About Us

Brazen Acts of Generosity

In 1995, Les McNeill initiated a marvelously brazen act. With $5,300 and the unabashed belief that she could improve the status of women in the Greater Cincinnati area, she created the Women’s Fund. Today, we are designing a community where all women can participate, prosper and reach their full potential. We produce groundbreaking research that has changed the conversation in back yards and board rooms. Les started a movement that is now a force for women’s self-sufficiency.

We are proud to carry the torch.

Our mission: The Women's Fund's mission is to advance gender and racial equity for women by addressing systemic barriers to upward mobility.

Our vision: We are designing a community where all women can participate, prosper and reach their full potential. 

Meet the Team

Melissa Rounds


Rajani Menon

Civic Inclusion Manager

Sara Kahmann, CFRE

Development Director

Travis Speice, Ph. D.

Applied Research Director

Michelle Hopkins

Communications Director

Holly Hankinson

Advocacy Director

Women's Fund Founder

Les McNeill

Women's Fund Leadership Council

Peggy Murriner

Leadership Council Chair

Founder, Pair Up Systems Technology & Business Consulting

Diane Altmix

Managing Director, Accenture

Nicole Armstrong

Founder & CEO,  Ellequate


Tammy Bennett

University of Cincinnati, College of Law

Jyotsna Bernet

Data Strategy Lead Business Analyst, 84.51

Kendra Davis

Tax Examiner, Internal Revenue Service 

Jenn Dye

Director, Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice, University of Cincinnati College of Law

Chris Flores

Founder & Lead Planner, Three Corners Capital

Elizabeth Chasteen Day

State Organizing Director, American Civil Liberties Union

Karen Dudley Grissom

Communications Professional

Sally Lloyd

Professor (retired), Miami University Dept. of Educational Leadership

Tina Macon

President & Senior Consultant, AllMac & Associates

Whitney Owens

Chief Learning Officer, Cincinnati Museum Center

Karl Preissner

Director, Global Equality & Inclusion, P&G

Ann Schwister

Principal, Ann Schwister Associates

Rickell Howard Smith

President & CEO, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati

Annette Tice

Managing Director, EY-Quantitave Services (QS) 

Bill Tucker

Founder, ImpactCincy

Rick Williams

President & CEO, The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati

Coalition Partners

Community Partners & Volunteers

Advocacy Committee

Emma Bachelder
Jyotsna Bernet
Amber Brown
Nan Cahall
Kendra Davis
Elizabeth Day
Meridy Glenn
Tara Keesling
Liz Koszuta
Patty Lawrence
Rashida Manuel
Mary Carol Melton
Marla Morse
Amy Neyer
Lauren Ouart-Redman
Serena Owne
Jane Page-Steiner
Carrie Pastor
Allison Puchala
Joseph Puchala
Susan Rengstorf
Colleen Reynolds
Julie Schmidt
Erin Schnurstein
Anne Sesler
Ali Trianfo
Sarah Wessling

Community Engagement and Development Committee

Diane Altmix
Tammy Bennett
Chris Flores
Linnea Gartin
Janet Hill
Michelle Hopkins
Taren Kinebrew
Tina Macon
Jackie Marcschall
Peggy Murriner
Morgan Whaley
Deidra Wiley
Kyla Woods

Research Committee

Kelly Adcock
Olivia Ballard
Jillian Darwish
Leah Efken
Fernando Figueroa
Sarah Gideonse
Sara Gwiasda
Sarah Imran
Susan LaBonte
Lori Landrum
Sally Lloyd
Zoha Mian
Meghan Mullikin
Amy Neyer
Zeinab Schwen
Danielle Smith
Allison Tepper
Annette Tice
Bill Tucker
Dionn Tron
Rachel Wells
Jody Yetzer

Women's Fund Advisory Council

Mary Ayers
LaToya Barnes
Brittney Bolden
Jodi Cunningham
Kendra Davis
Ashley Feist
Dani Issacsohn
Kurstin Jones
Jeneya Lawrence
Dominique Love
Jocquelene Pressley
Ahmyah Smith

Community Partners

4C for Children
African American Chamber of Commerce
All-In Cincinnati
Amos Project
Brighton Center
Center for Closing the Health Gap
Charlotte Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank Trustee
Chatfield College
Children, Inc.
Cincinnati Preschool Promise
Cincinnati State
Cincinnati Union Bethel
Cincinnati Works
City Link Center
Co-op Cincy
Community Action Agency
Community Matters
Cradle Cincinnati
Dress for Success
Economic and Community Development Institute, Inc.
Family Independence Initiative
First Step Home
Gateway Community and Technical College
Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Greenlight Fund
Groundwork Ohio
Habitat for Humanity Cincinnati
Hamilton County Job and Family Services
Healthcare Access Now
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Home Ownership Center
Human Services Chamber
Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
Joining Forces for Children
Learning Grove
Lydia's House
Mercy Neighborhood Ministries
National Fund for Workforce Solutions
Northern Kentucky Chamber
Ohio Justice and Policy Center
Ohio Women's Public Policy Network
Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio
Project LIFT
Queen City Certified
Rahma Community Services
Santa Maria Cincinnati
Sisters for Charity Cincinnati
St. Vincent de Paul
Support to Encourage Low Income Families
Union Institute
United Way - Butler and Warren Counties
United Way - Greater Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash
Urban League
Women Helping Women
Women of Cincy
Women's Crisis Center
Women's Fund of Warren County
Workforce Innovation Center

The Women's Fund Advisory Council

We believe the decision-making power should lie in the hands of people closest to a given problem. In collaboration with Cohear, we convene a group of everyday experts— women who are directly experiencing the cliff effect, barriers to child care and economic mobility, and understand the limitations of low-wage jobs to advise our work. 

This council informs our research and advocacy efforts by using their experience to contextualize systemic issues in their own lives. The Advisory Council also decides our programmatic grants each year.

Learn more about Cohear.

Community Partner Meetings

The Women’s Fund convenes nearly 50 nonprofit community partners who offer programs for training and education, child care, employment and living wage to women in the Greater Cincinnati area. Meeting twice annually, this group discusses key initiatives and research that directly addresses gaps and identifies areas of momentum.

Our community partners supply first-hand accounts of barriers to economic self-sufficiency and help us identify macro themes that are occurring in the non-profit ecosystem. This insight informs our research and advocacy efforts as we look for systemic interventions.