The 2019 Over 40 & Fabulous! Winners

You voted and we are happy to present the 2019 Over 40 & Fabulous winners! Read on to learn more about the winners as they are described by their nominators.

See below the Top 10 and Fab 5 in no particular order.

The Top 10

Tonya Guillory 

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Tonya Guillory

Tonya Guillory

For your 2019 “Over 40 and Fabulous” Contest, I am nominating my wife Tonya Guillory.

Tonya is fabulous for so many reasons. The value of family that she has and puts first in her life is incredible. As a wife, mother, and daughter she is amazing. Her loyalty and love for us are unmatched. Being together for 18 years, she never ceases to amaze me with her ability to show us how much she cares about us and loves us with all of her heart.

She has spent the past 18 years making sure that we put our marriage first and nurtures it to ensure that it continues to get better each and every day. Her ability to push me to be better is outstanding. As a mother, Tonya is always making sure that our 5-year-old daughter Lily knows how much she is loved, how amazing she is, and is always boosting her confidence with positive affirmations no matter how long of a day she had. As a daughter, she has more compassion, forgiveness, and love for her family than anyone. Her ability to always see the positive in them no matter the situation is incredible.

Tonya is a fitness fanatic. She always finds time to fit in a workout during her busy days no matter how tired she is. Tonya is one of the most successful business people I know. She truly is a Champion. Tonya’s accomplishments, dedication to her company and loyalty are second to none. When we moved to Atlanta in 2003 she went to work for Benchmark Physical Therapy as a sales and marketing rep. When they interviewed and hired her they told her that they were not performing well in Georgia and they were depending on her to grow the market quickly or they were going to close the Georgia Region. This was a huge undertaking, but she did not quiver or back down from the challenge. When hired she was the only rep in Georgia. There were only 5 clinics open and they needed business to sustain operations in Georgia. They hired the perfect candidate. Fast forward 15 years, and what she has accomplished in her career and for the company with Benchmark Rehab Partners is unbelievable. There are now 180 clinics in Georgia, she has 10 Reps as direct reports to her, she is Vice President of Sales and Legal for Georgia, and because of the immense growth and success within the medical and legal community in Georgia, she has enabled the company to grow nationally into the 3rd largest Physical Therapy Provider in the country and growing. She is an amazing leader of her team and within the company. She is highly regarded and respected within the Physical Therapy, Medical, and Legal communities. As an executive myself, I can speak to the fact that she has a work ethic that is unrivaled in any industry. Tonya is a highly qualified candidate for your Best of 2019 “Over 40 and Fabulous” competition and she will represent you with pride.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

Tonya supports the community through volunteer and sponsorships with many organizations in and around the City of Atlanta. Including:

Angels Amongst Us Pet Rescue
ASPCA
The Alzheimers Association
Wounded Warrior
Mercy Care
Adopt-A-Senior

Portia Bruner

Portia Bruner

Portia Bruner

Why is your nominee fabulous?

I also would like to nominate my good friend Portia Bruner of Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta.

She is an amazing single mom, she’s seen in television daily, but Portia came down with a weird condition that affected her vocal cords, she had to get off the air and take care of herself. The way she moved through this time as a single mom inspired me so much.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

She is heavily involved in her church, she supports numerous charity organizations through service and she is always inspiring others to live their best self on and off the air. She works tirelessly now to raise awareness about psychogenic stuttering (the condition that changed her life).

Terri Ellis-Ewing

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Over 40 and fabulous is everything our mother is! She is smart, funny, youthful, and beautiful. She is the hardest working woman I have ever known. She began her life graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Broadcast Journalist. After graduation, she worked corporately for many fortune 500 companies like IBM, Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals. She mastered being a large systems Sales Executive to a Cancer Sales Specialist. She did really well but decided that she wanted to pursue her passion which was in the Television Entertainment industry. Later, after she got married to our Dad and moved to Pennsylvania and she co-starred in a children’s television show on a local network TV station. She also did commercials and voice-overs for many companies. She also became a Certified Fitness

