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News & Event

Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati Enquirer Announce 2018 Women of the Year

 Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), in partnership with the Cincinnati Enquirer, is pleased to announce the 2018 Women of the Year:

 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