You are on page 1of 10



Shawana Hart

Wilmington University


Highlighted in this agency paper is the powerful and impactful organization that I am currently

completing my guided practicum, Great Dames. Topics of discussion throughout this report will reflect

the positive influence and initiatives that the Great Dames community has on issues that affect women

and girls. The lives of women and girls undergo a transformation through the unique programs offered.

Highly impact programs that transform the lives of women and girls is the basis in which the Great

Dames operates to attain the mission and goals through purpose which creates positive change through

self-discovery, inspiration, and action.


Kindred Spirits with Purpose

During the Fall 2016 semester, I had an opportunity to attend a workshop hosted by Wilmington

University. The workshop presented by Sharon Kelly Hake, Great Dames Founder, President entitled

Unleash Your Inner Leader. I thought to myself, attending this workshop could yield a life to alter

change that would be an opportunity to learn to assess and define my strengths that would afford me

an opportunity to create my ideal world and manifest the life and legacy Ive always dreamed. My

expectations proceeded themselves; I never imagined I would have experienced inspiration that ignited

my passions and has helped to unleash my inner leader. Hence, I decided to intern with Great Dames

after beholding the positive, impactful message that resonated with me and others.


The Great Dames mission is to find the Great Dames in every person (Great Dames, 2017). Create

legacies by activating your Great Dameness and joining the Great Dames community just as many other

influential women have done and are doing. Who is part of the Great Dames Circe? Members are

smart, interesting, influential women of all ages and backgrounds (Great Dames, 2017). The world

needs leaders who bring skills and passion to their personal, professional and community service lives

(Great Dames, 2017). Programs such as Great Dames Powerful Conversations Series inspire and ignite

the passions within which manifests into the lives of women and girls. These conversations aid growth

in confidence, courage, and community-building by engaging in open conversations.


Great Dames has a diverse community of women and men of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and

cultures. Per Great Dames (2017) the community has over 6,000 women attending conversations,

salons, workshops, speeches, and programs and over 3,000 women in the database. Currently, there

are three active chapters Delaware, Philadelphia, and Rochester, NY, comprising more than 100 women

who are mentors for Aspiring Dames. To date, sixty-six new members and 20 new Aspiring Dames have

joined the Member Circle since January with numbers increasing daily. Members enable Great Dames

to continue extraordinary work to empower women and girls.

Policies and Procedures

According to Great Dames (2017) Great Dames builds awareness and financial support for causes that

are fundamental to women. The proceeds from program attendance, Great Dames donates the net

profits to organizations that empower women and girls. Programs serve as platforms for organizations

and individuals to cultivate their vision to a broad community of decision-makers and movers and

shakers. Annually, thousands of volunteers donate hours to support women, girls, and families in their

local communities.

In 2016, Great Dames board members along with Sharon Kelly Hake, cultivated an active, working

board. Collaboratively, they created and designed a streamlined portfolio with the replicable offerings

leading the way for a new chapter in Rochester, NY. Through the implementation of a qualitative

survey, the Great Dames community provided input and offered suggestions that provided a better

understanding of the needs of the diverse community. The inclusiveness and involvement of the Great

Dames community, board members, and Sharon Kelly Hake helps to foster an environment of respect,

reciprocity, and unity. Sharing of ideas, input, and suggestions, has lent itself to identifying priorities for

2017. Top priorities for 2017 include the necessity for developing a sustainable fund-raising plan,

developing task forces that focus on marketing and outreach, as well as implementing additional

programs and events per Great Dames (2017).


Sharon Kelly Hake, Founder, and President of Great Dames is a passionate advocate that recognized

her leadership abilities. Through her self-awareness, Sharon has been able to compel women to act to

enhance their personal and professional leadership skills. As an alumnus of the Fox School of Business

at Temple University and Penn State University graduate, Sharon holds an MBA in finance and

marketing. She had a successful career as a global marketing and strategy leader at DuPont. The fire in

her belly and the conviction to serve other women activated her Great Dameness which lead to the

development of Great Dames as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2016 per Great Dames (2017).

Great Dames, 100% volunteer operated organization, wholly supported by strong leadership, active

volunteers and generous sponsors whose highly motivated community leaders and seasoned

professionals comprise the Great Dames board and volunteers (Great Dames, 2017). Volunteers run all

aspects of Great Dames programs where they can build lasting relationships while making a positive

impact. Currently, two vacancies exist on the Board, Treasurer, and Secretary. The board is diligently

seeking qualified candidates to fulfill these essential roles.


Great Dames incorporated the non-profit model in 2016, capable of creating a sustainable portfolio

consisting of donations, seed monies, donations, grants, and pending proposals. In 2016, $55,000 in

donations supported the cost of programming, $50,000. In 2017, Great Dames expects to increase

revenue and expenses with the expansion of program development and employing an Executive Director.

Per Great Dames (2017), an anticipated need of $30,000 through sponsorships, $10,000 from

foundations, $5,500 donor contributions, and $10,000 from memberships will be needed to support

programming. Great Dames (2017) applied for a $15,000 grant through Funds for Women, Delaware

submitted on January 31, 2017. These funds will be beneficial, serving to offset the cost of new programs.

