meetMEET THE TEAM

 

Meet the dynamic team of dedicated women at the helm of our organization who volunteers countless hours to move CLS closer to becoming the leading volunteerism organization in the world!

LaShanda D. Pitts

LaShanda D. Pitts

Founder & CEO

Here’s More About The Founder…

All roads in LaShanda Pitts’ journey have led to the founding of Classy Living Society.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California; LaShanda Pitts moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1994.  She brought with her a boundless spirit of originality and free thinking coupled with experience from a vast professional background acquired through her employment with a number of major U.S. companies.

Mrs. Pitts has always had a passion for community service and volunteerism.  From an early age, her family participated in ongoing “family adoptions” and she accompanied her parents to numerous charitable events.  These experiences helped build the foundation for her strong desire to give back to those in need.

Mrs. Pitts merged networking skills derived from networking with various professionals, her passion for one-of-a-kind event planning and deep determination to proactively contribute to society and founded Classy Living Society in 2013.  The following year, CLS opened its virtual membership doors. In just over two years, membership rolls have grown to 217 members and over 157 community partners and has rapidly expanded beyond its home base of Atlanta to parts throughout Georgia, plus California, the DMV area, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, as well as Dubai and Croatia.  CLS continues to gain momentum by launching both nationally and internationally.

Mrs. Pitts is proud of CLS, its members, and many past, present and ongoing personal and professional accomplishments; among them:

-Through its many platforms, Classy Living Society reaches over 200,000 subscribers

-Inspired and created a digital magazine, Classy Chronicles, which has over 90, 000 subscribers

-Annual Red Dress Gala, began in 2014 with 100 attendees, growing to 380 attendees at it’s recent 5th Annual Gala

Adopt a Block/Road in various U.S. cities

-Expanding membership rolls nationwide with New York, Houston and Washington, D.C. chapters on the horizon for 2018

-The launch of Legacy for Change, Classy Living Society’s 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to inspire and develop a community of young girls ages 9 to 14

-A membership level for college students to foster relationships and mentorships with young women in college

-Taking the lead in the authorship and publishing of an inspirational book for young women written by members of CLS’ executive team and board of directors

Through CLS, Mrs. Pitts has fostered a sisterhood among the organization’s members.  From the very start, she has helped bring women together to volunteer, and with that, has also encouraged them to socialize and build friendships.  She also emphasizes the importance of educating and empowering through CLS’ numerous educational workshops. She plays an integral part in promoting and providing support for CLS member businesses.

Mrs. Pitts has also brought another of her dreams to fruition through her newest venture, LAIK Experiences, an event planning company that creates once-in-a-lifetime occasions for her patrons.

Mrs. Pitts resides in Atlanta with her husband Tony and their loyal chocolate Staffordshire, Black.

 

What is your favorite book?

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

What’s your favorite movie?

Love Jones

What is your favorite song?

Golden Time of Day by Frankie Beverly & Maze

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Oreo

What do you like to do for fun?

Socialize with friends and family, acrylic painting, writing

Why Classy Living Society?

The sisterhood bonding, provides a platform for me to give back to the community which is a win win for the community and me. Lots of opportunity to socialize and inspire each other to level up and be our best. The more I pour into CLS, it pours double or more back into me.

Tarrah D. Gales - Founding Sister

Tarrah D. Gales - Founding Sister

Advisory Committee

Born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Tarrah Gales considers herself a Georgia Peach! Tarrah has over 17 years transactional legal experience working for Fortune 100 & 500 companies and large law firms. She currently works for a publicly-traded company in its Corporate & Securities Practice where she manages corporate governance and compliance with the Company’s insider trading policy.

Inspired by her spirited 93-year old grandfather who instilled in her the values of “service and giving back” when Tarrah was a child; she has continually worked alongside various organizations and charities promoting civic engagement and volunteerism. In her spare time, Tarrah is a lover of books, enjoys vintage & consignment shopping, delights in honing her culinary skills, and appreciates a day at the spa!

