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International Women's Day || Featuring Amazing Women

Posted on 08 March 2016

International Women's Day features on DownEast blog

Today we celebrate a very important day. Around the world, it's International Women's Day, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

We couldn't do what we do every day without the entire DownEast family of employees. And what better way to celebrate this important day than by highlighting our own female employees who have shown exemplary movement toward this goal. The women below have been nominated and voted in by their peers. Take a minute to get to know them! 

Additionally, we want to highlight another side of this day that may not always be featured. In many parts of the world, families are struggling in extreme poverty, which is defined as average daily consumption of $1.25 or less and means living on the edge of subsistence. Through a corporate partnership with CHOICE Humanitarian, DownEast has been working to break this cycle of poverty in Guatemala. For 5 years, we provided aid to one village, Chirizquitzac by building skills, water supply, a school and leadership. This village has now graduated as able to sustain growth through these skills. 

We continue to provide aid to Guatemala to go toward women and gender equity. And so, we will also be featuring three women who live in Chirizquitzac and who left an indelible mark on us.  



Janeht M.


DownEast Corporate Office  ||  SLC, UT

Human Resource Assistant

Quote from Janeht's nomination: I nominate [Janeht} because she is a strong, kind woman.  She works hard at her job; I see that every day at work. She is always willing to help and works hard to make sure everything is taken care of. She is the main go to person for HR..., gets all of the flowers for employees that have babies/funerals, coordinates the monthly birthday celebrations, [and] she also maintains a healthy sense of humor while dealing with stressful situations.
She is friends with everybody she meets. She shows genuine interest in other people’s lives and cares about others. She shows respect to all people and is a fun person.
Fun Fact: "I like history museums, festivals and concerts." 
What do you do every day to celebrate International Women’s Day? "I celebrate everyday by taking on new challenges and achieving them, which makes me feel great about myself and how far women have come." - Janeht

Carlota P.

Carlota P. from Chiriquitzsac, Guatemala
Carlota is one of the oldest women in the village.  She lives together with her daughter and grandchildren. She is happy that her grandchildren have two well lit, modern school rooms now with cement floors and very large screened window openings built with DownEast's assistance according to the CHOICE Model. There is clean running water outside the front door of the school.

Carla W. 

Carla, Store Manager, Ogden, UT

DownEast Home & Clothing  ||  Ogden, UT

Store Manager

Quote from Carla's nomination: Carla has been with Downeast since April of 2007. Carla started out as a sales associate and then quickly became assistant manager and then moved to a manager position. Her knowledge of our product is second to none. I nominate Carla because of her outstanding work ethic and timeless dedication to Downeast and all of it's employees.
[Carla] dedicates so much time and energy to her store and her employees. She has an amazing attention to detail when it comes to the way our store looks.She is the most hard working woman that I have meet in my life. I have learned so much from her. She is always showing me how to do things better... Carla has never put me or any other employee down, she knows that the employees can be better and she works with them... Carla always sees the good in employees. She an example [of] how a good manager should be. She is a great role model...
Carla has been instrumental in making her store [top tier] and with her strong work ethic and manager skills, she has kept her store on point and successful.
Fun Fact: "I drive a souped up Dodge Magnum with Lambo doors that I’ve named 'Big Booty Judy'- I never trust a quiet car!”
What do you do every day to celebrate International Women’s Day? I continually strive to be the best example of a leader and independent, hard-working woman that I can be for my employees and for my children through my work ethics, integrity, and commitment to do the best job that I can do personally and professionally.

Maria C.

Maria C from Guatemala

Maria is a happy outgoing woman who now cooks food in her home on a new Eco Stove constructed through the support of DownEast. Maria can expect to enjoy better health now that she does not cook on an open fire with excessive smoke inhalation. Studies show life expectancy can increase up to 20 years when the smoke is removed from the home. Also, she spends 75% less time fetching wood because her new stove is so efficient.   

Julie V.

Julie, Store Manager of DownEast, Phoenix, AZ

DownEast Home & Clothing  || Phoenix, AZ

Store Manager

When emailing about her photoshoot for this feature: "If you really want natural and candid, I usually have a Dr Pepper and chocolate in my hands!" 
Quote from Julie's nomination: Julie came to work.. at the Tempe Marketplace location in March of last year. Within a month she was promoted to Manager of the Chandler inline location. She went to work... and tightened up on policy and the store went from floundering to thriving within a few months. By December, she was tapped to do the same at our new Phoenix Home & Clothing store location. She is an amazing manager who is good with motivation and discipline at the same time. It can be tough to take over and turn things around and she has proven that she can do that. Her work ethic is amazing and talents abound. She has also shown that no challenge is too big.
Fun Fact: I grew up clogging, and one year we were invited to Denver, Colorado where we performed for the Presedent of the US as well as 7 other world leaders. We performed along side other celebrities, which included Cool and the Gang... "Celebrate good times COME ON!?" 

(Yes, you may randomly catch me clogging while I'm at work! haha)

What do you do every day to celebrate International Women’s Day? This is a tough question. I hope anyway, that my daily example celebrates women. That we keep fighting, never give up, to stand up for what is right. That as humans we are all equal and we should treat others as such, and honor every race, religion, culture, and belief with the same respect that we expect others to have for ourselves. 

 Ana Q.

Ana Q from Guatemala

Ana is friendly, energetic and entrepreneurial. Because of the water system built with DownEast's assistance, Ana has had time to develop a small business, as she no longer needs to fetch water for hours each day. She runs a small store she built on her own property. She also benefits from her Eco Stove. Much less time is needed finding wood to burn. Deforestation is greatly reduced. She is standing in front of her (tienda) shop for the photo.
We are so grateful to the women who allowed us to feature them today. They are truly inspirational, and we are proud to know them. We hope this will help you continue our work together as women and as humans to better each day. 
Visit CHOICE Humanitarian for more information on giving back or contact us anytime regarding the program. 

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  • Anne: March 16, 2016

    I love hearing these stories! Thank you for sharing them.

  • Beth Dearden: March 11, 2016

    Wonderful way to acknowledge donors and beneficiaries. Great job.

  • Torri Sanders: March 11, 2016

    I have been to this same area, in Guatemala, though not to the same village. The women who live there are remarkable. They do all they can to give their children better food and a better life. If you could see them and how they live it would change your life. Just $5.00 is a fortune for them. Please consider giving a monthly amount to Down East to enable them to assist some of the poorest women in the world, and some of the best. You will be amazed at how you feel in helping them to help themselves.

  • Sarah: March 08, 2016

    I love hearing about and seeing pictures of these six women who are working hard to love and serve and grow in their different corners of the world. So great! This post makes me like the world so much and feel so hopeful about it.

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