Through the networking efforts of Sharon Kelly Hake, recently a secured $12,000 grant was awarded for

three years from Red Dolphin. Additionally, upcoming meetings scheduled with Century Trust

Philadelphia, and QVC.

Relationship to other agencies

According to Great Dames (2017), business relationships and connections with various organizations,

small businesses, and academic organizations continue to cultivate. Great Dames is currently

collaborating with Wilmington University for increased sponsorship and referrals. Several events have

been held at Harrys Savory Grill, as well. Harrys Savory Grill continues its sponsorship and is a

generous donor. Additionally, Galer Estate Vineyards and Winery, a family owned and operated winery,

located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania has sponsored and hosted a membership event January 20,

2017. Galer Estate Vineyards and Winery offered marketing via word of mouth which exposed many

Aspiring Dames and potential members to learn more about the benefits of joining the Great Dames

community. Thus, many of the local attendees are interested in chartering a Chester County Great

Dames Chapter.

Strengths, Trends, and Challenges

Great Dames provides a safe-haven for women to grow both professionally and personally. Great

Dames takes an integrated approach towards life and freedom to discuss personal, family, relationship,

business, spiritual and professional topics (Great Dames, 2017). Through strengthening and supporting

women, ideally, families and communities are empowered. As an organization that supports and is

concerned with issues pertaining to women, unfortunately, under the new Presidential administration

potential, adverse, short-term effects could inherently impact the progress of women leaders,

initiatives, and movements. Women must continue to mobilize and demand equality and be supported

by organizations such as Great Dames.

Women support and empowerment groups are prevalent nationwide. Great Dames must continue to

develop innovative programs and topics of discussion that set them apart. They must be able to appeal

to individuals and involve them in their cause, and the must build a culture that is consistent with their

mission and produces results (Kiser, 2016). Developing collaborations with organizations that have a

strong female workforce, support women issues, and that have similar programs and services must

become a priority for the Great Dames. Most communication and dissemination of information is done

90% of the time, virtually. While this is an efficient use of time, it can alienate those that are not

technically well informed, disenfranchised or prefer face to face contact and tangibles (Kiser, 2016).

Intern Role

My role as a Great Dames intern consists of creating three essential plans to engage our key target

audiences in a way that supports Great Dames 2017 growth objectives and program execution at the

Delaware and Philadelphia Chapters per Great Dames (2017).

I. Outreach & Fundraising Plan

o Targets all key constituents to generate $75,000 in new revenue in 2017
Donors (individual and corporate)
Grant Makers
Great Dames Circle Members
Great Dames Event Ticket Buyers
II. Program Development Plan
o NEW Great Dames Peer-to-Peer Advisory Circles program
Design 12-month curriculum for monthly peer group meetings for two groups
(Philadelphia & Delaware) beginning Spring 2017.
III. Strategic Marketing Plan
o includes objectives, strategies, tactics and metrics for all target audiences and markets
o includes recommendations for effective Marketing Communications to support Great
Dames audiences and programs
Great Dames e-newsletters/invitations /communications
Marketing fliers to support programs, using GD template
Social media and other digital media outlets
Special communications/engagement with Great Dames Circle members

In closing, Great Dames has had a positive impact on my personal and professional life. It has been

an exhilarating experience, thus far. I look forward to becoming self-aware and unleashing my Inner

Dame. I have made valuable connections that will produce a harvest of abundance, support, and

wisdom. I aspire to become an active Great Dames member to be afforded opportunities to learn, grow

and go pay it forward.



Executive Leadership Organizational Structure

H. Pannill Fund Board Brad Beck
Taylor Member Fund Board
Fund Board Member
Rita S. Wilkins Laura
Fund Board
Fund Board
Chair Sharon Evets
Kelly Hake Chair
Palokoff Founder Robert Ford
Fund Board
Fund Board
Rochester, NY President Technology
Leader Chair
Nina Sherak Maria Hess
Fund Board Valerie Jermusyk Fund Board
Mentoring Fund Board Marketing
Programs Development Chair
Chair Committee
Dian O'Leary
Fund Board
Markerting Committee

Volunteer and Graduate Intern Organizational Structure

Shawana Hart
Heather Cassey
Brad Beck
Maria Hess
Carol Keith
J. Davidson-Walker
Ashley Lewis
Sherize Urquhart
Cimone Philpotts
Juanita Foster
Marketing Kelli Stranahan
& Kathy Palokoff
Communications Nance Goyette Duncan Integrated Technology
Shawana Hart Heidi Trost Carole Lange
Dian O'Leary Britney Gulledge
Stefanie Roselle
Monica Weber

Event Planning
Shawana Hart
Jaye Pedante
Lele Galer
Kelli Stranahan
Kristin Miller
Carol DeMaio
Emily Polito
Izzy Mead


Great Dames (n.d.). Retrieved on February 4, 2017 from

Great Dames Interviewed on January 9, 2017, January 12, 2017, January 16, 2017, January 23, 2017,

January 26, 2017, January 31, 2017, February 1, 2017, February 2, 2017, February 6, 2017,

February 7, 2017

Hake, S.K. (2015, September 15). Discover your inner leader. [TedX Wilmington Salon]

Retrieved from


Kiser, P.M. (2016). The human services internship: Getting the most from your experience: (4th ed).

Communicating in your internship. (pp. 189-191). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning