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During the reception, past honorees heard about plans for this year’s 50th Anniversary Luncheon and voted to give a grant to Appointed, an initiative of the Women’s Fund. This $5,000 grant from GCF was made possible using proceeds from last year’s Women of the Year Luncheon.
Appointed is a non-partisan initiative that identifies opportunities for women to serve on civic boards and commissions and empowers them to seek a seat at the table.
“Our grant recipients work hard every day to make changes to systems that improve women’s lives and help them provide for themselves and their families,” said Meghan Cummings, Executive Director of The Women’s Fund. “From job training to changing tires, they help women and families, making the Greater Cincinnati region a better place.”
These $500 – $2,000 grants focus on supporting systemic efforts to improve women’s incomes, job security, and their ability to provide adequately for themselves and their families.
The following organizations received funding:
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Through leadership, research, and grantmaking, The Women’s Fund works to identify and address the barriers affecting working women and their families. Learn more and get involved at www.cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
Learn about The Women’s Fund report 2014 PULSE: 2020 Jobs and Gender Outlook here.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
This special and well-earned recognition for exceptional women has been a tradition in our community. Greater Cincinnati Foundation is so pleased to help carry on this great tradition by partnering with The Enquirer to bring you the 50th annual Women of the Year Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 26, 2018.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation and Cincinnati Enquirer are teaming up again to bring you the 50th Anniversary of the Women of the Year award. This year’s luncheon will be held on October 26, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Cincinnati from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. So be thinking of the women in your life who have dedicated their time, energy and talent to make our community a better place to live for all.
We hope you’ll be able to join us on October 26, 2018 for this prestigious event. Ticketing and sponsorship for the 2018 Women of the Year 50th Anniversary Luncheon event are available online now. Individual tickets are $65 and host/hostess tickets are $165. Other ticket options and multiple sponsorship levels are also available.
SPONSOR OR PURCHASE TICKETS
Greater Cincinnati Foundation and The Enquirer are proud to announce the 50th Class of Women of the Year Honorees! Thank you to all who submitted nominations. We are proud of the many women in our community who make a difference and commit their lives to make our community a better place.
Read the full article from the Saturday, August 18, 2018 edition of The Enquirer, Meet the 2018 Women of the Year.
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CINCINNATI (June 4, 2015) — The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation recently presented its 2015 mini-grants to 12 well-deserving nonprofits.
The Women's Fund's mini-grant ($500 - $1,500) cycle funds organizations that provide services and programming to improve the lives and economic status of women and girls in the Greater Cincinnati region. Our grants focus on supporting systemic efforts to improve women’s incomes, job security and their ability to provide adequately for themselves and their families.
List of 2015 Mini-Grant Grantees for Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency:
These grants were made possible by the generosity of The Women's Fund donors. Because of them, $1 million has been granted to Greater Cincinnati programs and projects that help women since the inception of The Women's Fund in 1995. See the list of projects we have funded.
We would like to thank our wonderful volunteer grant reviewers for your time, thoroughness and wisdom!
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. cincinnatiwomensfund.org
I want to take a moment to thank you for being such an important part of The Women’s Fund family. I’m tremendously honored to lead this organization comprising so many passionate donors and volunteers.
I have been with The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation for more than four years and, quite simply, I live and breathe this work. Investing in women and their families is the strongest, most effective way to make our community more prosperous.
My vision is to make women’s self-sufficiency a community imperative—an issue that is discussed in back yards and board rooms and carried out through a dynamic plan of action.
Thanks to your support, the trajectory of The Women’s Fund has been exceptional. We are changing the conversation about women and girls in Greater Cincinnati.
I am grateful that you understand and appreciate the importance of the systemic work that we do. It makes all the difference.
Although I know many of you already, I look forward to reconnecting over the next few months and discussing your hopes for The Women’s Fund in the years to come.
We have so much more to accomplish together and I’m eager to hear your ideas. You can reach me anytime at email@example.com or 513-768-6144.
Thank you for your generosity and your confidence in our work.
