top of page

Powerful Women of the Bay Project

Owner and CEO Melissa Cruz has put together Models to introduce her first Dress Collection.

She handpicked each powerful woman to showcase what they represent and how they influence their community around them! We would like to share their stories.

If you would like to be chosen for The Powerful Women of the Bay project, email us with your story here

Susanne VanSelow

We would like to introduce Susanne Van Selow as our Model and Influencer wearing the new dress Cognac Dream!

President and owner of Van Selow Design Build, Susanne Van Selow draws on her 20+ years of design experience to inspire her team and ensure her customers are left with a remodel project they truly love in both residential and commercial settings. Susanne has built her business and reputation on “Quality Construction with a Women’s Touch”. Susanne consistently immerses herself into trade organizations such as a member of the National Association of Remodeling Industry and Women in Construction. Through her ongoing education and involvement in these trade organizations, she ensures that Van Selow Design Build is on top of all the industry trends. Susanne’s success in the industry has led to numerous accolades including the NARI Remodeler of the Year and Hall of Fame award. Susanne volunteers her time to help Hammer and Heals (Habitat), ‘a nonprofit group who builds homes for single moms. Their mission: empower women to help families build strength, stability, and independence

Lauren Leal

Next, we would like to introduce Lauren Leal as our Model and Influencer wearing the new dress Angelic Cardinal!

Lauren Leal is a successful 62-year young business woman. She, along with her husband, Roy, married 38 years, have been managing their construction company, Leal Construction, Inc., for as many years.
Along with the construction company and managing their rental properties in St. Petersburg, Lauren is also busy working full time as a cabinet designer for a national company. Lauren received her Interior Design Degree in 1996 while pregnant with her first child, Angelena. She has no plans to slow down any time soon. Lauren enjoys living a healthy active lifestyle which includes eating vegan, weight training, hiking, kayaking, cycling and world travel

Sylvia Allard

We would like to introduce Sylvia Allard as our Model and Influencer wearing the new dress Elegance! 

Sylvia Allard is living an amazing life! She started off as Sylvia Bernadette Visocchi in 1935, born in Concord, Massachusetts. Growing up with her grandparents, mom, dad, and 6 siblings sharing many adventures exploring their 250-acre farm in Sudbury. As a young adult she lived in the historic city of
Lowell where she taught herself how to tickle the ivories on a secondhand piano her mom bought from the junk man. She is a gifted woman able to play a tune without being able to read a note. Her talents don’t stop there, she can hold a tune to rival any contestant of AGT! While working full-time in an office and modeling part-time she made time to go on a blind date where she met her husband, Richard Allard. They have been enjoying their honeymoon for the past 65 years sharing their love and happiness with 4 wonderful children. Sylvia has kept active all her life working as a secretary, raising children, enjoying camping, traveling, Saturday night poker (…. she never loses), hosting large family gatherings, and visits from her grandchildren. There’s no sign of this woman slowing down! Stop by and she’ll sing CRAZY just like Patsy Cline or share some great memories with you around the campfire.

Nahal Azizkhani

Next up, we would like to introduce Nahal Azizkhani as our Model and Influencer wearing the new dress Goldess!

Forming lifelong relationships with her patients based on trust, kindness and compassion is important to Dr. Nahal Azizkhani. That’s why she dedicates herself to understanding her patients’ needs and strives to make sure that everyone attains their healthiest, most confident smile.

Dr. Azizkhani graduated Cum Lauda from The University of Georgia in Athens, Ga with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and attended LECOM School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton,Florida, earning her DMD.

She strongly believes in the value of continuing education and actively seeks professional development opportunities to remain on the forefront of the latest dental practices and technology. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, West Coast District Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Following her belief in giving back to the community, Dr. Azizkhani provides dental needs for patients in need through Remote Area Medical and dental mission trips. Participates in Give Kids a Smile, a volunteer organization providing community service to promote pediatric oral health care. When she is away from the office, Dr. Azizkhani enjoys the outdoors, traveling and cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Melissa Yardy