Influential Women Leaders to Follow in 2024 | Julie Miller Davis | Exeleon Magazine

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MAY 2024 ISSUE – 18
INFLUENTIAL TO FOLLOW Wmen o Leaders How Julie Miller Davis is pioneering effective leadership? PRODUCTIVITY Master i ng



The landscape of women leadership has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past few decades. Once confined to the fringes of the corporate world, women today are at the forefront of leadership, driving change, and shaping the future of industries across the globe.

The presence of women in leadership roles has seen significant growth. According to a report by Catalyst, women held 29% of senior management roles globally in 2020, up from 21% in 2012 . This increase reflects a positive shift towards gender diversity in the upper echelons of business.

Moreover, the number of women leading Fortune 500 companies has reached unprecedented levels. In 2021, there were 41 women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, a record high, compared to just two in 2000 . This progress illustrates not only a break from the past but also the potential for even greater representation in the future.

Despite these advancements, gender disparity remains a challenge. The gender pay gap, for instance, persists across many industries. As of 2021, women in the United States earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the Pew Research Center . This gap is even wider for women of color, highlighting the intersectional nature of gender inequality.

While significant progress has been made, the journey towards true gender parity continues. By fostering inclusive workplaces, implementing equitable policies, and supporting women’s professional growth, we can pave the way for a future where women leaders are not the exception but the norm.

As we reflect on the strides made, let us also commit to the ongoing effort required to break down the remaining barriers. The future of leadership is diverse, inclusive, and brighter with women at the helm.



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J ie

Miller Davis, a seasoned business coach and the founder behind JMD Productivity Training, has built her career on the foundational belief that productivity and strategic planning are the keys to unlocking potential in any business endeavor.

Her journey from an enthusiastic teacher to a respected business trainer mirrors her passion for innovation and her relentless drive to foster growth and eficiency in others.

Fittingly, Julie features on the Cover of Exeleon's Most Inluential Women Leaders to Follow in 2024. In this article, we investigate her journey, her vision as a coach, and her leadership ideologies.


Relecting on her formative years, Julie explains that while entrepreneurship in the conventional sense wasn't a clear ambition early on, the foundational elements were unmistakably present. At just nine years old, she was instinctively drawn to teaching, a role which allowed her to guide and educate others—a core aspect of entrepreneurship that involves imparting signiicant value to others. This early experience highlighted her innate ability to inluence and foster development in others.

Her inclination towards teaching became a deining theme throughout her life, eventually evolving seamlessly into her professional role today. "As a


trainer and business coach, I've stayed true to my calling of teaching, innovating it into helping others grow their businesses, which circles back to the essence of what I loved as a child—helping others learn and grow," Julie says.


Julie's transition from a dedicated educator to an entrepreneur began subtly but signiicantly during her career as a teacher. Her professional evolution took a pivotal turn when she decided to branch out as an independent contractor, a role that introduced her to the business world's

complexities and opportunities. This new venture proved to be a turning point, revealing her inherent talent for productivity and strategic planning.

Her colleagues quickly noticed the growth and success she achieved in her new role, which she managed to do working just a few days a week. This sparked curiosity among her peers and led to a personal revelation about her unique skill set.

"I discovered my natural approach to productivity, strategic planning, and intentional action was not common practice for many," Julie

says. Realizing the rarity and value of her skills, she felt a strong inspiration to share her methods with a broader audience. This realization and motivation culminated in the founding of JMD Productivity Training.

She designed JMD Productivity Training with a clear objective: to empower professionals through mastery of calendar control, prioritization, and proactive planning. Her programs are crafted to equip participants with the necessary tools to navigate and overcome the common, yet complex challenges faced in the realm of business productivity.


C o ac h i ng WITH A VISION

Talking about her coaching programs at JMD Productivity Training, Julie can't help but share her enthusiasm.

Her offerings, including two meticulously crafted six-week group programs entitled "Prioritize with Power" and "Solve Unsolvable Problems," are tailored to transform business owners' approach to productivity and problem-solving.

“Prioritize with Power”

This program is engineered for those struggling to effectively manage their time. “The problem isn't really about 'managing time,' it's about managing and mastering your habits around time,” Julie says. The core objective of the program is to equip participants with robust tools and techniques to focus intensely on what truly matters in order to grow their business and get the right things done in a day.

It emphasizes the importance of minimizing procrastination, reducing multitasking, and eliminating timewasters—key practices that often

hinder productivity. By focusing on these areas, Julie helps participants streamline their daily routines and prioritize tasks that drive the most value.

“Solve Unsolvable Problems”

In "Solve Unsolvable Problems," Julie shifts the focus to enhancing decisionmaking and problem-solving skills. The program aims to expand participants' realms of inluence by sharpening their ability to anticipate and tackle business challenges proactively or what she also refers to as “intentional action.”

