Model Feature: Angela Smith Jones, Deputy Mayor of Economic Development

Angela Smith Jones, Deputy Mayor Economic Development, Indianapolis



Angela Smith Jones is a woman with a big heart. You can see that by her choice
of favorite movies — An Affair to Remember and When Harry Met Sally. “I am a
true romantic,” she said. Angela is the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development for the City of Indianapolis.

As a child, Angela wanted to be a Pediatrician. “I believe the reason I wanted to
be a Pediatrician is because at the core, I want to help people. I want to make life
better for people. To me, children are the most vulnerable and to be able to care
for and heal a child would be so rewarding.”

Angela credits her parents for coaching her on life decisions growing up. “Any
goal which I set or had; my parents spoke into my life to ensure that I would be

She treasures her mentors and believes they treasure her. “They reach out to me
on their own accord with words of wisdom and action steps. I, in turn, listen and
act. The key to a mentoring relationship is the mutually vested interest
and respect that the mentor has, along with my respect for the mentor.”

Angela believes having mentors allowed her career to become what it is today.
“My mentors have tough conversations with me. They are not all complimentary
and you’re doing a great job. My mentors push me and give me sound advice.”
She advises women navigating the job search to identify a minimum of two key
mentors. “It should be a mutual relationship where there are synergies, respect
and a basic friendship,” she said. “I would next reflect on the deep passions —
what drives me, what do I really want to do? Look at your strengths and
weaknesses. Then sit down with your mentors and begin to discuss those very
answers. What career options are there for you? What additional networking or
certifications do you need. And always, always know that the answer is not going to be easy to hear and may require shifting some goals and direction.”

Her big heart might be the reason she loves motivating and pouring into others.
“If I am able to be a blessing and share something that would inspire them to be
their best selves and to know that they are okay, to embrace who they are… then
I would be fulfilled.”



Our Sponsors Speak: Classic Cleaners

Classic Cleaners has been a proud sponsor of Dress for Success Indianapolis by supporting the cause in various capacities for 16 years.  After seeing a media piece on TV about Dress for Success Indianapolis roughly 17 years ago, Partner and General Manager, Steve Arnold was inspired to get involved. The segment featured volunteers sorting donations in a dark, old building.  Steve was inspired by the mission to help women thrive in work and life, beginning with appropriate professional attire.  Steve thought, “We have room in our facilities, and can provide a larger space to sort.  We can help with our resources.

Classic Cleaners connects with the organization mission to promote economic independence among women by providing professional attire to wear during the interview process.  Our business depends on image-conscious individuals who choose to dry clean and we understand how a quality, well-fitting suit can enhance confidence during the interview process and in the workplace. When Dress for Success Indianapolis provides a suit and blouse to a woman prior to her interview, it’s only the beginning.  It’s not just an outfit they’re providing, they are helping her to walk proudly into the interview’ moving her closer to achieving a new job and ultimately, self-sufficiency.

We recognize the impact dressing appropriately for an interview has on the confidence of the women striving to improve their lives, and the invaluable network of support and career development Dress for Success Indianapolis provides women re-entering the workforce.  Steve elaborates, “We’ve gotten to know the organization’s amazing leaders and volunteers. Our involvement includes providing year round drop-off locations for individuals who wish to donate women’s suits and blouses.  Each year we support Dress for Success Indianapolis during their Send One Suit (S.O.S) campaign by picking up donations from the private drives and bringing them to our main facility to sort and clean.  We are proud to be the organization’s Stepping out in Style After Party Sponsor once again in 2019 and its partner for Send One Suit Month. Learn more about our partnership for S.O.S. here.

We value and appreciate all the Dress for Success Indianapolis does to promote personal and professional business practices that will help enhance the lives of the women and their families in our community.  Congratulations on another successful year of developing, encouraging and enhancing the lives of so many women in our city.


Model Feature: Joyce Irwin, President & CEO, Community Health Network Foundation

Ladies don’t be too hard on yourself! That’s a lesson Joyce Irwin, President and CEO of Community Health Network Foundation, learned over the years. Now she’s sharing those words of wisdom with other women.

Joyce says she always felt a responsibility to save the world, a feeling that stems from overcoming a life-threatening medical condition as a child. She was left in a coma and woke up facing many health challenges. Joyce credits her strong family, teachers, and the community for helping her through. “A foundation helped me, which I think has led me to where I am today,” said Joyce. “The doctors and nurses, so I’ve always been fascinated with the work the doctors and nurses do so selflessly.”

After recovering, Joyce says since she was saved, she thought she had a responsibility to save the world. “I was always waiting for that big thing that I was supposed to be, that I was looking for to do,” she said. “That always left me inside feeling that I was not living up to my potential.”

Joyce says it was a discussion she had with President George W. Bush, when she was being recognized as an outstanding volunteer for the state, that led her to look through her life in a different lens. “I realized it’s not that one big thing that you’re called to do, it’s those simple things that you’re called to do every single day of your life and helping somebody every single day of your life,” she said. “And so instead of the one big thing, I now try to look for those things that I can make a difference in somebody’s life every day.”

