Archive for June, 2010

C4W Member Profiles: Elizabeth McGough & Mackenzie Kay

June 29, 2010

What is your profession? Partners at McKay Freelance
An overview of our business: To us, freelance means flexibility. We provide businesses with the most progressive kind of public relations tactics and marketing efforts. The game has changed and, while the fundamentals of marketing and public relations remain the same, today’s new practices are nothing short of revolutionary. Word-of-mouth spreads information more efficiently than ever before. The Internet allows organizations to reach their audience by speaking to them directly. This customer engagement builds trust and creates positive experiences. Allow us to put you in the conversation. We will drive the buzz.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Going to the beach, cooking, reading good books, being with friends and enjoying Charleston

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? 3 months as members, attending events 10 months

What inspired you to become a member? A recent meeting with C4W Executive Director, Jennet Alterman, and also the plethora of great C4W events that we found ourselves wanting to attend, inspired us to become members.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? We love Charleston and all that the Center for Women offers to Lowcountry women in business. Without the resources and services provided and facilitated by C4W, we may not have had the where-with-all to start our own communications business, reach out to other local, women business owners and establish a strong network of like-minded female professionals for us to lean on.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? We love being women. We try to provide our clients with something hard to find – the harnessed power of two female go-getters into a single force. We are partners, friends and confidants, as well as each other’s cheerleader and devil’s advocate. Our ability to relate to each other, to other women and to our clients, gives us professional insight and advantage, as well as a drive to succeed.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Times are tough, but for tough women, this is your time. We started our business in the pit of the economic downfall, and are still alive and thriving almost a year later. We hope that good business sense early on will continue to parlay into successes for our company. Our business is based on the foundation that we do what we love. Our advice – If you have a goal you want to achieve, don’t wait. You are the only one standing in your way.

C4W Member Profile: Maryann Reid

June 16, 2010

What is your profession? Author of Women’s Fiction, St Martins Press and Publisher/Editor of several online businesses

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I love a good meal. I don’t have any favorite kinds of foods, because I love it all. I am particularly into fusions of different cuisines like Asian or Spanish fusions. I’m not as excited about cooking as I am about dining out, but I love watching others cook, especially on television. My best pick me up is a grilled banana and peanut butter sandwich. Right now, I am getting more into natural and farm raised foods, learning about growing my own, and where to buy the most wholesome food products.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I just signed up this week. I’m moving to Charleston from NYC and it was the first thing I did even before officially changing my address!

What inspired you to become a member? I’ve been active as a volunteer for the past few years and as a Board Member for Girls Quest, an organization for low income girls in NYC. The Center 4 Women seemed like a great place to start and root myself by reaching out to other women who have the same interests as I do, particularly in entrepreneurship. As an author, I also look forward to meeting other writers and artists in the community. I can’t express how excited I was to find out that the Center for Women has so much to offer in such a wonderful city like Charleston. Just the experience of being in Charleston as a member as Center for Women is more than a good start for me!

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? Well, I’m hoping that I can give, as much as get from the Center for Women. I believe I have valuable resources, tools, and information to share with other members, as well as, get my own interests met by meeting new people. Most of all, I want to be able to participate in panels and events, and in the future, become more a part of the Center’s growth. The website alone was moving enough for me to join. How could I not be a part of such excitement and community building!

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Being a woman is defined on so many different levels. It’s so much more than gender and biology. A woman should define herself based on who she is, and not what she does. That means that everyday I can be who I choose to be. I can be the teacher, nurse, CEO, wife, mother or whatever to get things done. Being multi-dimensional is how I am able to harvest all my talents. Being a woman is deep and expansive. It’s power, if used correctly, can change the world.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Definitely consider being self sufficient. Research starting your own online business. You must have an income that is not dependent on anyone else but your own effort. Everyone has something they can teach. Find something you want to learn, and teach it. If you want to be rich, show others how. Roll up your sleeves. It’s your destiny. Rule it!

C4W Member Profile: Leize Gaillard

June 10, 2010

What is your profession? I am a professional counselor and student affairs administrator. I have a fascinating and dynamic position in Student Affairs at the College of Charleston, where I have the honor of working along side the dedicated professionals that make up the Students of Concern Committee.

Additionally, I’m happy to announce that I willl soon be launching a part-time, private counseling practice, Lowcountry Counseling, LLC, offering brief, solution-focused counseling to Charleston women.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Anyone who knows me will attest that I have a a variety of interests and hobbies!

I love to sew and I occasionally design and print invitations and stationary for friends and family. I’m a supporter of the arts and historic preservation–I am a Spoleto SCENE patron and a member of the Drayton Hall Palladian Circle Steering Committee. And I’m a dedicated dog “mom” to a beloved lab-mix, Samson.