She describes the program's philosophy: "It's about transforming your mindset to approach problems with a proactive, can-do attitude rather than remaining stuck in a vortex of inaction." By encouraging a shift from a problem-centered to a solutioncentered approach, this program helps business owners unlock new levels of growth and eficiency. It is a game changer!



Julie's programs are not just informative; they are transformative. They challenge business owners to delve deep into the mechanics of their operations and reine their focus on critical tasks. One of the hallmarks of her programs is their adaptability, which allows them to resonate with a diverse range of individuals and business models.

She takes pride in how these programs empower entrepreneurs, especially women, to shift from routine task completion to engaging in intentional, purpose-driven action.

She expresses a deep sense of fulillment in seeing how these entrepreneurs adapt the tools and strategies from her courses to their unique contexts, leading to signiicant evolution in their businesses. "It's rewarding to see success-driven women entrepreneurs adopt these tools, tailor them to their ventures, and witness their remarkable business evolution," Julie notes.


Julie not only teaches productivity; she embodies it. She maintains her focus and eficiency by practicing what she preaches—intentional planning.

"Staying productive while juggling various responsibilities is all about intentional planning," she explains, outlining her method of scheduling her calendar six months in advance

to ensure that every aspect of her life receives the attention it deserves. This approach allows her to keep a healthy balance between her professional responsibilities and personal life, ensuring she remains effective and as stress-free as possible.

Julie's philosophy around her personal life is as dynamic as her professional endeavors. An avid outdoor enthusiast, she enjoys hiking, skiing, goling, and spending quality time with her family. Her approach to life is simple yet impactful: live fully, with health, happiness, and joy. Her infectious enthusiasm for life and her commitment to living joyfully resonate through her personal and professional interactions, making her a true embodiment of her teachings.


Talking about the future of JMD Productivity Training, Julie mentions her plans of expanding her offerings to meet the evolving needs of business professionals globally. She is particularly excited about several key developments that promise to extend the impact and accessibility of her training programs.


One of the major innovations Julie is introducing is a fully virtual 3day intensive scheduled for this May. This program represents a signiicant evolution from JMD Productivity Training's previous formats, which included in-person and hybrid models.

The move to a fully virtual intensive is designed to make her powerful productivity strategies more accessible to a broader audience, removing geographical and logistical barriers that might have previously limited participant access. This format allows for a concentrated delivery of content, designed to rapidly enhance participants' productivity skills in a short period.


In addition to launching new initiatives, Julie is dedicated to continuously improving her existing programs. She is currently ine-tuning her lagship 'UNSTUCK' 6-month program along with the popular 6-week programs mentioned above, "Prioritize with Power" and "Solve Unsolvable Problems." Her focus is on reining these courses to create an even more focused and eficient pathway to productivity.


The future enhancements and innovations in Julie's offerings are not just about expanding services; they are about magnifying the effectiveness of her teachings. Her goal is to extend the reach of her training to enable a greater number of business professionals to achieve breakthrough success.

By innovating and adapting her methods to the ever evolving business landscape, she ensures that her training remains relevant and impactful.


Ex e o n SHORTS

One Book Entrepreneurs must read – Atomic Habits by James Clear

One Tool / App that you would Recommend – The JMD Daily Productivity Planner

One Quote that Motivates you the most – “Never mistake motion for action.” - Ernest Hemingway


Advice for Women Entrepreneurs – Stop treating all things equally and start taking INTENTIONAL action on the things that matter.

One Movie / Podcast / Show you recommend – “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller. It's a beautiful movie on vision and making life happen.



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Good to Great: Fro m

How Empathetic Leadership Drives Success

From humble beginnings in rural Iowa to being named regional entrepreneur of the year, my perspective on leadership has been shaped by both personal struggles and professional triumphs. My journey as the CEO of a thriving chemical company has taught me that mastery of empathy is indispensable. This is not just a soft skill—it is the cornerstone of effective, human-centered capitalism, which has been pivotal to my success.

Human-centered capitalism means driving business outcomes while nurturing the community we've created. This goes beyond mere declarations of being a “work family,” which often falls short in practice. Instead, it involves genuinely prioritizing the welfare of our community. While business targets are nonnegotiable, the way we reach them—through compassion and understanding—makes all the difference, and it must start with leadership.

Here's how I view the integration of caring and capitalism in my role: I'm deeply committed to both my team's well-being and our bottom line. These aren't opposing goals but complementary facets of my leadership approach. This not only fosters a supportive culture but also enhances

productivity, customer satisfaction, and inancial outcomes.

For instance, when a team member faced a health crisis, we didn't just keep her job open; we actively supported her recovery and reintegrated her into her professional role with full accommodations. This approach isn't just about doing good—it's sound business strategy. Engaged employees are more productive, dedicated, and less likely to leave, reducing turnover costs and maintaining continuity.


