"The greatest success comes with being who we are truly created to be and making a significant impact in all the roles we play."
As communications and development manager at the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM), an organization that helps empower women, Kesha Whitaker knows what it means to make an impact.
“Working with so many dynamic women who work to uplift women and children is inspiring. I feel very blessed to come in contact with so many diverse women from all walks of life who stand for something and want to make Memphis better for everyone,” she says.
Her year so far has been busy with WFGM’s biggest events to engage and inspire modern women around Memphis - The Modern Day Woman's Conference and the Annual Tribute Luncheon and Symposium.
“This was the second year we hosted the Modern Day Woman's Conference with the Young Women Philanthropists, and they did an excellent job of developing workshops and finding the top women leaders in the community to share their expertise about balancing personal, professional, and community endeavors. We also added a fashion show this year with modern-day women who pride themselves on being good at what they do and looking good while doing it. The Annual Tribute Luncheon was fabulous. Our keynote speaker was Jasmine Guy and she brought so much inspiration and motivation.”
The day-to-day environment at the WFGM office also has that positive energy. “It's a great environment because our talents complement one another so well and makes for great synergy. We're driven by the impact our work makes on women and children and the community as a whole,” Kesha explains.
With an office of all women, style is also a part of the energy. The amusing tidbit shared at the first Modern Day Woman’s Conference was that a typical business meeting in a room full of women begins with 10 minutes of “Oooh! Where did you get those shoes?” Sharing shopping resources and influencing each other’s style is a way to bond.
“I've tried different looks or accessories because I've seen something I like on my colleagues,” says Kesha who admitted to her dislike of shopping. “My best friend is an admitted ‘shopaholic’ and when I need to find something in particular, I go with her.”
With limited time, Kesha chooses classic and easy-to-wear pieces like suits and dresses. For this session, she shows off her shoulders and legs with a Maggy London dress fit for a night out or weekend brunch. As a former hair model, she considers her hairstyle as an accessory to complete the look. Kesha still does some runway and manages to use her modeling experience to make an impact — mentoring girls on etiquette and self-esteem through modeling. “It's not so much about being America's Next Top Model, but learning about life lessons, self-acceptance, how to walk with pride and carry yourself with class.”
Dress, Maggy London. Shoes, BCBG. Earrings, Kenneth Cole. Bracelet, Gift. Headband, Walmart.
Photographed at the Overton Square Parking Garage