C L Magazine Volume 9 - 2023 Winter | Spring Issue

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+ lifestyle career magazine cl-magazine.com Winter/Spring 2023 • Volume 9 • Issue 1
8 Women Executives
Philosophies and
Health Tips Every Woman Over 40 Should Know Planning Your Financial Future Having an Attitude of Gratitude Magnificent
Strategies for Success!


2nd Annual National Executive

Women’s Leadership Summit

November 12-15, 2023

The Grand Resort | Warren, Ohio

Registration is NOW open!

However, the Early Bird Special will expire on April 30th. Scan the QR code or visit:


8 Hospice Opens the Possibilities of Care for the People

13 Health Tips Every Woman Over 40 Should Know by Cassandra R.


35 Planning Your Financial Future by Meltrice

39 Book Suggestions: Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Book Suggestions: Start With Why by Simon

41 Book Suggestions: She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership by Jemma Roedel

43 Book Suggestions: We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers

45 Having an Attitude of Gratitude by Natalie Rudd

We Love
10 Entrepreneur Spotlight:
Coiley Dietrich
11 Artist Spotlight: Laura
The Magnificent 8 Meet 8 Executives Who Are Changing the Game

Michelle E.


Bernadette K.

Cheretta Moore For

owns, manages, and updates a database of more than 31,000 email addresses on 76 separate lists. If you want to safely and securely market your upcoming event, look no further! READ MORE WE CAN HELP FILL THE SEATS! CLMagazine_ CLMagazine_ CLMagazine + lifestyle career magazine Winter/Spring 2023 • Volume 9 • Issue1 CL Magazine Team Publisher Alexandria Johnson Boone Editor
Coiley Dial Creative Director
Copy Editor
Barbara Somrack Senior
to the Publisher
T. Newman Assistant
Strategist, Subscriber & Community Development
and Information Coordinator
Simone E. Swanson Database
advertising information please contact us at: advertising@CL-Magazine.com Subscribe free online: www.CL-Magazine.com C L Magazine is published digitally on a quarterly basis by the Women of Color Foundation (WOCF), a 501 (c) (3), tax-exempt organization, for the benefit of women and girls of all colors. Our offices are located at 4200 Warrensville Center Road, Medical Building A, Suite 353, Cleveland, Ohio 44128. Toll Free Phone number: 866-962-3411 (866-WOCF-411). Copyright © 2014-2022. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be distributed electronically, reproduced or duplicated in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher. Readers and advertisers may subscribe for free at: www.CL-Magazine.com Magazine Production: GAP Communications Group 4 | CL MAGAZINE

“The Only Kind of Writing is Rewriting” – Ernest Hemingway

Less than a month after a milestone birthday, I left a comfortable position in local government after 22 years. At 40 years old, it could be said that I had grown up there. I had some successes – five increasingly more challenging positions were created for me, and I was privileged to win a few awards. Other highlights included leadership academy and design conferences, but I was feeling restless and unfulfilled. One day my supervisor told me that I couldn’t go to see my daughter receive an award at school (less than a mile away) because the then-mayor might need something before I returned. I was outraged and my conviction to separate had solidified. As a recently divorced, Black female entrepreneur with four young kids, it was terrifying at times. I didn’t know how to be successful as an entrepreneur, but I did know that I wanted to be in control of my time and life. After four years of struggling to make it, I met Alexandria Johnson Boone through a mutual friend. During a twohour lunch meeting at Yours Truly, Alex had found herself a new Creative Director for Career + Lifestyle Magazine. For 21 issues it has been a rewarding journey, and I have been pleased and proud of the work I created. That opportunity restored my waning faith that I could be successful as an entrepreneur.

Entering its ninth year of continuous publication, Alex extended another opportunity to me: Editor of C L Magazine. Without hesitation I accepted. Long before I ever graphically designed anything, I wanted to be a writer. As a kid I would consume countless books and issues of Vanity Fair. (Still do.) And while I had heard that writing is like opening a vein from your wrist onto a page (can’t argue with that), I write but take more pleasure in editing. Over the years clients would ask, “This looks great! What did you cut?” I’d always smile.

To me, that is a gift to be able to clip in a way that is indiscernible. Nevertheless, I am humbled by the offer to take the reins of C L Magazine.

Moving into the Creative Director position is Barbara Somrack. Among other projects, Barb created the Women of Color Foundation’s Annual Report, taking some of the figurative weight from my shoulders for the National Executive Women’s Summit program book last October. I’m so excited to have her on our team.

The primary feature of the Winter/Spring issue contains the profiles of eight absolutely amazing ladies, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet: Mayor Annette Blackwell; J. Rita McNeil

Danish, Esq.; Helen Forbes Fields; Marsha Mockabee; India Birdsong Terry; Belva Denmark Tibbs; Tyniece Wingfield; and Angela ShuteWoodson. These powerful Black women are out in the world doing challenging work and meeting those challenges with grace, humility, passion, and enviable work ethic. I am so pleased we’re able to share their insights with you.

We are also excited to spotlight fine artist Laura Dietrich and fashion entrepreneur Charron Leeper. Don’t miss the great book suggestions we have, as well as articles by longtime contributors Natalie Rudd, Meltrice Sharp, and Cassandra Hill. We hope you enjoy this issue, and feel free to share any feedback.

Warm regards,

LETTER from the
Jennifer Coiley Dial Editor, C L Magazine jen@cl-magazine.com WINTER/SPRING 2023 | 5

LAND studio wants you to be a part of our next public art installation! We are looking for volunteers to assist with the production of a large public art sculpture that will be installed in Cleveland Public Library’s Main Library in downtown Cleveland. Volunteer sessions will be held beginning Thursday, March 23 through Saturday, March 25. Each workshop will be 3.5 hours, sign up for one or many. Space is limited, reserve your spot here

Additionally, consider donating natural materials that will be used to create the final sculpture. These items can come from your own backyard or from your most recent events! Think of things like fresh or dried flowers, small twigs or driftwood, centerpieces, bouquets, wreaths, or garland. The items will be assembled with many other natural materials to create the finished artwork. Contact Megan Jones for more information and to arrange drop off.

The workshops are open to anyone who likes to work with their hands, be among fresh and dried flowers, and wants to contribute to a large-scale public art installation!

About the Artist and Installation

In partnership with Cleveland Public Library, LAND studio is bringing the work of Rebecca Louise Law to life. The grand and historic Brett Hall, in Main Library, will be home to Law’s The Archive sculpture.

Rebecca Louise Law is known for creating immersive installations with natural materials. Preserved flowers have become the signature of her most recognized works. Individually sewn and suspended, viewers are often invited to navigate through them, discovering the diverse forms, colors, and textures of each specimen.

‘Our human desire to collect natural objects has always existed. We archive and treasure nature as an appreciation of what we are given here on Earth. The most documented reverence of nature happens when honoring the life of another human being. In 2017 I created an installation ‘Life in Death’ at Kew Gardens in London, UK. The installation was made to illustrate the material value of a flower when it is preserved. Whilst working there I was shown an archive of Egyptian burial wreaths, some dating as far back as 1700BC, these flowers remain in the Economic Botany Collection at Kew today. Valuing all our Earth provides and each other is life’s beauty and I believe in these core principles when living today’.

Sign up now to be a part of this work!

Hospice Opens the Possibilities of Care for the People We Love

Hospice is a relatively new discipline in the healthcare field, only having been in the United States since the 1970s. Its recent arrival combined with a focus on end-of-life care has created significant stigma towards the word “hospice.” With President Jimmy Carter announcing his decision to enter hospice care, hospice has found its way into the current public discourse, providing the space for healthcare professionals to further discuss the definition of hospice and its transformative effect on a patient’s end-of-life journey.

