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MAGAZINE OF THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CINCINNATI

Perspectives AUTUMN 2019

Our Centennial Exhibit at CMC The League’s 100 year history is on display at Cincinnati Museum Center, and it will leave you energized and inspired. Be sure to check out the exhibit, open now through June 1, 2020. PAGE 4

Sweet Cheeks Launches Tidal Babe Discover how Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank continues to strive to improve the wellbeing of women and girls in the Cincinnati community with its launch of Tidal Babe Period Bank. PAGE 10

Update from Past JLC Program, RefugeeConnect Learn how one family aided by RefugeeConnect built a safe life in the U.S. and obtained citizenship despite many obstacles along their journey. PAGE 12


In this issue 3 4

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President’s Perspective A Century of Community Impact: The Junior League Exhibit Opens at Cincinnati Museum Center Centennial Fundraising Campaign: Honoring Our Past, Defining Our Future Catching Up with Sustainer Julie Niesen JLC Office & Operations Updates: New Technology, Tools, and Tenacity to Better Support Our Members

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100 Years in, and the Best is Yet to Come: Photo Review Shared Passion Leads to Prosperous Partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank New Member Welcome The Pursuit of Happiness: RefugeeConnect Family Becomes United States Citizens Spotlight on Anthony Gregory Member Milestones

Your Perspectives Team

Managing Editor Assistant Editor Writer Writer Charlotte R. Eichman Andrea Buschmiller Kourtney P. Brueckner Elizabeth Longaberger

Writer Kelly Saylor

Thank You The Perspectives Committee would like to extend our gratitude to the many women who volunteered their time, knowledge, opinions, and experiences to make this issue possible. Writer Carrie M. Starts

Contributers: Haley Elkins and Hannah Schultz VP Communications Photographers: Lisa Hubbard and Chelsea Zesch Chelsea Zesch

The Junior League of Cincinnati is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Perspectives is the magazine of the Junior League of Cincinnati, published multiple times throughout the year. Past issues and advertising rates can be found online at www.jlcincinnati.org. For more news and events, follow us on social media. JLCincinnati

JLCincy

JLCincy

Junior League of Cincinnati, 3500 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 • 513.871.9339 • www.jlcincinnati.org


President’s Perspective Dear JLC members and friends, Welcome back! With our Centennial year officially underway, there is incredible work being brought to life across our organization. We have seen the coming together of so many members, both Sustainers and Active, in driving ahead the amazing range of initiatives helping to celebrate this special year. In the pages of this issue, you’ll discover more, not just about our Centennial festivities, but about the continued commitment the JLC has to our community and to each other as members. To our New Members and Transfers, so glad you are here and have jumped right in to the mix! To our Actives and Sustainers, thrilled to have you back and so grateful to each and every one of you for your continued support, passion, and efforts during this, our 100th year. As has been said by many wise women before me, together we are ONE LEAGUE, coming together as a force to help drive change in and around Cincinnati.

our legacy to the community, and hopefully, creates a connection for our members that is unique. We’re going to continue to have candid conversations about our inclusiveness and what we need to do to improve that. This is certainly a year with lots going on and so many options for members to engage with. At our core, it is our members who make all things possible and help to reinvent and revitalize the JLC time and time again. Our first 100 years are full of remarkable work and I thank each and every one of you for sticking around to continue that work into our next century!

As Tara Noland said so beautifully last year, the women in the Junior League of Cincinnati come from everywhere. There is probably not a profession in this city not represented by All my best, one of our members. The reasons we joined are as different as we are. We wanted to make new friends. We want to make an impact in our community. We want to grow as leaders, challenging ourselves to build new skills and try new things. And we want to do these things in the Meredith L. Comin company of other incredible women.” JLC President The 100th year of the Junior League of Cincinnati is going to be one of our most exciting yet. We are going to celebrate our Centennial in a way that creates awareness, drives longevity, shows

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A Century of Community Impact: The Junior League Exhibit Opens at Cincinnati Museum Center By KOURTNEY P. BRUECKNER

