Teacher Spotlight: Susan Fox of Hill City Acupuncture

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

Meet Susan Fox from Hill City Acupuncture. She'll be teaching us the basics of Chinese Medicine. More information about the class here. 

Susan Fox is owner and operator of Hill City Acupuncture. She was born and raised in Chicago and was leading a fairly normal life when she was suddenly afflicted with a rare neurological disorder. Despite her many protestations, her Cardiologist eventually forced her to seek out Chinese Medicine for her ailment. It was through Chinese Medicine that she experienced the most change, and was eventually able to get her life back. A few years later, she decided that she wanted to help others with their "fall through the cracks" health ailments and enrolled for her Masters in Chinese Medicine in Portland, Oregon. With degree in hand, she headed to study under an herbalist in Thailand, and work in a few hospitals in China, before settling down and starting her own practice here in Chattanooga.

How did you get started in your profession?

Through a personal health crisis. Even though I originally didn't want anything to do with that "woo-woo" medicine, I eventually realized it is what saved my life.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

I am from Chicago, so the 3 things that make it NOT Chicago-less crime, more access to nature, and warm weather...P.S-I also love that darn walking bridge!

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Local Foraging class!
ooh ooh and Mushroom Foraging!

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I am doing very well in my Fantasy Hockey league this year.

Teacher Spotlight: Michael Rice of Mad Priest Coffee Roasters

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

Meet Michael Rice from Mad Priest Coffee Roasters and don't miss the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony on March 23! 

michael_rice_headshots-1.jpg

Mad Priest Coffee is the brainchild of Michael Rice. In addition to the entrepreneur in his blood, he's also got a strong background in sales/management and barista and roasting certifications through Counter Culture Coffee and the SCA. Before coming to join the coffee scene in Chattanooga a year ago as manager at The Camp House, he and his wife, Cherita, spent a few years living in India and working in the newly booming coffee industry there. Michael loves to use coffee as a means to integrate and teach about all different types of cultures and people. Having travelled to many different parts of the world, Michael wants to share those experiences and bring more culture and diversity to Chattanooga.

How did you get started in your profession?

Originally through home roasting on a little popcorn popper 7 years ago.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

The people! Chattanooga has some amazing folks doing some wonderful things. It was collectively many of these people who enabled us to launch Mad Priest Coffee, even though we had only been in Chattanooga less than a year!

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Government and politics

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

When I was 12, I was in a boy band produced by the same producer who created New Kids on the Block.

Teacher Spotlight: Martin Lester

The Chattery is always appreciative of our amazing teachers! Here are a few questions to get to know Martin Lester of Lester Law a little better. He'll be teaching us all about immigration law for FREE on Wednesday, March 22 at Amani Chattanooga. Register here.

Martin W. Lester is an immigration attorney based in the Chattanooga area. His practice, Lester Law, includes family-based immigration, visa petitions for entrepreneurs and highly-skilled individuals, and defending cases in immigration courts throughout the region. Martin is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where he has held leadership positions at both the Chapter and National levels. He currently serves on the AILA Military Assistance Committee (MAP) and as Vice-Chair of the AILA Mid-South Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Committee. Martin graduated from Yale Law School in 1990, where he served as the Executive Editor of the Yale Journal of International Law.

How did you get started in your profession?

I was always interested in international issues, and took both International Law and Immigration courses in law school. I began practicing immigration law because I saw a need for it in the community. The best part of our practice is helping our clients achieve their dreams of living and working in the United States. Law is not always a "constructive" profession, but through our work we believe we are making both Chattanooga and our nation better places.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

We love both the natural beauty of the landscape and the warm and inclusive nature of the community. Our family moved to Chattanooga full-time in 2014, and we plan to stay here forever.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Cooking

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I'm originally from a small town on the beach in Northwest Florida, and I know more old Jimmy Buffett songs than you'd think.

5 Facts About the HIV Crisis in the South

Did you know February is National African-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Month? We’re teaming up with Chattanooga C.A.R.E.S. and Society of Work to show deepsouth, a documentary film about the neglected HIV/AIDS crisis in the rural American South.

