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Holly Houston: Faces of Louisville

You might not recognize this woman without her trademark glasses. But you will recognize her name: A. Holland “Holly” Houston, attorney and general woman about town. Holly is on the forefront of girl power here in Louisville, with her leadership on many issues in the news right now, such as equal pay, women’s rights, human rights and any other form of “uneven treatment.” She wears her emotions on her sleeve and owns them all. And for all of her Louisville love, why does she dream of the White House?

You are an attorney by trade. What sort of law do you practice?

Family law and a wee bit of criminal and business. I do custody, divorce, adoptions, paternity, support, grandparents’ rights, and DNA cases (dependency neglect abuse) and domestic violence cases.

Though you are an attorney by day, you seem to be everywhere. What other organizations are you involved in and what other jobs do you have?

One job, many projects. I founded and co-chair the Louisville Bar Association Human Rights section. I am the co-founder and co-director of GLOW, which is the Greater Louisville Outstanding Women association. I mentor Louisville Girls Leadership. I am on the board of Louisville Visual Art association. Lastly, I am an attorney member of Louisville Coalition for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women). I’m a sucker for a strong woman or girl and a cause.

You are a fervent advocate for women’s rights. What are some ways you are making a difference on the grass-roots level?

Building awareness and exposing inequitable treatment, bias, discrimination, sexism and ageism and uneven opportunity through Louisville CEDAW and our human rights section at the LBA, and continuing our women’s financial literacy program we created in GLOW. And being a big mouth generally to identify solutions.

Tell us more about GLOW. Who is in it? How can people get involved?

GLOW is a unique and enthusiastic women’s business networking group that meets once a month to share strategies for success. Each woman has her own niche and no women have duplicate vocations to keep referrals clean. We have core membership, and we ebb and flow with new members. We have a section on the application that asks, “What Makes You Outstanding?” which is my favorite to read. Membership is by approval of our executive committee via application.

Many of us know you as Holly On the Go Go, which is the feature you write fornFocus. How did that gig come about and what is it exactly?

I do write my column still! Over five years now at least. I am online each month, if not in print, too. My friend, Barry Wooley, whom I adore, was the editor at the beginning and called me Holly On the Go Go,because I am hyperactive, and it stuck. It has morphed from purely social to a thought piece over the years.

What is the hardest part of your job? And what is the easiest?

Hardest: Losing when I’m right.

Easiest: Presenting an argument. I was made for it.

Give us a peek at your agenda. What’s a typical day or week like for you?

Impossible. Court and motions take priority. Now, add in all the other law and writing and project deadlines, running a business and everything else.

Who are your mentors and what advice do you treasure?

Fall in love with yourself first, this is not a dress rehearsal, stay open. And then from my mother: You gotta take the bitter with the sweet; if you don’t want anybody to know, don’t write it down.

If you did not have this career, what would you secretly like to do?

Be the White House social correspondent! Plan parties for international leaders?  Yes, please.

Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my ___________.

Glasses!

Where can we find you hanging out around town?

Check social media. Believe me, somebody tagged me somewhere.

What’s your bucket list travel destination?

Bali, Fiji

Favorite thing to do in Louisville?

Discover something new

Night owl or early bird? What do you do during that quiet time?

Total night owl. My dad said I’m happiest around 10 p.m., and he’s right. My quiet time is spent watching an 18- to 24-year-old male audience’s favorite TV programming (Comedy Central, Cartoon Network) and reading my fave magazines. This is how I recharge.

Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.

I love Jack Fry’s. Always great memories there.

What’s on your personal reading list right now?

It’s spread out on my floor. New issue of W magazine, the latest New York Times, An Amorous Discourse in The Suburbs of Hell, Tibetan Peach Pie and The Hillary Doctrine.

Lightning round! Give us your:

  • Candy or junk food splurge: Anytime I eat carbs
  • Guilty pleasure song: “Broadway Baby.”
  • Tearjerker movie pick: Aah movies, I remember those.
  • Standby nail polish color: Blackish navy glitter
  • Favorite cocktail: Felon Melon at Weekly Juicery
  • Cartoon alter-ego: Not a cartoon, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine and others.

What are your three favorite things right now?

Driving Dad’s Mercedes, slowly breaking out into running again from walk-running and Nujabes’ Modal Soul.

Thank you to our talented FACES photographer Adele Reding. See more of her portfolio here

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