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n August 16, 2019, Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) hosted a preview of the exhibit “The Junior League of Cincinnati: Making a Difference for 100 Years”, established as a celebration of the Junior League of Cincinnati’s Centennial anniversary. The exhibit highlights the JLC’s century of improving our community and empowering women. Judy Dalambakis and Susan Shelton, Past Presidents and current Vice Presidents of the Centennial Steering Committee, opened the event with thanks to the exhibit’s sponsors: CMC and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation. Opening remarks were made by JLC President Meredith Comin, United States Representative Brad Wenstrup, and Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus, thanking the JLC for its commitment to leading change in the city. Once the ceremonial ribbon was cut, the exhibit was opened to the multi-generations of League members and community partners who attended the event. Attending Sustainers, Actives, New Members, and their guests could stroll through the century of commitment to civic leadership. Photographs from the over 120 programs that the JLC has either incubated or accelerated in its first 100 years were displayed along with facts about each. Some of the featured programs may be familiar to Members, such as the League’s current program partner, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank and Fernside, a children’s grief center established in 1986 that still serves the community today. The placement of the JLC exhibit at the CMC is yet another link in a strong bond between the two organizations. Through the years the JLC has valued its relationship with CMC as the home for several initiatives, including the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and GrinUp!, the League’s pediatric oral health program. To create the exhibit, members from the Archives and Centennial Committees spent countless hours immersed in recollections to create the stunning display. Centennial History Committee Co-Chair Lisa Dye emphasized that the materials on exhibit constitute only a fraction of the stored archives from the JLC. She envisions that one day the full breadth of the JLC archives can be available to anyone wishing to view them, a key priority for the Archives Committee in the years to come. When asked about her hopes for the exhibit, she stated, “I hope that each person who visits our exhibit leaves emboldened to work with the community to develop solutions for real world problems that might seem insurmountable. I also hope that our exhibit shows people that when you work ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with other motivated people, not only do you make a lasting impact on your community, you also form relationships and gain skills that can change your life in a very meaningful way.” #JLCincy | 4

One of the most impactful portions of the exhibit is the immersive theater experience featuring interviews with JLC members about their experiences and personal contributions to the featured programs. After viewing the exhibit, New Member Elizabeth Buhr echoed Lisa’s hopes stating, “[a]s a New Member it was empowering to see the incredible impact that the Junior League of Cincinnati has had and continues to have on the community.” The exhibit is open to the public now through June 1, 2020.

One of the many displays showcasing the League’s history.

Exhibit opening attendees peruse the exhibit.

The Welcome Home Committee continues to work towards the goal of welcoming back 100 former League members for the League’s 100th year. Anyone interested in helping can identify a former League member, encourage her to rejoin, and provide her name to Committee Co-Chairs Shelley Poffenberger and Keke Sansalone.


Centennial Fundraising Campaign Honoring Our Past, Defining Our Future Areas of Emphasis

We’re pleased to announce that the Junior League of Cincinnati has launched a fundraising campaign to celebrate our hundred years of service to the community. You’ve all played a part in the Junior League’s rich history; now we ask that you play a part in defining the Junior League’s future.

30% Projects

For nearly a hundred years, we’ve offered a place for women to find our voices, broaden our knowledge, and use our skills for good. We’ve empowered women to speak up and speak out. And we continue to build the female leaders of today, while inspiring the leaders of tomorrow — from driving change to simply getting things done. Our Centennial Campaign is about more than raising dollars — it’s about empowering the next hundred years of visionary civic leaders. Leaders that spark lasting and meaningful change. Consider how the JLC has served and will continue to serve you, our community, our neighbors, and those in need. We’ve looked carefully at the most important and urgent needs of the JLC and have planned the Centennial Campaign to meet those needs. Our goal is to raise $1M, through a campaign among our members and close friends, with pledges to be paid over three years. We believe that the world needs the united steadfast resonance of women’s voices. It’s in this spirit that we ask you to join us as an advocate for the campaign.

30% Endowment Fund

12% Training 28% Columbia Center

Funds raised will enhance training and will allow for valuable curriculum to be developed and more leadership training tracks to be offered to JLC members. Contributions will ensure projects can provide a permanent program development cycle as well as nonprofit incubation. Investing in Columbia Center as our greatest physical asset improves both the membership and rental experience. Our increased Endowment will strengthen our financial foundation to allow for more mission based spending, better training programs, and greater membership sustainability.

Our Campaign is unique: Lauren Bosse Campaign Co-Chair

Katie Hayden Gamber Campaign Co-Chair

1. In 2019-2020, a full placement option has been offered to involve Active members in the campaign. 2. Our consultant, Skystone Partners, will provide training to our Active members about philanthrophy.

