Inspired: Lauren Hall & Gena Ellis

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 Pérez Long


inspired: Lauren Hall

inspiration: Gena Ellis

I heard Gena’s laugh from across the office before we formally met. I remember asking one of my co-workers, “Who belongs to that laugh?” They responded with, “Oh, that’s Gena Ellis. She’s the life of this party.” And man, were they right!

Gena’s bright smile and warm spirit can outshine the darkest days, and her zest for helping others is contagious. She is currently a healthy relationships facilitator for First Things First, Inc., where she shares her parenting and marriage wisdom with the Chattanooga area and beyond. She also serves on the Diversity Task Force for Big Brothers Big Sisters, is a recent graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, and is a huge advocate for helping parents develop healthy relationships with their children from the start.

Most importantly, Gena is herself. And she inspires everyone she meets to not only be true to who they are, but also to be the best version of themselves. In fact, whenever I have a down day or begin to feel a little sorry for myself, I hear Gena firmly (but sweetly) say, “Lauren, that’s a you problem.” It’s a great reminder for me to take hold of my emotions, look for the good in the day or the situation, and move forward with a different perspective.

The world is a better place because of Mrs. Gena Ellis, and I’m thankful to call her a friend.


“The world is a better place because of Mrs. Gena Ellis, and I’m thankful to call her a friend.”

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