• Larran Pickett

    LARRAN DINEAL PICKETT, 28
    Line Cook, The Depot Kitchen and Market on Bushman Street,

    What advice would you give young girls today?
    You are allowed to change your mind. Be aware and considerate of others needs, but nothing comes before your well-being and personal safety.

    Best advice a woman has ever given you?
    “Be vigilant.” -Mom

    What does it take to be a strong woman leader?
    Recognizing the difference between intuition and fear.

  • Valerie Wilson

    VALERIE WILSON, 62
    Executive Director, Petal Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Traci Rouse

    TRACI ROUSE, 41
    Vice President of Marketing, Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg 

    What advice would you give young girls today?
    I would challenge young women to constantly look for what’s good in a situation or in a person, instead of looking for what’s wrong. Secondly, you want to surround yourself with people who support you and love you and build you up. 

  • Tess Smith

    TESS SMITH, 50
    Superintendent of Education, Lamar County School District

    What advice would you give young girls today? 
    Pursue what makes you happy and do your very best at it each and every day. 

    Best advice woman has ever given you? 
    My mom gave me some marriage advice that I believe and follow to this day. 

  • Sinclair Lundy

    SINCLAIR LUNDY, 63
    Hattiesburg Certified Public Accountant 

    What advice would you give young girls today? 
    Don't be a mean girl! Help others!

    Best advice a woman has ever given you? 
    Clair, move to Hattiesburg!

    What does it take to be a strong woman leader? 
    I didn't intend to become one. Over the years, I just wanted to be helpful to others and support causes I believe.

  • Sheila Varnado

    SHEILA VARNADO, 67
    Retired Army Colonel & Cofounder of Leaders and Shakers, a leader development company

    What advice would you give young girls today?
    I would advise young girls today to dream big, stay focused and persevere.  Do not “settle” in the key areas of your life. Fully develop who you are as an individual, a wife, a mother and a leader.

  • Rita Mitchell

    RITA MITCHELL, 65
    Certified Business Counselor, USM Small Business Development Center

    What advice would you give young girls today?
    Be grounded and rooted in who you KNOW you are, and what has authentically spoken to your heart and soul to pursue, PLUS, Run your own race with your personal best; then, when you learn better, DO better.

    Best advice woman has ever given you? 
    Go to bed every night knowing you’ve done the best you could with what you had to work with each day.

  • Rebekah Stark Johnson

    REBEKAH STARK JOHNSON, 59
    Executive Director, Hattiesburg Arts Council

    What advice would you give young girls today? 
    Pay attention. Find creative projects that challenge and energize you. Push through or move on when you feel stuck. Be fearless!

    Best advice woman has ever given you? 
    Find balance with head and heart, masculine and feminine, and know that discipline and hard work give you the freedom to confidently accomplish the task.

  • Missy McGee

    MISSY McGEE, 53
    State Rep. Dist. 102, Mississippi House of Representatives

  • Millie Swan

    MILLIE SWAN, 55
    Vice President, Forrest Health of Hattiesburg

    What advice would you give young girls today?  
    Work hard, don’t give up and look for opportunities to learn.  Don’t think you know everything.  Listen and learn from the experience of others.  Women are many times judged wrongly on their looks.  Let them see what is on the inside.  

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