Women You Should Know in 2022

2022’s WOMEN YOU SHOULD KNOW

 

The Pulse Pensacola has chosen to highlight 11 women from the Greater Pensacola community. These featured “Women You Should Know” are women who work tirelessly at their respective jobs, give back to our community, and who demonstrate integrity and leadership. The Pulse seeks to highlight and acknowledge successful, strong women who are leading new projects or initiatives. These are the women who sometimes labor selflessly in the background, yet behind the scenes, they are consistently making major moves. Make sure to keep these power players on your radar as we head into 2022; these are truly the WOMEN YOU SHOULD KNOW!

 

Cristina Williams

Owner/Founder of Kool Companies (Karts/Graphics/Cushions/Southern Seasonings)

Cristina is the founder & operator of Kool Companies, whose companies include Kool Karts/ Cushions/Graphics and Southern Seasonings. She is an active board member for Pace Center for Girls, and a founding board member for Krewe of Priscus.  Cristina has led Kool Companies to become proud sponsors & donors to Pace Center for Girls, BBBS of NWFL, Covenant Care, Studer Community Institute, Gulf Coast Kid’s House, Escambia County Sheriff Foundation,  and many other local charities. 

Cristina has lived in our community for 18 years, and her favorite thing about living and working on the Gulf Coast is being surrounded by such giving & supporting people. Cristina explains,  “This community thrives on the support from our fellow Pensacolians. There’s a feeling of family once you’re here. Living in paradise, the smell of the salt air, and sand in your toes makes Pensacola the best place in the world to live.”

Cristina is inspired by her mother. Before she passed, Cristina made a promise to her mother to follow in her path of giving back to others. She is also inspired by her daughter, who encourages her everyday to be a better person, friend and mother. 

You can follow and support Cristina Williams by searching the following on social media: 

#koolkarts

#koolgraphics

#koolgraphicsfl 

 

Deshari McClure

Co-Owner of DESHI, Island Skye and developer of DESHI skincare

Deshari is the co-owner of DESHI, an award-winning facial spa and nail salon in downtown Pensacola, as well as Island Skye spa on Pensacola Beach. She is also the developer of DESHI skincare products. Deshari works with Studer Community Institute, as well as Legacy House Church to assist students at Montclair Elementary school. She is a devoted mother to six children and an ardent supporter of Favor House.  

Deshari moved to our community 20 years ago, and her favorite thing about living and working on the Gulf Coast is the people. “Pensacola is the most beautiful place, but what really sets this place apart is the people here. The people are the heart of this city,” she says.

Deshari is inspired by Mother Theresa, Sarah Blakey, and her mother, Elena Davis. “These women not only can see a need, but they have the ability to help bring a solution to the need.”

You can follow and support Deshari McClure by searching the following on social media: 

@deshimcclure

@deshionmain

@islandskyespa 

@deshiskincare 

 

Amy Potmesil

Executive Chef at The Nest & Culinary Director at The Well

Amy is the Executive Chef at The Nest, a coffeehouse, breakfast cafe and home essentials store located on Palafox, as well as the Culinary Director at The Well- downtown Pensacola’s newest Floridian-styled lounge, complete with a raw bar. 

Amy teaches cooking classes, and donates free chef services for several local organizations. 

She was raised in Pensacola and moved away several times only to return to her beloved hometown. Her favorite part about living and working on the Gulf Coast is how artistic the culture is here. She loves our vibrant downtown Pensacola area and our local beaches.

Amy is inspired by other women such as her mother, sister, and grandmothers. “All of them were/are kind hearted, nurturing, and generous. They were also mighty fine cooks as well.”

You can follow and support Amy Potmesil by searching: 

IG- amy3000

FB- Amy Potmesil

 

Nicole Dixon 

CEO of Real Women Radio Foundation, Inc.

Nicole is the CEO of Real Women Radio Foundation and the founder of the popular local Real Women Radio. The Real Women Radio Foundation helps build bridges in communities of color through civic engagement. To date, Real Women Radio has helped over 10,000 people register to vote. Nicole is also a United States Women Ambassador, a member of the NAACP, League of Women Voters, and Palm Street Education. 

