Everything about 2020 has shown the world that some traits are universally beautiful. Resiliency, compassion and commitment have been needed at every turn. As we look toward a new year where we can (hopefully) emerge from our virtual worlds and remember what it’s like to shake the hand of a stranger, have a cup of coffee with friends and meet clients and coworkers around the same table, we will remember that the beauty and goodness we witnessed helped bring us all through. Join us in celebrating these beautiful women who inspire others every day.
Alrinthea Carter delights in bringing joy – and a lot of laughs – to others.
Carter’s day job is Student Services Coordinator with Clemson University’s MBA Program, but pre-pandemic weekends found her on stage at Coffee Underground with Alchemy Comedy.
“I loved – well, still love – making people laugh, and having so much fun with my castmates,” she says. “Improv is this magical thing that mirrors ordinary life and shows the humor hiding there just under the surface. We have such a talented comedy community in Greenville, and it’s a blast to be a part of. I look forward to taking the stage again whenever the ‘new normal’ begins.”
At TEDx Greenville, Carter spoke about what happens behind the laughs. Her openness serves to inspire others.
“My talk was about my life as someone living with depression and my connection to abandoned buildings and landscapes of the American South, which is my artistic focus as a photographer,” she said. “Being so vulnerable in front of a couple hundred people, plus an audience watching remotely was terrifying to me. Once I stepped on that stage and started telling my story, I felt more free than I’d ever been. I think that I helped other women, specifically other Black women, feel more comfortable with being candid about their mental health. One of the many, many things I’ve learned from my amazing therapist is that shame lives in the dark. We can only work to remove that stigma by being open with those who love us, and by accepting depression as a valid health priority.”
Amy Gutzmer describes herself as a “nurturer by nature,” a trait that serves her well as she mentors others.
Gutzmer is Director of Marketing and Communications for Online and Continuous Learning at Anderson University where she thrives as an encourager to students and colleagues.
“My motto is be humble, be hungry and always be the hardest worker in the room,” she says. “There may be people I work with that have more talents or they may be smarter but I can work the hardest. I’m always looking for the next opportunity and there’s a fine line between humble and confidence.”
While she points to the Upstate’s authentic people as part of what makes it beautiful, she is a fan of all things local.
“From downtown I can bike or walk to the Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery,” she says. “I like to support local farmers, and who doesn’t like their stecca bread! Some of my favorite go to items are seasonal produce, fresh flowers, chocolate babka, maple cream iced coffee and did I mention the bread?”
No matter what she is doing, Gutzmer hopes it involves continuing to learn and grow.
“Through self-realization, I’ve learned to enjoy ordinary moments and to cultivate authentic relationships,” she says. “I’m a lifelong learner.”
Anne Marchantsays it is important to love your life, but forget your age.
“In each chapter of life, I have thought to myself, ‘This is the best one yet,’” she says. “And here we are, and I’m still saying that. Each chapter can be the best, if you just allow yourself to live it to the fullest.”
As co-owner and realtor with Marchant Real Estate, she loves what the Upstate offers residents.
“It’s all one big puzzle comprised of beautiful pieces – a collective community filled with generous spirits and a strong sense of pride,” she says.
With Buncombe Street United Methodist Church as her “happy place,” Marchant’s faith, family and community define her life.
“When I reflect upon my greatest life’s work, without hesitation I can say that being a mother, grandmother and wife to my wonderful husband are by far at the top of my list,” she says. “There is no greater joy than these three roles, and they give my life its purpose. I believe that we are called to love one another the way that God loves us. Therefore, the greatest compliment I have and could receive is being told that I am a good and loyal friend.”
Annelle Locke would never seek recognition for the way she serves others, but it doesn’t go unnoticed by those around her.
Here’s how those who know Locke describe her:
- “the kindest, funniest, and most precious human being ever”
- “Her loving heart shines through everything she does”
- “never fails to put a smile on everyone’s faces”
- “a fun and loving 20-something-year-old at heart”
- “Her soul shines like no other, and her smile brightens any room.”
- “an unassuming quiet giver”
Describing herself as faithful, loving, emotional, genuine and happy, Locke literally stitches together her love for others. For years, she has knitted helmet liners for troops that have been sent all over the world. She also makes prayer cloths to remind people in crisis that they are never alone.
