Archive for August, 2011

C4W Member Profile: Emily Everett

August 31, 2011

What is your profession? Director, Charleston Friends of the Library. I am the only paid employee of the non-profit that supports the Charleston County Public Library system. Currently, getting ready for our biggest fundraiser of the year- That BIG Book Sale at the Gaillard Auditorium in October.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Reading, Traveling, Music festivals, Visiting the dog park with my dog Miles, Volunteering, Feasting on Charleston cuisine.

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

What inspired you to become a member? I moved here last summer and wanted to become more active in the Charleston community. I thought what better way to meet other women who had similar interests than to join C4W? Currently looking for volunteer opportunities outside of my work world!

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I enjoy the updates and learning more about our community from a female prospective. It’s inspiring to live in a city that has so many talented and remarkable women making a difference.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? As a woman, I feel empowered to make the
world a better place for the younger generations. I’m lucky to have grown up with a mom who made me feel like I could achieve anything if I just put the effort into it. I previously gave a presentation to a group of young girls about my job and my day to day tasks. Hearing their questions and seeing their curious eyes made the time worthwhile. The opportunities are endless.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Goals take time. Don’t give up on your dreams because you hit a road block. Your first job out of college isn’t going to be your dream job. I can almost guarantee it. Volunteer in your community to explore your interests and someday you might just get paid to do what you love!

Women’s Equality Day 2011 | Charleston Event Photographer (via Laura Olsen Imagery)

August 29, 2011

Women's Equality Day 2011 | Charleston Event Photographer Anyone who knows me, knows that I am crazy about popcorn.  I’m just crazy for it. If I’m out for dinner and a movie, I don’t care if I just had a seven course meal… course number eight will be popcorn.  I think that’s why I love movies so much… I do have a point and it has to do with photographing the Governor. A few years ago the Center for Women sponsored a showing of a movie.  Thinking there might be popcorn, I attended.  There wasn’t.  The fi … Read More

via Laura Olsen Imagery

C4W Business Member Profile: Ruth Brennan

August 18, 2011

What is your profession? Owner: Bits of Lace Fine Lingerie

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Swimming, hiking in the mountains.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I have been involved since the beginning but just became a member this summer.

What inspired you to become a member? An opportunity to support women in their health and happiness.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? Fundraising, fitting for mastectomy patients at our boutique.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? As a mother, nurse, business owner, wife, and now new grandmother, I have recognized the need to find the time each and every day for My Time. This helps me balance the responsibility of my life in a healthy way.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Re-inevent yourself. As our society continues to present changes we must, as women, find paths that are unique to us. You can always count on CHANGE!

C4W Member Profile: Sherry Dixon

August 16, 2011

What is your profession?  I am a Full-time Environmental, Safety and Health (EHS) professional with Boeing.  I am also a Writer.  My first book, Natural Destiny, is based on a true story about my mother’s experiences as an eight-year old prisoner of war on the island of Guam during World War II.  I am currently working on a safety book entitled The Silver Bullet and Other Safety Myths which is about my experience as an occupational safety and health professional.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I enjoy writing, singing, dancing, teaching and being with friends and family.  I also enjoy teaching adults.  Years ago when Johnson and Wales was in Charleston, I taught a class on Positive Mental Attitude, which was needed to graduate.  I am a Distinguished Toastmaster with Toastmasters, International.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? One year in September 2011.

What inspired you to become a member?  When I finished writing my book, Natural Destiny, C4W advertised a Saturday class with Shari Stauch on social marketing.  Shari was fantastic.  She not only inspired me to the point that I developed my website www.sherrysdixon.com, but I also attended the 2010 Words and Music conference in New Orleans, LA based on her recommendations.  At the conference, I attended and talked with an agent and an editor about my book.  Based on their recommendations I rewrote my book, originally non-fiction, to a YA (Young Adult) crossover, doubled the size and wrote it in fiction format.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you?  Women need ways they can spotlight their accomplishments, network with other confident, successful women and receive cost-effective applicable education topics.  C4W does all and more.  I tell women everywhere about the C4W.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you?  At times, I feel like it’s a challenge especially in the past when I was a single parent raising my son and daughter.   But more often than not I realize how lucky, grateful and powerful I am as a woman.  I believe there is nothing I cannot do as long as I believe in what I want.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?  Women need to know what they want, establish a plan to get it and then work the plan. Women who are not confident or successful need to get in touch with and listen to their inner voice.  They also need to spend time with other women who share the ideals that they now have or aspire to have.  Women who are successful and confident need to share their knowledge and experiences with other women.

