I love people who cut to the chase: This is who I am; take it or leave it. Yelitsa Jean-Charles is one such woman. In the few months I’ve known her, I’ve grown to love our short-and-sweet exchanges at Union Hall: two tired-but-happy entrepreneurs with big dreams, high expectations, and serious sweet tooths. We finally got a chance to sit down for an interview, and the artist-turned-entrepreneur was everything I knew she’d be: snarky (her words), unapologetic, honest. Read on to meet the founder of Healthy Roots Dolls, a budding company dedicated to bringing diversity and empowerment straight to the toy aisles of America.Read More
Toilynn O’Neal is fully invested in the city of Cincinnati. She’s worked at St. Ursula Academy in Walnut Hills for the past 20 years and currently serves as their director of diversity. She works for the Cincinnati Visitors Bureau, helping to develop multicultural entertainment for Fountain Square in the summer. She’s the interim executive director of the Queen City Foundation, an organization devoted to helping young people succeed. Toilynn herself benefited from QCF, and she says it’s one of the reasons she is who she is today, doing what she’s doing to elevate young women in Cincinnati and inspire them to become leaders and community change agents.
We huddled around a table at Fountain Square amid the usual noise to find out what has driven Dora, chief operating officer at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, to all that she has accomplished. As a vibrant guitarist played and groups of friends chatted nearby, we carried on a lively conversation surrounding our communities and the strategies for addressing those that need more attention. Dora is oftentimes at the center of the community both in her professional role and personal growth experiences, but that doesn’t stop her from taking a step back to the behind the scenes action of it all.Read More
KellyAnn Nelson believes in empowering people and helping them to access their superpowers through music. She is the founder and artistic director of Young Professionals’ Choral Collective of Cincinnati (YPCC), an open access nonprofit choir. YPCC has a roster of 1,100 young professionals (YPs) who sign up to sing in any or all of the organization’s three arms: 1. Non-auditioned cycles which run 6-8 weeks each; 2. Community singing, which takes place around town upon request, whether at breweries or on the steps of Music Hall; and 3. The auditioned chamber choir. KellyAnn is also the managing artistic director of the Cincinnati Boychoir. Through these dual roles, she is helping to create a community of inclusion in Cincinnati.Read More
I met Megan Fischer a few years ago, while she was working at an educational publishing company. She was smart and capable and sometimes had pink hair – the kind of person you suspect has interesting things ahead. When Megan started talking about a diaper bank, a term I’d never heard before, I stopped and listened. From her, I learned that diaper banks help provide diapers, a necessity for children that is not covered by any government program like food stamps or WIC. Health clinics and food banks aren’t regular sources of diapers either, so parents in need have no reliable way to get them if they’re short on cash.Read More
It was a very cold April morning when we sat down with Amy Vann, founder of Give Like a Mother. The air was crisp, the sun was bright, and the scenery at the Cincinnati Nature Center was absolutely gorgeous. With an inviting energy and a smile that could light up any room, Amy opened up about her childhood, the important role faith plays in her life, and her aspirations for her nonprofit organization. Here is a glimpse of her inspiring story.
We meet at Liberty’s Bar & Bottle, home to many of Lily and Anh’s best ideas. It’s an innocent enough starting point for a simple after-work get-together. But with Lily and Anh, a simple get-together can just as often turn into an unplanned meeting of top-tier movers and shakers planning out the next great idea for the city. I’ve been there, and it happens.Read More
Danielle Gentry-Barth, a proud Bearcat, told us to meet her in front of Mick and Mack’s at the University of Cincinnati. We settled comfortably in an office borrowed from the philosophy department, and Danielle shared her journey from a master’s degree in history to her position now at Easterseals. She frequently described her work and her life as “awesome!” She fell into fundraising right out of graduate school and has yet to fall out of it. She also told us about the work she does to help others outside of Easterseals. It was clear that helping people is in her nature.Read More
Debbie Smith’s motto is: “Don’t tell me no; tell me how.” This bold attitude has brought her to develop innovative programs that elevate Cincinnati youth out of poverty. We met her at Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati in Walnut Hills and sat down in a conference room, where she shared her story with us. She weaved advice into her stories, thoroughly demonstrating her desire to help others in any way possible.Read More
Suzy DeYoung is a chef with a deep culinary heritage. After studying French and business at University of Cincinnati and training as a chef in Paris, she ran a successful catering business, La Petite Pierre, with her sister. Today, Suzy runs La Soupe, a nonprofit founded to rescue food from grocery stores, farms, and food purveyors that would otherwise be wasted. La Soupe takes a chef driven approach to turn that food into healthy, nutritious meals, which are then donated to schools and community agencies throughout Cincinnati.
