Women’s Leadership Council

Celebrating my personal, professional ambitions during International Women’s Day

Shanette and mentors 2015 - International Women's Day
Shanette and two of her mentors/women who inspired her at the 2015 NACDA Convention
Left: Chevonne Mansfield
Right: Temeka Samuels

The month of March is known as Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. There are many local and national events held throughout the month to celebrate and empower women.

This awareness month and celebratory day prompt me to reflect on my own life and career as a woman as well as the many women who have inspired me. These women include my mother, famous women, and women who I look to as mentors.

My mentors have always taught me, “good leaders must lead by example. By walking your talk, you become a person others will want to follow.”

As I progress in my career, I continuously look inward and self-reflect to see how I can improve both personally and professionally. Each year I set professional goals with deadlines and milestones. I identify and attend professional development workshops that correlate with my goals to ensure success. This fiscal year my goal was to enhance my management skills.

Two years ago, while attending the Crain’s Women of Note event, I picked up a brochure on the YWCA of Cleveland’s professional development programs. After reviewing the program offerings, I felt the YWCA Women’s Leadership Institute Boot Camp aligned with my professional goals – specifically to enhance my management skills.

I decided to pull the trigger and sign up for the program. Since October 2016, I have been attending YWCA Women’s Leadership Institute Boot Camp bi-monthly sessions focusing on leadership and management. The YWCA Women’s Leadership Institute offers a comprehensive leadership development training curriculum and corresponding programs that are designed to build, train, recognize, and empower transformative leaders at all phases of their careers.

The leadership development program is designed to bring together women from varying backgrounds and stages in their careers, and organizations to deepen their self-awareness and self-management in an effort to become more effective and productive leaders. Through this leadership development program, I have gained 29 “sisters.”

As I progress and advance in life and my career, I try to lead by example and give back to others. I strive to offer the support and serve as a mentor for other women who are also career driven. As Oprah Winfrey says, “the biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”


About Shanette D. Buford-Brazzell

Shanette Buford-Brazzell is the special events manager at United Way of Greater Cleveland. Prior to this role, Shanette was events coordinator at The Jerome Schottenstein Center/The Ohio State University from 2013 – 2015. She currently serves on the Board of Directors/Fund Development Council for Junior League of Cleveland, is a member of Cleveland State University Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council, as well as a mentor with College Now of Greater Cleveland. Shanette received her undergraduate degree from Cleveland State University in 2013 and a certificate in sports philanthropy from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

Rock the CATWALK model profile: Sean Watterson rocking his way from venue to catwalk for good cause

By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer

Editor’s note: This year we are highlighting some of the Rock the CATWALK community models – showcasing their talents, passion and careers leading up to the annual fashion show.  


jill-and-seanThe first time attending and participating in Rock the CATWALK, Sean Watterson will take the stage at this year’s event. But, with years of experience co-owning Happy Dog in Gordon Square and Euclid, it won’t be his first time in the spotlight. For example, Watterson was named one of Cleveland Magazine’s Most Interesting People in 2014.

His career path has been anything but linear – from a financial watchdog working in counterterrorism finance to co-owning east and west side hotspots, his travels have always brought him back to the 216.

Watterson transitioned from working as a lawyer in counterterrorism because he wanted the chance to make other’s happy, he said. When Sean Kilbane, former Happy Dog business partner and co-owner, pitched the idea of buying a bar to Watterson, Kilbane stressed they could make a difference every night. Continue reading “Rock the CATWALK model profile: Sean Watterson rocking his way from venue to catwalk for good cause”

Rock the CATWALK model profile: Dan Moulthrop to work the CATWALK, Cleveland-style

By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer

Editor’s note: This year we are highlighting some of the Rock the CATWALK community models – showcasing their talents, passion and careers leading up to the annual fashion show.  


Dan MoulthropLike many community models in this year’s show, it is Dan Moulthrop’s first United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Rock the CATWALK (RTC) appearance. But, unlike his corporate and city counterparts, the City Club of Cleveland, where he is CEO, has history traced back to the city’s deep philanthropic roots similar to United Way.

