Meet Shelly

Shelly Espich, Director, Technology, is a Cincinnati-area native (but lived in Las Vegas and Dallas at different points in her youth) and graduate of Northern Kentucky University. She lives in Villa Hills, Kentucky, and has four children and four grandchildren.

Share details of your personal and professional background that helped to guide your path to GCF.
I’ve worked in nonprofits for my entire career, including United Way, CET, Brighton Center and Talbert House. I was very familiar with the work that GCF did in the community. When a position opened, I jumped at the chance to work at the foundation.

I started as a donor services coordinator and have been promoted three times. GCF has given me many opportunities, for which I’m extremely grateful.

Do you volunteer outside of work?
I mentor several women who have little, if any, higher education with job, resume and esteem building … something that’s right in line with GCF’s work in the community!

Who or what is your inspiration, and in what ways has that driven your passion for GCF’s mission?
I’ve been inspired by so many strong women over the years. My mom immediately comes to mind. As the revolution for women’s rights and equality came to the forefront, she constantly kept me informed on those issues.

One day when I was 9 or 10 years old, I made a comment about childcare, to which my mom replied, “You should sit down and write to the President about this.” So, I did. I wrote to President Carter, expressing that working moms needed help with child support while they worked during the day. I even received a card in return.

In addition, I’ve always been intrigued by the law and inspired by strong women who “do it all.”

Today, I’d like to see more young women in technology and STEM. That’s something for which we, as a society, need to actively promote change.

GCF strives to help women throughout our region become independent and self-sufficient. My inspiration, then, is a big part of GCF’s mission.

What are three things about you that most people don’t know?

  • I love to garden. My tomatoes are massive and plentiful this year because of the attention I’ve been able to give them during COVID.
  • My favorite spot is the beach.
  • I’m a sci-fi fan. I grew up on Star Trek. When Star Wars came out, I had a light saber. I love them both. I’m a big Hobbit and Tolkien fan as well. I’ll read and watch any sci-fi I can get my hands/eyes on.

What do you like most about working at GCF?

The people. They truly are inspired by the mission. What we’re able to do in the community because of their dedication is amazing. You can have all the dreams and strategies in the world, but if you don’t have a team of committed people, you’re not going to get there. It’s not a job for our people. It’s a passion.