Below, we’ve compiled five facts about the HIV crisis in the South. Join us on Thursday, February 23 at 6pm at The Edney Innovation Center to learn more from the free film screening and a panel discussion about the impact of HIV/AIDS here in Chattanooga.

  1. In 2013, the Deep South region, which is only 28% of the US population, accounted for 40% of new HIV diagnoses and 43% of new AIDS diagnoses. The Deep South is comprised of nine states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

  2. From 2008 to 2013, 21,308 people in the Deep South died from an HIV-related cause. In fact, the Deep South has the highest fatality rates from HIV in the country.

  3. In 2013, HIV disease was the 9th leading cause of death for black men and the 12th leading cause of death for black women in the Deep South region. African Americans in Tennessee are disproportionately affected by HIV, comprising 60 percent of the 712 newly reported HIV cases in 2015 within the state. In that same year, African Americans represented 56 percent of all Tennesseans living with a diagnosis of HIV, while making up only 17 percent of the state’s population.

  4. Many of the people living with HIV/AIDS in the South are poor and living in rural areas without access to reliable transportation. Some do not have running water or shelter.  A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in 2012 found that more than 40 percent of those infected have an annual household income of $10,000 or less.

  5. Medicaid programs in the South have the strictest eligibility requirements to qualify for aid, which prevents people living with HIV/AIDS from getting care through the program. In the South, HIV/AIDS patients must qualify for disability to receive care.

The screening of deepsouth will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Enora “Nori” Moss. This is the sixth in the Cinematics program series, a yearlong movie experience that combines the education of The Chattery and the collaboration of Society of Work to teach and engage Chattanoogans in conversation through the art of film. The series has been sponsored by UNFoundation. Sign up for the film screening here

We’re grateful to Chattanooga CARES for sponsoring this important screening. Chattanooga CARES is the Tennessee Valley’s leading resource for HIV, providing education, prevention, and support to all people affected by the virus. The CARES facility offers free rapid HIV testing and Hepatitis C testing, as well as STI testing. CARES’s medical clinic provides comprehensive primary health care, substance abuse and mental health services, adherence counseling, patient education, nutritional services, and specialty medical services. Chattanooga CARES also provides an array of client services including one-on-one case management, support groups, assistance with rent/mortgages, utilities, food, client education, and job placement. For more information about Chattanooga CARES, please call (423) 648-9920 or email Russell Waldrop at russellw@chattanoogacares.org.

Information sourced from Southern Aids Strategy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Southern AIDS Coalition.

 

Teacher Spotlight: Mary Haymaker

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better.

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Mary Haymaker and her amazing blog Chattavore. Join us for her class on Thursday as she teaches us how to throw a Southern Holiday Party from Scratch!

Mary Haymaker is the writer and cook behind the Chattavore. She was born and raised right here in Chattanooga, and her blog is all about Southern food and Chattanooga restaurants. She writes about all kinds of food, but her mission is to teach people to cook from scratch without breaking the bank - money or time-wise.

How did you get started in your profession?

I love reading blogs and started at least two (unsuccessfully) before Chattavore. One day I realized that I'd never seen a Chattanooga restaurant blog and decided to start one. After a very short time, I realized that I couldn't sustain a blog JUST dining out, so I added recipes. That was in April 2011 and here we are!

Why do you love Chattanooga?

I've lived here my entire life, so that's a start. I love that Chattanooga is not too big, not too small. I also love that the food scene here is really starting to grow.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Internet marketing (or writing - sorry, you just asked for one, but I had two)

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I'm a major introvert, which may seem odd because I tell my whole life story online, but if I avoid crowds like the plague!

Meet the Panelists for October's Cinematics!

The Chattery and Society of Work are partnering with the Chattanooga School of Language for this month's free Cinematics movie showing of Speaking in Tongues, a documentary that follows four diverse kids on a journey to become bilingual. 

At a time when 31 states have passed “English Only” laws, four pioneering families put their children in public schools where, from the first day of kindergarten, their teachers speak mostly in a foreign language. This charming story will challenge you to rethink the skills that Americans need to succeed in the 21st century. Learn more about the film here..

