Laura Lockey Fahnestock

As selected by The Successful Business Women

What does it take to be nominated as the first inaugural "Women Who Inspire" recipient by The Successful Business Women's group? Women have been celebrated for being iconic, breaking through pay gaps, setting new records, and being leaders throughout history. So what does it take in the 21st century to be recognized as an exceptional woman, the kind of woman that inspires? It turns out, that to be such a woman of distinction takes everything that former Chief of Police of Fuquay-Varina, Laura Fahnestock, stands for hard work, discipline, and dedication. 

Laura was nominated as The Successful Business Women's group's first recipient of this very prestigious award and won by a landslide of nominations from over 800 impressive and enterprising female peers. Laura's career is a testament to hard work and excellence in her field. What is most significant about Laura is that she did not sacrifice who she is or her feminine identity to succeed. When asked what makes her different from her male counterparts, Laura stated, "I am pretty sure I am the only Chief of police who carries a tube of lipstick in her pocket." 

While Laura may be very humble about her accomplishments, she certainly does not need to be. Laura smashed gender barriers and re-defined the role of female officers in law enforcement by being one of the first women within the Rocky Mount Police Department to be promoted to the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain, eventually becoming the Town of Fuquay-Varina's celebrated Chief of Police. Not only did Laura smash these barriers, but she also excelled at her job while doing it, showing reductions in violent crime and decreases in complaints regarding the use of force incidents and citizen complaints. Under Laura's watchful command as the first-ever female Chief of Police of Fuquay-Varina, the city would be named "Safest City in North Carolina," as by

While Laura's glass-ceiling shattering achievements in her field are legion, her ability to fearlessly excel in such a male-dominated field made her a shoo-in for our first ever Women Who Inspire award. 

I could literally go on for hours about her numerous achievements, and they are far from the most inspiring aspects of this aspirational and humble woman. After reading the interview below, I think you will agree that what makes Laura Fahnestock so deserving of this first-ever award, more than her achievements, gender-defying career, and more than her statistics, is her dedication to her community and her call to serve.

We asked Laura a series of questions during our time with her... and it went something like this: 

1). You are our very first Women Who Inspire recipient—a landslide of nominations selected you. We are a group of over 800 women. How does it feel?

I am deeply honored and humbled to be nominated by an impressive group of enterprising and dedicated women. It was quite a surprise to be nominated. I did not expect to receive accolades or awards in my career. I have always felt this to be a calling to serve my community. I am honored to know that women are inspired by my career and life. I hope that I have inspired women to seek opportunities to excel and break through barriers. I have many stories and life lessons to share about my experiences that need to be shared; one day and maybe soon...

2). Once you hang up your Chief of Police hat, what do you think you will miss most? 

The people! I will miss my employees, the community, and the people that have made a positive impact on my life. There are true characters that I have worked with over the years, and I have wonderful memories of my adventures with them. I will also miss the investigative part of this career as I enjoyed working with my investigative team to solve a crime, especially to bring

closure to a family.

3). What do you look forward to most as you enter this brand new chapter of your life? 

Trying new things and having the time now to explore the more creative side of me. I also look forward to spending more time with my family and friends. I've missed too many holidays, birthdays, and other significant events due to my career.

4). Is there anything that the community may not know about you that you would love to share?

Something that may surprise them? I will have a booth at KnB Marketplace soon called "Thistleclaw Vintage". I love to spend time finding treasures on my shopping trips and travel adventures. I also plan on writing from my experiences, perhaps a fiction investigative novel

too. I have also considered writing children's books.

5). Any future travel plans? 

Yes! I have already planned a trip to Charleston and Savannah. I have another trip to Las Vegas planned. I want to travel to Scotland and Ireland as my family

has Scottish heritage. If this group plans a trip, let me know!

Founded by Amber Richon of Richon Planning, The Successful Business Women is a platform to uplift, inspire, and empower women in business and their communities. We are honored to recognize Laura as the first recipient of The Women Who Inspire award. To learn more or become a member of The Successful Business Women organization, the following link will take you to the group's Facebook page: The Successful Business Women

Photoshoot and content creation provided by Shira (that's me) Shira W Rose Studios along with the assistance of my EXTRAORDINARY glam squad team.

It was an honor to serve Laura in collaboration with The Successful Business Women.

Glam Squad

Hair & Makeup by Mary Fay Smith, owner of The Esti Method.

Nails and Portrait Assist by Susan Newnam of Glitter Grace.Grit.

Gotta question? Would love to hear from you!!

Portrait of a Woman Who Inspires

Shira W Rose serves metro Raleigh-Durham, NC & Atlanta, GA. As a Boudoir photographer, Elegant Maternity Photographer & Beauty Photographer, our studio offers timeless pregnancy portraits, beautiful boudoir photos, bridal boudoir photography, b&w fine art nude, and b&w portraits, and silhouettes.

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