Leaders must create a space for people to rise, irrespective of their past experiences or credentials. I look for honest, hardworking people who have stellar communication skills and are capable of recognizing mistakes, identifying possible solutions, and working with the team to succeed. Empathy puts the focus on what people need to be successful in their roles. Transparency and clear expectations build trust.

Look for innate qualities that drive individuals forward — grit, integrity, and curiosity. I don't have many rigid rules; if someone's an excellent


communicator and understands the business, I don't care where they went to school. If they're incredibly intuitive and can come up with constructive solutions to hard problems, I want them on my team. Their success is not deined by a degree or lack thereof, but on demonstrated skills that motivate and excite.

An in-depth understanding of your employees and their needs makes the team stronger. When leaders value candidness and sincerity as core values of the company culture, stability is sure to follow. Build a foundation of honesty, and your people will trust you.


Empathy is essential in both your personal and professional life. In moments where I felt I was alone

and self-medicating, there were always people waiting in the wings, willing to support me. They helped me help myself, acknowledge my reality, and bet on myself irst. As I built myself up, I honed all the “soft” skills that made me a more understanding person, and used them to become a stronger leader.

I view success not as avoiding mistakes and punishing errors, but creating the space where employees can recover from them. Setback taught me resilience and reinforced my belief in the power of self-improvement, and that's what I communicate every day to my team. There is no perfection in business, just a relentless overcoming — something many people have had to deal with in their personal lives.

Open communication and employee insights give leaders more opportunities to form bonds and

ind opportunities for growth. When employees are valued and understood, there's greater buy-in. Everyone is determined to move forward because it's clear the company recognizes their value.

Being an empathetic leader is about honoring people's dignity and providing them with the tools to succeed. In the end, none of us can achieve success without help along the way. The relationships we build, the support we receive, and the empathy we extend truly deine our journey toward success. It's about being excessively candid, speaking clearly, and staying true to your values. And it's about fostering a culture where success is not just measured in accolades, but in the collective growth and well-being of the team.

the Author: A bou t

Megan Gluth-Bohan is the owner and CEO of Catalynt Solutions, Inc., formerly TRInternational, a US-based chemical distributor, and the Owner of Chemblend of America, a chemical blending and tolling facility. TRI is one of the largest certiied womenowned suppliers in North America.

TRInternational was recently recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal as part of the 2023 Middle Market Fast 50 list, and Megan was one of ive owners honored as the Business Journal's Middle Market Fast 50 Leaders of 2023. She is also a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2023.


Pelvic Health Fe m e

What’s Going on Down There?

There's no standard information relayed to young women in regard to sexual activity or birth control options. In middle school or high school, some young women receive health or sex education class that provides a very cursory introduction to birth control and other basic sexual health issues.

However, the main message is that sex is only associated with disease and pregnancy—that's it. Women are not taught that intimacy can be pleasurable, or about sexual satisfaction and masturbation. If a young woman engages in discussion about these topics in front of the wrong crowd, she might be branded as promiscuous or a modern-day HesterPrynn-esq sexual deviant.


There are a plethora of books and websites dedicated to pregnancy and childbirth, helping women and families through an understandably uncertain time. But what's next? Women don't have nearly enough access to accurate and concise information on what to expect in the years following childbirth, to menopause and after. Important questions such as:


•Do I look normal down there?

•Why is everything so different down there after childbirth?

•What happened to my sex drive? And, how can I get it back?

•I'm having pelvic pain and I feel like I need to pee all the time.

•Basically, what the f*#k is going on down there?


Society already makes women feel insecure with aging; they don't need to feel insecure because of what happens down there too. As three Urogynecologists, we felt compelled to write a book for women, by women, that shines a spotlight on their pelvic loor [ A Woman's Guide to Her Pelvic Floor: What the F*@# is Going On Down There, 2023]. With knowledge comes power, and the main purpose of our book is to empower women.


While educating women about their pelvic loor seems like a much-needed public service announcement, it's necessary for one clear reason: health equality. The three of us trained as urologists before specializing in urogynecology (Urogynecologists specialize in treating the pelvic loor and bladder).

We observed irsthand that, while there are parallels between male and female pelvic health conditions, the commonality ends there. The attention paid to and treatment options available to men greatly exceed those for women. Male erectile dysfunction is a commonly discussed condition with multiple prescription medications that are typically covered by insurance. The media is looded with stories about erectile dysfunction, so much so that we are taught “what to do about an erection that lasts more than 4 hours” before learning how to treat our own symptoms.

Female sexual dysfunction is not often discussed and the few medications that are available are often not covered by insurance. Lastly, there is no FDA approved form of testosterone (the hormone associated with libido) for women. Not surprisingly, this lack of medical inequality is also apparent when diagnosing and treating pelvic loor disorders.


