Web Exclusive: Most Beautiful Women




Most Beautiful Women: Extended Interviews

 

Complied by Chelsea Boone

 

 

 

SHERRY WILLIAMS

Who is your strongest female role model?

My mom, of course!  She is has always been the kind of person I want to be.  She lost her mother when she was only nine years old and yet she turned out to be an incredible mother to my siblings and me.  She values what is really important in life: God and family.  She visits elderly family members and takes time to make them feel loved and know that somebody still cares.  She gives constantly—food, clothes, her time and advice.  She smiles at life's obstacles and allows her inner strength and determination to smooth the path for a better tomorrow.  She is strong and beautiful!  My dad is a lucky man!

Tell us about a charity or organization that has had the strongest influence on you.

The American Heart Association's Start! Walking Program.  The company I work for has implemented this program and it has been a great success.  Employees are encouraged to get outside and walk, eat healthier and focus on being heart healthy.  I like the idea of motivating people to get active and come out of that sedentary lifestyle.  Walking is easy, it doesn't cost you anything and the benefits are great!  Heart disease and strokes can be prevented by changing your eating habits and adding exercise to your weekly routine.  I have a passion for health and fitness; anything I can do to help encourage people to exercise, I want to be a part of.

What is your biggest goal in life?

My biggest goal in life is to raise my children to be confident, successful citizens in this nation by teaching them the importance of good character, integrity and accepting responsibility for their actions; as well as learning from their mistakes.  While I thoroughly enjoy my life, I want my children to have better and their children to have better than they have.

What are three words that describe you?

Genuine, confident, and funny.

What's your favorite way to spend your free time?

Relaxing and having family time.

What is your favorite aspect about living in Hampton Roads?

It's not a big city, but it has lots to offer.  The support you receive from the community is amazing.  Hampton is a great city that continues to grow, but we still take the time to encourage one another.  Regardless of your venture, the community has a tendency to rally around and support causes, businesses and people who are just starting out.  You can find a good restaurant, shopping or tourist attraction anywhere, but a good support system is hard to come by.  Hampton Roads offers you the support you need to plant your roots and grow.

In what ways do you feel your community has helped you?

They have supported me throughout my growth as a trainer, figure competitor and aspiring model.  I have a fitness boot camp that started by me walking a track in Hampton. I asked ladies as they were walking if they would be interested in participating in an outdoor fitness boot camp.  I conducted my classes near the field where my kids practiced football and cheerleading and recruited some of the moms who were on the sidelines as well.  Despite the heat, they supported me.  Then in 2009, I also competed in a model search for a local radio station 107.7KISS FM, at the time known as 105.3KISS FM.  I relied on the votes of my community to win me the title of Ms. 105.3KISS.com!  I have also competed in bodybuilding and figure competitions and had the support of my family, friends and community.  I could not ask for a better city to live in!

EMI OSTRANDER


How would you define beauty?

I believe it is the personality.

What's the first thing you think about when you wake up?

My husband.

Tell us about a charity or organization that has had the strongest influence on you.

March of Dimes because I was a premature baby. Also Buy Fresh, Buy Local to help support the local farmers in Hampton Roads.

What do you feel is your best feature?

My smile. My husband says my legs.

What's your favorite way to spend your free time?

Cooking for my friends.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Chocolate and potato chips.
 

WHITNEY METZGER

How would you define beauty?

To quote Pulp Fiction, “Personality goes a long way.” A person’s personality can truly shape how you see a person. Someone may be good looking at first glance, but if they aren’t a good person on the inside it really changes how I perceive them.

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?

How many times can I hit the snooze button and still make it to work on time?

Women often have the opportunity to fill many roles in their lifetime. What do you feel is your most important role?

Right now, the most important thing I can do is to be a good person and to lead by example.

What is your biggest goal in life?

To be a positive influence in somebody’s life.  Also, to walk the red carpet at the Academy Awards.

