Local Female Movers & Shakers 16

Strong, Engaging Women Making a Difference in Our Community

The Police Chief

Deborah Faulkner, Ed.D., Chief of Police, City of Franklin

What impact do you want to have on the community?

Over my career, I have hired and trained quite a few young police officers. I hope they will continue to work with a passion for the rule of law, courage, integrity and dedication. Every time they assist someone who is having a difficult time in a positive way, they make a difference in our community. The Franklin Police Department is made up of hardworking, dedicated, professional, men and women—I am proud to be one of them.


Who inspires you the most?

My faith and my parents have been the primary influences in my life. My parents always guided, comforted and loved me. They taught me many important lessons to include: there isn’t anything you can’t do in life if you set your mind to it. They have hung with me even through the long hours I worked at a career I love. And my faith is a constant in my life. It is a source of peace, strength and comfort to me when things seem stressful.


The Communicator

Carol Birdsong, Communications Director, Williamson County Schools

What impact do you want to have on the community? 

I think that the success of WCS has a direct impact on the success of our community. I have a small support role in Williamson County Schools, and I get to share the great things going on in our classrooms. I believe that for any Williamson County resident—with or without a child in the school district—WCS is your school district and you should know what is going on in our schools. I hope that my work in some small way helps citizens get an inside look into our schools. It’s such fun to be able to showcase our students, teachers and staff in our classrooms in our “Week in Review” videos.


Who inspires you the most? 

How much space do you have? There is not just one person. The women in my family have inspired me. My grandmothers, mother, sister were strong, thoughtful, Southern women who dealt with their own adversities with dignity and grace. Maya Angelou and her works have always been an inspiration for me. And then, at the risk of sounding like a PR person, when I hear some of the stories of students and teachers in our school district, I’m inspired.

The Radio DJs

Elaina Smith, Co-host, “Nash Nights Live”, and Kelly Ford, co-host, “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” Mornings

What impact do you want to have on the community? 

Elaina: I like to think of myself as a very positive and loving person. I’d love to spread messages of unity and acceptance through the community as I continue to plant my roots here. I’m excited to do more with animal rescue in the community as well. I got my fur baby, Zoey, from Nashville Humane and she is my world. I hope to bring continued awareness of #AdoptDontShop.


Kelly: I have always been very involved in the communities in which I live. I feel like it’s my favorite part of being a broadcaster. We have the ability in some small way to give causes a bigger platform, and I always feel like I get way more than I give. My personal causes involve anything that empowers or helps women, like Play like a Girl and Thistle Farms. I’m also involved in programs that help feed hardworking families struggling to make ends meet, like Second Harvest.


Who inspires you the most?

Elaina: Strong, determined women. It doesn’t matter what profession, whenever I see women doing amazing things, I get so pumped. That being said, my mom has always been—and will always be—my main inspiration. She has been through so much and has come out with such grace and confidence. I am also so proud to be inspired daily by many women in our country music genre. Cam, Maren Morris, Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, Jennifer Nettles and so many more are constantly helping to move conversations forward, and I love every second.


Kelly: My daughter, Grace, has inspired me beyond words. She has moved so much in the past few years because of my job. As a teenager, she’s handled the transitions far better than I would have and handled it with poise and grace, which is appropriate because her name is Grace.


The Artist

Susannah Smith White, Actress

What impact do you want to have on the community? 

I’d love to be able to encourage people to use their voice and to eventually offer a platform for women and those who have important stories to tell. Whether it be through the language of dance, theater, spoken word or even through one’s personal style, I have seen people and communities transformed by expressing themselves and by being heard and known.


Who inspires you the most?

I am inspired by people who work toward excellence and with heart. Audrey Hepburn may have been an actress, model, dancer and style icon, but, above all, she was a noble humanitarian. She was never more beautiful in my eyes than in her later years. In Hepburn’s words, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

The Steward

Tara Mullaney, Vice President, Patient Cares & Community Awareness

What impact do you want to have on the community? 

I want people to know they have another option in cancer care. We are bringing the world’s most advanced cancer treatment right here to Franklin, serving Middle and West Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. And, not only that, but we can all be proud that this lifesaving technology and equipment was made in Tennessee. We want to be a resource to those dealing with a cancer diagnosis by developing a full-service cancer campus and by being an open facility, working in cooperation with all hospitals and providers in town.


Who inspires you the most?

Mothers. Women who are married, have children and careers. They literally do it all. They inspire me to do more.

The Fashion Designer

Eileen Kelly, Owner and Designer, Eileen Kelly Designs

What impact do you want to have on the community? 

It is extremely important to me to give back to the community what has been given to me. Attending O’More College of Design and learning under Manuel has truly allowed me to develop my skills and push boundaries. I hope to give back to our community by carrying on these strong legacies through mentoring our youth and offering internships down the road.


Who inspires you the most?

Since 2015, I have had the honor of studying and working alongside legendary fashion designer Manuel. Manuel has been the greatest mentor I could have ever possibly asked for, not only in my career and in fashion, but in life as well. To say that he inspires me is an understatement.