Most Inspiring Women 2021

We are surrounded by inspiring women doing inspiring things and all too frequently, they don’t realize it. In this series, we highlight the awesome work women are doing to make an impact in and around Delaware.

Day 7: Kyra Hoffner — Inspiring Women 2021

Day 7: Kyra Hoffner — Inspiring Women 2021

Introducing another Top 10 Inspiring Woman of 2021, Kyra Hoffner! Kyra is a volunteer lobbyist for the League of Women Voters, as well as an advocate for many issues from voting rights to legalization of cannabis, homelessness, and fair districting.

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Day 4: Monique Williams-Johns — Inspiring Women 2021

Day 4: Monique Williams-Johns — Inspiring Women 2021

In this interview with nonprofit leader and political candidate Monique Williams-Johns, we discuss founding a nonprofit, tackling the unique challenges that are posed because of race, gender, and class, and being the trailblazer for future generations.

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Get Inspired with these Women to Watch

While we couldn’t interview everyone (believe us, we wanted to!), we still loved what we learned about these nominees and want to highlight these amazing women!

Denee Crumrine

Denée Crumrine

Corporate Communications Manager
Highmark Delaware
Connect on LinkedIn

“Inspiration comes in many forms for me, but overall it is the human experience. Witnessing my family, friends and community overcome challenges, fail with grace, grow, create, love, and just live life in all its mess and beauty, is a such a blessing. I am the sum of the people I care about, and they are why I strive to be the best version of myself. “

Nina Thomas, listed as a woman to watch in BrandSwan's Top 10 Most Inspiring Women series

Nina Thomas


“Things that inspire me the most – my love for God, Audrey Hepburn, nature, positive people.”

Emily Dougherty, speaker at Reveal Your Inner Awesome 2020

Emily Dougherty

Yoga and Mindfulness Facilitator

“I find a special kind of inspiration in survivors of trauma who are living with symptoms of PTSD. Trauma in any of its forms (and there are many) can make even the most seemingly small or benign task feel inconceivable and terrifying. I serve survivors of trauma through my facilitation of trauma-sensitive yoga. To witness someone taking even just a little bit of their power back despite their experiences and suffering is inspiring beyond any words I’ll ever know.”

Valerie Lane, listed as a woman to watch in BrandSwan's Top 10 Most Inspiring Women series

Valerie Lane

Founder & CEO
Miss Social Mogul

“When I was a kid, I watched the Oprah Winfrey show almost every afternoon at 4:00pm. No matter the topic or interview, Oprah instilled a love of learning within me. One of the most interesting interviews I saw was with Sarah Jessica Parker, no doubt making her rounds on the various talkshows for Sex and the City. Oprah asked Sarah what inspired her to consistently be so fashion forward and trendy.

Sarah talked about how walking through everyday life was an inspiration. She would see another woman on the sidewalk and think, “oh I really love how tight she got her ponytail,” or, “I love the way that skirt lays.” It wasn’t “stealing” another woman’s style, but being inspired to integrate elements into your own wardrobe. I was so awestruck by Sarah’s ability to let the little things inspire her. So what inspires me?

Tight ponytails. The moment your coffee has just been poured and you can see the steam billowing. A podcast episode where I learn something new. Good books. Piano versions of pop songs. A fresh ball of yarn. The movie Eat Pray Love. Glennon Doyle. Traveling to a new place. Traveling to an old place. My best friend. My favorite Peloton instructor. A really good interview. My writing coach. British accents. Ugg boots.

I’m inspired by the big things, the little things, the courageous acts, and small moments of compassion. I love finding inspiration in my everyday life, it makes the tough times all the more worth living, and the good times all the better. “

Kelsey Styles, named woman to watch in BrandSwan's 2021 Top 10 Inspiring Women series

Kelsey Styles

Multimedia Technologist
Wilmington University
Connect on LinkedIn

“I am constantly amazed by really powerful, strong, go-getter role models, but this year my biggest inspirations were the people who picked me up and dusted me off after COVID repeatedly knocked me down. I am grateful to the people in my life who tell me I deserve the opportunities I choose to pursue.

Secondly, I am endlessly inspired by nonprofits, mutual aid and grassroots organizations. They exist because someone set out to make active change in the world. I live my life to learn, grow, and make little positive changes every day. “

Rita Wilkins, listed as a woman to watch in BrandSwan's Top 10 Most Inspiring Women series

Rita Wilkins

The Downsizing Designer | President
Design Services, Ltd.

“What inspires me? Making a difference and changing people’s lives… by design! “

Emma Pautler, nominated one of BrandSwan's 2021 women to watch

Emma Pautler

Pautler Creative Enterprises

“I’m inspired by the quote, ‘The world needs you to show up today. You are valuable, you are powerful, and what you believe changes the world.’ I believe that each of us was put on earth at this time, in this generation for a reason. Life is about showing up for each other, our communities, our families, and giving all we can. This idea keeps me inspired and helps me wake up each morning with renewed energy and inspiration.”

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