What is the best piece of advice you have received and would like to share with other women?

My mom told me, “Don’t trust people who thrive on putting down others because chances are they’ll do it to you too.” I didn’t always heed that advice, so I learned that lesson in a very hard way. Once you can cut out that kind of negativity and learn to not be afraid to do the right thing, your life will benefit exponentially. I hope more women can learn from that without going through the painful experience I did.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

The humbling and inspiring words Mike Gruss wrote about me for a column on the aftermath of Survive Norfolk. It was a call to action for Norfolk’s arts community to pay attention to the young adult population desperate for fun, hip activities in the area as well as to the community at large to put forth more effort to support the arts institutions here.

What do you feel is your best feature?

My smile!

What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?

I’m a total cinephile so one of my hobbies is movie watching and learning about film history. Naro Video in Ghent is my place of worship.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Bringing my notorious “stage presence” and interpretive dance skills to the karaoke stage for my unique interpretation of otherwise classic songs by Metallica and Guns ‘N’ Roses. It takes a special kind of talent, I assure you.

In what ways do you feel your community has helped you?

With Survive Norfolk, the Hampton Roads community made me realize that it’s truly possible for people of all backgrounds to come together to have good-natured fun, support a good cause, and build community spirit. The success of the event has inspired me to want to do more to make a difference and bring the community closer together. Everyone who supported Survive Norfolk renewed my faith in this area and I’m so grateful for it.
 

HEATHER SNOWA

What's the first thing you think about when you wake up?

Oh please, please, please let it be Saturday!

What is your biggest goal in life?

For my son to always know he is deeply loved and protected.

What is the best piece of advice you have received and would like to share with other women?

To never give up no matter how difficult the obstacles may be, and at the same time be true to yourself and remember to be sensitive to others. This has so many dimensions at work, at home, and in relationships.

What are three words that describe you?

Passionate, committed, determined.

What's the best compliment you've ever received?

"I admire you for always staying true to yourself and never conforming to appear to be something you're not."

What do you feel is your best feature?

My love for making people happy. I'm told I have a huge heart and a wicked sense of humor.

What's your favorite way to spend your free time?

Does anyone really ever have free time? If I think about it, the words "free time" takes me back to 5th grade when I was running from a giant pink rubber ball trying not to get hit during a game of dodge ball.  I guess things haven't changed all that much, as now I am either running with a 20 pound medicine ball or throwing it up against the wall in a cross fit class.  Just this past year, I also got hooked on Zumba. There is no better way to spend an hour laughing and working up a sweat at the same time.  This is my way to decompress and lose myself.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Crepe Noisette at Baker's Crust (hope my trainer isn't reading this article).

What is your favorite aspect about living in Hampton Roads?

One of the great beauties of Hampton Roads is you have the mountain and the sea all within close driving distance plus you can enjoy all four seasons.  Hampton Roads is truly my home as I am a graduate of Norfolk Collegiate School and Virginia Wesleyan College. I have a wonderful support system of family, friends and community that have always been there for me throughout my life journeys.
 

KATE BRODERICK

How would you define beauty?

Beauty is a combination of characteristics, and not just physical ones, at that. It is how someone carries herself, her attitude and presence, and it is how she positively impacts those around her.

Who is your strongest female role model?

My strongest female role models are my former boss, Sheryn Milton, and my mother, Joan Evon.  Both women touched so many lives with their dedication to serving their communities, families, friends, and professions.  When each woman passed away, a big void was left in the hearts of everyone who ever came in contact with them.

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?

Coffee—my husband makes the best!

Describe the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome.

Holding on to my identity while fulfilling multiple roles as Director of the Office of Educational Accessibility, First Lady of Old Dominion University, wife, mother and grandmother.

What is your biggest goal in life?

To take the “dis” out of disability, and change the perceptions of society so that the focus is on the ability of persons with challenges in their lives.

