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ANN INC. and Vital Voices Global Partnership Announce 2016 ANNpower Fellows

NEW YORK, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ANN INC., which operates the Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lou & Grey brands, and Vital Voices Global Partnership proudly announce the 2016 ANNpower Fellows.

This year's new class of ANNpower Fellows—which hails from 24 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada—is united by a common passion for advancing social change in their communities and beyond. Their ambitions range from increasing childhood literacy to promoting inter-religious understanding and cooperation among high school students. One incoming fellow, Anika, is already leading SheCodes classes in her local town to teach girls valuable computing and business concepts with the mission of advancing women in the technology industry, as well as solving social problems through technology. To meet Anika and the entire class of 2016 Fellows, visit

"The young women selected as 2016 ANNpower Fellows exemplify courage, optimism, and activism," said Gary Muto, President and CEO of ANN INC. "They are committed to tackling tough issues and creating opportunity for others. We look forward to helping them develop their leadership skills and turn their ideas into action."

In January 2016, ANN INC. and Vital Voices announced the fifth annual search for the next generation of female leaders, inviting young change makers to apply to become ANNpower Fellows. Through its most competitive application process to date, ANN INC. and Vital Voices selected 50 exceptional young women, all of whom are current high school sophomores and juniors. The selected ANNpower Fellows will participate in the 2016 ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum in New York, NY, June 14 – 17, 2016.

During the four-day Leadership Forum—which will be held in New York City for the first time this year—the ANNpower Fellows will receive leadership training and mentorship from influential women leaders in business, politics and media, including Kay Krill, Board Member of Ascena Retail Group; Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code; Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, as well as executives from ANN INC. During their time in New York City, the ANNpower Fellows will gain the skills and confidence they need to affect global progress, impact social change in their communities, and realize their full leadership potential. They will also get to have some fun, learning about personal style while shopping at a LOFT store, attending MATILDA THE MUSICAL, and participating in a post-show talkback with cast members. MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of Broadway's biggest little hero who, like the ANNpower Fellows, takes a stand to change not only her own destiny but the destiny of those in her community.

"The ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum offers the ANNpower Fellows an unparalleled opportunity to connect with a powerful network of global women leaders and cultivate their own leadership abilities," said Alyse Nelson, Vital Voices President and CEO. "Each year, we are motivated by the Fellows' innovative spirit and desire to create meaningful, lasting change in their local and global communities."

Following the Forum, the ANNpower Fellows will return to their communities and put their training into action by developing projects that address pressing societal issues. Each ANNpower Fellow will be eligible to receive an ANNpower Project Grant to bring her ideas to life. To date, the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative has positively impacted more than 80,000 people in 16 countries around the world.

For more information about the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative, visit

About the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative 
The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative is a groundbreaking partnership between ANN INC. and Vital Voices Global Partnership to empower young women from across the U.S. with the leadership skills they need to affect global progress, invest in their communities and begin their journeys as the next generation of leaders. The ANNpower Initiative aims to provide leadership skills and mentorship to 50 ANNpower Fellows annually and is designed to positively impact more than 5,500 people in their collective communities and around the world each year. Visit for more information.

ANN INC. is a subsidiary of ascena retail group, inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA), and operates the Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey brands. As of May 31, 2016, the Company operated 1,020 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT, LOFT Outlet and Lou & Grey stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our brands are also available online in more than 100 countries worldwide at,, or at our LOFT franchise stores in Mexico.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership 
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. The organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 15,000 leaders representing 144 countries. Visit to learn more.


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