C4W Member Profile: Alesya Opelt

August 12, 2011

What is your profession? Founder, Alesya Bags – Stylish laptop bags for women

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?

  • Hosting guests – We’ve had seven sets of visitors this summer alone!  Great perk of living in Charleston.
  • Traveling anywhere near water or family
  • Reading blogs, business books and fun fiction
  • Singing hits like “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” with my 2-year-old daughter
  • Fawning over magazines – the old fashion print kind and the new fangled iPad kind
  • Cooking (My mother will die when she reads that.)

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? One big year.

What inspired you to become a member? It wasn’t a “what” it was a “who”. Jennet Robinson Alterman – Her enthusiasm for women entrepreneurs made me realize I had to join this organization.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The night of the Center for Women Purse Auction was a watershed moment for me.  Having the opportunity to showcase the very first Alesya Bag in front of a room full of professional women was amazing.  When Jennet called me up on stage to introduce the bag it was the first time I’d ever shown it to the public!  As the crowd “oohhhh and ahhhed” my husband Josh and friend Charlotte Zacharkiw say I was glowing.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? It’s always been said that business is an Old Boy’s Club and men help each other move up in the world, while women don’t help one another.  In Charleston, I’ve found the exact opposite to be true.  The women here have reached out to me, given me fabulous advice and continue to encourage my entrepreneurial pursuits.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? This economy has been difficult on everyone.  I’ve seen grown men (and women) cry over it.  Seriously.  History tells us times will get better.  If you can make it through this downturn – which I believe is almost over – you’ll be positioned to succeed when so many others threw in the towel.

C4W Member Profile: Dottie S. Ashley

August 10, 2011

What is your profession? Arts Columnist,  theater and dance critic and  general features writer  for S.C.’s two largest newspapers, The State in Columbia and the Post and Courier in Charleston for a total of 37 years; the the only newspaper writer to win the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award given each year by the S.C. Arts Commission for excellence in supporting and promoting the arts.; also, one of 10 dance critics  throughout the U.S., selected by the United States Information Agency in 1990 for a month-long visit  to Moscow and Tbilisi, in then-Soviet Georgia, to write about the famous Vaganova method of  ballet.  Is  the only dance writer to twice win a Dance Critic Fellowship from the NEA to spend a month,  with 12 other dance writers from the U.S. and Canada, writing about dancers from all over the world who performed at the American Dance Festival at Duke University in the summers of 1985 and 2005.  In 1981, she was one of 10 theater critics from all over the world to win a Critics Institute Fellowship to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Conn. where she spent a month critiquing new plays, featuring Broadway actors in the casts.

In September, Dottie will assume her new job as the Arts Columnists and feature writer with The Charleston Mercury newspaper, which is published every other Thursday by the Post and Courier. She will also continue to write for Sandlapper Magazine, based in Columbia, and for other publications.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Outside my career, I enjoy dancing and swimming for exercise; traveling to New York to see Broadway plays with my husband, Dr. Franklin Ashley, a theater professor at the College of Charleston.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I’ve been a Center for Women member for at least six years.

What inspired you to become a member? I joined because I truly believe that women need to ban together to fight for equality and to help not only themselves, but also each other. It’s criminal that in 2011 women still make less money than men for doing the same work or holding the same positions.  Also, at the newspaper, the  top editors are still men, as are most politicians, who make the laws that often greatly affect only the lives, especially the freedom of women.

