I was born in Chattanooga, Tn. I only lived there briefly as I was destined to live South Georgia between my mom’s Bed and Breakfast (The Hamilton Turner House) home in Savannah and her home on St. Simons Island. My mom was and will always be a Savannah Icon. Her name is Nancy Hillis aka “Mandy “from the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. My mother was one of the last Red Hot Mama’s of Savannah. She was a stunningly beautiful Dixieland jazz singer that performed all over Savannah but mostly in her bar that she owned with Joe Odom called Sweet Georgia Browns. My mother fought ALS for 5 years and we lost her August of 2016. She was without a doubt my hero! I will be dancing to her song Hard Hearted Hannah, the Vamp of Savannah. Coincidentally her autobiography that she wrote in the last 3 years of her life is also called the Vamp of Savannah. You can buy it at Barnes and Noble for $29.99 just kidding.
I attended the Darlington School as a boarding student, not because I was a bad kid but because it was a family tradition. Although, I was known to be a little bad. I graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in Public Relations. I worked at local radio station where I did voice over for commercials and public service announcements. In addition, I emceed Miss. Georgia Southern contest and other various events such as fashion shows, and game show contests. My hobbies are playing basketball, photography, eating specifically donuts and bacon, and traveling all over however I always end up in the US and British VI. I play on a basketball team called Bad Donkey. We travel all over the country and compete in NBA Hoopit Up tournaments. In 2012 we were ranked second in the World. We play every year at the NCAA final four tournaments as well. Also, I am a float lieutenant in a Mardi Gras Krewe called the Krewe of Morpheus. If you ever want to feel like a rockstar, join a Krewe and ride on a Mardi Gras float in New Orleans. It will change your life. My mother’s motto was, “if you can’t hide it decorate it”. I live by the old adage that tan fat equals muscle so I always keep a strong tan year round. I competed and won the only “Yo Mama” contest I ever entered. I believe Diet Coke is the nectar of the Gods.
I have no dance experience other than the King Tutt move I learned from a breakdancing movie years ago and the traditional old man dance where you keep everything between the shoulders. I would imagine my ability to move and my curvy figure will really align with the Latin dances. I have spent the majority of my career working for pharmaceutical companies (17 years) in the Savannah area on the sales side. I am now VP, Business Development and PI liaison representative for Meridian Clinical Research. It is a very rewarding career to bring new and novel medications to market that truly help so many people that have lost hope throughout the disease process. We have a Neurological Research site here in Savannah that does Alzheimer’s and Dementia research that potentially can change a patient’s life.
Both my father who was a professional boxer and step father an ER physician both suffered Dementia and Alzheimer’s. My father that lived in Chattanooga, TN one Christmas asked me to bring him paper towels, magnifying glass, and a small Christmas tree 2 weeks before I visited him. When I arrived he had 10 trees, a dozen magnifying glasses and lots of paper towels. He couldn’t remember that folks had brought him those items and he always had those specific items stuck in his mind that he needed. So, everyone that visited my father would bring him these specific things. My hope and goal is that we raise enough awareness and money to help find new treatments to help other people’s dads, moms, siblings and friends that have similar experiences as I did with my dad. Please vote for me, not just because I’m another pretty face or have the dance moves of a Hough (DWTS) but because I want to make a difference and touch the life of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia. So, please help me capitalize on the refuse2lose mentality and vote for me for the 2017 Dancing with the Stars Champion. #refuse2lose
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