The Chamber’s Leadership Chattanooga program has positioned nearly 1900 civic, nonprofit and business leaders for personal and professional excellence through experiential learning opportunities, community service projects, and exclusive access to Chattanooga’s top leaders.

To close out the Chattanooga Chamber’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, TREND caught up with two Leadership Chattanooga participants within our Hispanic communities: Katrina Farmer, Marketing Manager for The Double Cola Company, is enrolled in the current class (2023); and Luis Contrera, Owner-Proprietor of The Local Juicery+Kitchen, graduated in 2021.

Read our earlier Hispanic Heritage Month spotlight on Leadership Chattanooga alumna Lily Sanchez (Class of 2022), communications manager at La Paz Chattanooga, here.

Katrina Farmer (LC ’23), Marketing Manager, The Double Cola Company

TREND: As a member of the current LC class (2023), how’s it going?

Farmer: It’s been an excellent growth and learning experience so far.

TREND: Katrina, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do for fun?

Farmer: I’m a native of Miami, Florida who relocated to Chattanooga in 2016 to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration at UTC. I’m not just a marketing leader, I’m also an energetic admirer of all things business. When I’m not using my problem-solving skills to imagine and execute creative marketing strategies, I can be found enjoying the company of my husband William and our animal children. My other passions include art, dance, and travel.

Katrina Farmer, Leadership Chattanooga Class of 2023

TREND: Name one way you’ve impacted the community in your space.

Farmer: As Marketing Manager for The Double Cola Company, one of my responsibilities is overseeing community sponsorships and charitable contributions. Giving back has always been a part of our company ethos; it’s a great feeling to support local organizations that are working to create profound impact for our community.

TREND: What drew you to apply for the Leadership Chattanooga program?

Farmer: The opportunity to connect with like-hearted individuals, each of whom bring different perspectives but who all want to be part of creating a better Chattanooga.

TREND: What are your aspirations for how your career or community profile will be impacted by the program?

Farmer: I’m particularly excited about connecting and sharing ideas with other current and future leaders.

TREND: As a successful contributor to the Chattanooga community, what practices do you follow that help you to achieve success?

Farmer: As someone who’s involved in many aspects of our community, staying organized is critical. I try to remain open-minded and nimble, keeping my values front and center, so I only commit time to programs and activities that align with my purpose.

TREND: What advice would you give someone who’s looking for ways to become more connected to the community?

Farmer: Growth happens outside our comfort zones, so put yourself out there and you’ll be met with support. Seek out opportunities to connect with like-hearted –instead of just like-minded– people.

Luis Contreras (LC ’21), Owner-Proprietor, The Local Juicery+Kitchen

TREND: Luis, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do for fun?

Luis Contreras, Leadership Chattanooga Class of 2021, with his wife Gisela Bellina (Protégé Chattanooga Class of 2022) and their daughters.

Contreras: I love spending time with my two daughters at the playground. I have so much fun just being present with my girls.

TREND: Name one way you have impacted the community in your space.

Contreras: “Impact” goes a lot deeper than just myself, so I think I might be able to have influence but I’m not sure about impact. My hope is that my community is able to draw upon my story to learn and understand that they, too, can work hard and build their business dream. 

TREND: What drew you to apply for the Leadership Chattanooga program?

Contreras: I wanted to get more involved in our community and learn how things really work.

TREND: How has your career been impacted by the program?

Contreras: Leadership Chattanooga made more influential local people aware of our business, and also made me more aware of my own character. 

TREND: As a successful contributor to the Chattanooga community, what practices do you follow that help you to achieve success?

Contreras: Every morning I shower under cold water. I follow a strictly set daily agenda to keep myself accountable, and I live each day with intention. 

TREND: What advice would you give someone who’s looking for ways to become more connected to the community?

Contreras: Don’t overthink things: Sub out or exchange overthinking with action instead. Take action!

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