Grounded in family, faith, tradition and deep British roots, Georgie Brooks Myrtle is an amalgam of the quintessential English lady, and the genteel Southern belle. She will tell you, she is a traditionalist at heart. As a young girl, Georgie spent many weekends with her maternal grandmother at her home in Wales and England. It was there that she realized and absorbed her grandmother’s gift of baking. “I always remember her in the kitchen, baking something delicious,” Georgie says. “While my mother was a wonderful cook, I credit my grandmother with passing on her baking expertise to me.”
Embrace Your Inner Girl: Kerry LeBreton Parsons—Blossom Girl Tween Gifts & Accessories
Kerry LeBreton Parsons loves children. But for Kerry, adolescent girls hold a special place in her heart. “No matter their age, I love them all. I have a passion for children, but especially for girls. I want them to have the knowledge I wish I would have had when I was growing up. I want all of them to know that whoever they are is okay. I want to empower them to be themselves.” This passion for mentoring young girls is how Blossom Girl Tween Gifts and Accessories came to life.
Deeply Rooted Service to Others—Nita Hutter, State Representative
From the time Nita Rusich Hutter was a child, she wanted to help others.
The youngest of four, her father owned a small busi- ness and her mother was a full-time mom. They worked hard, and Nita grew up seeing entrepreneurship, self- reliance and a family foundation that instilled the belief that she could do anything—as long as she remembered to put others first.
When choosing a career, education was always fore- most in her heart. She graduated from Delgado, then Loyola, and then Tulane with a master’s degree. She taught high school in St. Bernard Parish and then moved into administration at Delgado.
Dedicated Care for Children—Acadian Care, LLC
Surrounded by a staff that Pam Chrisman, APRN refers to as immensely dedicated from the front desk all the way up to your doctor, Pam relishes the work she does every day at the Acadian Care child and adolescent psychiatry clinic on the North Shore. “Most days I can hardly believe I get paid for what I do,” she says. She recalls a recent very rewarding moment. “The little boy came in clutching a package and a card for me. His mother explained to me that in class that day the discussion turned to people who help us.” His person was Pam. She sees that simple wooden vase he gave her as a token of his appreciation every day, as she proudly displays it in her home. “My passion in life is to help my patients and to hopefully make that positive difference in their lives. We really just want to see all of our patients overcome any of the obstacles facing them and help them lead the best life they can.”
FOR PETITE POWERHOUSE Kimmy Trowbridge, nutrition, physical fitness and athleticism have always been part of who she is. “Fitness is my way of life. It has been for as long as I can remember,” she says. As a certified nutrition consultant, AFAA certified personal trainer, professional figure competitor and owner of Re-Fuel Nutrition and Blending Station, Kimmy recalls that, growing up on the Northshore, her parents instilled in her and her three sisters an appreciation for daily activity and a healthy lifestyle. In high school she was a cheerleader, dancer and power lifter. “My parents really made it possible for us to get involved with a multitude of activities. They drove us to all of our practices and lessons,” she notes. “They truly nurtured that tendency.”
At 23 years old, Stephanie Machado was already a homeowner. The fact that she was a discontented homeowner may be the exact reason why she is where she is today—a senior loan officer with NOLA Lending Group. “My whole buying experience was unpleasant. I was young and had just graduated college. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. I was recommended not to have a home inspection because the REO company would not repair anything. My loan officer placed me in a three-year adjustable rate mortgage, and shortly after I closed on the home it was infested with termites. Then, 18 months later Katrina hit—at which point I realized I did not have enough insurance,” Stephanie recalls. The staggering reality of the peaks and valleys of home ownership made Stephanie realize that homebuyers need guidance and useful information if they are going to make informed and wise purchases. So, instead of entering law school as she had originally planned, she returned to school where she earned her MBA. “I really just fell into the mortgage and loan industry,” she says. “But when a person is purchasing a home, I put myself in their shoes, because I have been there.”
Mandeville cosmetic plastic surgeon, Michele Cooper, attributes many of her accomplishments in life to the people who surrounded her on her journey to achieving them. “At a young age, I aligned myself with friends who would encourage me and set examples of excellence,” she says. “They lifted me up.” In her own life, Dr. Cooper strives to do the same for her two daughters, as well as children back in Baltimore, Maryland, where she grew up, and for young people right here in the greater New Orleans area where Dr. Cooper volunteers teaching math and gymnastics, and welcomes plastic surgery residents and students interested in surgical careers to shadow her. “These activities give me the opportunity to help guide these children and young adults toward success. It sends the message that being a woman should never be thought of as a disadvantage in math, science, or a career in surgery. I want them to know they can do anything they put their minds to. I am here to give them advice on how to best navigate their education and training while avoiding some of the rough patches I had to deal with.”
When Sylvia Reine’s husband of 30 years, Ronnie, approached her with the idea of opening a shop in the La Reine Olde Towne Centre in Slidell, she immediately thought of the two women in her life she would most like to help her do it. Her daughter Laura Reine and her daughter-in-law Leonette Loe were the obvious choices, and Three Divas and a Sugardaddy Fine Gifts was brought to fruition.
Maureen Clary—Moe—as she is known, has worn many hats during her life; single mother, breast cancer survivor, businesswoman, home builder, community leader and now as a candidate for Covington’s next mayor in the April 2nd election. Some hats have been easier to wear than others, but each one has shaped the person she is today—an industrious professional woman, dedicated to her family, her community and her commitment to public service. “I am asking Covington to hire me as their Chief Executive Officer (CEO), just as you would hire a qualified person to run your business,” she says. “I will bring 30 years of business experience to city hall and an innovative, intelligent approach to creating a more vibrant economy. I see this as an opportunity to take the experience that I have gained over the years, and use it to improve this place I call home.”
Colette Reine is a woman who puts her family first, likes to hike and fish, and relishes in the beauty of nature. Growing up, though, she always knew she would one day have her own business. With the full support of her husband Brian and their five children, Colette designed from conception to completion, Reine Diamonds and Fine Jewelry store. She attended the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York, where she completed her Diamond Certification at the top of her class. Colette then searched the country and the world to find only the finest gems to carry in her store. “Brian is a driving force in my life. He sees that I can do things even if I don’t. He has taught me to recognize my own potential.”
Mandeville lifestyle consultant (life coach) Valerie Poole is a self-professed spa junkie. She traveled the world in a quest to locate the preeminent spa experience. Along the way, she stumbled into the realm of holistic spas where acupuncture, detoxification, colonics, fasting and meditation are common practice. Once on a jaunt to Palm Springs for holistic cleansing, she had the unexpected pleasure of fasting with Matthew McConaughey. While on her “spa quest,” through fasting and energy work and the various therapies she tried, Valerie realized, for the first time, a state of inner peace and self-acceptance. “I dare say that I felt enlightened, or surely the closest I’ve ever been to enlightenment,” she says. “It was addictive. I realized that the peace and serenity I experienced takes work, because it wears off as life catches up with you. You’re stressed out, errands to run, kids to care for, deadlines to meet—you have to come back to reality. But having this experience changed my life forever.” Having that experience was the passageway that led her into her current field as a lifestyle consultant.