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. cincinnatiwomensfund.org
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), in partnership with the Cincinnati Enquirer, is pleased to announce the 2018 Women of the Year:
Judith Harmony is the first female faculty member of Indiana University’s chemistry department. She was instrumental in the development of The Women’s Fund of Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s first PULSE study in 2004. Harmony founded the Harmony Garden, an education center that strives to bring communities together to promote the health of young girls from underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Maria Ahmed Munir is the inaugural co-chair of the Festival of Faiths, a day of inclusion, education, understanding and building community. She established a scholarship fund at International Academy of Cincinnati for deserving students to get financial assistance. Munir was the first female PTO president at International Academy of Cincinnati and is a board member of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati.
Nancy Eigel-Miller has dedicated her life to erasing the stigma of mental illness by founding 1N5, an organization that increases awareness and education about mental health. Through 1N5, she created the Brain Health Network as a braintrust around the successes and challenges of mental health programs. Eigel-Miller also created the first Youth Mental Health Innovation Challenge at the University of Cincinnati, a two-day workshop fostering a unique learning experience and professional development opportunity for high school students.
Kelly Dolan founded Thrive Impact Sourcing with the sole intent of bringing Cincinnati out of un/underemployment and into IT careers. Thrive is a business incubator dedicated to creating opportunity for diverse individuals to enter the IT industry, notorious for its lack of diversity. Dolan also founded Ingage Partners, Cincinnati’s first Certified B Corporation. She is an involved volunteer with Freeset USA, which sells clothes and bags made by women in India who were formerly working in the sex trade industry.
Mary Burke Rivers has been the executive director of Over the Rhine Community Housing since 1993, where she has excelled in creating and advocating for equitable access to housing for the past 25 years. She is a board member of The Finance Fund, Community Development Association of Greater Cincinnati, Affordable Housing Advocates, Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio.
Alandes Powell is the chair of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, where she has served as a board member and volunteer for eight years. She has been a board member of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati since 2014 and was a YWCA Cincinnati Career Woman of Achievement recipient in 2013. Powell is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 41 and Leadership Northern Kentucky. As Senior Vice President, Operations & Relationship Director of Citi Retail Services, she has also served as a mentor to colleagues and received the Citigroup Chairman’s Leadership Award in 2007. Powell is a board member of the Brighton Center and serves on the Elder Board of the Inspirational Baptist Church.
Mary Welsh Schlueter is the founr and CEO of Partnership for Innovation in Education, in partnership with Harvard University, which focuses on elevating student academic achievement, workforce readiness and experiential learning pathways in emerging careers. She is on the Harvard Business School Board of Directors (Ohio) and the Allegheny College, Alumni Board of Directors and teaching staff. Schlueter is an awardee of the Direct Energy Citizen of the Year, USA Chamber of Commerce WE Empowerment & New Business, Deloitte & Touche “100 Wise Women,” National Diversity Council Leadership Excellence, Venue Magazine Civic Leadership and STEM Difference Maker (Duke Energy).
Maureen France is a member of the West McMicken Improvement Association and was instrumental in re-opening the long-closed Warner Street steps leading to Fairview Park. She also has helped replace dilapidated playground equipment in the community. France was a key leader in the prevention of the destruction of part of her neighborhood during the reconstruction of I-75. She has used her photography, in collaboration with the Cincinnati Preservation Association and the Hillside Trust, to present ODOT and City Council with a book showing the vibrancy and closeness of her neighborhood.
Tillie Hidalgo Lima is a co-chair of the YMCA Academy of Career Women of Achievement. She was named Hispanic Woman of the Year in 2010 by the Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan in 2015 by the Ohio Commission on Hispanic-Latino Affairs and the Latino Empowerment Outreach Network. Her current board memberships include: United Way of Greater Cincinnati Board of Directors and Executive Committee, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Board of Trustees, Child Poverty Steering Committee and Cincinnati Women Executive Forum. Lima has been the CEO of Best Upon Request since 2003, where she co-created a groundbreaking new service, Maternity Concierge, to help new working mothers balance their quality of life.
