Archive for March, 2010

C4W Member Profile: Cathryn A. Cato

March 30, 2010

Wealth Counselor, CPA and Investment Advisor, Cathryn A. Cato has been a member of the Center for Women for five years. Her inspiration to become a member came from Jennet Alterman and her “amazing staff.”

Cato claims the center has had a compelling effect on her every day life. It has allowed her to, “grow, personally and professionally in ways I never expected. I have a much larger support network as a result of the programs and services offered by the Center. I have also begun to focus my business more toward servicing women’s financial needs.”

Through working primarily in a male-dominated profession, Cato has realized the significance in catering to women’s needs. It has shown her that women still need a voice to close the equality gap.

When she’s not wrapped up in her busy career, she enjoys embracing the natural world through beach walking, kayaking and hiking.

When asked what kind of message she would like to send out to women attempting success in today’s economy, Cato says:

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t stop until you find it. You may find it in the most surprising places.”

Jenny Sanford speaks at CofC with C4W’s Jennet Alterman

March 24, 2010

Last week we had the opportunity of hearing Jenny Sanford speak publicly in Charleston for the first time since June 2009. In a forum co-sponsored by the Center for Women and the Friends of the College of Charleston Library, she spoke on a wide variety of topics – her transition from Wall Street to First Lady to her interest in seeing more women run for public office. She also spoke candidly on how she handled the events of the last year.

Sanford was introduced by the President of the Friends of the Library, Bradford Marshall. During her speech Mrs. Sanford recounted instances from her book “Staying True” focusing on the years spent at the Governor’s
Mansion, the importance of her friends and her innate belief in staying true to herself.

During an interview after her speech conducted by Center for Women Director, Jennet Robinson Alterman, subjects such as women in politics and staying on track as a woman through difficult times were also discussed.

When Alterman brought up the question of South Carolina being number 50 in the nation for women holding elected office, Sanford explained that it was in large part a “fund raising issue” which stemmed from a cultural bias. In discussing the response to her book, “I’ve heard from people from all over the country since last June.

Most of the responses I’ve received have been positive…mostly from women who have gone through similar experiences, or who are overcoming struggles in life and have simply appreciated the thought process I’ve explained in the book.”

For a portion of the discussion, visit

C4W Member Profile: Melissa Fuller Brown

March 16, 2010

Center for Women member Melissa Fuller Brown, has been a member of the organization for over a decade now. She is an attorney who deals with complex divorces and other family law matters.

When she’s not busy with law, she enjoys being outside – spending time with family and friends, exercising, boating, riding horses and fly fishing. She also relaxes through reading and embraces her creativity through making her own jewelry.

Her inspiration to become a member of the Center came from, “the philosophy that successful women, whether professional or stay-at-home mothers, would work together to support one another and provide venues that would enrich and enhance our personal and professional lives.”

Brown has made a network of friends through the Center for Women, which have proved profoundly positive on her law practice. She has learned from the Brown Bag Lunches and the Entrepreneurial Women Series. And…her purse collection has been enhanced in large part due to the Silent Purse Auction!

Brown explains, “Women are sometimes other females’ worst enemies, and the CFW has helped women recognize that we need to support and build each other up rather than compete and tear each other down.” She goes on to say that the support she feels from the women at the Center – whether through being mentored or mentoring herself – is rewarding beyond her, “wildest expectations.”

So what is this attorney’s message to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?

“You are not alone. All of us are struggling in this current economy, and rather than let it get us down, learn valuable lessons where you used to waste money spending it on frivolous, unnecessary items. Do not be afraid to entertain by asking others to bring a dish because it is the company that is important not necessarily the impressive meal put on by only the hostess. For businesswomen take a good look at your overhead costs and take an active role in ridding yourself of any unnecessary items and inspire your employees to take ownership of this goal so they, too, profit from greater cash flow.”

Board Member Profile: Pam Everitt

March 11, 2010

Chief Information for the SC State Ports Authority, Pam Everitt, has been a member of the Center for Women for over five years.