The film will take place at The Edney, Floor Five on Thursday, October 27 at 6pm. We will be joined by a great panel to discuss learning other languages in Chattanooga. Below is more information about each panelist. Hope to see you there!

Maria Vives-Rodriguez

Maria has a doctorate in Early Childhood Education from Florida State University. Her professional experience includes tutoring in an AmeriCorps program, teaching in a Pre-K multi-ethnic classroom for 6 years, advocating on behalf of child welfare issues for the Florida Legislature, supervising and mentoring student teachers at FSU, and working in the Florida Department of Education monitoring the implementation of State Migrant Education programs for the children of migrant workers. After moving to Chattanooga, María worked as an advisor in the boarding program and as a Leadership Instructor at the Baylor School.  She was also one of the founders of the Spanish Immersion program at St. Peter's Episcopal School and currently oversees the school's Organic Gardening program. Maria and her husband have two bilingual children who are doing very well in school.

Claire Kyzer

Claire grew up and went to school in Great Britain. She has lived, studied and worked in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan. She has a B.A. in Modern Languages and a Masters in Education (School Leadership). Claire moved to the US in 1993 and has lived in Chattanooga since 2000. She speaks French and German fluently and, because she loves learning new languages, she has also studied Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. Claire was the lead teacher of the K-8 French, German and Spanish language immersion program in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District. She also has served as a K-12 French, German and ESL teacher. 

Laurie Stevens

Laurie is the owner of the Chattanooga School of Language. Laurie has more than eight years of experience in the Spanish language and culture through teaching, studying, working and living abroad. She holds a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Spanish from Berry College and spent a summer in college attending the Universidad de Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. After graduation, she moved to Costa Rica to attend a language school and immerse herself fully in the language and culture. It was this experience that inspired her to create the Chattanooga School of Language. To her, it’s a result of a belief and first hand experiences of the life-changing effects of language learning and cultural immersion.

Brigitta Hoeferle

Brigitta is the founder and owner of the Montessori International School of Cleveland, the first Montessori School in the greater Cleveland/Bradley County area. Mrs. Hoeferle started her school in Munich, Germany in 2002, before relocating Montessori International School to Cleveland, TN in 2004. Brigitta has dual citizenship of both, the United States and her native Germany, and is fluent in both languages, so are her children and her husband. Mrs. Hoeferle holds professional degrees in Domestic Economy and Social Pedagogy (Nutrition & Behavior), in the Montessori Methodology, in Business and Marketing. Mrs. Hoeferle has over 23 000 hours of experience with language education, Montessori education and coaching parents, children and adolescents.

Nicholas Siler

Nicholas Siler studied Social Justice in Intercultural Relations with a focus on Intercultural Training at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. He lead global leadership curriculum development at the Seattle-based non-profit One World Now (OWN!),the first organization in the U.S focused on developing global citizenship, language acquisition (Arabic and Chinese) and study abroad opportunities for marginalized public high school youth. Siler has presented on topics of leadership, intercultural training, diversity, and language learning, among others. He has been the plenary speaker at a variety of venues including a National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA) annual conference, a Schools’ Out Washington BRIDGE after-school conference, and the Global Washington conference. Siler has worked with both small non-profits and large non-profits, from the one he co-founded in his hometown of Pineville, Kentucky, to the Civilian Research and Development Foundation, a large international non-profit.  Currently Siler is an Independent Social Justice and Intercultural Education Consultant, having worked on projects with local organizations such as the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and the Chattanooga School of Language, national organizations such as Starting Bloc, as well as international organizations such as the Qatar Foundation International.  Siler has worked, traveled, or volunteered in more than 20 countries. He is a proud and active father of two wonderful children.

Teacher Spotlight: Dr. David Powers

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better.

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Dr. David Powers. You can learn more from him at How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse on Wednesday, October 26!

Dr. David Powers is an adventurer, philosopher, and pioneer. He is considered an expert in team building and goal setting. Having perfected these skills in life-threatening situations, he now teaches them in conferences and other settings. He is a best-selling author in cognitive psychology and experimental education. He is a decorated veteran of the Marine Corps and a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is married and the proud father of three feral boys and one princess that he and his wife homeschool. His mission in life is to find the magical best mug of coffee in the world.