Joyce’s passion is helping others and giving back. She mentors women to put them in the right position to achieve their best. Joyce says she’s been blessed and has had many opportunities along her career path, and she wants women to see all the possibilities. “Not always take the path that people tell you that you need to go down. That you can blaze your own trail.

2019 Model Luncheon Recap


The Model Luncheon is the exclusive kickoff event for our annual fundraiser, Stepping Out in Style.  With this year being our 20th anniversary, we invited all prior Stepping Out in Style models, Pearl Society members, and our top partners to an afternoon of networking, fashion, and inspiration.  This year’s luncheon ended with the introduction of the 2019 models and words of wisdom from previous models to our guests and models. Check out the photo gallery below or here.

2019 Model Luncheon

Bedel Financial, Platinum Wine Pull Sponsor, is Helping Women Prepare for Their Future

4 out of 5 women will find themselves in total control of their finances or their family’s finances at some point in their lives. Are you prepared?

At Bedel Financial, we know that a sense of financial security is a basic need for all women. Financial security and planning for an ideal future is at the core of what Bedel Financial does, and it’s at the heart of what Dress for Success is all about. That’s why we continue to support this wonderful organization year-after-year. We know how important financial security is to a family – and to women in particular.

We are proud to share our Women & Money eBook with the hope that it will serve as a guide to all of the women affiliated with Dress for Success. Please feel free to share with anyone who you think might benefit from reading it.

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2018 SOIS Model and TV Personality, Karen Laine aka Mamma Chick, on DFS and Achieving Personal Success

Karen Laine, Mama Chick, Two Chicks and A Hammer


You are passionate about many causes. What do you love about Dress for Success?

Dress for success resonates with me because it gives women a hand up; teaching them the skills they need to be successful in their job search.  It’s not just about getting dressed up, it’s about interviewing skills, communication skills, job finding skills, things that may not come naturally and need coaching.  Also, the folks who work at dress for success, and those who volunteer their time are so passionate about their mission to help women be self-sufficient, it can’t help but rub off!

Many of our women are getting a second chance to accomplish their goals and, honestly, a good stable life. What advice would you give to a woman just getting started on her professional journey?

It may feel as though getting the job is your dream has come true and the hard part is over, but keeping a job takes just as much diligence as getting it.  Keeping the job is extremely important.  Skipping from job to job makes each job harder to obtain.  Also, learning to save is as important as it is difficult.  Saving a small percentage rigorously and regularly is crucial.

What do you think women must know about success? Any misconceptions about what it means to be successful?

I could be wrong, but I think we each get to define our own success.  For me it means doing the right thing, even if it is the hard thing, and feeling that if my actions were written in a headline, I could be proud.

A hammer and nail gun weren’t always the tools of your trade.  You’ve changed careers. How did that happen? How can a woman change lanes and find her passion?

I changed careers because the universe pulled up, opened the door of a new ride that I knew nothing about, and said “get in”.  The universe has never failed me, and it is my nature to jump in.  I wanted to be on stage when I was very young (maybe 7 years old) and part of a local summer theater program, but I got terrible stage fright on my first attempt and gave up.  It’s gratifying to have the barely glowing embers of that old passion reignited so many years later.  And I don’t think it was luck.  I think it was an energy I was putting into the universe and the universe responded.  I guess what I am saying is that if you want to change lanes, you have to do all the things to be ready for the new lane, keep an eye peeled for the opportunity to move, then joyfully move into it when the opportunity arises.

How important is it for people to have the support of their village or tribe in accomplishing goals?

You couldn’t tell this by meeting me, or seeing me on TV, but I am a loner.  Although I like self-sufficiency best, I am aware that I wouldn’t be where I am without a huge team: parents, siblings, teachers, friends, mentors, bosses, co-workers, priests, neighbors.  I have learned that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.  Also, when I help someone else, it makes me feel wonderful.  By not asking for help, I am denying someone else the experience of generosity, which is its own kind of selfishness.

What piece of clothing makes you feel confident and powerful?

I feel best in a white button-down blouse with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of flattering trousers with pockets I can jam my hands into.

Any tips for networking and interviewing?

I haven’t interviewed for a job in so long, that my tips may be a little old school.  Prep by learning about the company and the interviewer (if possible).  Be ready with reasons why you are right for the job.  Go into the ladies’ room right before you interview and make yourself big: raise your arms, take a deep breath, plant your feet confidently.  Feel the power of the stance.  Breathe in confidence (not arrogance).  During your interview, sit with good posture.  Make eye contact.  Answer questions directly and concisely.  Ask the interviewer questions relevant to the job.  As for networking, I have no skill at it, but have a friend who does it effortlessly and I am always amazed by her.  She does a lot of volunteer work and belongs to all the possible professional organizations time allows.  She is always extending a hand in greeting wherever she goes.  She is genuinely interested in the lives of the people she meets and has some way of remembering even the smallest details about people.  This behavior has created a vast pool of people from which she can draw when she has a need.


Find Karen on FB @MammaChick   IG @kelaine217   Twitter @MammaChick1    HGTV Good Bones

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