What is the best piece of advice you have received and would like to share with other women?

Listen only to the people in your lives who tell you what you can do, rather than what you can’t do.

What do you feel is your best feature?

Thinking on my feet.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Belgian chocolate.

In what ways do you feel your community has helped you?

My community has supported me in my many roles, which in turn has allowed me to empower others to advocate for themselves.
 

LINDSAY EURE

Who is your strongest female role model?

That would be role models. Plural. My mother and my two grandmothers are incredible women. They inspire me to be strong, to be gracious, to roll with the punches, to laugh, to work hard, to follow my dreams, and to value my relationships. They've taught me that strong faith and a big smile can get you through just about anything.

What's the first thing you think about when you wake up?

Coooooofffffeeeeeeeee. Coooffffeeeee. Coffee.

Tell us about a charity or organization that has had the strongest influence on you.

There is no single organization that has affected me as much as the artistic community as a whole. I have been performing since I was a kid and professionally for many years now. I have lived in New York and traveled across the country performing. No matter where I go, the one constant is that theater artists are extraordinary people. They pour their hearts and souls and often the contents of their wallets into performances for others' enjoyment. Their greatest joy is to thrill an audience, to make them laugh, cry, or see something in a new light. Performing artists don't often make a lot of money, but they do make a difference. That's why I do what I do. I want to make a difference in peoples' lives, in their hearts, in their thinking. That's why I'm into producing now. Running my own theater company enables me to make a larger impact.

Describe the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome.

Self doubt. There is a lot of rejection in my industry. You get a few '"yes's" and a multitude of "no's." Believing in yourself is the key to sanity. You learn to have a thick skin, not take things personally, and to pat yourself on the back. When you know what you're worth and what you're capable of, no one can bring you down.

What is your biggest goal in life?

Goals are ever-changing as our lives evolve. Career paths change. Sometimes relationships change. I constantly set short-term and long-term goals and amend them as necessary. It's all superficial. The ultimate goal is happiness; to be happy and to love and be loved. It's the most common goal on the planet, and I am no exception.

What are three words that describe you?

Creative. Compassionate. Compelling.

What's the best compliment you've ever received?

Phil Hall, a well known and well respected musical director in New York, referred to me in an email to a colleague as "a young Cher, young Liza Minnelli, young Bette Midler, young Streisand."  It was a generous compliment and hard to top.

What do you feel is your best feature?

My eyes.

What's your favorite way to spend your free time?

Planning my upcoming wedding, reading fiction, watching movies with Robert and Boogie (my Yorkshire terrier), hot yoga, and learning new songs to sing.

What is your favorite aspect about living in Hampton Roads?

I recently moved back to Hampton Roads from Manhattan. I had been away for ten years and the thing I missed most was my family. I also love the convenience of having many cities at my fingertips. I am all over the map.  On any given day I can be found in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Norfolk.  I love the sense of community we have in Hampton Roads. It feels good to have a home after so much traveling.
 

GINNY COHEN

Define Beauty:

Beauty adorns virtue, or so painted DaVinci.  Even hundreds of years later, it’s hard to argue with that.

Who is your strongest female role model?

Without a doubt, my grandmother, Dolly Straub.  She led by example more than ‘taught,’ and encompassed community service, open-mindedness, compassion, love and most importantly, strength.  I think other than complaining about Vanna White’s dress of the night, she never had a bad word to say about anyone.  She also taught me the value of “the fight.”  Some people would call it being stubborn.

First thing you think of when you wake up:

When the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. for my workout at the best crossfit gym in Virginia Beach, Crossfit Obsession, I usually think, “Please don’t let today’s workout be too brutal.”  It’s kind of a ritual.

Most important role:

It’s cliché, but really, is there any role more important than being a mother?  At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility to raise two great kids and teach them to be good people who do good things for their community and treat everyone with respect.  A tall order to fill but it’s a wild world and I just hope I can prepare them for whatever life will dish out.

Biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome:

I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was 23, two weeks before I graduated from college.  I realized then that there is no magic “bubble” around us, and bad things really do happen to good people.  As life spun out of control, I tried my best to control everything I could.  I’m still trying.

Biggest goal in life:

World peace.  Or, more realistically, to be a travel writer.

Best piece of advice:

Don’t try to change people.  Accept them for who they are.

Three words that describe you:

Creative, passionate, focused

Best feature:

My height.  I like to say I’m short but surprisingly I think I project much taller.

Favorite aspect of living in Hampton Roads:

I love that Hampton Roads promotes an active lifestyle and supports charities like Surfers Healing, Team Hoyt, Life Rolls On and Wounded Warriors.  It’s amazing how sports can have such an impact on peoples’ lives from something so simple as feeling the waves or rolling down the boardwalk in a jog stroller with the salt breezes blowing.  I’ve seen positive changes in these kids during these events and thank the community for helping make these events happen.
 

PAULETTE WATSON

How would you define beauty?

Beauty to me is a person who knows who they are and what they represent. They’re unassuming and pure. For as good as they may look physically, they are much more attractive because of their actions.   

Who is your strongest female role model?

My strongest female role model was my mother. She was always strong but when she became sick with cancer she showed me the real meaning of strength and endurance.  She was a true role model for me.

What has been your proudest moment?

I can’t pick just one moment that I’m proudest of because although I’ve had some health challenges I am proud of my life as a whole.

What is your biggest goal in life?

My biggest goal is to strive to be the very best that I can be in life.

What is the best piece of advice you have received and would like to share with other women?

The best advice is to be true to yourself, and in whatever you do make sure you do it so good you won’t mind signing your name on it.

What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?

My favorite way to spend my free time would be shopping.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Shopping also would be my guilty pleasure because I’m always thinking of something else that I could be doing rather than out shopping.

In what ways do you feel your community has helped you?

The community has been very supportive of me, especially my church, Gethsemane Baptist, and the beautiful Chamberlin Hotel.
 

TERESA KELLY

How would you define beauty?

For me, it’s different from minute to minute and day to day.  It’s a glow and shine from the inside. It is beauty “in action,” how a person relates to another, the ability to show compassion, humor, love, courtesy and then everything else falls into place.

I think a beautiful person has an innate ability to cause those around them to want to be in their presence.

What's the first thing you think about when you wake up?

My To Do List–or if I can hit my snooze button one more time!

Describe the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome.

My own fear of stepping outside my comfort zone. Each time I push myself with new situations it gets easier and easier!

What is your biggest goal in life?

Creating a balance between my family, my work relationships and the community needs.

What is the best piece of advice you have received and would like to share with other women?

Three sayings jump right out at me:

“This too shall pass,” “It is what it is,” and “Sometimes you have to jump, and find your wings on the way down!”

What are three words that describe you?

Nurturing, inspirational and perky!

What's the best compliment you've ever received?

No question, it was receiving this nomination!

What's your favorite way to spend your free time?

Having my feet in the sand, a book in my hand and the sunshine on my face (yes, with sun block!).

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Reading and eating chocolate! Even better if I can do them both at the same time!  Was I supposed to feel guilty?

What is your favorite aspect about living in Hampton Roads?

The mix of big stores and mom and pop places, the warm personalities of the southern way of life, and of course, being surrounded by water!

In what ways do you feel your community has helped you?

It’s a positive cycle; when I give to the community I feel as if I get back an amazing energy that I can put towards other projects.  It gives me hope and inspiration.  It also opens my eyes and heart to new causes.
 

CAROLANN CURRAN

How would you define beauty?

Beauty makes me feel absolutely blissful.  Beauty can be found in that perfect moment that takes my breath away or the best thing that anyone could have ever said at exactly the right time or the most gorgeous scene or the kindest act or the purest spirit.  Beauty has the power to delight, exhilarate, transform, and inspire me.  It’s about the magic inside that radiates outward to create such a tremendous impact.