Tarrah holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard University in Washington, DC and a master’s degree in public administration from Strayer University in Atlanta.

ShaRhonda Elizabeth Simmons - Founding Sister

ShaRhonda Elizabeth Simmons - Founding Sister

Born in Harlem, New York and raised in Pikeville, Kentucky, ShaRhonda relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in the 1990’s and began a 20 year career in the customer service industry enjoying varied careers: flight attendant, bartender and beauty consultant. As a flight attendant, fifteen of those years were spent, at thirty thousand feet in the air working for domestic and international airlines. ShaRhonda is proud of her tenure “in the air” and boasts providing passengers with outstanding customer service and having the opportunity to serve our troops as they were being transported around the world to protect and serve our country as some of the most fulfilling moments of that experience.

As a “fashionista” and beauty maven, the woman behind the M.A.C. brush #42 enjoys helping all women discover their outer beauty and look their best by showing them how to accentuate their unique beauty in selecting makeup and clothing choices that compliment their complexions and womanly curves, thus boosting their confidence which allows all women to stand in the fullness of who they are and express their real beauty – what lies in their hearts. ShaRhonda is not only flawless in her personal style, but also in her soul and feels bringing jovial smiles to others is her true passion.

Having traveled the world as a flight attendant, ShaRhonda now stays close to home spending quiet time with two beautiful twin boys, perfecting her new found passion for cooking, watching movies and her favorite show Scandal; yes – she is a Gladiator!

Valérie Alerte Kavanagh, MBA - Founding Sister

Valérie Alerte Kavanagh, MBA - Founding Sister

Valérie has extensive experience in sales and marketing. Valérie is passionate about volunteering and using her skill sets to best assist non-profits and organizations in any capacity. She has served on Executive Boards in Georgia in addition to holding committee positions.

Valérie is a Haitian-American, multi-lingual New York native, wife and mother of two beautiful children who are better known and referred to as the (#KavanaghKuties). She loves all things vintage and classy and enjoys giving back to the community.

She and her husband transplanted to Georgia in 2012 and appreciate all that Atlanta has to offer. She has an affinity for hosting annual social events for her friends and family at her home and finds complete fulfillment and enjoyment in the fellowship which that provides.

Valérie is a philanthropist at heart and instills a philanthropic spirit amongst her children. Serving alongside fellow like-minded women to make a difference in all lives in the community is a critical part of what makes up the spiritual fabric of who Valérie is as a God fearing woman. She believes in the saying “If YOU do your best, HE will do the rest!”

What is your favorite book?

This is a hard one but I’ll go with Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith

What’s your favorite movie?

Another hard one but Dairy of a Mad Black Woman … love the part where she throws him in that tub!

What is your favorite song?

Saturday Love by Alexander O’Neal and Cherrelle

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Wish I could eat it but if I could, it’s all things chocolate.

What do you like to do for fun?

Love to shop, eat good food, walk, dance, fellowship w/family & friends, volunteer, curl up with a good book and do some binge watching or tune into my favorite Lifetime movies. Did I mention I love to shop!!

Why Classy Living Society?

CLS is my volunteer organization of choice because it embodies a true sisterhood to me. I’ve had a chance to be involved with other groups but from the moment I heard about the plans for starting CLS, I was totally hooked. The opportunities that CLS provides are amazing and so unique. I can’t help but be excited when it’s time to come together like we do. I know I’m a better person because of CLS and I feel like I’ve grown in so many ways. I’m a proud member and I can look back and say I’ve made a difference in the lives of others. CLS has been and continues to be a great facilitator of volunteering for me.

What is your favorite book?

 What looks like crazy on a ordinary day.

What’s your favorite movie?

Color purple

What is your favorite song?

Michel Jackson “don’t stop” till you get enough.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate

What do you like to do for fun?

Travel

Why Classy Living Society?

Classy Living Society is a breathe of fresh air for me. I can have the best of both worlds. Volunteering and Sisterhood.