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Ten Local Women You Should Know

The Stories of Local Female Trailblazers

Amy Jo Osborn

Austin Hatcher Foundation 

The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer was founded in 2006 after Amy Jo Osborn and her husband Dr. James Osborn experienced the tragic loss of their son, Austin Hatcher, just eleven days after his diagnosis with rare and aggressive brain and spinal tumors. After their loss, the Osborns knew it was their calling to do something for the multitude of families suffering every day—families who had no place to turn once they had a child diagnosed similarly to their son. 

The Austin Hatcher Foundation’s first brick-and-mortar facility, “The Hatcher House of Hope” came to life in 2009. In 2020, the Foundation moved to their current location where they have an expanded space that addresses the needs of entire families through counseling, occupational therapy, neurophysiological testing, and extensive family programming. The Austin Hatcher Foundation fills in the gap that hospitals alone cannot fulfill by providing a continuation of care. 

Amy Jo has made it her mission to turn her passion to purpose by educating the community on resources available to families who find themselves in such dire circumstances with the Foundation aiming to be known as a referral for crisis management. With their sights set on continued expansion, Amy Jo and her team plan to open another center in the next five years.  As President & CEO, Amy Jo has grown the company 198% since 2021 and with a focus on fundraising and bandwidth, she considers this the hardest and most beautiful challenge she has ever achieved. 

Learn more about Amy Jo and the Austin Hatcher Foundation at 


Megan McClain


If you are not familiar with The Chattanooga Cookie, then I am deeply sorry you never had the chance to experience the sweetest treat Cherokee Boulevard had to offer. Megan McClain and her twin sister had the opportunity to begin a venture that combined both of their passions, baking and business. Megan, the operational mastermind and her sister, the passionate baker. 

Though the Chattanooga Cookie recently closed, the lessons Megan learned from the process will no doubt inform her future pursuits. Megan told us that while this endeavor was her most successful failure, there was no discounting the success of the brand during its tenure. When Megan found herself being a cookie maker, running a kitchen and a storefront, managing a team, learning about commercial equipment, marketing and sourcing new ideas and products for a dream that wasn’t hers, she made the difficult decision to step away. 

Megan has always had her hand in many projects simultaneously from running a bakery and a successful real estate career to appearing on podcasts and serving as a transaction coordinator. As a ten-year Chattanoogan, it is safe to say that there is not a soul in Chattanooga that Megan does not know or is not willing to meet! We can’t wait to see where her drive, determination, and business sense take her next.


Ella Livingston

Cocoa Asante

Cocoa Asante, a globally recognized luxury chocolate brand, was founded by Ella Livingston. Ella’s journey as an entrepreneur and a woman of color starting a niche business, has been plagued with challenges. These pain points, however, are what have allowed Ella to become the intelligent and empathetic leader that she is today.

When asked what advice she has for women in business, Ella told us, “ Build a strong support team to carry you through those times when you feel crazy or need advice. You can’t do this alone. You need to surround yourself with a village of other female entrepreneurs who you don't have to explain your doubts and troubles to.” Additionally, one of Ella’s biggest takeaways from her experience in developing and growing her business is the importance of self-care. “You are your most important asset,” Ella told us. “We have to recognize our limitations and take care of our mental and physical health in order to be our best.”

Ella now runs a company where all employers have benefits and retirement plans. She has also created an environment where her team feels valued and welcomed. As Cocoa Asante continues to grow, Ella hopes to never lose sight of this culture. Ella continues to expand her knowledge of the industry and has dreams of opening retail locations where patrons can enjoy beautiful chocolates and tour the facilities.

It is no surprise that Ella plans to continue serving as a philanthropist who addresses inequities in the cocoa industry while continuing to create a stable and secure environment for her employees to work and grow their careers. 