While taking care of her family is her life’s work, Locke has quietly and faithfully nurtured the community – a beautiful legacy indeed.
Beth Messickbelieves there is no “us and them.” The world is just us.
“My faith in God has always been a huge influencer in my life’s work,” she says. “Generally speaking, I consider to be my life’s work to be following the path that has been set before me, nurturing my three children and loving those around me with no expectation of return. In this season, my life’s work has centered around being the Executive Director of Jasmine Road and providing safety, healing and restoring dignity to a forgotten population of women in Greenville that society had considered ‘throwaways.’ Helping to mobilize our community to come together in love, provide resources and forge genuine relationships and friendships with those much different than themselves has been truly rewarding. I believe that healing comes through personal touch, through relationship, and I love bringing people together and seeing genuine healing and community occur.”
Messick has been described as “a huge force” and she uses her strength to work for the good of others. She builds relationships that restore lives.
“The biggest compliment I have ever received was from one of the residents of Jasmine Road that said to me one day ‘you are one of us.’ That really struck a chord in my heart because I believe that we all have to embrace our brokenness and find our common humanity, regardless of life circumstances. It meant a lot to me that someone from vastly different life circumstances as me could embrace me and our common bond as women who are much more alike that we are different.”
Cara Puntchcenters her life around children, her own and the ones under her care in her role as Weekday School Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
“Ensuring that those who are under my care get the very best so they’ll be their best selves tomorrow,” she says. “Not that they aren’t already pretty amazing – with 17 years in education, I have learned that the children have taught me more than I could ever have taught them. They love unconditionally, pass no judgment and forgive so easily. We could all learn from that.”
Describing herself as “energetic, adventurous, outgoing, stubborn and passionate,” Puntch says she feels honored to be a part of the Upstate community, where she can be found walking through Falls Park, running the Swamp Rabbit Trail or enjoying the restaurants, the culture and diversity and the festivals that define the area.
When looking to her future – which will surely always involve children – Puntch says she plans to learn, live, love and laugh.
“I’m a strong believer that you never stop learning,” she says. “I love to read just about any and everything I can get my hands on because when I’m reading, I’m learning, live life to its fullest even when it’s not what I wanted or expected it to be, love like Jesus does and laugh every single day. It’s good for the soul!”
Charnise Mangle is an educator by profession, but she lives to learn and share with others.
“My life’s work is spreading joy and understanding through honest education, critical conversations and authentic unity,” she says.
Mangle does this in several ways, including teaching high school students history and government and serving as a literacy educator.
“I have also begun authoring self-guided e-book resources to help adults understand race and racism in America, specifically the historical relationship between people of African and European descent in America,” she says.
By being an educator, an advocate and yet still a dreamer, Mangle helps others to better understand themselves.
“No matter what, life throws at you if you know who you are, you will not lose sight of your purpose. Life is going to pull you in many different directions, but you cannot know where to go unless you know and understand what your passions and desires are. In my teaching and resources, I challenge people to reflect on their experiences, to authentically and critically question what they have learned and are learning, and to move in action toward their next steps within their spheres of influence to bring about unity in their community,” she says. “It is my hope that the work I extend to others to do within themselves and in their community will create united communities that authentically acknowledge rich differences between each of us, yet choose to uplift the humanity that makes us all the same.”
Faith Adedokun is a passionate advocate who has been described as a champion for human rights for all.
“I, without question, consider my life’s work to be doing whatever I can to leave the world better than I found it,” she says. “The exciting thing about that is that it is such an achievable goal that can be manifested in myriad ways both big and small. I see it as the constant string around my finger in just about everything I do.”
Being able to change as the world changes is important to her – and critical in her nonprofit work. She says she hopes never to feel that she has fully answered the question of what she wants to do with the rest of her life.
“But I can say, whatever it may be and whatever it looks like, I want it to always involve the continual pursuit of leaving the world better, inspiring those I can, laughing at every possible opportunity and loving every person I can, the hardest I can,” she says.
Greta Somerville cultivates the arts in Greenville like some people tend a garden. She currently serves as Executive Director of International Ballet, but her interests and her service run wide, including the Peace Center, Greenville Symphony and Warehouse Theatre.
“It was here that I met the most dedicated, generous and civic minded people, many of the same individuals who make Greenville and the Upstate shine and thrive,” she says. “Can’t think of a better place to live.”
