Lorelei VerLee
Executive Director, Founder

 

"Every person on earth is gifted with at least one asset that can transform their world."
Lorelei VerLee

A lifelong artist and innovative entrepreneur, Lorelei VerLee was inspired to start Creative Women of the World four years after being invited to assist in an artisan-based startup in Haiti named HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace International).

For the initial month of formulation she lived in their primitive rural community and observed their desires and assets. When she returned to the States she continued to volunteer as product designer and Marketing Director and made frequent trips back to Haiti. 

When other artisans from around the world heard about HAPI they began asking for similar help in distributing their unique products, Lorelei knew it was the right time to expand the outreach. 

Most women were very talented in handcrafting but had limited access to business training and broader distribution beyond their meager markets. They wanted to learn how to sustainably support their families. Lorelei's passion is to respectfully walk alongside them as they give birth to small businesses that are ethical and profitable. Lorelei knew from experience that authenticity, focused work and transparency leads to wholeness, spiritually and professionally.  And that leads to peace!

Lorelei has a passion for and has collected indigenous textiles from her travels around the world.   So during the product development stage she always tries to honor the artisan’s ancient cultures and traditions while guiding the eye of the producer to design products that appeal to buyers in a contemporary marketplace.

"It has been pure joy to move with the wind of the Spirit and to discover fresh energy every single morning!"

For more information regarding CWOW public affairs and artisan training, please contact Lorelei at: Lorelei@goCWOW.org

Catalyst Women shares stories of women who make a difference.  Check out their online article.  
Lorelei quote from Catalyst Women article. 


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Vanessa Sheckler
Assistant Manager

Vanessa, a Fort Wayne native, has always been willing to try any new adventure and give it her all with a positive 'Never Give Up' attitude! After working with women in recovery from drugs and alcohol by teaching them how to make handmade jewelry, she joins us here at CWOW ready to make a difference in the lives of impoverished women around the world!

Vanessa is a mother to three beautiful children with her high school sweetheart. She's recently completed her Associates Degree in Humanities, a long goal finally accomplished.

For more information regarding the store and events here at CWOW, please contact Vanessa at: Vanessa@goCWOW.org


Dawn Haney Website/Graphic Design Dawn@goCWOW.org

Dawn Haney
Website/Graphic Design

Dawn@goCWOW.org

Meggan Jackson   Story Teller Meggan@goCWOW.org

Meggan Jackson  
Story Teller

Meggan@goCWOW.org

 

 

BOARD MEMBERS

Faith Van Gilder, President As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, I saw firsthand how important women’s work is to supporting their families. I applaud CWOW for their on-the-ground efforts in teaching women how best to make and market their products, thereby creating a positive ripple effect for future generations.

Faith Van Gilder, President

As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, I saw firsthand how important women’s work is to supporting their families. I applaud CWOW for their on-the-ground efforts in teaching women how best to make and market their products, thereby creating a positive ripple effect for future generations.

Marcia Futter, Treasurer Several years ago I saw a documentary about Eastern European women who ended up enslaved as prostitutes.  They had applied for what they were led to believe was legitimate employment.  I really felt a desire to help women who were being trafficked.  Once I learned about the mission of CWOW, I knew this was an organization where I wanted to invest my time and experience.  

Marcia Futter, Treasurer

Several years ago I saw a documentary about Eastern European women who ended up enslaved as prostitutes.  They had applied for what they were led to believe was legitimate employment.  I really felt a desire to help women who were being trafficked.  Once I learned about the mission of CWOW, I knew this was an organization where I wanted to invest my time and experience.

 

Kara Hackett, Secretary   Kara Hackett is Creative Women of the World’s Cultural and Spiritual Support Chair. As a blogger and ethical fashion advocate, Kara was originally drawn to CWOW for its beautiful and sustainable designs. After learning more about the organization’s ongoing business training overseas, she was inspired to join the board. Today, she volunteers on the organization’s events committee and contributes to its blog, telling stories of women around the world whose lives have been changed by resources developed in Fort Wayne.