Learn more about Ella and Cocoa Asante at


Oddeci Fitch

Food Odyssey Meal Prep 

Oddeci Fitch, a Chattanooga native, is a private chef who is making her mark on the food service industry, one client at a time. Chef Oddeci began her meal preparation services in Nashville during the summer of 2017 after struggling to find a healthy regimen for weight loss. Now, Oddeci provides weekly meal prep services to clients from a range of backgrounds with a diverse set of needs and nutritional goals. With an extensive menu to choose from each week, clients are able to build a customized meal plan with Oddeci’s expertise and services. 

After spending a number of years in the hospitality industry, Oddeci moved to Los Angeles to explore the fresh ingredients and variety of foods available. Here, she connected with celebrities including an NFL client on the Baltimore Ravens for her meal prep services. Don Jones of the St. Louis Cardinals was one of her first clients, which opened a whole new field of opportunities for Oddeci as a private chef for athletes.

When we asked Oddeci what she’s looking forward to most in her career, she told us, “God is pruning me so all of my branches can bear fruit”. She envisions a food truck, a juice bar, a storefront, and a sommelier certification in her future. Oddeci told us that Rachel Ray is one of her female inspirations on this journey and she hopes to build an empire similar to Ray’s one day. 

Learn more about Oddeci and Food Odyssey Meal Prep by following on Instagram: @FoodOdysseyMealPrep.


Marionnth Crister

Perfect Blend Pest Solutions 

With chic, elevated style accompanied by a warm and inviting persona, at first glance, you would never guess that Marionnth Critser is a leading lady in the home service industry.

Born in Manizales, Colombia with roots in Houston Texas, Marionnth began working in the pest control industry over 15 years ago. With a goal of creating a sustainable career in a reliable industry while raising her family, Marionnth began to set an example of hard work and determination by starting with an entry-level position in the industry.

Marionnth quickly excelled and worked her way to upper management at Orkin and relocated to Chattanooga as a regional manager for the organization. Soon after, however, Marionnth knew it was time to take her years of knowledge and experience and start her own company with a foundation built on her integrity, values and beliefs. Now, Marionnth is the owner of Perfect Blend Pest Solution along with her husband and operations manager, Bart. The two named the company in celebration of the blending of their two beautiful families. 

Utilizing a science-based approach centered on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles, Perfect Blend works hard to deliver the tailored solution needed to get the job done right the first time. 

Learn more about Perfect Blend Pest Solutions at  


Liz Compton

Southern Spear Properties

When you first meet Liz Compton, her presence fills up the room. Outgoing, ambitious, and unabashed, there is no doubt that Liz Compton was destined for greatness. Liz grew up in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Newnan, Georgia in her early teens where she quickly learned the value of hard work and entrepreneurship. Beginning her career in the insurance industry at an early age, Liz ran her own agency that eventually grew to five offices, taking her from managing fifteen employees to eighty overnight. 

Liz met her husband, Sean, in August of 2017 and the two were engaged three months later. From there, Liz made her mark in the couple’s company, Southern Spear Properties where she jumped in as a commercial realtor, managed its human resources department, and adopted any additional hat that needed to be worn. Liz found herself handling audits with the Department of Labor while becoming a self-taught project manager who learned the intricate industry of structural steel. She did all of this to support the vision of the multifaceted company that is now consuming the Southeast. 

Currently,  the team at Southern Spear is currently working to renovate the historic Park Hotel, which will be known as Park Tower. Liz and Sean envision that Park Tower will be downtown Chattanooga’s grandest condominium and Liz is thrilled to watch the economic growth throughout the city. This is just the beginning of the Compton's landmark footprint in our community.

Learn more about Southern Spear Properties at and the Park Tower renovation as well as future investment opportunities at 


Taylor Manor

Common House Chattanooga

There is nothing common about Taylor Manor or the journey that brought her to Chattanooga. Taylor’s approachability, open-mindedness and calming demeanor instantly attract people from all walks of life making her a confidant for so many. Personally, Taylor was one of the first people that made me realize just how welcoming this Chattanooga truly can be. 

Taylor grew up in South Carolina and moved to New York when she was just twenty-two years old. With a heart for the hospitality industry, Taylor quickly forged a path for a career as she was promoted from a server and bartender to the northeast market manager for a large liquor company while in New York.

