EnVision A DREAM the inspiration from McQuetta Williams GET TO KNOW CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes SUCCESS LIVES HERE stories from our women proven success dress for success columbus 2014

MEET our TEAM the vision get to know CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes the empowerment team 2 3 5 6 PWG leadership past and present Ctable of success lives here stories from our women 6 leaving a lasting impression driven to serve notes from our volunteers 18 19 cyrus littlejohn VIDEO PRODUCTION anita robinson elba Bierdeman, President ebony edwards DESIGN ASSISTANT PERSONAL ASSISTANT MBOARD OF DIRECTORS Cheryl Hooker, Past President Amy Ashcraft Scarlett Bouder, Vice President Toni M. Cunningham Alison Goldstein Carolyn Holly, Secretary Dress for Success Cleveland and Vocational Guidance Service are founding partners of our local mission. 1 | TABLE OF CONTENTS Heather Loughley, Governance Chair Marcie Merriman Ellie Merritt Jennifer Peterson, Communication Chair Angie Shifflette Katrina Levy Zidel linda tulley WRITER serbennia davis WRITER jehan daugherty PHOTOGRAPHER ONTENTS courtney morse WRITER valerie brooms WRITER heather loughley WRITER nicole sillaman melissa dilley faith marsco EXECUTIVE EDITOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR CREATIVE DIRECTOR mcquetta williams EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Program / Administration Jessica LaBarge, Program Services Coordinator Michelle J. King, Contributions Coordinator D. Malone Jones, Director of Career Development Emily Langhals, Y.E.S! Columbus President Nicole Sillaman, W2W Mentoring Vicki Bowen Hewes, CEO

Mission of EnVision Proven Success The Dress for Success Columbus magazine “EnVision Proven Success” aims to bring community awareness to the struggle of women in the Columbus community in obtaining, sustaining, and advancing their careers. Through fundraising and corporate and individual donations, Dress for Success Columbus is able to serve many women in need each year through interview suiting, work attire donations, and career development assistance. The mission of Dress for Success Columbus “is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of envision proven success: a dream Why Me, Why Now? As chairperson of EnVision Proven Success, I am support, and the career development tool to help women thrive in work and in life”. This magazine, EnVision Proven Success, is intended to provide insight into what happens to the women we serve after they’ve visited our suiting boutique for the first time. Our women have achieved great accomplishments and overcome barriers unimagined by most, and EnVision Proven Success truly demonstrates that this is just the beginning. My dream for EnVision Proven Success My passion for the mission of Dress for Success Columbus had led me to follow my dream to create the first publication of EnVision Proven Success, which ultimately will increase community awareness for all the disadvantaged women that come through Dress for Success Columbus. The publication of EnVision Proven Success illustrates how we, as women going through transition adapt to only looking in the mirror at what’s ahead, and then we can envision our perspective, progress and proficiency, in our future careers as a proven success. As recipients, we are motivated to continue to keep our eyes on the road ahead and not fixated on our rearview mirror that might find our lives accidentally smashed by objects we didn’t see just in front of us eager to share the journey of the clients, describing our struggles as disadvantaged women. Most women encounter struggles throughout life, but as women in vulnerable circumstances, our struggles are significant. Due to the generous support of Dress for Success Columbus contributors, we are able to access transformative programs offered at the mission freeof-charge, and we are moving forward with success. In other words, we don’t look like what we’ve been through! This is our way to show the world that we are now succeeding! We all stumble and go through challenging situations, and because of Dress for Success Columbus programs, we have the confidence to stand tall. Acknowledgements I would first and foremost like to thank God for the inspiration to develop EnVision Proven Success. Additionally, I would like to thank the CEO of Dress for Success Columbus, Vicki Bowen Hewes, who gave me permission to follow my dreams, and all the staff and board members. A special ‘Thanks’ is also extended to Grange Insurance Company and Natalina Fickell for sponsoring Dress for Success Columbus’s first edition of EnVision Proven Success! McQuetta Williams Dress for Success Columbus Advocate, PWG Member “EnVision Proven Success” Chairperson above left: McQuetta Williams does not look like what she has been through. left: McQuetta’s children, Sterling, Tamani, and Willie, celebrate alongside their mother for her birthday. THE VISION | 2