Hospice focuses on comfort for patients nearing the end of their lives, alleviating pain and physical symptoms rather than curing them through further diagnostics and procedures. Hospice also provides holistic support to both the patient and the family through addressing their spiritual and emotional needs. To qualify for hospice care, patients must have a life expectancy of six months or less, though they can continue to receive care if they live longer.

For over 40 years, Hospice of the Western Reserve has been providing quality hospice care to Northern Ohio. Our mission is to foster choice in end-of-life care, so our services are provided in a variety of settings. We can provide care in one of our inpatient units, a skilled nursing or assisted living facility, or even the comfort of a patient’s own home, which was President Carter’s choice in his home state of Georgia.

Most hospice patients are Medicare/Medicaid eligible and have their services fully covered. Commercial insurers often have hospice benefits available in their plans. For those with limited or

no coverage, it is important to select a hospice agency that is willing to sit and talk through available options. HWR has a Financial Resource Advocate who provides this information to families across Northern Ohio.

A common misconception of hospice is that it means “giving up,” or that the care involved hastens death. Hospice only hastens comfort, and many families who have walked with Hospice of the Western Reserve wish that they started their journey with the agency sooner.

Hospice never means “giving up.” Hospice gives hope. Hospice gives hope to those who are grieving. Hospice gives hope to families who want to spend quality time with their loved one, free from pain and suffering. Hospice means giving hope to patients who are seeking peace in their end-of-life journey.

Death is part of life. We all have friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have experienced hospice. When starting this path, seek out those who have traveled here before. These intimate and educational conversations, as well as the public ones that President Carter helped to start, can help put an end to the stigma of hospice and open the possibilities of care for our loved ones.



Charron Leeper is a lateral thinking, multi-disciplinary, creative consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for innovating in the spaces of Fashion & Art. She leverages her design education and her experience with branding and marketing to help others convey and elevate their brands. With a genuine heart for people, relationship building and community, Charron has focused her efforts in the last 3-5 years toward growing her existing businesses while serving as a consultant to other organizations who want to build marketing strategies that speak to the heart of their missions. Charron is a former Collegiate Division I Women's Basketball Scholarship recipient, graduate of Radford University with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design. She is the founder of Perfect Pineapple, a head-wrap and hair accessory brand and the founder of Agency Thirty Three, a start-up creative agency that focuses on serving BIPOC founders. Lastly, Charron's love for fashion and beauty landed her as signed model at Docherty Agency Cleveland, where she has been featured in campaigns for Big Lots, Moen, JoANN fabrics, Sysco Corp, and more. She has as served as a freelance wardrobe stylist, and had her brand and client featured in New York magazine (2018). In 2022, Charron entered the role of co-founder and served as the Creative Director for FutureLAND, a new twoday destination event held in the city of Cleveland that focuses on tech, diversity, investment and entrepreneurship. Charron will continue to lend her creativity to FutureLAND 2.0, which will take place October 5-7 2023. Charron intends to scale Perfect Pineapple and A33 into profitable business that others are proud to work for, leaving a legacy for her future family to be a part of.

Why did you choose your career field(s)?

I have always been creative, always! My mother limited the amount of TV I could watch a day when I was little and used to say, "Okay, now go use your imagination." That was the best advice she could have ever given me. My imagination has opened lots of doors for me and I have been most attracted to the doors in Fashion, Design and Beauty space.

What do you like most about your work?

Solving problems. Taking a something that is nebulous and forming into something that is understood, experienced and concrete. Then once that happens, it brings me great joy to see my clients or customers internalize what was created for them.

What was the first or most memorable project you worked on and why?

It was my first dress. In 2000 I was awarded a certificate of recognition by Cleveland Style Group as an impressive up and coming designer during a salute to African American designers. I was the youngest at the time to be awarded that. A mentor of mine constructed the dress from a drawing I gave him and I was able to see it walk the runway. That moment felt magical!

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Persist, pursue, collaborate and stay humble. Women are brilliant individuals. We feel and see the world in ways that add color, life and nuance that cannot be contrived. Moreover, I would say to other women entrepreneurs that we are unstoppable when we work together in harmony, valuing each other’s gifts while fully operating in our own. There is no greater feeling than being surrounded by or working with women who are confident in who they are and can also genuinely celebrate the greatness in you. Iron sharpens iron. Let's do more of that.




Laura Coiley Dietrich is a fine artist and children’s book author from Northeast Ohio. She became interested in art (more specifically painting) at an early age, when she used to watch her mother create elegant figures in oils using a mini aluminum tripod on the dining room table. Dietrich knew then that she wanted to be an artist too. Her work is mostly black and white portraiture, and the artists that have influenced her work over the years include Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Romare Bearden, Ezra Jack Keats, Aminah Robinson and her mother, Maria Dixon Coiley. Dietrich wrote and illustrated the children’s book, A is for Africah. To get in touch or view more of Dietrich’s work, visit https://www.lauracoileydietrich.com/

 “John”  “Jimi”
 “Bowie”
 “Meditation” (self portrait)  Excerpted pages from A is for Africah
Health Tips Every Woman Over Should Know 40 Wednesday, April 12 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tower City Windermere West Park Learn more at clevelandreads.com Ride & Read All aboard the RTA! Grab a FREE book Enjoy live music at Tower City Sign-up for the Cleveland READS challenge! 12 | CL MAGAZINE

Our wisdom and compassion often increase as we grow older, but so do our health challenges. More than 90% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and more than 75% have more than one. Plus, these figures are even higher for women than for men.

Natural changes like menopause and your family medical history play a part, but a healthy lifestyle can help you stay as strong and independent as possible in the years ahead.

Take a look at these tips to help you maintain your health as you age.

Staying Physically Fit

1. Condition your heart. You’re about 5 times more likely to have heart disease after you turn 40. Aerobic exercise, along with a diet high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats, can help your heart start stay strong.

2. Build your muscles. Slow down muscle loss and thicken your bones with strength training. Lift weights or try movements that use your own body weight for resistance, like planks and pushups.

3. Increase your balance. Avoid falls by becoming steadier on your feet. Practice yoga or just stand on one foot while you’re talking on the phone.

4. Ask a trainer. Do you already have stiff hips or a sore back? Some professional trainers specialize in corrective fitness that will target the areas you need to limber up.


Dealing With Menopause

1. Stay cool. Hot flashes can make you uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep. Reduce them by limiting triggers like alcohol and caffeine. Dress in layers and keep a fan next to your bed.

2. Manage stress. Stress can aggravate hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Meditate daily and think positive.

3. Lose weight. Your muscles shrink and your metabolism slows down as you age. The distribution of your body fat changes too, so more of those pounds wind up around your waist, increasing your risk for heart conditions and diabetes. Fight back by eating less and exercising more.

4. Eat soy. Many women find relief from menopause symptoms with soy and supplements, even though studies give conflicting results. See if tofu and soymilk work for you.

Other Health Tips For Women Over 40

1. Sleep well. You may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep these days. Stick to a consistent schedule and block out nighttime noises.

2. Watch your blood pressure. Your blood pressure and heart rate rise as plaque deposits stiffen your arteries over the years. Losing weight, exercising, and limiting salt may help you to avoid needing medication.

3. Screen for cancer. Age increases your risk for many forms of cancer. Talk with your doctor about screening tests that spot cancers early when they’re easier to treat and cure.

