Archive for March, 2011

C4W Member Profile: Laura Kelley

March 30, 2011

What is your profession? Interior Design and Residential Contractor, DBL Design, LLC.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I enjoy giving back to my community.  I volunteer firefight for Awendaw District Fire Department.  I am also a member of the Women Firefighters of the Lowcountry and a member of the National Association of Women in Construction Lowcountry Chapter.  These two associations each have a strong focus on community involvement and support planning.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I have been a member for one year.

What inspired you to become a member? I attended the annual Women in Business Conference in 2010 and had such a great time.  I loved meeting, learning and being inspired by all the women there.  I knew I needed to be a part of the organization if I wanted to start my own business.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has taught me to be a stronger individual and to stand tall as a business woman.  I was very hesitant to set out on my own.  After meeting so many inspirational women in this organization, I decide that it was time to take that leap.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I spend most of my work day and free time around men.  I am very aware of the difference between men and women.   Because of that, my goal is to teach women that you don’t need to be this big burly man to be in construction or firefighting.  It is really about skill sets and confidence.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Keep trying!  It is hard out there right now, but if you truly believe in your product and yourself it will come.   In my industry, there are so many companies fighting for the same projects.  You need to be able to set yourself apart.  You need to figure out what makes you “you” and transfer that to your business.  Once you do, you will succeed!

C4W Board Member Profile: Cynthia Washington Williams

March 23, 2011

What is your profession? Licensed Professional Counselor/National Certified Counselor, Private practice in the West Ashley area.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Event Planning –Occasions And Events by Cynthia, Serving at my church, Royal Missionary Baptist, traveling the world and “fellowshipping with self-assured ladies”.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? 7 years

What inspired you to become a member? The plethora of programs offered for women from all walks of life.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? It has further empowered me to serve my community at an optimal level and the Center has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge with others.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? As  woman we wear so many different hats and the necessity to be able to balance all we do as wives, mothers, professionals, etc. is what I am reminded of daily.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Step back review your life, sow into your area of purpose, search and find your area of passion so that you will plan, pursue and prosper.

C4W Member Profile: Atmah Ja

March 18, 2011

What is your profession? I am currently an art gallery owner and certified yoga instructor / massage therapist, at Atmah Ja’s, The Art of Core Consciousness, along with business partner and exclusive gallery artist, Iamikan.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? What I enjoy doing outside of my career comes full circle in supporting and enhancing my craft defined by what is the art of yoga and massage.  I am an active outdoors enthusiast, running ½ marathons, cycling, and kayaking.  Also, my newly found passions are performing the art of comedy improv with Theater 99 and playing acoustic guitar.  My outside activities compliment a balanced intention to stabilize the demands of directing my own business while at the same time offering me a reflective source from which to share.

How long have you been a member at The Center for Women? I’ve been a member for the last year and a half.

What inspired you to become a member? First and foremost, the Center for Women has validated and confirmed what I have always put stock into as being an equal counterpart as a woman in what would typically be defined as a predominantly man’s world. The Center for Women astrides the force of my life philosophy, putting into action the potential that one possesses as a women to manifest her desires successfully as an entrepreneur, most importantly, complimented by a belief in equanimity!

What kind of impact has the center for women had on you? The Center for Women has represented for me a mirror to reflect a collective group of compatible innovators with intestinal fortitude and creativity to manifest dreams into reality. The C4W format applies a structure that synchronizes the whole of all moving parts in unison with one desire – to support each and every other!

How has living day to day as a woman affected you? Being and becoming a woman has been the embodiment of this life experience, highlighting all that I do with a belief in knowing that ones gender does not limit the possibilities or opportunities that we are all afforded.  My conditioning has always been to identify myself as an equal, unaffected by the polar opposite. My daily ritual is and continues to be centered on my aspirations to utilize my fullest potential, qualities and attributes for empowering women in demand.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? My message to convey would be to know your desire at the core and design it… AND direct it!  It is necessary in this day in time to be sure, certain and arrow straight in knowing your place of passion and purpose, regardless of the rise and fall of an economy! I would conclude in sharing this message with empowering ones belief in recognizing the ups and downs of life as potential opportunities to build character and conviction when pursuing a dream.

*Join Atmah Ja at the Center for Women Thursday March 24th ~ to  *DE~STRESS AND REFRESH
This one hour interactive session explores the mind~body system and how to function more intelligently using the life force with the assistance of breath techniques, subtle movements and stretching.

C4W Member Profile: Cindy Jenkins

March 16, 2011

What is your profession? I am the founder and owner of Full Circle Charleston.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I love to ride my bicycle, hang out with my dogs, reading and cooking.  I also like helping some of my favorite causes and do a good deal of volunteer work.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Not sure but several years.