empowering women to open closed doors GET TO KNOW CEO VICKI BOWEN HEWES T he conspicuous passion and enthusiasm of Dress for Success Columbus founder and CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes and her ability to reach out and touch women from all walks of life is remarkable. While she’s since become synonymous with being an advocate for women in Columbus, it was just a little more than a decade ago that she was thriving in a maledominated career field. In turn, she was no stranger to dressing the part and navigating the corporate community. It was during that time that she began volunteering at Dress for Success in Indianapolis to share her experience. “I knew I wouldn’t be taken seriously in the corporate culture if my skirt was too short or my blouse was too low. I thought my giving time at Dress for Success would help women understand how important ‘dressing the part’ is,” she explains. What started out as a few hours of volunteer work quickly transformed Vicki’s outlook and she found herself wanting to do more. “I realized I had no concept of the number of other barriers women in transition faced. Transportation, childcare, understanding the unwritten rules of the workplace, a support network and encouragement from peers were things I had taken for granted,” she says. “I knew that if I had these misconceptions, others must as well. I became impassioned to further the cause.” In 2007, Dress for Success Columbus opened its doors with Vicki at its helm and its storefront windows in the city’s chic Short North neighborhood have invited interest from the passersby ever since “Many people think that we are a clothing boutique and ask to come in and shop. They are surprised to 3 | GET TO KNOW THE CEO learn we are a social service agency. We take that as a great compliment because we want to change the public’s understanding of what those in need deserve and how they should be treated. We help women who couldn’t otherwise access personalized one-on-one services, and these are the most special clients of all,” she says. “Dress for Success Columbus is a place where women in need have the opportunity to regain their dignity and realize their potential,” Vicki adds. “We approach every single woman without judgment. We aren’t concerned with yesterday. We are invested in her feeling renewed and important today, and her holding her shoulders high with confidence tomorrow. “ - Serbennia Davis above: Cheryl Hooker, McQuetta Williams, Vicki Bowen Hewes and Gina Schlosser celebrate the grand opening of Dress for Success Columbus’ new location in February 2011.

MICHELLE KING IS A FIRM BELIEVER THAT THE SUIT IS JUST A SMALL PIECE OF WHAT DRESS FOR SUCCESS COLUMBUS MEANS TO THE WOMEN AND COMMUNITY IT SERVES . . . Michelle says she was immediately drawn to Dress for Success Columbus when she learned about its impact on women, and she didn’t hesitate to become a volunteer. She has always been amazed by the relationship women have with clothing and how this can affect someone’s identity and self-esteem, so working with clients to select their interview and employment clothing was especially rewarding for her. She loved the connection she made with the mission and women served, she says. When a position opened up for a contributions coordinator at Dress for Success Columbus, Michelle once again jumped at the opportunity to be involved and submitted her resume. In the job for a year, she recruits and coordinates volunteers, coordinates donations and works with the women that come to the boutique. “I am honored to share the stories of our sisters with each volunteer and donor I touch,” Michelle says. JESSICA LABARGE COULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED THE DIRECTION HER LIFE WOULD GO WHEN SHE STUMBLED UPON A DRESS FOR SUCCESS COLUMBUS JOB POSTING . . . As a Strategic Communications graduate from The Ohio State University, she had taken a job after college that fit her degree, but found herself unhappy and looking for an opportunity for change. Jessica was immediately drawn to the mission of the organization, and she quickly learned during her first interview with Vicki Bowen Hewes that the executive director’s passion and drive to uplift and empower women on their journey was closely aligned with her own life mission. Their connection solidified the position for Jessica and she began working part-time as the agency’s contributions coordinator. Through just a year and a half on the job she has witnessed many changes at Dress for Success Columbus, including an increased number of volunteers and partnering agencies as well as more overall involvement from the community. She’s also had a change in title. Jessica now serves as program services coordinator, which she says allows her to work closely with clients and social service agency partners. In the process, she has also learned about grant writing while looking for new opportunities for the agency. But working with volunteers, her coworkers and the women in the Dress for Success Columbus community are the highlight of her career, Jessica says, because they inspire her. She is a firm believer that life is full of ups and downs and more often than not, things don’t go the way you would like. However, she says it’s important to pick yourself back up again because you will find something that will work if you keep trying. For Jessica, she has developed a greater appreciation for her own life and journey through her work at Dress for Success Columbus. She feels her work is personally and professionally rewarding, and has taught her that life is dirty and messy, and even if you “follow all the steps perfectly”, you won’t always get the perfect outcome—and that’s ok, she says. Sometimes the unplanned path in life can be the most rewarding and fulfilling choice. - Courtney Morse “I first learned of the Dress for Success Columbus affiliate several years ago and welcomed the opportunity to contribute (give back). Later, I was invited by Toni Cunningham (who currently serves as board member) to facilitate a breakfast club meeting through the Going Places Network and fell in love! In 2013, I began serving as the INNERWork Faith Based Initiative Coordinator and one year later was appointed as a full-time team member, serving as the Director of Career Development. This new position is gifted from God as I am functioning in promise, purpose and passion!” - D Malone Jones, director of career development To Michelle, it is amazing to see how even a small interaction with a client can impact the woman’s day, outlook and sometimes even their lives. She recognizes that the women that come into the boutique have skills; they often just need a boost of confidence. In many ways, Michelle can relate to the women in transition. She had previously split her time between working a job in sales and volunteering. Eventually, volunteering alone just felt like it wasn’t enough, she says. Like many of the clients she’s worked with, she felt intimidated to make the transition. “You have the strength to transition,” she says, “You just need the determination to get there—I won’t lie, it’s tough but I am happy I stuck with it.” Michelle believes it is vital for women to network and support one another to reach their goals – something that being part of the Dress for Success sisterhood is all about. - Courtney Morse THE EMPOWERMENT TEAM | 4

