The 2018 ascena CARES Award Winners

ascena CARES Awards

This year marked the fourth annual ascenaCARES Associate Awards. We asked associates from across the ascena brands to nominate a colleague they feel embodies the spirit of the awards. We were looking for associates who, like the winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe award, are everyday heroes who do work that impacts others and supports those in need. One winner from each brand was chosen.

Congratulations to the following associates who won this prestigious award and will be recognized at the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards on October 17, 2018 in New York City.

  • Ann Taylor

    Shelby McFall

    Lead Sales Associate (Kentucky)
    Nominated by: Danielle Stevens

    The International Order of Rainbow for Girls is a youth service organization dedicated to empowering young girls to grow into strong and capable women and instilling in them the importance of leading a life of service. Shelby joined Rainbow when she was 11 and has helped constantly in nursing homes, community clean-ups, planning fundraisers, volunteering at humane societies, she served as head state dignitary for Rainbow in Kentucky from 2016-2017 and is now mentor to active rainbow girls and a member of the Jr. Grand Executive Board in Kentucky.

  • Ascena

    Donna Smith

    Merchandise Processor (Ohio)
    Nominated by: Nicole Myles Fletcher

    Donna has been a volunteer coach for kids with disabilities for 8 years. In that time, she has worked with the Superhero’s League, which will be going into its 4th season in 2019, the Pickerington Special Needs League, and The Stars Special Needs League in Whitehall, Ohio.

  • Catherines

    MK O'Haver

    Store Manager (West Virginia)
    Nominated by: Self

    MK has long believed in the importance of women helping women to better themselves and the world in which they live. That belief has led to her work with Dress for Success. Local affiliates work with referral agencies, volunteers and companies across the world to impact women’s lives. Her volunteering spans from coordinating clothing drives, to volunteering at the local boutique and at events, selfdefense courses and helping the River Cities affiliate get their Professional Women’s Group and Career Center off the ground which will provide a computer lab and technical assistance. She has also seen the power of a new outfit and the support of other women to help a woman feel confident and empowered.

  • Dressbarn

    Moe Lietz

    Assistant Manager (Michigan)
    Nominated by: Donna Spreyer

    When Moe Lietz created Sparkle Network in 2014, she underestimated the extent of the impact it would have on the Metro Detroit area. The following programs have emerged and continue to grow and flourish. Prom Closet Project Tour provides free prom dresses to young women who can’t afford the expense. Operation Little Princess is a program to support children fighting illnesses, such as Cancer, with special hospital visits and events to bring awareness. The Sparkle Wrapped Tour Comedy Events brings lightness through laughter to bring awareness to such diseases/causes as Alzheimer's/Dementia, to name just one. Their work can be followed on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube).

  • Justice

    Karis Cole

    Style Advisor (Ontario, Canada)
    Nominated by: Self

    Karis has been a volunteer with BBBSH since she was in 9th grade and built a great relationship with her case manager. She volunteers in the In-School Mentor program (ISM) and Girls Linking Our Worlds (GLOW) programs. Her little warms her heart, and continues to remind her of the importance of meeting children where they are at, and building challenges in healthy and critical ways which support both success and failure- as they are both integral experiences growing as a person. Another particular program has taken up a large space in her heart is GLOW (Girls Linking Our Worlds) which aims to provide a safe space for girl’s grade 6-8 to engage in real discussion and discourse about issues which are prevalent in their lives. This program is two hours after their school day and not only provides discourse based curriculum but also healthy eating and active living.

  • Lane Bryant

    Nichole Verno

    Sales Lead (Pennsylvania)
    Nominated by: Francine Wilson

    In 2016, Nikki joined a sisterhood of amazing women called the Villianettes. The Villianettes stand for Truth-Honor-Respect-Class-Family-Charity. Nikki’s sisterhood organizes and holds special events to benefit multiple charities and those in local communities in need. Outside of work, Nikki’s free time is spent organizing and participating in events. As a Scout, she reaches out to prospective candidates to ensure that they exhibit the same passion in Giving Back. Some of the many events she participated in include homeless and veteran outreach, autism party, Toys for Tots, and the St. Jude Run/Walk.

  • Loft

    Kristy Zera

    District Manager (NY/NJ)
    Nominated by: Allyson Genck

    For more than 115 years, The Children’s Fresh Air Home has provided an enriching summer experience at the Jersey Shore for more than 20,000 underserved children from New Jersey and Philadelphia. The home invites children facing adversity at home or in their communities to participate in a variety of day and overnight programs. Kristy has volunteered spending time with the children in the current program during the homes reconstruction called “If Just For A Day” program and in fundraising efforts such as the “Ride to Rebuild” and in gaining support from the local community. The home and programs have provided a much needed respite that has had a long-term impact on the children as a positive place to spend their summer improving their social & leadership skills. Giving new generations a chance at an invaluable experience.

  • maurices

    Bri Waldoch

    Senior Manager (Minnesota)
    Nominated by: Olivia St. Croix

    Bri works with a group of young professionals in the community to plan and host bi-monthly birthday parties for children living at the Steve O’Neil Apartments. Children living in the apartments are part of families who have experienced long-term homelessness. Through supportive housing and innovative programing, the goal of this organization is to break the cycle of homelessness and foster strong, resilient families. With games, gifts, cake, and music, the birthday parties provide a fun and safe environment for all of the children living in the Steve O’Neil Apartments and ensure each child has a special day to celebrate his or her birthday.
  • Premium Segment

    Lendrell Martin

    Technical Designer (New York)
    Nominated by: Paras Terzis

    As a member of the Urban League of Essex County Young Professionals, Lendrell had the opportunity to impact young men and women within the community and prepare them for their futures. He conducted a professional development workshop with 110 inner city high school students embarking on their first paid corporate internships for the summer with speed mentoring, a professional clothing drive and interactive workshop with Young Professionals to challenge critical thinking skills of students. The students walked away prepared for the corporate environment and got to “shop” the items in attendance donated from various organizations.