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Want to better brand yourself or your business with ideal content? One local photographer is using her business acumen to help shoot you to the top of the digital world.

Amanda Donaho Photography offers branding sessions called Represent. Photo: Amanda Donaho Photography

As a small business owner, Amanda Donoho knows the importance of posting relevant, visual content for her online platforms but also the struggle of not knowing what exactly to post.

That’s why she launched Represent sessions, photography sessions for any small business owner, influencer, or blogger to better represent themselves online.

“I work with each of my clients to effectively relay their message to their audience in a beautiful visual manner that helps them stand out from the crowd,” says Donaho. “We work together before the session to brainstorm how to best show off their brand and message, and speak clearly to their desired audience.”

The results, according to Donaho, are curated images and ideas on how to share the content with fans and followers more effectively.

Not only is Donaho helping other brands succeed through her Represent sessions, but they also allow her to utilize her business sense and skills as a professional photographer.

“We live in an image dominated world,” she explains. “If you aren’t showing up visually online, you’ll miss the opportunity of staying top-of-mind to much of your audience.”

The Represent sessions by Donaho launched in February, and she’s been booking sessions since its launch.

The cost of a Represent sessions varies depending on the amount of content needed, space rental when necessary, and more.

“Clients can also purchase a singular session – or a set of sessions to give a refresh to their content quarterly or biannually,” she says.

While the cost of sessions varies depending on the individual client’s needs, all sessions come with pre-shoot planning and collaboration from prop selection to wardrobe help.

All sessions also include plenty of time on shoot day in order to capture everything from headshots to lifestyle images to product details. Also included in the Represent sessions are high-resolution images via a digital download so that the photos can be used in marketing right away.

Those interested in booking a Represent session can email Donaho directly at amanda@amandadonaho.com. To read more about the branding sessions, visit www.amandadonaho.com or follow along on Instagram.

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Two local organizations are teaming up to help fill the city’s media-based educational void and create fun experiences for the whole family.

PAR-Projects is teaming up with the Kennedy Heights Arts Center for digital education classes.

Digital media is becoming an increasingly essential part of future careers. That’s why it’s a prime focus of the latest partnership between PAR-Projects and the Kennedy Heights Arts Center.

“The Kennedy Heights Arts Center and PAR-Projects have partnered to create affordable access to digital media education encompassing photography, Photoshop, Adobe Suite training, graphic design, web design, video editing, and some entry-level coding,” explains PAR-Projects Gallery and Events Fellow Gabrielle Roach.

The program is called Practice and Play and focuses on inspiring experimentation in media – hence the “play,” while PAR-Projects developed creative programming that caters to workforce development and Cincinnati’s entrepreneurial ecosystem – the “practice.”

The partnership between PAR-Projects and the Kennedy Heights Arts Center started when Media Bridges closed its doors in December 2013. As a result, the city had a media-based educational void. In addition, the Kennedy Heights Arts Center also lost the media-based educational partner that had through the Scripps Howard Media Center project.

“Because PAR-Projects had similar educational goals as Media Bridges, and because the Kennedy Heights Arts Center and PAR had successfully collaborated on previous exhibitions, it seemed like a natural fit to explore this new line of programming as a team,” says Roach. “Essentially, the Kennedy Heights Arts Center had the space and the desire to offer media education to their community, while PAR-Projects had experience in developing media-based curricula and the time/ability to seek additional funding for the project.”

A year after the program’s beta-launch in 2018, the classes and workshops are now available for anyone who is interested in participating.

Roach says that the year of beta was a quiet start that allowed the program to build its media lab and work out kinks with operating a brand new, shared space.

Roach says that there are currently summer camps available in addition to two-week workshops.

“These programs start in early April, but based on interest, we continuously offer new classes throughout the year,” she adds.

According to Roach the best place to find information on class and working offerings and availability is on the Kennedy Heights Art Center or PAR-Projects websites. If you have specific questions or curiosities about upcoming classes you can send an email to education@parprojects.org.

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Learn more about a digital marketing company that wants to help your business stand out in a crowd.

