sharan mcpadden

Board member

“As a founding board member, I have served in many capacities as treasurer, vice president, president, volunteer coordinator, etc., but my favorite role is suiting clients. To me, that is the most rewarding experience and what keeps me focused on our mission — what we are about and where we are going next. Suit Yourself is a small piece of Heaven to help these women get back up on their feet and leave our boutique feeling empowered, confident, and beautiful! That is what makes our organization so special. Everyone is treated with kindness and respect. We don’t judge; we are here to help. I have a greater appreciation for humanity since being part of this organization. I’m grateful for the clients I serve who are sometimes at the lowest point of their lives yet so optimistic — and thankful for our faithful donors and community who believe in our mission.”


alice harden

Board president

“Currently I am employed at Catholic Charities in Ashtabula County as the family and community services supervisor. I became involved with Suit Yourself when at a previous employer there was a request to expand the program and provide services to Ashtabula County. When the building we were in closed, I tried to find other places that could house the group. Catholic Charities was given space on the second floor of its current location to operate a clothing distribution center, and it was only natural that Suit Yourself be given space to provide services at the same time. I have been on the board for a little over a year and currently hold the vice president position.”


barbara britt

board treasurer

“I remember August 2003 like it was yesterday! Two women came to my office during the same week with the same concern. One was a 42-year-old single parent who wore a size 28; the other was a 22-year-old who wore size 2. Both excelled academically, graduating at the top of their respective degree programs; both had stellar resumes and were well prepared for the job market; and both were in tears because they lacked funds to dress professionally. After a quick post on our electronic bulletin board for employees, I found myself inundated with new and gently used clothing and accessories the next morning. Needless to say, both new graduates wore these donations to interviews and received the job offers of their dreams. And so was the birth of Suit Yourself.”






arlene becks

board member

“In 2003 I became a charter board member of Suit Yourself because there were no other organizations in Lake County to assist women who needed assistance with clothing  and help enhance their confidence while seeking employment.Together with our all-volunteer Board I have been a part of the organization’s growth process. I continue to work with Suit Yourself to help make a difference in my community and women in need. I have served as a Councilwoman for the city of Painesville from 2000 – 2009 and have had the honor of meeting historical figures including Rosa Parks, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.”


virginia cola

board member

“I was retiring soon, and at the time a friend was a Suit Yourself board member. Like most volunteer organizations, the need for volunteers is paramount, and my friend didn’t miss the opportunity to introduce me to Suit Yourself, filling me in on the organization, what the organization does, and how I could become a part of it. I went through the volunteer training and began volunteering to suit clients. Suiting clients is a rewarding activity especially when you see the difference it makes in the women who are served. For me, being a board member involves attending monthly meetings, assisting with planned activities, helping with clothing collection Saturday, suiting clients, and in general helping where it is needed.”


helen drake

board Vice president

“I am retired from the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, where I worked with individuals with disabilities to help them return to work. I’ve been on the board for Suit Yourself since 2007. I’ve served as president, vice president, and fundraising chair.”


Lynn Hadesh

board member

“I was encouraged by my sister to consider becoming involved with Suit Yourself. After listening to her speak about what was involved with this organization and how it helped so many people, I decided it was time to see about becoming a volunteer. Today I serve as a board member as well. After a couple years of suiting clients, I took on the role of scheduling clients for their suiting appointments. I also manage our client database and work with two consignment shops to resale items that do not suit our clients.”


jill oliver

board Secretary

“I have had the pleasure of being with Suit Yourself since the very beginning! I first became involved when I received an invitation in 2002 to join a group of women meeting to discuss an idea of serving women in need. Since 2002, I have served as a member of the board of trustees and have been active on many committees including the nominating committee, the facilities committee, the policies and procedures committee, and the fundraising committee. I have also been an officer of the board, serving as the treasurer, for approximately twelve years. Currently I serve as chair of the reverse raffle fundraiser, which raises a large portion of our annual income. “


Ruthann Volann

Board member

“I learned about Suit Yourself while I was part of the Women’s Center at Lakeland Community College. I had decided to return to school to finish my Human Resources Management degree after a devastating divorce left me a single mother to raise three girls. The group asked me to be a keynote speaker at an event. I fell in love with SY and their mission. As a director of talent acquisition for a local company, and as a recipient of academic and emotional support as well, I am passionate about helping other women build their confidence to find a career or job that they can be equally passionate about.”


Board Member


Jan MEtcalf

Board Member

“My commitment to Suit Yourself began when I became aware of the organization at an information fair hosted by the Professional Women’s Institute at Lakeland Community College. I decided then and there that I would like to be a part of it. During my years with Suit Yourself, my biggest commitment has been to keep the boutique in order and ready for clients to choose the outfits they would like to wear. Working on donation days is a big part of my commitment to Suit Yourself — along with the work necessary to get the donations on the racks for the clients. Suiting clients is always rewarding as it helps reinforce the reasons why we became involved in the first place. Offices I have held include vice president and secretary. Recently I spearheaded the annual appeal campaign to help raise funds to further the work we do.”


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