extra! extra!
read all about her

  • Group Spotlight
  • Arts
  • Education
  • Firms
  • Government
  • Marketing
  • Organizations
  • Retail
  • Wellness
Dress for SuccessDress for Success


Q Describe your organization in one sentence.
A Dress for Success Triangle strives to help disadvantaged women end the cycle of poverty, empowering them to provide for themselves and their families.

Q What’s your group’s mission?
A The mission of Dress for Success Triangle is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Q How is that accomplished?
A We accomplish our mission through the provision of career counseling, training, suiting and an ongoing network of support and career-development tools. The clients we serve receive much more than a suit and accessories; they obtain the confidence and the power to permanently improve their lives — and those of their families — on every level.

Our target population is women who’re living in poverty and who’re ready to work. More than 60 nonprofit programs and government agencies refer women to our organization because we provide the most comprehensive employment acquisition and retention services in the Triangle. Our public and private referral partners include homeless shelters, substance-abuse services and domestic violence shelters as well as government social services.

Q Briefly, what’s the group’s history?
A Dress for Success was started in 1996 in New York by Nancy Lublin. Nancy used a $5,000 bequest from her great grandfather to tackle the Catch 22 of women needing clothing to obtain employment while also needing the employment to obtain clothing.

Incorporated in 2008, Dress for Success Triangle is an independently operated and funded 501(c)(3) affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide. Services began in May of 2008 in the Durham location. In 2009, the Professional Clothing Closet, operated by Soroptimist International of Raleigh, was converted to a Raleigh branch; Soroptimist members continue to be active volunteers. A full suite of suiting and career counseling services are offered in both locations.

Q What’s your group’s structure?
A The organization is governed by a regional board of directors and leadership team. Over 90 percent of the services are provided by volunteers throughout the Triangle.

Q Who joins?
A Our volunteers are as diverse as the women we serve. The majority of our volunteers are professional women; some are retired, pausing to raise children or also seeking employment. Women who love clothing and fashion are attracted to the volunteer role of image coach, while human resource professionals serve as career coaches.

Q Why get involved?

A The impact of the services provided by Dress for Success Triangle is immediate and substantive. Donors know that a gift of $200 will provide full services to a woman. Volunteers see the physical and emotional transformation that occurs when clients gain confidence and self-respect. It’s difficult to convey in words how rewarding it is to witness the impact on the women and, in the long term, their families.

Q What do volunteers do?
A There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available. These range from onsite image and career coaching services to event planning, marketing and mentoring of clients. Volunteers also set up and design a store in which three excess inventory sales are held annually.

Q What are your goals for this year?
A Our organization will serve more than 1,000 Triangle women in 2011. We will be implementing eight-week, intensive job-search classes in Durham and Raleigh as well as establishing a formal mentoring program. Another major goal for 2011 is to locate a larger facility for our Raleigh services.

Q What’s happening in the next few months?
A We have four events this spring — an Excess Inventory Sale on Feb. 12, a Gal Pal Auction on March 3, our Annual Signature Luncheon on April 1 and a Power Walk on May 7. Details may be found on the events page of our website.

Q How can Triangle women get on board?
A Visit our website, www.dressforsuccess.org/trianglenc, to obtain more information. You can sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter, register to attend an informal Dress for Success 101 introductory session and learn more about special events.


Kim Foster, managing director of Elinvar, a leadership and executive search organization in Raleigh, was welcomed to the board of directors of the North Carolina Theatre.

Brenda Priest, owner of Your Door & More, a custom illustration company in Holly Springs, donated art to a couple currently serving in Iraq. Priest sent them an illustration of their Texas home.

Veronda Robinson, an author in Knightdale, wrote the book “My Secret: The Little Book of Lessons Learned,” an account of her struggles with multiple sclerosis. The book was published by Dorrance Publishing.

Mary Poole, executive director of Artspace, the nonprofit visual art center in Raleigh, announced that it was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Triangle Community Foundation. The grant will fund the 2011 Artspace Community Outreach Program.

Janet H. Southerland, Ph.D., the chairperson of the Department of Hospital Dentistry and chief of the oral medicine service at UNC-Chapel Hill, was named dean of the School of Dentistry at Meharry Medical College in Tennessee.


Duke University Medical Center professors were named fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an international, nonprofit group committed to scientific advancement. Those awarded include:
Blanche Capel, Ph.D., a James B. Duke professor in the Department of Cell Biology.
Maria E. Cardenas-Corona, Ph.D., a research professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.
Sally Kornbluth, Ph.D., a James B. Duke professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.
Ann Marie Pendergast, Ph.D., a James B. Duke professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.