Chandra Mathews-Smith is the chair of the Community Action Agency board. Dedicated to the improvement of the foster care system, she led the initiative to design the Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services Emergency Therapeutic Foster Care Program, which served as the emergency shelter provider for some of the county’s most difficult-to-serve children and adolescents. Mathews-Smith worked with Cincinnati Public Schools to institute their Ujima program, which provided wraparound and day treatment services for CPS students with the special education designation of Severely Behaviorally Handicapped.
The Women of the Year award is given to 10 women in the community who have dedicated their lives to giving back. This award is among the oldest and most significant honors one can receive in Greater Cincinnati.
“These exceptional women are the embodiment of dedication, community service and compassion for their fellow citizens,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF President/CEO. “We look forward to sharing their inspirational stories, but even more so, we look forward to watching our community prosper due to their passion and drive.”
The honorees will be recognized at the 50th annual Women of the Year Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Friday, October 26, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. To purchase tickets to the luncheon or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.gcfdn.org/woy.
Stephanie Sears said she visited the Kentucky Career Center to find out if there was any way she could support her family and herself.
She was doubtful.
“My exact words were, ‘I know you can’t help me. I know I’m a lost cause, I’ll leave now,’” Stephanie said.
Stephanie is far from alone. According to research by The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, 90 percent of all female-held jobs in the region pay insufficient wages for a single parent with three children. Two out of three children in poverty live in female-headed households.
As a mother of three children, one with a chronic medical condition requiring nursing care, Stephanie said the career counselor gave her “a little air of hope.” She handed her a Raise the Floor brochure.
Raise the Floor is a program that provides training and certification in manufacturing skills for women. Currently, there are more than 600 unfilled manufacturing jobs in Boone County. Raise the Floor meets the needs of employers while raising women and children out of poverty. The program is based out of Gateway Community and Technical College and is a collaboration of the school, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, 4C for Children, The Women’s Fund, and local manufacturers.
“Women and children living in poverty in our area have reached critical levels,” said Meghan Cummings, executive director of The Women’s Fund. “We can help these families by getting the moms on stable footing. These manufacturing careers achieve just that.”
Raise the Floor has a holistic approach and develops support systems such as transportation, child care, job placement, and career services. The 16-week certified production technician certification course has flexible hours. Scholarships for tuition are available.
During Stephanie’s time as a student, she faced more than the usual obstacles. Her children were out of school for 26 inclement weather days; she had a minor surgery; her kitchen caught on fire.
“If it wasn’t for the support I got here, I don’t know what I would have done,” she said. “When I finished and they said I had a 4.0, I told them to check again.”
Now that Stephanie has earned her certification, she can go directly into the workforce or continue to earn an associate’s degree. The career pathways offered through the certification and degree include computer-aided drafting and design, computerized manufacturing and machining, electrical technology, industrial maintenance, manufacturing engineering technology, supply chain management, and welding technology.
Stephanie has chosen to continue on with her associate’s degree, working her way toward self-sufficiency. In its two-year history, the program has served 75 women: 32 are employed in manufacturing jobs, 18 are employed in non-manufacturing jobs, and eight are seeking additional education.
Stephanie, who describes her former life as “a circle of defeat,” urges others to advance through Raise the Floor.
“Dive into it,” she said. “Dedicate those weeks in your life and after that, not only will you be able to get a higher paying job, you can go on and get your degree.”
The Women’s Fund is a partner of Raise the Floor. Thanks to the generosity of donors, The Women's Fund has granted money for participant child care expenses and supported a workshop for area employers.
Partners for a Competitive Workforce, a Raise the Floor partner, was founded by The Greater Cincinnati Foundation in 2008 and housed by GCF through 2011. It is now managed by United Way of Greater Cincinnati. It has received $902,000 in support from GCF.
In 2014, The Women’s Fund released PULSE: 2020 Jobs and Gender Outlook (prepared by the UC Economics Center). The report shines a light on the fact that, based on current trends, job growth in our region is not likely to result in uniform prosperity for both genders.
Published in the 2015 Annual Report to the Community.
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