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The Fashion & Compassion Team

 

 

Beth Bell

Executive Director

Beth has a passion for providing opportunities for our most marginalized neighbors both locally and globally, as well as a passion for fashion! Beth spent 10 years as a jewelry designer and Fashion & Compassion is a perfect convergence of her experiences. Beth most recently was the National Charity Director at BeautyKind, and also has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and currently sits on several boards. She graduated from Vanderbilt University and loves everything about Nashville, especially the music scene. She is married to her college sweetheart, Doug, and they have two incredible sons, Doug and Freeman. When she’s not strategizing at Fashion & Compassion, you can find Beth with Doug traveling, hanging with family & friends, and spoiling their Plott Hound, Nash. Oh, and let’s not forget the occasional Netflix binge!

 

  

 

 

Janet Manzullo

Chief Operating Officer

Janet joined Fashion and Compassion after an extensive career leading operational teams in retail, financial services, and telecommunications. She is passionate about leading and helping others, and in finding ways to improve the world around her. She is the resident “organizer” and is known around here for her color-coded wall calendar to help us all keep things straight! Janet has been involved in many endeavors to serve her community through her church and other non-profit organizations over the years. She is a “glass half full” person who hasn’t met a problem she can’t solve. She and her husband, Ryan have 2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 2 granddaughters, and 2 grand-dogs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jen Grant

Finance/HR Manager

Jen recently joined Fashion & Compassion after volunteering with the organization (and deeming herself ‘unofficial jewelry brand ambassador’) for several years. After two decades in Corporate America, Jen was able to follow her heart and find the perfect mix of her HR and Accounting background combined with her passion for F&C’s mission. Originally raised on a farm in central Illinois, Jen has been in Charlotte for 16 years and loves the proximity to the beach and mountains. She is very involved in her church and other local charitable organizations, and has served on many global mission trips. Jen loves traveling, hiking, biking, and spending time with family and friends and is an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to following her beloved St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Adkisson

Artisan Empowerment Coordinator

Emily began volunteering with Fashion & Compassion after returning from 4 years of international travel and mission work. Her sweet spirit, genuine love for the Artisans and desire to see them flourish makes her the perfect fit for this role. Emily served with Adventures in Mission in the Philippines for 4 years as the Operations Supervisor including working as a Case Manager for up to 100 women, many who were survivors of sex-trafficking. She also participated in the World Race where she served in 11 countries in 1 year. She loves Christmas, decorating and we know who to call when we have a fun DIY project on hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Alexis Russo

Operations Coordinator

There are few things Alexis loves more than coffee and that’s women’s empowerment & the Gospel. She graduated from NC State in 2015 with a degree in Brand Management & Marketing from the Wilson College of Textiles. By the time she graduated she knew without a doubt the Lord had a plan for her to leverage her degree and passions for women’s empowerment for His name’s sake. Fast-forward to 2017 where her convictions and passions lead her to an accessories company in Kathmandu, Nepal where she became the operations queen! To her, running operations means she is better able to equip women with the tools they need, so that they may be able to accomplish their goals and re-discover their worth. Today you can find her fine-tuning our processes, getting lost in website code, tackling the inventory room, and solving whatever puzzles may come her way; but not before her first cup of coffee. 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Lyons

Administrative Coordinator

Emma is originally from New York State but found a home in the Carolinas in 2015. She met her husband Kevin shortly thereafter and they were married 365 days after their first date. Emma left the hotel-events world just before turning thirty to devote more time to her church and family. That decision allowed her to be available when God called her into outreach.  She formed relationships with local Charlotte organizations which led to her first non-profit/ministry position. Working closely with the city's homeless and vulnerable population inspired Emma to learn more about the struggles they face and how she can help ignite change in the community. When she's not wielding the justice spear, you can likely find her meandering through the grocery store isles dreaming up her next meal, or putting her collection of random knowledge to good use at a trivia night.  

