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    Bit to Do

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    Statistics
    show that women are rising into more positions of power. According to a
    report by the United States Department of Labor, "Women accounted for 51
    percent of all workers in the high-paying management, professional, and related
    occupations." After reading an article in US Weekly that
    claims 57 percent of college students are women, I thought
    about how that leads to more women in power. I realized I know quite a
    few women who are in charge of a Louisville business. I've shared a few of them
    here.

    Lisa Frye

    Lisa Frye
    is a visual artist and the president/ founder of Art Sanctuary, an
    arts non-profit that has been showcasing local artists for 6 years in
    Louisville.

    "At
    the time, it was very difficult to see local art, and a lot of awesome artists
    had amazing art rotting under their beds," says Frye. "I started the
    non-profit with a group of amazing women, and we had our first soiree at Adorno
    Studio with over 70 artists."

    Art
    Sanctuary merged with the Alley Theater in 2009 when they opened an alternative
    theater at The Pointe in Butchertown. Alley Theater is Louisville's only
    alternative theater bringing in acts and shows that usually would not find a
    good venue in Louisville. In between their theatrical performances
    of shows such as Point Break Live, Evil Dead the Musical and Sweeney Todd, they
    have musical concerts, CD releases and themed festivals.

    Frye was
    given the titles of production manager and art director in addition to
    her role as co-producer of the Va Va Vixens burlesque troop, which
    performs at the theater. She manages between 4 and 10 events at any given
    time, logging 60 hours or more per week.

    She says
    it is hard to balance everything because she wears so many hats and fills in
    where needed, but it is most rewarding to help people make their dreams come
    true.

    Sonya Linser

    Sonya
    Linser is a mother and manager of The Great Escape: a comic, books, and records
    store on Bardstown Road. The Great Escape has been buying, selling and trading
    comics, books, action figures, vinyl, cds, dvds, blu ray, gaming
    supplies and more for 32 years.

    Linser
    has been employed with The Great Escape for 17 years and has been manager
    for about four. She says they have very little turn over and have
    only put out a help wanted sign once in the many years they've been open.

    "People
    who work here tend to not want to leave," says Linser. It's a great place
    to work with great customers. We have people leave for college and come back to
    work on their breaks. We have a lot of people putting in applications."

    Linser
    stays busy with the demands of keeping the local business running. When
    interviewed, she was on day number ten without a day off and is sometimes
    referred to as the "dragon lady" by her employees when things
    get overwhelming. She says that part of that is also because she quit smoking
    last year and has been able to stick with it despite her hectic schedule. Even
    though she gets overwhelmed, she always comes across friendly and often knows
    the customers by name when they come in.

    She says
    that the biggest challenge in managing the store is keeping up with technology
    changes without disrupting the familiarity of the store. The store
    recently launched sales of a T-shirt that says “Buy local or bye local”. So
    many things can be ordered online now, and technology changes have changed the
    way people seek entertainment. Despite these changes, Linser has seen
    generation after generation visit the store, and part of the comfort for
    customers is that the store is familiar and hasn't changed too much other than
    some of the items they offer . (They also offer cute baby onesies, weird
    decorations and novelty items, jewelry and t-shirts in addition to the books,
    movies, and music they sell.)

    Despite
    her busy schedule and these challenges, Linser says that she likes
    working there and hopes it is around for another 32 years.

    "I
    don't ever want to see it go away."

    Sara Havens

    Sara Havens is known for being a bar belle extaordinaire but is also the Arts
    & Entertainment Editor for the Louisville Eccentric Observer a.k.a the LEO.
    She's been employed by LEO for 11 years now but has held many titles.

    "I'm
    never sure what I'm supposed to be doing," she says. "Sometimes, they
    have me clean the bathrooms."

    She
    started with them as Assistant Managing Editor right after college. She was
    sending out applications all over the country from her hometown in Ohio
    when she visited Louisville for her brother's wedding. She picked up a copy of
    the LEO and decided to apply.

    Havens
    says that her job is pretty tough because there are so many things going on in
    Louisville. She has to make sure that the paper covers all of the important
    events each week. In addition to her "nine to five" editorial duties,
    she reviews an occasional movie and writes her Bar Belle column.

    She enjoys
    hearing feedback and knowing when she has made someone laugh but also says that
    the perk of "free beer, [which] never hurts either". She occasionally
    picks up bar tending work on the weekends, and catches up on her DVR when she
    is not working.

    When asked
    what her motto to lead by is, she replied "Dance like no one is
    watching."

    Photo: Courtesy of Debbie Hess

    Jessica Lynn's picture

    About Jessica Lynn

    Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.

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