Bottomless Closet Board of Directors Names Melissa S. Norden Executive Director
Bottomless Closet is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa S. Norden as our new Executive Director, effective March 28, succeeding Kendall Farrell, Executive Director, since 2007. Melissa spent 13 years in increasingly responsible positions at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), serving most recently as Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and General Counsel. Under Melissa’s leadership, the ASPCA experienced a period of unprecedented growth and attained new levels of national prominence as a leading voice in animal welfare. In her various roles, she managed a $150+ million budget and a staff of 700+, built the in-house legal function, oversaw the creation of an innovative grants program that distributes $15+ million annually across the United States, was a key player in the development of corporate partnerships with Clorox, Subaru, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart and The Hartville Pet Insurance Company and coordinated the ASPCA’s participation in the long-running, top-rated Animal Planet reality television series Animal Precinct, which acted as the launch pad for the ASPCA’s landmark direct response television spots featuring singer Sarah McLachlan.
We thank Kendall Farrell for all she has contributed to the organization. Kendall doubled the size of Bottomless Closet’s budget and changed the fate of countless women. Melissa possesses all of the characteristics that we were looking for in our next leader. She is smart, dedicated, business-minded and compassionate. All of these traits make her the best choice to be the next leader of Bottomless Closet. Her extensive experience, energy and unwavering commitment to paying it forward, coupled with her strong understanding of legal issues, growth management and the nonprofit community, make her the ideal leader for the organization.
Melissa is thrilled to serve Bottomless Closet, where we help transform women’s lives with clothing, insider tips, and empathy, all of which work together to instill confidence and a sense of dignity that will be invaluable in their job searches and future careers. We have made significant strides on behalf of disadvantaged New York City women, but there is much more to do. She looks forward to working with the board of directors, the staff and our devoted volunteers to develop successful initiatives and programs to help more women achieve self-sufficiency and take our organization to the next level.
A letter From Kendall
As I reflect back on the 8 ½ years I have been Executive Director of Bottomless Closet, I am struck by what an incredible opportunity it has been to work in collaboration with the dedicated staff, volunteers and board of directors; I will forever be proud of the impact we have made on the women of New York City.
I have been honored to lead Bottomless Closet into its second decade and to develop the organization into an award winning non-profit. We have made a tangible impact through scaling up the operating budget, developing long-term financial stability and cultivating the staff and volunteers. It has been very gratifying to steward deep corporate partnerships and secure transformative financial contributions, allowing the organization to build capacity and advance the mission. Professionalizing Bottomless Closet’s operations has led to recognition from the Better Business Bureau as an Accredited Charity and from GuideStar as a Gold Seal holder, as well as Smart CEO’s Future 50 growth companies — the only nonprofit recognized.
Ultimately the most fulfilling moments and greatest successes have been driving the mission forward, being a part of the team that fosters the magic, and making an impact on the lives of New York City women. It has been thrilling to increase the numbers of women served and challenge ourselves to do more for our clients. Nothing will replace the chance encounters and deep connections I have made with the women who walk through our doors; I continue to marvel in the transformations that happen before our eyes every day. This is why we are all here; it is why Bottomless Closet exists.
I wish all the best to Bottomless Closet as the organization moves forward, evolves and continues the important work of its mission. Most of all, I wish the best to the New York City women Bottomless Closet serves as they strive to secure and maintain employment, overcome the challenges of poverty, and ultimately reach self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.
With deep gratitude,
A Letter From Board Chair, Christine Chang
Dear Friends of Bottomless Closet:
With regret I announce that Kendall Farrell, our wonderful Executive Director, will be stepping down after 8 years of committed service to Bottomless Closet. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I ask you to join me in thanking her for her outstanding leadership. While truly committed to Bottomless Closet’s mission to inspire and guide disadvantaged New York City women as they enter the workforce to achieve success, Kendall has helped us position Bottomless Closet as New York City’s leading organization connecting women to work. We have developed into an award winning not-for-profit with a strong infrastructure, financial long-term stability, and ambitious strategic goals to best serve our clients.
Kendall has graciously agreed to stay on until the end of February and wishes continued success to Bottomless Closet and especially to the New York City women we serve. Our Board of Directors has begun the search process to find a worthy replacement, and we are all committed to a productive transition over the coming months. As Kendall moves beyond our organization, I know that you will join me in wishing her well as she embarks on this new chapter of her life. It has been a joy to work with Kendall and we are extremely proud of what we have built together.
Thank you for your continued support of Bottomless Closet.
Best wishes to you and yours for this New Year.
Bottomless Closet Board Chair
16 East 52nd Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022
p. 212-563-2499 f. 646.355.0176