“Like United Way, the City Club exists as a civic institution, a legacy of Cleveland’s storied past existing to support the community,” he said. “United Way does it through federated giving, we do it through convening conversations of consequence to help democracy thrive…It’s a very important, symbiotic relationship we’re all in to help our community pull together in the same direction.” Continue reading “Rock the CATWALK model profile: Dan Moulthrop to work the CATWALK, Cleveland-style”

Rock the CATWALK model profile: Monyka Price to ‘school’ CATWALK attendees in fashion, education

­Rock the CATWALK model profile: Monyka Price to ‘school’ CATWALK attendees in fashion, education

Editor’s note: This year we are highlighting some of the Rock the CATWALK community models – showcasing their talents, passion and careers leading up to the annual fashion show.  


Monyka PriceMonyka Price gives children the counseling and guidance she never had growing up. She uses her personal experiences to cultivate a better understanding of Cleveland students’ goals and aspirations.

Before transitioning into education, Price worked as a home goods buyer for JCPenney. With an eye for design, she excelled quickly and was eventually buying for all Northeast Ohio locations.

As she climbed the ladder, she reached a point in her career where she needed a change.

She took a buyout and shortly thereafter earned her first master’s degree in early childhood education, then her second in education administration and later attended a superintendent program at Cleveland State University. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral education leadership program at Youngstown State University. Continue reading “Rock the CATWALK model profile: Monyka Price to ‘school’ CATWALK attendees in fashion, education”

Charles Scott Salons styles, beautifies models for RTC runway

By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer

Editor’s note: Rock the CATWALK, United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Women Leadership Council’s annual fundraising event, features fashions from several local boutiques. This series serves to highlight each boutique’s unique style and preview some of the looks to hit the runway.


chazProviding makeup and hairstyles for community models at this year’s Rock the CATWALK (RTC), Charles Scott Salons has taken Clevelander’s ‘dos from drab to fab since the early 1980s.

Charles “Chaz” Henline opened the first salon in Lakewood with business partner Scott Lucci. While Lucci left the business in 1992, Henline continued, opening a Westlake location and then moving to Crocker Park in 2010.

“In high school I was influenced by my business teacher about free enterprise in our country,” Henline said. “I caught the entrepreneurial bug! Further influenced by the gentleman who was styling my hair at the time — who owned his own business — I studied that career path and decided to pursue it.”

The salon and day spa offers a complete line of hair and beauty services, including keratin treatments, extensions and gel manicures. The salon’s aestheticians are also trained in hair removal, body treatments and several anti-aging facials, as well as spray tans, Henline said. Having a Vichy shower room at each location, where the client is showered while lying down as part of other body treatments like sugar and salt scrubs, makes each location a true spa, Henline said. Continue reading “Charles Scott Salons styles, beautifies models for RTC runway”

Lisa Moran Ltd. turns CATWALK into black-tie affair

By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer

Editor’s note: Rock the CATWALK, United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Women Leadership Council’s annual fundraising event, features fashions from several local boutiques. This series serves to highlight each boutique’s unique style and preview some of the looks to hit the runway


Lisa MoranOffering the epitome of class in formal wear, Lisa Moran Ltd. continues to take the Rock the CATWALK (RTC) decorum to new heights. Its fifth year participating in the event, the upscale boutique provides ball gowns, cocktail dresses and other formal wear and accessories for the event’s community models.

Located in the Eton Shopping Plaza in Woodmere, owner Lisa Moran opened the boutique more than 20 years ago. Over the years, clientele has come and gone, but Moran has continued to offer high quality from American and European designer labels, including Marisa Baratelli and Algo of Switzerland.

“I’ve been in business for 26 years, this is my 11th at Eton and it’s been fabulous,” she explained. “I absolutely love clothes and wanted a job where I could raise my children and work in the fashion industry and it’s worked out really well. I have 25, 23 and 19-year-olds and they were all raised in the store. Most days, I could be a good mom and a good shop owner.” Continue reading “Lisa Moran Ltd. turns CATWALK into black-tie affair”

Fringe Boutique brings one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories to 2016 Rock the CATWALK

By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer

Editor’s note: Rock the CATWALK, United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Women Leadership Council’s annual fundraiser features fashions from several local boutiques. This six-part series serves to highlight each boutique’s unique style and preview some of the looks to hit the runway.

