Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Well, we’ve almost made it! March is on the horizon and this gray and chilly month is almost behind us. I shouldn’t be as biased towards February as I am…but, I’m so ready for spring to be here! Let’s welcome this week’s featured guest!

LaRawn Rhea hails from the Arkansas Delta, in Helena, AR. Her hometown had a huge influence early on on how she viewed others: learning to treat everyone with equal respect, regardless of color, or social standing. Her father worked for Sam Phillips of Sun Records fame, the family moved to Palm Beach, Florida to open Sam’s all girl radio station, WLIZ. The family moved again to Nashville in the early 1960s, and her dad opened the third full track studio in Nashville, Phillips Studio.

LaRawn graduated from Belmont University with a BS in Marketing and also graduated from the The International School of Protocol and Etiquette, in Washington, D.C. LaRawn is a licensed realtor and co-owner Your Political EDGE, a public speaking consulting firm. She works with politicians, business & community leaders, and others who wish to hone their public speaking abilities. LaRawn is a prominent society writer and has been featured in the New York Social Diary, Culture & Leisure Magazine, The Green Hills News, and Atlanta Social Season. She’s a highly involved member of the Nashville community and has loaned her time and talents to various non-profit organizations including Nashville Celebrates, the Arthritis Association, Coats for the Counties, YWCA, The Symphony Ball, and the Belmont Mansion Association. I’m excited to share her story with you today!Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 11.21.09 AM
Who’s one person who’s significantly impacted you and why?

I really have two! The first is my dad, who was a visionary and a risk-taker. He grew up on a small Delta farm and knew his way out of that life was through education. He worked for 3 years before he had the money to start college, and continued to work through college while also serving as Student Body President. I have established an endowment at Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business in his honor, due to his strong belief in education and his contribution to the development of that program. He would be thrilled that many students are finishing a program he helped start, because of his scholarships. The second person who’s significantly impacted my life is my husband. He has helped me be a better Christian and a better person. He’s the kind of person who leads by example.

Tell me about a moment when you knew that what you were doing was making a difference to someone else.
After I graduated from Belmont, I was blessed to be the Director of the Teen Fashion Board for Castner Knott Department Stores. I had a group of teenage girls who on some level, were interested in fashion, retail or modeling. It was a very competitive group of young ladies and only one or two from each area school was selected to be on the board. We were selected by Seventeen Magazine as the #1 Teen Board in the nation for 3 years in a row, so it was a huge deal in Nashville at the time! It also gave me an opportunity to mentor young ladies at a very vulnerable time in their lives. We did all the pretty things young aspiring models and fashionistas like to do, but a large focus was on giving back to those in our community who were less fortunate.
 Several years later, after I had moved on to other things, a mom came up to me at a dinner, and told me thank you. She shared with me that her daughter, who was beautiful and privileged, and had been a member of one of my Teen Boards, had also been fighting suicidal issues when she was chosen to represent her school on my board. She said nothing the doctors had been doing seemed to help and the family was in constant fear. She then shared with me the time her daughter spent on being a member of The Caster Knott Teen Board had literally saved her child’s life. I had no idea.
In retrospect, I think it wasn’t the Seventeen ad I chose her to be in or the fashion shows she was selected to model in, but the exposure the Board gave her to those who were less fortunate, and she saw how valuable she was in helping them find a better life. That made a very big difference to her, to those she helped, and to me.
What’s one life lesson you’ve learned that you feel is worth sharing?
Tell the truth.
What’s one thing Nashville has going for it that makes it successful/unique, etc? What’s one area we could improve in?
Nashvillians are sweetly Southern and eager to help those in need of a hand up. Our volunteer efforts are epic and we daily live up to our state’s nickname The Volunteer State. An area I think we could improve is how our city is managing our growth, and recognizing our infrastructure has to support that growth.

One thought on “The Power Of One: LaRawn Rhea

  1. Very nice article. LaRawn is a powerful force of nature. When she gets behind a cause, like Coats For Counties, you know it’s going to be a huge success. She draws volunteers in with her sweet Southern charm and her integrity.

    Gloria Lane
    Atlanta Social Season

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