New Year – New Board!

A big thank you to our outgoing board & committee chairs. Also congrats to our incoming board & chairs! We can’t wait to see what you have in store for PWF!

2017-2018 PWF Board and Committee Chairs

2016-2017 Executive Board and Committee Chairs

Feb. 2017 Member Spotlight – Mary Kaye Johnson

A comment made by a girlfriend at the age of 17 left quite an impression on the February Spotlight, Mary Kaye Johnson!  (Find out at the end of this article!)  This comment was the impetus to start her own business, A Delicate Touch. “I am a Certified Professional Electrologist performing both cosmetic and medically necessary permanent hair removal.  My clients range in age from nine to eighty plus.  The largest percentage of my work is facial but I treat all areas.  I also serve on the Executive Committee of the American Electrology Association as the 1st Vice President and director of the Council on Education.  Electrolysis has been around since 1875 and is still the only method of hair removal endorsed as permanent for all hair on all skin types by both the AMA and FDA.”

Mary Kaye received her certification and began her business in 2005 after spending over twenty years in construction and real estate.  What she likes best about her job includes the following:  “I love most everything about the work I do!  As the unwanted hair disappears my clients grow in either confidence, comfort or both.  Learning is my passion and I partner with my clients that have endocrine disorders to help them understand what to expect from treatment by me and what they can do to improve their own health.”

Some inspiring thoughts for PWF members Mary Kaye would like to share are these:  “Life is a precious gift and it is never too late to improve your attitude and routine to unwrap the best each day has to offer.”

When Mary Kaye isn’t working in her business she enjoys a variety of activities. “My hobbies fall prey to the fact that I have too many interests and too little time!  I love curling up with a good book or crocheting fun hats for my grandsons, but all of that comes behind spending time with my family and friends.  Nothing beats a long chat with a cup of hazelnut coffee in the rocker on my front porch!”

“My husband, Bill, and I will celebrate 34 years of marriage this summer.  We have one daughter, Samantha, the dessert chef at Cole’s On Main, one son-in-law, Brock, owner of multiple Emmy winning Oculus Studios and two grandsons, Cooper and Carter.  Life is full and blessed beyond what I could ever have imagined.”

Here’s that comment!  “When my girlfriend commented on my mustache at age 17 I had no idea that my trip to the local electrologist would be such a positive experience that I would begin a whole new career one day.  In my late twenties I had my eyebrows permanently shaped and threw away my tweezers forever!  For anyone dealing with the embarrassment of unwanted hair or simply the nuisance of daily hair maintenance, electrolysis is the solution.”

Contact Mary Kaye Johnson at (859) 312-7397,,

Dec. 2016 – John Peterman talks about business and his current catalog

John PetermanJohn Peterman spoke at the Professional Women’s Forum on Dec. 7. He wore an Akubra felt hat from Australia, J. Peterman plaid hunting jacket with suede elbow patches, available next year, and a Tattersall check shirt.

By Harriett Hendren

John Peterman, founder of the J. Peterman apparel company, known for its iconic catalog and famous for being parodied on TV’s “Seinfeld,” spoke Dec. 7 at the Professional Women’s Forum in Lexington. Dresses from the current catalog were on display at a mini fashion show.

“I’m not much of a speech giver, but I’m a great storyteller,” Peterman told the crowd. And he wasn’t kidding. The Lexington businessman founded his company in the late 1980s and offered clothing and accessories inspired by historic pieces, including a horseman’s duster.

Peterman told of discovering the original coat in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and wearing it around New York. People were constantly complimenting it, so he added the piece to the the catalog.

“We’re constantly striving to break all the rules,” said Peterman of his company. “I’m talking about breaking all the creative rules.”

Through the years, the company went through both extreme success and at one point bankruptcy, and then it was sold. Peterman eventually bought back the name, and the catalog survived.

Pieces on display during last week’s fashion show included the “Grecian Goddess Dress,” which is in the current catalog.

The description that runs alongside it is pure J. Peterman: ‘The Agean Sea is a mere backdrop. You are in an even more mysterious shade of red. Enveloped in a long, flowing silhouette coupled with a certain bearing that has managed to intimidate everyone except that persistent shipping magnate who has followed you onto the wraparound terrace. It’s not easy being a Greek goddess these days, but you’ll manage.”






