At Akola, we define the Akola Woman as someone who is fashionable, sophisticated and strong, and also as one who cares about making an impact. The Akola Woman lives out Akola’s mission to empower women to become agents of transformation in her community. In our eyes Jennifer Sampson, President and CEO of United Way Dallas, is one of these women.
Before becoming United Way Dallas’ first female CEO, Sampson served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at United Way since 2004. She is a founding member of United Way’s Women of Tocqueville Society, which is a group of successful women who are committed to bring positive change in Dallas.
Akola’s impact model aligns with United Way’s Income Impact goals, and as such, United Way has become a crucial contributor to bringing the Akola model to Dallas. As members of United Way’s GroundFloor Fellowship, Akola has partnered with critical mentors and received donated seed capital to expand the Akola model in our city to reach 100+ women.
As a result of a generous grant from United Way and guidance from Jennifer and her team, Akola has been able to build a successful Dallas program and launch an elevated jewelry line through every Neiman Marcus nationwide, both in stores and online! In order to complete our first high volume order, United Way helped Akola connect with several other nonprofits around Dallas to provide jobs, train and equip over 100 women in Dallas who make a living wage to assemble the Akola by Neiman Marcus Line. As Akola’s operations in Uganda continue to expand and the Dallas program thrives, we rely on generous partners like United Way to support our efforts to empower women through economic opportunities.
In this month’s issue of the D CEO Magazine, Jennifer Sampson wore one of the very first Akola for Neiman Marcus pieces in D CEO’s “My Style” feature. Akola is honored to have the support of Jennifer Sampson and the rest of United Way! We owe a large portion of our Dallas based program success to our incredible partnership with them.