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Conference holds fashion showcase

By Sara Patrick
On April 3, 2012

The 2012 Women Mean Business Conference, which was held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 in Twelve Oaks Reception Hall, included its first Women Mean Fashion Showcase. Southeastern students and alumni modeled fashions from local businesses during the fashion show, which took place at 12:45 p.m.  

"We wanted to infuse a little fun into the educational activities," said Sandy Summers, the assistant director of the Small Business Development Center. "It's been awesome. Everyone made a lot of good networking connections."

Twelve Oaks Reception Hall was full of business women and Southeastern students who were eager to watch the fashion show.

"It was really nice," said Toni Jackson, the director of Benevolent Rural Alliance for Cultural and Environmental Strategies (B.R.A.C.E.S.). "We learned where Three Sisters was. They have some nice, cute things. I really enjoyed it."

The fashion show was organized by the Family and Consumer Sciences 481 class and was directed by Avery Hinyard and Kristina Colletta, two Southeastern students majoring in fashion merchandising. Colletta also modeled a purple evening gown in the show.

Among the other models were many Southeastern students from a variety of majors and one alumnae.

Nancy Bourgeois, a representative of the Tangipahoa Professional Women's Organization, modeled two colorful summer outfits in the fashion show.

"It's been a great experience working with these young women," said Bourgeois, who graduated from Southeastern in 1980. "We hope that today's activities will inspire them in their chosen careers because women rock."

Amber Cardinale, who has also modeled for Aveda in the past, enjoyed the overall experience of modeling in the Women Mean Business Fashion Showcase.

"It was really awesome," said Cardinale, a junior majoring in nursing. "I was really nervous at first, but it went by so fast."

Cardinale modeled a daytime summer outfit and a teal ball gown in the show.

The four segments of the fashion show featured clothing for resort wear, light evening wear, business attire and formal wear. Outfits for the fashion show were provided by fashion designer Caleb Courtney, Dillard's Department Store, Ruby, Stella Boutique, Three Sisters Boutique and Trish's Formal Affair.

 "I think it's been a very good event," said Barbara Davis, a representative of Whitney Bank and a member of Tangipahoa Professional Women's Organization. "I'm glad to see so many business women here. I'm happy that I was able to attend. I really enjoyed the fashion show. I liked all the fashions they presented, and the models did a great job."

All of the women who attended the Women Mean Business Conference thoroughly enjoyed the conference for its guest speakers, networking opportunities and the addition of a fashion show.

For more information on the conference or future business events, contact Sandy Summers at



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