Occupation: Executive director of the Hearing and Speech Foundation; instructor, Lincoln Memorial University - public speaking and news writing; volunteers as editor of the Hellbender Press; program chair of East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists and president of the board of directors for the Foundation for Global Sustainability.
Family: In a relationship with john johnson. “He doesn’t believe in capitalism, so he doesn’t capitalize his name.” She has three cats. Her parents are Bill and Marti Womac of Maryville.
Amanda Womac says she feels lucky to have been named executive director of the Hearing and Speech Foundation and is excited about the opportunities for foundation growth.
“I think the foundation has so much potential for growth,” said Womac. “We’re on the threshold of major growth.”
As for her fairly new position with the foundation, Womac said it offers great opportunity.
“I think that the opportunity I saw was to give back to the community where I grew up,” said Womac. By leading the fund raising arm to help off-set the cost of hearing and speech services to the indigent in East Tennessee, “I feel I’m able to give back to my community.”
A busy woman, Womac wears many hats. In addition to her job as executive director of the foundation, she is an instructor at Lincoln Memorial University. “I was hired at Lincoln Memorial to help build a journalism program. That’s an exciting new opportunity for me.”
One of her passions also leads Womac into some pretty hefty volunteer positions as she works to “bring sustainability to East Tennessee and beyond” through her work as editor of the Hellbender Press, East Tennessee’s environmental journal. She also volunteers with the Foundation for Global Sustainability on new initiatives.
In her “spare time,” Womac enjoys gardening. “It’s something I do. Just getting out in the earth, getting my hands dirty cleanses my soul. I love okra, so I grow okra and tomatoes.”
Womac says she enjoys reading, watching movies, riding her bicycle and playing guitar. “I took up guitar in seventh grade when my parents bought a $25 guitar from a pawn shop. I played that through time as a camp counselor at Wesley Woods and beyond, picking it up here and there, but I never was 100 percent committed. For my 26th or 27th birthday, I bought a guitar for myself and got serious.”
Occupying a lot her time this month is the Hearing and Speech Foundation third annual Away Game Tailgate Party. This event is set for Saturday, Sept. 19, when the Vols go to Florida. Fans who don’t want a trip to the Swamp can watch the game in Neyland Stadium’s luxurious East Club Sky Box and help the foundation at the same time.
Special guest host is Johnny Majors, who will give tailgaters an overview of the Foundation at half-time. Tickets are $100 each, and include admission to the skybox, a buffet during the first half and second offering of food at half-time and the chance to watch the game on the wall of televisions.
For more information, call 865- 977-0981.
Here is Amanda Womac:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“Initial gut reaction is my dad, because we are alike in humor and looks. But I think I’m most like my mom when it comes to getting things done.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“I don’t watch a lot of TV. What about just my favorite quote: “Get Involved. The world is run by those who show up.”
How do you like your steak cooked?
“Rare or still kicking.”
What are you guilty of?
“Enjoying life to its absolute fullest…so sue me.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My book collection. I’ve been collecting books since I started reading. I’m a bookaholic. I rarely give them up or trade them in, and I’m a sucker for a used book sale. I love being surrounded by the written word. The possibilities are endless. My book collection is something I’ll be able to joyfully hand over to my kids.”
What are you reading currently?
“Pigs in Heaven,” by Barbara Kingsolver.
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th Century?
“Any woman involved in the Suffragette Movement who put her life on the line so women could have the vote; specifically Alice Paul and Lucy Burns.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Getting roasted my freshman year of high school for having a huge crush on a senior, thanks Mr. Bill Robinson. Three of my friends had a crush on a senior, and Mr. Robinson had the uncanny ability to figure it out. During the awards ceremony we did at the end of year for high school orchestra, he called me out for being president of the fan club for this guy. It was embarrassing for a 15-year-old freshman.”
If you only had a week to live, what would you do and why?
“I would go to Africa because I’ve always felt a primitive pull to visit. And I have an obsession with lions.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Assertive or determined.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“My inability to say ‘No,’ to projects.”
What is your passion?
“The environment. I’m a genuine tree-hugging dirt worshiper. Second on the list is Women’s Rights.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Janis Joplin. I just think she would be extremely interesting to have lunch with. I would also love to have one more long lunch with my granny, Miriam Womac.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“Hillary Swank, because she plays real women in real life situations.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“My granny gave me presents in boxes often, and anything she gave me was special.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“To get an education. I think education, not only book-smarts, but world-view wise, is important because if you’re unable to learn about anything outside your community, how are you going to live in a global community?”
In the workplace, would you rather be powerful or popular?
“Powerful. I don’t always have to be loved.”
Who is your hero?
“Rachel Carson or E. O. Wilson. Rachel Carson put environmental issues on the map in the 1960s and really saw the need for regulation. E.O. Wilson is a male counterpart who is still kicking and does the same thing. He talks a lot about biocentrism and ecology.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Facebook for networking opportunities.”
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“Cat. They are inquisitive and playful, and they’re not needy. I don’t like needy people and needy things, so cats work well with me.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?
‘“I Want To Sing That Rock and Roll’ by Gillian Welch.”