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

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