Nicole has been in the Pensacola community for 40 years. Her favorite thing about living and working on the Gulf Coast is the love that the people on the Gulf Coast have for their community, in addition to it being a beautiful place to live. She is inspired by women such as Stacey Abrams and Michelle Obama. 

You can follow or support Nicole Dixon by searching following: 

Real Women Radio & Real Women Radio Foundation 

Listen to RWR Live 365 24/7  www.rwrlive365.com 

Download the RWR Live 365 app in Google Play or Apple App Store 

 

Rev. Ashley Wilkinson Meyer

Executive Director, United Ministries

Rev. Ashley Wilkinson Meyer is the Executive Director of United Ministries, a non-profit that helps families in financial crisis. She is also Co-Chair of the Faith-Based Organizations/Food/Mentorship/Transportation Subcommittee of the Homeless Reduction Task Force of Northwest Florida. She also serves as a clergy representative on the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board, and as a member of JUST Pensacola (Justice United Seeking Transformation in Pensacola).

Rev. Wilkinson Meyer was born in Pensacola and lived here until she went to college. She returned with her husband in 2011, and they are grateful to call Pensacola their home once more!

Rev. Wilkinson Meyer loves living on the Gulf Coast and praises the unity in our community. “I have met so many people who are kind, gracious, fun and focused on helping our Gulf Coast community to be healthy, whole and life-giving to everyone who lives here. We are not a perfect community, but I am grateful to know so many people who dedicate their time, hearts and energy on caring for ALL in this community. As a person of faith, I believe God is at work in powerful ways, and I want to be part of all that God is doing to reach this community with justice, mercy, kindness and love. I also am grateful to be so close to the Gulf – our beaches and big open skies remind me how big and beautiful God’s world is. What a gift to live in such a beautiful corner of it, and what an opportunity to live our days together with intention as we look to care for both the people and the environment in which we live.”

Rev. Wilkinson Meyer is inspired by other women such as Frances Wilkinson (my mom), Stacey Kostevicki, Rev. Pam Avery, Rev. Sheila Bates, Dawn Faller, Coach Clenita Belford, Coach Jade Brown, Dede Flounlacker,  Kerri Smayda, Connie Bookman, Laura Gilliam, Melissa Johnson, Blair Castro, Chandra Smiley, and Katrina McFadden.

You can follow and support Rev. Ashley Wilkinson Meyer by searching the following: 

FB: @ashleychristinameyer

FB: @UnitedMinistriesPcola

IG: ashleycmeyer11 

IG: unitedministriespcola

 

Kerry Anne Schultz Battle

Attorney with Schultz Law Group, P.L.L.C

Kerry Anne Schultz Battle is the managing attorney at Schultz Law Group, P.L.L.C

Ms. Schultz is currently a member of the Florida Bar Association; American Bar Association and the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law; Attorney-Realtor Committee of the Florida Bar Association; Pensacola Inn of Court; Member of Community Service Committee of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Associations; Member of Attorney/Realtor Relations Committee of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Associations; Member and Prior Board Member of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Real Estate Council; Instructor with the Florida Division of Real Estate teaching the Real Estate Contracts Course and Ethical Considerations in Real Estate Transactions to real estate agents and brokers; Instructor with Sterling Education Services, Inc., teaching Leases and Landlord-Tenant Law; Volunteer and prior Board Member of Junior Achievement of Northwest Florida, Inc.; Agent of Attorneys Title Fund Services, Old Republic Insurance Company; Trustee of Pensacola Little Theatre; Board of Governors of the Pensacola State College Foundation; Member of Strathmore’s Who’s Who; Member and prior President of Gulf Breeze Rotary; 2019-2020 Rotary District 6940 Treasurer; Attorney Board Member for the Early Learning Coalition of Escambia County; prior Board Member of the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce; Board Attorney of Better Business Bureau of Northwest Florida; Member of the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Current Chair and Commissioner on the Florida Volunteerism and Community Service; 2018 Rotary District 6940 District Conference Chair; Sacred Heart Foundation Board; 2019 Rotary District 6940 District Conference Committee; a 2009 and 2010 Rising Star Florida Super Lawyer; Board Member of The Starfish Project; Gulf Breeze Rotary’s 2018 “Citizen of the Year;” Rotary Area Governor for District 6940; District 6940 Rotary Governor Nominee for 2022-2023, and recently appointed by Governor DeSantis to the First Judicial Circuit Nominating Committee. 

