Recycle the Runway to get new date, new leader

As it searches for a new executive director, Dress for Success Quad Cities has scrapped the original April 21 date for its biggest fundraiser of the year, and rescheduled Recycle the Runway 2022 for Nov. 3.

“We haven’t had an in-person event since 2019 and we see this as an opportunity to bring our friends together again,” the Dress for Success Quad Cities Board of Directors said in a statement following the decision.

“We are in the process of hiring a new executive director and want to wait until that person is in place to be able to make a formal introduction at the event,” said the board said in a statement released Saturday.

The organization’s Recycle the Runway is an annual event that raises money for its mission and helps spread the word about the women’s empowerment organization in the community.

“We look forward to seeing you on Nov. 3, 2022, for a night of fun and fashion to support Dress for Success Quad Cities,” the board added. The event, a “Project Runway” style fashion show, now will be spearheaded by a new leader.

The organization which focuses on raising up unemployed and underemployed women is conducting a search to replace Tyla Sherwin-Cole who announced early in March that she would be leaving Dress for Success for a similar post at the Doris & Victor Day Foundation.

On Monday, March 14, Ms. Sherwin-Cole took over that new post with the Rock Island-based foundation that’s given millions of dollars to Quad Cities nonprofits. She filled the vacancy left after the foundation’s previous executive director, Dave Geenen, was terminated in November. He allegedly embezzled about $40,000 from the non-profit group, according to news reports. 

Betsy Green, president of Dress for Success Board, said previously that Dress for Success would begin immediately looking for a new “dynamic leader” to help drive its mission to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

Dress designers who already were chosen for the April 21 event have been contacted by Dress for Success regarding the date change, and so far there are no reports of any stepping away from the chance to share their creations. 

At the annual event, designers and teams compete for a cause by showcasing runway-ready ensembles crafted from bags of random recycled clothing and accessories assembled by Dress for Success volunteers. Their designs will be judged on craftsmanship, quality, creativity, and overall head-to-toe presentation. In addition to the designs’ unveiling, designers also will share what inspired their creations and show how they  came to life. The top three designers take home cash prizes. 

All of the night’s proceeds go to providing free job-search assistance, group workshops, career coaching, and professional clothing for women in eastern Iowa and western Illinois who are searching for full-time employment, transitioning into a new industry, or working to advance their careers. For more information about their services, visit

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