Danna L. Vaughn
Assistant Chief of Special Operations, Chattanooga Police Department
What is your favorite aspect of being a leader?
I love the daily challenges. There is always a challenge.
What advice do you have for women aspiring to be leaders in their field?
Seek out other positive, outgoing, driven women, whether it’s in the workplace or in the community. Find a strong mentor/coach – and don’t give up!
What does leadership mean to you?
Servanthood, integrity, fairness, and ethics are all parts of leadership.
Approximately how many years have you been involved with CWLI?
I’ve been involved with CWLI for 3 1/2 years.
On which committees have you participated?
I’ve participated in the Women Mentoring Women committee.
What is your most memorable/outstanding experience with CWLI?
The completion of Women Mentoring Women in 2012 stands out as one of my most memorable experiences with the organization.
With what other community organizations/activities are you involved?
I’m involved with Chattanooga Connected, Serving Marriages and the Chattanooga Track Club.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe some one who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Julie Baumgardner, President and CEO of First Things First had a great impact on me. The Police Department invited her to speak at a Family Night event, to talk with brand new police officers on how to maintain a strong relationship. I could hear the strength and confidence in her voice as she spoke. I knew then she would be a good person to get to know. She’s taken phone calls and answered e-mails from me in my times of indecisiveness, listening carefully and providing sound guidance. I will always appreciate her for that.
What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
Disciplinary actions are the most important decisions I make – they are the toughest, as well.
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Every leader should have integrity.
What is the biggest challenge facing female leaders today?
Women face the challenge of overcoming stereotypes; the constant “need” to prove yourself among your peers.