M aribeth Burton has a passion for Dress for Success Columbus and the women it serves. As the 2013 Professional Women’s Group (PWG) Coordinator, she knows a thing or two about arranging meaningful meetings and influential speakers to introduce the PWG members to the vast array of possibilities that are in their future. She explains that, “Through serving the PWG ladies, I wanted to share some of my life with them to see if some of my experiences would resonate and maybe allow them to recognize anyone can achieve in their life if they put their mind to it and put forth the effort and work it requires.” Her hope as the past PWG coordinator was to create a more professional environment that would introduce challenges each month, where the PWG members would learn something new to help them find personal and financial freedom. Maribeth wanted each woman to embark on her own personal journey to independence. Through her work with Dress for Success Columbus, Maribeth also gained personal insight that strengthened her resolve to continue to find ways to serve others in need. This personal selfdiscovery was achieved by witnessing the strength and courage in the continued effort put forth by the women of PWG. While her term has passed as the PWG Coordinator, she is reflective of the role she played in the lives of the PWG members and is satisfied with the growth in personal discovery many women have accomplished. She is excited to watch the PWG women continue to reach new heights in 2014. PWG LEADERSHIP past & present H eather Loughley is a wife, a campus director, a board member - and the list doesn’t stop there. But regardless of her busy schedule, she is always willing to donate her time to share and introduce newcomers to the mission of Dress for Success Columbus. Her passion to help women succeed at changing their lives is emanated in her work with Dress for Success Columbus. Heather’s career started out much differently in comparison to where she is now. She majored in journalism at The Ohio State University and was initially a newspaper reporter. Heather says she always knew she wanted to make a difference in the world – to do something important, with the idea: ”I’m going to change the world.” So fast forward to today, where, whether she knows it or not, Heather is making a difference in the world. It started when she became an enrollment counselor at University of Phoenix. She said when she started she immediately knew it was the right place for her because they were helping people that were trying to help themselves. In 2008 she became Campus Director. She always wanted the school to be more involved with community affairs, and this position gave her the influence she needed to see that hope become a reality. Heather later met Vicki 5 | PWG LEADERSHIP Bowen Hewes, CEO of Dress for Success Columbus who she says is so driven and passionate to help women that once you meet her, you can’t help but want to get involved. That’s when the university staff started volunteering and doing sponsorships. In 2011 Heather was asked to sit on the board of directors of Dress for Success Columbus, and a few months ago she was asked to be the interim Professional Women’s Group (PWG) Coordinator. “PWG is a vehicle to help ladies break out of their comfort zone and try things that they’ve never tried and to stretch themselves in ways they’ve never thought about before,” Heather says. PWG enriches the ladies’ lives, using a broad spectrum of opportunities. In February, they were given the opportunity to learn ballroom dancing, which is just one example of how Heather has infused creative approaches to help the women push beyond what they think they are capable of achieving. Heather says that while PWG is not a new sector of the agency, she believes it has become a more serious endeavor and a more effective and dynamic group that is moving to the next level. “It’s a complete blessing to be a part of Dress for Success Columbus - It’s an incredible organization if you want to help women and families,” she says. - Valerie Brooms

SUCCESS LIVES HERE stories from our women To passersby, the women featured on the upcoming pages appear to be typical employees, mothers and neighbors. They wear professional work attire, make last-minute trips to the grocery store before dinner, support their children at school events and spend weekends doing chores and yard work. But, they’re also a part of a network of women who can say there was a time when they struggled to keep their lives together in the wake of abusive relationships, dangerous addictions, unexpected job losses or poor health. With a hand from Dress for Success Columbus, these five women don’t look like what they’ve been through. e

B her ecky Jo Tatum wasn’t ready to leave prison. She’d served all five years of sentence, and in that time, she’d found a sense of clarity and purpose that she doubted could be replicated outside of those walls. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to find that when I got out,” she says, recalling the sense of fulfillment that teaching GED classes and tutoring other inmates had given her. “I thought, ‘what am I going to do? No one wants to hire me.’” She hadn’t always fit in there, either, though. When Becky Jo arrived at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, she says she spent a good year and a half in a daze before she realized being locked up was her chance to kick a 22-yearlong drug addiction and an equally long habit of trading herself for cash that were spurred by an abuse-filled childhood. When she finally “came to” she signed up for any and all prison programs that offered therapy and education, including Dress for Success Columbus’ Pathways Program. As the holder of a home appraisal license and a former Columbus State instructor on the topic, Becky Jo pursued the program’s Green Energy Technology track hoping she’d be able to put the new knowledge to use to renovate properties for sale. She was placed in a six-week tech company internship that started immediately after her release, and while she was grateful for the assistance of the program that focuses on successful re-entry into society and the workforce, right: Becky Jo beams in the ensemble she chose from the Dress for Success Columbus boutique. Her suiting appointment was the first step in building a professional wardrobe for her new job. 7 | SUCCESS LIVES HERE

