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Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County presents the Denise “Denny” Taft Davidoff Empowerment Award to recognize and celebrate exceptional champions of gender equity and women’s advancement. Denny, was a powerful life force dedicated to empowering people in the workforce, marketplace, and community. After graduating from Vassar College in 1952, she started her own public relations firm, Davidoff and Partners, in Norwalk, Connecticut. She was owner, chief executive, and president of this company until she sold it in 1991. Denny was a founding director of the Interfaith Alliance, President of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, and a member of the Trustee Council of the World Conference on Religion and Peace.

Denny provided 25 years of commitment and service to the workforce of Southwestern Connecticut as a Board Member, Vice Chairwoman, and Chairwoman of The WorkPlace Board of Directors. Her efforts helped grow The WorkPlace from a local, community non-profit to a national leader in workforce development with more than twenty job training programs for a wide variety of jobless and marginalized clients, including the Dress for Success program.

It was a natural fit to name our first annual empowerment award after Denny. She was a mentor to me and hundreds of other men and women who crossed her path, and her legacy will remain for years to come through the organizations and individuals who have been touched by her incredible spirit.

Teresa C. Younger has served as President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the oldest women’s foundation in the United States. Under Teresa’s leadership, the Foundation launched #MyFeminismIs, a multimedia campaign sparking a national conversation on feminism; funded a groundbreaking report on the sexual abuse to prison pipeline; joined leading women’s foundations at the White House to announce a $100 million funding commitment to create pathways to economic opportunity for low-income women and girls; and led a campaign to hold the NFL accountable for violence against women.

A noted speaker, advocate, and activist, Teresa has been on the frontlines of some of the most important battles for women’s health, safety and economic justice. She was honored by Planned Parenthood Federation of America as a Dream Keeper, given Liberty Bank’s Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award, and named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Philanthropy” by Inside Philanthropy. Younger previously served as the executive director of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and as executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut.

This document was supported by Grant 90FX0043 from the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS. HPOG is a study funded by the federal government which is being conducted to determine how these training opportunities help people improve their skills and find better jobs. During the study, all new eligible applicants will be selected by lottery to participate in these training opportunities. Not all eligible applicants will be selected to participate in these opportunities.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded to the Connecticut Department of Labor by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by The WorkPlace and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S. Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked site and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeless, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for non-commercial purpose is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owners.

The Heath Career Academy, Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant, and Strengthening Working Families Initiative are WorkPlace Opportunities. They are equal opportunity programs and auxiliary aids and service are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.