Her inspiration to become a member was due to the “strong programs offered and the quality of the membership.” She became more involved in the Center because of the talented and generous women who make up the organization and their “understanding the value of giving back through the Center for Women.”

She has gained much from the Center, as it has given her a “broader scope on women’s issues and increased her awareness to the challenges others face in the Charleston community.”

In her free time she enjoys giving back to the community, through mentoring young adults and volunteering with children and in her church. She also finds interest in professional development (such as Toastmasters) and reading on her Kindle.

Everitt’s message to women trying to succeed:

“It is hard to look beyond our own needs and those of our loved ones. We need to draw upon our own internal faith in hard times and if our faith is weak, we need to strengthen it. Then we can draw upon others and find strength in numbers, without draining others. We will become stronger together. We will meet today’s challenges and someday find value in the losses we’ve experienced. We must celebrate and cherish the good in our lives and help others do the same. Now is the time to seize the day!”

Board Member Profile: Doretha Walker

March 9, 2010

Center of Women's Chair of the Board - Doretha Walker

Chair of the Center for Women’s Board, Doretha Walker, is a logistics manager. She is currently getting her PhD in Public Policy and Administration and soon hopes to move into the field.

Walker started her journey as part of the Center for Women as a volunteer. Her appreciation for the organization evolved because she “did not have to have a label to belong or to get the benefits.”

She claims the Center has helped her understanding of multiple elements of life, as she has participated in many Empowerment Groups and Brown Bag Lunches.

When Walker isn’t busy contributing to the Center and managing her career, she enjoys healthy elements of life – cooking, running, biking and reading.

Her message to women in today’s economy:

“As my Dad says, ‘Keep on keeping on!’

Remember even small steps count as progress, do not discount them, and celebrate them because in the end they get you where you need to be. Also ask for help when you need it, pride is a terrible alternative when success is really what you want.”

Board Member Profile: Kendra Haskins

March 4, 2010

Kendra Haskins, owner of a web development and graphic design company, has been a member of the Center for Women for four years. She was first attracted to the organizaton because of the programs and the opportunity to meet other women in Charleston. As a new member of the Charleston community, the Center for Women has served as an opportunity for Haskins to meet women involved and feel involved as well.

When she’s not busy building websites and creating brands for companies and organizations, Haskins enjoys contributing to the community through volunteering “with causes that help women of all ages,” and supporting local theater. She also takes time to explore the outdoors, engages in travel and is constantly reading.

Haskins’ drive comes from her outlook on women as a “community” rather than an “every man for himself contest.”

Haskins’ keen talent is well appreciated throughout the Charleston area; you can barely look through a publication without seeing something she has created. Her message to women trying to succeed in today’s economy:

“Be flexible. If something isn’t working – a career path, a situation, etc. – be willing to make a change. Do some research, discover what is out there and what is needed and try something new.”

Board Member Profile: Shauna M. Heathman

March 2, 2010

Owner of Mackenzie Image Consulting, Shauna M. Heathman decided to go to the annual Women in Business Conference in 2007 and was immediately inspired to become a member of the Center for Women. Several of her colleagues informed her that the center was “THE organization to join and network.”

When Heathman signed up to become a member of the Center for Women, she didn’t realize how many driven, like-minded women she would get to connect with. “The relationships I’ve built with other members have not only established my membership as a business priority, but as a strong personal priority as well. I did not anticipate finding such an amazing network of women.”

Heathman says she loves being a woman more and more each day. As a certified image consultant, she claims being a woman in her profession makes her better suited to connect with her clientele.
When she’s not working, she enjoys being downtown and exploring new areas of the city, traveling, playing piano, relaxing in quaint coffee shops with a good book and a window for people watching, trying new restaurants, being with friends and family and watching Iowa Hawkeye football.

When asked about what kind of message she wants to send to women dealing with the harsh repercussions of the current economy, she says:

“Everyone has a contribution to make to the world. Everyone has a right to be confident. Don’t be afraid to highlight your assets and make a difference in the community around you. Passion and determination are the driving forces behind success.”

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