | Anonymous
    The annual Executive Women International Chattanooga Chapter's Barnyard Auction will be Oct. 22 at The Chattanoogan. The event helps raise scholarship funds for recipients of the Jean Bradford Scholarship at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Chattanooga State College.

    Award recipients are single moms working toward a college degree.

    “As a single mom who earned my degree, I am passionate about helping other single moms," said Lynda Childress, organization president and CEO of Luken Holdings Inc. "Our greatest source of help comes from funds raised at our spontaneously wild and fun evening at our annual Barnyard Auction."

    EWI is the premier organization for networking and leadership development for today's business professionals and their firms, according to ewichattanooga.org.

    Tickets for the event are $35 or $300 for a table of 10. Corporate sponsorships are available. More than $20,000 worth of donated goods and services will be auctioned, including overnight stays in other cities, electronics, golf packages, sports and spa packages.

    "Knowing the money that goes to win a fabulous prize at the auction also supports the education of those in need in our own community is an amazing feeling,” says auction Chairperson Jody Hermann. For details, visit ewichattanooga.org.

EWI of Chattanooga | P.O. Box 11522 | Chattanooga, TN  37401 | Contact
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