Who is your strongest female role model?

From the time that we were very young, my parents exposed my sisters and me to the world of endless possibilities and to all the ingenious, courageous and heroic icons (both male and female) who pursued those possibilities. There are many famous women whom I admire: Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Anne Frank, Queen Noor, and Wangari Maathai (Nobel peace prize winner and environmentalist) to name a few.  But, none of them can compare to my mom.

My mom worked in the library at my grade school.  For her, learning is loud.  (Well, everything with her is loud).  I didn’t know you were supposed to be quiet in a library.  Everyone loved going to the library, it was the best part of the day.  I had my grade school reunion last year.  There were hundreds of former classmates there.  The first thing everyone asked me was, “Where’s your mom?!”

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?

I think about how much I love sleep.  It’s such a gift.  I tend to live my life in overdrive and I get exhausted.  Sleep rejuvenates me.  My dear friend, Sam, who was my roommate in college describes watching me sleeping as the “sleep of the innocent”, completely peaceful, unencumbered by societal constraints.  Thank you, sleep!

Women often have the opportunity to fill many roles in their lifetime.  What do you feel is your most important role?

When I was in college, I couldn’t figure out what to major in.  When my friend Sam asked me why I wanted to go to college in the first place, my answer was “for the love of learning.”  So, for me, my most important role is learning, and on the flip side teaching.

Tell us about a charity or organization that has had the strongest influence on you.

My sister started working for a cancer foundation in Philadelphia over 15 years ago.  From the moment she started, my whole family pitched in to help her with her many projects.  From art shows to golf outings, from summer “Sun Splashes” to “Secret Santa” we were there.  My biggest project was always Secret Santa.  Every year, the week before Christmas was spent bringing the joy of Christmas to the kids with cancer and their families.  We spent 16-18 hour days wrapping and packing hundreds of gifts into big gift sacks for Santa and his elves to take to the houses on Christmas Eve.  The Christmas miracles were always the kids.  They were sick, some just make it to see Santa, some don’t.  Most don’t have much; many don’t have anything.  But, they spread such joy.  When asked if they could have anything they wanted from Santa most of the kids answer with wishes for their family members.  One child just wanted hearing aid batteries for his mom so she could hear him with all the tubes in his mouth.  Another child wanted a warm, winter coat for her mom.  That’s what Christmas is all about.

Describe the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

A few years ago I almost died from a post-operative infection.  With 106°F fever and sanitary pads attached to my legs to stop the fluid-filled blisters from soaking my pants, I entered the ER.  The ER doc had to hop up onto the bed, put his face in my crotch and try to get my femoral artery.  It was critical that they began to work on me immediately and they couldn’t get a needle in me anywhere else.  After cutting my leg open from the hip to the knee I spent months attached to IVs, a machine, and had an at-home nurse.  I learned so much from my NDX (near-death experience).  I am so much stronger than I ever imagined and today is so much more important than ever before.  P.S.  I never heard from that ER doc ever again.  You would have thought after our intimacy I would have at least gotten a phone call or a nice card.

What is your biggest goal in life?

To always do the right thing.

What are three words that describe you?

Creative, unconventional, passionate.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Figuratively, jewelry and shoes.  Literally, driving really, really fast with the windows down.  It makes me feel so free.

What is your favorite aspect about living in Hampton Roads?

I was born and raised in Philadelphia.  I really love that city. I love the neighborhoods.  But, Hampton Roads has really grown on me.  It can take hours to get to natural, open spaces in Philadelphia.  Here in Hampton Roads, I’m surrounded by the great outdoors.  The cultural and entertainment opportunities are branching out, too.  This region rolls the great sites, great food, and all the activity that remind me of what I love so much about Philly into the relaxing, natural  atmosphere that’s signature Hampton Roads.

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