Becky Jo admits she was relieved and excited when Dress for Success Columbus CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes asked her to instead finish her internship in the organization’s suiting boutique. It was there that she brushed up her resume and interview skills and picked out one of her favorite yellow tops that she says she can’t stop wearing. “Doing the internship when I got home proved it even further,” Becky Jo says. “It affirmed, yes, yes you can do this. It just kind of redeveloped my sense of security.” Becky Jo had learned sign language in prison and she was already fluent in Spanish. She also had at her disposal a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and a history in home rental and sales, but Becky Jo admits she hadn’t put those talents to use as much as she had others that could earn her thousands per night to fund her previously lavish lifestyle. She knew she was going to need help if she was going to make it through not just a transition to the outside world, but to a whole new life coming out — one that doesn’t include her high-scale neighborhood or her son and daughter who she can’t see without violating her parole. “Everything I ever acquired as a mother and a spouse in my home life was gone out of my own mistakes,” Becky Jo says. “It was just nice to feel like I could have that added support” of the Dress for Success sisterhood. Following Becky Jo’s internship, Vicki connected her with another non-profit organization that was looking for a bi-lingual bookkeeper who could set up appointments for Spanish-speaking clients. Becky Jo planned to drop off her resume in person, but not before stopping by the Dress for Success Columbus boutique for a personal styling session. Wearing her new grey, two-piece suit, she walked into the organization’s office, and after she met the small staff, she found herself in a familiar situation — she wasn’t ready to leave. “I just got it in my heart, I’m not leaving this building without this job,” Becky Jo says. And so she didn’t. She’s been working part time there ever since and is currently training to take over a full-time position. She’s also developing night classes where she’ll teach sign language and working to pull enough grant money together to get back to teaching a GED class that will put to use all the homework assignment samples that she acquired in prison and can’t seem to let go of. “It is never too late to reinvent yourself,” she says. “If I didn’t believe that, I couldn’t keep going.” Before prison, Becky Jo says she never would have considered that she’d be capable of leading the type of accomplished life that’s she’s working toward now. “I see every little thing differently now,” she says. “It feels good to be home.” - Melissa Dilley going places network A Dress for Success Worldwide initiative, The Going Places Network presented by Walmart was created in 2009 to help unemployed and underemployed women gain professional skills and confidence to accelerate their job searches. All this is done through weekly training sessions, one-on-one career coaching and networking opportunities. In 2013, Dress for Success Columbus brought the transformational curriculum to the Ohio Reformatory for Women in an attempt to reach out to women who are attempting to rebuild their lives during a vulnerable time. All the women in the program were able to take part in a graduation ceremony and upon their release they’re welcomed into the suiting boutique to prepare for interviews and jobs. In previous years, Dress for Success Columbus offered Going Places Network at St. Stephen’s Community House and OSU Carepoint East. SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 8

T he owner of the daycare center was doubtful when the candidate showed up. How could a visually-impaired woman teach a daycare class of 2-year-olds? This situation is the kind of challenge Stephanie Claytor has met head-on all of her life. All she needed was the chance to demonstrate her abilities, and the job was hers. Stephanie has never been one to back down from a challenge just because she couldn’t physically see it. That’s no more evident than in her love for sports - she’s competed in ice skating, track and field, and snow skiing, and she enjoys whitewater rafting and rollerblading. But what really stirs Stephanie’s passion is showing people what the visually impaired can achieve. It all starts with giving people a chance, she says. The smallest baby born at The Ohio State University Hospitals in 1983 at just 1 pound, 3 ounces, Stephanie didn’t come home for four months. Her prematurity led to retina damage, but she could still see out of both eyes. Then at age 12, glaucoma stole the rest of her vision, leaving her able to detect only light and shadows. “It was a big adjustment,” she says. “I had to learn to read and write again.” Stephanie attended and graduated from the Ohio State School for the Blind, but she says the education she received wasn’t rigorous enough. “They babied us,” she says, which led to her struggling when she tried unsuccessfully to attend Ohio State University. Although she has worked since her first job as a camp leader at age 15, maintaining steady, full-time employment has been a challenge, despite her continued efforts to show employers her capabilities. It was during a break in employment that Stephanie came to Dress for Success Columbus for help and eventually joined Professional Women’s Group, where she has enjoyed a sisterhood of support at the monthly meetings. “It’s nice to meet a lot of different people from different backgrounds,” Stephanie says. “I like having the support of other women to stay strong and stay positive. Things can change, but you still have to keep pushing.” She finds time to volunteer at Dress for Success Columbus as well, making thank-you calls to donors and assembling personal care packages. She also served as the 2013 PWG 9 | SUCCESS LIVES HERE liaison to the Leadership Council, which supports the direction and programming of PWG. Stephanie’s determination and drive eventually led her to find success in the academic world. She found a tutor and then earned her associate’s degree in early childhood education from Ashford University, completing the degree online. She took two classes at a time, each 10 weeks long, with no breaks for an entire two years. She started her bachelor’s program in August. She continues to work as a daycare teacher part-time, but she says she would love to secure a full-time position working with children. Just as she has had to switch paths in the past, though, she is considering changing fields and pursuing customer service positions in call centers. Stephanie credits her very strong family support system with giving her the courage to meet life’s challenges. Her parents, grandparents, brother and cousin have been there for her. “I learned the value of what’s important,” she says, adding with a giggle, “I’m the favorite though. I’m the baby.” She still has many other dreams to fulfill-Waterskiing, kayaking and ballroom dancing are at the top of her list. She wants to start a non-profit organization for children and adults who need tutoring in math, writing and science.