Terri Ellis-Ewing

Terri Ellis-Ewing

Instructor. But the best and most rewarding job is her motherhood expertise! She used all of her life experiences in the corporate world, and the entertainment industry and put all of her talent into being an amazing Mom! We were told that before my mom gave birth she even took classes on how to be the perfect mom, read a great deal of books on parenting, and even joined the La Leche League International meetings to master the art of nursing, because it was important to her to give us the best nutrition possible early on in life. So for as long as I can remember my mom worked 24 hours a day 7 days a week taking care of all of our needs including my Dad and 2 dogs! She never ever complained and always had a smile on her face no matter what! If we were sick all night or had to stay up all night doing homework she was always there for us. She taught us how to read at an early age, how to dress ourselves, personal hygiene, how to swim, how to study, and also how to drive! She is the most amazing and patient person I have ever known. Even now that we are out of the house she still devotes a great deal of time making sure all is well in our lives, she loves pilates, volunteering, gardening. Our Mother is definitely the CEO and President of the Ewing family and totally deserves to be the winner of the most fabulous and beautiful woman over 40 years old.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

Terri Ellis- Ewing does over 200 hours a year doing various community service projects. She is a member of The Links Inc where she volunteers for several nonprofit organizations, Atlanta Mission helps feed, cloth and mentor homeless woman, and sits on the Board for the Auditory Verbal Center Inc helping to raise money for the deaf and hearing-impaired children. We help children learn to speak and listen again WITHOUT the use of sign language or lip reading. This is her passion because she herself is hearing impaired!

Eileen Rosencrants

Eileen Rosencrants

Eileen Rosencrants 

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Eileen is not only physically one of the most beautiful women I have ever met at the young age of 66, but she is also the most giving, caring, and selfless person. She has volunteered for numerous charities and chaired several fundraiser Galas for the Arthritis Foundation and Meals on Wheels. She also had the first nationally televised interior decorating show in 70′; she is a magnetic force to be reckoned with!!

How does your nominee give back to the community?

She has volunteered for numerous charities and chaired several fundraiser galas for the Arthritis Foundation and Meals on Wheels. Eileen and her husband also donate to all of the causes involving animals, children, and senior citizens.

Bridgitte Hatfield

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Having known Bridgitte for over 20 years, I can say she is one of the most honest, inspiring, generous souls out there. She founded and ran a dance studio for several years

Bridgitte Hatfield

Bridgitte Hatfield

in Dayton Ohio while raising her family of 6 kids. After a few years in Savannah, she and her family now reside in Atlanta and their two oldest are in College. She travels as a judge for dance competitions, while working side-by-side with her husband renovating houses. Just recently, she became a foster parent for two small children. She is a loyal member of her local church and somehow finds time to participate in all her kid’s school functions. She is truly and without a doubt an inspiration to me and all her friends.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

There are literally so many ways! She holds a yearly ‘party’ creating shoe soles for Sole Hope. She creates Pillowcase Dresses for those girls who need them in Uganda, Poland, Rwanda, Guatemala, Ecuador, India, and Zimbabwe. In addition, she organizes a yearly “Celebrating Cross” gala to honor her youngest son who survived an allergy attack a few years ago, with all proceeds going to FARE. Just recently, she and her husband were honored to join the FARE board. In addition, she does fundraising for Alzheimer’s Association, ALS, Childhood Cancer, Humane Society, and more! In addition, she and her family personally funded the building of wells as part of the Clean Water Project in Uganda. To bring all this together, she created the organization Refuse to do Nothing to give people a place to find out how they can help and where to donate. Please consider as one of the 10 finalists – I can assure you she deserves this honor!

Stella Ringer

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Stella Ringer exudes being fabulous. Stella is a fashion diva that looks fabulous and makes a statement on a daily basis. Stella has an active lifestyle and stays fit. When Stella enters the room, she commands attention. With her keen fashion sense, she is a sweet compassionate soul. She sees the best in everyone and wants success for all that she

Stella Ringer

Stella Ringer

touches. She is s natural leader and others love to emulate her style, grace, and presence. Listed below are many reasons why Stella would be a Flawless nominee for the Over 40 & Fabulous campaign:

Stella is a wife to Al and mother to Peyton
A graduate from The University of Alabama and Kennesaw State (MBA)
A corporate executive with The Coca-Cola Company working with marketing The Essence Festival, BET Awards, The Grammys, Black Girls Rock, National Commercials and solidifying various musical acts for Coke’s National Campaigns to name a few. She is a Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. A Dior Maven
Top Executive Business Women of Atlanta
and the list goes on.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