Digi F. Schueler Campaign Co-Chair

Megan Stacey Campaign Co-Chair

3. The campaign effort will allow us to reclaim lapsed donors and strengthen existing donor relationships. 4. The enhanced fundraising skills of Actives will ensure a more robust annual fund effort in years to come.

Campaign Leadership Campaign Co-Chairs Lauren Bosse Kathryn Hayden Gamber Digi Schueler Megan Stacey

Campaign Cabinet Leadership Giving Co-Chairs Melanie Chavez Carrie Hayden

Past-Presidents Co-Chairs Juliana (J.J.) Wales Priscilla Ungers

Special Gifts Co-Chairs Molly Flanagan Tara Noland

General Gifts Co-Chairs Kate Fortlage Emily Ryan #JLCincy | 5


Catching Up with Sustainer Julie Niesen By ELIZABETH LONGABERGER

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ome of us may think we are foodies, but Junior League of Cincinnati Sustainer Julie Niesen takes loving food to a professional level as a food writer. Julie’s love of food and cooking stems from her grandmother, who cooked for her while she was growing up. Today, Julie’s passion for food has materialized into a food writing career that boasts a large body of work. Julie’s writing has been featured in a number of publications and media outlets, such as The Washington Post, USA Today, Serious Eats, The Cincinnati Enquirer (and its former weekly, Metromix), WCPO Digital, CityBeat, and many more. Julie joined the Junior League of Cincinnati right after finishing graduate school at Xavier University. She decided early in her career that she wanted to pursue a job in publishing but quickly realized she needed more stimulation so she started a food blog, “wine me, dine me.” At the time, Julie was one of the only food writers in Cincinnati other than writers at Cincinnati Magazine and The Cincinnati Enquirer. A few years ago, Julie left publishing and went to work for a tech company. In the midst of her career, she started her own freelancing firm assisting tech companies and small

businesses. She recently made the change to work for Cisco Systems, Inc. as a marketing manager, while still running her freelance firm on the side. Impressively, even while engineering her career’s next chapters, Julie has found that her writing has changed over the years, shifting from focusing solely on the food to also portraying the people behind the restaurants. Julie has been residing and dining in Over-TheRhine (OTR) for over a decade, with it serving as the inspiration for much of her food writing. As many Cincinnati natives can remember, at that time the OTR food scene had just started taking a turn toward success. Julie grew to know the area quite well by focusing her writing on the history and the people behind the restaurants. One of her latest articles for WVXU does just that; it features Schwartz Point, a local Jazz Bar, which is famous across the country for its European-style club and wonderful music. When not traveling, Julie tries to cook as much as she can, specifically Asian or Thai cuisine. And when Julie is not writing or enjoying food, she loves to spend time with her three French Bulldogs, Sophie, GoGo and Mona, and her partner, Justin Whittaker.

Music and Movement Classes Birth to 24 months • Parent and child classes ter Regis e n i l on 2 . c e D

Music ignites all areas of child development. Activities in these classes are designed to stimulate your baby’s mind and body and can be replicated at home. In this special class aimed at the youngest musician, you and your child will strengthen your everlasting bond while exploring age-appropriate instruments, songs, stories, movement and dance.

Class Options

Register Online www.summitcds.org/igknight beginning December 2. Space is limited.

All classes are parent and child classes. Parents can choose from ONE of the following three class meeting options. Classes will be held in The Summit Country Day School Lower School:

Session II – Sing and Play • Fee: $215 Monday 8:30 - 9:15 a.m. - Jan. 6 - April 6 Monday 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. - Jan. 6 - April 6 Wednesday 9 - 9:45 a.m. - Jan. 8 - April 8

Session III – Let’s Play in May! • Fee: $90 Monday 8:30 - 9:15 a.m. - April 20 - May 18 Monday 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. - April 20 - May 18 Wednesday 9 - 9:45 a.m. - April 22 - May 20

www.summitcds.org/igknight #JLCincy | 6

Catholic • Independent • Age 2 - Grade 12 2161 Grandin Road • Cincinnati, OH 45208