As the Membership Director for Common House, Taylor is constantly acting as a liaison between members of the community building relationships around the clock. Having been with Common House from the beginning, she is responsible for hosting a number of networking events, parties, celebrations, and weddings (including her own). 

If you have questions about the benefits of Common House and all it has to offer or if you are simply looking for someone who truly has your best interests in mind when planning your next event or gathering, look no further than Taylor Manor.

Learn more about Common House at


Lucy Miller

Women Connect

This year’s Ladies’ issue wouldn’t be complete without Lucy Miller, a realtor and founder of the Women’s Networking Group, Women Connect. Formerly known as TN Women Connect, Lucy founded Women Connect in 2021 in Franklin, TN. The group was created with the intention of creating a place where women could get together once or twice a week to build personal and professional connections. 

As a young professional, Lucy had a career in baking and would attend large networking events where she felt that she never walked away with any meaningful relationships. Because of this, she was inspired to create TN Women Connect knowing that many entrepreneurs not only wanted, but needed stronger, more genuine relationships and would invest in making the most of their time getting to know each other. 

Having real conversations and forming real relationships on an intimate level beyond a handshake and passing a business card is what Lucy was determined to cultivate. Now, Women Connect has a presence in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama and Lucy told us that the joy she feels watching connections being made is the most rewarding feeling she could ask for. 

Learn more about Women Connect at


Amelia Carpenter

Behind the Bride Social 

Picture this: It’s your wedding day. You’ve hired the photographer, videographer, and event coordinator. You’ve convinced all your guests to go unplugged so you get to avoid phone-clutching photobombers. And then, you have to narrow down your photographer’s pictures to a scant couple hundred after editing. Most of the photos are posed, pre-planned. You miss out on some of the candid, in-the-moment memories.

That’s where Behind the Bride Social comes in. Amelia Carpenter, the woman behind the brand, has built a business around capturing candid moments for weddings and the events leading up to the big day. Since launching her business, Amelia has been captivated by the community she found in Chattanooga. “It’s very inspiring. The wedding industry is woman-dominated, and I’ve never felt so supported since working in this business.” 

A new bride herself, Amelia has a passion for digital content creation and launched her business after getting married in December. Amelia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Marketing & Communication and a minor in Storytelling from ETSU—the perfect foundation for Behind the Bride. While planning her own wedding was the initial inspiration to launch her business, it’s been the support of other women in the industry that has fueled that fire. While still in the early stages, she’s learned that there are no real limitations. “Your dreams are never really too far out of reach.” And nowhere is that more true than in Chattanooga. “The environment is like nothing I’ve ever seen!”

Learn more about Amelia and Behind the Bride Social by following on Instagram: @behindthebridesocial.


Cassidy Davidson 

That's So Fringe & Ringg

Cassidy Davidson is making colorful waves throughout the event industry in Chattanooga. From school dances to corporate events and, of course, milestone birthdays, Cassidy’s business remains a fixture in the event industry, which is booming in Chattanooga. As a busy mom of two, Cassidy’s designs provide playful backdrops to any event. And, there’s more to come for the small business! New textures, new rental offers, and more collaborations with other local event designers are on the way for That’s So Fringe. In addition to That’s So Fringe, Cassidy has also launched another venture called RINGG, which offers Audio Guestbooks for weddings and events. 

When asked about being a woman in small business, Cassidy admired the sense of community and collaboration present in Chattanooga, especially in the event industry. “There’s a spirit of working together. Everyone’s open to new ideas–we all feed off each other.” 

As the conversation continued, it became clear that Chattanooga’s unique sense of community has been a catalyst to Cassidy’s booming success. Cassidy recognizes that Chattanooga is a special place for small businesses to thrive. While being in small business can feel hyper-competitive, Cassidy emphasized that it doesn’t feel that way in Chattanooga. “We all support each other.”

Learn more about Cassidy and That's So Fringe by following along on Instagram at @thatssofringe and Cassidy’s newest venture Ringg at @ringg_chatt.