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ANN INC. and Vital Voices Global Partnership Announce 2014 ANNpower Fellows

50 Fellows selected to attend third annual ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum

NEW YORK, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- ANN INC., the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and Vital Voices Global Partnership are proud to announce the 2014 ANNpower Fellows.

The newly selected ANNpower Fellows hail from 25 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and share a common interest in creating effective and sustainable solutions to challenges in their communities. Their ideas range from building mentorship programs for girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), addressing healthy eating in their communities to environmental preservation. The young women represent a diverse and dynamic group including Elanie, a junior who wants to make a difference in her community in the Washington Heights section of New York City.  She plans to develop a mentorship program for socioeconomically disadvantaged high school students to encourage them to pursue a college education.  To meet Elanie and all of the 2014 ANNpower Fellows, visit ANNpower.org.

"I am thrilled with the innovative ideas and impressive talent that we have seen during this year's application period," said Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC. "It truly goes to show how outstanding these 50 young women are to have risen to the top of such a competitive application pool, which has tripled over last year. They are fearless in their quest to make a difference in their communities and the world, and it is a privilege for ANN INC. to play a part in their path to leadership."

In January 2014, Ann Taylor and LOFT launched a nationwide campaign in-stores and online to identify the next generation of female leaders and invite them to apply to become ANNpower Fellows. Through the most competitive application process to-date, ANN INC., in partnership with Vital Voices, selected the 50 girls, who are high school sophomores and juniors, to become ANNpower Fellows. As their first step in their leadership journey, these Fellows will participate in the 2014 ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., June 16-19.

At the three-day ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum, the 50 Fellows will undergo comprehensive leadership training from influential women leaders who are part of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, as well as executives from ANN INC., including Kay Krill. The Forum's curriculum will equip the aspiring young leaders with the training and mentorship they need to realize their full potential as future leaders.

"The ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum provides a unique opportunity to connect our Fellows to a powerful network of women leaders from around the world. We encourage these talented leaders to break barriers and push for innovative solutions and progress in their communities as true change-makers," said Vital Voices President and CEO, Alyse Nelson.

Armed with the skills they learn at the ANNpower Leadership Forum, the Fellows will return to their communities tasked with creating projects to affect positive social change. Each Fellow will be eligible to receive an ANNpower Project Grant to put her ideas into action. To date, ANNpower Fellows have positively impacted more than 16,000 people in 12 countries around the world.

For more information about the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative, visit ANNpower.org.

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.

As part of the Initiative, ANN INC. announced a "Commitment to Action" at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting that included training 150 ANNpower Fellows and the creation of the ANNpower Advisory Council.  Progress on that commitment is evidenced by the new class of 50 Fellows and the formation of the ANNpower Advisory Council which is comprised of influential women in media, business, and entertainment who have displayed exceptional leadership.  Members of the Council review and recommend outstanding grant proposals as well as serve as mentors to the Fellows and ambassadors of the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative to the public. The Council currently includes award-winning actress Kate Hudson, actress Jennifer Morrison ("Once Upon a Time," "House"), Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC., and Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership.  Visit ANNpower.org for more information.

About ANN INC.
ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women's specialty retail fashion brands in North America. The Company operated 1,025 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada as of February 1, 2014. Our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are also available in more than 100 countries worldwide online at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com. Visit ANNINC.com for more information (NYSE: ANN).

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. Founded by Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, 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 14,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. Visit vitalvoices.org to learn more.

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their communities and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

SOURCE ANN INC.

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