Women in Business
Take a memo: Delaware’s businesswomen have the vision, ability and tenacity to build thriving companies. Meet executives who’ve succeeded despite unthinkable loss, financial obstacles or resistance from employees in male-dominated fields.
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Christina Cultural Arts Center executive director Raye Jones Avery is one of Delaware’s most passionate supporters of equal educational opportunities. She also serves on the governance board of Kuumba Academy Charter School, which is one of five schools in the state to earn a federal award for closing the achievement gap for African-American students, Hispanic students and students with disabilities. “This success demonstrates that African-American and Hispanic students possess exceptional, multiple intelligences,” says Jones Avery. “Given the right set of conditions at home and at school, they have the ability to excel. No more excuses.”
Staying power CCAC is celebrating its 65th anniversary. Jones Avery has led its staff for 19 years and its partnership with Kuumba Academy for 10 years.
Connections Jones Avery was appointed by former Governor Ruth Ann Minner to serve on the LEAD Committee, then by Governor Jack Markell to his transition team.
Carey Pauley (pictured, left) and Christine Kendle are the owners of The Pink Turtle, an upscale gift shop in Greenville. The Pink Turtle caters to consumers who believe that a home is a reflection of personal taste and lifestyle. In other words, the owners know their customers. Business has already exceeded expectations, but this success was born of tragedy. Pauley lost her 10-year-old-daughter, Savannah, on September 13, 2009, after a battle with cancer. While Pauley had always wanted to open a boutique, she struggled to make sense of life after Savannah’s death. It was Kendle, her friend and running partner, who suggested they open a gift and accessory boutique.
What’s in a name? Both “pink” and “turtle” refer to Savannah. She was an honorary member of the women’s running club, The Turtles, and her favorite color was pink. The owners honor Savannah’s legacy by offering a line of SavannahStrong merchandise. “SavannahStrong is the phrase that was inspired by Savannah’s accomplishments and her incredible spirit while living with cancer,” says Pauley. All proceeds from SavannahStrong merchandise go to a different charity every month.
Money well spent SavannahStrong merchandise generated more than $2,000 in its first 10 weeks on the market. The money allowed The Pink Turtle to help pay tuition to Salesianum School for a boy whose father had cancer. Funds also were distributed to three children who lost their mother to cancer.
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