Sydney Dawes

Sydney Dawes

When people ask me about my favorite project I have completed during my short time with The Courier, I have a definite answer: The Women of Vinton County series.

I began profiling the many women who are leaders in education, business, politics and more after becoming a staff journalist with The Courier in 2018. So far, I’ve had the pleasure to learn about the lives, experiences and aspirations of these women: Deanna Tribe, Miranda Smith, Teresa Snider, Mary Ann Hale, Nikki Hale, Dola Powell, Cindy Waugh, Trecia Kimes-Brown, Lisa Gilliland, Diana Johnston, Melissa Hammond, Chloe Arthur, Brandi Betts, Joy Henderson, Tami Bay, Misty Napier, Nicki Martin, Judi Phelps and Michele Royster.

I’ve learned life lessons and life hacks from every woman I have profiled for this series. Powell told me during our interview a few interesting facts about copperheads (which apparently smell kind of like cucumbers), Phelps gave me a quick self-defense lesson using the equipment at On Guard Defense, Arthur gave me a few tips about utilizing light in photography and marketing one’s self.

Some of the lessons were much deeper; really, refreshers on what’s important in life. From Hammond, I was reminded of the importance of humility; Martin, pride in your community; Betts, the love of adventure; Napier, finding your passion; Royster, maintaining your collection of ‘Ya Yas.’

Thanks, ladies, for the memories and wisdom and laughs.

Of course, I have many other women planned for this profile series, but I would appreciate your help in picking Vinton County’s female leaders to profile. I’ve also been hoping to expand this series to Jackson County to highlight the many women making differences in their communities. If you have suggestions for a Woman of Vinton (or Jackson) County to feature, email me at sdawes@vintoncourier.com or write to me at 103 S. Market St., McArthur.

sdawes@vintoncourier.com; @sydneydawes_95

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