 

 

 

 

 

Monica Warren

Jewelry Production and Design Lead

Monica is originally from Columbus, Ohio and has years of experience as a jewelry designer and wardrobe stylist. With a degree from The Ohio State University in mass communications she wrote a fashion blog for years and also ran a handmade jewelry business previously in Ohio. Growing up as a pastor's child she saw first hand how ministry and helping the less fortunate could impact the world and change the lives around her. She was a case manager for over 11 years and also worked for a non profit agency that focused on helping families get out of poverty. Her creative eye and fashion flair help her create jewelry designs that are trendy yet classic and are easily incorporated into any woman's wardrobe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leandra Caprini-Rosica

Communications, Marketing Coordinator & Photographer

Leandra started working with us as our photographer in September of 2019. After months of Leandra helping to build our brand image, she joined our team as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator. Leandragraduated from Loyola University, MD in 2017 with a degree in Communications and Digital Media. Her enthusiasm for deep connections with people from all cultures & traveling the world was furthered when she lived abroad in Belgium in 2016. Today, she tells the stories of our mission and is a key player on our team, while also growing her Intimate Wedding & Elopement business called Leandra Creative Co.  She loves chai tea, Thai food (too often) and photographing all the love.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Strahl

Carrie Strahl

Jewelry Designer

Carrie is the creative one in the group & the mastermind behind all of our designs! She has B.A. degree from Sarah Lawrence College & spent time studying Art in Lacoste, France. You might not believe us if we told she's a mother of seven because we can't believe it ourselves sometimes! She has a heart of gold & is an expert crafter! She also loves to garden, so we can always count on her to keep the fridge stocked with organic fruits, veggies & farm fresh eggs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Elizabeth McGarity

Creative & Design Manager

The only things Elizabeth might love more than traveling, photography & a good bracelet stack, are monograms, shoes & people! She's always up for a new challenge - and nail color - and has a deep desire to connect our customers to the hearts & hands behind each piece. She's the best party planner & her passion for people overflows into all parts of her life. Elizabeth is married to her high school sweetheart & has five kids! She attended NC State & helped plant Relevant Church in 2011, where her husband is the Lead Pastor. When she's not sharing stories or style tips, you can find her sipping La Croix & reading a good book! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Forlenza

Salesforce Administrator 

Julie recently joined Fashion & Compassion, after volunteering with them and falling in love with the organization and the work that they do.  After God and her family, Julie loves working with spreadsheets and databases and confesses to being a workaholic. Julie married her college sweetheart, David.  They raised two children together who are now married and live away from Charlotte.  When she’s not traveling to see one of her children, Julie enjoys running, reading and doing Pilates.  You may get to meet, Roxy, their beloved French Bulldog some day on the streets nearby, when Julie’s out on her numerous walks. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidist, Sawasm, and Mary
Lead Artisans
These three incredible women are our lead artisans for our Thursday & Friday Jewelry Projects. They are responsible for making sure project is set up properly for our artisans so that they may be as successful as possible! We adore them and their humility, kindness, and infectious joy!

 

Kidist is originally from Ethiopia and embodies a Proverbs 31 woman in every way. Her optimism, diligence, and incredible work ethic make her an amazing leader.  She leads with gentleness that invites people into every room, every space, and blesses each person she encounters.  When she’s not busy guiding Artisans through jewelry project, Kidist enjoys sewing, taking her beautiful family on walks, and hosting Friday night family nights complete with delicious food and movie watching. 

 

 Sawasm joined Fashion & Compassion in 2016 as an Artisan where she captured by the sweet community of women that gathered weekly, the beautiful pieces, and her desire to build relationships in her new home of the US.  Fast forward to 2020, and Sawasm joins Fashion & Compassion as a Lead Artisan where she serves as mentor and mother to the countless women at Project 658’s jewelry projects.  Her overwhelming strength, warmth, and resilience encourages Artisans weekly. She delights herself in getting her hands deep into the many evolving designs through Fashion & Compassion, even counting down the nights until jewelry project begins.  When she’s not immersed in crafting beautiful pieces of jewelry, she can be found teaching others how to knit, creating the most delicious baklava, and loving on her beautiful grandchildren.

 

Mary comes from Burma and as a loving mother of three she is dedicated, hardworking, and passionate about leading a life of legacy for her family.  She’s a self-described woman of few words, but her the words she speaks bring power and hope to so many, including each of the staff and Artisans at Fashion & Compassion! When she’s not at Fashion & Compassion, she’s busy working in her garden, cooking, chasing her youngest son Henry around, and loving on her church community.  You might even find Mary nestled up on the couch enjoying her favorite Netflix movies.