“As a partner in empowerment, I have witnessed first-hand the power of The DFS Professional Women’s Group to help support women in making successful life choices whether it is in Financial Wellness, Health and Wellness or in Interpersonal Skills Development. PWG Women are empowered to envision the possibilities and supported by a terrific team of advocates as well as each other along their incredible journey.” - Joanne Wolfe, PWG Leadership Council member Helping the blind in other countries is also a dream. She’d like to organize donations of equipment such as canes, Braille writers and other adaptive equipment for those people. Or, she could open a daycare center for children with disabilities. Promoting job opportunities for the disabled is always on the list, too. “I would love to put together employment seminars to show how people who are blind can work and give people the opportunity to have jobs,” she says. “They are missing out on some big assets for their company because they are afraid to take that chance.” Stephanie is talking about that same chance to show her talents that the daycare owner gave her. She believes taking that chance is a step toward making the world a better place. “Everyone should have the opportunity to be who they want to be,” she says. - Heather Loughley left: Stephanie and her classmates Nicole and Anthony celebrate their graduation from Ohio State School for the Blind in 2013. below left: An eight-year-old Stephanie poses with her mother, Edna Claytor. professional women’s group All women in the Dress for Success Columbus family who become employed are invited to join the Professional Women’s Group where they can come together with other women to learn from professionals about finances, health and wellness and professional development. More than 60 Dress for Success affiliates offer the program and there are currently more than 11,000 PWG members worldwide. In Columbus, PWG members meet with a career counselor to discuss their 5-year career plans and career development options. They also attend monthly seminars on a variety of career and personal development topics including budget planning, conflict resolution and nutrition. Additionally, members receive opportunities for career coaching, mentoring, and quarterly styling events and have the opportunity to become the representative at the annual Dress for Success Worldwide Success Summit. A survey of members has shown that 76% of women who take part in PWG activities remained employed and more than 70% say they have definite career and personal goals that they would like to achieve. SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 10

B orn in Williamson, West Virginia, in the shadow of two mountains, Beverly Wright has held many titles - daughter, mother, widow, clerical expert, cancer survivor. She was referred to Dress for Success Columbus in 2007 by AARP and once she earned employment, she joined the Professional Women’s Group. She’s known as the shy one of the group, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a strong advocate for the organization or from being recognized as a two time scholarship winner for the WELD conference and a member of PWG’s leadership advisory committee. Life Before Dress for Success Columbus Beverly’s struggles with her personal health began during her time as a caretaker for her late husband, who died from black lung disease. In 2007, at the age of 55, she faced her toughest battle when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The diagnosis was devastating. When the doctor talked with her regarding treatment plans, all Beverly could think of was her mother - she died of the same disease when she was 55. Beverly explained that at one time, she wasn’t proud of her lifestyle and thought of herself as ugly and overweight. She struggled with being alienated by friends and family members after her husband’s death. “It was awful,” she said. “They thought they would catch this disease, but it’s not contagious.” So she was alone, and living off only her own income. She had to muster up enough strength to support herself through her treatments. The battle left her homeless and unemployed. Through this struggle, Beverly was only able to obtain $10 in assistance through Jobs and Family Services. She resorted to drinking water to fill her up. One day she tucked away her pride and asked a friend if he would treat her to a chicken dinner. She saved the bones from that meal in her freezer and would suck on them to help quell her hunger. ‘I have a big sister - Dress for Success’ When Beverly was referred to Dress for Success Columbus, she discovered volunteers that worked diligently to help her choose an outfit for interviewing. They were unaware of her illness, and even though there were limited plus-sized selections, Beverly came out of the experience feeling and looking beautiful. 11 | SUCCESS LIVES HERE While there, she discovered techniques that allowed her to mix and match her clothing to help expand her wardrobe. Dress for Success Columbus lifted her self-esteem and finally, she felt good about herself - both internally and externally. Beverly became employed shortly after. At her new job, she received many compliments about how she dressed. When she was asked where she got her great style, she would always say: “I have a big sister called Dress for Success.” During one of the Professional Women’s Group meetings Beverly attended,

