More than 53 Women of Wilson (WOW) honorees were recognized Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the fourth annual WOW luncheon at Cumberland University’s Baird Chapel, an event sponsored by Tennova Healthcare.
Dozens of former honorees and their friends were also in attendance as 22-year-old Brittany Hurdle was named 2018 Woman of the Year. Hurdle, who holds a communications degree and real estate license, was voted this year’s winner by readers of The Wilson Post.
Hurdle had originally planned to attend college out of state but decided her community meant more and chose to stay in Wilson County.
“It’s a God thing,” she told The Wilson Post. “I stayed home because I love this community. The past winners of WOW are mentors to me. They helped mold me. I am incredibly blessed.”
Sabrina Garrett, Main Street Media of Tennessee’s lifestyles editor, penned the first WOW column in 2014 with the blessing of Dave and Ellen Gould, Main Street Media of Tennessee co-owners. One of the missions of MSM is to celebrate the communities they serve – including Wilson, Rutherford, Sumner, Robertson, Cheatham and Dickson counties – and the concept for WOW fit that mission.
Each week, local ladies are showcased in the Woman of Wilson column.
“I say this every year, and I cry every year,” Garrett said. “My mother, Pamela Garrett, really set the bar high when it came to being a mother. She never got an award for that … You don’t get a tiara and a sash for being a good mother, or a good wife, or a good businesswoman. I thought that needed to change.
“Thank God I have my job at The Wilson Post and Main Street Media of Tennessee, which has given me a platform to showcase your talents and let the whole community know just how fabulous you are,” Garrett continued as she addressed the audience Wednesday.
Next, Tennova Healthcare - Lebanon CEO Jay Hinesley spoke to the ladies and introduced a group of women who work at the hospital.
The honorees were given a four-course meal, and previous Woman of the Year recipients – Dr. Donna Wright, Andrea Wilke and Cathey Sweeney – were given the spotlight.
The guest speaker for the event was Hilary Williams, granddaughter of Hank Williams and daughter of Hank Williams Jr. She delivered an emotional message about the importance of perseverance and was up front in sharing her story and encouraged every woman of Wilson to hold on, keep the faith and survive.
In 2006, Williams and her sister, Holly, had begun making their way to Louisiana for their grandmother’s funeral when tragedy struck.
“We were on Highway 61,” she said. “I looked down briefly at my iPod and lost control of the vehicle. The car flipped four times, leaving me clinging to life. It took 45 minutes for LifeFlight to get there.”
Her injuries included a broken collarbone, pelvis, tailbone, hips, shattered right femur and ruptured colon. She’s since endured 30 surgeries – but didn’t let that stop her from making her musical dreams come true.
Williams debuted at the Grand Ole Opry on June 15 this year – the same week her grandfather did 69 years ago.
Williams recently released an album “My Lucky Scars.” The music video for her single “Crazy” debuted on CMT in August.
Aside from event sponsor, Tennova, other local businesses contributed to make the fourth annual Woman of Wilson luncheon a success. Beauty Boutique, owned by Necole Bell, donated a speaker gift and Looker’s Salon and Spa, owned by Angie Gardner, donated a gift card for the Woman of the Year. Amber Hurdle donated copies of her book “The Bombshell Business Woman” for gift bags.
Henderson’s Florist made flower arrangements for the tables.