By: Deanna Rebro | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: October 2015
(L to R): Program Coordinator Datha Langley, Executive Director Ronda Adkisson, and Board President Katherine Skorvaga of Dress for Success Tulsa help disadvantaged women through career development and employment retention.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Dress for Success Tulsa is here to help disadvantaged women make a winning impression as they transition from unemployment to a successful work environment.
On Friday, October 9, the Step Up To Success Fashion Show and Auction will raise funds for the organization to continue and expand its work. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Greenwood Cultural Center near downtown Tulsa. Guests are invited to participate in masquerade party attire or business dress attire.
Cocktails, silent and live auctions, dinner, and a fashion show will make the evening fun and exciting. Chera Kimiko, KOTV-Tulsa CW anchor, will emcee the event. Executive men and women representing Tulsa area businesses will be modeling the latest fashions and accessories from Dillard’s in Woodland Hills Mall. As a first, several Dress for Success Tulsa clients will also take the runway with fashions by local designers.
Jill Donovan, founder and CEO of celebrity-endorsed Rustic Cuff, will serve as the keynote speaker. Jill is an accomplished entrepreneur whose journey began after obtaining her law degree and realizing that she wanted to do something different. Deciding to make cuffs as a self-taught hobby on a $250 budget has turned her life into a self-made success story. Dress for Success Tulsa in partnership with Rustic Cuff will be debuting an exclusive cuff through their organization. “Like” Dress for Success Tulsa on Facebook for additional launch information. For more information about Rustic Cuff, visit rusticcuff.com.
The live and silent auctions include a variety of packages and items from spas, golf courses, sports and entertainment, hotels and restaurants, jewelry and accessories.
Some of the corporate sponsors for Step Up To Success include Simmons Homes, Executives Title & Escrow, TD Williamson, ONEOK, Nikco, First Oklahoma Bank, Grant Thornton LLP, The AMC-Swift Team, Switchgear Search & Recruiting, Commerce Bank, Verizon Wireless, and Walmart Stores, Inc.
Tickets are $100 per person. “This event means so much to the ladies we serve,” says Executive Director Ronda Adkisson. The 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, as part of a worldwide effort with 144 affiliates in 12 countries, relies on donations and fundraising efforts for much of its existence. “There is never a fee for the women who use our services,” adds Ronda.
Since its inception in 2001, Dress for Success Tulsa has served nearly 12,000 ladies in this area, referred from more than 130 community partner agencies that include social service organizations, government agencies, homeless shelters, educational institutions, correctional facilities, and domestic violence shelters. They come from a diverse group of ethnic and economic backgrounds: from 18-year-olds seeking their first real job to retirees who want to re-enter the workforce.
Dress for Success doesn’t just provide business clothing. The Going Places Network by the Walmart Foundation helps unemployed and underemployed clients gain professional skills, accelerate their job search, and build confidence through weekly training sessions, one-on-one career coaching, and networking in a supportive environment. The Professional Women’s Group provides a network of employed Dress for Success Tulsa clients the partnership of support, practical information, and inspiration to achieve their self-defined success in career and life. “We are always here for them,” adds Ronda.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.
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