In general, young girls and women are simply not prepared for the changes that occur to their pelvic loor when they transition through the different stages of their lives. Before the onset of puberty, most girls receive minimal information about what they can expect when they have their irst menstrual cycle and what is a “normal” period.

So many young women have near debilitating pain with their

menstrual cycles, and when they say something about period pain they're told “just deal with it” or “ it's just part of being a woman.” In addition, most of us go through life believing that bleeding monthly is necessary for our health, when in fact, it is optional! Yes. It. Is. OPTIONAL. Continuous birth control pills, as well as intrauterine devices with progesterone, are both effective birth control methods that are not only safe, but they drastically reduce and even stop menses.

Why are these messages not being shared with women? Medical gaslighting. This medical gaslighting is endemic in our society and sends the message that pain, and every other unpleasant female-speciic experience, is normal for women and there is nothing to be done about it.


In our practices, we have seen many women reporting chronic pelvic pain that was attributed to their bladder, but in reality the cause of the pain was endometriosis: a condition that can cause painful periods and chronic pelvic pain but is treatable often with something as simple as birth control pills. The average time it takes women with this painful, often debilitating, pelvic loor condition to receive a diagnosis is seven to ten years [Nnoaham]. That's almost a decade of suffering.



Up to one-third of women will experience a pelvic loor disorder. [Kenne] Yes, that's a lot of women. (For comparison, 18% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction. [Selvin]. But what is a pelvic loor disorder?

Pelvic loor disorders include urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of urine), pelvic organ prolapse (“falling” pelvic organs such as bladder or uterus), and bowel dysfunction (dificulty with bowel movements and anal incontinence). Risk factors for pelvic loor disorders include vaginal birth, increasing age, menopause, prior pelvic surgery such as hysterectomy, obesity, smoking, and connective tissue disorders.

With so many women affected by pelvic loor disorders, most women aren't aware that:

•Vaginal childbirth is the main risk factor for urinary or anal

incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

•Their uterus has nothing to do with their hormones.

•Loss of libido and painful sex can be easily treated!

This lack of information means that women who have these issues are often too embarrassed to ask for help, or if they want to get help, they don't know where to go!

We've listened and treated women's most intimate and often embarrassing issues: lack of desire, painful intercourse, dislike of the appearance of her genitals, or the surprisingly common peeing in your pants. All of these issues are incredibly common. However a recurring theme is that women have no idea how or why these things happened, or what to do about them.


Unfortunately, we also see many women with pelvic loor disorders that we can diagnose but don't have effective treatment options to offer them. One of those disorders is interstitial cystitis (also known as IC or bladder pain syndrome), which is a chronic condition that causes bladder pain and pressure and affects up to eight million women in the US. Oh, and up to four million men [Berry, Konkle]. We still don't understand the exact cause of the condition, so there's not a consistently effective treatment option for patients. Seeing so many women with debilitating symptoms inspired us to engage in research to help understand IC. Based on our research and observing what nonprescription products our patients have used to deal with their disease, we helped develop the IC supplement (Femetry) to help women with IC deal with their pain.


Women's pelvic health clearly needs more attention and research, as does all of women's health. Women's health has historically been underfunded, understudied and underrepresented. The number one killer of women is cardiovascular disease, and yet heart disease was thought to be predominantly a man's disease until the last few decades [Mosca]. Women were left out of many important clinical trials until relatively recently.

It wasn't until 1999 that the

American Heart Association published the irst women-speciic clinical recommendations for prevention of cardiovascular disease, and 2004 when they published the irst evidence-based guidelines for preventing cardiovascular disease in women (Mosca et al. 1999, Mosca et al 2004). With the White House Initiative on Women's Health Research, there's inally hope for improving health inequality. We hope that what we and our pelvic loor health colleagues do for women has already started to close the gender gap between men's and women's health. And in the meantime, if you are suffering from a pelvic loor issue, follow the same advice we tell our patients with an erection lasting over four hours: call your doctor


Kimberly A. Kenne, Linder Wendt, J. Brooks Jackson. Prevalence of pelvic loor disorders in women being seen in a primary care setting and associated risk factors. Nature Scientiic Reports, Article 9878, 14 June 2022.

Elizabeth Selvin, Johns Hopkins University. 18 Million Men in the United States Affected By Erectile Dysfunction: Lifestyle Changes Could Improve Male Sexual Function. Study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, published in the American Journal of Medicine. February 1, 2007.

Meadow Maze Good, Ellen R. Solomon. Pelvic loor disorders. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, Volume 46,

Issue 3, September 2019.

Nnoaham, K. E., Hummelshoj, L., Webster, P., d'Hooghe, T., de Cicco Nardone, F., de Cicco Nardone, C., ... & Kennedy, S. H. (2011). Impact of endometriosis on quality of life and work productivity: a multicenter study across ten countries. Human Reproduction, 26(2), 210-218.

