We had a marvelous time at the Dec. 5th Third Annual Holiday Trunk & Fashion Show to Benefit Dress for Success. The event was sponsored by Y.E.S! the volunteer branch of Dress for Success that works on fundraising, volunteering and networking opportunities to champion the mission of Dress for Success.
The current Philadelphia Executive Director of Dress for Success Cecilia Cardesa-Lusardi was the very lucky recipient of one of the first necklaces I designed and made all by myself. Her guy said it was a birthday present, and we all agreed that this true goddess Lilith necklace suited this powerhouse perfectly.
Reading now about Cecilia, she is a true Smart Sensuality woman. No wonder we got along so brilliantly!
Cecilia has worked with some of our community’s toughest issues specific to human rights, refugee resettlement, human trafficking, women’s economic development, at-risk youth issues in the U.S. and child soldier issues abroad. In 2011, Dress for Success Worldwide hired Cecilia to create and execute the strategic turn-around management of its local Philadelphia affiliate along with creating a sustainable growth strategy, sound financial forecasting and organizational positioning. Prior to serving as CEO of Dress for Success Philadelphia, she spearheaded the change management and holistic turn-around of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as a senior member of leadership team at its U.S. Headquarters. Before that, Cecilia served as the Executive Director of Voices without Borders, Inc. Ms. Cardesa-Lusardi began her career working for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS).
Cecilia uniquely bridges her international experience into the strategic alignment and direction of local organizations through her human rights and venture creation lens. She has served as Delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women and Hong Kong’s Social Enterprise Summit. Ms. Cardesa-Lusardi is a member of Worldwide Who’s Who List, has received numerous awards and recognition for her commitment to community development, and has served on numerous local, regional and national boards.
When I explained to Cecilia that her necklace was from our Lilith collection — Lilith being Adam’s first wife in the Jewish Old Testament but she stormed out of the Garden of Eden — she just smiled. Like so many women, Cecilia is a full life partner with many talents and great charisma. And I suspect she has a lot in common with Sister Simone Campbell of Nuns on the Bus.