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Memphis Hotties of 2016

14 of the city's best-looking and most interesting people.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it! We've got 14 of Memphis' most attractive people right here in the 11th annual Hotties issue!

Every year, on the week of Valentine's Day, the Flyer releases our hot list, culled from hundreds of photos submitted by our readers. We spend hours narrowing down those photos to 14 of our favorites, and then we ask the finalists a few silly, get-to-know-you questions. It's like our cheesy love note to you. You're welcome.

We chose our theme this year — "Hot Off the Presses" — because reading is sexy. And what better way to illustrate that than in our favorite Midtown used bookstore, Burke’s Book Store? A big thanks goes out to owners Cheryl and Corey Mesler for letting our Hotties take over their store for a few hours last week.

— BP

Brittney Bullock

28 – Aries – Married

By day, Brittney Bullock works as the community engagement manager for Crosstown Arts. But her real passion is creating her own art, which she sells through her company Don't Blink. Bullock uses leather to create functional art — wallets, bookmarks, key fobs — inspired by the Memphis style of Italian furniture design of the '80s. She also creates sewing-machine portraits inspired by the black experience. The artist gives back by donating a percentage of all her sales to a youth visual arts program.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Pizza

If you could be a Memphis Grizzly, who would you be and why?

I would be Tony Allen. He's creative.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to a wide range, but specifically, I'd say '70s funk. Bootsy Collins is my favorite. Also some pop, R&B, and gangsta rap.

What's your karaoke song?

"I Want to Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston.

Talk radio or music in the car?

I mostly listen to TED Talks on my iPod.

Dog person or cat person?

Both. I have a peekapoo named Henry with an underbite only a mother could love.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

Bootsy Collins, my grandfather (who recently passed away), and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Miles Tamboli
  • Miles Tamboli

Miles Tamboli

27 – Scorpio – Single

Through his work with the Girls Inc. Youth Farm, Miles Tamboli trains girls to be young entrepreneurs. Girls ages 16 to 18 handle everything from farming to pricing to market research for their 10-acre industrial-scale farm in Frayser, which sells produce to local restaurants and at the Memphis Farmers Market. Tamboli is putting the finishing touches on his 500-square-foot tiny house in Binghampton, where he also raises chickens and bees in his backyard.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Kale from the farm and eggs from my chickens, with smoked peppers and pork belly.

What's your favorite dish in Memphis?

Ms. Girlee's has an incredible soul-food lunch special on Fridays. Greens, boiled okra, catfish — really dynamite stuff.

Where do you get your news?

I get a lot of time out in the field to listen to NPR.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

I haven't touched my iPod in five years. It's probably just all Lil Wayne.

What's your idea of a dream vacation?

It involves hammocks and fresh seafood and lots of scuba diving.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

George Washington Carver, Alice Waters, and Bob Dylan. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself being a stay-at-home dad, raising up babies, and building things.

Meredith Shaw
  • Meredith Shaw

Meredith Shaw

23 – Leo – In a relationship

Meredith Shaw struggled with body image issues until she discovered pin-up modeling. These days, she pushes a message of body positivity through her work as a model (her pin-up name is Billie Jean) for clothing companies and lingerie brands. The Germantown resident also works as a server at Brooklyn Bridge, and in her spare time, she tries to attend every local stand-up comedy event she can.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

A banana, a kiwi, and plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds, and a glass of water.

If you could be a Memphis Grizzly, who would you be and why?

I would be Marc Gasol because he screams a lot, and I do too.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to everything. There's no genre that I stick to, but my favorite artist is Michael Jackson.

Last concert or show you saw?

Amy Schumer at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

What shows are you watching right now?

I've been watching a lot of the documentaries — Hungry for Change and Making a Murderer.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

My grandmother (I call her my oma), Amy Schumer (I don't know if they'd get along, but she's freakin' hilarious), and Bernie Sanders.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A police officer. I still want to be one.

Edward Bogard
  • Edward Bogard

Edward Bogard

33 - Leo - Single ("and loving it")

Edward Bogard is a shoe designer, but he doesn't put feet first. He puts people first. Through his charity shoe company, SoGiv, he donates 100 percent of the proceeds of shoe sales to worthy causes. For example, one $50 pair of SoGiv's Espadrille-style shoe provides $150 in meals through the Mid-South Food Bank. When he's not busy designing footwear and saving the world, the native Memphian enjoys golf, running, and yoga.

What's your favorite dish in Memphis?

I love the Rendezvous' ribs.

Where do you get your news?

Hoda and Kathie Lee on the Today show, because they start drinking early in the morning.

If you were a superhero, what would your super-power be?

I'd be Superman. That was my all-time favorite superhero. My late father would draw Clark Kent running and changing into Superman.

What shows are you watching right now?

I'm looking forward to the upcoming season of Girls.

What's your idea of a dream vacation?

That would involve golf, a beach, and great restaurants.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

Elvis, Michael Jackson (he had an amazing heart, and he gave back so much), and Michael Jordan. But how can I forget Tiger Woods? Can I have four?

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always had a fascination with art and design. I would re-design all of the iconic Air Jordans, and I would put Air Bogard on the shoe. I always knew I wanted to be this amazing shoe designer.

Valentino Infante
  • Valentino Infante

Valentino Infante

29 – Gemini – Married

Originally from the Canary Islands, Valentino Infante relocated to Memphis three years ago by way of Miami (where most of his family lives). By day, he's in charge of the radio program call centers for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. But his true love is surfing, and he catches waves in Miami every few months when he flies home to visit family.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

A green smoothie and eggs. The smoothie had spinach, wheatgrass, vegetable protein powder, and water.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Pizza from Whole Foods.

If you could be a Memphis Grizzly, who would you be and why?

Mike Conley because he's a great point guard.

What's your idea of a dream vacation?

Tahiti. You get good waves there.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

John F. Kennedy, Warren Buffett, and having Donald Trump there would be pretty funny.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully, living in a house close to the beach.

Describe an average Saturday.

I wake up early and go to the gym and play some basketball. I take the dogs to Shelby Farms and maybe grill out and go to a movie afterwards.

Julie Lauber
  • Julie Lauber

Julie Lauber

20 – Gemini – Single

Our "Hot Off the Presses" theme was practically made for Julie Lauber, a reporter at the University of Memphis campus paper, The Daily Helmsman. When she's not dishing out the latest scoop, Lauber enjoys creative writing and playing video games. She also cares for two little girls in her day job as a nanny.

What's your favorite dish in Memphis?

The bison burger at Fuel Café.

Where do you get your news?

I follow all of the major news networks on Twitter, and I follow them religiously.

If you were a superhero, what would your super-power be?

Teleportation. Everything would be so much easier if I could just appear somewhere. I also would like to be able to just snap, and anything that I needed to be done would be done.

Talk radio or music in the car?

I pretty much always listen to music. I can't stand listening to people talking while I'm driving.

What fictional character do you most identify with?

Personality-wise, Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

It'd be a girly dinner with Audrey Hepburn, Brittany Murphy, and Zooey Deschanel.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was really little, I thought I'd be famous. And by middle school, I knew I wanted to do something involving writing.

Nuha Abuduhair
  • Nuha Abuduhair

Nuha Abuduhair

26 – Cancer – Married

After having two kids, Nuha Abuduhair traded her career as a pediatric nurse at LeBonheur Children's Hospital to run her own custom bakery out of her home. Called 17 Berkshire, the bakery specializes in French pastries, such as macaroons and cream puffs, and gourmet chocolates.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Lasagna.

If you were a superhero, what would your super-power be?

I'd want to make people feel good about themselves.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

The Spice Girls. But is that embarrassing though? 'Cause I'm proud that I love the Spice Girls. I'm a child of the '90s.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Anything. Mumford & Sons, Lana del Ray, Adele, some country, Tiesto.

What shows are you watching right now?

Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., and Law & Order: SVU.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a nurse or a fashion designer or a baker.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I really hope to expand my business. I hope to take 17 Berkshire to a bigger level. I romanticize about the idea of a restaurant.

Jad Davis
  • Jad Davis

Jad Davis

28 – Gemini – Single

A model-turned-singer/songwriter, Davis used to produce fashion shows around town. But his passions turned to music a few years ago, and he put out a five-song EP of dark alternative rock called Rx. That work is available on iTunes, and he says he's got another EP (with a more electronic vibe) coming out later this year. When he's not striking a pose or laying down lyrics, Jad studies theology with an emphasis on esoteric practice.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

A hot toddy.

What's your favorite dish in Memphis?

Babalu's black bean burger.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

Is it embarrassing to say "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid?

What shows are you watching right now?

Game of Thrones and RuPaul's Drag Race.

What fictional character do you most identify with?

Lestat from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

Aleister Crowley, Anton LaVey, and David Bowie.

Do you have any hidden talents?

My hidden talents are Tarot and palm reading.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

On your TV doing pop star stuff.

Ronnie Foster Jr.
  • Ronnie Foster Jr.

Ronnie Foster Jr.

30 – Scorpio – In a relationship

As a project manager for Allworld Project Management, Ronnie Foster Jr. has had a hand in some big projects around town — most notably the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid conversion and the still-underway Shelby Farms Park renovations. He's worked on a system called VoteBuilder that captures data on Shelby County voters to assist in local political campaigns. Foster also stays busy coaching youth basketball for Memphis Athletic Ministries.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

A Twinkie and a mango Naked juice.

What's your favorite dish in Memphis?

I go to Central BBQ every Friday and get the same thing — a half order of honey-gold wings and a half jerk wings.

If you could be a Memphis Grizzly, who would you be and why?

Probably Zach Randolph. I've met him a few times, and I know people who know him. He's down to earth and approachable. He's just a generous guy.

If you were a superhero, what would your super-power be?

I've always wanted to read minds.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

I wouldn't say it's embarrassing, but sometimes people are surprised that I was a huge NSYNC fan.

What's your karaoke song?

Journey's "Don't Stop Believing."

Dog person or cat person?

I'm a loner by nature. I can be social, but I'd rather be at home watching TV. And a cat is like that. He'll let you mess with him, but he'd rather just be chilling in the window.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would like to be getting compensated while I'm asleep. I read a report about how much money Bill Gates makes in his sleep. If I come up with an invention by then, that's where I'd like to see myself.

Yolanda Gates
  • Yolanda Gates

Yolanda Gates

26 – Libra – In a relationship

If you're a poetry fan, chances are you've seen Yolanda Gates performing spoken word around town. The Chicago native and mother of three has performed at the National Civil Rights Museum, The Tri-State Defender's "Best in Black" awards, and the Rumba Room, to name a few. By day, she's a photographer at Sandbox Studio, where she shoots product ads for T.J. Maxx and Marshall's national campaigns.

What's your favorite dish in Memphis?

BBQ nachos from the Rendezvous. I never had those until I moved here.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

I have The Fresh Prince of Bel­-Air intro song.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to rap music — J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar.

What shows are you watching right now?

I'm a diehard Scandal fan. Also How to Get Away With Murder.

If you had to pick any fictional character that you most identify with, who would that be?

Wonder Woman.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

Jesus, Malcolm X, and Aaliyah.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can sing, but I don't sing anymore.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I'd love to have my own creative writing program to help inner­-city youth, raising my children, and maybe married.

Shane Sommers
  • Shane Sommers

Shane Sommers

25 – Cancer – In a relationship

If you love Oreos and Triscuits, you can thank Shane Sommers for making sure your local store has plenty in stock. Sommers recently relocated to Memphis from South Jersey to be the logistics supervisor for Nabisco's Memphis warehouse. He has a diehard love for the Star Wars films (but he hates the prequels), and he spends his spare time exploring Memphis' restaurant and entertainment scene with his girlfriend. The Jersey boy says he feels welcome in the South "where people are generally nice and talk to you and smile at you instead of just putting their head down when they pass you on the street."

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Com thit nuong dac biet. It's a Korean dish made with thinly sliced grilled pork, rice, an egg, and pickled vegetables. My girlfriend introduced me to it, and I can't get enough of it.

What's your favorite dish in Memphis?

The Brussels sprouts at Bar DKDC.

If you were a superhero, what would your super-power be?

I like Spider-Man's agility — being able to jump far and high and having a sixth sense, a Spidey-sense, to be able to avoid hazards.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

There are a couple of Miley Cyrus songs that I try not to tell anybody that I listen to. I like "Adore You."

What was the last concert you saw?

Tool at the Landers Center.

What fictional character do you most identify with?

The fictional character I most relate to would be Mike from Breaking Bad. He is serious, stern when he has to be, and gets the job done.

You can invite any 3 people — real or fictional, dead or alive — to a dinner party. Who will you invite?

BB-8 (the new droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Tony Stark — Iron Man, and Maynard from Tool.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I'm a good bowler. I was on the bowling team in high school. My girlfriend laughed at me and called me a dork when I told her.

Stephanie Wallace
  • Stephanie Wallace

Stephanie Wallace

30 – Scorpio/Sagittarius cusp – Single

Photographer Stephanie Wallace spends her days working at LensRentals.com, a camera lens rental business in Cordova. But the Memphis College of Art grad, who shoots artistic self-portraits and street photography, hopes to someday have her own photography studio. At night, you'll find her working the door at the New Daisy or bar-hopping with friends.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?

French fries.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Mostly '80s goth and new wave, also jazz and Top 40 R&B.

Last concert or show you saw?

Tool in Southaven.

What's your karaoke song?

"Hotline Bling" by Drake.

What fictional character do you most identify with?

It would probably be Claudia or Akasha from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can be really tipsy in seven-inch heels and not fall over.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always just said I wanted to be okay.

Melissa Moore
  • Melissa Moore

Melissa Walker Moore

"Over 21" – Virgo – In a relationship

Local actress Melissa Walker Moore first got the acting bug when she was a kid cast as "shadow #2." In adulthood, she went on to far more impressive roles in local productions of Rumors, Noises Off, Frankenstein, and Almost, Maine, to name a few. She'll be playing the part of Eunice in A Streetcar Named Desire at Germantown Community Theatre beginning April 15th.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Cake.

If you could be a Memphis Grizzly, who would you be and why?

I can't even name a Memphis Grizzly, but I do know one of the dancers, and I would love to be her. Her name is Taylor Rogoish.

If you were a superhero, what would your super-power be?

Telekinesis/Bewitched nose-twitch powers to move things at will, although that could get me into trouble.

Talk radio or music in the car?

I listen to Howard Stern.

What fictional character do you most identify with?

Elizabeth Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a boy or a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I wouldn't mind if I'm exactly where I am.

Eso Tolson
  • Eso Tolson

Eso Tolson

31 – Scorpio – Dating

A self-described "Renaissance man," Eso Tolson dabbles in all sorts of artistic endeavors. He's graphic designer by trade, and if you've seen the Choose901 "Embrace Your Inner Memphis" tee or the "Let's Stay Together" light pole banners along North Main, you're familiar with Tolson's work. He's also part of a musical group called Artistik Approach, performing everything from a cappella to hip-hop to soul funk fusion. Every third Sunday, the St. Louis native hosts Artisik Lounge — a platform for local talent — at Minglewood Hall.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?

It's probably the unhealthiest thing, but I could probably eat macaroni-and-cheese every day.

Where do you get your news?

Facebook.

If you could be a Memphis Grizzly, who would you be and why?

I would probably be Marc Gasol. He captures the spirit of the Grizzlies, and he's the center. He keeps it all together, and he keeps the show going.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

It's "Toxic" by Britney Spears.

If you had to pick any fictional character that you most identify with, who would that be?

Doug Funny from Nickelodeon's Doug. He was an art kid. He was always drawing. I identified with that.

Dog person or cat person?

I grew up being a dog person, but I ended up with a cat about three years ago. I used to think cats were obnoxious and sneaky, but this particular cat was really cool, and I've grown to love her.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an artist, but I also wanted be a fashion designer. At the time, I really liked the stuff Tommy Hilfiger was doing, Polo, Ralph Lauren, FUBU.


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