JLC Office & Operations Updates New technology, tools, and tenacity to better support our members From HALEY ELKINS, Managing Director We’re onto another wonderful League year — my eleventh with the JLC and second in my role as Managing Director. For our office team, last year was a year of taking stock, finding our balance, and prioritizing what small adjustments could have the biggest return on investment for our members. Jill Robertson joined us as the Office Coordinator for our 2018-2019 season, and streamlined many of our administrative systems and processes before transitioning to full time employment with Hamilton County late this past spring — and we’re proud to say she’ll continue to make a difference as a member of this year’s New Member class! Our new Office Coordinator, Maggie Youngblood, has taken over the reigns of our office systems since June and has been working hard to build upon Jill’s extraordinary foundation. Maggie’s career experience includes customer service, bookkeeping, and client relations — skills you’re sure to notice when you call the office, book a room at Columbia Center, or submit a reimbursement request. This year is a bit different. We’ve been through a full budgeting cycle and have been able to make changes to our operational budget that save costs in some areas in order to put those dollars to work in spaces that better lift and empower the work our members do. We’ve upgraded to a new copy and print system, allowing us to do more work in-house instead of outsourcing — without raising print rates for committees. We’re currently revamping part of our office area to be available to committees in the evening, with plans of a shared computer, tabletop folding and binding machines, and more. We’re currently exploring upgrades to our security, fire, and phone systems that will not only save money with newer technology, but improve the ease-of-use of our building. With the migration to our own Quickbooks accounting system last year, the work of “closing” our financial month has been reduced from ten hours to about three each month, and VPs now automatically receive easy-to-understand financial reporting about their council regularly, increasing our transparency and oversight. We’ve also instituted a system of touch-base meetings between the office and each VP twice a year, to gauge opportunities and challenges to better support our councils and committees. Junior League women are, by default, some of the busiest women in the city — so we’ve streamlined our membership administration to make transfers and status change requests as quick and seamless as possible, to better flex with where our members are in the seasons of their lives. We’ve worked with the Finance, Membership, and Communications councils to retool our membership renewal process, including multiple touches to our members, multiple ways to pay, and adjustments to make opting into payment plans

easier — and we were rewarded with our highest on-time membership renewal rate in years. We’ve started to convert many of our older hardcopy membership files into our Digital Cheetah database, which is a multi-year undertaking that invests in our legacy now, to better support our future knowledge. And this fall, we plan to roll out a new JLC Alumnae program that allows women to transfer or move to other Leagues while still keeping in touch with the Junior League of Cincinnati. We’re proud of these administrative successes, but we’re even more proud of what they mean for our members: training opportunities for women to engage in nonprofit management (with the office at their backs), increased engagement as being an informed member becomes easier than ever, and ultimately, breathing room to focus on placements and committee work on our mission. We know our Centennial year is going to look a bit different, bringing with it new challenges and opportunities for our office team. But our mandate remains unwavering: to empower our councils and committees with the tools to do the job the JLC is asking them to do.

Meet our new Office Coordinator Maggie Youngblood Maggie grew up in Pierce Township, where she still lives, along with her son Kai. They enjoy being outside, playing at the park, riding bikes, and camping. Maggie worked in the optical business for the past eight years as an account manager and is excited about transitioning her customer service and office administration skills to the Junior League of Cincinnati. Prior to that, Maggie also worked at a veterinary hospital for four years while also volunteering with their lab rescue. Maggie oversees the general office duties at the JLC, including room requests, basic bookkeeping, member administration, and committee support. Feel free to drop Maggie a note of congratulations at her email address (maggie@jlcincinnati.org), or stop in to say hello the next time you visit the Columbia Center during office hours. Columbia Center Hours & Access Office Staff Hours: 10:00am-2:30pm Monday-Thursday Building Hours: 10:00am-8:30pm Monday-Thursday JLC Members are welcome any time the building is open!

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100 years in, and the best is YET TO COME NamasDEY Yoga League members participated in NamasDEY Yoga at Paul Brown Stadium to benefit Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. Proceeds benefited Tidal Babe Period Bank, which is the nonprofit period supply bank that evolved from Sweet Cheeks. #SweetCheeksDiaperBank #TidalBabePeriodBank

New Member Brunch & Orientation New Members met for a delicious brunch and bubbly mimosas at the New Member Brunch & Orientation. The event gave New Members an overview of the League and an occasion to meet fellow New Members. The President, as well as members from all levels of the League, spoke to New Members about their League experiences. #ItStartsWithAWoman

September GMM Members were welcomed back at the September GMM with an invigorating speech from President Meredith Comin. Centennial leaders shared updates on the initiatives underway commemorating the League’s historic 100th year. To underscore the League’s community impact, attendees viewed a video chronicling the League’s 100 years of impact and heard from JLC members about their experiences incubating programs. #LearnedItInJuniorLeague

How Things Work at the Statehouse Former State House staffer, Rachel Coyle, joined the JLC at the Columbia Center to discuss how community members can advocate for state legislation. Attendees learned how bills are suggested to legislators, how they can become actively involved to testify for or against a bill, sit in committee, and generally stay engaged in the legislative process. #CultivatingCivicLeaders #JLCincy | 8

Knock Down the House Documentary Viewing

CandO at Ronald McDonald House

The JLC, Cincinnati Women’s Political Caucus, and Bold New Democracy invited interested community members to view the documentary “Knock Down the House.” First-term State Representatives Sara Carruthers (OH51 - R) and Jessica Miranda (OH28 - D) discussed their “why,” as well as suggestions for women interested in getting involved in politics. #WomenWhoRun

The CandO Committee provided a volunteer opportunity at Ronald McDonald House. Volunteers received a tour of Ronald McDonald House and prepared a snack for the families staying there. #CandO #GiveBack


Bottoms Up for Babies Happy Hour Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank hosted its annual Bottoms Up for Babies Happy Hour at its new 16,000 foot warehouse facility. The action-packed event opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by tours of the facility. Guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks while exploring the new space. #SweetCheeks

New Member Bus Tour

October GMM

The New Member Committee and JLC Sustainers led another successful New Member Bus Tour, which was open to New Members, Transfers, and Active members. The tour highlighted historical and cultural landmarks throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, impressing upon attendees the impact the League has had upon the community through its 100 years of service. #TransformingCommunities

At the October GMM, League members learned about the upcoming Family Services and Treatment Levy and the Cincinnati Public School Levy before voting overwhelmingly to endorse both. New Members, Actives, and Sustainers all participated in a vote. Then members heard from the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which outlined its plans and goals for the upcoming League year. #LeadingChange #JLCincy | 9


Shared Passion Leads to Prosperous Partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank By CARRIE M. STARTS

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ombine passion, determination, and vision, and the so that they can go to school and participate in their normal path to a successful partnership is unstoppable. This activities every day of the month. is exactly what the Junior League of Cincinnati’s Sweet Cheeks now has a new facility near partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank Nehamiah Manufacturing in lower Price Hill has proven to be: a partnership on a mission that is 16,000 square feet. Sweet Cheeks hosted that is just getting started. Since our last its annual Bottoms Up for Babies Happy Hour update, the Sweet Cheeks Annual Gala was held at the new facility on September 26, 2019, at on April 13, 2019 at the Newport Aquarium. The which the official ribbon cutting ceremony for event was attended by multiple JLC members, the new building took place. The facility comes including the Program Acceleration Committee. with more accessible parking and is a great Overall, the event raised over $50,000 through The new facility features a milestone for Sweet Cheeks. Tidal Babe is also sponsorships, a silent auction, and a raffle. playroom for children. housed in this facility. In addition, a NamasDEY Yoga Fundraiser was held on July 20, 2019 at Paul Brown Stadium. Proceeds from the fundraiser benefited Tidal Babe Period Bank, a new sister program of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. Tidal Babe distributes period supplies to those in need through existing distribution channels. Specifically, Tidal Babe has partnered with social ser vice agencies, hospitals, schools, and OBGYNs in the area. This is the first program in the region, and it has already distributed 4,000 discreet period supply kits containing tampons or pads, liners, Advil, and flushable wipes. The program supports women experiencing poverty

The JLC continues to lead diaper wrappings and fills orders for a variety of volunteer groups including at Active member, Prospective Member, and Sustainer events. Sweet Cheeks’ brand has also been refreshed with a new logo, brand guidelines, and website. With the JLC’s partnership, Sweet Cheeks is now distributing 120,000 diapers per month. All of this proves that when passionate women come together, beautiful things happen. We look forward to continuing this successful partnership.

