Compiled by Stacy Thomas
McKenzie Mycio photo is by Evan Rivard | Sondra Powell photo is Angie Fenton



McKenzie Mycio, 23
Server at Big Four Burgers and Beer in New Albany
Old Louisville

What is important to you right now?
Other than my family, which is always important to me, I would have to say building a life together with my fiancé Brittany.

What scares you the most?
My biggest fear at this point in my life is failure. I know that I am still young and have plenty of time to be successful, but I am constantly striving to be the best adult I can be. Some days I feel as if I am doing the most terrible job at adulting.

What is the best thing that has happened to you in the past year?
Without a doubt, finding Brittany. We instantly fell in love and have been fully confident since the moment we met that we want to spend the rest of our lives together.

If money were no object, what would you be doing?
If I didn’t have to worry about money, I would certainly make sure my mother didn’t have to either. She sacrificed everything to make sure I had the best childhood she could give me. If I could, I would give her the world.

What does the concept of home mean to you?
Home for me will always be my childhood home on Daisy Hill in Borden, Ind.

When is the last time you paid it forward and how?
About a month ago, Brittany and I had an evening off together – which never happens since we both work in the food service industry – so we decided to write as many sweet, inspiring, love notes as possible and hand them out to strangers on the street. We both know what it’s like to be self-conscious and just generally feel lousy about yourself. We wanted to make people feel beautiful, at least for a day.

What do you love about Southern Indiana?
I grew up in Southern Indiana and even though I now live across the river, I always find myself drawn back, especially to New Albany. That area is beautiful, peaceful and historical. I learn something new about that area every time.

How do you de-stress and unwind?
Cats! Cats! Cats! I am totally a crazy cat lady! It really doesn’t matter how terrible my day is, my cats always make me feel 10 times better. I currently only have two cats, Fatty and Kat.


Sondra Powell, 41
Owner of Red Hot Roasters Coffee

What is the best thing that has happened to you in the past year?
I just took a really amazing trip to L.A. to help my friend Erika (Chavez-Graziano) of Cellar Door Chocolates set up at the Daytime Emmy Awards. We drove back across the country Thelma and Louise style and saw the Grand Canyon, Moab and the Painted Desert.”

If money were no object, what would you be doing?
I don’t dare to answer that question (laughs)! I would definitely be drinking better champagne and maybe driving a 1978 Smokey and The Bandit T-Top Trans Am.

What does the concept of home mean to you?
Home is where your family is – where you feel the most comfortable. I guess I always feel at home: my brother, Jason, is my business partner. When I am at our family farm house, I have a sense of comfort and history.

How does social media affect your life?
Social media is weird for me as a business owner. I am a “public” private person. I have to constantly edit myself and ask myself, “Who is reading this?” Marketing aside, I feel it is a grown-up version of Telephone, where the end result is far away from where the intention started.

What are you currently reading and why?
I am always reading something – articles, non-fiction.

When is the last time you paid it forward and how?
I am always trying to pay it forward. I buy people coffee when they are having a bad day all the time. Life is all about give and take. If I have anything extra, I try to share it with people because people have been really good to me.

How do you de-stress and unwind?
Besides happy hour, I like to walk along the river in the evening with my dog. I also like to get away on the weekends and visit the family farm in Sonora, Ky.”

What do you love about Southern Indiana?
I love the revitalization of downtown. The walking bridge is complete; that area is now home to new restaurants and businesses. The riverfront is really nice … it has a new energy that I think will continue to grow.

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