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Meet Your 2021 Honorees

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Joe Freeman

Over the past 25+ years Joe has worked at Big 4 Professional Services firms, as an entrepreneur, leader of a small business in trucking, financial services, creator of CPG brands and as a chief executive of a mid-size company with nearly 300 people. Joe’s approach is to build great teams that will deliver great results. He prides himself in the development of teams who can execute strategic plans of organizations and maintain a culture that leads to consistent growth. In short, People Matter, Culture Matters and Results Matter. Joe’s experience as an entrepreneurial CEO has led him to banking, financial services, lending, fintech, collections, online marketing, transportation, retail and start up growth ventures. He has learned by performing a variety of leadership roles in developing strategy, SWOT analysis, operations, loan servicing, lending, culture, collections and even help create and maintain $300M bank syndicate. Experience in leading consumer lending, collections, marketing & digital marketing, Amazon sales, selling to big box chains, project management, online customer acquisition, government relations, retail branch operations, call center operations, mergers and acquisitions, product development, executive management, and leadership development. Joe has been a CEO, a CSO, a COO, a CLO and possess the abilities to work at any level in the organization. He focused on developing human capital by leading teams to grow products, processes and operational efficiency while building and maintaining a strong, award-winning culture. By working in startup environments to mature companies with hundreds of team members, he’s gained a strong insight in growing businesses. Regardless of the size of a company, by focusing on the people it will allow the company to achieve its goals. Being a strong servant leader is a goal he works on each day. Vast experiences in many arenas allow a unique view into any business and offer ways to make it better and stronger with hard work, tenacity and by having a little fun. Life is too short to not enjoy the work you do or the people you work with. Over the years Joe has been lucky to have leadership roles in multiple industries and the success he’s achieved has been accomplished with hard work, tenacious effort and building outstanding teams. Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can, or you can't, your right." This is one of Joe’s favorite quotes and reflective of what can happen when a special group of people are aligned, motivated and capable of accomplishing great things together.

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Catherine Ashly

Strength, inner beauty and art personified are all fair and accurate descriptions for Catherine Ashly. Her career began much like most artists, at an early age. Catherine found herself consumed with helping young girls express their inner beauty to their outside canvas and she has not stopped. After serving as a traveling stylist, Catherine began her professional career as a licensed cosmetologist in 2012. Since then, she furthered her craft and is now a licensed Master Educator of Cosmetology. Catherine’s outside of the box approach to teaching encourages students to identify their specialties. By celebrating their artistic differences, she prepares them for a long-lasting career. Through Catherine Ashly Beauty, Catherine continues to help her clients see themselves in a light that promotes self-love; one of many reasons that named her business one of Philadelphia’s top salons. In 2015 Philadelphia Magazine nominated her as a top hair stylist for textured hair. As life would have it, challenges forced Catherine to find the very strength she taught others to find in themselves. After ending an abusive relationship, she stopped at nothing to regain her confidence. This new profound self-love landed her in countless pageants and modeling campaigns. In true Catherine Ashly form, she knocked down boundaries and surpassed all expectations. While modeling she made many connections and offered her gifts to her modeling counterparts. These business opportunities bridged the gap between the two things that Catherine loved so much! No longer did she need to pick between modeling or a beauty career, she suddenly had both in the palm of her hands. With every client she services, no matter the size, shape, age or gender, Catherine strives to make each person feel special. Her mantra empowers all to appreciate the skin that they are in, flaws and all. A West Philadelphia native, Catherine Ashly’s brand affects the tristate area with the sky as the limit. Her infectious smile continues to inspire all whom she encounters. While Catherine continues to break boundaries in all things beauty, her greatest accomplishments include sharing a life of love with James Burke, Jr. her two sons, William & James, III, and daughter Norah Jean. A hairstylist, an educator, an entrepreneur, a model, lover, mother, daughter, sister and friend, no label is large enough for the incomparable Catherine Ashly.