A regular at the ballet studio whenever possible, Somerville enjoys watching young dancers strive to meet their goals.
As a young girl in Norway, “being both competitive and foolish,” she says, Somerville put on her skis and tried to jump off a competitive height ski jump. While that may not have been her best moment, she says a different kind of courage – the kind it takes to reach out to people and make a difference – is what she finds beautiful in others.
Kindness is a driving force in her daily life and an important part of her plans for the future, “with God’s grace, to continue to help others where needed.”
Jil Littlejohn lives to make moments and memories.
Littlejohn joined Greenville City Council in 2009 as its youngest member ever, has served as CEO of Urban League of the Upstate and is now the Director of Inclusion and Diversity at Hubbell Incorporated.
Describing herself as bold, purposeful, driven, nurturing and adventurous, Littlejohn sees true beauty in the Upstate and in its people.
“The most beautiful thing about the Upstate is ability to have the best of both worlds – the conveniences of a big city with the comforts of a small town,” she says. “What makes someone beautiful is how they treat their friends, family and community. A person can be pretty on the outside but their character can be ugly, which detracts from their outer beauty.”
A public speaker, author and influencer, Littlejohn centers her passions on helping others. She says her life’s work is helping connect people to resources and tools that allow them to grow and develop.
“For the rest of my life I want to do things that make the world more inclusive, bright, meaningful and purposeful,” she says. “I want future generations to look back and point to the culture shift.”
Katie Harrisonhas determination in her DNA. She exudes it in her work as HP’s Partner Business Manager for the Carolinas, in volunteerism and in her family.
Everything Harrison does is for her children, Penelope, age 4, and Duke, age 1½.
“I want them to see how much impact an individual who is willing to work can make in their community,” she says. “It was also a lot of ‘work’ to have them. Chris and I spent many years working with doctors to have our children due to infertility. After what felt like a lifetime of medications, procedures and miscarriage we were blessed with our daughter, and soon after our son. They are my life’s work. I put every bit of faith, determination and strength that I had into giving them life. I am in awe of them and make it my mission to be the best example of perseverance to them that I can be.”
That same spirit helped Harrison as she chaired this year’s silent auction of the Upstate American Heart Association Heart Ball. When the pandemic forced her to switch gears to a virtual event, she led it to one of its most successful years ever. She has also applied her perseverance to everything from serving as room mom to helping her husband run his first campaign for Greenville County Council.
“You never know what you are capable of until you try,” she says. “You never know what someone else may be going through until you decide to open your life to them. You never know how much your actions mean to someone until you act.”
Kim Johnsonfinds strength in her faith and delight in her family and friends.
“I think that the way you treat others and that the way you give back to others is a beautiful thing,” she says. “It’s really so simple, whether it’s helping a sick neighbor, tutoring a child, helping a less fortunate family. It’s an inner beauty that truly shines. We have so many angels in our lives that have helped me and my husband they have shown me first-hand what true beauty is.”
Johnson’s husband has ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In addition to caring for him and working as a realtor with Coldwell Banker Caine, she volunteers in the community and is committed to fundraising for a cure for ALS.
“I want to be a voice for all of those with ALS that may not have the resources or means,” she says. “By doing this I will continue to raise money for patient care, medical trials and not least but last a cure! I love my career which is helping people buy or sell their home – I can’t imagine not ever doing this. Now that ALS has come into our lives, I will always be an advocate to help raise awareness and money to help find a cure for this horrific disease. I will always be involved with mentoring children. I have been working with a child for 6 years and I want to see her go to college, watch her grow and see where life takes her I love being with my adult children and can’t wait for them to have children and become a grandmother. That will be a joy!”
Lacey Hennessey is a “yes” person – yes to life, yes to giving and yes to creating beauty in the world.
“As a creative maker and new entrepreneur, my work is only just beginning,” she says. “I live to design, create and entertain – bringing joy to others through visual art and events. It has always been a part of me, but finding my passion and jumping feet first into full-time entrepreneurship has brought on new opportunities and challenges that I look forward to every day. Being able to give back to my community through my time and talent has been an incredible bonus.
Through her business, Hennessey in the Home, she turned her “side hustle and passion project” into her life’s work. She says she sees that spirit in the community as well.
