poem by Poet Laureate of Kansas Huascar Medina, seveneightfive literary editor
written for and inspired by Women Who Rock Jennifer Bohlander and Nicole DeGennaro
Two women have been nominated year-after-year, nomination after nomination for Women Who Rock. Both are quick to submit nominations of others and to refute having the spotlight shone upon them, pushing the space to be used to highlight others. The two are dynamic, successful business owners, residing in NOTO. They are friends, they are community cheerleaders, and they have no idea we decided to feature them. Thank you, for your continuous years of quietly giving back and championing those around you. The poem to the left was written for and inspired by Nicole and Jennifer. Below is just a seed of what makes them both Women Who Rock.
“Nicole kicks ass, plain and simple,” wrote one nominator. “She is generous, bends over backwards for her neighbors and is always there when anyone needs help, all while being the best mom she can be. She is an inspiration for those who travel difficult roads.”
Nicole is the co-owner of Front Door Catering, in the process of becoming owner of The Historic Vinewood, is a mother of two and an active philanthropist. When her oldest son survived a driving while distracted car accident, which left him with a traumatic brain injury, Nicole began campaigning for safe driving, specifically anti-texting and driving, including writing an annual blog for KDOT and speaking to community groups.
“She gives to everyone that comes to her shop for donations. She painted every mural in NOTO (for free). She is a Veteran. She sold her house and moved to NOTO to help with the future of the district,” wrote one nominator. “She tattoos everyone and you tell your tattoo artist more than you tell your shrink. It’s time for some more ink,” said another. “Often inspired by the combustion of a challenge and the spark of motion and life found in living things, Jennifer paints or draws what moves her to create,” wrote Woman Who Rocks, author of ARTitude and owner of Art Print Express Michelle Leivan. “She celebrates all aspects of life…Capturers her subjects with a sense of rhythm as if to a song.” Jennifer is owner of Matryoshka, co-owner of The Wheel Barrel, mother, friend, local art and music enthusiastic and a humble donor and catalyst for cultural inclusiveness.