Dress for Success New Orleans honors S3’s Cheryl Butler

By Alisha Dixon

IMG_51811_2S3er and passionate member of Dress for Success New Orleans, Cheryl Butler, S3 Branch Administrator, Team New Orleans will represent DFSNO as a delegate for the city of New Orleans at the 2018 Worldwide Success Summit in June in Miami.

“The opportunity to represent DFSNO on the world stage is such a huge honor. I’m excited to represent the countless hardworking women who strive towards excellence every single day,” said Cheryl Butler, S3 Branch Administrator, Team New Orleans.

The honor comes just one year after Butler was named as the organizations’ “Client of the Year” for her success since joining the organization.

“I’m truly honored to have been chosen!” said Butler. “And I’m excited to be an example of what you can become with dedication and the help of an organization like DFSNO.”

An affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide, DFSNO is an independent nonprofit organization that partners with nonprofit organizations and government agencies that refer women to DFSNO when they have secured a job interview and need the professional clothing necessary for them.

“We serve 40 to 50 women a month,” said Lori Byargeon, director of operations, DFSNO. “There is no specific type of woman who comes here. They are all different education levels, ages and races. So many women of all different statuses are only two paychecks from being homeless.”

More than an opportunity to get suited, the organization provides additional support in a many other ways that include interview and employment coaching, a career center for job seekers, the Professional Women’s Group and Alumni Professional Women’s Group and the Women 2 Women Mentoring Program.

“We have career women and retired women who generously share their knowledge,” said Meaghan Bonavita, president, DFSNO board. “When a client comes to the store to be suited it’s not just about the outfit. Our volunteers talk with them and share their knowledge. As they are working as personal shoppers they are also doing mini-career counseling sessions. It makes the whole process a lot easier and much more comfortable. Our volunteers work with clients to help them choose an interview outfit as they also provide guidance and support for the upcoming interview.”

A member of DFSNO’s Professional Women’s Group Member and DFSNO board member, Butler credits
the organization for helping her at a time when she needed it the most. After leaving Chicago to take her son
to Alcorn State University in Mississippi, Butler experienced some hardships and decided to move to New Orleans

“I decided there was no reason to return to Chicago and so I stayed in New Orleans where my father lived,” Butler revealed.

While in New Orleans, she began working with Job1 Business and Career Solutions, an organization that provides employment and training services to provide employers with a skilled workforce and to link job seekers to employment that leads to self-sufficiency. With the help of Job1, Cheryl landed several job interviews but needed clothing to wear to them. She was then connected with Dress for Success to be suited.

“I couldn’t have done it without Dress for Success,” Butler revealed. “They helped with so much more than a suit. I learned life skills and finances. Life can sometimes hit you hard but this program can change your station in life.”

Truly the epitome of changing your station life, Butler went on to have a successful interview at S3 and got the job!

“I love working at S3 and for a company that really wants to see you win!”

Dress for Success New Orleans will host the 9th annual Suits & Salads Luncheon on May 11 at The Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans. The event will bring together more than 450 local men and women to share client testimonials, panel discussion, silent auction, fashion show, champagne toast and give-a-ways, all to support the mission of Dress for Success New Orleans which is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing professional attire, a network of support and development tools to help them thrive in work and in life. As a result of Butler’s success and DFSNO’s great community work, S3 has served as a sponsor for the luncheon for the past two years.

For more information about Dress for Success New Orleans, call (504) 891-4337 or visit neworleans.dressforsuccess.org.