Archive for May, 2011

C4W Board Member Profile: Colleen Troy

May 27, 2011

What is your profession? Owner, Touchpoint Communications, a PR/Marketing communications firm, adjunct college professor, freelance writer.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I have a husband and two great kids, so I love anything we do together. We are big on traveling, and we also like cooking and dining out together.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Wow – for at least 7 years!

What inspired you to become a member? I really like the positive, empowering spirit of the Center for Women. I always meet such cool people at Center events, and feel energized by the program content and the ideas shared.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center has helped me see that women can, and do, have a real voice and impact in this community. It’s easy to believe otherwise sometimes and become dispirited, but women really do rock, and the Center gives us a focus for that strength.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? As a mom, I’m trying to raise both my son and my daughter to be good feminists. (Yep, I said the “f” word) That means they know women can do anything, just as men can do anything. I think that I was raised to be confident, married a man who isn’t afraid of that, and just want to keep the momentum going.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Believe in yourself, even if it seems like nobody else does. Sure, day to day can become a real grind. But take the time now and then to reflect on the progress you’re making. Be flexible. Be open. And be a friend to yourself!

C4W Member Profile: Jennifer Truesdale

May 25, 2011

Join Jennifer Truesdale, STR8N UP, and Sarah Hays, Yudu Concierge Services for this Thursday’s Brown Bag Lunch Series ‘Time Management for Busy Women’. More>

What is your profession?  Owner of STR8N UP Professional Organizing Services that provides residential and business organization, help with pre-moving purging and unpacking after a move, senior downsizing, spatial planning and home staging, helping with budgets and bill paying management, and offering in-home Girls Night Out workshops.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?  I love spending time with my husband, traveling on exotic vacations, water activities and snow skiing.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I am currently in my 2nd year membership.

What inspired you to become a member?  Having the opportunity to be around other women in business.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you?  The Center for Women has allowed me to meet women that I might not have otherwise met and helped me to create business relationships and even personal friendships with some of those connections.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you?  I started my career out of college as a metallurgical engineer in a male dominated field.  I have always had to try harder in order to prove myself worthy, but that has only made me stronger as a solopreneur now.  I now put the pressure on myself to be better, but not by anyone else’s standards…Just my own!

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?  Never be complacent with where you are, always strive for more, but be happy with less.  The world is always changing and be prepared or at least ready to change with it.

C4W Member Profile: Reese McFaddin

May 20, 2011

What is your profession? Health insurance broker…Workplace Benefits helps individuals and companies with their frustrations with health insurance.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Hip Hop…I love taking classes because it takes me out of my everyday life & into the zone. And, I love teaching hip hop classes and inspiring people to get in touch with their inner gangsta!!

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Probably over 5 amazing years

What inspired you to become a member? Sometimes, you just come across organizations and people that you know they have their pulse on the community.  I certainly got this vibe from the second I came in contact with The Center for Women.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The most obvious answer is the C4W helped and supported my business, but it goes deeper than that.  C4W is there for you, in every sense of the word “there.”  They are there to cheer you on along with the highs, they believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself, and they are there for you if you just need to VENT!

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Being an insurance broker, I am in a male dominated field. Even though there may have been more hurdles in order to make a name for myself, I prefer to see the opportunity in being a female.  I decided early on to present myself as the “softer, kinder” side of insurance, which differentiated me from the rest of my competition immediately.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?
1) Feel the fear & do it anyway…obviously its scary, but you just need to move forward

2) Keep your overhead as low as possible for as long as possible

3) You’ve got to spend money to make money (once you’ve gotten over the hump)

4) Your highs will be really high & your lows will be very low…it’s your responsibility to learn each side of that lesson

5) Never sit still…there will always be things beyond your control happening (economy & whatnot) but always be looking for that next opportunity

Guest Post: Shooting for the Moon-Graduation & Women Who Changed Our World

May 18, 2011

The C4W is very proud of our intern, Sarah Andrews, and her graduation a few weeks ago! Follow her on her Southern Belle Feminist Blog.

I graduated. A week ago, today.

Holy sh- wait. That would not be very Southern Belle of me 😉

But, gah! It really happened!?!

Saturday, May 7th, I crossed the Cistern (yes, Cistern… not an auditorium stage. We do things differently at C of C!).

 No cap and gown… white sundresses and summer tuxedos 🙂
I hope you aren’t jealous!

A week later, the beauty and charm and celebration of the ceremony has settled.

Now, I have to enter the “real world.”
And, I am excited-nervous-frightened-pumped.

What do I hope to do?

What any Southern Belle Feminist would:

Change. The. World.