Ms. Schultz frequently participates as a lecturer and contributor in teaching seminars on Real Estate Contracts and Ethics. Ms. Schultz participates in International Service projects in Kenya, Africa assisting several schools and orphanages. 

Ms. Schultz has been in our community since September 2001 and is married to Paul Battle, a civil engineer. They have a daughter, Ellanor Rosemary Battle. Her favorite thing about living and working on the Gulf Coast is the people. “This area is all about relationships,” Kerry Anne explains. “I love our culture, too!” 

She is inspired by women who give tireeless to their families, friends and communities. Women who serve above self are her heroes. 

You can follow and support Kerry Anne Schultz Battle by searching  

Kerry Anne Schultz Battle on Facebook.

 

Ebony Cornish

Business Development Manager at Maxim Healthcare Staffing Services

Ebony is the Business Development Manager at Maxim Healthcare Staffing Services. She is a member of Leadership Pensacola Class of 2022 — Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, and the President-elect for Pensacola Young Professionals (PYP). Ebony is also the Executive Secretary for JULEP (Junior League of Pensacola), and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated – Gamma Tau Zeta Chapter. She serves as a Youth Advisor for Zeta Amicettes (girls ages 9-13), Executive Secretary, Publicity & Public Relations Chair, and St. Jude Children’s Research Coordinator for Geographical Area One – all roles within Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated’s Pensacola alumni chapter. She is the Co-Founder of UWF’s Black Alumni Network (UWF BAN) and is a Youth Leader for middle school ministry at Greater Little Rock Baptist Church.

Ebony has been in the Pensacola community for 27 years, where she is proud of the opportunities and culture the area provides.  “Being blessed to witness Pensacola’s development and growth as a native has been rewarding. The beautiful scenery and supportive community naturally contribute to happiness here. The ability to travel to some of the coast’s best places to visit such as Mobile, AL, Biloxi, MS, New Orleans, LA, and Destin, FL provide the luxury of a quick getaway. Mardi Gras, Pensacola Beach, our strong military community, and Downtown Pensacola are just the beginnings to excitement in our cozy, but flourishing area. Also, being an alumna of The University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL (Bachelor of Science – Go Jags!) and The University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL (Master of Science- Go Argos!) are favorites as the schools bring collegiate athletics and alumni involvement opportunities!”

Ebony is inspired by other women such as her mother, Felicia Toler, Mrs. Hong Potomski, Dr. Lusharon Wiley, Dr. Angel Bradley, Dr. Vanessa Phillips, Ms. Mikaya Wilson, Mrs. Ruthie Christie Noel and many others!

You can follow and support Ebony Cornish by searching the following:

FB = Ebony Cornish

IG = @SouthernBelle1920

 

Dawn Novy

Vice President of Communications & Member Relations, Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce 

Dawn Novy is a communicator, connector, organizer, leader, and dreamer. She currently serves as the Vice President of Communications & Member Relations for the Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce. She is the Immediate Past President and Women Empowering Women Symposium Chair of the Emerald Coast Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.. Dawn also serves as the Administrator of Club Services & Program Advancement (Operations) at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.

Dawn is a member of American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Emerald Coast Chapter, where she was the ABWA-ECC Woman of the Year Nominee in 2021, as well as the ABWA-ECC Top Ten Business Woman (National) Nominee. She was the ABWA’s Board President from 2019-2021, and was previously a Board Member at Large from 2018-2019. Dawn served as the Women Empowering Women Symposium Chair from 2018-2021, as well as on Committees for Fundraising, Parliamentary, Best Practices and Professional Development/Education. 

