Know a Girl Who Wants to Change the World? ANNpower Launches Annual Search For Next Generation of Female Leaders

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative announced today that it is launching a search in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada to identify the next generation of female leaders.  Now through March 1, 2014, high school sophomores and juniors can apply at ANNpower.org for the opportunity to become an ANNpower Fellow and receive leadership training and mentorship by global women leaders.  ANNpower is a partnership between ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN), the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and Vital Voices Global Partnership.

50 young women will be selected and invited to the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., June 16 – 19, 2014, where they will receive leadership training from influential women leaders who are part of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, as well as executives from ANN INC., including the Company's President and CEO, Kay Krill. The Forum's curriculum equips these aspiring young leaders with the training and mentorship they need to realize their full potential as future leaders.  Armed with these new skills, the Fellows will then return to their communities to create projects to affect change and apply for project grants to put their ideas into action.  ANNpower Grants will be awarded in the Fall of 2014, and winning Fellows will spend the school year implementing their projects and receiving mentoring from ANN INC. associates.

"We look forward to welcoming our next class of ANNpower Fellows," said Kay Krill, President and CEO, ANN INC.  "These girls are so committed to making a difference in their communities and the world.  I have so much confidence in the Fellows we have seen come through the program and cannot wait to be further inspired by this next group of young women."

"ANNpower Fellows are passionate and innovative trailblazers implementing truly effective and sustainable programs in their communities," said Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership. "We are proud to partner with ANN INC., together providing unique and life-changing opportunities for these young women leaders."

Selected Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in high profile global leadership events throughout the year. This past year, six ANNpower Fellows were given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness history in the making and travel to Burma to attend the Women's Forum Myanmar, the first of its kind in the country.  During the nine-day trip, the Fellows engaged with global women leaders while immersing  themselves in the Burmese culture, a country which is undergoing rapid transformation as it opens up to dialogue and exchange both domestically and regionally.

"Being an ANNpower Fellow has been an amazing opportunity that has shaped who I am today. I learned so much by participating in this historic event, hearing stories from influential world leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi and Melanne Verveer. The experience was extremely powerful and I left inspired to do more with the project I'm implementing in my community." – Emily Kosse, 2012 ANNpower Fellow and Grantee.

During the months of January and February, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada will support the search for the next generation of leaders in store with the ANNpower call-to-action: "Know a girl who wants to change the world?" Additionally, the 50 young women selected will received a special discount card redeemable for two years at Ann Taylor and LOFT.

For more information about the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative or to apply to become an ANNpower Fellow, please visit ANNpower.org.

About the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative
The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative is a groundbreaking partnership between ANN INC. and Vital Voices Global Partnership to empower young women from across the U.S. with the leadership skills they need to affect global progress, invest in their communities and begin their journeys as the next generation of leaders.  ANN INC. has committed to invest more than $1.3 million in the ANNpower Initiative through its ANN Cares charitable platform. The ANNpower Initiative aims to provide leadership skills and mentorship to 50 ANNpower Fellows annually and is designed to positively impact more than 5,500 members of their collective communities throughout the country each year.

As part of the Initiative, the ANNpower Advisory Council was announced at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting as a "Commitment to Action" and is comprised of influential women in media, business, and entertainment who have displayed exceptional leadership. Members of the Council review and recommend outstanding grant proposals as well as serve as mentors to the Fellows and ambassadors of the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative to the public. The Council currently includes award-winning actress Kate Hudson, actress Jennifer Morrison ("Once Upon a Time," "House"), Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC., and Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership.  Visit ANNpower.org for more information.

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 North America.  As of November 2, 2013, the Company operated 1,027 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.  Our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are also available online in more than 100 countries worldwide at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com.  Visit ANNINC.com for more information (NYSE: ANN).

About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. Founded by Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, the organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 14,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. Visit vitalvoices.org to learn more.

SOURCE ANN INC.



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