Four Local Women You Should Know

Name: Kate Ziegler

Occupation: Business owner and motivational speaker

Three things I don’t want to live without: Bible, journal, a phone to talk to my family because they don’t live here

Favorite film: The Prestige

Best advice I ever received: Control the controllables. It’s so easy to waste time and energy worrying about things that are out of our control, like things of our past or the future or what other people will think or do. In doing so, we frequently give up power and miss out on an opportunity.

What I enjoy most about my job: It may sound cliché, but I love helping people. I feel so fortunate to join people on their journey to self-discovery and achieving their best. I light up sharing in breakthrough moments with clients or audience members—an athlete who has a best time after years of no improvement and doubt or a businessman who realizes that his title simply distinguishes but does not define him. It’s amazing to see people connect their head and heart for greater wholeness, success and joy.

The hobby I make time for (or wish I had more time for): I really enjoy running even though I’m terrible at it. Take me out of the water, and I am a complete klutz! Nevertheless, I love it because, when I run, my mind is clear, my thoughts connect, and I feel at ease being in nature. I also feel this way when I draw, which I wish I had more time to do.

If I could go back in time, I’d tell my college-age self: So many things! A big one is you are valued and worthy just as you are. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and try to live up to other’s expectations, but the only person you should compare yourself to is the woman you were yesterday. Each day is an opportunity to learn, grow and be your best. Focus on that, and you will be more successful and satisfied, and you’ll save yourself a lot of worry and frustration.

My favorite place to go for a quick day-trip: Max Patch is about 1 1/2 hours away and, on a clear day, has great views. It’s perfect for hiking or just a relaxing picnic.

Name: Drocella Mugorewera

Occupation: Executive Director of Bridge Refugee Services, the only refugee resettlement agency in East Tennessee

Three things I don’t want to live without: Eucharist, house and friends

Favorite film: Black Panther

Favorite book: Who Moved My Cheese?

Best advice I ever received: From my mother: “Be kind and you will meet kindness ahead.” Quote from Jim Rhon: “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” If you want to win, plan, pursue and persevere. Winners never quit, and quitters never win.

What I enjoy most about my work: Advocate for our clients’ needs, seeing our clients succeeding, integrating and be self-sufficient and contributing members in their new country, as well as enormous support and partnerships with welcoming communities.

A goal I’m currently reaching for: Bridge Refugee Services became a vibrant organization in East Tennessee, refugee voices are heard, many people educated about the refugee program, more private funds mobilized and partnerships developed. When I was interviewed for the current position, I promised to search for nontraditional partners and build strong relationships. We made it, and we will keep growing.

If I could go back in time, I’d tell my college-age self: Expand your horizons of learning by reading extra books, and do not only focus on those recommended by professors. Your brain is sharp. Double-major if you can, and get involved in the community, and volunteer as much as you can. Take your time when you date someone you plan to live with forever.

Name: Lila Honaker

Occupation: Development Director at the Tennessee Theatre

Three things I don’t want to live without: My bed, my dog and music

Favorite film: The Wizard of Oz. It has enduring values, celebrates differences and teaches us to appreciate where we came from but to also dream of a better world.

Favorite band: This is a very tough question. I’m not sure I have an all-time favorite, so I’ll go with my current favorite, which is Rainbow Kitten Surprise. I’ve been listening to them on heavy rotation for several months now.

Favorite book: Another very hard one. Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. A modern favorite.

Best advice I ever received: Surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you to grow, who aren’t always like you, and who bring out your best.

What I enjoy most about my work: I most enjoy knowing my work brings joy and enrichment to others, be it the experience of attending an event at the Theatre, discovering a passion through a workshop or class in the arts, or helping to keep this historical treasure and work of art preserved and thriving.

A goal I’m currently reaching for: In my job, I hope to enhance the arts education initiatives we have at the Theatre. Knowing how important, impactful and fun arts education is for children and the fact that arts curriculum in schools is diminishing, I think we have a real opportunity to provide unique, engaging programs that bridge classroom and real-world learning. Personally, I aim to send more handwritten notes to friends and loved ones this year. In a world of digital communication, a handwritten note received in the mail is a treasure.

If I could go back in time, I’d tell my college-age self: Always trust yourself. Even if you make a mistake or have regret later, know that it was a learning experience, one you needed in order to move forward and grow.

Name: Rev. Amy Figg

Occupation: Pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church

Three things I don’t want to live without: Cali Girl, my 14-pound rescued Cavalon; incredible friends; and chocolate

Favorite film: It’s a Wonderful Life

Favorite book: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Best advice I ever received: Risk something big for something good!

What I enjoy most about my work: Learning with and from those I encounter along the way, from the youngest child to the most mature adult.

A goal I’m currently reaching for: Completing my doctorate

A hobby I make time for (or which I had time for): cross-stitch and needlepoint

If I could go back in time, I’d tell my college-age self: Live each day with profound intentionality!

Must-see places/experiences in Knoxville: Farmers’ Market, a walk at Ijams, a festival—there are so many—at World’s Fair Park, dinner at Che Guevara, time in the sanctuary at St. John’s Lutheran Church.