Dawn was a Goodwill Easter Seals Non-Profit Grant Works Panelist in 2019, and a Certified Drug Endangered Children Trainer in 2018. She led the Walton County Drug Endangered Children Committee in 2018, and has also been involved with United Way Okaloosa/Walton Counties; United Way of West Florida, Boys & Girls Clubs of America/Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast; Leadership Okaloosa- Class of 2016, YOUth L.E.A.D. Conference,  and Guardian Ad Litem for Florida’s District 1. 

Dawn has lived in our community for over ten years. She moved to the Emerald Coast in September 2011 to be closer to the beach and to a dear friend. “It took some time, but I was able to create a nice little life for myself here. As I do, I sought out things that matter to me in work and service, and found some great missions and beautiful people that have helped keep my life colorful and evolving.”

Her lifelong agentic desire to do work that matters led her to various roles within non-profit organizations, having led operations for out of school youth development programs, facilitating anti-bias curriculum, coordinating volunteers and community outreach initiatives, developing leadership development programs, advocacy, case management for homeless and transient teens and more. 

After a tough decision to embark on a professional transition, Dawn is still doing work that matters, changing cultures and focusing on helping small businesses and non-profit organizations achieve goals and realize missions. Dawn is a civic minded, service oriented, results driven community foot soldier, dedicated to empowering the marginalized and living for the “ah ha” moments. Last year her community engagement, dedication to professional development, and contributions to her local American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Chapter, lead to her being elected the Emerald Coast Chapter’s 2021 Woman of the Year. Also elected the Chapter’s 2021 nominee for the national organization’s Top Ten Business Women Award.  After recently receiving a locally funded tuition scholarship, Dawn is now currently enrolled in the Studer Community Institute’s Leadership Certification Program for Established Leaders. 

Dawn is inspired by women such as LuSharon Wiley, Barbara Britt, Joyce Gillie Gossom, Karyn Combs, Michelle Obama, Stacey Abrams, Robin Roberts and her mom. Dawn elaborated on what makes a woman inspirational to her: “Women who really inspire me are the ones that do more than care; they put their care into action. The ones who aren’t always celebrated in public because they’re helping people one by one in quiet ways, showing up and sharing their light, choosing to lead with love regardless of pain and hardships. Women with vision and courage. Women who are struggling and don’t have all those things going for them inspire me because I want to see them win too and I know they can. Women inspire me.”

You can follow and support Dawn Novy by searching the following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dawn.novy

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dawn-novy-31a26071/

Work Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pensacolagcmcc

Work Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gcmccpensacola/

 

Whitney C. Lucas

General Manager for Gilmore, Inc.

Whitney Lucas is the General Manager for Gilmore, Inc. and is the founding member and current Vice President of the Escambia County Sheriff Foundation, where she has played an integral role in the formation and growth of the Foundation since its inception in 2021.

Whitney has been in our community for 25 years.  “Hands down, my favorite thing about our community is the generous nature of those around me.  To live and work in an area where so many genuinely want to work to improve the quality of life for their neighbors is a true blessing,” Whitney explains. 

Whitney is inspired by women such as Mary Poppins. “The way that she is unapologetically her own unique self, coupled with her ability to command respect while epitomizing class and elegance is awe-inspiring.  She consistently reminds us that ‘in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun’ and one need only adjust their perspective from time to time.” 

You can follow and support Whitney Lucas by searching the following:

FB = Whitney C. Lucas

FB= Gilmore, Inc.

FB= Escambia County Sheriff Foundation

 

Lisa Long Lyter 

Creative Strategist

Lisa Long Lyer is an accomplished Creative Strategist with Red Iron Design House and Lisa Long Consulting. She is the  Co -Chair and a Founding Member of Pensacola Eggfest, which she has led since 2013. Eggfest has proudly contributed $500,000+ to local charities since 2013. Lisa is a recipient of the February 2021 Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce PACE Award for Community Leader of the Year. She is also the recipient of the John Myslak Award for Servant Leadership (EntreCon Award) in November 2021. Lisa has been a member of the  Studer Community Institute Fundraising Board since 2019, and has been a board member of WOW 90.9 Radio Station since 2009.