something inside of her clicked. She realized that she was embarking on a new lifestyle after reaching a low in her physical health. “Lifestyle changes for me weren’t easy, and occasionally I have moments of weakness,” she says. “Slowly but surely, I am learning how to make my new lifestyle change a permanent one.” “I learned to be more positive and to give more to others in need. I learned that when you give, you receive.” She continues, “The most difficult part of my journey has been not being able to work fulltime. Sometimes I feel as though it’s taken away my desire to live, to a degree. I had just turned 55 and was considered disabled. I no longer have cancer, but I do have other health issues. But you know what? It means a lot to me every day just to wake up.” EnVisioning the Future Beverly’s future goals are to start a home-based business in billing and coding, and to establish a resource center to assist the elderly to get their medications. Beverly admits that she is still shy - but is using the skills she’s learned through Dress for Success Columbus programs to help break the ice so she can advocate for the program. She often finds herself going out of her way to introduce herself to other disadvantaged women in hopes of sharing her story and how she was empowered. She tells them that each Dress for Success does more than give clients clothes. While there, women also receive tools to envision their success and accomplish their goals. Beverly can truly tell others that we all fall, but we can get back up and she says the sponsors, donors and volunteers at Dress for Success Columbus have provided the motivation for her to realize that she can make it. “God put this organization and these sisters in my life and now I feel loved. Although my struggle is not your struggle, we are equal as women. A baby needs hugs to be successful - at Dress for Success Columbus you will be successful because you are hugged.” - McQuetta Williams far left: Beverly shows off the outfit she and her personal shopper selected from the Dress for Success Columbus boutique. She wore it to a first interview for her job. left: getting in the door Dress for Success Columbus collaborates with more than 60 local social service agencies and programs to bring women into the network. After an agency refers a woman, she can make an appointment to visit the boutique where she and a personal shopper will work together to find the perfect interview outfit. A woman must receive a referral from a partnering agency, but once she joins the Dress for Success family, she is free to stop by the boutique any time to use the career center and to take advantage of the many programs offered to clients. The career center is open during business hours and provides women a place to search and apply for jobs and polish resumes. Every Friday, the Dress for Success Columbus hosts Rouge & Resumes in the center. Those who sign up for the weekly program meet one-on-one with human resources professionals to discuss cover letters, resumes and interview tips and they also get glammed up by a local stylist who shares pointers on work-friendly make-up application. SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 12

W aiting for something to happen just isn’t Charity J ustm an’ s style. The college student, entrepreneur and mother has more of a make-things-happen attitude. But, then again, it’s not like she ever really had another choice. When her parents turned her over to foster care in high school, she worked full-time to save enough money for her own apartment — all while earning her diploma. When she was 20 years old and living out of her car, she found out she was pregnant with her daughter so she worked until the day she gave birth to save enough money to provide. When she was let go from her job late last year, she drove straight to Columbus State and signed up for classes. And when her resilience was tested by her daughter’s father who would do anything to feed his drug addiction, including stalk Charity and physically abuse her and steal from her, she worked with local police to make a plan that put him behind bars. “My mind is always refocusing” Charity says. “I’m always thinking, ‘how am I going to make it?’” So, when CHOICES, a domestic violence agency, referred her to Dress for Success Columbus last year, she wasted no time getting involved with the Professional Women’s Group and advocating for the organization. Her dedication even earned her the 2013 Woman of Power award. “What it did for me was create a new identity,” she says, describing how Dress for Success Columbus helped her get out of a cycle of being underemployed. “After so many years of trying your hardest and doing well, but it still isn’t good enough, you start to think of yourself as less of an individual.” Charity said Dress for Success serves as a constant reminder that she is capable of more than she thinks - something that wasn’t easy to admit to herself for years thanks to her abusive ex-boyfriend. But, he’s not an important part of the story, she says. “I feel like he gets to be the focal point a lot of the time, but, in general, what I’m really overcoming is just trying to get to a different socio-economic status.” Charity says she’s seen firsthand that unemployment and underemployment perpetuate an environment for women that makes them more likely to live in unsafe neighborhoods, keep questionable company and make poor choices. “No matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t get ahead,” she says, recalling her own struggles. But recently, for the first time in her adult life, Charity got a taste of living independently of social services. She credits the accomplishment, in part, to Dress for Success Columbus. Having become astute in navigating social services over the years, Charity says she had always known about Dress for Success Columbus, and she even worked to get others she knew referred to the boutique. 13 | SUCCESS LIVES HERE

left: Charity poses with fashion mogul Lori Goldstein, her mother LuAnn Justman, Dress for Success Columbus CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes and Vicki’s mother at the 2013 Beyond the Suit Luncheon. Charity was honored with the Woman of Power award at the event. below: Charity and her daughter, Cherish, show off their desire to empower the world by dressing up as Wonder Women for Halloween. She never considered she would be a good candidate, too. After all, she had started profitable bartending and coupon businesses in the past and she never had trouble getting a job and working hard enough to take over a management role in no time. But as Charity quickly learned, Dress for Success “was not a hand out. It was a hand up,” she says. “There’s a common theme of being perseverant, dedicated and determined even though all these bad things have happened to them,” she says in admiration of the women she’s joined in the sisterhood. Charity is currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in social work in hopes of expanding the options available for women and young people in Central Ohio. She often describes Dress for Success as a bridge that helps women get from one place in their life to another, and she’d like to apply that theory to a transitional living program for teens who age out of the foster care but are still in school and not ready to take on the adult responsibility of working full time. getting dressed for success Volunteers who act as personal shoppers at Dress for Success Columbus make it their mission to ensure that every woman leaves feeling confident. At their first appointment, clients preparing for interviews receive one outfit, which includes accessories such as shoes, a purse and jewelry. They also receive personal care products. Once women are employed, they receive a week’s worth of clothing and accessories – which typically translates into much more than that once all the items are mixed and matched. Being a student again has occasionally led Charity to get caught up in self-pity and doubt, she says, especially when seeing her peers go on spring break trips, drive brand new cars and forgo work to focus on classes, but her Dress for Success Columbus support system keeps her grounded. “They empower you,” she says. “They help you see yourself for who you are.” - Melissa Dilley Thanks to personal donations, corporate donations and apparel drives throughout the year, women can come into the boutique and be assured that they’ll find something that makes them feel beautiful and ready to jump start their career journey. However, Dress for Success Columbus does have a wish list of items that tend to run low because of high demand or low availability. The boutique is always in need of black pants and skirts, stretch-knit tops, open-style jackets and neutral-shade dresses in women’s size 20 and higher. SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 14