Be sure to check him out at drdavidpowers.com.

How did you get started in your profession?

I've been hunting zombies for years. No, really, I've been involved in medicine and jobs where people shot at me since I was 17. As such, I have unique experience with the dangers involved in both crazy people and the dark side of medicine.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

Mountains and water in the same place! That's why I moved here.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Knot tying

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I paid for my undergrad education by selling my comic book collection.

Teacher Spotlight: Paul Peterson

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better.

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Paul Peterson. He'll be leading us in Beginner's Meditation on Wednesday, October 12.

How did you get started in your profession?

Meditation and teaching meditation are two things I never dreamed of pursing. Like most good things in life, they found me. I learned about meditation at a community meditation center I visited in college. I noticed I simply felt better after I sat quietly for a while. I later had many opportunities to sit quietly in natural settings and in urban settings, but especially on organic farms where I lived and worked. I am fortunate to have had meditation teachers who, after a while, asked me to share with others what I had learned from sitting quietly. I’ve found that sitting quietly with other people can be pleasant and powerful, especially when we share our experiences of what happens when we sit. This sense of community and the shared benefits people seem to have when they practice meditation has kept me interested in teaching.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

Because of blackberry white chocolate chip ice cream at Clumpies.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

How to play the banjo.

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I'm a classically trained pianist.

3 Types of Insurance You Might Need

Money does the most good if you do something preventative, rather than something remedial.
— Harriet Stimson Bullitt

Life can change dramatically. Making sure you’re covered is important, and while insurance might seem like a burden, it is necessary. Learn more about insurance below and don’t miss our “Facing Your Finances: Understanding Insurance” class on September 27.

If Someone Depends On You, You Need Life Insurance

Life insurance is designed specifically for those who have someone depend on them financially. Whether it be your spouse, children, nieces, nephews, siblings, having life insurance makes sure they are protected when you pass. Without life insurance, families are left  to rely on their own resources which might not be enough to cover everyday expenses. Make sure you consider the right type of life insurance for your family.

Insurance Isn’t Just For Homeowners

If you owe debt on a home, then you know that homeowner’s insurance is required because your lender wants to protect its asset. The same thing goes for a landlord. Most landlords (if they’re smart) require renter’s insurance, which basically protects your belongings in case of fire, theft or flood. Renter’s insurance is generally another $10 or so a month and is worth every penny.

Car Insurance Might Not Cover Everything

Car insurance is a necessary evil, but how protected should you be? If you aren’t worried about your car at all, liability is the way to go, but if you don’t want to spend the money replacing your car in the event of a total loss, you might need to add more to your insurance policy. Talk to your insurance agent for a full discussion of what exactly is covered in your policy. It could save you a lot of money if you get into an accident.

The “Facing Your Finances” series is sponsored by Brock Insurance Agency, a leader in the insurance industry for over fifty years. BIA’s commitment to its customers, staff and community are evident every day as they continue to provide protection for those around them.

Teacher Spotlight: DJ Passe

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better.

So, here are four questions to help you get to know DJ Passé (aka Lon Eldridge). Don't miss his performance at Jazzanooga tonight as he takes us Around the World in 80 Plays!

How did you get started in your profession?

I grew up in a musical household and started playing the guitar at age thirteen. In 2006, I decided to make the leap and do music full-time and I've been at it ever since, traveling the world doing what I love. Record collecting is an extension of my passion for music. DJ Passé and presentations like this are a way to share that passion with others in a memorable way.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

I love Chattanooga because there's a real entrepreneurial spirit here, an ideal that's really at the core of American values. The ideal that you can choose who you wanna be and go be it. Chattanooga has a good support structure for that.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Soldering and simple circuit building.

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I've jumped out of a plane without a parachute and survived.

Teacher Spotlight: Erik McNair

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better.