“Greenville shows up,” she says. “Whether it’s a new business, a neighbor in need or a social event, people continue to pull through and support one another. Throughout COVID struggles, I’ve watched so many of the organizations and businesses I support, like Ronald McDonald House and Meals on Wheels, have to pivot. Maybe their event is now online, or the restaurant switched to take-out only, or the non-profit needed to raise funds to cover new, unexpected costs – the Upstate has shown its support and continues to answer the call. I’ve been so grateful for the support I’ve received as a small business and it energizes me to keep paying it forward.”
Laura Maurer has a way of giving a boost to those who need it.
As a speech therapist and a coach with First Tee Upstate, Maurer brings leadership and passion to her roles and inspires others in the process.
“Whether it has been through golf coaching or through speech therapy, the biggest compliment I receive is in a child’s eyes,” she says. “I know I am doing a good job the moment a child’s face beams with confidence over a new skill we’ve worked hard together to master.”
Maurer had her own moment of overcoming when she tackled skydiving.
“I was terrified until the moment we jumped out of the plane,” she says. “In that moment, all of my fear and anxiety left my body and I experienced a sense of euphoria like never before. I found this moment symbolic of many other moments in my life. So many times, I put off taking action because I am scared of the ‘what ifs.’ However, when I finally ‘jump’ and take action, beautiful things happen. Skydiving taught me most things are scarier in anticipation than in action.”
Having a focus on others drives Maurer to work for their success.
“I want to create diversity and affordable opportunities in the game of golf for the rest of my life,” she says. “Golf is an individual sport that has so much to offer each individual, regardless of ability or social status. It is time for golf to be presented as an opportunity for all to try and not be dependent on country club access. I consider my life’s work to be creating a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging. The older I get, the more I realize everybody just wants to be seen, feel loved and know that they matter.”
Lauren Skelton Siddens
Lauren Skelton Siddens has deep roots in Greenville, but it’s the city’s people that she says make it beautiful.
“Greenville is a combination of Norman Rockwell and theatre and foodie district to me,” she says. “I was born here and so were my parents. My grandmother was a nurse who walked to work every day, and my other grandparents worked in Brandon Mill. I am proud of my family history and our part in the history of the Upstate.”
Siddens owns River Falls Spa, which she opened to help people have a positive, life-changing experience.
“It is a place to relax, breathe and rejuvenate,” she says. “We have an amazing team of people that make me proud to be the owner of River Falls Spa. I enjoy inspiring others to live their best life while uncovering their hidden talents. I love seeing people excel and lift each other up in the process. Prayer is especially important to me. I spend a lot of time in prayer with others and for others.”
Though she loves spending time with her husband and baby daughter, Siddens also enjoys horseback riding and cycling. She maintains the adventurous spirit that took her paragliding off a mountain in Italy.
“I had no idea how high the mountain was until we reached the summit,” she says. “Once at the top, I thought I had lost my mind. The mountain was almost 10,000 feet high. Soaring up in the sky was beautiful, breathtaking and amazing all at the same time. I would do it again in a second.”
Lora Pfohl exudes optimism. Maybe that’s why friends describe her as beautiful inside and out. Those same friends have rallied around her this year as she faces her biggest challenge.
“The scariest thing I have ever done is something I am continuing to do right now – fighting cancer,” she says. “I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in December 2019, and was deemed cancer free in July 2020 after 14 rounds of chemo and a mastectomy. The fight continues with radiation, additional surgeries and the fear of the cancer returning. But in the fear, I have also found a lot of beauty. The gift of friends and family coming to my aid and loving and supporting me and my family has been the most beautiful experience of my life. I am one lucky girl.”
Gratitude is the name of the game for Pfohl, especially when it comes to family and friends.
“I believe my life’s work is to love and support my family,” she says. “In my career I have worn many hats – writer, marketing professional, event planner, real estate agent – but the one constant, and the true reason for everything I do, is to come home and care for those four people that complete my life.”
The hope is that the new year brings good health and a return to being able live her best “theatre geek” life: hosting parties and beach weeks and taking in a favorite musical.
“A friend recently told me that I bring people together, which I feel is a selfish trait on my part because I receive so much joy from it,” she says. “I have started seven different books clubs and even a theatre club just to share those things I love with friends.”