How You & PWF Can Help Bring Joy to Lexington Families?

 reindeer-expressWho is The Nest and What is the Reindeer Express?

The Nest – Center for Women, Children & Families’ 39 th Annual  Reindeer Express event assists families with children five years-of-age and younger who have received services from The Nest in 2016. These families are provided new toys, coats, hats, scarves, gloves, books, and art supplies, as well as a food box for their holiday celebrations!   This is the only time of year that they ask for new items to ensure that the children have a Happy Holiday.  This year, they estimate that they will have approximately 725 children in need of new gifts and winter wear.  That is over 430 families that will be helped this holiday season!
For 2016 The Nest has asked if PWF could help with the following donations:

       * Rolls of Christmas wrapping paper – Each family receives a roll of wrap for the gifts they select from the donated toys for their children
      *Board games for families with children 5 yrs and under – Each family receives a board game in addition to the age appropriate toys that the parent selects
      *Winter Coat for boys and girls sizes 4T to 6X – Each child receives a winter coat in addition to the toys
nestThe PWF Dreambuilders’ Goal for this collection: 39 rolls of holiday wrap; 20 board games; and 10 new coats

Please bring donated items to the December 7 PWF meeting.

As you are out and about shopping for Thanksgiving festivities, please take a moment and put an item in your cart for The Reindeer Express.

They will be delivered to The Nest in time for this annual event.  If you would like to support this festive project but skip the shopping, then your cash donation or a check to The Nest would be much appreciated.

Thank you from Melissa Bright and the Dreambuilders’ Committee

Dec. 2016 Member Spotlight-Hazel Teichen

hazel-teichenHazel Teichen is the Provider Liaison for Hospice of the Bluegrass.  “My primary responsibility is to connect with physicians, clinicians, healthcare providers/partners and residents in the community to share information and educate on the many services available through Hospice of the Bluegrass and Palliative Care. I had the privilege to work for a hospice provider for 8 years in Chicago and I have been blessed to be on the team of professionals at Hospice of the Bluegrass for just over one year.”

What Hazel likes best about her job includes the following:  “I have the highest job satisfaction when I am representing Hospice of the Bluegrass and presenting to a professional or community group to educate on hospice services.  As an advocate for quality of life, personal dignity, and the compassionate care that is the core of hospice, I strive to correct misinformation about what hospice is or is not and to highlight the benefits that can be realized for patients, families, and caregivers at a most intimate time in their lives.”

“Having relocated from Illinois to Kentucky at the age of 60, what I value and hold dear about being a member of PWF is the variety of dynamic women I have had the pleasure to get to know.  A traveler always welcomes a hospitable heart and I have been fortunate to meet many warm welcoming women in the past months.  These friendships have silently aided me as I have transitioned to my new home in Lexington.  Truly priceless!”

In her spare time Hazel enjoys walking in the woods and being in nature with her dog, birdwatching, and visiting Civil War battlefields to immerse in history.  “I enjoy all things related to decorating, redecorating and repurposing environments.  I have a passion for historic restoration and watching educational programming on all topics.”

“I am single.  I am a proud Mom of my daughter, Renee, who lives in Connecticut and my son, Billy, who lives in  Brooklyn, New York.  I have a beautiful Collie mix dog named Annie who rescued me 11 years ago.  She brings joy and calm to my life.  I got my motorcycle license and my Masters’ Degree at the age of 58.”

“I am very grateful to be a member of PWF!”