K im Brown is the first to admit that she is the product of a functioning dysfunctional family. One of three children, her mother died when she was two years old and her grandparents took to raising her as their own along with several cousins who she refers to as siblings. On weekends, she would visit her father. It was at his encouragement when she was five years old that she have her first drink. He bet her $20 she couldn’t finish a large portion of Johnny Walker Red in a glass fittingly labeled: “I bet you can’t.” So she did. While her home with her grandparents was structured and loving, weekends at her father’s home became an ongoing party. Drinking and drugs were the standard as was verbal and physical abuse. Those weekends gave her a desire “to take care of someone who would care back,” she says, which led to a decision to have her first baby shortly after graduating from high school. Kim later married and had a second child, but the recreational drug and alcohol use that had started so early in her life continued and were commonplace. And, when she took an exam to join the police academy, she was denied entrance because she admitted on her application that she used to smoke marijuana. After the birth of her third child, Kim’s marriage ended. What followed was a series of monumental hurdles, ranging from learning to be a single parent, mourning the death of her beloved grandfather and dealing with her daughter’s health issues. With everything hitting at once, Kim was propelled into a daily routine of drug use and drug dealing. Kim spent the years from 1991 to 2008 either in prison or on the street while her grandmother, sister and mother-in-law took care of her children. In 2006, her three children staged an intervention. Kim was tired, so she promised her children she would stay in the Engagement Center, a.k.a the drunk tank, until she could be evaluated. She wasn’t surprised to learn the results of the evaluation. She was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Personality Disorder No. 16 – all of which played right: 15 | SUCCESS LIVES HERE

a part in her inability to control her addictions. Kim was referred to Dress for Success in Cincinnati in 2002 and reconnected with the Columbus chapter upon completion of her last prison term in 2008. She says Dress for Success provided her with part of her foundation and network and the Professional Women’s Group has been an influence as have the weekly meetings through the Women to Women program. She also credits the Center of Vocational Alternatives and the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for their help in providing her with a foundation of people and services that supported her while she was assimilating. Initially, she attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings a couple of times a day, but now, she attends meetings two to three times a week. The rest of the time, she’s at her fulltime job and is developing a stronger relationship with her family. Kim says she is winning her family and her life back by admitting to her mistakes and taking full responsibility for them. She wants others to know that it is okay to make mistakes. “Just make sure you learn from them and don’t do them again,” she cautions. Kim feels the biggest issue facing women who have recently been released from prison is not the drug and alcohol addictions, but rather, the struggles that occur after moving out of the half-way house. Finding a job, taking back the role of caregiver to children, finding a home and dealing with day-to-day stresses are the issues that tempt these women and are the hardest to overcome, she says. It’s because of that realization, her goal is to bring to life a vision to provide a place that extends beyond the half-way house and that is fashioned around a community. She would like to offer a store, child care, and a school that would establish a strong network of support that mimics what she has found in Dress for Success and other organizations. She would like to call her venture The Hughes House of Hope and Healing. Kim says swallowing her pride and asking for help were very difficult; but she considers her ability to do that one of her biggest accomplishments. She doesn’t think anyone can overcome the hurdles she has encountered without doing so, saying, “It takes a village; a network; a community.” - Linda Tulley women2women mentoring program Launched in the fall of 2013, the Women2Women Mentoring Program at Dress for Success Columbus connects established, professional women in the Columbus community with clients of the organization. Dress for Success Columbus understands that a woman’s career development is an ongoing process. Mentoring addresses the need for additional support during this time by connecting women with professional role models who provide one-on-one guidance to help women shape, pursue, and attain their career goals. Mentoring pairs work together in collaborative, group meetings to learn about various professional and self-discovery topics that will further solidify their own career growth, in addition to deepening their networking skills. The first group of Women2Women mentors and mentees was composed of 8 members, who participated in the yearlong mentoring program. These women deepened their relationships between not only their individual mentor and mentee pairing, but with all other mentors and mentees participating in the program. This collaboration of all mentoring pairs truly epitomized the importance of having a strong, professional network. Participation in Women2Women provides the clients of Dress for Success Columbus with programming that will ultimately teach them learned behaviors to help them succeed in the current work environment. Through this curriculum, mentees are able to witness first-hand how to navigate challenging career issues by learning from the pros. By having access to these women and by acquiring a deeper understanding of the professional behaviors needed today, the clients of Dress for Success Columbus can break down barriers that would once hinder them from reaching the next step in their career. SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 16