4. Check your hearing. You may already be noticing signs of age-related hearing loss. Shield your ears from loud and persistent noises by lowering the volume on media devices and wearing earplugs when necessary.

5. Protect your vision. Ensure your eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are up to date if you’re having trouble reading fine print. While no studies have shown a way to prevent cataracts, regular eye exams and managing conditions like diabetes can help.

6. Remain engaged. Staying connected is essential for vibrant aging. Cultivate close relationships and learn something new each day.


Cassandra Hill is a Christian Holistic Wellness Influencer who teaches Black professional women a framework for achieving physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

Staying informed and making healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent and manage many of the conditions that come with aging. If you’re a woman over 40, start now to maximize your chances of staying mentally sharp and physically fit in your golden years. Talk with me today about how I guide you on your wellness journey.









to our Women of Color Foundation Board Member

Ariane B. Kirkpatrick


The Magnificent


These brilliant women are changing the world! Learn their personal philosophies and strategies for success!


Mayor Annette M. Blackwell


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.

Mayor and Safety Director City of Maple Heights

HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio


• ASB, Indiana Wesleyan University

• BA, Ursuline College


I am good enough

A 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Goodman. She helped to encourage my love of reading and history specifically. I felt seen and very special in her classroom, she gave me the confidence and encouragement to lead and confirmed that I could be a great leader by given me leadership roles, a school safety guard.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

Bringing the City of Maple Heights out of fiscal emergency. The city was placed in fiscal emergency in 2015 with a debt of more than $2 million. The recovery was a 5-year plan. I was able to do it in 4 years, a year earlier than the plan.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

In the history of the men and women that suffered in my family due to the cruelty of slavery. I am only the second generation from sharecroppers who picked cotton in the South. My family moved to Ohio in 1962 when I was two years old.

What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

Being a Black and female Mayor serving as the city’s Safety Director. Having to reconcile these roles in a police-involved shooting of a young Black man by a Black police officer.



The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

Acknowledging and respecting your colleagues, making space for the greatness of others.

What have you come to learn about success?

Everything that you have done, lived and work experiences, prepares you for the success which is earned not given.

What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

The balance is only imagined, if you don’t schedule and prioritize your career and the things in life that are important to you. I have to make the appointment and keep it.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

The positive impact on the lives that I affect; offering employment, opportunity, resources second chances, and grace.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

People respond to professionalism, preparedness, and knowledge. I am always conscious of my presentation in word and writing.


My ideal vacation is… Capetown, South Africa


J. Rita McNeil Danish, Esq.


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.

Mrs. Harrison (7th grade teacher) Her favorite phrase was "a hint to the wise is sufficient."


HOMETOWN: Chicago, Illinois


• Whitney M. Young High School

• Howard University

• The Ohio State University College of Law


• Nominations Chair

The National Civic League

• Board Chair, Women for Economic Leadership & Development (WELD)

• Advocates for Youth Education (AYE)

• DEI Committee Chair

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce


Life is about choices. Another favorite is you may not get all you deserve but you will deserve all you get.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

Becoming City Solicitor (City Attorney) for the City of Cincinnati right after the riots and civil unrest and negotiating and implementing the nationally recognized Collaborative Agreement between the City and the Community.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

My father who taught me in words and in action to always try to make a difference and leave a "place" better than I found it.

What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

To leave the practice of law after 30 years to take the role as CEO of Signal Ohio, a new non profit media organization for the State of Ohio.


The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

Work hard; play hard. You should never take yourself too seriously and always find time to laugh.

What have you come to learn about success?

I've learned power is in the person, not the position. Success is not permanent or promised. Success comes from inside.


What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

You have to be intentional about achieving the balance between your career and lifestyle. It doesn't just happen organically, but balancing the two makes you better at both!


What part of your job brings you the most joy? Working with a great team to make exciting and meaningful things happen in our communities.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

Always remember to give each day your very best taking it one day at a time. Each day is different with its own set of challenges. I wake up each day assessing those challenges, handling them the way you eat an elephant "one bite at a time."


My ideal vacation is…

Somewhere warm with an ocean, good people and good food. Two of my favorites are Jamaica and St. Maarten.


Helen Forbes Fields, Esq.


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.


YWCA Greater Cleveland

HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio


• Howard University School of Law

Juris Doctorate conferred May 1984

• Loyola University School of Law

Rome, Italy

Summer Study Abroad Comparative

Constitutional Law, 1983

• Spelman College, BA in Political Science

conferred May 1981, cum laude

• The Ohio State University



• Chair of the Board

Front International Triennial

• Chair of the Board of Trustees

Cuyahoga Community College

• Board of Trustees

Cleveland Museum of Art


Life is an intersection between choices and chances. It is not meant to be lived in narrow conditions. Make choices, take chances. So when that day comes, we will leave this earth peacefully.

While I attended Spelman College I took as many classes as I could with Dr. Robert Brisbane of Morehouse College. He was one of my favorite Political Science professors and had a huge impact on my thinking. He was a civil rights warrior and thinker and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr. It was an honor to listen to his lectures each week regarding our history in this country, and in the south. With his Harvard University key hanging from his belt loop he would imbue the class with pride and purpose regarding our rightful place in society.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

I’m most humbled by being chosen to lead the storied YWCA Greater Cleveland which is one of the oldest and continuous operating non-profits in Cleveland, Ohio. We’ve had amazing leadership over the years and I hope I will be able to add to the impact of the YWCA while serving those most in need.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

I draw inspiration from the mission of the YWCA to eliminate racism and empower women and promote peace, justice and freedom for all by any means necessary. We are on the right side of history supporting women, equality and equity for all.


What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

My toughest career decision was to leave my law practice to do something different in my career. I was ready to make a change but it was difficult moving out of my comfort zone and legal reputation to enter the world of non-profits. I’m very happy I made that leap of faith. Change is good!


The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

To keep focused on our mission which is our NorthStar and treating colleagues and the community with respect and courtesy.

What have you come to learn about success?

I’m lucky to be excited to go to work every day. Success occurs when you enjoy the work you do each day.

What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

The manner in which I balanced career and lifestyle for nearly 40 years is much different than what my daughter will do with her career and lifestyle. Ultimately one has to choose what works for them and determine their happiness. It is an individual journey. One size does not fit all.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

What brings me joy is knowing the impact we have on the lives of women and families each day. Moving women from being homeless to housed to hired to higher.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

Throughout my years of practicing law I learned to always be well prepared. I work very hard to be well prepared regarding the programs we provide and the issues that affect those we serve. It takes effort but the reward is being good at what you do.


My ideal vacation is…

I love touring historical sites and cities. I receive much joy by visiting art museums to view art works and artists I studied in art history books. Nothing compares to seeing art works in person.


Marsha A Mockabee


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.


President & CEO

Urban League of Greater Cleveland

HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio


• Certificate in Nonprofit Management Case Western Reserve University

• BS in Youth Development Concordia University

• MBM, Indiana Weslyan


• Co-Chair, Racism as a Public Health Crisis for City of Cleveland

• Member, Workforce Committee for Citizens Advisory Committee on EquityCuyahoga County

• Leadership Council Member, Greater Cleveland Career Consortium

Chair, Governance Committee

Member, Expansion Committee

• Board Member, UBIZ Venture Capital Fund

• Board Member, Women of Color Foundation

• Board Member, Unify Labs

• Committee Member, Leadership Cleveland Selection Committee

• Member, National Coalition of 100 Black Women


To God be the glory!

