My new office overlooks the famous “Umbrella Alley”. Over these first few days in our new space, I have watched those umbrellas dance as the wind signals the inevitable change of seasons. Like the colors on the trees, the colorful umbrellas provide joy and cover for all who walk beneath them. It has been a much needed reminder that even in the storm, there are constants that protect us and keep our hearts and minds grounded in truth and joy. 

Our team is excited to share in the celebration that the next season will bring to CWLI. We have worked hard. We have stressed, we have cried, we have disagreed, and we have shown up for one another. 2021 has proven to be a crucible refining our value to those we serve while testing our resolve. In the coming weeks we are going to get to show you the fruit of our labor. CWLI members have been sowing these seeds for 25 years. The harvest is ready. 

As we celebrate this season of harvest with our loved ones, we wanted to share a little of our hearts with you and let you know how grateful we are. 

Sharayah Caouette, Director of Operations & Programs

“I’m thankful for another season of life with family and friends who are my constants; who show up even in the thick of life. I am so grateful for the love, support, and, most importantly, grace shown during these challenging times.”

Marlena Palmer, Director of Development

There was a lot that happened this past year: we sold and bought a house, we had a baby, I said goodbye to my sweet pup of 16 years, I started a new job. So many things. Some big and some small. There were hard moments and easy moments. All in all though, it’s been an incredible year, but I couldn’t have done it without the strong support of a beautiful community behind me. I am so grateful for those people in my life that always show up; that love and support me and my family. I hope that I am as much for them as they have been for me.” 

Caroline Jewell, Membership & Marketing Coordinator 

“After an incredibly challenging year and a half, I’m thankful for the bittersweet change of seasons. I mean this in the sense of time and seasons of life. The end of each season has brought newfound joy in ways I didn’t know it could. Growth is not easy, but always something to be celebrated!”

As for me, well, I’m grateful for growth. The CWLI team has grown in numbers but, more importantly, we have grown into ourselves. What we want for women in Greater Chattanooga has deepened. Our commitment to realizing and excavating female potential has been solidified. Personally, my children, both young women, have demonstrated immense bravery and grace in the challenges brought to their lives. I am grateful for a community of dynamic women with whom to share in these moments. 

From our team to yours…Happy Thanksgiving.

Let’s Move FORward Together,