Badass. A quick Google search defined this everyday nomenclature as “a formidably impressive person.” I think I use this word on a daily basis, if not hourly, so needless to say I know its true passion and feeling.

I have recently been seeing so many amazing things done by some pretty badass Dayton women and I thought there should be some sort of list to house all of these badass women. (See? It has only been about thirty seconds, and already I’ve made you say badass four times in your head.)

With that said, I would like to present to you Socially Savvy’s inaugural “9 badass Dayton women you NEED to know” for 2017.


  • Female
  • Doing badass things in our community


Brittany Smith – Heart Mercantile / Luna Gifts & Botanicals     

This badass is a triple threat in the Dayton community. Brittany is an owner of Heart Mercantile / Luna Gifts & Botanicals, as well as a photographer for Carly Short Photography. This must be why her Instagram and photos of her shop are always on point. Currently based in the Oregon Historic District, Brittany balances work life and mom life as if she was flippin’ flap jacks (it’s extremely difficult, but the person doing it makes it look easy).  If you are ever in need of a good laugh or a simple pick me up for the day, stroll by Heart and check out their chalkboard sign.  It is sure to put a smile on your face.


Mary Kathryn Burnside – Clash Dayton    

Known as the Queen of Clash, Mary Kathryn Burnside, aka MK Burnside aka Gypsy Queen, is our next badass. As owner of Clash located in the Oregon District on 5th Street, Mary’s true passion is art and helping artists getting their work out to the masses. Mary has acted as that conduit to many artists to give them a platform to speak from visually. Oh, and Mary’s image was also used for the artwork of Warped Wing’s Gypsy Queen!


Ashley Bethard – Cox Media Group Ohio    

This badass is quickly becoming a household name in the Dayton area. Ashley is a writer, digital media expert, and editor extraordinaire! In 2014, Ashley’s creative writing was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the Rappahannock Review. In 2016, she was named one of the Newspaper Association of America’s “Top 30 Under 30”!  Rounding out 2017, Ashley won the Ohioana Library Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a major writing prize, which she will accept at the Ohio Statehouse this October. Her dojo is, where she and her team work extremely hard on a daily basis to advocate the city we all love. Ashley is also a founding member of Bloom : a creative collective.


Lauren Poteat – Fit Body by Lauren  

Is there a badass out there that can whip your butt into shape? Why yes, yes there is. Lauren Poteat’s core focus is to focus on your core! She believes in an active lifestyle that blends healthy dieting with a targeted personal training regimen. Lauren is a trainer/group fitness instructor certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a TRX Suspension Trainer and trains many Daytonians out of her personal workout facility.


Candice Hunt – Square One Salon and Spa

Looking for a badass fresh fade, bridal coordinator or maybe a donation for your charity event? Well, this badass can help with that. Candice is the Assistant Manager at Square One Salon and Day Spa. She is the definition of a Renaissance Woman. No job is to small for her to lend a hand and help out. Whether it is making your big day the most memorable or booking a ton of appointments, Candice greets you with a smile, high five, hug, or a cup of tea to help make your day become complete.


Sabrina Cox – Mike’s Bike Park    

This badass is a puuuuuuuurfect for this list. Sabrina was one of the main starters of the Gem City Catfe. Wanting to get a bit more hands-on, she switched career paths and now is the General Manger for Pet Wants Dayton, where she does community development, marketing, and manages their charity donations and special events. Speaking of special events, did I mention she is the Special Events Coordinator for Mike’s Bike Park? So when you adopt a puppy and ride a bike, be sure to think about Sabrina.


Cindy DeVelvis – DP&L    

This badass knows how to keep the lights on. Cindy is the Digital Communication Strategist for AES, which includes DP&L as well as Indianapolis Power & Light, where she focuses on improving the customer experience through digital communication. From day-to-day she manages website modernization, email and social media strategies. Cindy is amazing at her job. My first experience communicating with her was via the DP&L Twitter account.  The two of us got into a very ENLIGHTENING “Pun-Off.” Needless to say, that interaction BRIGHTENED my day!


Soteria Brown – The Dayton Foundation    

I have had the pleasure of meeting this badass and have seen firsthand what she has done for our community. Soteria is the Public Relations Officer at the Dayton Foundation, where she coordinates media coverage for the foundation, maintains their online presence while monitoring trends, and creates amazing video content for them as well. Soteria is also the liaison for the foundation’s African-American Community Fund. Outside of work, she sits on the board for PRSA Dayton and is a huge advocate for HBCUs.  She is also a most recent 40 Under Forty winner – Class of 2017!


Karen Maner – Culture Works    

A badass lover of all things Dayton and arts by day, and a Jeff Goldblum MEGAFAN by night, Karen is someone you need to place on your “Daytonians I have to meet in person” bucket list. As the Communications and Project Manager for Culture Works Dayton, Karen is heavily immersed in all things arts on a daily basis. Then, when you add into the mix her involvement with UpDayton as their project volunteer and a heavy-hitting member of the TEDxDayton Marketing Committee, you have an All-Star that some wouldn’t trade Kyrie Irving together for. Too Soon?


WINNERS – Awards are being made up in the next couple of weeks and will be delivering them to you shortly!


Honorable Mention

Wynie Mae Milne – Teacup Yorkie Enterprises 

Wynie loves bee-boppin around the Oregon District, chewing on her stuffed lambchop and is an avid leaf collector. Originally from Chillicothe and recently relocated to downtown Dayton in the Oregon District, Wynie loves giving a million kisses and actin’ a fool.