Kara Hackett, Secretary
 

Kara Hackett is Creative Women of the World’s Cultural and Spiritual Support Chair. As a blogger and ethical fashion advocate, Kara was originally drawn to CWOW for its beautiful and sustainable designs. After learning more about the organization’s ongoing business training overseas, she was inspired to join the board. Today, she volunteers on the organization’s events committee and contributes to its blog, telling stories of women around the world whose lives have been changed by resources developed in Fort Wayne.

Maggie Lambert   Board Member since January 2017.  I work at Hamil, Lehman & England PC as an accounting paraprofessional. My husband, a local business owner, and I have lived in Fort Wayne for 26 yrs. We have two grown children and 2 grandchildren.  I knew of CWOW as the “cool little shop” down the street from my office.  I would go there when I needed a unique gift and I always walked away a happy customer. A friend of mine was on the Board and recommend I take her spot as she was moving out of state and could no longer serve.  I was very excited by the idea of serving on the board of CWOW because I love its mission.  Empowering women, through their own creativity, to help them rise out of poverty and enable them to support themselves, their families and their communities.   Outside of work and CWOW, I also volunteer at Erin’s House for Grieving Children and am a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  In my free time, I enjoy running and hiking with my dog and reading. 

Maggie Lambert
 

Board Member since January 2017.  I work at Hamil, Lehman & England PC as an accounting paraprofessional. My husband, a local business owner, and I have lived in Fort Wayne for 26 yrs. We have two grown children and 2 grandchildren. 

I knew of CWOW as the “cool little shop” down the street from my office.  I would go there when I needed a unique gift and I always walked away a happy customer. A friend of mine was on the Board and recommend I take her spot as she was moving out of state and could no longer serve.  I was very excited by the idea of serving on the board of CWOW because I love its mission.  Empowering women, through their own creativity, to help them rise out of poverty and enable them to support themselves, their families and their communities.  

Outside of work and CWOW, I also volunteer at Erin’s House for Grieving Children and am a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  In my free time, I enjoy running and hiking with my dog and reading. 

 
 
Erika Mann I grew up with an appreciation of international outreach and had several opportunities to travel with my father on his trips with World Partners and see needs firsthand. CWOW not only responds to the need for outreach but also empowers women to recognize their own strengths, creativity, and talent and to use it to help themselves and their communities. This is a mission I deeply support, and I was inspired to get involved!

Erika Mann

I grew up with an appreciation of international outreach and had several opportunities to travel with my father on his trips with World Partners and see needs firsthand. CWOW not only responds to the need for outreach but also empowers women to recognize their own strengths, creativity, and talent and to use it to help themselves and their communities. This is a mission I deeply support, and I was inspired to get involved!

Lynne Gilmore

Lynne Gilmore

Margie Dougherty

Margie Dougherty

Devon Aragona

Devon Aragona

 
Marialyn Bazile

Marialyn Bazile

Sadia Ahmad

Sadia Ahmad

 
Dawn De Santo, Ex-officio I am both honored and humbled to have served on CWOW's board. Lorelei's vision of empowering women wherever and whoever they are is inspiring. CWOW's faith, beliefs and ideals are so parallel to my own, plus the love of any art form... a perfect fit! Anyone who knows me is going to hear a lot about what CWOW is doing. Be prepared! Dawn owns Hand Jive, a creative women's fashion line sold nationally.

Dawn De Santo, Ex-officio

I am both honored and humbled to have served on CWOW's board. Lorelei's vision of empowering women wherever and whoever they are is inspiring. CWOW's faith, beliefs and ideals are so parallel to my own, plus the love of any art form... a perfect fit! Anyone who knows me is going to hear a lot about what CWOW is doing. Be prepared!

Dawn owns Hand Jive, a creative women's fashion line sold nationally.