We sat down with Nia Baucke outside Clark Montessori in Hyde Park in March and kept our fingers crossed that it would be one of the rare sunny days of spring. It was a quiet morning as a nearby lacrosse practice was ending and we settled down on a bench to get our conversation started. It quickly became clear that the founder of Cypress Beauty was passionate about that project, but Nia refuses to be defined solely by her work.Read More
Lindsay and Emily walk in a few minutes later. I haven’t seen Emily since she’s been pregnant with Macie, a baby girl due in June. With a family like this one, full of powerhouse women, Macie is sure to grow up to be one fierce lady. We sit down and reminisce for a few minutes, and the conversation turns to another fierce lady: Lindsay and Emily’s mom, Dr. Sandra Combs.Read More
The Patterson family is a tribe of women unlike any I’ve ever met. The bond between the six fierce sisters makes it clear to any outsider that to these women, family always has and always will come first. It’s a loud family full of big feelings, big opinions, and big love, and at the head of it all is Patricia Patterson, a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. I met Dr. Sandra Combs at Roebling Point Books & Coffee on a rainy Sunday, laughing at times, tearing up at others, as she talked about the mother that made her family what it is today.
I’m overjoyed to see Dr. Sandra Combs walk through the door of Roebling Point Books & Coffee on a rainy Sunday morning in February. I’m good friends with her whole vivacious family, and while she stands in line for a large coffee, we gush about her daughter Emily, who just found out she’ll be having a baby girl this June. We make our way to the comfy armchairs in the next room, and as she begins to tell me about her journey – sharing her gift as a speech pathologist, finding a home in Covington, and more – her bracelets jingle like a soundtrack to her words.Read More
Rachel began her career in geriatric care at Glen Manor Home for the Aged in Bond Hill. She has a master’s degree in health and human services and is a licensed nursing home administrator, but she will tell you that her best experience – where she learned the most about aging – was working in Israel and the Chicago Housing Authority. Today, Rachel works for Queen City Home Care as a geriatric care manager and marketing coordinator, crediting her long career to the many seniors who have touched her life over 25 years. She’s a huge piece of the stories of innumerable seniors throughout Cincinnati.Read More
From those first steps to that first heartbreak to the first moment we master a generation-old family recipe, mothers have been through it all. Our relationships with our mothers vary: whether we can’t get enough of their advice and support, or sometimes it feels like we have too much of it, moms continue to shape the stage that we dance upon.Read More
Leslie Stevenson made history last year when she became the first African American to run for City Council in Norwood. And in November, Norwood voters made history when they elected her, the first African American Council member in the city’s 129-year history.
Women of Cincy recently had a chance to talk with Stevenson about Norwood’s past and present, and how her work in the nonprofit sector led her to public service.Read More
A happy childhood didn’t keep Rachel Roberts from leaving her hometown of Cincinnati the moment high school was over. From her start as a ski bum and whitewater rafting guide to her positions in the corporate world, she built a life in Colorado that hit all the adult milestones – some good, some not so good. She married, divorced, and discovered yoga. But it was on a solo trip around the world where she finally found her future and her way back home.Read More
Iris Book Cafe was the perfect spot to spend a cold and rainy Sunday morning, surrounded by books and the comfortable crowd while sipping coffee, listening to Julie Fay’s story, and looking at pictures of her past projects in Over-the-Rhine and her current project: the Imperial Theater in Mohawk.Read More