Marjorie Jenkins brings passion, resilience and faith to her role as a physician, Dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and Chief Academic Officer of Prisma Health-Upstate. And though the Upstate is her new home, she is already making an impact on those around her.
“Steve and I moved to the Greenville just seven months prior to the pandemic, and there is so much that we haven’t had a chance to explore,” she says. “For most of the week, you can find me at one of the best kept secrets in the Upstate – the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. Soby’s is the first restaurant we visited when I was interviewing, and it remains a favorite place to dine outside with our newly adopted greyhound, Reina.”
Jenkins sees beauty in those who can make others feel accepted and welcome no matter what.
“These are people that my husband and I say are easy to like,” she says.
Jenkins says the scariest thing she has ever done was traveling to the White House to present the final request for naming the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health.
“The second scariest was receiving her name and being asked to lead her institute,” she says.
Those who know Jenkins say she is committed to making healthcare accessible and is willing and able to innovate to make that happen.
“I am passionate about disrupting the one-sex, gender-blind, one size fits all approach to healthcare delivery that is pervasive throughout the world,” she says. “Each and every person deserves to have access to, and to receive, high quality, personalized health care.”
Mary Ann Bennett
Mary Ann Bennett is known for her compassion.
As Chief Operating Officer, Director of Nursing and Director of Autism Programming for Springbrook Behavioral Health in Travelers Rest, she says her life’s work is to make a difference in the lives of children by creating opportunities that give them a chance to be successful.
“Most of it was not by design,” she says. “However, as I look back, I do see the theme. I adopted children out of foster care, opened a school and developed structured learning programs for children with ADHD and learning difficulties, and now, I develop behavioral programming for children with autism.”
A passionate advocate for children, Bennett says she is blessed by challenging and meaningful work. She sees beauty in the Upstate and in its residents.
“Despite Greenville’s growth, it has retained that small-town charm with its art communities, beautiful parks and quaint restaurants. It is easy to stay home and pretend you are on vacation,” she says. “There is such beauty in someone who believes they are blessed regardless of their circumstances and joyfully uses their talents to help others.”
Mary Corner lives a life in service to others.
As Parish Administrator at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, her life’s work is “to be of service to those in need, to give them a hand up, to make their life better.”
Corner’s perfect day is filled with simple pleasures – but the kind that are appreciated even more following a pandemic.
“Begin with my morning prayer thanking God for all he has done for me, my family, others and have breakfast,” she says. “Ride to Falls Park, take a walk, find a bench to relax, read and have a nice lunch. Meet friends for dinner, have good conversation and enjoy the company of others.”
Describing herself as honest, Christian, confident, compassionate and caring, Corner says that how people treat others reveals their true beauty. As she looks to the future, it is centered on faith, family and friendship.
“Keep God in the center of my life,” she says. “Continue to be of service to others at church, visit my son and his family in California with all of my grands and great grands, family, friends and go on cruises.”
Mary Frances Roberts
Mary Frances Roberts doesn’t call attention to herself, but her work behind the scenes makes a difference.
As President of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, her faith and her love for others drive her to make lives better. Though she loves to spend time in nature with her husband, three children and four grandchildren, she can also be found with Greenville’s unhoused residents, walking with them in prayer.
“For the rest of my life, I hope to be able to love, encourage and mentor those who are lost and overlooked by society, who suffer generational and circumstantial poverty, addiction, mental illness and homelessness, encouraging them to realize their beauty, value and potential, and how to use their natural gifts and talents,” she says. “I would like to help others see themselves through the eyes of Jesus and not society. I hope to be a positive influence on my children and grandchildren, encouraging them to have the courage to be different, to allow the Lord to work through them, to realize that we share many things in common with those who seem to be the most different and to never be afraid of what is hard to understand.”
Meghan Barp has been called “the real deal.” As President and CEO of the United Way of Greenville County, she is living that out daily by working – in her words – “ensuring that every person in Greenville County struggling to make ends meet has the best possible shot at overcoming poverty and living a prosperous life.”
Away from work, Barp loves the outdoors and thrives on being adventurous.
“I was recently told that I am fearless,” she says. “While I don’t always feel that way, it was lovely to hear.”
Barp does describe herself as determined, something she proved by doing something that scared her – and conquering it.
