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Checkerboard Chats: Living Your Best Life with Rita and Britt!

Presented by First Horizon, UT alumna (‘79) and UT Centennial Award winner, Rita P. Mitchell joins us to discuss her 40+ year career in financial services; from successful entrepreneur (Mitchell Financial, Inc.), to award-winning sales producer, to retiring from First Horizon Bank as Executive Vice President and Manager of Private Client Services for Nashville & Middle, TN. As you can imagine, being an African American female in the male-dominated industry of financial services was more than a notion. One of Rita’s proudest moments was becoming the first recipient of First Horizon's 2018 Inclusion & Diversity Leader’s Award. Most recently, Rita was featured in Style Blueprint FACES of Nashville.

In 2018, post-retirement, Rita wrote her debut book, Own Your Phenomenal Self: A Guide to Character, Success, and Leadership because she wanted to capture those 40+ years in Corporate America and pass along her wisdom, experience, and insights to the next generation of young women who might be struggling to reach their desired success in a corporate environment. Own Your Phenomenal Self quickly became a bestseller on Amazon in the Mentoring category and has been coined “a pocket mentor” by its readers.

Despite her successful career in financial services, Rita did not major in Finance at UT. Her time at UT began with an Engineering Scholarship that she quickly traded in to pursue her true creative passion: Fashion Merchandising in hopes of one day becoming a big-time buyer in NYC. Four decades later, Rita’s trajectory has come full circle with her newest book, Spoken Art which combines art, poetry, and at long last, fashion.

Spoken Art is a collaboration with Rita’s daughter, Brittany Mitchell (‘08). While Brittany’s initial instinct was to major in Art, Rita convinced her to pursue a business-first path so Brittany majored in Marketing and International business at UT, and received her International MBA from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. For the past 13 years, Brittany has established her career domestically and abroad (France) in a variety of marketing and advertising roles. She now works in sales for a leading data and marketing technology company in her dream city, NYC.

Despite her successful marketing and sales career, Brittany’s first love was and still is art, thus she has incorporated 20 years of her artwork throughout the pages of Spoken Art. Rita and Brittany have also launched a fashion line inspired by Brittany’s one-of- kind art pieces which you can explore on

The collaboration doesn’t stop with these two books. Rita and Brittany are avid foodies and are currently working on a family legacy cookbook spanning 4 generations of recipes and cooking techniques. Their cookbook will show you not only how to cook delicious food, but also why cooking is more than a hobby or a task. Through cooking we bind together family, deepen friendships, and feed our stomachs as equally as our souls.

You don’t want to miss this dynamic mother-daughter duo sharing their phenomenal journey that was significantly shaped by their time at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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Tuesday, May 25 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Diversity & Inclusion, Career & Employment




Alumni Affairs and Development
Contact Name

Jordan Prewitt

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