Fringe OwnersMoreland Hill’s Fringe Boutique offers small-run, exclusive products to its loyal customers every day, and this year, their contributions to Rock the CATWALK (RTC) will be no different.

Participating in the CATWALK since the store’s opening in 2012, the boutique will have something especially Cleveland-esque to offer models and attendees alike — Cavalier’s championship handbags. Made from The Plain Dealer pages of the iconic morning-after issue, Fringe is the only store to offer the stylish accessory, and co-owners Dana Demetriou and Sherry Medrick are excited to show them on this year’s CATWALK.

Fringe opened after Demetriou visited a boutique in Florida and saw the opportunity to fill a gap in Cleveland’s small-business scene. Fringe offers limited run or exclusive brands, getting small batches of pieces with limited sizing available. They also offer extensive gift items, including candles and local, handcrafted jewelry.

“A lot of our lines, no one else in Cleveland is selling,” Demetriou said. “Also, we do one of each size. So the women who come in here all the time know we get shipments every day, so they come to see what’s delivered because they know we’re going to get one small, one medium, one large. I think that helps us, because it brings women in because they know their size is going to go quick.”

Committed to transcending age barriers, the boutique offers styles accessible to women and their daughters.

“Sherry and I have been together doing this from day one,” Demetriou explained. “I was actually in a store in Florida like this and walked out with a lot of stuff for a decent price. But the biggest thing was I had my daughter with me, who at the time was 17, and she also found something. So it was nice to shop as mother and daughter…I came home and thought ‘we don’t have anything like this in Cleveland.’”

Fringe products

Shortly thereafter, Demetriou invited Sherry on as store manager with a partial ownership in their Chagrin Boulevard space.

During normal business hours, their store is bustling with people from across the Greater Cleveland area, but after hours, Demetriou and Medrick offer exclusive private shopping experiences guests can book for eight to 10 people.

RTC is not the boutiques only charitable event, Demetriou said. They often donate gift cards to raffles and auctions on behalf of organizations including the local Fire Department and Jewish Community Center (JCC).

“We have people come in daily asking for donations and, to be honest, we’ll at least give a small gift card,” Demetriou said. “There’s a lady who asked for some clothes to sell for the less fortunate over at the JCC. We do Big Shots/Little Stars and Flashes of Hope every year.”

Always striving to be fashion forward, Demetriou and Medrick predict styles for this year’s RTC will include “cold-shoulder” tops — cutout shoulder designs — and fringed detailing. Velvet and faux suede will abound, in leggings, capes and ponchos. Classic fall-to-winter colors include oxblood, navy, army green and whites, Medrick said.

This year’s Rock the CATWALK is Thursday, November 3 at the Global Center for Health Innovation on St. Clair Avenue. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now. For more information, contact Megan Shadrach.

Cleveland Consignment Shoppe to bring unique, one-of-a-kind pieces to the runway

By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer

Editor’s note: Rock the CATWALK, United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Women Leadership Council’s annual fundraising event, features fashions from several local boutiques. This series serves to highlight each boutique’s unique style and preview some of the looks to hit the runway.

Susie Vitale In 2012, entrepreneur Susie Vitale saw a need for high-end fashion at affordable pricing on Cleveland’s east side. Cleveland Consignment Shoppe (CCS) was first a pop-up shop and then only open on weekends, before moving into its permanent space, in Woodmere, space three years ago.

“The pop-up shops went well, so we moved forward,” Vitale, owner of CCS, said. “We do women’s luxury and contemporary fashion. So it’s clothes, shoes, boots, handbags and accessories.”

CCS offers contemporary women’s fashion from big-name brands like Chanel, Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton. Many items are new with tags or only worn a handful of times, but sold on consignment for a fraction of their original price.

Cleveland Consignment

Vitale became involved with Rock the CATWALK (RTC) because her friend, a United Way volunteer, was looking for boutiques to participate in the event, she said. CCS strives to offer trend and classic pieces with a creative flair, providing unique items to its RTC models since 2013.

“One of my friends was on the RTC committee and suggested they take a look at us,” she said. “I think they wanted boutiques in this area and it worked out really well. I think we add a creative edge to it, because that’s what we offer. We do have trend pieces, but we have a really big variety of unique items and we try and always put those in the show.”