Fundraising Co-Chair Jack and Jill of America, Inc. for the inaugural  “Heels and Wheels”  fundraising event, raising over $10,000 for leadership development, community and civic programs for African American children. Sponsorship Chair for The Goode Foundation raising over $250,000 for the inaugural year of the Goode Strong Gala Committee Member for Mercy Care Foundation’s Mercy Ball (Committee raised $400,000 for Healthcare of the homeless and underserved community in Atlanta)

 

Kristin Andree

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Kristin is a corporate performance coach, writer, speaker, business strategist and mom of 3 very active girls. Her company is the Andree Consulting Group.

Kristin Andree

Kristin Andree

She is like me, in that she calls it like she sees it and is relentless in helping people attain their goals. She currently has a podcast called #nolimits on which I was a guest on one of her shows. It broadcasts every week. Kristin also holds a second-degree black belt in taekwondo and has won State and District titles in form, weapons, combat weapons and sparring. She also authored the book, “Don’t Make Me Pull This Car Over: A Roadmap for the Working Mom.”

How does your nominee give back to the community?

While Kristin is a badass in business and on the mat, she also has a soft heart for helping others; she sits on the board as the co-president of Ellevate Atlanta, a global organization that focuses on women development and empowerment. She also sits on the board of a financial services group called NAIFA. An active member of North Point church, she volunteers consistently there, focusing on the development of women and girls.

But, more than anything else, Kristin is a genuine person, a positive spirit, and someone I am proud to call my friend.

Engle Coulter 

Engle Coulter

Engle Coulter

Why is your nominee fabulous?

A Wife, Mother, and US Airforce Officer, Engle represents everything that is strong, beautiful, and wonderful about being a woman. After coming back from a deployment in Iraq the University of Alabama Graduate and current Airforce Officer decided to try her hand at pageants. A natural when it came to strength and confidence after learning the tricks of the trade and Engle went on to win Mrs. Paulding County. She would later go on to be the second runner-up in the Mrs. Georgia Participant proving that you don’t have to choose between being pretty or being strong, you can be both. Engle has been a part of the Airforce for 26 years working her way up in the ranks. After a long and spectacular journey, she will retire next year.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

Engle gives back to the community in a variety of different ways but most notably she is an advocate of the Wounded Warrior Project. Lucky to return from all of her deployments unscathed she has made it her mission to help those in need.

Michelle Falconer

Why is your nominee fabulous?

My wife Michelle is absolutely fabulous and embodies the strength, balance, and resilience of the consummate Atlantan. She wears many hats as a business owner, developer, author, community servant, political confidant, wife, mother, and friend of the city. A native of Denver, Colorado, she is a 1998 graduate of Clark Atlanta University. Michelle is the CEO of Bailey and Hunter, a metro Atlanta real estate and property management company with offices in Georgia and Florida, that is celebrating their 18th year. Michelle recently completed her development of a dilapidated historic building in downtown College Park

Michelle Falconer

Michelle Falconer

into a multi-level mixed-use work live development, improving the aesthetics of the historic city and the property values of the city. She plans to open an ice cream shop with our children as the owners to instill the business experience for the youth of the community.
She is presently negotiating new development projects for Southwest Atlanta and the West End area and champions the affordable housing challenges within the city limits. Michelle has recently published her 1st book, Entrepreneurship in the Next Level.
She is president-elect of the Atlanta chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global network of business owners and entrepreneurs. She is the proud parent of our four children, sons Hunter(20) and Bryson(18) and daughters Ryan(16) and Devin(11). She is a political activist and has served and volunteered on many local, statewide and national campaigns. She is an active and physically fit person who enjoys a healthy lifestyle of exercise, smart food choices, proper sleep, yoga, and massage. She has participated in several triathlons and presently is an active tennis partner in the Atlanta Lawn and Tennis Association. Michelle simply enjoys traveling and experiencing new countries and cultures. Exploring the globe both professionally and personally, she has traveled to over 50 countries in 6 continents. She is an avid supporter of local and national government and believes in building longstanding relationships locally, nationally and globally while investing in our community and nation. She is an absolutely beautiful person physically, emotionally and spiritually. She possesses the most pleasant smile and it is rare to find a picture that does not capture her genuine smile. She is absolutely fabulous and I truly like her as a person. I always say that if I were not married to her that we would still be the best of friends!! She is so committed to the relationships in her life and she is loved by most people that know her. She is really a true friend to her friends. I believe she embodies all of the attributes of what an Over 40 and Fabulous person should represent. I hope that you will consider her for your contest.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