Lofty – yes – but, as they say:

Whether you’ve just graduated or not,

I hope you’re shootin’ for the moon, too.
If you need a little inspiration, check out these 125 women who shot for the moon and changed our world.
Here are a few of my favorites and some you may have never heard of before:
  • Diana, Princess of Wales – activist and icon
  • Nancy Drew – yes, as in the teen detective… I swear I think I read every single book in the series growing up!
  • Rosie the Riveter – hello girl power!
  • Anne Frank – I have been journaling ever since I read her book.
  • Helen Keller – true example that women can overcome whatever life throws at them
  • Wendy Kopp – founder of Teach for America
  • Gertrude Belle Elion – medical researcher who helped us transplant organs and fight Leukemia
  • Rosalind Franklin – first to discover proof about the double-helix in DNA
  • Jacqueline Cochran – first woman to break the sound barrier
  • Valentina Tereshkova – first woman in space
  • Mia Hamm – “She scored more international goals than any other soccer player, and led a generation of adolescent girls to change their minds about sports.”
  • Wilma Rudolph – “She overcame polio to become a runner, winning three gold medals in one Olympics, the first American woman to do so.”
  • Eve Ensler – creator of The Vagina Monologues
  • Gloria Steinem – feminist writer and activist
  • Betty Friedan – author of The Feminine Mystique and co-founder of the National Organization for Women
  • Jeannette Rankin – first woman elected to Congress… back in 1916
  • Gertrude Ederle – “First woman to swim the English Channel (beating the men’s record by nearly two hours), 1926.”  
  •  Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton – suffragists and women’s rights supporters
  • Hedy Lamarr – “Inventor of an anti-jamming device for radio-controlled torpedoes, 1942.” And a glam actress… talk about multi-talented 😉
Clearly, all of these women are talented.

Hopefully, as I enter the real world, I can follow in their footsteps to change the world and succeed in life:

Success:  To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded!

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Me, about to “Cross the Cistern”

And, across, an official College of Charleston alum!

Now I’m off to enter [and hopefully change…] the real world!
I hope you’ll join me and…

C4W Member Profile: Suzanne Allen

May 6, 2011

What is your profession? President of Wall Candy, inc. a decorative painting firm that designs and applies high end custom specialty finishes for any and every surface.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Any time with my husband!… Also cuisine, travel, reading, exercise, and socializing with friends.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? Less than a year ( I wish it were longer!!).

What inspired you to become a member? I heard of it through a friend.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? A lasting and expanding one.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Well as a person I am always very busy… I like to keep a pretty packed schedule, but part of that is fulfilling a lot of roles as a woman- as a smart business person, as a creative artist, as a supportive and loving wife and fun partner, as the keeper and caretaker to the two wonderful souls that are my dogs, as a great friend, as a good daughter and sister, as a particularly engaging aunt to the many children in my life… well the list goes on, as I think it does for many women. Most important for me lately has been to remember that my strength in all of these roles comes with belief in myself and nurturing the person I am in my core.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Believe in yourself and your talent, communicate your worth, be generous and always find a way to laugh and have fun.

Suzanne Allen is on of the many participating designers in next Friday’s ‘It’s In The Bag’ Purse Auction! Get your tickets now: $25 in advance/$30 at the door.

C4W Member Profile: Tanis Jackson

May 4, 2011

What is your profession? Owner of Tanis J Events, LLC, a local event planning business

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?  I enjoy anything having to do with design and décor. I could watch HGTV for hours on end and would like to spend a week with Candice Olson. I am also an avid weightlifter and have been lifting for over a decade. Besides lifting myself I also like to encourage other women to strength train.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women?  3.5 years

What inspired you to become a member? The Center was one of the first organizations I looked for when I moved to Charleston. I have experienced the influence women can have on the world when they join together.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has had a very positive impact on my life. I enjoy talking to likeminded women and have enjoyed the volunteer work I have done for them. I have benefitted from a number of courses that I have attended as well as having taught “Budgeting for Brides” at the Center.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Wow what a question! I might have to dig up all of my old essays from when I achieved my degree in women’s studies back in the 90’s. Women and men are treated differently from the day they are born and that nursery is painted blue or pink. I always wonder what our lives would be like if we weren’t socialized to believe that men and women are so different and rather focused on our commonalities. In my day-to-day life I like to think that I try and take into account that socialization and make choices based on what is best for me as a person. A great example is the weightlifting I mentioned. The desire to lift heavy weights to become strong is still considered the men’s domain, but I also enjoy the benefits of strength training for the mind as well as the body and won’t let the stereotype of the butchy female weightlifter deter me.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? My business motto is “Where modern ideas meet old fashioned service” but my personal motto while starting a business during this recession, was and still is “Expect to work harder, longer and for less money than anyone else, if you want even just a small shot at success”.


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