Another reason my husband Franklin and I were inspired to become  members of the Center for Women was that  weI had the unforgettable pleasure of briefly knowing Executive Director Jennet Robinson Alterman’s parents, Pat and Emmett Robinson. When we moved to Charleston as newly weds in 1966, the Robinsons had been notified by one of their old friends and a frequent actor at the Footlight Players, Dr. Frank Durham, that his protege, whom he had taught in graduate school at USC, Franklin Ashley, then 24, was to be teaching at The Citadel that fall, and was moving to Charleston with his new wife.  I remember that, following the first production that fall, directed by Emmett at the Footlight Players, that afterward, Jennet’s mother, Pat, an accomplished actress and author on her own, sought us out and invited us to an intimate, opening-night gathering at their beautiful home for drinks and a light supper.  They kindly introduced us to several other theater-supporters and actors, some of whom became instant friends of ours.  As Franklin once noted: “Emmett could do it all: write, direct, design sets and costumes and teach. Because of this, and the fact he was such a nice person, made him a never-to-be-replaced contributor to the lasting success of theater in Charleston. ”

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I have enjoyed meeting interesting people through my membership, and in the future hope to become more active in the organization as my work load will not be as heavy.  Also, my husband, Franklin has been a Center for Women member for several years, as he believes in its goals and also in the equality of women in society.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Over the decades, I’ve found that women do not assert themselves as strongly as men do. Also they fail to promote their accomplishments to their higher-ups and supervisors, and they are often afraid to ask for raises. However, men often assume its their right to ask for more money because they feel they are honestly worth it. I’ve discovered the hard way, that it’s often a double-edged sword, in that most men, seem to resent assertive women and often feel threatened by them. Also, if a woman makes a mistake, she is often punished for it no matter how excellent she has performed in the past. With men, even if it’s truly a fireable offense, the opposite occurs.

C4W Member Profile: Sonya Giffin

August 5, 2011

*Join Sonya Giffin, Vice President of Sandler Training South Carolina, on Tuesday, August 9 | 6-8pm for “Growing Your Business in the New Economy”. More>

What is your profession? Business Development Consultant and Executive Coach

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Hiking in Blue Ridge Mountains, Traveling to exotic places, reading, writing.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? 4 years

What inspired you to become a member? The desire to learn, connect with great women and help others reach their potential.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? C4W has helped me grow both professionally and personally. I love the variety of experiences C4W offers.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Since I’ve always been in the world of business, I’ve learned how to effectively and efficiently utilize my natural talents as a woman to navigate highly male dominated businesses.  Through great mentors, training and experience being a woman gives me great leverage to succeed.

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. We all have what it takes to be and create exactly want we want. Many times we’ve bought our culture’s definition of success versus pursuing our definition of success. When this happens we chase the next best thing and wake up to find ourselves unfulfilled. I learned a long time ago that true success, true happiness, comes from living
from the inside out. Once we start to live a life based on our values, our passions, our definition of success, everything starts to fall in to place and miraculous things start to occur. Know your truth and live accordingly!

C4W Business Member Profile: Sandra Gaylord

August 3, 2011

What is your profession? Gaylord Design – Kitchen, Bath, and Interior Designer

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Sketching, reading, writing, taking care of dogs.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? 2008

What inspired you to become a member? When I moved to Charleston in 2007, I was looking for an organization that supported women in their personal, emotional, and business endeavors. The Center for Women met and exceeded those things. The seminars not only gave me valuable information, it was an opportunity to meet and make new friends with women’s issues at heart.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The networking has opened business connections for me and several seminars have improved my knowledge base for operating my business.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I feel good about being a woman today. In my early career days, things were a lot different. Those things improved my strength of character, gave me the courage to support myself and my peers in the work place against unfair practices, and taught me value of self. However, there is still work and education that needs to be done.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Offer additional services over and above what you would normally do without the extra costs. Re-evaluate items you currently use to operate your business and determine if there is a more cost effective option or if you need it at all. Think positive – it creates positive energy!


%d bloggers like this: