The Women’s Fund: Inspiring Northern Kentucky Women to Lead

The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation partnered with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March 17 for a training session to help prepare women for civic leadership roles.

About 40 women from a variety of professions and all walks of life turned out for the half day session at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 300 Buttermilk Pike in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

Determining how you want to serve, finding the right fit, learning about open positions and how boards and commissions operate were the range of topics covered in the half-day session as a part of Appointed, an initiative offered by the Women’s Fund.

“The goal of Appointed is to increase diversity on boards and commissions. “We’re grateful to the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for partnering with us to make this training more accessible to Kentucky residents,” says Rajani Menon, Civic Inclusion Manager for the Women’s Fund.

The women that came to the training are uniquely positioned to make a positive impact by getting involved. Often what is needed is just the right encouragement, which Appointed training provides.

Alicia Miller is the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund. “We believe civic leadership should reflect the communities they serve. In Northern Kentucky women hold only 26% of civic board and commission seats. Even more underrepresented are women of color. What we want to do is empower women to seek a seat at the table,” said Miller.
Many of the women described the training as energizing and impactful.

Deborah Ramirez is Human Resources leader at St. Elizabeth Hospital. “I loved it actually; just having access to all the various websites. I would not have known where to start.”

A panel of elected and appointed officials shared their experiences and offered advice. The panel included, Judge Executive of Boone County Gary Moore, State Senator Shelley Funke Frommeyer, Alicia Webb Edgington, President, Life Learning Center and Tracy A. Smith, Esq. Campbell County Library Board Member.

“My hope with our partnership is to break the Ohio River divide when it comes to collaboration. The Women’s Fund pairs greatly with our Women’s Initiative and the placement of women of all backgrounds on boards of consequence will aid in our overall goal of diversifying our region and retaining talent,” said Ashleigh DuBois, director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Sheena Brooks is the director of graduate education at Northern Kentucky University. “It’s been interesting learning about the data, that women are so underrepresented on boards and I’m thinking we need to change that. inspired to get on one of these boards. And this isn’t just about me. I raised three children as a single mom. I want women to know, you may have started somewhere but that doesn’t mean that that’s the end of your story. I want to be an example to young women to let them know that they can lead,” said Brooks.

As part of the training, each woman wrote a note to herself that the Women’s Fund will later send in the mail as a reminder of the commitment they made to themselves to get more involved.

“There is something about writing down your goals that makes them seem more attainable. This has been a great way to end the session,” said Ramirez.

To learn more about the Women’s Fund go to

To view the Appointed 101 training slides click here.