Yes, my 9th grade guidance counselor, Mr. Carlton Davis saw potential in me and surrounded me with mentors like the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones and exposed me to opportunities that helped me to grow socially and emotionally.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

Having been identified by National Urban League leadership as the person who could take the organization forward.

Also having led a coalition of community leaders and stakeholders in a local reenactment and celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

It is in our organizational DNA. It is our mission and my personal passion. We are asked to play leadership roles in many initiatives attempting to craft their DEI focus. Finally I am so proud of the League’s Equity Institute that was launched in December of last year. We will begin taking applications for our new DEI Development Academy by end of April for the first cohort

What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

Having to lay off 1/2 of the ULGC staff back in 2009



The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

Bring firm, but fair.

Communicate, communicate. Transparency and accountability.

What have you come to learn about success? Success is only a step in the journey. Once you reach a level of success, it’s time to move to significance. Success is what you earn for yourself. Significance is how you empower others.

What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

That I am not very good at it. This is a continuing area of growth for me.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

Seeing others reach their goals and potential.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

Operating with integrity is one of the most important attributes of a servant-leader.


My ideal vacation is…

Walking on the beach by day and listening to the waves while getting a massage in the evening.

G E T T H E B A G.

■ Grow your business to $1Million+.

■ Transition from side-hustler to CEO.

■ Be inspired by and learn from a community of BOSSES.

■ Easily access info about small business grants, funding and business opportunities.

■ Gain insider tips and information about business funding options.

■ Succeed in business AND be inspired to practice self-care.

■ Discover Black women-owned and socially responsible brands.

■ Meet authentic champions of Black women-owned businesses who want you to succeed.

■ Have fun!

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Angela Shute-Woodson


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.


Senior Advisor, Community and Government Affairs, to the Honorable Justin Bibb Mayor, City of Cleveland

Director, Community Relations, City of Cleveland

HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio


• BA, Clarion University of PA

• MA, Florida Atlantic University-West Palm


I am a diehard on voter education and mobilization of voters. Working closely with Ohio Unity and NAACP, Cleveland Branch.


To work hard but stay humble.

Two. Ms. Sylvia Stewart from Cleveland Heights High who helped me late after school to prepare for college and encouraged me to go to college. The late Dr. Robert Girvan aka Dr. G of Clarion University head of Sociology and Psychology who amazed me about his civil rights fight and taught me how to apply the book of knowledge as well as formulas to help people. Many others had impact. It is and was an entire "village" to help pour into me for me to be who I am today.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

First being a union steward for OCSEA/AFSCME. Second, being the Manager of the SBE/MBE/WBE program for the Cuyahoga County for 11 years.

Third, Director of Faith Based and Community Initiatives for the Governor of Ohio. And last but not least, my current position. I mention the four because as a woman it is hard for us to get in "any" leadership position. Especially in positions that are dominated by men. It at times looks easy but it is not. I realize with every position I get I am setting the tone for the next women to fill my shoes or to stand on my shoulders as they move the bar up higher. And that is a privilege and humbling to know.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

Through my own spirituality and realizing day to day the work is bigger than me. I recognize that there is a melting pot of diversity that I have to bring along in this work. That is what feeds my passion to get up every day, put on my body armor


to handle whatever tasks are in front me. The other piece to this is recognizing the sacrifices of those before me. Someone made a way for me. And there I have to continue to make a way for the next. This younger generation is so brilliant and it is my motivation to make sure the brilliance is seen and heard.

What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

I had to step away from an exciting business opportunity that really would position me and the salary was excellent. I decided how much time it would consume of me and would I really be happy at this. After doing some soul searching, talking with mentors and family, I decided not to take the opportunity and to listen more to my G & G: My gut and God.


The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

Remember what "TEAM" means and apply it! You have to check in with your co-workers, your employees just to see if they are "ok." Mind, body and spirit are everything. I work hard to make sure I am checking in with staff. And work hard to have uplift days where we kick back relax, enjoy / have social conversations. Also, staff knows I am not above the work. If they need help passing out items, then I pass out items. If they need help moving something, I move it with them. Together Everyone Achieves More really does work if you apply it and realize as a leader you are also a part of the TEAM.

What have you come to learn about success? Success does not come easy. It comes with a lot of trials and errors. Learning from your errors to not repeat them. And to know right away there are a lot of scarifies to success. Own that up front.

What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

I have learned to tone down my workaholic mindset. That you can find yourself physically ill if you are not taking care of you. You have to take time out to enjoy the little things, or to just find something you love to do. Making time for what you love to do and don't feel guilty about that. In

addition to this I remember whatever I am working on will be there when I get back. It is hard to do but once you get in a pattern of it is ok to take time out for you and the greater good is you come back to do more work with more energy. For me my mind is now in a good place.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

The people my department and I serve. It feels good to see results. To see people receiving their services, or joy out of information/event. My staff, seeing how they were able to help a resident or complete a project that was challenging. This gives me joy to see their joy.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

To be a thoughtful listener. I was once taught you don't want to just "hear" people where it goes in one ear and out the other. You want to "listen" to people. This is where you digest and process what is really being said. I made a huge mistake one time professionally just hearing someone. And in the end it did not benefit anyone. I work hard to listen to what people have to say. Even take notes on what they are saying if needed.


My ideal vacation is…

Anywhere in the Virgin Islands. St. Croix or St. Thomas


India L. Birdsong Terry


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.


General Manager & Chief Executive Officer Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

HOMETOWN: Chicago, Illinois


• MA, Urban Planning and Policy University of Illinois, Chicago

• BA, Temple University


• American Public Transportation Association and Transit Cooperative Research Program

• Board Member, United Way of Greater Cleveland

• Board Member, Downtown Cleveland Alliance

• Board Member, American Public Transportation Foundation

• Board Member and Co-Chair, Housing, Environment and Infrastructure Research Pillar of Racism as a Public Health Crisis Urban League of Greater Cleveland

• Board Member, Transportation Learning Center

• Board Member, Cleveland Leadership Center

• Past Board Advisor, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials


Share the knowledge that you’ve gained freely; we all are instinctual teachers. Educating others inevitably helps provide the capacity to learn something new.

I’ve had several instructors throughout the years, however one that stands out was my high school Spanish teacher, Senor Dure. His ability to identify and improve his students’ weaknesses without compromising their confidence as emerging young adults was key to his impact as a teacher. I remember him as tough, honest and matter of fact – all traits that can be terrifying to an adolescent! However, this uncompromising demeanor was always balanced by an engaging dry humor, customized to the young adult audience. Simply put, he challenged us to be better humans, without compromise. I’ll never know if he realized just how important this introduction to adulting was to my development in the business world; and, to my understanding of how to balance empathy and professionalism. Many teachers, like Senor Dure, are so instrumental in shaping and strengthening the next generation of leaders –they are precious beyond measure.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

My work in Chicago planning bus routes over vast areas that crossed from some of the city’s most economically challenged neighborhoods to the highest income areas of downtown was a career-defining time. That scheduling work also included school routes, and in many instances, being responsible for charting a safe passage from school to home for hundreds of students.

Understanding the importance of safe mobility was more than just a job – it was and continues to be a source of pride for me. That was the moment I started to notice how transportation truly connects communities, and how important it is for transit advocates and professionals to have a seat at the table.


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

The men and women working in the vehicles, garages, in the janitorial closets, under the hoods, in the control centers, and in the ticket booths will always serve as the inspiration for advocating for equitable transportation. These are the folks that keep our system running, often without acknowledgment or award. The average customer may not recognize them as heroes, but I do. Knowing that their work serves as the base for all innovation, bridge building and connection is important, and cannot be forgotten. These professionals interact with countless customers each day and bear the brunt of our customers’ emotions – it is not an easy task. They are often the first responders, whether they want to be or not. They are the ones charged with executing the ideas that come out of my office. They drive me to be as equitable and accessible as possible. They are the inspiration that feeds my passion for this work.

