City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Local Trailblazers, Icons and Leaders

Gallatin's influential women are shaping the future and inspiring generations

Article by Jessica Cheek and Nicole Bell

Photography by Payton Wright | Rick Murray

Originally published in Gallatin Lifestyle

Ashlee Nash
Owner, Binkley Nash Furniture & Design

Gallatin native, Ashlee Dozier Nash, was hand-selected nearly a decade ago at the young age of 25 to become the new owner of Binkley Nash Furniture & Design, originally founded by Mike Binkley in downtown Gallatin and a staple in our area for decades. Decorating and interior design have long been passions of Ashlee’s and after graduating from Gallatin High School, she chose to attend design school at MTSU in Murfreesboro. In 2015, she seized the opportunity to take the helm of Gallatin’s premier furniture store, infusing it with fresh energy and familial warmth.

Ashlee and her husband Randy were both raised in Sumner County and were married in 2014, and soon after they purchased the furniture store. Ashlee and Randy also own another local business, Sumner Funeral & Cremation. Together, they embody local pride and community spirit, weaving personal connections with clients who span generations. It’s truly a family affair as even Ashlee’s mother and father have roles within the store. Ashlee's dedication extends beyond the showroom, offering a range of interior design services that leave lasting impressions throughout the region.

Ashlee's unique style and desire for the highest of standards continue to shape Gallatin's aesthetic and creative landscape. Through her boundless creativity and vision, she transforms dreams into tangible realities, leaving an enduring mark on both her business and the community she loves to serve.

Sonya Manfred
Executive Director, Sumner County CASA

Sonya Manfred, a fourth-generation Gallatin native, dedicates her daily mission to nurturing our community's most vulnerable. With over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, Sonya's tenure as Executive Director at Sumner County CASA reflects her service to our community. Sonya's journey to leadership was marked by a determined heart for children's welfare. From her early days as a Volunteer Coordinator, to studying education and psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee at Martin, to completing an Executive Program in Children’s Law and Policy at Loyola University Chicago, her mission remains clear: advocating for the welfare of children in need.

Reflecting on the challenges facing Sumner County, Sonya highlights food instability, housing shortages and the scarcity of mental health providers as critical issues. Yet, her optimism shines through collaboration. Uniting with organizations like United Way of Sumner County and Unlimited Potential, Sonya leads collective efforts to overcome these adversities.

Personally and professionally, Sonya finds her greatest joy in witnessing transformations — from family reunifications to adoption triumphs. Her guiding principle revolves around securing safe, stable and permanent homes for every child under her care. As a mentor and leader, Sonya emphasizes the importance of community engagement. Sonya also serves on various local boards and committees as she nurtures future advocates, fostering a legacy of compassion and action. To Sonya, inspiring others isn't just a duty — it's a privilege. Her call to action resonates: get involved, make a difference, and together, let's build a brighter future for all.

Erin Birch
CEO, United Way Sumner County

Erin Birch's journey to becoming the Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Sumner County has been guided by a commitment to community and an unwavering dedication to making positive change. With a Bachelor's degree in communications from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Erin ventured to Nashville, where her career in nonprofit work began.

Having held various fundraising and management positions, Erin's path led her to the top of United Way of Sumner County’s organization over six years ago. In this role, she spearheads efforts to support and address the needs of the community, tackling challenges such as financial strain on ALICE households (an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and housing affordability.

What drives Erin's passion is the tangible impact her work has on local families. Through collaborative partnerships and volunteer efforts, she sees firsthand the transformation of lives and communities. Personally, Erin finds fulfillment in her role as a Stephen Minister, providing emotional and spiritual support to those facing challenges.

Erin's leadership extends beyond her professional accomplishments. As a board member for the Gallatin Chamber, she recognizes the importance of connecting businesses with the community for lasting success. Her humility and dedication to service, guided by the belief that the most meaningful endeavors are those done for others, make her a beacon of inspiration in Gallatin.