A Model Volunteer Gives Rush Fashion Show a New Look

There are women in this world who make it a better place simply by being in it. Winnetka’s Cindy Mancillas is just such a person.

When Mancillas moved to Chicago after she was married in the early ’90s, following a career with Neiman Marcus’ corporate office in Dallas, she wanted to invest herself in a cause or an organization where she could really make a difference.

“I remember having a heart-to-heart talk with my parents about what I was going to do,” says Mancillas, who has an MBA from Kellogg. “Then my dad suggested I join the Associates Board at Rush.” The Rush Associates Board is a group of emerging corporate and civic leaders who share a common vision to promote excellence in healthcare and medical education at Rush University Medical Center.

“It was the perfect fit for me. I continue to be drawn to Rush because of its deep commitment to philanthropy,” Mancillas says. “I watch how the busiest medical students and doctors find time to give back—I want to do the same.”

It wasn’t long before Mancillas became involved with the Rush Woman’s Board, one of the oldest hospital woman’s boards in the country, dating back to 1884. The Board is made up of more than 200 dedicated women who volunteer their time and talent in order to make a difference in patient care and to support the many quality initiatives at Rush Medical Center. They are currently working toward a $10 million pledge it made to the new Heart and Vascular Center. The Board raises funds from the annual Fashion Show, Spring Luncheon, the two Medical Center gift shops, as well as board and individual donations.

“Cindy has rolled up her sleeves and done it all for Rush Medical Center,” explains fellow board member Elinor Jannotta. “She manages everything in the gift shops from inventory, to hiring, training, and managing a staff of eight, reviewing financial reports, and working closely with the hospital’s HR and IT departments,” Jannotta says.

“She’s literally in her jeans one day stocking shelves and in her suit the next meeting with Medical Center executives on the proposed layout of the new hospital building,” adds Susan Bottum, Chair of the Rush Woman’s Board.

In her spare time, Mancillas is playing a leading role behind the scenes in Rush’s star-studded annual Fashion Show on October 15. As the co-chair for the Fashion Show’s model committee, there’s no job that Mancillas isn’t willing to take on.

“Her past experience as a model in the show, her management capabilities, and her soft touch have helped make this transition of moving the show to a modern runway event a seamless one,” says Jannotta, who has watched Mancillas secure commitments from models, coordinate photo shoots, and pair models with designers—all without complaint as she effortlessly juggles two teenagers and a husband.

This year the Fashion Show will take a new direction on its 83-year old journey, as the Woman’s Board presents “A New Look” at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago. The show will draw on the traditions of its rich history and infuse it with a fashion-forward, decidedly modern flavor. After years of presenting a Broadway-style fashion show complete with live orchestra, singers and dancers, the focus of this year’s show will be on fashion and our “who’s who” roster of volunteer models. The Fashion Show will feature looks from Loro Piana, Luca Luca, Michael Kors, J. Mendel, Frances Heffernan, The Lake Forest Shop, Neapolitan, Ultimo, Saks Fifth Avenue, Penny’s From Heaven, and Valentina.

For tickets and more information about the “A New Look” Fashion Show, call 312-942-6513 or go to www.thefashionshow.org.