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ANN INC., Parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, Commits $1.3 Million to Vital Voices Global Partnership to Launch 'ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative' to Build and Empower National Network of Young Women Leaders

ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative Will Provide Mentorship and Leadership Training and Fund Community Projects to Improve Status of Women and Girls - 10 Grantees for 2011 Announced

Submitted by: ANN INC.

Categories: Human Resources & Diversity, Community Development

Posted: Oct 12, 2011 – 09:21 AM EST


NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /CSRwire/ - /PRNewswire/ - ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN) President and CEO, Kay Krill, joined Vital Voices President and CEO, Alyse Nelson, to officially launch a four-year investment in young women's leadership, the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative. ANN INC. has committed $1.3 million to this initiative, which will connect and inspire a strong network of high school junior and senior students across the United States. Selected applicants will receive leadership training and grants to develop projects to advance women and girls in their communities and around the world.

ANN INC. has a demonstrated commitment to creating a measurable impact in the communities it serves, and is now expanding its reach by partnering with Vital Voices, an international women's leadership organization. The Vital Voices Leadership Curriculum, developed with 14 years of experience in training and mentoring more than 10,000 leaders in 127 countries, will guide the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative.

As part of the launch, ten ANNpower Grant Award Recipients were selected for 2011, representing an engaged, diverse and talented group of young women who are committed to serving their communities as emerging leaders while advancing women's empowerment.

"Five months ago, we challenged young women across the country to take their first step as rising leaders and recognize their power, voice and responsibility to stand up and make change. The 2011 ANNpower grantees have already begun to blaze their own trail as the women leaders of a new generation, and we are looking forward to all they will achieve in the coming year," said Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson.

ANN INC. President and CEO Kay Krill said of the partnership and grantee announcement, "We are a company by women for women and connecting with the next generation of leaders is personal for us. We are very passionate about this program and I am so inspired by the 2011 ANNpower grantees. These young women are emerging leaders, deeply committed to making a difference. We are honored and privileged to play a part in their path to leadership."

In 2012, the inaugural ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum will convene in Washington, DC. The ten grantees and an additional forty rising high school junior and senior girls from across the U.S. will participate in a week-long leadership training and mentorship experience with the established women leaders of the Vital Voices Global Network of human rights defenders, civil society advocates, and social and economic entrepreneurs.


About Vital Voices Global Partnership

Vital Voices' mission is to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. It is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that identifies, trains and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world. Its international staff and team of over 1,000 partners, pro bono experts and leaders, including senior government, corporate and NGO executives, have trained and mentored more than 10,000 emerging women leaders from over 127 countries in Asia, Africa, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East since 1997. These women have returned home to train and mentor more than 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. Visit www.vitalvoices.org to learn more.

About ANN INC.

ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women's specialty retail fashion brands in the United States. The Company operates 942 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as of July 30, 2011, as well as online at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com. Visit ANNINC.com for more information (NYSE: ANN).

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Fisher Vice President, Corporate Communications, ANN INC.
Phone: +1-212-541-3300 x2199
Margaux Bergen Vital Voices Global Partnership
Phone: +1-202-861-2624


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