Queen City Social wants to help its clients stand out in the crowd. To differentiate themselves and grow in a more meaningful and satisfying way.

That’s why Queen City Social, a boutique marketing agency, offers customer experience-focused marketing.

“Stand out in a sea of cliche, fluff, and schlock,” says Founder Katherine Lent.

The idea behind Queen City Social is to use programs that are designed to develop a company’s overall marketing strategy, create a memorable brand and customer experiences, reach and convert ideal customers and clients, and position your business as a leader in your industry.

“Queen City Social uses a transformational, holistic approach to improving business flow, outreach, and growth that differ from other methods because of the emphasis on meaningful connections,” says Lent. “Our team will help to guide and support you with creative strategies and practical tactics.”

Marketing services offered from Queen City Social include branding, consulting, merchandising, virtual assistance, staff training and best practices, video and live streaming, social media setup and management, events and promotions, copywriting and press releases, and brand ambassadors.

In addition to the services offered through Queen City Social, the organization also hosts “Eastside Small Business Group” meetings each month.

“The Queen City Social Eastside Small Business Group is a networking group for Cincinnati’s Eastside,” says Lent. “We have in-person ‘Socials’ and a Discussion Group and are helping to create this small business networking group for Eastside businesses.”

On the 1st Wednesday of each month, the group meets at Kenwood at 6:30 pm and the 2nd Wednesday of the month brings the group to Eastgate at 1:00 pm.

The meetings are intended to bring together small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers, so they can get acquainted and begin making connections.

You can RSVP for the Queen City Social Eastside Small Business Group meetings on Facebook.

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The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is now accepting applications for a program that helps prepare women for the next step in their careers. Read on to learn more.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is taking on leadership development with its 10-month WE Lead program

According to Tamara Lang, Women Excel Programs Leader at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, WE Lead is a 10-month executive leadership development experience for high-potential, goal-oriented women who are preparing for the next level of their career.

“Participants are high achieving women who are being assigned increasing levels of responsibility within their organization,” explains Lang. “Through a combination of professional development and executive coaching, WE Lead prepares, positions, and empowers talented women to move into higher leadership roles at the senior level.”

WE Lead dates back to 2005 and the Pulse Study on the Status of Women & Girls in Greater Cincinnati, which was completed by The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

The study found that there was a lack of women in senior leadership positions within the Cincinnati business community as well as a lack of resources available to help high-potential women prepare for those senior leadership positions – ultimately affecting the talent pipeline.

“The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber reviewed the data and decided to address the problem through Women Excel, a platform of programs designed to provide networking, education, and leadership development for women in business,” says Lang. “WE Lead is the flagship program of Women Excel.”

The program, which is a competitive program, runs for 10 months, beginning with a kick-off and two-day overnight retreat in September. Lang says that there are five, full-day sessions every other month when participants engage in experiences and presentations around various leadership topics.

“On the alternate months, participants meet for half-day mastermind group coaching sessions led by a professional executive leadership coach,” she explains. “Participants also enjoy two private sessions with the coach – and graduate in June.”

Ideally, candidates for the program a high-potential, goal-oriented women who are actively preparing for the next level of their career.

“The ideal candidate has been identified by her organization as being on track for promotion within two years or less; or has herself identified a leadership role to which she wants to ascend,” adds Lang.

Applications for WE Lead opened up on February 28 and will be available for submission through May 24, 2019.

Although competitive, the program maintains its focus on both the personal and professional development of its participants in order to help them grow as an overall individual rather than just a professional individual.

“Most leadership programs focus solely on the professional – relationship leadership, negotiations, executive presence, etc.,” says Lang. “But we bring our whole selves to work. We don’t leave the personal at the door when we step inside an office. It is important to have a whole-person approach for leadership development.”

WE Lead focuses on the whole woman rather than just what she does from 9-5. “Having the mastermind coaching groups, the executive leadership coaching, and the professional development creates a comprehensive leadership experience that positions and empowers women for the next step,” says Lang.

To learn more about the WE Lead program, click here.

You can also learn more about other leadership programs by clicking here.