“Earlier this year, I learned how to ride a motorcycle at the BMW Performance Center in Greer,” she says. “Day one was terrifying. Day two was exhilarating.”
No matter what, Barp’s commitment to the community runs deep.
“I’m going to do what I’m doing now forever, or until no one in Greenville County is living in poverty,” she says.
Pat Parker says her “new normal” is irregular, which has kept her on her toes as Associate Director at Triune Mercy Center. But even during unprecedented times, she has chosen to walk by faith.
“The scariest thing I’ve ever done is attempting to lead our team during this pandemic,” she says. “It was scary because there was no research or history to base decisions on. So many people didn’t believe there was a pandemic and others were terrified of getting the virus. I’ve never depended on science, but it was all we had. Times like this, I turn to my faith and pray that I am making the right decisions. The scariest thing was trying to keep the church and my family safe with no road map to follow.”
Parker says a beautiful person is someone that doesn’t take themselves too seriously and can laugh no matter what.
“As a Christian, I’ve learned to see the best in people, not to be judgmental and to meet people where they are. I cannot fix or change anyone, but I can tell them about my Savior who is fixing and changing me. The thing I want to do for the rest of my life is to be the best me I can be. I want to show love and give hope to anyone that crosses my path. I want to be the best wife I can be and live a long healthy life.”
Rut Rivera is known to work tirelessly on behalf of others.
Rivera is manager of the Greenville PASOs Program, the Hispanic outreach program at Prisma Health. PASOs community programs work to build a stronger South Carolina by supporting Latino communities with education, advocacy and leadership development. She also volunteers as Chair of the Hispanic Alliance’s Health Team. Through her many hours of work devoted to the Upstate during the pandemic, she has made a difference in the health of families that call Greenville home. Through it all, she lives out her motto: one day at a time.
“I have learned to take life ‘un dia a la vez’ and understand that it takes patience and hard work to accomplish your goals,” she says. “Life is precious and looking at its beauty also helps me push forward.”
Whether spending time with her husband and children or volunteer at a COVID screening event, Rivera brings with her the life lessons she gained from moving to a new country with her parents and siblings at age 15 – the scariest thing she has ever done.
“I received the most amazing and heartwarming welcoming when I moved to South Carolina,” she says. “It really made a difference in my transition to a new place. I believe what makes the Upstate so beautiful are the people that live in it and their openness to welcome someone new. I want to continue to work and advocate for my community. I have been in the shoes of many people I serve. Understanding their struggle firsthand gives me the passion and energy to continue my work to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to be successful.”
Shannon Sinn has learned how to live a life she never expected.
After the death of her husband, she is embracing the sweet along with the bitter of life.
“I’m a widow so my most important job is being the best mom to my boys that I can,” she says. “My number one life’s work is motherhood. Setting a good example for my boys by being strong in our faith so we can overcome any obstacles in our life, including the death of my husband. I always feel like I do my best not to get down and keep going no matter what. I want my boys to look back one day and be proud of me as a single mom raising two boys. There is a reason for all things that happen in our lives, good and bad and we have to rely on our faith in God and his timing in our lives.”
Sinn loves putting beautiful things out in the world, including through her jewelry business, Gilded Grace Designs, through art, decorating her home and more. Part of that comes in making others feel good about themselves. The traits she sees as beautiful in others – trust, selflessness, genuineness, perseverance, dependability and a sense of humor – also mark her impact on friends and family.
Whitney Trexler is a champion for others on and off the playing field.
As a volunteer, she puts in countless hours with special needs athletes, as their teammate, friend and advocate.
“I am a lifetime volunteer for Special Olympics,” she says. “There are a million ways to say how much it means to me that I truly don’t know where to start. My involvement started at a young age. I’ve always been connected to people with intellectual disabilities. I coach tennis and 3×3 basketball, and then also play on Unified Flag football and 5×5 Unified Basketball. We have weekly practices and there are different sports played all season long. This is not just a hobby, it is my passion. I have a genuine desire to help bring out the champion in every athlete.”
But as much as she gives, Trexler is quick to note that she gets so much more in return.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life, especially when you have a high stress job in advertising sales and not to mention social media, but Special Olympics keeps me grounded,” she says. “People with intellectual disabilities contribute a different perspective to the world.”