What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

One of the toughest transitions of my professional career was making the jump from operations back to administrative management. Having worked in several divisions of the industry, some learned habits can be difficult to break. The mental shift from serving as a first responder to office executive wasn’t easy, and fighting the urge to micromanage or simply let my team handle quick twitch situations their way doesn’t come naturally and requires a bit of patience and selfreflection of my own ability to be an effective leader. However, seeing your team shine on their own merit is worth the frustration of standing back a bit, and remaining confident that your leadership values reflect in their actions. We all fail or succeed together; neither circumstance occurs in a vacuum.


The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

• Commitment to safety and innovation

• Intentional diversity and inclusionary action

• Accountability no matter the outcome.

What have you come to learn about success?

Focus on the work. Try to surround yourself with a close

cabinet of people who are interested in your personal success, not just your professional success. If someone bothers to find out if you’ve eaten recently or if you’ve slept well the night before, generally, they care more about you than your job title. Oftentimes, these are the team members who are most valued during challenging times.

What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

I’ve not perfected the work/life balance quite yet, but rather am a work in progress! The best advice I can give at this moment is to make time for what’s important to you, and don’t apologize for it. Last I checked, there are only 24 hours in a day. We all make time for what we like best, so don’t forget to thank those who prioritize your needs within their 24 hours.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

I am joyful when I see a plan come together. I am a planner by trade, but love to be on a winning team, as we all do. So, quick wins fuel the fire for the longer race. A good example of this would be the recent recognition GCRTA is receiving on the national stage, and of course, here at home. We are working hard to be better professional partners, and by default, more efficient providers of mobility in Greater Cleveland.

Understanding how our organization plays a part in community connections and wellness is encapsulated in our everyday work; we are much more than a bus/ rail company. Having our mission statement echoed in meetings by people that do not work for GCRTA is rewarding. Witnessing their understanding of our organization’s potential and importance is absolutely worth the effort.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

Listen first, to be an effective leader. Most folks tell you who they are at initial introduction. Trust your gut, then verify what you feel with the data.


My ideal vacation is a trip to Italy – I’ve never been. I’d love to take a cooking class, capped by wine tasting in the countryside. Turning off the cell phone, the laptop, and the social media – that’s what work/life balance should look like, at least for a week!


Belva Denmark Tibbs


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.


Founder, Denmark Tibbs Family Foundation Healthcare Executive (retired)

HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio


• BS, Medical Education Northwestern University Medical School Chicago

• MBA, Cleveland State University

• Advanced Leadership Program University of North Carolina


• Board Member, Ideastream Public Media

• Board Member, Women of Color Foundation

• Vice Chair, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging

• Board Chairman, Saint Luke’s Foundation (2016-2018)

• Board Chairman, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland (2007-2009)

• Curator, Celebrate Those Who Give Black Exhibition (2019)

• African American Philanthropy Committee

The Cleveland Foundation

• Steering Committee

The Soul of Philanthropy Cleveland

• Immediate Past President

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®

Lambda Phi Omega Chapter, Cleveland, OH

• Former Vice President and Immediate Past Parliamentarian, The Links, Inc. Western Reserve Chapter


My personal mission -- to encourage, educate, equip and empower others -permeates everything I do.

My parents, David and Reba Denmark, had the most significant impact on my professional journey; they were servant leaders who navigated uncharted territory in their professions. I am still learning from these 90-year-old trailblazers!


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

As Vice President of Medical Operations at Kaiser Permanente (KP), I had to open FIVE medical office buildings in nine months. Previously, I had opened eight facilities – each one taking between 1.5 to 2 years to plan and open. When KP's upper echelon demanded that we increase the number of new facilities from two to five in the same year, I responded with unfiltered incredulity – not my finest business moment. Fortunately, my boss, then president Pat Kennedy-Scott, asked me to take the evening to think about HOW we could complete the task. Immediately following the meeting, I engaged my cross-functional team of providers, nurses, administrators, front-line staff, and facility design experts to create a plan to open five facilities in nine months. The reason that this was my most humbling accomplishment because initially, I didn't think it could be done, but I learned that together – labor, management and providers – can work together to accomplish the impossible – opening five medical facilities on time and under budget. Mentally switching from "whether this is doable?" to "how to make it happen?" made all the difference.


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

Currently, I approach DEI through a strategic lens at the governance level. For example, as Saint Luke's Foundation board chair (2016-2018), I was at the table when we realized that achieving health equity required confronting racism. During the strategic planning process in 2018, we found ourselves at the intersection of compelling data and lived experiences. I believe that those crucial/ tough/"real" conversations paved the way for current President & CEO Tim Tramble. As I watch how Saint Luke's Foundation is embedding DEI in everything it does, I am inspired to continue to talk about the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the board rooms where things happen.

What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

Several times during my career I was offered a high-risk, high-profile opportunity! Every time I accepted the risky assignment (e.g., overseeing the implementation of the Electronic Medical Record system, building a new claims processing department/system), I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and learn something new, usually about myself. Eventually, I honed my leadership skills, expanded my professional network and increased my knowledge. Successfully completing these high-risk assignments prepared me for and resulted in promotion to the next level.


The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

Get to know people – their strengths and weaknesses and create an environment where they can truly play to their strengths.

What have you come to learn about success?

I am a woman of faith; I have learned that with God, all things are possible. So, I have learned to do all to God's glory.

What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

It takes a village of loving/supportive people to balance career and lifestyle.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

I love working with a team of committed individuals (on a board or in an organization) to make an impact in the communities we serve.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

The old adage is true – people don't care how much you know until they know you care about them. Caring may be underrated but its impact is immeasurable. I serve on a number of boards where I work with individuals who give their time, talent and treasure; they are the organization's lifeblood. It's important to nurture relationships with these volunteers. I take time be kind to and connect with these individuals on a personal level. I want them to know that they matter and I appreciate what they do.


My ideal vacation is…

An all-inclusive, beachfront resort with a great spa!


Tyniece J. Wingfield, B.S.W


Thinking back to your early years, was there a teacher or professor that had a significant impact on your professional journey? If so, please share.


Behavioral Health Specialist & Proprietress

HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio


• Bachelor of Social Work

• Certified Event Planner


• Volunteer, Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation

• Jeepers Creepers 216 (Community Jeep Enthusiasts Club)

• Community Liaison International Health Commission


Living My Life Like it’s Golden

Ms. Carlin Waters. She was one of my math teachers in high school. She was smart, downto-earth, no nonsense, and not only did she compel her students to excel—she helped them. I appreciate her to this day because she was/is a brilliant black woman who ensured her students learned. Ms. Waters allowed us to have fun while we learned. Math wasn’t an easy subject for me but I did well because she pushed me. My equations might have been off but she gave me the formula to succeed and that is… Don’t give up.


What professional accomplishment are you most humbled by and why?

I am most humbled by being a social worker. I never thought I would find purpose in this role. I have been graciously granted the opportunity to help people who are less fortunate by advocating for them. People need basic essentials daily to function such as food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and community. If you are BIPOC, you are often marginalized, on the disproportionate end of the economic spectrum, and struggling daily to make ends meet. I fit into all of these categories. As a social worker I am able to learn and teach by example. This is humbling for me because but for the grace of God there go I.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is vital to the longevity and success of any professional. On your most challenging day, where do you draw inspiration to continue feeding your passion for this work?

