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Recognizing influential women in the community for International Women's Day

JACKSON, Tenn. (WNBJ) - With today being International Women’s Day and by the month of March being Women’s History Month, 39 News wanted to spotlight some trailblazing women right here in our community breaking barriers and aspiring others along the way.

“It just makes me so happy to know that we are continuing to trailblaze along the journey of making our city better as a whole and not just this side here, this side there. We can actually come together and make the change we want to see happen,” said Trunetta Atwater, the Program Director of SOUL Collective.

Trunetta Atwater is one woman making history in the hub city. She created SOUL Collective which focuses on developing entrepreneurs in the community.

“Our mission with SOUL is to elevate the arts, culture and knowledge, and wellness of small Black businesses through commerce, social entertainment, and education. We have programs that basically teach those who have passion for business, and they have this thing that they want to do, we are teaching them the basics of business,” said Atwater.

The SOUL Collective is expected to be opening in the Historic Train Depot in May but has already started teaching their first cohort at The Co in Jackson.

Beth Culpepper at the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce talks about how humbling it is for her to work for the city and push for growth in the area.

“The Humboldt Chamber is made up of three women. We all work really hard to create events here in Humboldt, where people want to come, be a part of our community, and help with the growth. Everything that’s happening here with Tyson moving in and other industries announcing they are coming. We are excited to be a small part of that,” said Beth Culpepper, the Events Coordinator with the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce.

Kim Tedford, the Regional Director at the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department has been leading the charge in the county throughout the pandemic when it comes to public health and encourages more women to take on leadership roles.

“I do feel like it is important for women to work hard towards leadership positions. I think there are women that can lead just as well as men can. We work as a family here and I think we do good for the community. I’ve been in this leadership role since 2015 and we hope to continue to provide excellent service for the community,” said Kim Tedford, the Regional Director at the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Dept.

Throughout the day and month, people are encouraged to reflex on women’s contributions not only locally but worldwide as well.

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