Support our League! While planning your year-end philanthropy, please consider a gift to the Junior League of Cincinnati Annual Fund Campaign, which supports our members, our community impact, and our future. Visit the website bit.ly/jlc-annual-fund to donate. #JLCincy | 10

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touch of elegance goes a long way

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welcome to our 2019 new member class! KRISTIN ADAMS

SARAH FOX

MARTINE LAMY

JILL ROBERTSON

ANSHU ANAND

EMILY GAMBER

CHRISTINA LAUCK

TATYANA ROZHNOVA

NICOLE ANTONINI

ELIZABETH GOETZ

ILANA LINDER

ALI SCULLION

KENDALL BAAB

KELSEY GREEN

CAROLINE LITTLEJOHN

CLARIE SELLS

ALISON BAKER

ALLYSON HAAS

JACQUELINE LOVE

AUDREY SHELTON

CLAIRE BEAMS

ELIZABETH HAHM

NICOLE MANZO

MELISSA SPIEVACK

CASEY BINDER

EMILY HARMELING

DANIELLE MASON

NICOLE STAMES

ANDREA BLINKHORN

KATHERINE HAVERKAMP

COURTNEY MCCULLOUGH COURTNEY TOLER

SARAH BOLTON

STEFANI HERNANDEZ

KELLY MINARCHECK

ABIGAIL TRISMEN

CAROLINE BREDA

OLIVIA HILL

JENNIFER TURNER

ELIZABETH BUHR

SAMANTHA HORMAN

ALEXANDRIA MORTONGREEN

ALIVIA JOHNSON

ERICA OSBORN

SARAH VOGT

ALI KATHMAN

MEGAN OSSENBECK

ADRIENNE VOTAW

CAROLINE KENT

RUTHANN PEACE

LAURA WASSON

CLAIR CASTRO

SUNNY KING

RACHEL PHAN

SARAH WATSON

PAOLA CONTRERAS

LAUREN KREBS

AMY PRATHER

KARILYNN WILLIAMSON

JESSICA DAVIDSON

ELIZABETH KUCK

SAMARA RAMUDIT

DOMINIQUE WIRTH

MACKENZIE FAHEY

ROBYN LAMONT

GRETCHEN RAQUE

LAUREN WOELTZ

CASEY BURLEIGH ERICA BUSCH ANNA CASSIDY

EMILY VOELKEL

View the spacecraft that carried the astronauts home from the moon.

September 28, 2019 to February 17, 2020

#CMCmoon #DestinationMoon

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission is organized by the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibit is made possible by the support of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, Joe Clark, Bruce R. McCaw Family Foundation, the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, John and Susann Norton and Gregory D. and Jennifer Walston Johnson. CMC is grateful for the support of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the Farmer Family Foundation and the Harold C. Schott Foundation.

#JLCincy | 11


The Pursuit of Happiness RefugeeConnect Family Becomes United States Citizens By HANNAH SCHULTZ

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eet Luma and Oday and their five perseverant children. Five years ago, this family stepped off a plane from Iraq and became New Cincinnatians. This family’s journey to call Cincinnati home results from their father’s ser vice to U.S. troops. Oday ser ved side by side with U.S. Armed Forces repairing militar y tanks and airplanes. The whole family was in danger of being killed after the U.S. troops left Iraq, so they fled for fear of persecution. The family applied for refugee status and was granted permission to enter the U.S. following the most secure vetting process of anyone entering the U.S, They were placed in Cincinnati not knowing a single person in the city. Upon arrival, Luma shares that their lives were turned upside-down. No one in the family spoke English. She had never driven a car. Nothing was familiar. The food, clothing, and schools were different. Luma reflects, “Saying goodbye to my family was ver y hard. I miss them too much. It’s too dangerous for me to go visit, and I don’t know if I’ll ever see them in person again”. The family described the difficult adjustment. Their oldest daughter, Tabarek, now nineteen, remembers how daunting attending an unfamiliar school was, particularly in light of the language barrier. Fortunately, her classmates and the community helped her to acclimate. Tarabek shares, “At first I couldn’t understand a word in any of my classes and would miss my bus ever y day. There was not an interpreter at my school, and ever ything felt ver y complicated”. Finding community made a difference. The journey of this family in particular exemplifies how RefugeeConnect collaborates with New Americans to overcome these barriers on their paths to citizenship and stability in the United States. In 2013, the same year that Luma, Oday, and their children became Cincinnatians, the Junior League of Cincinnati launched RefugeeConnect. RefugeeConnect volunteers worked shoulder to shoulder with the family, supporting their navigation of resources and opportunities. Luma recalls the special bond she made with a RefugeeConnect volunteer who helped her navigate the grocer y store and find the foods she loves to cook for her family. As the family learned about their new city, RefugeeConnect taught the family life skills through their Refugee School Impact Program. Programming available to the family included individual and family mentorship, teaching budgeting and financial planning skills, linking home ownership classes and resources, and connecting the family members to opportunities to advance their #JLCincy | 12

