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Fabulous Women of Fayette

Shining a spotlight on five powerful, loving and determined women

Carla Cloud, A Gentle Witness

Carla, a.k.a., Mary, Abigail, Eve, and coming soon, Jezebel, is breathing new life into God’s Word through drama. “I believe it is the Holy Spirit bringing Biblical women to life through me. I am the vehicle for the message He wants me to tell.” 

Several years ago, Carla was asked to attend a young church member’s confirmation class as a sponsor when the inspiration came to her. “God told me to speak to this child as the woman who was compelled to pour perfume on Jesus’ feet and wipe them with her hair because she knew all she had been forgiven for. She knew Jesus was more than worthy of her most precious possession.” That was the start of A Gentle Witness. 

Carla weaves truth into her dramatic presentations from historical research. She portrays the Biblical women as if they were living today and are relaying personal accounts of their lives. When Carla comes into the room dressed in character, she wants those present to see "the Women", not her. She is not Carla any more. . . she is that woman. 

Carla is available for presentations to churches, small groups or any organization where a potential experience may be desired. You can reach out to Carla at www.agentlewitness.com.

Stephanie Parker, Certified Tomatis® Practitioner 

Stephanie's decision to become a certified practitioner of the Tomatis® method was very personal. Her grandson was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum and she felt he needed this therapy. As there were no practitioners in Georgia, Stephanie, (who holds a Master of Arts in English and is also a specialist in music) without hesitation, decided to undergo the training required to become certified herself.

Tomatis® is a non-invasive listening therapy that stimulates brain connections by using bone conduction through music. Stephanie has seen remarkable results that are tracked by regular surveys during therapy. "In the past 2 years since I started administering the Tomatis® method, I have seen increased cognitive learning and responses, lowered anxiety levels, better eye contact and have even experienced nonverbal children speak their first words", Stephanie said. "No two people have the same results." She added, "What can be wrong with making your brain work better?"

The Tomatis® method may be indicated for those on the Autism spectrum, with ADHD and/or other learning or developmental challenges. To contact Stephanie please go to www.learnwithstephanie.com.

Kristy Bittman, Air Traffic Controller

Q: Why did you become an Air Traffic Controller?

A: I joined the Marines to serve my country, I requested the air wing and they assigned me a job as an Air Traffic Controller. 

Q: What's the funniest thing a pilot has ever said to you?

A: We had bad weather at the airport and I told the pilot he should divert. He made an attempt anyway. He called me as he flew the missed approach and said: “my mommy said I never have to fly in weather this bad, I’m diverting.”

Q: What advice would you give a new female controller?

A: That’s tough. Especially for a new female. I would advise her to gain as much knowledge as she could. Keep her head in the books and learn from experienced controllers, but always verify the information and know where to find the answers to your questions. Be willing to take advice. And, you have to have thick skin. 

Q: How did being a USA Boxer and US Marine shape you? 

A: They taught me leadership, teamwork, self-discipline and mental toughness. They showed me how to survive. I learned the difference between being hurt and being injured. The Marines taught me how to depend on my comrades. Boxing taught me to depend on myself.  

Sheri Waynick, Founder of Lizard Thicket

Twenty years ago, Sheri Waynick, founder of Lizard Thicket, defeated breast cancer. Her battle was a short detour in a retail career that began when she was a young girl making 25 cents a day working behind the counter of her father’s clothing store in Alabama.

Her first local store opened in Braelinn Village in 1993 and sold men’s and women’s clothing until 2002. That was when she made good on a promise she’d made to God while battling cancer that she would do something good with her life. She became the American Cancer Society senior income manager for an 11-county area.  “I was extremely passionate,” she said.

Four years later, exhausted from her efforts and missing retail, Sheri resigned her position and opened a Lizard Thicket in Kedron with women’s clothing that would appeal to mothers, daughters and grandmothers. 

Today, Lizard Thicket, named for a small community outside Hamilton, Alabama, where Sheri’s father was stationed with the Air Force, has grown to include five corporate-owned and 20 franchised boutiques. She credits God, her staff, which includes her daughters Jessica and Jackie, and her franchisees with the success her company has achieved. 

Aside from her business, Sheri is still doing good things with her life, including volunteering with MENTORise, a local group that offers free counseling to entrepreneurs. “Absolutely follow your heart and dreams, but don’t do it without doing your homework,” she advises. 

Vanessa Fleisch, Mayor of Peachtree City

Mayor Vanessa Fleisch was elected in January 2014, as Peachtree City’s first female Mayor. In 2017, she was re-elected for her 2nd and last term. Her focus has been developing and maintaining infrastructure across the city. The innovative and cost-effective three-stage piano key, weir spillway at Lake Peachtree promises to protect life and property for decades to come. 

Q: What have you learned as the first female Mayor of PTC? 

A: History has always been one of my favorite things to read about and so I understand that people find it interesting when someone is the first to do something.  But I have never dwelled on it or tried to make it a focus of anything I have done. In the end, the goal should be to elect someone who is willing to devote the time and energy necessary to make a positive difference in their community.  My focus has always been our wonderful city, and how to preserve our sense of community during challenging times.

Q: What insights would you provide to the next woman seeking public office? 

A: Whether a man or a woman it is important to focus on what is right even when you know you will receive opposition. Public service is about the people you serve and never about you. 

Vanessa Fleisch graduated from The American University with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Communications. She is a former producer for CNN. Mayor Fleisch and her family have been residents of Peachtree City since 1991. 

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