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Get your beads ready! Learn about the biggest Mardi Gras party in town and how it supports our community’s most vulnerable children!  

Mardi Gras for Homeless Children benefits multiple resources in the Greater Cincinnati region who help children who are or at-risk of being homeless.

It’s been 28 years since four homeless children perished in a garage fire. Although the years have passed, the memory of it hasn’t. To help the memory of those lost live on, the Northern Kentucky Restaurant Association (NKRA), led by Chairman Gordy Snyder, launched Mardi Gras for Homeless Children to help fight against homelessness in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.

“The NKRA member restaurants and businesses donate their food and time to raise much needed funds to support the food budgets for Bethany House Services, Brighton Center, and Welcome House,” explains Barbara Gurren, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at the Commonwealth Hotel Collection.

Mardi Gras for Homeless Children offers guests a culinary experience that benefits Bethany House Services, Brighton Center, and Welcome House, all local agencies that help feed the region’s homeless children.

This year’s event is on March 5, Fat Tuesday, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

To date, more than $1 million has been raised with the event for the region’s homeless children through organizations that service more than 40,000 needy individuals in the community each year.

Mardi Gras for Homeless Children features more than 50 booths of food and beverages furnished by members of the NKRA.

“A highlight of the upcoming celebration is the Royal Court parade featuring Cincinnati Bengals Running Back Giovani Bernard as Grand Marshal, Scott Sloan of 700 WLW as King, and Sheila Gray of Channel 12 as the Queen,” says Gurren. “We will also be featuring Josh Martinez of KISS 107 and Bob Herzog of Channel 12 as emcees for the evening.”

Beechwood High School’s marching band will be performing in front of the traditional Mardi Gras float with live music by Robin Lacy and DeZydeco. Additionally, there will be live and silent auctions, with both auctions available on a digital platform.

To purchase tickets for Mardi Gras for Homeless Children, visit www.mardigras2019.org, or stop by Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell, Bethany House Services, Brighton Center’s Homeward Bound, Welcome House of Northern Kentucky and the 50 participating restaurants.

To learn more about the event or the organization, click here or call 859-291-NKRA.

Check out this video for a sneak peek of the upcoming Mardi Gras with Homeless Children:

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A Cincinnati native is on a mission to help build online presence for businesses of all sizes. Keep reading to learn more.

Scott Keever SEO helps to build the online presence of businesses.

 

Scott Keever is on a mission to help make businesses of all sizes become more visible online. Because it can often be difficult to navigate the world of digital marketing – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to be more specific – he launched Scott Keever SEO.

Scott Keever SEO is a full service digital marketing agency that uses SEO to help boost the online presence of businesses.

“Most businesses don’t understand SEO or the powerful effect it can have on their business,” Keever explains. “A lot of our clients have also had a horrible past experience with marketing companies. We wanted to create a business where we can build long-term relationships with clients and partner with them to really help make an impact on their business.”

Scott Keever SEO dates back to 2015, when Keever, a Cincinnati native, launched the business to help further the strong ties he already has within the community.

Since its launch, Scott Keever SEO continues to provide SEO, Reputation Management, Social Media Marketing, and Web Design.

With the services offered, Keever says that the business is passionate about both what they do and the success of its clients.

“All of our work is focused on gaining a positive return on investment for our clients to ensure long-term relationships and growth for their business,” he says. “We have also been features in Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, USA Today, and Thrive Global.”

We are very passionate about what we do and care about our clients success. All of our work is focused on gaining a positive ROI for our clients to ensure long term relationships and growth for their business. We have also been featured in ForbesEntrepreneur.com, USA Today, and Thrive Global.”

Scott Keever SEO, thanks to its Page 1 rankings in cities all over the country, has been able to partner with one of the biggest online marketing communities in the country.

“We are working on a special project to help other marketing agencies streamline their SEO and link-building process to help maximize their efforts and achieve the kind of results we see at our agency,” he adds.

To learn more about Scott Keever SEO, visit scottkeeverseo.com. You can also check out the blog to find guides on marketing for the different industries the company works with. “A lot of good information for business owners to help better their online presence,” he adds.

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Everyone has an opinion, but now you can get paid to share yours. Read on for more.

Community Panel is a way for people to earn money for sharing their opinions on brands.

You have an opinion about the products and brands you use. Why not get paid for sharing those opinions? Enter, Community Panel.

“Community Panel is a local, Cincinnati-based panel of consumers who would like to be contacted for in-person marketing research projects,” explains Emilie Rouse, Communications Manager for Community Panel at MarketVision Research.

There are several marketing research projects that are held throughout the Greater Cincinnati area, and Community Panel helps those who want to participate in the projects by paying them for their thoughts and opinions.

The way Community Panel works is, you visit their website at www.communitypanel.com. Then, you’ll fill out a form that will help to match you with upcoming projects that you may qualify to participate in. If you’re selected to participate, and do so, then you can get paid.

Because Community Panel’s parent company, MarketVision Research, is based out of Cincinnati, Blue Ash to be specific, it has the ability to help those in the area become involved in these projects.

Additionally, according to Rouse, Community Panel works with a broad base of clients who want to hear consumers’ opinions about their products and services.

Rouse says that there are always a number of projects in the works that panelists can participate in. “We also run contests and promotions throughout the year to thank our loyal members,” she adds.

To learn more about Community Panel, visit www.communitypanel.com. There you can find additional information about how Community Panel members are contacts to participate and earn money for their opinions.

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Learn about this family owned, father-daughter dentistry practice that just earned world-wide recognition and another reason to smile.

Dr. Tara Hardin of Hardin Advanced Dentistry and recent recipient of the Fellowship Accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dr. Tara Hardin is a cosmetic and general dentist that wants to provide her patients with a pleasant experience in a spa-like atmosphere.

The family owned, father-daughter dentistry practice specializes in porcelain veneers, implants, teeth whitening, and Invisalign.

Hardin’s dedication to her patients recently earned the Fellowship Accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, becoming only the 82nd global recipient of the classification since 1984.

As one of the top dentists not only in Cincinnati but in the United States, this new award means that she is also recognized in the top 10 percent of all cosmetic dental surgeons in the country as well.

“This distinction designates Dr. Tara Hardin as one of our nation’s top cosmetic dentists and one of only 82 accredited fellows in the entire world since 1984,” explains communications specialist Ed McMasters. “Fellowship is the highest level of achievement recognized by the AACD in accordance with their mission of education and excellence. This honor confirms Dr. Hardin’s cosmetic dental expertise and her dedication to dental health.”

Hardin is breaking glass ceilings with her recent award, becoming the first female cosmetic dentist in Cincinnati to receive this degree of achievement and only the second cosmetic dentist in the Tri-State to be honored as well.

“As a leader in the field of the dental arts, Dr. Tara Hardin is recognized in the top 10 percent of all dentists for the nation for continued education, training, and technologically advanced treatments,” says McMasters. “Dr. Hardin’s devotion to countless hours of continuing education for facial aesthetics, cosmetic dentistry and smile designs, along with her artistic skills in cosmetic and general dentistry, give her the ability to create truly beautiful smiles.”

The award for Fellowship Accreditation doesn’t come easy, according to McMasters. He says that Dr. Hardin was required to submit 50 recent cases of life-altering cosmetic dentistry success.

“These cases were extensively reviewed and evaluated for detail, design, achievement, aesthetics, health impact, and clinical excellence by a team of previously honored dentists that serve as members of the Cosmetic Dental Academy,” he adds.

To learn more about Hardin Advanced Dentistry, visit www.hardindental.com. To schedule a free consultation, visit the website or call 513-398-4448.

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A nationwide organization with a Columbus-based chapter is bringing better business opportunities to women. Read on for more.

The future is female and the National Association of Women Business Owners Columbus is aiming to help women get ahead in the business sphere.

The NAWBO was founded in 1975 and now serves as the unified voice of America’s more than 1.9 million women-owned businesses. According to NAWBO Columbus’ Executive Director Christy Farnbauch, the organization represents the fastest growing segment of the economy – female business owners.

While the organization as a whole dates back to the 70s, NAWBO Columbus was founded in 1997 and is the premier organization for women business owners in Central Ohio.

“Members represent all sizes of businesses, from all industries, and contribute more than $250 million to Ohio’s annual economy,” explains Farnbauch. “NAWBO Columbus, the largest chapter in the US, is the trusted leader for connections, advocacy, and mentorship. We work to ensure that women business owners are equally recognized and celebrated for their growth, revenue generation, and leadership.”

One of the NAWBO’s national strategic pillars is advocacy and public policy, something that the Columbus chapter focuses on in the state of Ohio.

“NAWBO Columbus recognizes that there are many policy issues at the local and state level that are positively, and negatively, impacting the success and growth of women business owners,” says Farnbauch. “For many years, our public policy work was led by a group of highly committed volunteer women business owners. To help us create greater change, NAWBO Columbus invested in the services of a part-time public policy advisor in February 2014. Rachel Winder of Benesch has helped us establish relationships with key policy makers and track legislative actions that affect women business owners.”

The NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Committee has accomplished a lot over the last 4 years, including:

Hosted Numerous Candidate Forums – These successful events have enabled members to meet directly with candidates to learn about them and their stance on issues, while increasing NAWBO Columbus’ visibility and awareness. Since 2006, NAWBO Columbus has had the privilege of hosting many policy makers, including: Ohio’s Attorney General and Governor Mike DeWine; Secretary of State and Lt. Governor-Elect Jon Husted; Secretary of State-Elect Frank LaRose; Ohio’s Auditor of State David Yost; Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, and Former Columbus City Council President and Current Columbus City Attorney, Zach Klein.

Facilitated Roundtable Conversations – Roundtables with Congressman Steve Stivers; Gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray; Secretary of State Jon Husted; Lt. Governor Mary Taylor; and hosted U.S. Congresswomen Joyce Betty as she delivered a keynote address at their annual meeting.

Organized Legislative Meet and Greet Events – Bi-annually, NAWBO Columbus facilitates opportunities for members to deepen relationships with their legislators. All of this work is only possible through the dedication of NAWBO Columbus’ public policy committee and the public policy advisor. A deep commitment to public policy and these strategic events has helped NAWBO Columbus achieve some very historic legislative wins. Most recently, NAWBO Columbus advocated for and secured a definition of micro businesses in the Ohio Revised Code.

And, in December 2018, NAWBO Columbus secured the first-ever Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification for Ohio, after more than seven years of laying the foundation. This new legislation is important because it opens up opportunities for Ohio’s women-owned businesses to grow with through access to other state’s certification programs, in addition, to helping them be more competitive within Ohio. NAWBO Columbus is committed to leveraging these new policies to create improved access and equity for women business owners at all levels.

“We envision an environment where women business owners experience improved access to capital, mentors, and educational resources, while being equally recognized and celebrated for their growth, revenue generation, and leadership in advancing Ohio’s economy,” says Farnbauch.

Legislation for Woman Business Enterprise Certification (WBE) was introduced into the Ohio House of Representiatives in the summer of 2018, according to Farnbauch. It was sponsored by Rep. Anne Gonzales, who is also a small business owner.

“We worked to gain bi-partisan support throughout the process,” she explains. “As the bill went through the legislative process, Senator Frank LaRose championed the amendment to HB494 in the Senate, while Representative Niraj J. Antani supported the amendment in the House of Representatives. Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law on December 19, 2018.”

There are a few things that the new WBE Certification does:

  1. Establish procedures by which a business enterprise may apply for certification as a women-owned business enterprise;

  2. Establish standards to determine when a women-owned business enterprise no longer qualifies for women-owned business enterprise certification;

  3. Establish a system to make publicly available a list of women-owned business enterprises certified under this section;

  4. Establish a process to mediate complaints and to review women-owned business enterprise certification appeals;

  5. Implement an outreach program to educate potential participants about the women-owned business enterprise program;

  6. Establish a system to assist state agencies in identifying and utilizing women-owned business enterprises in their contracting processes;

  7. Implement a system of self-reporting by women-owned business enterprises as well as an on-site inspection process to validate the qualifications of women-owned business enterprises.