From left to right: Oday, Hannah Schultz, Tabarek, Luma, and Hayder, enjoying a meal at the family’s home

education and careers. RefugeeConnect, whose mission is to empower people who were forced to leave their countries to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster, started from a needs assessment for women and children conducted by the League. It became an independent nonprofit organization in 2018 after a five year incubation period with the League. RefugeeConnect has a lasting impact welcoming refugee and asylee individuals and families across the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region to thrive in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. After five years as permanent residents, the family was eligible to become U.S. citizens. RefugeeConnect connected the family to legal support to process their citizenship application. After passing a national written and verbal test, the family was granted citizenship in 2019. RefugeeConnect volunteers continue to empower the family. “They have become our friends and family here,” said Luma. Luma, Oday, and their children are now homeowners and actively engaged in their community. Luma is pursuing a degree in accounting at Cincinnati State Community College. Oday is looking for work related to the transportation field. The children are doing well in school, making friends, learning how to drive, and participating in school activities like art and sports. This family’s stor y is a powerful reminder that New Americans with perseverance, assiduousness, and no small amount of courage can actualize the dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the U.S. when empowered by their communities and connected with vital resources like those provided through RefugeeConnect.


Spotlight on Anthony Gregory, the Columbia Center’s Facility and Maintenance Supervisor By ELIZABETH LONGABERGER

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nyone who has had occasion to come to the Columbia perfectly: “He looks out for all of the members with the Center for a Junior League of Cincinnati event has likely same care that he looks out for our beloved Columbia been greeted by the warm smile Center. He is a joy to work with, and and welcoming voice of the Anthony we are beyond lucky to have him!” Gregory, Facility and Maintenance “He looks out for all members Another Past President, Lauren Supervisor for the Columbia Center. Thaman, encapsulated Anthony with the same care that he Although many are familiar with well by simply saying: “Anthony looks out for our beloved Anthony’s incredible capacity for Columbia Center. He is a joy to makes you feel like family.” helpfulness and resourcefulness work with, and we are beyond Anthony now lives in Anderson and at the Columbia Center, many may lucky to have him!” enjoys relaxing and lounging by the not realize how deep his ties to the pool in his free time. He also loves League and Columbia Center are. classic cars: he goes to various Anthony grew up across the street car shows around the city to view cars, and he enters from the Columbia Center, but at the time it was not the his own car in some of the shows. Anthony really enjoys home of the Junior League of Cincinnati. It was formerly cooking, especially baking—apparently, Anthony’s cakes an auction house and a masonic center. He grew up as the are legendary. If you get a chance to try one, do not pass it tenth of thirteen children, and his seven brothers and five up! Anthony is a tremendous credit to the League, and his sisters all still reside in Cincinnati. presence makes the visit of every Columbia Center guest Anthony came to the League fifteen years ago by way of his brother-in-law, who owns the auto body shop nextdoor to the Columbia Center. Anthony quickly became the League’s superstar. From day one, he has gone above and beyond the call of duty. The League and the women behind it inspire him to take such great care of the property, from the building maintenance to setting up for weekend events. He even volunteers to walk members to their cars at night. Anthony said that he truly enjoys every moment. A perfect example of Anthony’s kind and caring nature was exemplified when he spent over eight years acting as the caretaker for the former head mason (of the masonic center before it became the Columbia Center). He takes the initiative to assist others, never says no, and is always willing to lend a hand to someone in need. He puts the League and its members before himself most of the time, too. Anthony shared a story about having to sleep at the Columbia Center because he was working late when a snowstorm hit, and he could not get home. On numerous occasions, Past Presidents have asked Anthony what he needs. His answer is usually, “nothing.” He tells the Presidents to help the Columbia Center in other aspects first. But every once in a while, a member will pry enough to get an answer. For instance, the new desk chair that he desperately needed finally got replaced!

that much brighter.