This year’s RTC will shift to fall fashions, and Vitale plans to offer outerwear, possibly including furs and holiday outfits. In the years CCS has participated, Vitale has seen the world of business attire change for women, allowing them to incorporate their own personality and style, and plans to play on those changes in some of the looks she offers.

“These are women who dress for powerful positions,” she said. “The big thing that’s changed is they don’t wear suits as much as they used to — you turn on the Today Show and everyone’s wearing a dress. They dress a more creatively and boldly in the professional world. It allows people to express themselves; they don’t have to wear a business suit to be taken seriously. Now, they can wear a professional dress maybe in their favorite color and they feel great about it.”

This year’s Rock the CATWALK is Thursday, November 3 at the Global Center for Health Innovation. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now. For more information, contact Megan Shadrach.

Rock the CATWALK model profile: Jill Jankowski paddling her way towards this year’s event

Editor’s note: This year we are highlighting some of the Rock the CATWALK community models – showcasing their talents, passion and careers leading up to the annual fashion show.  

By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer

jill-and-sean

Five years ago, Jill Jankowski opened SUP Cleveland, one of only two stand-up paddleboard companies in the area. Inspired by her then-newfound love of the sport, she worked to bring Clevelanders and visitors out on the water, giving them a different view of the Sixth City.

“I wanted other people to experience what I experienced, which was really awesome,” she said. “It’s a very unique experience — you’re out on the water, it’s quiet, you get a different perspective of the city, you are enjoying this great, big, beautiful body of water we have. I wanted to give people another way to get out on the water and for Clevelanders and visitors to be able to do something different.”

SUP Cleveland offers lessons, yoga paddleboard excursions, group events and equipment rentals out of Edgewater Beach. Jankowski partnered with several Greater Cleveland organizations, including the Cleveland Metroparks3 Sisters Yoga + Fitness and Girls With Sole. Several businesses and organizations have held teambuilding retreats with SUP, including Magnificat High School, Cleveland State University Residence Life and the Union Club of Cleveland.

Continue reading “Rock the CATWALK model profile: Jill Jankowski paddling her way towards this year’s event”

Amy’s Shoes steps up the style game at this year’s Rock the CATWALK

Editor’s note: Rock the CATWALK, United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Women Leadership Council’s annual fundraiser features fashions from several local boutiques. This six-part series serves to highlight each boutique’s unique style and preview some of the looks to hit the runway.


Amy Participating since the start of Rock the CATWALK (RTC), Amy’s Shoes has provided fashionable footwear to women since the event’s inception in 2009. Owner Amy Bradford was invited to participate in the original fashion show by Sally Stewart, one of the founding members of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC).

Amy’s Shoes expanded to include accessories and clothing at her original Rocky River location, as well as a second footwear-only store in Woodmere. Covering Cleveland’s busy professionals “from head to toe,” this year Bradford and her staff will provide outfits and shoes for the event.

“This year is different for us because we’ve been mostly a shoe store until about a year ago,” she said. “And then we expanded into clothing. This year we’re excited because we’re not only showing our footwear, but clothing looks as well.”

In her years participating, Bradford has seen the seasons and fashions of RTC change. Early shows showcased spring, business and rocker chic styles, this year she will be showcasing her boutiques holiday fashions.

Clothing at Amy Shoes“You’ll see leather and suede, both in clothing and footwear – a lot of moto jackets and suede dresses,” she said. “Some of our looks will have a little bit of a rocker-chic vibe to them…Our store might incorporate more funky and casual into the weekend look.”

Bradford enjoys RTC in part because of the models she gets to work with. Having provided styles for professional and community models, her and her staff members consider each woman’s sensibilities and comfort when choosing shoes for their night on the runway.

“One thing we love about this event is getting to know the models,” she said. “When we meet them we hear about where they work and perhaps show them our store, which they might not have seen before. They all seem to be successful, busy people so they might not have a lot of time to shop, so it’s great to wardrobe them and they get to see all the looks together on the runway. It’s always a pleasure to work with them.”

This year’s Rock the CATWALK is Thursday, November 3 at the Global Center for Health Innovation on St. Clair Avenue. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now. For more information, contact Megan Shadrach.