Berry, Sandra H., et al. "Prevalence of symptoms of bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis among adult females in the United States." The Journal of urology 186.2 (2011): 540-544.

Konkle, Katy S., et al. "Comparison of an interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome clinical cohort with symptomatic community women from the RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology study." The Journal of urology 187.2 (2012): 508-512.

Mosca, Lori, Elizabeth BarrettConnor, and Nanette Kass Wenger. "Sex/gender differences in cardiovascular disease prevention: what a difference a decade makes."

Circulation 124.19 (2011): 21452154.

Mosca, Lori, et al. "Guide to preventive cardiology for women." Circulation 99.18 (1999): 24802484.

Mosca, Lori, et al. "Evidence-based guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention in women."

Circulation 109.5 (2004): 672-693.


Fostering Creativity and Innovation

Through the “Yes, and” Approach

In the world of business, creativity and innovation are paramount for success. To navigate this dynamic environment, companies are increasingly adopting strategies that encourage a free low of ideas among their teams.

One such strategy used at Exeleon Media team setting is the improvisational "Yes, and" rule, a technique borrowed from the realm of comedy and theater but highly effective in the business context as well.

This article explores how integrating the "Yes, and" approach can signiicantly enhance creativity and innovation within teams.



The "Yes, and" rule is simple yet transformative: when a colleague presents an idea, instead of opposing it, you accept it ("Yes") and then expand on it ("and").

This method fosters an environment of acceptance and collaboration, essential for creative brainstorming and innovation.

By eliminating the fear of judgment, team members feel more open to sharing their unique ideas, knowing that their contributions will be

welcomed and built upon.


The irst step in adopting the "Yes, and" methodology is cultivating an open mindset among all team members.

Creating a culture where every idea is welcomed and considered sets the stage for a non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere.

This is crucial in preventing the common blocks to creativity and ensuring that all voices are heard, valued, and encouraged.


During brainstorming or ideation sessions, the "Yes, and" rule is used as a guiding principle.

Here's how it works: when someone presents an idea, the next person acknowledges it with a "Yes, and," then adds their own twist or enhancement. This ensures that the session moves forward constructively without shutting down any avenues prematurely.

The continuous low of building on ideas can lead to unexpected and innovative solutions, demonstrating the power of collective thinking.


Instead of critiquing or dismissing ideas upfront, the emphasis is on building upon them. This approach fosters a more positive workspace and encourages deeper engagement from team members.

They not only contribute their ideas but also help evolve others' suggestions, which leads to more reined and creative outcomes.

Moreover, this strategy cultivates a strong sense of collaboration and ownership among team members, as everyone becomes a co-creator in the project's success.


Diversity is a catalyst for innovation. By including team members from varied backgrounds and areas of expertise, the ideation sessions become a melting pot of perspectives.

The "Yes, and" technique plays a crucial role in weaving these diverse viewpoints into a cohesive and innovative tapestry.

This integration is key to developing solutions that are not only creative but also inclusive and representative of multiple viewpoints.




To support the "Yes, and" approach effectively, many organizations turn to digital solutions like collaborative whiteboards (e.g., Miro or Mural). These platforms enable team members to visually map out ideas, build on each other's contributions in real-time, and maintain a shared space for innovation.

The visual aspect of these tools is particularly beneicial—it helps team members see connections between ideas and how they evolve, making the "Yes, and"

sessions more dynamic and productive.


Adopting the "Yes, and" approach transforms the traditional brainstorming session from a potentially contentious environment to one of mutual support and collaboration.

This technique has not only helped improve the overall creativity and innovation at Exeleon Media but has also strengthened team cohesion and built a corporate culture that values every contribution.

Adopting the "Yes, and" approach transforms the traditional brainstorming session from a potentially contentious environment to one of mutual support and collaboration.

This technique has not only helped improve the overall creativity and innovation at Exeleon Media but has also strengthened team cohesion and built a corporate culture that values every contribution.


Hope Se w i n g

Jenny Nuccio and her Vision for Imani Collective

Jenny Nuccio's journey with Imani Collective began with a transformative trip to Kenya in 2009. Moved by the determination of local women and the challenges they faced, Jenny felt a calling to make a difference. This led her to establish Imani Collective, a brand driven by the belief that empowerment and community go hand in hand.

Starting as a small sewing training program, Imani Collective has since lourished into a globally recognized brand with 120 artisans across three Kenyan locations. Jenny's visionary leadership and dedication to empowering artisans have propelled Imani Collective's growth, turning audacious dreams into reality.

Through its associated brands, including Imani + Kids, Selah, and Sukwa, Imani Collective provides high-quality, sustainable, and scalable merchandise ranging from swag to home décor, kids' toys, and more. Most recently, Jenny published her irst book, Let It Be Wild, in which she recounts the exhilarating highs and lows of her journey thus far.

What inspired you to start Imani Collective, and how did your personal journey lead you to this point?

It all started with a trip to Kenya in 2009. While I was there, I had the opportunity to work closely with a couple who were starting a school to help provide education opportunities to the local community. Although I was just a student at the time, I felt a connection with the people and the place that was undeniable. It was there that I started to forge deep bonds with the women who would later become integral to the Imani Collective family.

However, it wasn't until I witnessed the struggles of single, widowed, or disabled mothers irsthand that the seeds of an idea began to take root in my mind. These women, despite their immense resilience, were trapped in a cycle of poverty that seemed impossible to escape. In 2013, I decided


to sell everything I owned and permanently relocate from Texas to Kenya. With the proceeds, I purchased the irst 16 sewing machines that would become Imani Collective. Every stage of this journey has been guided by the foundational belief that we are not just better together—we are our best. This philosophy has been the core of Imani Collective, driving our mission to empower artisans and foster community.

Imani Collective started as a small sewing training program. How did it evolve into a globally recognized brand with 120 artisans across three Kenyan Locations?

Since the beginning, I felt called to make a greater impact and pursue a comprehensive approach to economic independence. I remember one night, right when Imani Collective was just registered as a nonproit, where I gathered with founding members and friends to start charting our journey forward. We wanted to envision the possibilities for the future of Imani Collective, which seemed dificult at the time, as we were so small.

But, we began to dream big. One exercise, saved for the end of the day, was to write a ten-year toast to Imani Collective. As we imagined ourselves ten years into the future, celebrating a decade of impact, the room was illed with hope. Each of us raised our metaphorical champagne glasses, celebrating the collective's growth. Among the toasts, one friend's words stand out to this day: “It is beautiful to see how much Imani has grown. How much they have impacted the world. How much they have become known to many. I am in awe

that we now can say we are a household name. That people across the nation know who we are and what we do. That we have created so much impact and so much good that it cannot be ignored and for that, cheers to our ten years.”

Well, when the ten-year mark indeed rolled around, these audacious dreams had become reality. We had 120 artisans and staff on salary, and we had three locations in Kenya: Mombasa (Old Town), Mtepeni Village, and Turkana. We had partnered with organizations in Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, and India. We had just shifted into a hybrid model and were now not only a nonproit but a global business, with customers in more than 160 countries. It was through this bold vision that Imani Collective evolved from a mere training program to what we are today.

Imani Collective has a unique approach that combines a social enterprise with a nonproit. Can you elaborate on how this model works and the advantages it offers?

Within the social impact space, I realized that many businesses struggle to encompass both impact and growth. A big challenge for traditional nonproits is inancial sustainability due to their reliance on sporadic donations and grantbased funding. To overcome these limitations, our hybrid model merges the strengths of both the business and nonproit sectors to address the immediate needs of our artisans and the broader goal of breaking the generational cycle of poverty.

Operating as a nonproit allows us to break down the cycle of poverty at every level, while the brands in our social enterprise, including Imani + Kids, Selah, Sukwa, and Talanta, enable us to provide stable employment opportunities and consistent income for our artisans. By maintaining a stable revenue stream through our business endeavors, we can further invest in our nonproit initiatives without compromising on our commitment to social impact.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in scaling Imani Collective, and how have you addressed them?

One of my biggest challenges in scaling Imani Collective was to stop saying “yes” to everything. It sounds counterintuitive, but for years, that mindset left me stressed and overwhelmed. I was afraid to miss out on potential experiences that could shape the future of Imani Collective. Saying “no” felt impossible at the time. But I soon began to understand the importance of setting boundaries and putting myself and my time irst.

Saying “no” didn't mean I was missing out on opportunities, but rather respecting my own time to focus on the things that mattered to me. By learning to be selective in my commitments, I gained a newfound sense of clarity. I was able to focus my energy on the things that most aligned with my values and goals. I learned to be able to show up fully present and engaged in the moments that truly matter.

What advice would you give to individuals who aspire to start


their own social enterprises and make a positive impact in the world?

My main piece of advice for someone considering building an organization from the ground up, and especially a social enterprise, is to be driven by clear values. When you know your purpose and what you want to make of it, you can ensure that every step you take creates real change that later affects the world in meaningful ways.

My story is simply an example of that. I had to learn to trust my instincts and embrace the unknown in order to ind my 'why.' I think the most important thing anyone can do is listen to your heart and let it guide you to the opportunities that are right for you.

What are your future goals for Imani Collective, both in terms of business growth and social impact?

In the next 5 to 10 years, we plan to expand our training and development work in Kenya. This way, we can continue to grow our offering in accordance with the needs of the communities around us. We also plan to help other brands grow their impact by leveraging our own experience in creating change. I plan to continue to be a voice for those who often go unheard and to provide meaningful education and employment opportunities not just in Kenya but also around the world.


Gloria Kolb

Pioneering Non-Invasive Solutions in Women’s Health

Gloria Kolb, the co-founder of ELITONE®, is not just an inventor but a visionary in the realm of women's health. With an impressive portfolio of 30 patents to her name, Gloria has dedicated her career to addressing some of the most intimate and overlooked issues in women's health.

In this exclusive interview, we explore the inspiration behind her groundbreaking invention, ELITONE®, a non-invasive treatment for urinary incontinence, and delve into her journey of innovation and perseverance.

Can you share the inspiration behind co-founding ELITONE® and developing a non-invasive treatment for urinary incontinence?

I knew bladder leakage was a common issue, but it wasn't until I was trying to treat myself that I became dismayed at and alerted to how poor the treatments were. “Poor” means that they may have worked but had no concern with how a

woman would it the treatment into her life. All the vaginal devices meant that she had to ind time to lock herself in her bedroom to be lat on her back and wait 20 minutes. The vaginal devices were hard to hold, hard to keep using, and just made me feel icky. I thought there had to be a better (easier) way!

With 30 patents to your name, what drives your passion for invention and innovation in women's health?

I love creating and designing, and that was how I was made. Put that together with the real need in women's health, where there hasn't been a lot of innovation, and that sets the platform. Then keep it fueled with the feedback from women that Elitone is changing their lives, and that all keeps us going.

ELITONE® has been recognized as a breakthrough solution for incontinence. Can you discuss the challenges you faced during its development and how you overcame them?


With my cofounder and my 50+ combined years in medical device development, we didn't ind a lot of challenges during Elitone's development. Our planning and experience got us through prototype development, clinical studies, and only a few minor

hiccups with regulatory approvals. It does take time though, unlike the array of non-medical kegel devices that lood the market making any sort of claims they want. However, our challenges (and I can't say we overcame them - we are still going through them), come in the

commercialization of the products. For example, it was pretty impossible to get funding due to the embarrassing nature of the issue, a product for women's health, by a female founder, that male investors don't necessarily understand. But even female investors have told me,


“I love Elitone, and I will keep using your product, but I am going to fund your competitor because it's a better inancial deal that I cannot pass up.”

Secondly, we are highly regulated but are selling Direct to Consumer,

so we don't it the life science nor CPG (consumer product goods) buckets that venture capital investors typically are in.

Finally, we sell directly to consumers to make Elitone as accessible as possible (since most

women do not talk to their doctors about incontinence), yet the consumers expect lower pricing as an electronic and will compare Elitone to the cheaper devices that have no FDA approvals! It is a tough area to be in, but we stick it out because we know in the end we are serving women the best.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to careers in technology and innovation, particularly in the femtech space?

I previously had a job early in my career where I just analyzed foreign missiles. Although it used my engineering degrees, it felt empty and unsustainable. When you create a product that other people beneit from, it is so rewarding. One thing about serving women is that they are very vocal, both when they have their complaints, and also so appreciative when you help them. I would tell women who are interested in this career to go for it. I enjoy my work and it is not a “job”. Isn't that what we want out of life, to be fulilled?

How do you plan to continue driving innovation and addressing unmet needs in women's health through your work?

We have quite a large list of women now. I plan to keep asking them questions and listening to them.


US Job Openings Decline to Three-Year Low: Insights from March 2024 Labor Data

In March 2024, the U.S. job

market showed signs of stabilization with little change in the number of job openings and hires, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report highlights a slight decrease in job openings and a minor drop in total separations, including quits and layoffs, indicating a steadying labor market.

Key Findings:

Job Openings:

Job openings were relatively stable at 8.5 million as of the last business day in March, marking a slight decline of 1.1 million yearover-year.

The job openings rate remained consistent at 5.1%. Notable decreases were observed in the construction and inance sectors, while state and local government education sectors saw increases.


Hires also showed little change, maintaining at 5.5 million but experiencing a decrease of 455,000 compared to the previous year.

The hiring rate was stable at 3.5%, suggesting a balance between job openings and job seekers.


Total separations decreased to 5.2 million, down by 339,000, with the separations rate slightly changing to 3.3%.

Voluntary quits stood at 3.3 million, down by 480,000 yearover-year, indicative of fewer employees voluntarily leaving their jobs.

Layoffs and discharges were consistent with previous months at 1.5 million.

Sector-Speciic Trends:

Reductions in job openings and separations were particularly noted in arts, entertainment, and recreation, suggesting sectorspeciic challenges.

In contrast, private educational services saw a marginal increase in total separations, driven by an increase in layoffs and discharges.

Establishment Size Class:

Both very small (1-9 employees) and very large establishments (5,000+ employees) saw little change in their job dynamics, indicating a broad stability across different sizes of establishments.