Michelle’s service to the community has been a broad combination of civic leadership, community volunteerism, public service, and philanthropy. She presently serves as a board member of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, which is authorized to construct, equip and maintain recreational and sports facilities for the city of Atlanta. She also serves on the City of Atlanta Zoning Board, which is responsible for permitting and zoning of new projects and developments in the city with the consideration of traffic, safety, crime, and environmental concerns. She serves on the board of the National Black Arts Festival and chaired the Mayor of Atlanta Inauguration celebration event, the Mayor’s Masked Ball post-ball reception, and the Mayor’s Super Bowl reception. She serves on the College Park Main Street Development Association and the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation. She has served on the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta(CHOA) ELC Board and orchestrated the Falconer Family gift to Hughes Spaulding Hospital for the named ER Trauma room. She serves as Teen Coordinator of the Atlanta chapter of Jack and Jill of America, a national child empowerment organization. She is the former president of the Auxiliary of the Atlanta Medical Association and is active in community development of the Southwest Atlanta Corridor. Michelle has served as team mom of several of our children’s sports teams over the years. She remains a surrogate mother to many is our children’s friends over the years and a caring aunt to our 25 nieces and nephews. Even on Election Day, she transported her friend Kay, who is visually impaired to the polls to vote followed by her monthly grocery shopping excursion. Michelle has coordinated significant philanthropic donations to a multitude of local and national charities and programs on behalf of our family and her unselfish commitment to give back to the community is tireless. She believes that a combination of service, time and resources is what is necessary to fully support our causes. It is extraordinary that a mother of four has the time, energy, balance and desire to serve more than just our family, but she truly does. I am so proud of her and the example she sets for our children and our community. As a citizen, I am the beneficiary of her love of community as well. She is truly a good citizen of the city. I recommend the fabulous Michelle Falconer, without reservation and feel that she is an excellent candidate for representation and inclusion in your contest.

Julie Turner

Why is your nominee fabulous?

It is my pleasure to introduce to you someone who truly exemplifies the type of person the Best Self Over 40 & Fabulous contest strives to honor. Julie Turner has overcome adversity while tirelessly giving back to the community at every opportunity. She is a role model who balances the challenges of family, entrepreneurship, and being integrally involved with her church charities, as well as dealing with not only one, but two chronic illnesses.

Julie Turner

Julie Turner

I first met Julie at our local gym. My first impression was that she was friendly and outgoing. I got to know Julie better when I had the opportunity to teach her daughter runway modeling. When she opened her boutique, Ivy Lane, six years ago, Julie asked me to model for her new store. Very few people who know Julie know she has Sjögren’s Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. She deals with the daily challenges of debilitating pain and discomfort but never complains about her condition. I know only because we both share these chronic conditions. Julie is genuinely generous in spirit. No matter what she goes through, she is constantly thinking about how she can give back to those around her.
Below is a list of her community involvement. I personally have witnessed her generosity with a fundraiser that my husband and I host annually for the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation. Every year she is one of our largest silent auction donors. Not only does she donate but she and her family attend the event. When I produced the annual Walton High school fashion show to benefit its choral program, Julie allowed us to use clothing from her boutique for the girls to model.

