Humble by nature, Lydia Dershewitz would "never" consider herself a fashionista, but her peers strongly disagree.
Many of those peers know her from her passion—her volunteer work with Hospice of the Calumet Area. Dershewitz, of Munster, Ind., spends her days coordinating volunteer efforts for the organization's artisans group. Dozens of volunteers put their artistic skills to the test as they create scarves, notebooks, address books, jewelry boxes and more to sell with all proceeds going to Hospice.
"It's an honor to work with so many compassionate people," Dershewitz says. "I really am inspired every single day because people are so dedicated and are ready to do whatever it takes to make a difference in the lives of our clients and their families. It's very moving."
Dershewitz, recognized by the Munster Rotary Club in 2012 as Woman of the Year for her community commitment, is a full-time volunteer but exhibits the professionalism of an innovation CEO. Her ideas and suggestions are embraced by the Hospice staffers and her involvement is greatly appreciated.
Hospice director of development Jenifer Vargo Okamura has a particularly special bond with Dershewitz, whom she refers to as her "partner in crime."
"I met Lydia when my grandmother was in Hospice," Okamura says. "I used to come from my job in downtown Chicago and visit every day before I headed home to Miller. She was always so warm and pleasant and I just knew she was a special person and the work she does with the artisans is very impressive."
Dershewitz has an eye for art and although she calls her fashion style "conservative" and "plain," she often dresses up the most contemporary dress with the right jewelry that has a touch of class and flair.
"I think Lydia is one of the classiest, strongest and most professional people I have ever met," says Candice Logue, friend and colleague. "She never draws attention to herself, which makes her so appealing."
Dershewitz bashfully denies spending much time thinking about her clothes, just about her love of serving Hospice.