Lisa previously served as  Leadership Pensacola Class of 2009’s  Marketing Chair for “Choose Pensacola” Project (Tourism and Economic Development Campaign), as well as a  Chain Reaction Teen Leadership Institute, Board Member from  2013 – 2017. She was also a member of the First City Church Leadership Team from 2002 – 2019, where she assisted with Ecuador Missions as the co-leader of mission team to Hacienda of Hope, a children’s rescue home and school for abandoned children in the Tabacundo, Ecuador area from 2006 – 2017, for a total of 10 trips. 

Lisa also served as the Chair of 3rd Sunday Community Meal at Loaves and Fishes (feeding our homeless) from 2008 – 2015, and was awarded the  Cox Communications Florida/Georgia Award of Excellence, for Manager of the Year Gulf Coast in 2010, Lastly, Lisa was voted as 2008 Pensacola’s Most Most Inspirational People in InWeekly.  

Lisa’s family relocated to Pensacola in the early 1970s and aside from a brief time living in Northern California, Lisa has made Pensacola her home as well. Lisa proudly states that her favorite thing about living and working on the Gulf Coast is “love for: the people, my clients, and my husband and the role that he plays in keeping this community safe.  Pensacola Eggfest and the fact that I get to hang out and work side by side with some of the most giving, talented, and fascinating people in the chef/bbq world to raise money for charities that I care about and want to support.  Love for the glorious beauty in nature that is here, which we all need in large and daily doses.”

Lisa is inspired by many women, such as Lindsey Teague Moreno, Staci Elderidge, Priscilla Shirer, Joanna Gaines, Jen Hatmaker, Dr. Caroline Leaf, Amanda Jenkins, Ginny Cranor (Captain of PFD), Erin Kirk (Girl Catch Fire), Shannon Nickinson, Nicole Bodie, Kristen Ballard, Denise Windham, Joni Claerbout, Crissa Letson, Danielle Mullet, Rachael Gillette, Janet Sallis, Emma Mae Jenkins, and Dana Hairston Hof.

You can follow or support Lisa Long Lyter by searching following on social media:

@lisalove22 

@redirondesign

 


Allison Patton

Retired Attorney

Allison Patton is a recently retired attorney.  Prior to retiring, Allison was the Head of Retail Litigation for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Allison has been involved in supporting local non-profits for many years. She’s participated in IMPACT 100, currently serves on the Board of the Pensacola Community Music School and since retirement, has become actively involved in the Northwest Florida Homeless Reduction Task Force.

Allison is familiar with taking on key leadership roles and responsibilities. During her career, she was lucky to work for a Fortune 100 company based out of New York.  Over the years, she held various management roles in Litigation, ultimately responsible for over 100 employees in five offices across the country.  As the Head of Retail Litigation, Allison oversaw the retail litigation strategy for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.  Her team consisted of attorneys defending the firm in civil litigation and regulatory matters, a customer complaint and subpoena response unit, and an internal investigations unit.

Allison has lived in Pensacola for almost 20 years. Her favorite thing about living and working on the Gulf Coast is the unparalleled natural beauty our area has, and Pensacola’s strong sense of community. Allison would not choose any other place to make her home. “Although I had a small team and an office in Pensacola, my responsibilities required me to travel regularly to the home office in New York and to  other legal offices around the country.  At the time, I felt extremely lucky to work for a company that allowed me to take on responsibilities on a national level, but still live and work in Pensacola.  Although moving to New York would have made a lot of sense from a career standpoint, I never seriously considered it as I knew that Pensacola was where I belonged.  The Gulf Coast is a hidden treasure that I feel very fortunate to have discovered.” 

Allison is inspired by strong women such as Condoleezza Rice. “She is a brilliant, accomplished woman who is just as comfortable meeting with the Head of a Foreign Nation as she is playing piano with the Denver symphony.  I’m inspired by both her leadership and her ability to remain calm and in control even under the most difficult circumstances.  Her rise to become the first black female Secretary of State through hard work and dedication should be an example to all of us.”

 

 

To nominate a future Pensacola-area “woman you should know,” please email blair@thepulsepensacola.com. 

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