Contact Hazel Teichen at (859) 699-0773 or

Nov. 2016 Member Spotlight – Courtney Jones

courtneyCourtney Jones is a fairly new member, but she has definitely gotten involved with Professional Women’s Forum in many areas. The latest activity was the September Membership Bash at the Courtyard. Courtney is the Market Sales Manager for TMI Hospitality-Keeneland/Airport which includes the Residence Inn, Courtyard, and Fairfield Inn & Suites in the Beaumont area. Courtney has been in the hospitality industry for over 9 years and has been with TMI Hospitality for over 1 year. Her job duties, in her words, include the following: “To find you and your company the best room at the right rate. To achieve our daily goal of ‘Impressing Guests.’”
“I love being able to help people daily by fulfilling their needs, whether it is for a special room rate, a block of rooms, or any travel needs.”
Some inspiring thoughts for our PWF members include the following: “We are capable of doing anything that we set our minds to. As women we try to be the best at everything at all times, whether it be to exceed in our career, as a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, or a co-worker, the titles we have our endless. We cannot hold ourselves to the standards of what others perceive as truth. We are to stay true to ourselves and our personal truth.”
In her free time Courtney loves live music, great food, reading memoirs, and going on “adventures” with her husband and 2 1/2 year old son. “I have been married for 5 1/2 years to an amazing man and we have a 2-1/2 year old son who has an incredibly kind heart for helping others.”
“Professional Women’s Forum is such a diverse and great group of women who I feel I can learn so much from! We can help each other grow in life and in business.”
Contact Courtney Jones at (859) 296-0460 and

October 2016 Member Spotlight – Tanzi Merritt

tanzi-merrittA fairly new member, Tanzi Merritt is the Marketing Director for Metaformers. “We are a software implementation consultancy that works specifically with Oracle products, primarily PeopleSoft and Hyperion.” She works with the sales team to provide sales support and to handle the company’s marketing efforts, which includes everything from web development to event planning to data analysis. Tanzi has been at her job for four years.
What she likes best about her job includes the following: “I have a lot of flexibility with my job because we are a national firm and my coworkers are spread across the country. I work at home or a location outside of my office about 90% of the time, and my schedule is mostly up to me. I also get to travel to some very cool places such as San Francisco, Puerto Rico, Annapolis, Phoenix, and Miami, among other places.”
Some inspiring thoughts Tanzi would like to share: “Work is important, but it doesn’t have to be your life. I started my career as a university librarian, but circumstances have cause me to shift away from that and into other things. I’ve done well with these changes because I have a vast skill set and am adaptable and always ready to learn something new, and I don’t identify myself by my work. When I meet people, the last thing I want to talk about is what we do for a living. I’d rather know what a person is passionate about outside of work because that tells me a lot more about them than how they make a living.”
In her spare time Tanzi is involved in many things. “I have always been very active in the community and sit on the boards of the Plantory and Opportunity for Work and Learning. I’m a sustaining member of the Junior League of Lexington and am a volunteer/member of both LexArts and the Lexington Art League, and mentor and advise students at Transylvania University. Additionally, I’ve recently taken on leadership roles with the Moonshiner’s Ball, a local music festival, and Crave Lexington, a food festival with an attendance of nearly 40,000. I’m also a freelance writer, knitter, and avid reader. I am happily single with no children, and I have two cats, one of which is 18 years old.”
Contact Tanzi Merritt at (859) 285-2345 or



Sept. 2016 Member Spotlight – Elizabeth Chatterton

elizabeth-chattertonThere is a saying that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” That would certainly be the case of September’s Spotlight Member, Elizabeth Chatterton, as she is as outgoing as her mother, PWF member, Marilyn Chapman! In her words, “I love meeting new people and get excited when I can connect two people who might benefit from collaborating with one another. I will never turn down a request to meet someone new and am not shy about asking people I just met out for coffee.
If we have not yet met, let’s find a time to change that soon!” Elizabeth is a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual and has been at the company since 2015. “Most people know Northwestern Mutual as one of the world’s most respected life insurance companies, but we also help people with developing a comprehensive financial plan. This includes planning for life’s uncertainties, helping maximize efficiency for individuals whether they are focused on reducing debt, growing their family, or preparing for retirement. I help people get organized and make sure that what matters most is protected.”
What Elizabeth likes best about her job includes the following: “I get to meet so many different people and learn about what really matters most to them. The work we do together helps provide families with a lot of confidence and clarity around their personal situation. Being a part of that is very rewarding.”
Some inspiring thoughts for other PWF members are these: “I try to never assume anything about anyone. I am always open to meeting new people. PWF has been a great opportunity to make new connections on both a professional and personal level. I did not expect to meet so many neat women with such diverse skill sets and backgrounds. For those who embrace the opportunity to meet new friends through PWF, it will certainly be a rewarding experience.”
In her down time Elizabeth is all about her family and friends. “I love to play team sports and staying active. Since having my son I have found a way to marry the two through a local stroller workout group. I enjoy being outdoors whether it is hiking, swimming, or going to listen to live music in one of Lexington’s many great public spaces. I have a big, fun family with three children, ages 3, 14, and 16. We also have two dogs and two cats. My husband, Brandon, is an Engineer for Hitachi Automotive. We both come from big families and have a total of 17 nieces and nephews. Between family, dance, soccer, and life, we stay busy, busy, busy!
Contact Elizabeth Chatterton at (859) 321-1019,



