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Inspired: Heather Sveadas & Cory Phillips

Women Celebrating Women

The word inspire is defined as the act of filling someone with the urge or ability to do something, and here in Chattanooga, we have no shortage of incredible women who motivate those around them day in and day out. Whether they intentionally set out to be a role model or random acts of kindness are simply in their DNA, these women are making the world a better place. Read on to learn more about the individuals who encourage others to be the best version of themselves told by those they inspired most.

Photography by Emily Long

Heather Sveadas and her inspiration Cory Phillips

inspired: Heather Sveadas  |  inspiration: Cory Phillips


When I met Cory almost 12 years ago, she and I were juggling the demands of multiple young children after moving to a city where we did not have family. As our friendship grew, so did our family sizes, and it was only days after we each gave birth to our last children that Cory asked me the question that changed our friendship forever.

“I want to run a half marathon. Do you want to sign up for the race with me?” Cory asked. We were both postpartum, and I thought that was crazy! “Why in the world would you want to run 13 miles?” I questioned. “Because I have my health, and I can,” she replied.

That was 10 years ago. Cory and I trained together for 13.1 miles that first year because she would not let me quit. Every year since, we return to the same place to run another 13.1 or 26.2 miles, and each year more inspiring women join the “run journey.” Thank you, Cory, for pushing me to cross my first finish line and for the years of great memories. There will be a day when we cannot do this, but today is not that day!


“Thank you, Cory, for pushing me to cross my first finish line and for the years of great memories.”

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