leaving a lasting impression A lthough success has not been a straight shot for Melba Bierdman, she prefers the twists and turns that have made her journey meaningful and fulfilling. Melba has served on the Dress for Success Columbus Board for a number of years, and has recently become the President of the Board. She currently works as a successful corporate executive but her journey was not an easy one. Melba began the first stage of her career following her passion and working in the non-profit arena. Although she loved the work, it was tough to make ends meet and support her two young children so she eventually changed careers. Job opportunities were skim, and Melba quickly found herself at temporary agencies looking for work. She remained resilient during this time and told herself, “You have to get up, even if you don’t want to.” Her perseverance was the key. The hard work paid off, and she soon found full-time work in the corporate world. As Melba advanced her career, she always sought meaningful ways she could give back. Her daughter introduced her to Vicki Bowen Hewes, and after hearing the story of Dress for Success Columbus she immediately got involved. The Professional Women’s Group thrilled Melba, since it aligned with her passion of helping women advance their lives and careers. Seeing women bloom in the program was exciting, and Melba loved the idea that once you became a member of Dress for Success you were a member for life. The sense of sisterhood at Dress for Success Columbus was refreshing, and Melba loves seeing the women support each other through struggles and celebrate successes. PWG also provides opportunities for the women to network and invest in relationships with the other women. Watching and helping the women really consider their lives, careers and future and create goals in the “Vision Board” activity is one of her favorite PWG sessions. While leading the board, Melba hopes to create more opportunities to help women achieve their goals and succeed through new initiatives that are in the works at Dress for Success Columbus. She feels that the relationship she has formed with the women is very enriching, and she has learned a lot in her experience there. Her motto is, “I’m my happiest when I am giving back and helping others.” Melba also encourages her office and colleagues to help volunteer at different events. She hopes to leave a legacy of helping women achieve their goals and to be strong through the struggles and heartaches of life. When Melba thinks about the future, she’s very excited for the next stage in her life. She envisions herself working with Dress for Success Columbus and PWG for years to come, doing great things for women in Columbus. Entrepreneurial ventures are also in her vision of the future. When she reflects on her life, Melba feels nothing but gratitude. The sky is the limit as her next stage in life unfolds. - Courtney Morse Melba’s Career Strategies • Manage your own career, and invest in yourself. No one will manage your career for you. • If you have a job, learn to do it and do it well. • Be resilient. • Keep growing your brand, even if you are talented. • When times get tough, remember that this will pass. • Be true to your dreams, and work hard to make them happen. 17 | SUCCESS LIVES HERE

J eremy Tankovich is a Business Development Leader and Vice President with The Huntington National Bank and has had the pleasure of working with the Professional Women's Group, an outreach program of Dress for Success. Not being familiar with the organization, his initial experience was happenstance when a colleague asked him to fill in. Jeremy, a devout Christian working on his Masters of Divinity as well as his MBA, says that he is driven to serve and gladly accepted the request. driven to serve His first presentation to the group was on the basics of financial independence, borrowing, saving, and establishing credit, credit scores and personal finance. Jeremy gave a second talk that focused on helping the women to get themselves out of debt, budgeting and forecasting, and creating savings plans. He provided materials to each attendee and has made himself available for follow up phone calls and meetings. Jeremy has been surprised and impressed with the attendees’ receptiveness and willingness to be open and transparent with their personal journeys and struggles. He estimates that 70-75% of the women who attended his first presentation were back for the second. He is convinced that these women who have developed confidences through the services of Dress for Success Columbus are more motivated than most to develop themselves personally and professionally. His personal philosophy is that for a program like PWG to expand its outreach to the community there must be specific and tangible goals established with each woman individually. With his desire to serve, his goal is to meet with the women monthly to ensure they are on track to reach their respective goals. - Linda Tulley thank you to our sponsers Noni McMillian, The Diva Movement Samara Tillman, E.L.I.T.E. Performace Academy Linda Tulley, Jewell Senior Representative Janice Carter, Girlfriends Talk Magazine Serbennia Davis, Serbennia Photography Anita Robinson, Nita Management Solution Cyrus Littlejohn, The Movie Aimless Maiadi Cunningham Sr., Ahead of Time Beauty and Barber Miranda Boyle & Sara Guice, Thread on High “All the Best to EnVision Proven Success from VOICEcorps reading service!” “Dress for Success Columbus not only made me feel beautiful and confident through my suiting appointment, but they are providing me with the opportunity to be employed helping other strong women feel the same.” - Amy Carlisle, program services assistant “Dress For Success Columbus provides women with the support they need to look good on the outside, but more importantly, to feel great about themselves on the inside. Empowering women to be all they can be, to focus on the future, and to let go of their selfdoubt and self-limitations allows them to soar as businesswomen, entrepreneurs, artists, sisters, mothers, and as people. I’m proud to support Dress For Success Columbus and its work.” - Commissioner Marilyn Epstein Brown “I was drawn to Dress for Success Columbus because it has both immediate results and a long-term ripple effect in the lives of those I am lucky enough to serve. That ongoing journey on which the client embarks is what keeps me coming back.” - Ralph Fredericks, Volunteer “My experience at DFS Columbus enlightened me to the struggles and hardships so many women face to become independent and successful. Working with all the women and helping them spread their wings, is the most inspiring Place I’ve ever been!” - Denise Loftus “I love supporting Dress for Success Columbus. And especially anything you’re doing!” - Debbie Phillips, Founder of Women on Fire SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 18

Protecting what’s important to you Grange Insurance is proud to support Dress for Success. grangeinsurance.com

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