CEO of Do Something and Founder of Dress for Success
Nancy Lublin is an innovative, globally respected and connected leader with both entrepreneurial and turn-around experience. This foresighted strategist has expertise in teen brand marketing, technology, the internet, next stage fundraising, and corporate citizenship. Nancy has served on both boards of directors and Advisory Boards.
Nancy founded Dress for Success in 1996 with a $5,000 inheritance from her great-grandfather, Poppy Max. An immigrant from Eastern Europe, Poppy Max was a peddler who came to America with nothing and worked hard to forge a better life. Nancy wanted to honor his memory and legacy by using his hard-earned money to help other people blaze new beginnings too. She built Dress for Success New York into a vibrant organization that assisted women from all over greater New York City and then trademarked the name Dress for Success, built equity in the brand, and licensed it to new affiliates. (She read Harvard Business School case studies on Dunkin Donuts and the Girl Scouts for inspiration.) In less than two years, there were nearly twenty Dress for Success programs and Nancy left New York University School of Law to be the full-time Executive Director of Dress for Success Worldwide. A year later, there were nearly fifty Dress for Success affiliates in three countries and the organization (Nancy) was featured on Oprah, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, CNN, People Magazine, Reader's Digest, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and most major women's magazines. She was featured on the covers of Working Woman Magazine and Balance Magazine.
Under her leadership, Dress for Success expanded to more than 70 cities in four countries and became a beloved brand with more than 100 employees worldwide. Nancy’s personality and passion was the force that created and grew Dress for Success. After six years, Nancy left Dress for Success because she has a basic belief that founders should create things that are sustainable, and then move on.
In 2003, she took the job at Do Something in order to save it. A once-great organization, Do Something was 250k in debt, had just laid off 21 of 22 people and had only 75k in the bank. Nancy really believed in the concept of inspiring, supporting and celebrating young people changing the world. (Nearly 90% of teenagers say they want to make a difference but only 23% actively volunteer.)
Nancy Lublin accomplished the turnaround by shutting down the remaining local offices and moved the entire operation online. (In the process, she became a master of search engine optimization, content management systems, and web 2.0 strategy.) In less than 6 months, DoSomething.org was in the black. It is now one of the largest youth organizations in America, reaching over 11 million kids each year. Under her management, the organization is fiscally sound and thriving, receiving the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
At DoSomething.org, she has developed an expertise in teen marketing and pop culture, collaborating with celebrities such as The Jonas Brothers and the Teen Choice Awards. In 2007, Nancy personally oversaw DoSomething.org’s production of the first-ever televised award show about changing the world, which aired on The CW with sponsorship from General Motors and Pepsi. Nancy landed these cause-marketing partnerships (flying to Detroit to pitch Rick Wagoner who was so impressed she now emails with him regularly and considers him a friend). She is an expert in these kinds of corporate citizenship arrangements, as 84% of DoSomething.org’s revenue comes from sponsorships.
Her self-described “wonky” interest in organizational management and behavior inspired her to become an adjunct at New York University where she teaches a course to Stern and Wagner students called “The Business of Not for Profit Management.” Nancy is writing a book entitled “Stretch: How the Corporate World can Learn to Do More with Less.” The book will focus on lessons from the not-for-profit sector that can be extracted as best practices applied to the for-profit world which will be published by Portfolio, the business division of Penguin.
Nancy received her BA from Brown University, an M.Litt from Oxford University where she was a Marshall Scholar, and a NYU law degree, from NYU where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar. Nancy is a board member of Break the Cycle, the national organization focused on teen dating violence. She is a Young Leadership Fellow of the US-China Relations Committee. She has been awarded various honors including Forbes Magazine “Trailblazer Award,” Ms. Magazine “Feminists for the 21st Century,” Fast Company Magazine “Fast 50 Award”, NYC Women’s Commission Woman of the Year, and has been the keynote at dozens of gatherings including Leadership America, Craigslist Bootcamp, etc. Nancy is also a columnist for Fast Company Magazine.
In June 2010, Nancy's new book Doing More with Less will be coming out.
Besides being a mother to her two children, Nancy’s greatest honor is in having been selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a networking group of only 300 people worldwide that meets several times each year.
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