And I love being outside! While I don’t get to do it as much as I like to, I love backpacking, particularly in the Blue Ridge of western North Carolina. In 2006, I spent several months hiking on the Appalachian Trail, completing approximately 1,470 miles of the 2,175 mile stretch.

When people hear about this, I usually get the following questions (in no particular order): How long did that take? Where did you start and finish? Who did you go with? Where did you sleep? Did you take a gun? Did you see any bears? Were you ever scared?

My responses: 4 months; Georgia to New York (stopping through NC, TN, VA, MD, WV, PA, and NJ on the way); just me, though I met wonderful other hikers along the way; in my tent and in 3-sided “shelters” that sprinkle the Trail; absolutely not, NO guns!!; yes, many bears; and, no, never scared. Ok, maybe I was scared once or twice. But that’s it.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? (I will answer this as an expansion on my answer in the last question!) Being a woman on the Appalachian Trail puts you in the distinct minority–I’m not sure of the exact statistics, but I believe that women are 1 in 10 out there. The Trail itself is a gender equalizer…that mountain doesn’t get any smaller and that rain doesn’t fall any less hard just because you are a woman. While the Trail was gender-blind, fellow hikers were not…I admit I occasionally got preferential treatment from other guys on the trail…especially after the weather turned warm and I started hiking in a skirt.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? My aunt, Barbara Hagerty, a long-time supporter of the Center for Women, gifted me a membership for Christmas in 2008 and again in 2009. It’s the gift that keeps giving! Thanks, Aunt B!

What inspired you to become a member? As a counselor, I am naturally drawn to any any organization, person, or entity who makes empowerment of others their business. True to it’s mission, the Center for Women truly helps women succeed every day, both personally and professionally.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? Just looking at the events calendar for the Center, it’s easy to see the benefits of being a member! But, for me, the impact is less tangible–being a member of the Center for Women is like toting around a little empowerment cloak that you can stop and throw on at any moment. The Center for Women undoubtedly contributes to my belief that I can accomplish anything I set out to do.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Take a risk! Be it switching careers, going back to school, starting a small business, or hiking the Appalachian Trail…Take a risk. Just make sure it is a calculated one…

So much of the benefit of a calculated risk is not taking the risk itself…it is the process and the time spent calculating the risk that moves us forward to reflect on our values, to know ourselves better, and to create a vision for our preferred futures.

On this day…

June 4, 2010

June 4, 1919, the U.S. Congress ratified the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Over a year and a half later Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment making it law. It almost didn’t happen. Thanks to a young woman from Charleston, S.C. the battle was won on a Tennessee morning in August of 1920.

Anita Pollitzer was the daughter of a merchant in Charleston who went to Columbia University in New York City because the College of Charleston was all male. While there she met Alice Paul, the great suffragette. Anita immediately saw the importance of working towards women’s suffrage and joined Alice’s group of activists. It was Alice’s idea to picket the White House to pressure President Woodrow Wilson to support their efforts. They were the first group to do so. They were jailed and went on hunger strike. When the press found out that Alice and several others were being force fed it led President Wilson to relent and ask Congress to support a 19th amendment to the Constitution that would give women the right to vote. It wasn’t a completely selfless gesture however as the US was embroiled in WWI and women were needed to fill jobs vacated by fighting soldiers. Congress ratified the amendment on June 4, 1919. It now needed 36 states to ratify before becoming law.

In August of 1920 Tennessee was scheduled to vote on ratification. It would be the much needed 36th state if the vote succeeded. Alice Paul sent Anita there to lobby. Anita had spent that year traveling the country as the premier lobbyist for the amendment. When she arrived in Tennessee she discovered that the legislature was evenly divided between supporters and opponents. It was her job to find a ‘swing’ vote. She had done her research and put her sights on Harry Burns to lobby to switch sides. She met with him and made an eloquent case for the economic and moral reasons to vote in favor. He wouldn’t budge.

The morning of the vote all of the white male legislators filed into the chamber. Half went to one side and the other half were seated across from them. Just before the vote was called a Western Union messenger boy ran into the chamber and delivered a telegram to Harry Burns. Harry opened it, read it, folded it and put it into his pocket. He then got up out of his seat and crossed the room to join the supporters of the amendment which was then ratified by a one vote margin.

The telegram was from Harry’s mother. Anita had gone to see her to plead her case. Mrs. Burns said in her telegram to her son, “Allow me the right to vote before I die.”

Anita refused to give up on what she believed. I remember Anita when ever I am faced with the naysayers who don’t take the issues women face seriously. I hold Anita in my heart when talking about paying women on a par with men and electing more women to public office. Anita Pollitzer is my heroine and an example of true grit and determination. Happy ratification day Anita!!!

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