Julie is such an inspiration to those with whom she comes in contact. Balance is one of the things we all struggle with, and yet somehow, Julie balances being a mother to three children, a business owner at Ivy Lane, a premier boutique in East Cobb, her discipline of self-care by taking the time to invest in herself, and her goal of keeping herself strong so that she may give of herself to others. She is a Sunday school teacher, a leader, a fundraiser, Georgia Tech graduate, and a brilliant member of our Cobb County community.I could not be prouder to nominate this powerful, beautiful, humble, giving woman who I am so grateful to call my friend.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

Church
-Sunday school teacher at Johnson Ferry Church
-Serves on the children’s committee
-Served on the Pastor’s nominating committee
-Mission trip leader (3 years) to Alaska
-Mission trip sponsor
-Family group leader
-Craft leader for a youth mission trip
-The yearly leader of vacation bible school
-Donated to Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Saint Jude Catholic church, Sewell Mill Baptist, Daybreak Widows ministry, East Cobb Presbyterian Church

School
-Major sponsor for the Annual Blessed Trinity Gala
-Committee member on the board of the Blessed Trinity Gala
-Sponsor of several basketball/baseball high school teams; Pope and Lassiter
-Sponsor for several booster clubs Lassiter, Kell, Etc.
-Member on the Dance Committee for Mt. Bethel
-Sponsor at least 10 different schools at Ivy Lane for “spirit nights”
-Sponsor for GA Tech dance team
-Donations to Pope, Mill Springs Academy, Lassiter, Mountain View Elementary, Garrison Mill Elementary, East Cobb Presbyterian, Mt. Bethel, Sprayberry, Legacy Christian School, McCleskey Elementary, Nicholson Elementary, Addison Elementary, Keheley Elementary, Saint Francis, Timber Ridge Elementary School

The Fab 5

Caren Cohen

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Caren Cohen

Caren Cohen

Caren Cohen is Amazingly Fabulous. She lightens up every room she enters and her “fun” personality draws people in. She’s an incredible mother to 2 teens and a supporting wife that holds it all together for our family. Plus she’s a personal yoga instructor that has built a loyal following over the last 7 years. Caren is a natural beauty with an incredible taste for fashion and a style all her own.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

Caren has been heavily involved in volunteer work in the metro Atlanta area. She is constantly volunteering at our synagogue as well as both of our kids’ schools. She has served on numerous committees and boards. A few include “Second Helpings” to support food donations to the less fortunate and “Family Promise” which offers temporary housing for homeless families of single mothers as they save money to afford a home or rent.

Kwavi Agbeyegbe

Why is your nominee fabulous?

50 years bold and loving it. Midlife Matters – Health & Wellness|Fashion|Travel

Kwavi Agbeyegbe is a Lifestyle Coach that specializes in weight loss and healthy living. She is also an International Motivational Speaker. She founded Kwavi.com to help smart, ambitious women over the age of 40 lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Kwavi inspires women all over the world to transform their lives and bodies.

Kwavi Agbeyegbe

Kwavi Agbeyegbe

She received her B.Sc. in Information Technology from the Thames Valley University in the United Kingdom and obtained a Masters in Medical Informatics degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. She trained with the Well Coaches School of Coaching; a program endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine and is a Certified Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.
Kwavi is a wife and mother to 2 teenage boys. She has been featured on NBC, CBS, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Best Self and is a blogger with the Huffington Post.

How does your nominee give back to the community?  She also believes in giving back and works tirelessly to combat childhood obesity. She ran the Chicago marathon in 2012 to raise money for childhood obesity and in 2013 organized a 5K race in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Physicians in Americas – Georgia Chapter to raise money to combat the childhood obesity epidemic. She is an International Health Motivational Speaker, Zumba Instructor, and Marathoner.

Dr. Tannaz Modaresi

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Dr.  Tannaz Modaresi

Dr. Tannaz Modaresi

Tannaz Modaresi is a loving individual who has a heart of gold. She is a woman of strength, kindness, thoughtfulness, caring and willing to go the extra mile to make sure everyone around here is content. No matter the circumstance she is always looking out and reaching out to anyone that she knows. Everyone that knows her, knows that she has a loving and caring soul and that this is why I think she would be a fabulous nominee.

How does your nominee give back to the community?

She attends Health Fairs, she is a part of the Georgia Chiropractic Association, she volunteers as a basketball coach as well as she donates and sponsors school sports teams in her county.

Kristen Marotte

Why is your nominee fabulous and how does she give back to the community?

MAKING MARRIAGES STRONGER: For the past 15 yrs, my husband & I have spent 2-3 hrs/wk helping engaged couples build strong foundations for their marriages. We are a blended family, & that comes with challenges. Our goal is to give engaged couples proper expectations & obtain the necessary tools needed to navigate through their own challenges in marriage. We work with first-time marriages, blended families, multicultural couples, mixed racial couples, unequally yoked couples – You name it! We have tackled a range of complex issues including various addictions, infidelity & homosexuality. It’s so rewarding to know that our strengths, as well as our failures, can be used to help others succeed, & it’s amazing to witness the growth of the couples during our time together. (We are also team leaders for many other mentor couples.)

MAKING SCHOOLS STRONGER: I give a tremendous amount of time, talent & energy to

Kristen Marotte

Kristen Marotte

the local schools. Every year I plug in deeply to the elementary, middle & high schools in our cluster. One year I single-handedly made 115 costumes for a school play, & I don’t even sew! (#hotgluequeen) For almost over 8 years now I have spent countless hours designing, building and painting stage sets and props for school musicals. I love to watch the kids come alive on stage as they interact with my vision of the scenes! The days of our own kids being in plays are long over, but I continue to volunteer my time in making the plays in our cluster amazing and inclusive for all kids. In Title 1 schools, sometimes I find just being there, looking into the kids’ eyes and telling them they matter is the best use of my time. I have designed 12 yearbook over the years (cover to cover, every square inch, including the sales and design of all the ads). In 2016 I chaperoned 350 kids on a week-long trip to New Orleans – another chance to bond with kids from all backgrounds! I sit on PTA boards and advisory boards for schools as well as Buckhead Church. From 2005 to 2017 I acted as lead photographer & publicity manager for community schools covering dances, talent shows, musicals, sporting events and everything in-between. I’ve painted murals on school walls and designed incentive programs (ranging from reading to nutritional and health) for kids to push them towards being their best. Generally, I stay involved in the community in wherever ways I can offer my talents. People tend to underestimate volunteer work sometimes, but I believe one can make the biggest impact in a community by just getting out there, connecting and offering one’s personal gifts. The light that guides the way usually comes from within.

MAKING PEOPLE STRONGER: These days most of my volunteer time is spent motivating others to be fit and active. I orchestrated a field day event at the local elementary school in the fall for over 200 mothers and sons. What a fun day that was! I teach restorative yoga classes for the high school sports teams as well as conducting free classes and workshops at local athletic stores to inspire people of all ages to stay active and keep balance in their lives. A couple of years ago I started a social media platform to raise awareness on how to live an active & healthy lifestyle. My goal is to inspire women and men from ages 14-108 with a “can do” attitude. I credit doing my first full split at the age of 47 as the moment I knew I was being called to motivate others. I tend to rise to a leadership position wherever I plug in. Aside from my personal time, I also donate monetarily to local schools, churches, and universities that have touched my life. My dedication is to my family first, but I do find that I am happiest when I am pouring into others in my free time.

Leta Brooks

Why is your nominee fabulous?

Leta Brooks is the perfect choice for your “Over 40 & Fabulous!” contest. With the understanding that feeling good, looking good and doing good are the specific criteria to be measured, Leta excels in all three areas beyond compare! She is successful in every aspect of her life. Her drive to make the most of every single day is unmatched and contagious to all of those fortunate enough to know her.
A description of Leta starts with an understanding of her impeccable character. That character and willingness to do anything for the ones she loves was the motivation for a life-changing decision she made that not many would make. On April 6, 2017, Leta donated a kidney to her father as he was facing complete kidney failure and his inevitable death. This sacrifice came without hesitation. It has been a long road to recovery for both of them, but she would make that same choice again today. Since the surgery, she has given her time to speak to several other kidney donors and recipients to guide them on the path as they prepare for their surgeries. Those contacts and pep talks still happen whenever the opportunity arises. Leta is never too busy to share her story and encourage others to do the same.

Leta Brooks

Leta Brooks

At the time of Leta’s kidney donation, she was a regular participant in competitive 10k, 15k and 50k races. These races spanned other states, road surfaces and off the beaten path nature trails. Her weekly training routine and healthy diet provided her with a body any professional athlete would strive to achieve. She knew that one less kidney would bring additional challenges moving forward, but that never made her shy away from the work necessary and the determination required to eventually lace up the running shoes again.
As the recovery from the kidney donation surgery continues, Leta is set to resume her running in races the first weekend in March 2019 in Destin, FL. She has dusted off the running shoes again (ahead of schedule for most) and has been preparing for several weeks to meet another goal by running a half marathon. Her strength amazes her running partners and motivates them all. As if running again is not enough, Leta will also be hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail in a couple of months, including carrying a backpack and camping for several nights.
Leta is also a loving and compassionate single mother of 2 elementary age children – a son and a daughter. They live with her over 90% of the time. They are encouraged by her love, blanketed with her affection and led by her tireless example. They have never been secondary to a career that can be very demanding as Leta has created the perfect balance that maximizes their time together and allows lots of “mommy time” spent making memories. Her days start with making their breakfasts and packing lunches for school and then, end while sitting on their beds listening to them read to her and saying their prayers together.
Next, Leta is a multi-business owner. She owns an interior design company, Status Design Studio, and a 70 vendor booth retail store, Status Home Design, in the Hamilton Mill area of Gwinnett County. With a degree in Interior Design from the University of Georgia, she has changed lives by changing spaces for many years. Her services are sought by many and the results are incredible! Her interior design company, Status Design Studio, Inc., has just been voted a “Best Interior Design Company” in the Best of Gwinnett voting done by Gwinnett Magazine. Her store was also voted “Best Furniture Store” in the same magazine. This is an honor that signifies her business savvy and her ability to manage the pressure that comes with many employees and multiple demands.
Leta’s interior design talent is reflected in the long list of very happy clients over the years. These clients have come from all areas of metro-Atlanta and neighborhoods such as Chateau Elan and Sugarloaf Country Club in Gwinnett County. No matter the budget for a project, she makes the most of every space and her clients love to show off the results. She has even been recently contacted to decorate a home featured on HGTV.
As another phase in her business plan, Status Home Design is launching an online store in 2019 under Leta’s direction. The online marketplace will feature many items of décor and wonderful gift ideas for any occasion. Leta’s goal is to make Status Home Design a go-to place for any home decorating, furniture, or gift need. There has been tremendous interest from her customers and clients to get this going, so its success will be nearly guaranteed.
Leta also writes a blog. It is described as “A Journey of Life- Following Faith, Love & Design”. Her stories range from a firsthand account of her kidney donation to her father to a special story about a young boy fighting a life-threatening disease. The blog has opened the door for Leta to expand her brand even more as companies have reached out to her to review their products and write reviews. Her talent for telling stories and inspiring others makes her blog a must read.
Finally, Leta’s vision for her children, her faith, her brand, her companies, her blog and her life are an example for everyone! Although her looks clearly do not show her 40+ years, her birth certificate proves it. She really is “Over 40 & Fabulous”. She has achieved tremendous success in all aspects of her life and just keeps setting the bar even higher. To choose Leta as a winner of your contest is to honor the sacrifices, the commitment to excellence, the desire to succeed, the motivation to jump over any hurdle life can throw her way, the ability to go the extra mile (or several miles in running shoes), the ultimate go-getter, and the “I will not settle for half effort” attitude she exemplifies!
Leta Brooks truly is “Over 40 & Fabulous!”

How your nominee give back to the community?

Leta Brooks has given back to her community for years and continues to do so today. Most recently, she held a Car Show in the parking lot of her store to raise money for a young boy suffering from a life threatening disease called Tay-Sachs Disease. The Car Show raised more money than any other event the family had attended. The Car Show brought out approximately 50 vintage and collectible cars, musical entertainment, and several events for families. Leta wrote about the family and the young boy, Eli, in her blog. The story also raised additional money to help the family with the enormous expenses related to his treatment. This event was Leta’s idea after being inspired by the story, the cost were paid by her, the money raised went directly to the family, and everyone learned more about this rare condition that currently has no cure. Although this is only one example, it is a common thing for Leta. She participates and many community related fundraisers, charitable programs, and offers her store whenever she can to help provide a service for those in need. In addition to her business contributions to her community, Leta also makes the most of her love of running, too. She has participated in fundraising as part of most of her races throughout the years. There is no way to calculate the exact amounts raised by her, but she has inspired many people to get involved that may never have donated before.

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