Revisions to Previous Data:

February 2024 data was revised, showing a slight increase in job

openings and a decrease in hires and separations. Such revisions are typical and relect more complete data collection and adjustments to seasonal factors.

Market Implications:

The slight decrease in job openings and stable hires rate could signal a cooling in the labor market, which may assist the Federal Reserve's efforts to control inlation without triggering a sharp increase in unemployment. This steadiness suggests that businesses may be approaching a more cautious hiring stance due to economic uncertainty or anticipation of economic policies impacting employment.


The March 2024 JOLTS data reveals a labor market that is beginning to stabilize amid economic uncertainties. While there are sector-speciic variations, the overall trends indicate a cautious approach by employers and a decrease in employee-initiated job separations. Moving forward, these trends will be crucial for policymakers and economists to monitor, especially in relation to inlation control and economic policy adjustments.


New Study Reveals the Most Googled Languages Americans Want to Learn in Each State — Is Yours on the List?

In a recent study conducted by

Quizgecko, an AI educational platform, Spanish emerged as the most Googled language Americans want to learn. This study analyzed average monthly Google searches related to learning languages, focusing on terms like 'how to learn X,' 'learn X,' and 'X classes near me,' where 'X' refers to the language.

Spanish secured the top spot nationally, with nearly 2 million average monthly searches. This widespread interest isn't surprising, considering Spanish is the oficial language of 21 countries and spoken by over 500 million people globally. In the U.S., nearly 13% of the population speaks Spanish either as their primary or secondary language. Spanish is the preferred language to learn in almost every state, except Kansas, North Dakota, and Hawaii.

Following Spanish, Korean is the second most popular language to learn, with an average of 429,000 monthly searches. The increasing popularity of Korean pop culture, particularly music groups like BTS, has signiicantly boosted interest in the language. Korean ranked in the top ive languages to learn in 48 states and was the most searchedfor language in Kansas.

French is the third most Googled language, with 378,840 average monthly searches. It appeared in the top ive languages to learn in 45 states and topped the list in North Dakota. This preference for French may stem from various cultural, professional, and personal interests.

Japanese ranks fourth, with over 430,000 monthly searches nationwide, making it the second most searched language after Spanish. It is one of the most

popular fast-paced languages and was notably the top choice in Hawaii. Japanese appeared in the top ive languages to learn in 43 states.

Rounding out the top ive are Arabic and Italian. Arabic is particularly popular in Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Texas, appearing in the top ive in at least 20 states. Italian, favored in states like Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, also made the top ive in a signiicant number of states.

The study highlights that learning a new language remains a popular goal for many Americans, whether for travel, personal enrichment, or better communication with friends and family. With such diverse interests across the states, the desire to expand linguistic skills continues to grow nationwide.



As the fashion world converges in Milan for the latest trends, ANGEL FOR FASHION is thrilled to showcase OMELIA's Spring/Summer '25 PreCollection. Renowned for its commitment to sustainability and innovative design, OMELIA presents "Fervent Heart," a collection that symbolizes passion and emotion woven into every garment.

Drawing inspiration from the brand's core concept of upcycling, "Fervent Heart" features monochrome loral appliqués juxtaposed with recycled vintage denim. Each piece tells a story of transformation, with former preloved denim shirts meticulously crafted into statement pieces adorned with handcrafted 3D loral embellishments, Italian lace, and tassels.

Founder and designer, Kostiantyn Omelia's dedication to sustainability, shines through in every collection detail. By sourcing second-hand denim shirts and fabric remnants from thrift stores and stock shops, OMELIA breathes new life into overlooked materials, turning them into a work of art.

The collection's versatility is evident in its craftsmanship, with signature exaggerated loral brooches created using a unique solution to give them a paper-like texture and rigidity. Crystals add a touch of festivity, enhancing the overall aesthetic and celebrating the beauty of conscious design.

I believe that every piece in our " collection carries a story waiting to be told, " shares Kostiantyn Omelia. " Through upcycling and deconstruction, we not only create unique garments but also contribute to a more sustainable future for fashion. "

With "Fervent Heart," OMELIA invites fashion enthusiasts to embrace sustainable elegance and join in the journey of transforming pre-loved materials into timeless treasures. As the brand redeines the intersection of fashion and sustainability, OMELIA remains committed to inspiring change and promoting conscious consumption.

As OMELIA presents its "Fervent Heart" collection in the heart of

Milan's fashion scene, it showcases its creative brilliance. It sparks a conversation about the role of sustainability in haute couture. With each meticulously crafted piece, OMELIA challenges traditional notions of luxury, proving that elegance can coexist with ethical practices. Through its approach to design, OMELIA invites viewers to reconsider their relationship with clothing and embrace a more mindful approach to consumption. As the fashion industry evolves, OMELIA stands at the forefront of change, leading towards a more sustainable and compassionate future.

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