Girls Inc. Honors 14 Women Who've Changed Chattanooga

  • Thursday, February 8, 2007
Ruth Brinkley, president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare Systems, is shown with the girl who honored her, Jameisha Borders. Click to enlarge.
Ruth Brinkley, president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare Systems, is shown with the girl who honored her, Jameisha Borders. Click to enlarge.

Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga honors women in Chattanooga who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women in the community at their annual UnBought and UnBossed awards program. The event is held during March in celebration of Women’s History Month.

UnBought and UnBossed is a tribute to the spirit and determination of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to run for president of the United States. Ms. Chisholm declared herself to be a representative of all people and made a commitment to serve as a leader who would remain “unbought and unbossed.”

“Chattanooga is rich in history, but women’s history usually takes a back seat,” said Maxine Bailey, president & CEO of Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga. “Honoring Chattanooga’s influential women at UnBought and UnBossed is our way of celebrating the powerful impact they have had in our community.”

The UnBought and UnBossed honorees are selected by teen girls who participate in Girls Incorporated’s women’s history project. The girls identify women in the community whom they consider role models. This year’s honorees include: Vicky Gregg, president & CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; Anna Van Cura, founding director of Ballet Tennessee; Selma Cash Paty, attorney at Paty, Rymer & Ulin; Sharon Kelly, owner and operator of Rose of Sharon Senior Villa; Rebecca Smith, director of scholarships for the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga; Sonia Sasse, community activist; Dr. Minnie Vance, physician; Heidi Hefferlin, founding principal and president of Hefferlin Kronenberg Architects; Sheila Jennings, community activist; Judge Rebecca Stern, Hamilton County Criminal Court; Tekelia Kelly, founder and owner of Sisters In Business; Sherrie Gilchrist, president and CEO of Chattanooga African American Chamber of Commerce; the Chattanooga firefighting team of Captain Benita Owens and firefighters Melissa Miller and Kelly Liles; and the Chattanooga Locomotion, Chattanooga’s professional women’s football team.

“It’s not only a celebration of history but a celebration of achievement,” said Ruth Brinkley, president and CEO of Memorial Health Care System, a recipient of last year's UnBought and UnBossed award and honorary chair for 2007. “These women not only attained personal goals and aspirations, but paved the way for young girls to understand the many rewarding opportunities open to women in the world today.”

At the UnBought and UnBossed breakfast ceremony, the girls will illustrate the link between past, present and future generations of female leadership by honoring their role models with awards and recognition.

This year’s event will be held Tuesday, March 20, at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Imperial Ballroom from 7:30-9 a.m. Tickets are $250 for a table of eight, $32 for a mother/daughter package, $24 for adults and $14 for students. For more information please contact Girls Incorporated at (423) 624-4757 or visit

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