Gina Lynette was born in Temple, Texas, grew up in Knoxville, TN, spent several years in Boca Raton, FL, and now resides in Brentwood, TN. She is the mom of four great kids and one 80-pound fur baby — Champ the Weather Dog — who keep her busy in all those activities children and pets tend to inspire. Luckily, she isn’t alone during these eventful days, as she is matched step for step by her amazing husband, Ned Andrew Solomon.
In her Monday through Friday life, she is a life coach, facilitator and trainer. She holds a Bachelor’s in Organizational Management from Tusculum College and a Master’s in Psychology with a specialization in Leadership Coaching from Capella University. She’s completed additional graduate-level coursework in Human Resource Development, and holds certifications in Graphic Coaching and Facilitation, PATH Facilitation, and Essential Lifestyle Planning. She’s constantly pursuing additional learning opportunities and the list of workshops, conferences, and trainings she’s attended is extensive.
“I consider interactions with my network of precious friends to be a vocation of sorts,” Gina says. “My passion — true passion — is walking folks through the process of discovering their bliss. Whether I am working with a close friend, an individual coaching client, a private organization, or a huge statewide system, my candle burns so much brighter when I am able to point people in a positive direction.”
In the artistic realm, her photography has appeared on several magazine covers, she collaborates on watercolor quilts/multi-media collages with Ned Andrew, and she’s endlessly exploring other creative avenues.
“I have never considered myself artistic,” says Gina. “I was more of a crafter — crochet, weaving, quilling, tatting — and decorator — stenciling, sewing, painting, arranging. I learned those things by watching my mother, grandmothers and great grandmothers create wonderful spaces in their homes. My childhood was filled with artistic folks, but none of them would have considered themselves artists.
“My great grandmother — we called her Granny — spent the long Virginia winters piecing, embellishing and finishing Crazy Quilts. I spent hours lusting over the beautiful fabrics and threads she used. It was an honor beyond any other to be gifted with one of Granny’s lovely hand-pieced blankets. When people asked what she would charge for one, she’d laugh, count up the weeks and months of labor and say no one could afford it.
“I have always loved texture and color and pattern. I am drawn more to exploring these facets of painting, drawing, photography than to representing known objects. However, once we — Ned and I — laid down these colors and stepped away, they begged for more manipulation. Ned is braver than I am and encouraged me to carve up our pieces and reform them. I took a deep breath and cut several pieces into strips — recalling the quilting patterns I have admired all of my life — and began manipulating them until we both loved the results. That’s the rule for everything we do — whether it’s dinner or parenting or art — we work on it until we both love it.”
When she isn’t coaching, facilitating, training, studying, parenting, or creating, Gina’s advocating. Passionate about people — especially those who aren’t always invited to the conversation — she often speaks up in support of inclusive practices.
“I’ve come to believe that there are two essential elements for a well-lived life. The first thing that people really want and truly need is to be happy — to have more good days than bad ones. The second essential element is to be included — to be seen as and to feel like a person of value, as someone who contributes to and is a welcome part of their community.”
Gina admits that progress isn’t always easy and that it sometimes takes careful conversation to reach consensus when the stakes are high. “Defining those terms — happy and included — is about as individualized and as universal as it gets,” Gina points out. “Getting to those definitions and then making them reality is where the real work comes.
“Ah, but it’s wonderful when we get it right and it’s pretty great when we get it close to right… and it sure beats arguing over semantics.”
Regardless of the challenges, Gina remains upbeat as she moves through her day. “I’ve been called a ‘PollyAnna, Sugar-Coated Idealist’,” she chuckles. “I like to think of myself as more optimistic than that.”