Jackie Johnson, president of Mop Top Shop in Raleigh, an educational site on African Americans in the sciences, went to Washington D.C. to teach kids about technology, animation and how to use Apple iPads.


Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood, in Cary, announced:
Donna Watkins of Wake Forest, vice president of the Carolinas Community Banking Group, and Brenda Larson of Apex, a publisher and journalist, joined the board.
Carole Wilson, a member of the N.C. Youth Villages Leadership Council, and Marilyn Forbes an adjunct professor at Duke University, joined the board of advisors.

Rondy McKee, owner and founder of White Tiger Taekwondo in Cary, was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame for Outstanding International Promotions. This award honors those who have successfully blended Asian traditions and American business culture.

Sunita Shouse, an international consultant and coach in Raleigh, was hired by Roving Coach International, a career instruction firm in the Triangle.

Ashley Huffstetler, an attorney, was welcomed to the board of directors at StepUP Ministry in Wake County, a nonprofit agency that works to establish self-sufficiency.

Heather Folden, of Raleigh, joined Gray & Creech Water Systems, a water and coffee systems distributor, as account manager.

Laura Byron, of Raleigh, joined Vaco Raleigh, an executive placement firm, as a sales support specialist.

Libbie Hough, the owner of Communication Matters, a sustainable marketing company in Hillsborough, announced that it achieved full accreditation from Green Plus, a sustainability certification program.

Suzanne C. Burton, a resident of Raleigh, joined Fonville Morisey Realty as a full-time sales associate.

Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick, a 90-year-old Chapel Hill resident, was honored when the mayor of Chapel Hill declared Dec. 21 Erma Hughes Kirkpatrick Day. Among other contributions to the community, Kirkpatrick established its first soup kitchen during WWII and contributed to the book “North Carolina Quilts,” published by UNC Press.

Brenda Hill Pollard, a retired state employee in Durham, was appointed to the N.C. State Museum of Natural Sciences Advisory Commission, which oversees the museum’s advancement and efficacy.

Gov. Bev Perdue will receive the University of Florida’s 2010-11 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

MMI Public Relations, of Raleigh announced:
Kate Catlin, of Raleigh, was promoted to senior account executive
Michelle Fowler, of Raleigh, was promoted to senior account manager.

Pam Guthrie of Raleigh joined ClickCulture, a marketing firm specializing in technology, as director of account services.

Kelly Talbot, of Raleigh joined Royal Oaks Building Group as marketing coordinator.

Ann Alexander and her husband, Lex Alexander, of Chapel Hill, founders of Wellspring Grocery (which later became Whole Foods Market), will be honorary chairs of A Chocolate Affaire. The Cornucopia Cancer Support Center is hosting this fundraiser in Chapel Hill.

Claire Holley, executive director of the N.C. Veterinary Medical Association in Raleigh, joined the executive committee of the N.C. Agribusiness Council. The organization works to raise agricultural awareness.

Guiding Lights, a caregiver support center in Raleigh, announced its board of directors, including:
Marcia Jarrel, president, co-owner of SarahCare at Lake Boone Trail, an adult day care center in Raleigh.
Kim Raynor, vice president, director of business development at Dzeel Clinical Healthcare Staffing, a nurse staffing company in Garner.
Lauren Watral, secretary, the founder of Raleigh Geriatric Care Management from Raleigh.
Heather Altman, project director of community connections for seniors in the Carol Woods retirement community in Chapel Hill.
Alison Brown, of Raleigh, an employee for Rex Healthcare.
Dr. Jennie Byrne, an adult psychiatrist at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill.
Crystal Hendly of Cary, the associate publisher of Senior Guide for the Triangle market.
Christy Henry, of Raleigh, a physician advisor.
Mary Markovich, an attorney in Raleigh.
Leslie Mazzola of Cary, branch manager of Homewatch Caregivers.
Carmel Skidmore, a caregiver in Raleigh.
Janna Wallace, an attorney in Fuquay Varina.

Traci Brown of Raleigh joined the Miracle League of the Triangle, an organization dedicated to providing positive experiences to children with special needs, as executive director.

Brenda Ray of Hillsborough received the 2010 Helping Hand Award from the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce for her volunteer work.

Carol Daley, the owner of At Ease boutiques in Raleigh and Cary, announced that both locations are offering 50 percent off purchases with the donation of women’s clothing. The promotion will benefit the N.C. Association of Domestic Violence.

Kendra Leonard opened a men’s and women’s boutique in Brier Creek called The Art of Style.

Maureen Rosen, owner of Scarffish (a scarf retailer) in Chapel Hill, announced that it will donate five percent of individual sales this year to the Interfaith Council for Social Service. The Chapel Hill organization provides food and shelter to the homeless.

Cynthia Powell, M.D., chief of the Division of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism at the UNC School of Medicine, is president-elect of the American Board of Medical Genetics, which works to establish board certification standards.

Glo De Vie Med Spa, in Raleigh, announced:
Amanda Gallagher, the nurse practitioner, accepted the 2011 Diamond Award for “Best Place to De-Age” on the spa’s behalf.
Jennifer Fleming, certified XTreme Lash Eyelash Extension specialist, is performing lash extension services for the spa.

Robyn Soffera, communications manager in the office of development at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, announced that local businesses donated nearly 100 televisions, DVD players and Wii’s, among other electronics, during the holiday season.

Betsy Gaskins-McClaine, vice president of heart and vascular services for WakeMed Health & Hospitals, announced that the Raleigh campus and Cary Hospital are the first in North Carolina to receive full Heart Failure Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Nancy Andrews, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, announced that the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have awarded the medical center more than $52 million over the next seven years. The grant will support development and implementation of programs that monitor laboratories involved in HIV/AIDS research.

Betsy Casanave, director and chief of mobile critical care services for WakeMed Health & Hospitals, announced that the department received the 2010 Ground Critical Care Award of Excellence by the Association of Air Medical Services.

Amy Daniels, of the Rex Healthcare Foundation, announced that the organization’s Angel Fund received a $30,000 donation from le Tour de Femme, a cycling race that raised money to fight cancer.

Kerry Chandler, director of Women’s Imaging Services at Wake Radiology, announced that the Garner office received the Breast Imaging Center of Excellence award from the American College of Radiology.

Denise Parks, a nurse with Hospice of Wake County, earned her certified hospice and palliative nurse certification.

Ellen L. Morrison, president and owner of ELM Wellness, a Raleigh-based nutrition therapy firm, announced the opening of a second office in Franklin Square in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Sara Winchester, who completed her fellowship training at Duke University Medical Center, joined Raleigh Neurology Associates in the department of child and adolescent neurology.

Gina Racca, a licensed medical aesthetician, joined the staff of Dermatech Aesthetics in Raleigh. During seven of her nine years in the field, Racca worked in a dermatology office, which gave her experience in multiple skin types and conditions.

Andrea Crane of Dermatech Aesthetics & Fearrington Plastic Surgery in Raleigh announced the addition of Katherine Strange, a licensed massage therapist, and Whitney Green, a medical aesthetician, to the practice.

Glo de Vie Med Spa, of Raleigh, announced:
Laura Meacham, medical aesthetician and laser technician, joined the staff. Meacham recently attended Cutera’s Clinical Forum in New York. Meacham’s previous positions were at Bliss Spa in New York and the International Dermal Institute in Chicago.
Shari Hoots, president and owner of the spa, and Alex Atwell, spa concierge, participated in Susan G. Komen’s PinkFest to celebrate and honor breast-cancer survivors in our community. Glo de Vie provided free skin-care consultations and gave away a prize package to a breast-cancer survivor.

Joyce Mitchell-Antoine joined WomanCare Global, a women’s health-care nonprofit organization in Chapel Hill, as vice president of development.

Four Triangle women were honored by The Great 100, an organization that recognizes nursing excellence:
• Linda Barnett, an operating room nurse at Durham Regional Hospital
• Juanita Fisher, a radiation oncology nurse at Durham Regional Hospital
• Shirley Murray, a Watts School of Nursing instructor at Duke University Health System
• Mary Atwood, a Rex Healthcare nurse in Raleigh

Victoria Tobin, an admission nurse with Hospice of Wake County, earned the certified hospice and palliative nurse certification.

Melissa Troester and Liza Makowski, both assistant professors in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, will be principle investigators in a study of how factors such as pregnancy and obesity can increase the chances of certain types of breast cancer in young, African American women.

Dr. Karen Mohlke, associate professor of genetics in the UNC School of Medicine, co-authored a study that discovered hundreds of genes that influence human height.

Joanne Jordan,
a distinguished professor of medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, led a study that evaluated the role played by genetic factors in the worsening of osteoarthritis.

Tammy Finch, licensed psychologist from UNC-Chapel Hill and creator of SkillSense, which teaches practical skills to teenagers and their parents, hosted a Raleigh workshop called “Where Are Superheroes When You Need Them Most? A Primer on Parenting Teen Boys.”

Please send information and photos for this column to update@carolinawoman.com, with photos attached as 170-dpi.jpg or .tif files.
The deadline for next month's issue is the 10th of this month.