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Madeline Jones

Madeline Jones, along with her business partner Valery Amador, took the magazine world by storm in 2006 when they launched PLUS Model Magazine as a way to create change in the plus-size fashion industry. She felt that by offering a media outlet geared towards full-figured women that were relatable and body-positive, those women would be inspired to be more confident and empowered to live their best lives. Twelve years later, Jones has not only created change in the fashion industry but has successfully run a magazine that has since propelled the careers of many plus-size models and designers and has solidified a name for itself as one of the major media players in the plus-size world. She’s an industry triple threat, having also become a successful style influencer, mentor and advisor over the last decade. She successfully launched her Ageless Style brand in December 2017, targeting those women over 40, like herself, with the mission to empower them to know that fashion is not dictated by age or size. She has partnered with brands such as Fullbeauty, Lane Bryant, Avenue, Dia & Co, and Gwynnie Bee to expand on her Ageless Style brand, using the hashtag #AgelessStyle on social media to also make the brand evolve into a movement, which it has. She has also appeared as a live model on QVC for Marla Wynne, whom she worked with as an advisor and influencer as well, on her clothing line. Jones has mentored many up-and-coming models, educating them on the how-to’s of the modeling world, as well as partnering with her husband Luke Jones to create User Generated Content for brands such as Dia &Co., Avenue, Lane Bryant, and others. Jones has also advised many plus size brands on their apparel assortments, campaigns and model choices. Social media has also been a way for Jones to show off her relatable personality and industry knowledge. Having hosted Instagram and Facebook LIVE segments at major events such as theCurvyCon and The Curve Expo, as well as Instagram takeovers on brands’ channels, she has proven to be successfully influential when it comes to showcasing brands to their fans and customers on social media. Recognized as a major plus-size industry authority worldwide, Jones has been interviewed by over 200 media outlets including CNN, World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, The Today Show, Extra, Fox News and ET. She is a prime example of someone who is passionate about continuing her mission of bringing change within the plus-size industry. She is fearless in her voice and in her role as an advocate for plus size women and now big and tall men, who also want to be represented and seen. Jones plans to continue to advise brands to show more diversity in their campaigns, expand her Ageless Style brand to include more video content, and keep PLUS Model Magazine in the media forefront of the plus-size industry. Jones currently resides in New York City with her husband Luke and daughter Madison, where the husband and wife team operate together.

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Lane Bryant

Lane Bryant is a woman-founded, woman-led brand, that ingeniously creates versatile styles with impeccable fit that give our customer the confidence to create her lane, her own way. Empowering women is kind of our thing. We aim to inspire her to live a life filled with possibilities in work, play, and love within our product assortment. From our clothing, accessories and LIVI activewear, to our exclusive intimate apparel brand Cacique Intimates, Lane Bryant offers style with solutions. What does that mean? Style with solutions is the perfect convergence of fashion, fit, comfort and versatility from the inside out. That’s what makes Lane Bryant the go-to plus size clothing brand for women. At Lane Bryant, we believe that every woman can (and will) achieve what she wants. And that possibilities are endless. If you love fashion and want to work for a brand that places an emphasis on empowering the customers, social media followers, and associates in its community, Lane Bryant is the place for you. Create your lane with us at our Columbus, Ohio brand headquarters, or at any of our stores nationwide.

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Terri Fox Murray

Terri began her modeling career as a grandmother over twenty-seven years ago after answering an ad for a full-time fit model at LANE BRYANT Corporate, in Columbus, Ohio. At Lane Bryant, there were national fashion show productions, sales training videos and her body was made into a mannequin and distributed all over the world. She developed the WEAR TEST PROGRAM and their FIT FOCUS GROUP and is considered a fit expert in the industry. After nine years at Lane Bryant and at 54, Terri signed a contract with FORD MODELS NYC and soon moved to New York. Terri was also fit model at MSA Models in NYC and QVC recruited her as their house fit model. She was interviewed in the January "Icon" issue of PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE where she was also contributing editor, was featured in POSE Magazine’s Most Inspirational Issue, a guest on BLOG TALK RADIO and appeared on the TYRA BANKS SHOW and the TODAY SHOW as the GLAMOROUS GRANDMA. Her talents were utilized at PROJECT RUNWAY, and the MACYS THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE. FULL-FIGURED FASHION WEEK awarded her PLUS FIT MODEL OF THE YEAR 2011 and INDUSTRY LEGEND 2016 in NYC. Terri has been featured in BRENDA JOYCE JOHNSON'S book, "GET NOTICED!" and KENYATTA JOHNSON'S book, "PLUS MODEL BLUEPRINT." She is also PAST PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK TRI-STATE CHAPTER OF AICI and served as Regional Director of FASHION GROUP INTERNATIONAL in Ohio Most of her time is spent training, scouting, booking and consulting with models at her agency TERRI MURRAY MODELS. Her passion and successful career as a model, agent, trainer, and consultant will motivate and inspire you to "Dream On; Dream Big!”

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