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Erik McNair from Papercut Interactive our newest teacher! He'll be teaching all about Google AdWords

Erik McNair is Pay-Per-Click Director and a Business Development Associate at Papercut Interactive, a superfriendly web development company in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He has been working in web design and online marketing for more than 7 years and has witnessed the breakneck speed of the industry’s innovation firsthand. After serving as VP of Search Marketing at an Atlanta marketing firm, Erik happily moved up to Chattanooga to join Papercut Interactive. Here he works with clients to determine their business needs as pertains to the world of web design and digital marketing. In recent years he has specialized in paid advertising in search engines and social media. Erik is a graduate of Georgia College and State University. He and his wife live in Cleveland.

How did you get started in your profession?

I started out by blogging and doing movie reviews. With that, I got a job at a web marketing company in Atlanta and moved up to be the VP of Search Marketing there.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

 The internet is critical for my work, so the internet speeds here make it very easy for me to work with clients and get my job done.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Cooking! I keep trying to be a better cook.

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I really like old fashioned, slow cooked barbecue places. Apparently that is a big shocker to my friends.

 

Teacher Spotlight: Victoria Behm

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better.

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Victoria Behm, our newest teacher! She’ll be sharing her knowledge of raw foods and much more coming up soon!

Victoria Behm holds a Master's degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health and is a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) practitioner. She currently teaches graduate level nutrition and cooking courses online and do research and program management for the CNS certifying body. She and her family reside in beautiful Chattanooga, TN.

From Victoria:

My big dream is to empower people to eat well, feel confident in the kitchen and to finally be able to live out their own amazing purpose. I firmly believe that the food we put into our bodies, which becomes part and parcel of our physical self, is the foundation to health and healing. I’ve seen this principle at work in my own life and in the lives of my clients. Food is medicine, not just for the body, but for our whole being. What we eat matters, how we eat matters, and many of us have not been taught how to nourish ourselves and our families in the most basic way. I love working with clients and in the community to foster the skills and knowledge needed to bring health care back into the home through herbs, essential oils and fresh, whole foods. 

How did you get started in your profession?

My grandmother was a healer and after some soul-searching, I decided to follow in her footsteps - using food and plants as medicine to heal people and the world.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

The people here are amazing - so willing to engage with one another and be inspired by one another. There's a vibrancy to living life in Chattanooga that I LOVE! And it's beautiful.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

DIY home projects are always fun!

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I am also certified to teach Holy Yoga, a hatha yoga style with Christ-centered teachings.

Teacher Spotlight: Matt Averyhart

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Matt Averyhart ahead of his class teaching you how to workout at home (or anywhere really!).

Matthew Averyhart is a former Division 1 athlete as a Texas Christian University football Running back from 2010 to 2014 that recently moved to Chattanooga. He has been in the athletic arena since the age of 6, so he’s no stranger to competition and the hard work that it takes to achieve physical peaks. Along his journey he has gained expertise in athletic training which includes speed, agility, flexibility and overall body control. He has had the honor of working with elite athletes preparing for college or the professional sports level. He has trained in Denver CO, Los Angeles CA, and Dallas TX working with with Olympic sprinters, NFL players, professional baseball players and clients in need of weight loss. He looks to continue his high quality service in Chattanooga TN.

How did you get started in your profession?

I began training clients during my free time while I played college football at TCU.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

I love Chattanooga because it is a hidden gem on the verge of becoming one of the best and well known cities in the country! The scenery is extraordinary and the people are even more special.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

I would love to learn how to make pottery!

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I'm a huge nerd at heart. I love everything tech and sci-fi, from video games to movies. it is a large reason why I studied Mechanical Engineering in school. I also really love music, and prefer the female vocalist. Ellie Goulding is the Best!

Business Spotlight: Same Page Mediation

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Alicia Page and Dave Masters from Same Page Mediation. They'll be providing a FREE Conflict Resolution Training tomorrow at The Edney.

