Katie McGill of Valrico is the executive director of Dress for Success Tampa Bay and she is the recipient of the 2017 the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Community Hero Award. She is known in the community for her workshops and volunteerism.

Katie McGill of Valrico is a local powerhouse. She is the executive director of Dress for Success Tampa Bay and she is the recipient of the 2017 the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Community Hero Award. She is also known in the community for her workshops and volunteerism.

McGill developed the Success Strategies program for the Centre for Women, which provides intensive employment services to women ages 18-35 who are unemployed and underemployed. She implemented this program from a grant concept, operationalized and expanded, all in a very short period of time.

After working for Centre for Women for 10 years, she resigned and started her own organization called Let’s Talk Consulting Group. She facilitated numerous workshops and training seminars specializing in workforce development programs.

When Dress for Success’ founder, Pat Ellington, decided to start the local nonprofit, McGill immediately stepped up to volunteer for Ellington.

“When she came to the Centre for Women years ago and started talking about Dress for Success, I knew I wanted to volunteer with her and help her,” McGill said. “I love volunteering and giving back to our community.”

When Ellington retired, she asked McGill to take her place as executive director.

“I have been the executive director for 12 years now, but a volunteer since day one,” McGill said.

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

“We provide each client with professional attire to secure employment, but we are about much more than simply a new outfit,” McGill said. “Besides physically equipping the client with apparel and accessories, our programs furnish her with a confidence that she carries forever and the knowledge that she can actively define her life, the direction she takes and what success means to her.”

The recent pandemic has had an affect on Dress for Success. Donations are down and the needs have increased.

“We are in need of under garments, plus-size business attire and we can always use black dress pants in all sizes,” McGill said. “We are also needing large-sized dress shoes.”

To learn more about Dress for Success or to make a donation to the local nonprofit, visit www.tampabay.dressforsuccess.org or call 259-1876. Dress for Success is located at 1705 N. Howard Ave. in Tampa.