WOW-Kate Stranahan VANDY

Kate Stranahan met her husband, Aaron, more than two decades ago. A college friend told her: “I’ve got this guy I work with. You really need to meet him.”

“He took me to meet him and that night when I got home, I called my mom,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Uh, I think I’ve met my person.’ ”

The couple will have been married 22 years this month. The couple once resided in Nashville; however, after starting a family decided that a smaller town was a better fit for them. They relocated to Lebanon.

Stranahan’s family roots in Wilson County run deep. “My great uncle, Will Clay, owned the first gas station in Lebanon right off the Square. There is a replica of Clay’s Service Station in Fiddlers Grove,” she said. “His wife, Eddie Clay, was an artist and painted many locales around Lebanon. You could say Lebanon runs strong in me.”

They have two daughters: Julia, 19, a sophomore at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Olivia, a junior at Lebanon High School.

Stranahan work as vice president and co-founder of Catherine’s Orchestra for All – a nonprofit organization which helps students who desire to be in band. Stranahan considers herself a “semi-professional” band mom, too. Both of her daughters were in the marching band at LHS.

“Depending on the day you might find me making shirts for the band, in a school and presenting the Instrument Petting Zoo with Erin Rheinscheld, President of Catherine’s Orchestra, repurposing pallets into painted wooden signs, 3-D printing devil horns for the latest LHS band ‘Flocking’ fundraiser or most likely driving up and down the road picking up or dropping off band students at practices and games,” she said. “I like to say I am a woman of many talents … The humorous aspect of this is that everything I am involved in has nothing to do with my degree in health education from MTSU.”

Stranahan shared the most rewarding part of her work with Catherine’s Orchestra is seeing that band kids do not get overlooked.

“These kids are smart, hardworking and love to learn. I love that with Catherine’s Orchestra we are able to make sure that any kid who wants to be I band can do so,” she said. “I get to see how much of an impact you can make in someone’s day by something as simple as kindness. For band students, as well as my own children, for them to run up to me and give me a hug, crack a big smile when they see me, and know that if they need anything, all they have to do is ask- that they are important- is the best thing ever.”

The Stranahans are members of Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She has formerly served on the Advisory Board for Brooks House and Wilson County Habitat for Humanity.

She couldn’t narrow down just one woman she admires. “I admire my mother and grandmother for their unwavering faith and love for everyone. I admire my best friend for her amazing work ethic and open heart. I admire the fellow band moms who tirelessly volunteer to be there for everyone’s kids,” she said. “I think that you can find something to admire in every woman. Everyone is a rock star in something.”

To nominate someone for the Woman of Wilson feature, send information to Sabrina Knowles at sabrinalgarrett@gmail.com.

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