Dave Masters and Alicia Page of Same Page Mediation

Dave Masters and Alicia Page of Same Page Mediation

David R. Masters, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is a Human Resource Generalist with nearly 35 years’ experience in the field. He held Human Resource positions at facility, Division and Corporate levels at Armstrong World Industries, Inc., R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Inc., Thomasville Furniture Industries, Inc. and Shaw Industries, Inc. In his current role as a partner at Same Page Mediation, Mr. Masters provides policy development, conflict resolution training and dispute mediation services for companies, organizations and individuals.

Alicia M. Page relocated to Signal Mountain, TN from Americus, Georgia in April of 2015. Before relocating, Ms. Page worked as a staff attorney for the three Judges of the Superior Court of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit and then ran a small general practice. Before law school, Ms. Page worked in several industries, including restaurants, telecommunications and ski and tourism. Her lifelong love of people has prompted her to focus her attention solely on conflict resolution techniques for individuals and organizations through Same Page Mediation.

How did you get started in your profession?

Dave and Alicia met at a continuing education course in Chattanooga several months ago. There we discovered that we both have a love for collaboration and value the need for conflict resolution before the need for a courtroom. A partnership was born!

Why do you love Chattanooga?

Dave and Alicia both love all of the diverse offerings of Chattanooga professionally and for fun. These things are possible because of the incredible people here.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Alicia would like to learn about all of the hiking trails and tips for the area.

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

Dave raises and shows Scottish Terriers in his free time. Alicia goes to every arts and music festival she can work in her schedule.

Teacher Spotlight: Rafael J. Canizares-Yunez

Learn more about Rafael J. Canizares-Yunez and don't miss Introduction to Essential OIls

Rafael J. Canizares-Yunez is an educator at heart. Although an artist by training (he received a graduate degree from the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art), his eclectic interests have lead him to teach in various fields and settings. He has taught visual arts from Head Start Programs to higher education classroom and has been a ballroom dance instructor. His work in theatre allowed him the opportunity to work with programs that incorporated this art form into literacy and emotional support programs. His passion for spiritual well being and the empowering others led him to accept, two years ago, the opportunity to be a guest teacher at a Unity Church in Amarillo, TX, which he does to this day. He continues to exhibit his art, holding an average of one major exhibit per year. Rafael's personal interest in nutrition and healthy living lead him to work in the supplement and wellness field. This is how he was introduced to the fascinating world of essential oils. One of his current goals is to continue to inspire and empower individuals and communities to take ownership of our well being.

How did you get started in your profession?

I am an artist who hasn't quite yet developed the entrepreneurial skills necessary to be self-sustainable through an artist career. This has led me to pursue employment in various fields; I have chosen to stick to those areas that most interest and excite me. One of those areas is nutrition. As it turns out, I ended up marrying a pharmacist who is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. We talk "shop" at home. Once we started using essential oils, they quickly became one of our primary supplements. I believe in supporting myself and others to thrive and live optimum lives; that is why I decided to actively share what I know and continue to learn about essential oils.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

There are many things I love about Chattanooga: Its geographical setting, the people who are attracted to it, the arts in the city, the bohemian vibe, the opportunity for numerous outdoors activities...

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Probiotics are such a crucial aspect of human health; it would be great to experience and learn how different individuals approach the process of fermenting foods at home.

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I spent a year in a Franciscan monastery; my intentions were to become a monk:)

 

Teacher Spotlight: Jennia Shanley

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Jennia Shanley and don't miss her teaching Introduction to Modern Dance tomorrow! 

Jennia Shanley grew up training in gymnastics and dance in Chattanooga, TN. At age fourteen, she knew she had a passion for dance and began honing her technique under her direction of Karen Smith at Baylor School. Jennia went on to graduate Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance from Florida State University where she studied with world-renown artists and performed with Dance Repertory Theatre. Professionally, she has performed with Staib Dance of Atlanta, GA and Mary Love Dance Projects of Orlando, FL. Jennia currently serves on the faculty at Baylor School where she instructs Modern Dance to grades 6-12 and choreographs for annual concerts. She owns Ascension Dance, LLC which brings quality dance education to preschools in Chattanooga. Additionally, she is a guest artist at The Chattanooga Ballet, choreographing works for both the Children's Company and the Professional Company. When she's not dancing, Jennia enjoys walking and biking around town with her husband, Brendan, and cuddling with their miniature schnauzer, Emmy Lou. "Dance is more than just steps and counts," says Shanley, "it is an enriching medium for physical, artistic and intellectual growth."

How did you get started in your profession? 

I've always been movement-oriented since I was a young girl. I grew up training in dance and gymnastics and was always twirling, flipping and dancing around the house! Later on, once I started doing the college search, I knew I wanted to become a dance teacher, so I pursued my BFA in Dance. After graduating, I took on various jobs teaching anything and everything! From preschool gymnastics, elementary cheerleading, high school dance... if it moves, I've taught it! Over the last couple years I've been able to narrow my focus on teaching primarily creative movement and modern dance.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

Chattanooga is my hometown and unlike any other place I've been. It's funny because If you had asked me as a teenager if I would be in Chattanooga as an adult, I would've laughed in your face! I used to believe I wanted to live in Southern California and "be famous," but over time I began to fall in love with the South-- the scenery, mountains, rivers, the people. I spent a semester in NYC while I was in college, and from there I determined life in the big city was not for me. I love Chattanooga because it's a place where you can actually make an impact and be a part of the community. I enjoy seeing people I know when I'm out and about, and I love being able to see my dancers grow up from the time I've had them in elementary school through High School. Chattanooga is not too small of a town though, which I also appreciate. There's so many wonderful places to go, events, music, outdoor recreation... there's always something to do if you want to get out! Also, I love that it is becoming more bike and pedestrian friendly which is the most fun, healthy and environmentally-friendly way to get around!

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

How to start an online blog and introduce revenue through advertisements.

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I think I've watched Gilmore Girls in its entirety, all seven seasons, about four times all the way through. It just never gets old for me!

 

Teacher Spotlight: Scott Brown

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Scott Brown from Brown Dirt Farm. He'll be teaching us all about how to garden!!

Scott Brown is co-proprietor of Brown Dirt Farm, a small vegetable operation outside of Whitwell, Tennessee which practices chemical-free agriculture. After many years of work and planning, Scott and Brooke Brown first planted their farm in the summer of 2012 while working other jobs. As of 2014 they are full-time farmers. Brown Dirt Farm emphasizes growing fruits and vegetables with only good soil, sunshine, and fresh air, the basic needs of all plants.

How did you get started in your profession?

I read a book that stirred my interest in food, particularly what it is and how it’s grown. The first thing I did was work for a farm. After a season apprenticeship on a biodynamic farm in North Carolina, I returned to the Chattanooga area and worked throughout the food industry while dreaming of one day growing lots of food.

Why do you love Chattanooga?

I've visited California, Colorado, New York and many other places in the world. Chattanooga is a hip town in the middle of beautiful country. I’ve cultivated many good relationships through it. I consider it home.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?

Vegetable Fermentation

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine.

Teacher Spotlight: Sarah Brinkley

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Sarah Brinkley from Velo Coffee Roasters. Don't miss the class all about how to make a perfect cup of coffee

Photo by Jaime Smialek of Our Ampersand Photography

Photo by Jaime Smialek of Our Ampersand Photography

Sarah Brinkley is the Bar Manager of Velo Coffee Roasters on Main Street. At Velo, Sarah hosts weekly coffee cuppings and brews beautifully crafted cups. Prior to her professional work in coffee, she developed her palate in the wine industry working internationally as a traveling winemaker. Ultimately, her career in food science is built upon a solid foundation in chemistry. Outside of Sarah's professional life you'll find her in the kitchen or the great outdoors.

How did you get started in your profession?

Building a Florence siphon coffee brewer from scratch in my undergrad chemistry days

Why do you love Chattanooga?

Chattanooga is breathtakingly beautiful and I am reminded of it nearly every day.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery? 

Knots!

What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

I witnessed an avalanche in New Zealand and swam with sea turtles off the coasts of Chile and Australia.

Teacher Spotlight: Mary Hamby

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

So, here are four questions to help you get to know Mary Hamby of Twenty Two West, a wonderful textile artist who will be teaching us how to make DIY Wall Hangings!

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