 

Farnbauch says that with the new WBE Certification in place, NAWBO Columbus will now be able to work with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to establish the rules and standards of the program while also opening up the rest of the country for Ohio’s women-owned businesses to compete nationally without certification obstacles.

The certification will also allow for the engagement of more diverse women owners while establishing an inclusive system supporting growth and development, provide access to local, state, and federal contracts, and collect and analyze data regarding the status of women-owned enterprises.

The law surrounding WBE Certification doesn’t go into place until March 19, 2019, so until then, NAWBO Columbus cannot award any certifications until there are rules and regulations written and a process is in place to award these certifications.

“To our knowledge, NAWBO Columbus is the only organization that has organized advocacy around creating its certification program specifically for women,” says Farnbauch. “Other certifications are in place that serve minority business owners, business owners who are economically disadvantaged, business owners with disabilities, veterans, and the LGBTQ community.”

Farnbauch says that the future of NAWBO Columbus will continue to focus on building a public policy agency based on the needs of the organization’s members and colleagues.

The organization will focus on answering questions like:

What barriers do women business owners face as they grow and scale their businesses? What obstacles exist for women business owners, and in what ways can NAWBO Columbus help change attitudes, behaviors, and/or laws to support competitive growth?

“NAWBO Columbus is focused on increasing opportunities for women business owners to be more competitive in the marketplace, while being recognized widely for their contributions to families, communities, and the economy,” explains Farnbauch. “With the new WBE Certification in place, NAWBO Columbus will work with state agencies to create the rules and regulations for the program. We will take a proactive role in helping women business owners take advantage of the certification, while increasing their local, regional and national competitiveness. We are expanding our programming options to focus on topics our members most want to learn about, including but not limited to: growing & scaling their businesses; and marketing and branding strategies. Simultaneously, we offer programs that inspire women in their growth as business owners and community leaders. In the spring of 2019, we will launch a bi-annual magazine focused on highlighting the stories of the women business owners in central Ohio, while providing content that will help them learn and grow.”

You can learn more about NAWBO Columbus to find the most up-to-date information related to their public policy work, programming, and mentorship opportunities for women business owners at www.nawbocolumbusohio.com.

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One local businesswoman is inspiring her sales team with a simple strategy for success. Read on to learn more.

Lisa Thal is the founder and owner of Three Word Meetings.

To help you get out of the routine of boring meetings, Lisa Thal created a way to make meetings and presentations fun and engaging – Three Word Meetings.

“With Three Word Meetings, you can create fun, engaging, and exciting topics to get your team motivated and inspired,” she explains. “You have access to 52 Three Word topics that can be discussed with an actionable plan for improving the much-maligned gatherings.”

Thal says she was inspired to launch Three Word Meetings after her own experiences in sales and management, and how keeping messages simple and engaging can create a bigger impression on those you lead.

“We are overwhelmed with too many messages, and people tend to remember three words: Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ and McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It,’” she says.

Currently, Thal is a life coach and leads the sales teams at Q102 and Mix 94.9. There, she implements the Three Word strategy with her team each week, while also using it for presentations to help connect the marketing vision we have when working with local businesses.

To help spread the message of her “Three Words,” Thal offers one-on-one coaching and speaking engagements for companies, to help them with the simple strategy of engaging and inspiring the use of Three Words.

In addition to her strategy, Thal is also the author of a book: Three Word Meetings. “The future of your organization and the performance of your team can hinge on a sales meeting,” she explains. “It’s a simple theory: The people we engage, inspire, and empower can determine our success. What I have come to know over my 30-year career is that leaders want to engage and empower others. They want to be able to navigate the various personalities in the room and lead them with one common goal in mind – inspire them! The content and words we choose are critical to capturing our team’s attention. I wrote Three Word Meetings to help thought leaders become more productive, effective, and consistent using three words.”

Thal will be furthering her offers by launching a Three Words podcast in late February.

To learn more about Three Word Meetings and the strategy offered by Thal, visit www.threewordmeetings.com.