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Businesswoman, aspiring actress, community champion earns top honor

The Dan Valley Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association recently named local businesswoman Jewell Swann Medley its “Woman of the Year.”

“I feel very humbled and very honored they would have that much confidence in me to be known as their woman of the year for the Dan River Valley Chapter. These are some wonderful ladies, and if they feel that strongly that I should be woman of the year, it’s a humbling experience,” Jewell Medley said.

Medley has been a member of the Dan Valley Chapter since 2010 and is the youngest of 23 members.

“As much as they inspire and motivate me to pursue my dreams and accomplish my goals, I enjoy bringing a little zeal to the chapter. We have a sisterhood and bond among our members,” Medley said.

Fellow chapter member and academic advisor at Averett University, Tiffany Mitchell, showed just how much she appreciated Medley’s zeal by nominating her for the Woman of the Year award.

“I am confident that Mrs. Jewell Swann Medley will represent the Dan Valley Chapter of ABWA as Woman of the Year with dignity, grace and class,” Mitchell said.

Medley is very active in her in community and said she enjoys making a difference.

Her position as executive director and CEO of United Way of Halifax County has given her the opportunity to do so.

“Recently we had our annual meeting for United Way, and it was a very emotional experience for me because I looked back at all we had done in the past year and just too see how many lives collectively we have touched just by talking to people and lifting their spirits, and that means a lot.”

Medley also serves on the county board of social services, is on the homelessness committee, emergency preparedness committee, Tri-County Community Action Head Start program policy council and is a founding member of the Halifax County Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs.

Medley is also an aspiring actress, producer, singer, director and playwright having written, produced and co-directed her own production entitled “ Behind The Makeup Monologues” speaking out against domestic violence and sharing her own personal story to help others.

Proceeds from her production went to benefit the Tri-County Community Action Domestic Violence Program.

“Jewell is definitely a rare precious jewel. She has lifted her voice and inspired many to speak out against domestic violence, as she is an advocate for victims of such acts. She has blessed her community with her creative talents by writing, producing and directing ‘Behind the Makeup Monologues,’ which addresses issues of domestic violence that go unnoticed,” Mitchell said.

Medley also is actively involved with Halifax County Little Theater landing roles in their productions of “Crowns” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Medley will be starring in the upcoming Prizery production of “Dream Girls” in the lead role of Dina and is also serving as assistant director alongside Director Chris Jones and Musical Director Chris Oliver.

When she is not serving the community, Medley is a wife, mother of three and is the First Lady of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Java where her husband, Delano Medley, serves as pastor. She and her family reside in Alton, although her hometown is Danville.

“Danville is my hometown, and being involved with the ABWA-Dan Valley Chapter keeps me to my roots, friends and family,” Medley said.