‘Tis the Season to Be Grateful

We asked Indy women what they’re giving thanks for today.

We tracked down some of the city’s most influential women—and Indy Mavens—to tell us what they’re grateful for this holiday season. From kids, friendships and family, to taking new career risks and the ability to give a voice to those who might not have one—the gratitude from these women was wide-ranging and thoughtful (even if it involved cookies).

And we hope these moments of appreciation will spark a few of your own this Thanksgiving.

Chelsea Marburger, Executive Director of Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association and founder of Project Purse Indianapolis 

“I am thankful for my blended family. Three out of four of the adults in this picture hardly remember a time living with both of their biological parents. That will be the case for these three beautiful little girls, but we are determined for our girls to have a better experience than we did.”

Candace Boyd Wylie, food creative and spice slanger

“Thankful for laughter, love everlasting, well-seasoned food, and family friends to enjoy it with.”

Emily Longnecker, WTHR reporter

“I’ve been blessed in so many ways, that to sit down and actually write out all that I’m thankful for is almost overwhelming. I’m thankful for my good health and the ability to get up every morning, put on my running shoes and hit the streets, sometimes for three miles, sometimes for eight. I’m thankful to have parents who make me laugh and have taught me to be able to laugh at myself. They’ve always supported and encouraged me in whatever I’ve decided to do. They’re really my biggest cheerleaders and I wouldn’t be the woman I am without them. I’m thankful to have a job in which I believe. I’m passionate about telling the stories that need to be told in Central Indiana and there are so many. This year, I’m most thankful for the women I have in my inner circle. We laugh…oh do we laugh. They’re smart. They’re authentic. They’re supportive. They’re philanthropic and compassionate. They make me want to be a better person and I know they always have my back. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.”

Suzette Hackney, director of opinion and community engagement and columnist at IndyStar

“I am thankful that my job as a columnist enables me to make a real difference in the lives of those in need. I challenge those in leadership positions to improve our community and I give a voice and exposure to those who would otherwise remain silenced.”

Deborah Dorman, real estate agent, PATTERN Magazine blogger, and INDY MAVEN editorial board member

“Indy Maven is a long dream-in-the-making come true for Indy’s very talented and devoted journalists and photojournalists who are determined to share with the women of our great city unlimited resources to improve the quality of life. Personally, I am so fortunate that these amazing women are creating a platform for so many of us to be able to express ourselves as we lift the hopes and dreams of others who find it challenging to speak out for themselves. A woman’s words are the lifeline to the future generations of Indy Mavens.”

Photo: Tony Valanais

Brittany Mason, The Pretty Plus blogger and influencer

“I’m thankful for my bright, sweet daughter and her impact on those around her. She makes everyone smile, which melts my heart!”

Catherine Esselman, Jonah’s mom and Indy Chamber senior project manager (if you need her during the day)

“‘Dis dude right here. Everything else is gravy.”

Martha Latta, printer and owner of Sunday Afternoon Housewife

“I’m thankful for my husband and daughter. They are most important to me but I am also thankful for a community who supports my business. I am thankful for relationships with so many strong business women in this city who lift each other up in a variety of ways. I am so thankful to have a supportive network!”

Larra Overton, producer and on-air talent for the Indianapolis Colts

“I am thankful for an unwavering support system that makes it possible to pursue my professional passions while also being my ‘balance’ as I continuously aim to ‘be where my feet are’ more often. I am grateful for a fiancé, family, and friends (and of course pup!) who eagerly celebrate my career successes while also being my sounding board and encouragement through times of adversity.”

Julie Rutland, executive director and founder of The Gifted Gown

“This year Thanksgiving takes on a renewed meaning for me and my family, and perspective has been put into place—it’s been quite the trying year. NOTHING is more important than my babies (they’ll always be my babies no matter how old they are) and having them home around our table is all I’ll ever need—for them I’m the most thankful.”

Natalie Clayton, Head of The Clayton Team of Realtors at Plat Collective

“This holiday season, I’m thankful for my family, health, and career. My family, even with their quirks, is the best. I’m thankful to be healthy and have the ability to fully work towards all of my goals in life. And my career. Taking the plunge to start a small business, be my own boss, and take control of my days was the best decision I could ever make for myself. I’m thankful it all ‘just works.’ It makes the hard work worth it.”

Tanorria Askew, “MasterChef” Season 7 contestant, owner of Tanorria’s Table

“I’m thankful for my super dope, vibrant, and rich culture. Growing within my culture has brought growth within the community around me, my business, and my perspective.”

Hayley Brown, CMO of Drink Culture Podcast

“In this moment, I am thankful for the Biscoff Cookies on Delta Flights. Overall, I am incredibly grateful for those who supported me through my move towards essentialism in 2019. The catalyst was (Visit Indy Vice President) Chris Gahl for introducing me to the idea. Putting it into practice meant that I said really big NOs to lots of people I love. Now, I am primarily doing what I love and have never felt more alive. So, thankful for everyone who said ‘I love you anyways’ even when I felt like I was letting them down.”

Tatiana Holifield-Arthur, VP/Head of Digital Strategy, Pacers Sports & Entertainment

“I have A LOT to be thankful for in this season! I’m grateful to the team at Pacers Sports and Entertainment for welcoming me and making me feel at home here in Indy. I am also forever thankful to my husband and fur-baby for their love and support.”

Amy Bartner is a regular Indy Maven contributor who is very grateful for her family, for the family she’s about to marry into, and for accidentally landing in a city she could’ve never imagined she’d fall in love with this much more than a decade ago.

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