Anthony Gregory

Melanie Chavez, Past President, described Anthony #JLCincy | 13


Member Milestones Emily Ryan, “Forty Under 40” Honoree In August of 2019, Emily Ryan, Director of Communications of Luxottica, was named to the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 2019 Forty Under 40 class. Those honored in the Forty Under 40 class included leaders and entrepreneurs in an array of fields and organizations. Jillian Ackerman Livingston Jillian Ackerman Livingston joined Comey & Shepherd with twenty five years of experience in education, community and relationship building, and finance. Her focus is the urban core, uptown, and first suburbs of Cincinnati. She has a passion for helping first-time homebuyers connect and make excellent matches!

Vicki Cologne

Kaitlin Jennison

Melissa Jones

Nazly Mamedova

Proud parents Vicki and Allan Calonge, and big siblings Lucia and Vincent, joyfully welcomed their new addition, Mar y Margaret, 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 19.5 inches, on May 7, 2019.

Kaitlin Jennison became a partner at Union Pediatric Dentistry, located in Union, Kentucky. Her office is baseball themed, and she loves creating grand slam smiles for kids!

Melissa Jones has been announced as a member of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Women Excel Leadership Program, Class14! Melissa is the Controller and Business Administrator for Smithfield BioScienceCincinnati, responsible for accounting, financial repor ting, and general business administration.

On April 1, 2019, Advocacy and Education Chair Nazly Mamedova opened a new law office in Cincinnati, focusing on immigration law.

Katey Mueller

Megan Rieger

René Robers

Allison Smith

Chelsea Zesch

Katey Mueller started a new job as the Zoning Hearing Examiner for the City of Cincinnati Law Department, where she will be conducting public hearings and deciding whether relief should be granted on zoning issues within the city.

Megan and Thomas Rieger are proud to introduce Nash Timothy, who was born June 10th, 2019 and weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces. His big brother Paxton is so excited!

René Robers was promoted to Senior Customer Marketing Manager at HEINEKEN USA prior to returning from maternity leave. She is responsible for managing all marketing initiatives for the Kroger business across the country.

Allison and Ian Smith, along with big sister Eliza, age two, and fur kiddos Mic and Ryn, welcomed Campbell Jo on June 1, 2019. Eliza is loving her new role as big sister!

Chelsea Zesch started a new role as a Customer Journey Manager at Fifth Third Bank, where she will be responsible for mapping key customer journeys to create seamless, worldcl ass, omni-channel experiences for the bank and its clients.

Kourtney Brueckner Kourtney P. Brueckner began a new position as a family law attorney with Rittgers & Rittgers in Lebanon, Ohio.

Submit Your Milestone We love to celebrate you! Share your promotions, retirements, awards & nominations, new babies, engagements, weddings, and other milestones! Submit your milestone by logging into the JLC member site online at members.jlcincinnati.org. #JLCincy | 14


Now ting accep ons ti a c i appl ll for Fa 0 2 20

VISIT THE SUMMIT Parent Preview Day (Age 18 months - Grade 8) Wednesday, November 13 • 8:30 a.m. Upper School Open House (Grades 9 - 12) Thursday, November 21 • 6:30 p.m. Montessori Information Sessions (Age 18 months - K) Dec. 5, Jan. 8, Feb. 6, Mar, 3 and April 7 • 8:30 a.m. Grades K-8 Parent Preview Day Tuesday, January 28 • 8:30 a.m.

The Summit experience gives students the academic rigor to solve big problems and the heart to do it ethically. Educating leaders of character has been our mission since 1890. Catholic • Independent • Age 18 months - Grade 12 2161 Grandin Road, Cincinnati, OH 45208 • (513) 871-4700

RSVP required. Please call (513) 871-4700 ext. 261 or email admissions@summitcds.org

www.summitcds.org #JLCincy | 15


Profile for Junior League of Cincinnati

Perspectives Autumn 2019  

Autumn 2019 issue of the Perspectives magazine from the Junior League of Cincinnati.

Perspectives Autumn 2019  

Autumn 2019 issue of the Perspectives magazine from the Junior League of Cincinnati.

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