Local Veteran Receives Home Makeover From United Way of Broward County’s Mission United

The United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED program and community leader and philanthropist Susie Levan partnered to surprise Army veteran Takela Mensah and her family with a home refresh makeover in Fort Lauderdale. Levan established Operation Refresh to thank military service members by turning a house into a home for local Broward County Veterans served by MISSION UNITED.

Takela, an Army Staff Sargent who served for 20 years, was referred to the MISSION UNITED program by the VA due to homelessness. She was living in a hotel with her two children at the time. The program has since assisted Takela with finding an affordable apartment and subsidized her rent for 12 months until she became financially stable. Takela is also receiving case management and ongoing support through MISSION UNITED services.

Levan worked with Andrew Koenig and the team at CITY Furniture (CITY) provided furniture and additional décor, including bedding, pictures, curtains, rugs and lamps specifically for Takela’s home refresh. CITY graciously offered highly discounted rates on all furniture and additional items to help make this refresh successful. The refresh process took a whole day to complete. Once completed, Takela was joined by her daughter Takoyiah and son Zion where Levan revealed their newly decorated home.

Several deserving veterans throughout this year will receive a home refresh courtesy of Operation Refresh and Levan. Operation Refresh is part of the year-long celebration to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of MISSION UNITED, which will be recognized at United Way of Broward County’s Mayors’ Gala on Saturday, April 29, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. To purchase tickets, visit UnitedWayBroward.org/MayorsGala.

Photos courtesy of MISSION UNITED

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.