It is important for me to see people who look like me in the spaces I occupy. I have to inspire other black men and women by showing them that the color of our skin is not intimidating. We can show up and showcase our skills and talents without

playing small. For those who are non-black, I would invite them into our rooms of excellence when we’re not often welcomed in theirs. I draw my passion from watching others who face adversity use their power, strength, and wisdom to ensure inclusivity. Particularly, I watch my own sisters, my First Lady, and shameless plug the Alexandria Boones of the world who make the load for me a little lighter.

What is the toughest decision you’ve made professionally?

I recently resigned from a position that I held for 10 years. Although it was time, it was tough because I had to leave my comfort zone in order for me to grow. Any time you make this type of investment it’s not an easy decision to walk away but you cannot grow if you don’t go—when it’s time.


The essentials to creating a harmonious work environment are…

Peace, respect, skills, teamwork, and fun.

What have you come to learn about success?

Success for me is not about who you know, how much you have, or how many titles you have. Don’t get me wrong, these are contributors for sure. I salute people who work hard at their achievements. Success comes in doses. Sometimes it’s leading the charge to get millions out to vote, opening a new business, or simply some days success is being able to lift your head off the pillow. You define success. I may never see my name in a Forbes publication but I’m successful today because I get to share my story in C-L Magazine.

What have you come to learn about balancing career and lifestyle?

Balance vs Fluidity I don’t believe in balance per se. If you were to look at my life on a graph there would be lines going up and down. Sometimes the lines would be way up. Sometimes the lines will be way down depending on the circumstances. After losing my mom in 2020, dealing with that pitiful pandemic, losing a sister in 2021, being thrusted into a caretaker role for my dad who had some mild health issues, losing a cousin, a best friend, and another aunt in 2022 (whew),

I learned that my life was not this straight line which symbolizes balance. It (my life) was/is more of a series of peaks and valleys. The valleys taught me how to stand on the peaks. I also don’t like the idea of the balance because it suggests you are moving straightforward. In a straight line the enemy can take out your whole camp because they would fall one by one. However, if you have some folk up top, in the middle, and on the bottom you are surrounded by more forces that stabilize you. I like building a circle of fluidity. Each day I get to flow back and forth between my personal and professional life. I’m not always equal in these roles. Today I might be a great daughter. Tomorrow I’ll be a great neighbor. Next week I’m a great advocate. In crisis, I’m a great problemsolver. I show up as the “best person” not the “balanced person”. Trying to be more when I can be less or being less when I should be more leaves me feeling drained. I can handle the flow better than I can balance the scale.


What part of your job brings you the most joy?

I’m going to shift here and speak a bit about my role as a certified event planner. I’m blessed to have 2 careers that I enjoy. I love to see the look on someone’s face when their vision has come to life. I always try to exceed expectations but modestly as to not oversell and under deliver. In both roles as a Behavioral Health Specialist and a Certified Event Planner, I get to serve others. This is some real good joy albeit challenging at times.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned professionally? How do you apply this lesson to the work you do?

I’ve learned to “take things personally”. I’m learning to be more present. I use the rough experiences to sharpen my saw. Now I don’t walk around everyday with the weight of the world on my shoulder but whatever do, I try do it and give God the glory in it all.


My ideal vacation is…

My ideal vacation is somewhere in Africa

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Planning Your Financial Future

Have you heard the adage: “Money is power”? Ask yourself, if you have no money, how much power do you have? Without going into a deep philosophical discussion about money, let’s keep it simple, you need money for most things in life. Daily living expenses, vacation with your family, college for you or your children, happy hour with the girls and so on. Money impacts all of us and many of our decisions have an impact on our finances. Money allows us to take control of our futures, meet our needs and the needs of our families and communities, taking the power of our futures out of someone else’s hands. Money allows us to save, invest, plan for the future, break generational cycles of poverty, build generational wealth, and create legacy.

Most of us will agree that this is true however, some of us have a warped perspective when it comes to our finances. Finances is not a sexy topic and most of us have not been taught the importance of properly managing our finances and leveraging money as a tool to create wealth and achieve financial satisfaction. Let’s dive into the root cause and discuss some solutions.


Money is seldom the problem when someone experiences a money issue; it is merely a symptom to a much bigger issue. The true cause is generally rooted in 1 of 3 key areas: Perspective

So now that you’ve found yourself in one of the causes above, you’re asking: what can I do to change my current situation? Well, I’m glad you asked. Not all money struggles are created equal therefore, there is no “one size fits all” solution. I’ll provide a set of suggestions for three different scenarios:

1.Women living in a deficit

If you have a perspective problem, you’ll most likely say things like: money is the root of all evil; money is not everything; money can’t buy me happiness; and some people care too much about money. While there is some truth in all of these statements, we all know that money is essential to a productive and abundant life and only those with perspective problems view it negatively. This group was probably raised by parents who shared the same perspective and have learned this in their lifetime.

If you have a people problem, you’ll most likely say things such as: my kids will be angry if I don’t buy them this; or I have to have this, everybody has one…it’s the trending thing right now. My friend will be angry if I don’t help. Or you might succumb to the YOLO comment one of your friends make. You know, you only live once said by someone giving you bad advice right before you make a bad decision that will have a lasting negative effect on some area of your life. People and relationships are the common denominator in all of our lives. Some of our relationships are beneficial to our financial health and some of them are just devastating. Time to distance yourself from anyone not adding to your life and holding you accountable to transforming your financial future.

Lastly, a process problem. This is the easiest of the three to correct. This is simply not knowing what to do or where to start. Seek out knowledge and resources that will educate, empower, and hold you accountable to achieving the financial goals you establish for yourself.

12.Women living from paycheck to paycheck

3.Women living in surplus

Women living in a deficit – women in this bucket get paid, your paycheck is not enough to cover your basic and essential needs. You don’t have enough to tie you over until your next pay. You find yourself getting a payday loan or a loan from a friend or family member just to make it to the next pay. You are living to work, pay bills to work again.

• Create a budget. This will allow you to establish a plan for getting out of the vicious cycle. Cut all unnecessary spending until you’ve stabilized your financial situation.

• Consider upskill and starting a new career to increase your earning potential.

• Start a business or side hustle to create another stream of income.

• Take on a part time job to help eliminate some debt and assist with paying bills.

problem People problem Process problem

2Women living from paycheck to paycheck – women in this bucket are one paycheck away from category one – living in a deficit. If you are in this category, you have one of two issues. You are not making enough money, or you are spending too much money. If you have more essential bills than your paycheck, you are not making enough money. If you have more nonessential bills and purchases than essential bills, you are spending too much. My advice, in addition to creating a real budget and creating other streams of income, would be to:

• Rid yourself of non-essential expenses until you can save $1000 emergency fund, 3 to 6 months rainy fund and start investing some cash

• Establish clear financial goals and begin working to achieve those goals

• Connect with an accountability partner that will hold you accountable to achieving your goals

3Women living in a surplus – if you are a woman living in surplus, you are well on your way to achieving financial freedoms and creating generational wealth. My advice to you would be to institute your fantastic five: Business banker, financial advisor, accountant, attorney, insurance broker. Look to do the following:

• Invest in the stock market

• Invest in real estate

• Start a business or side hustle (consider a franchise)

• Acquire life insurance with the sole purpose of transferring wealth

• Teach your children about personal finances

• Begin preparing for their college

• Significantly increase your savings for retirement

As we are cleaning our closets and getting rid of stuff that we don’t need and no longer serve us, we should take time to clean our financial closets and get rid of perspectives and people that no longer serve us, clear our financial lives from the clutter that is blocking us from achieving financial freedoms and organizing our finances for success.