What inspired you to become a member? I took FastTrac at the Center and loved the energy of the staff and the programs offered.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I have met many wonderful friends and learned so much about myself.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I am not sure having been a woman my whole life but have learned the power women have and the power they still need to claim.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? If you are doing something you are passionate about it will work.  Don’t listen to the naysayers and don’t stop dreaming.

C4W Member Profile: Lee Heyward

March 11, 2011

What is your profession? I help women figure out why they walk into their closets and feel like they have nothing to wear. My job is to help women discover a style they love—keeping it simple and effortless to create. I am a style coach and founder of  Charleston Style Concierge.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I have been riding horses since I was five years old and I still ride. There is no better therapy for me than being on the back of a horse on a beautiful Charleston day. There is also a good chance you will find me shopping on a day off (big surprise!). One of my favorite stores is TJMaxx. I have been shopping there since I was a teenager and love hunting through the racks for something amazing. As of recent my free time has drastically changed with the arrival of our daughter. My husband and I are enjoying spending time with her and discovering the ways of the world as parents.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Two years.

What inspired you to become a member? I attended a Center for Women networking event and was hooked. I was really impressed by the camaraderie of the group and the passion of the Center for Women staff.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has helped me build amazing relationships with other women in the community. It’s great to have other women who are taking business by storm to confide and strategize with.  I really appreciate the diverse programs that the Center for Women offers and always feel confident they will be fun and provide great value.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? As an entrepreneur, a mom, a wife, and a woman there is always a struggle to keep everything  running smoothly. There is definitely a learning curve to it all. I think this is a challenge that many women face and unfortunately the first ball that gets dropped is the one that has to do with ourselves. This is why I love having a career that helps women take a little time to spend on themselves. It’s amazing how feeling confident and happy with yourself can make everything around you easier and everyone else happier. One of the tricks to this is not accepting an okay standard. You wouldn’t pay to eat at a restaurant you think is just okay, you wouldn’t send your kids to an okay school if you can afford the best, so don’t accept just okay for yourself either.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Never leave the house in clothing that doesn’t make you feel confident, even if you’re only going to the grocery store. If you feel happy and confident about the way you look, you will ultimately forget about what you are wearing and have the confidence to accomplish anything. In an economy where people are more careful about where they spend their money you have to give people confidence to spend it with you. The most exciting part is that you have complete control over the message you send about yourself. Your clothing can tell people that you are the right woman for the job—and you might not have to say anything at all.

C4W Member Profile: Robin Giangrande

March 9, 2011

What is your profession? I am a Medical Billing Advocate, helping individuals and business control the cost of health care with specialized services and results-oriented strategies.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? We have 3 dogs, 3 cats and 3 sugar gliders, so our pets keep us busy and smiling. I love to read (mainly fiction) and sew (inspired by Project Runway) and confess to watching way too much television.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I have been an individual member for a couple of years and joined as a business member last year.

What inspired you to become a member? I saw the organization mentioned in the Post & Courier and looked up the website. The array of resources and programs made membership a “no-brainer.”

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? Where do I begin? It has had a tremendous impact, both personally and professionally. I have learned how to effectively network and have met interesting and inspiring women. The most profound outcome was after attending a Center for Women event on “Women and Philanthropy.” I asked a question about how a woman goes about becoming a member of a Board of Directors. Jennet Alterman answered simply, “…just ask.” Well, about two weeks later, at a Chamber of Commerce event, I met a woman on the board of Carolina Canines for Service, Inc., asked, and now am on the Board of Directors of this wonderful organization that trains service dogs for placement with disabled veterans and civilians. Lessons. Friends. Relationships.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I have been interested in women’s issues since the early 70’s. It has been a challenge to become my authentic self in the face of all the obstacles to success and equality that persevere in our society and culture. However, 40 years later, I think I’m finally “getting it.”

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Be true to yourself. Be authentic. Don’t let economic, cultural or political issues or messages dissuade you from being true to your core. Be open to new ideas but do not be swayed by propaganda.  Success will follow you in your sure and certain footsteps. Don’t check your common sense at the door.

C4W Member Profile: Tina Arnoldi

March 2, 2011

What is your profession? Director of Information Management for Coastal Community Foundation and co-founder of Palmetto Technology Hub.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I absolutely love to read and am a regular at the library.  I also enjoy making jewelry from polymer clay.  Get-togethers with friends are usually over a meal or going for a walk.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Two years.

What inspired you to become a member? It’s a great way to connect with other women in the Charleston area and have access to resources.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? It’s been a great referral source for me.  I have friends who have either been looking for jobs or who benefit from the various support groups available.  I’m glad I have a place to refer them.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? A challenge is occasionally finding myself in a “good-old-boys” environment when the “girl” is good for taking notes and getting coffee.  Fortunately, I can generally let that go because I know what I’m capable of doing and what my accomplishments are.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Don’t give up.  If you’re having trouble finding a job, consider volunteering or look for a position outside of your field.  You may discover a new passion in the process and you’ll make connections that can lead to something more.


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