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
Sara Kahmann, CFRE
Travis Speice, Ph. D.
Women's Fund Founder
Women's Fund Leadership Council
Leadership Council Chair
Founder, Pair Up Systems Technology & Business Consulting
Managing Director, Accenture
Founder & CEO, Ellequate
University of Cincinnati, College of Law
Data Strategy Lead Business Analyst, 84.51
Tax Examiner, Internal Revenue Service
Director, Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice, University of Cincinnati College of Law
Founder & Lead Planner, Three Corners Capital
Elizabeth Chasteen Day
State Organizing Director, American Civil Liberties Union
Karen Dudley Grissom
Professor (retired), Miami University Dept. of Educational Leadership
President & Senior Consultant, AllMac & Associates
Chief Learning Officer, Cincinnati Museum Center
Director, Global Equality & Inclusion, P&G
Principal, Ann Schwister Associates
Rickell Howard Smith
President & CEO, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati
Managing Director, EY-Quantitave Services (QS)
President & CEO, The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati
Community Partners & Volunteers
Mary Carol Melton
4C for Children
African American Chamber of Commerce
Center for Closing the Health Gap
Charlotte Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank Trustee
Cincinnati Preschool Promise
Cincinnati Union Bethel
City Link Center
Community Action Agency
Dress for Success
Economic and Community Development Institute, Inc.
Family Independence Initiative
First Step Home
Gateway Community and Technical College
Greater Cincinnati Foundation
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
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
Queen City Certified
Rahma Community Services
Santa Maria Cincinnati
Sisters for Charity Cincinnati
St. Vincent de Paul
Support to Encourage Low Income Families
United Way - Butler and Warren Counties
United Way - Greater Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash
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.
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.