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Meet Our Honoree: Luanne Whiting-Lager

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Luanne Whiting-Lager is the co-founder of Regal Lager, Inc. the baby and children’s products distributor. As Regal Lager’s Vice–President and CFO, Luanne is no stranger to wearing multiple hats to get the job done. Regal Lager distributes high-quality baby and children’s products, with brands that are carefully selected, offering practical, stylish, and safe products. In her spare time Luanne has served on the boards of both the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and ABC Kids Expo. She has been recognized with the Business Partnership Award from Safe Kids Cobb County, for promoting child safety within the Atlanta community. Given her involvement in the community and charitable initiatives, Luanne is an excellent candidate to be honored at this year’s 10th Annual Women of Inspiration Luncheon.

  1. What is your job title and office location? Vice-President and Co-Founder of Regal Lager, Inc. We are located in Kennesaw, GA a suburb north of Atlanta, GA.
  2. What is your hometown? Born in Atlanta, GA but raised as an army brat – moving every couple of years. Been in the Atlanta area now for 25 years so this is home for now!
  1. What is your Alma mater? Austin College in Sherman, Texas and further studies at the University of Stockholm, Stockholm Sweden
  1. Name one woman who inspires you and explain why?  There are so many – I am always inspired when talking with others and learning their stories. However, if pushed to name one I would have to mention my mother. She led by example. She volunteered for everything, opened our home to those in need, cooked meals for many, and knitted many a blanket and so much more. My mother suffered a stroke when she was 64, one month from retirement, she lost her ability to speak and was wheelchair bound but continued to give to all in what way she could. As an example, she and her caregiver would travel to garage sales and buy shoes and over a 3-year period she and her caregiver gave over 3000 pairs of shoes to a charity that sent those shoes to Africa for those in need.
  2. What does it mean to you to be named a woman of inspiration? Serendipitous, humbled and proud to be able to make a difference in others’ lives. It is the simple gift of giving to others, be it of time, listening, money, caring or product the allows us all to show our gratefulness for all that has been done or given to us. I’m honored to help K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers continue in their efforts to provide for those in need.
  3. With all of your philanthropic endeavors, what is one lesson you have learned that you would want to share with others? Giving to others heals your soul!
  4. What motivates you to support K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers mission of delivering brand new essentials to help people in need? Making a difference, fulfilling the promise of hope to others.
  1. What has been a major industry change that has surprised you during your career?  Maybe not surprised, but more saddened by the consolidation of accounts and the diminishing independent retail base. While we all embrace the Internet and the social media of our present reality and the opportunities it affords, it has brought about major change to our industry and many others as well.

Meet Our Honoree: Claudia Stern

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cd5af655-bf22-4d18-a2a6-d6cfbd29b0fdWith over 20 years experience Claudia Stern is nationally recognized for her business and buying acumen. With her overall extensive knowledge of the intimate apparel industry, Claudia is the sole intimate apparel buyer for Gabriel Brother’s an off-price fashion based retailer based in Morgantown, West Virginia. Claudia’s passion for the retail industry led her to mentor many young merchants, helping the to create successful retail careers under her guidance. Claudia’s grandfather started the Herbert E. Stern Foundation, which Claudia oversees with her family. The Foundation was established for dedicating funds to support many health initiatives and the arts. Stern is the perfect candidate to be honored at this year’s 10th Annual Women of Inspiration luncheon given her passion for philanthropic initiatives and remarkable career within retail.

  • What is your job title and office location? Buyer of Intimate Apparel for Gabriel Brothers. 1350 Broadway, Room 1901, NY, NY 10018. Main Company Office: 55 Scott Avenue, Morgantown, WV 26508
    • What is your hometown?   Glen Cove, New York
  • What is your Alma mater? Lehigh University
  • Name one woman who inspires you and explain why?  Anne Frank. As the first generation of Holocaust-surviving parents, Anne’s courage to stay alive despite her ultimate death in a concentration camp reminds me how fortunate and lucky both my parents and their families were during and after the war.
  • What does it mean to you to be named a woman of inspiration?  This honor has bestowed on me a renewed desire to give of myself to those who are less fortunate.
  • With all of your philanthropic endeavors, what is one lesson you have learned that you would want to share with others? When I truly visualize what others in need are going through, the sense of urgency to help is much greater.
  • What motivates you to support K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers mission of delivering brand new essentials to help people in need? As a veteran in the Intimate Apparel Industry, I am excited about acquiring donations of foundations and sleepwear from many vendors and manufacturers to be distributed to those in need.
  • What has been a major industry change that has surprised you during your career? As a buyer for an Off Price Retailer, I think the biggest surprise is how much more branded and licensed product is available to me at great prices in today’s market climate than in previous years.