Financial literacy transcends beyond your education status, your race, sexual orientation, gender, or any other divide you can think of. It impacts us all. You must have the desire, determination, and commitment to seek out the knowledge and more importantly, be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve your goals. It’s time to start putting financial security before swag, financial peace before possessions and financial futures before flashiness!

On the other side of fear is greatness. Each of us has greatness within us. There is nothing unique about me other than my desire to achieve financial success and the effort I put toward it. You have what it takes. Start now… it’s never too late.

Meltrice D. Sharp is a Certified Public Accountant and Managing Partner of CLE Consulting Firm. She has extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of accounting, tax, management, and finance.


Navigating Family Secrets and Healing Intergenerational

A Reading and Conversation

6:00 pm

Learning Commons, Louis Stokes Wing, Cleveland Public Library, 525 Superior Avenue

Cassandra Lane’s memoir, We Are Bridges weaves the story of her great-grandfather’s lynching with her experience of becoming a mother, attempting to unearth the lives of her ancestors and provide her child with a family record. Lane confronts the limits of the archive as she weaves together the present day with the imagined lives of her great-grandparents Burt Bridges and Mary Magdalene Magee. In this haunting, poetic debut, Lane dares to construct a new story for herself and her family--one that encapsulates both the brutal inheritances of the past and the hope of Black futures to come. Cassandra Lane will read from We Are Bridges and be in conversation with Dr. Michele Tracy Berger, Director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Cassandra Lane is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Lanereceived her MFA from Antioch University, LA. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times’ Conception series, the Times-Picayune, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and elsewhere. She is managing editor of L.A. Parent magazine and formerly served on the board of the AROHO Foundation.

This event is co-sponsored by Cleveland Public Library.

Registration requested. TUESDAY

18 APRIL bakernord.case.edu

Book Suggestions

Psychology of Money

Doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people.

Money–investing, personal finance, and business decisions–is typically taught as a math-based field, where data and formulas tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world, people don’t make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. They make them at the dinner table, or in a meeting room, where personal history, your own unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing, and odd incentives are scrambled together.

In The Psychology of Money, award-winning author Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.

Start With Why

The inspirational bestseller that ignited a movement and asked us to find our WHY

Discover the book that is captivating millions on TikTok and that served as the basis for one of the most popular TED Talks of all time—with more than 56 million views and counting. Over a decade ago, Simon Sinek started a movement that inspired millions to demand purpose at work, to ask what was the WHY of their organization. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, and these ideas remain as relevant and timely as ever.

START WITH WHY asks (and answers) the questions: why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who have had the greatest influence in the world all think, act and communicate the same way—and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.


Book Suggestions

She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership

Discover how to become an effective woman in leadership -- even if you’re shy, avoid conflict at all costs, or lack confidence.

Are you tired of seeing men at work get promoted, be given better assignments, and enjoy pay raises even though you know your skills and results are just as good, if not better?

Do you find it difficult to express yourself during work meetings without being hostile or apologetic?

Perhaps you're tired of coming home feeling frustrated because you didn't speak up at the meeting, or maybe you feel as though, no matter what you try, people just walk all over you.

You know that there must be another way.

And you’re right. But don’t worry: help is at hand.

In an incredibly male-dominated world, it’s crucial – now more than ever – to develop the necessary skills to become an effective leader and start demanding what you deserve.

Luckily, it’s easier than you think.

You don't have to buy into the self-help industry, which wastes your time, resources and energy on costly and often condescending life coaches and counseling sessions.

All you need are easy, proven skills and traits that will help you gradually develop your self-esteem, sharpen your trust, and hone your boundary-setting and communication skills.

Many people don’t understand that there’s a lot more to being a leader than just managing people.

The first step to thinking like a boss is having the insight and understanding that pioneering successful women have – and using it to take constructive action.

Even if you feel uncomfortable or scared to face the issues that being a great leader brings, the key is to dive straight in. In She Thinks Like a Boss, you will be given specific and practical techniques to help you gradually overcome the problems you're facing.

You’re on a personal journey, but there are key steps you can take to set you on the path to live the life you dream of and be an inspiration to other women in business.


Book Suggestions

We Should All Be Millionaires

Are you ready to fill your life with more peace, power, and joy?

We Should All Be Millionaires details a realistic, achievable, step-by-step path to creating the support, confidence, and plan you need to own your success and become the millionaire the world needs you to be.

Only 10 percent of the world’s millionaires are women, making it difficult for women to wield the economic power that will create lasting equality. Whatever is stopping you from having seven figures in the bank—whether it’s shaky confidence, knowledge gaps when it comes to wealth building tactics, imposter syndrome, a janky mindset about money (it’s okay, we’ve all been there!), or simply not knowing where to begin—this book shows you how to clear every obstacle in your way, show up, and glow up.

We Should All Be Millionaires will forever change the way you think about money and your ability to earn it.

In this book, Rachel Rodgers— a Black woman, mother of four, attorney, business owner, and self-made millionaire— shares the lessons she’s learned both in her own journey to wealth and in coaching hundreds of women through their own journeys to seven figures.

Inside, you’ll learn:

• Why earning more money is not “selfish” or “greedy” but in fact, a revolutionary act that brings the economy into balance and creates a better world for all.

• Why most of the financial advice you’ve heard in the past (like “skip your daily latte to save money”) is absolute, patriarchal nonsense.

• An eye-opening history lesson on how women and people of color have been shut out of the ability to build wealth for centuries—and how we can fix this.

• How to stop making broke-ass decisions that leave you feeling emotionally and financially depleted and start making million-dollar decisions instead.

• Why aiming to earn $100K per year is not enough, and why you need to be setting your goals much higher.

• Strategies to bring more money in the door and fatten your bank account immediately. (Including Rodgers’$10K in 10 Days Challenge which hundreds of women have completed—with incredible results.)

It’s time to construct an entirely new attitude about money, claim your power, and build the financial security that you need and deserve — so you can stop just surviving, and start thriving. Let’s begin.

Book descriptions from Amazon.com

Corporatepreneur to Entrepreneur with Charmaine Brown

Helping you successfully transition from Corporate life to Entrepreneurship with Courage, Clarity, and Community

Is This You?

4 Finally, READY to turn that idea into a business.

4 You want to build a successful business but don’t know where to start or what steps to take

4 You have an idea, and maybe even started but stalled and ready to give it a real chance

It’s Time to Give Yourself RADICAL Permission to Build Your Dream Business!

Society tells us that we have to choose between a successful career or a fulfilling life.

I say NO MORE! It’s time to start building the life you have always dreamed with entrepreneurship as the tool.

Hi, I’m Charmaine! I am a Corporatepreneur turned Entrepreneur with a career that spans over 29 years. My successful transition from corporate career to entrepreneurship gave me the motivation to inspire and support women everywhere to make their own transition with courage, clarity and community. My new venture, Corporatepreneur to Entrepreneur, is on a mission to help women just like you find their inner strength and achieve success on their own terms. I am so passionate about helping others reach their goals and dreams and firmly believe that every woman has the power to change the world. You’ve Got This!


Having an Attitude of

On February 23, 2023, at 1:11 a.m., my life turned upside down.