Aug. 2016 Member Spotlight – Rhonda Bartlett

rhonda-bartlettFor those of you out there who remember that James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, meet Rhonda Bartlett, one of the hardest working women in website design! Rhonda Bartlett is the President/Web Designer of RB Web & Graphics Design Studio. The company has been in business since 1998 and is heavily involved in all forms of internet marketing and social media marketing. They also provide graphics for print work when asked by their clients to do so.
“In 1997, I became involved with website design through the development of my church’s website. The church site was started by someone else. When he left the church I said, ‘I think I can do it!.’ I knew nothing about website design at that time, and actually, very little about the internet. It was all brand new and very exciting to me! My Pastor, at the time, was the one who believed in me enough to make me believe in myself.”
“After many, many hours of doing something, then redoing it over and over again, and studying and trying different things, I began to see that I had a love for this thing called website design/development. I am very proud of the team that has come together to form RB Design Studio. We give each and every one of our websites the individual attention they deserve and treat each of our clients as if they were our only client!”
What Rhonda likes best about her job includes the following: “Although I have had no ’formal’ education, I have been ’schooled’ in many, many hours of trying to figure out how to get this script to work correctly, or how to do this, or how to do that, but in the end, this thing called ’website design’ has become my passion. I love to be able to create something that my clients are proud to call their website and have them say, ’Rhonda Bartlett created my website!’”
Some inspiring thoughts Rhonda would like to share are these: “Never be afraid to try new things, no matter what they are. If you want to try something, then just DO IT! Life is too short to be ultra-conservative or to be so immersed in your work that you don’t take time to ’smell the roses.’ I know that is very cliché, but it is so true. Now, like never before, I have come to realize that life is just too precious and must be balanced, enjoyed, and lived to the fullest. I also feel it is very important to  laugh…often…and most importantly, at yourself!”
During her very rare times away from work Rhonda enjoys the following: “motorcycle riding with my guy and preparing our sailboat for my ’maiden voyage,’ visiting many places in and around Kentucky and just enjoying life.”
Rhonda was married for almost 40 years to George who passed away in January 2014. “I have two grown children, six grandchildren, and my 4 year old Shih-tzu, Petey.”
“I have been a member of PWF since 2000 and would encourage women of all ages to get involved. I am a firm believer of where friendships develop, referrals result. And, some of my greatest and longest lasting friendships have come from within Professional Women’s Forum.”
Contact Rhonda Bartlett at (859) 271-8977,, or visit


April 2016 Spotlight Member — Leslie Rion

leslie-rionA fairly new member to Professional Women’s Forum, Leslie Rion brings many years of experience in the financial services industry.  Leslie is a Wealth Management Advisor for Meridian Wealth Management, LLC.  “I partner with clients to solve challenges in their financial lives by creating custom financial plans and investment strategies that are meaningful and achievable.”

Leslie has been in the financial services industry for 30 plus years.  “I started as a student intern at Hilliard Lyons while studying business at the University of Kentucky.  My previous firms include Morgan Keegan, Lexington Investment Company, and TIAA-CREF.”

In her own words Leslie explains what she likes best about her job.  “Being in the industry long enough to have the opportunity to work with multiple generations of clients has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career.  It is very satisfying knowing that I’m a key resource in planning for a lot of life’s milestone events.  Seeing a client reach a well-deserved retirement or a child be able to attend a dream college is a lot of fun.”

Leslie would like to share this inspiring thought to other PWF members:  “Investing time and resources into your dreams is empowering.”

When Leslie isn’t helping her clients make their dreams come true she enjoys attending spin classes, traveling, gardening, and sitting in her hot tub!  “I am married to Scott Rion, a real estate professional, TV producer, and drummer.  I am also the proud mother and stepmother of four young adults, Kelsey, Natalie, Bo, and Ben.

Leslie Rion’s contact information is:  (859) 721-2469,, and website is