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

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