By:Susan Kiely Issue: Collaborative Leadership Section: Advisory Board
Deputy Director, Massachusetts Business Rountable
Contact Susan Kiley
1620 Little Raven, #602 Denver, CO 80202 T: 303.675.0405 WomenWithACause@me.com www.womenwithacause.com Armed with a background in design and retail, public speaking and a willing heart, Susan Kiely has spent the last three years developing Women With A Cause. The organization is dedicated to providing economic development programs that focus on education and skills training for women, enabling them to be lifted out of poverty and to lead them to self-sufficiency while earning a sustainable income. Through Women With A Cause, Kiely has been able to provide a living wage to women in India by teaching them how to sew. Once these women learn this trade and become employed, the change in their income enables them to move into a small apartment and even send their children to school. While Kiely spends much of her time trying to ensure a better living for these Indian women, she also works on similar projects in Thailand, Ethiopia, and Ghana.
Women With A Cause remains involved on a local level as well. Because the fastest-growing group of homeless people in the U.S is composed of single women with children and because the number of homeless female veterans has doubled over the past 10 years, Women With A Cause will launch the WE Initiative in early 2011, which creates a path to self-sufficiency for homeless families headed by single mothers and returning female veterans through healthcare education and career opportunities. The WE Initiative will select, support, and educate eligible homeless females through a multi-year commitment to their education and ultimate job placement. The organization, through this program, will provide housing, counseling, and case management for selected women and their children.
Susan has raised funds for a myriad of charitable causes in the many cities where she and her family have resided. She has a heart for the disadvantaged. Kiely’s gift of giving, her self-deprecating sense of humor, creativity, willingness to roll up her shirt sleeves to work hard and an ability to share her vision with others to get them involved has transcended to this project. She has mobilized American seamstresses to join her to teach the women of India how to read patterns, cut fabric, use sewing machines and carefully produce stylish apparel. Kiely’s ability to mobilize volunteers for causes is a life-long talent.
She has received many national awards for her charitable work including Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, the National Charity League Lifetime Achievement Award, Volunteers of America American Spirit Award and the United Way International Leadership Award. In Denver, she has been honored with the Denver Broncos Quarterback Award, the Saavy Award, the Heart of Gold Award, and she has been named a Girl Scout Woman of Distinction. Kiely and her husband of 40 years share the distinction of being awarded the University of Denver’s International Bridge Builders Award from the Korbel International School.