I woke up feeling like someone had hit me with a baseball bat on the left side of my head. But, like any sensible person, I decided to lie back down to sleep off the pain. However, I couldn't lie down because the pain worsened, and I knew something was wrong. So I leaned over to wake my husband to say, honey, something isn't right. And when he woke up, he noticed that my speech was slurred, the left side of my face was drooping, and when he tried to help me get up, I could not move my left arm or leg. I knew what was happening - at 52 years old, I was having a stroke.

In an instant, life can change. And the hard truth is we are not promised tomorrow or even the next moment. We can plan our lives and think we have all the time in the world to accomplish what we desire, but life can change in the blink of an eye.

And when it does, these "pivotal moments" cause us to pause and ponder what is really important in life. It causes us to reflect on all that we are grateful for.

In full transparency, when Alex Boone called to ask me to write an article, I was at my one-week follow-up appointment for the stroke, and I thought she was calling to find out how I was doing. I had no idea she was calling for me to write an article about living a life of gratitude. You may be saying that was terrible timing because I just had a stroke, so what is there to be grateful for? But the timing was perfect because writing the article would help me focus on everything I had to be thankful for despite feeling like life had turned upside down.


So What Is Gratitude?

Gratitude is being thankful and appreciative of the many things we have in life. It is a feeling of deep appreciation and recognition for the good things one experiences, big or small. It involves acknowledging the blessings in one’s life and feeling a sense of contentment as a result.

Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can be very beneficial in:

• improving overall well-being

• increasing happiness

• reducing stress

• improving physical health

• creating a positive outlook on life

• feeling more confident and fulfilled

While these are all benefits we want more of, what keeps us from experiencing gratitude? Many factors can keep us from experiencing gratitude in our daily lives. Here are some common ones:

1. Negative thinking: Focusing on negative thoughts and feelings can make it difficult to see the good things in our lives and appreciate them.

2. Comparison: Comparing ourselves to others can make us feel like we don’t have as much as others, making it hard to feel grateful for what we have.

3. Entitlement: Feeling entitled to things can make it difficult to appreciate them. When we feel like we deserve something, we may take it for granted and not feel grateful for it.

4. Stress: High-stress levels can make it hard to focus on the positive things in our lives and lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

5. Busyness: When we’re too busy and constantly rushing from one thing to another, we may not take the time to pause and appreciate the good things in our lives.

6. Lack of awareness: Sometimes, we simply may not be aware of the good things in our lives. We may take them for granted or only recognize their value once something happens.

7. Ungrateful habits: Sometimes, we may have developed habits of complaining or focusing on what's wrong, making it hard to feel grateful.

By recognizing these factors, we can work to overcome them and cultivate more gratitude, which is key to long-lasting joy and fulfillment.


But aren’t we guilty of expressing gratitude when everything is going well? For example, when the outcome is what we desired - we are grateful that it all worked out. Or we are thankful that the job is going well, our relationships are thriving, our kids are excelling in school, and we’ve got lots of money in the bank. But what happens when all heck breaks loose and everything that we didn’t want to happen is happening? Are we no longer grateful?

Gratitude should not show up only when life is going well and the sun is shining brightly but also in the craziness and storms of life. That’s right, in the midst of what we don’t want and don’t like - gratitude allows us to see a glimmer of hope despite the challenges we are experiencing. But, unfortunately, it is a gift we often miss because it isn’t wrapped in pretty paper with a big red bow on it, and we are distracted by the pain, disappointment, and

heartache because things are not working out as we had hoped. And while that is a normal human response, it can keep us stuck, and over time, we can become bitter and unhappy people.

You must understand that trials, tribulations, and troubles, also known as storms, are a normal part of life. No one is exempt - the rain falls on all of us. And if you can see the gift in the storms, you will be blessed and have more joy and peace because you living a “lifestyle of gratitude.”

A lifestyle of gratitude is not about one moment of feeling grateful but rather cultivating a mindset of appreciation and thankfulness for the good things in life - no matter what is happening. This mindset will keep you anchored when navigating the storms of life so you can experience success, joy, peace, and abundance despite them.

So how do we create a lifestyle of gratitude? Here are seven steps you can start using today:

Step #1

Choose to look for the good. You have to be intentional and choose to look for the good when your heart is broken and life has turned upside down. It will not come naturally. For example, my stroke could have happened a few hours earlier when I was alone in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, on the airplane heading home, or while driving home from the airport late that evening. But it didn’t, which is a point to be grateful for. I am making a conscious choice to be thankful that it happened at home and that I could get help immediately. Looking for the good is a choice you can make right now.

Step #2

Every day, repeat, “I am grateful.” Repeating this affirmation statement instructs your subconscious that this is how you choose to feel. It leaves an imprint in your brain, which over time, becomes a habit and will be your default response when life turns upside down. Never underestimate the power of your words in creating your reality. And when you say the affirmation with a smile, it will lift your spirits.

Step #3

Keep a gratitude journal. Write down one to three things you are grateful for each day. This is a crucial step to take. We all naively think we will remember those good moments, but it isn’t natural to look for the good when life turns upside down. But your journal is the proof that can encourage you when the storms come, and you feel discouraged and overwhelmed. You can go through your journal, remind yourself of your blessings, and keep moving forward.

Step #4

Reframe negative thoughts. When you dwell on negative thoughts, try reframing them in a more positive light. Focus on the outcomes you desire rather than the details of what is happening that you don’t like. This was tough for me during the first two weeks following my stroke. I had to make a conscious effort to not dwell on the fact that I had a stroke and to shift to focusing on healing and fully recovering. Negative thoughts can weigh us down, while positive ones are energizing and empowering. But, again, we get to choose which one we focus on.

Step #5

Express gratitude every day. Tell the people in your life that you appreciate them. Write thank-you notes, send texts or emails, or express it in person. Someone needs to be encouraged, and as you express your gratitude, you will feel even more grateful.

Step #6

Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally is vital for overall well-being. And being compassionate and forgiving of yourself can help you feel more positive and grateful.

Step #7

Surround yourself with positivity. Spend time with people you enjoy and who make you laugh, and read books that uplift you and inspire you. Leave yourself sticky notes or hang decorative pictures with inspiring quotes. When your environment is filled with positive things, it will influence your mood and mindset.

By incorporating one or all of these steps into your daily life, you can cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude that will keep you anchored no matter what is going on in your life.


Now a word of caution...

Living a lifestyle of gratitude is not for the fainthearted because it is the opposite of our natural human tendencies to focus on what isn't going well or what we don't have. So, if you want it, you will have to work at intentionally creating one, getting rid of your old way of thinking, and responding to the challenges in your life differently. And while it will be work, it will be rewarding, and you will live a more fulfilling and joyous life.

At the end of the day, I have learned while enduring the storms of a divorce, losing all of my material possessions in a fire, the death of loved ones, dealing with life-threatening health issues, and so much more that there is always something to be grateful for - no matter what is going on. Despite the heartaches and disappointments, we can choose to have a mindset of gratitude that says it may not be well right now - but it will be well, which is something to be grateful for.

Natalie Rudd is a spiritual coach and strategist, author and speaker who helps women get unstuck and create a lifestyle of faith that they desire. For more information, visit www.coachnatalierudd.com


Give Back to Your Community

Volunteer with SCORE and assist local businesses and nonpro ts

Make a real di erence in your community, share your unique skills and experiences and empower others to live their livelong dreams of starting a small business or a nonpro t by joining SCORE!

SCORE is a nationwide organization comprised of over 10,000 volunteers providing free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500 plus communities across the country. In Northeast Ohio, we’re looking for volunteers who understand and appreciate the importance, value, and power of diversity – diversity of people and diversity of thought.

Begin your journey as a SCORE mentor

Learn more at www.score.org/cleveland



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