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See how this 31-year-old balances being a mom of two with her dream job at P&G, plus lifting up others along the way.

Jessica Hastings is the Brand Manager for Bounty at P&G.

Jessica Hastings was determined from a young age to work for P&G, a company she says is “cream of the crop” for young marketing professionals like herself. Today, she’s living out that dream at only 31 years old, as a brand manager for P&G. 

She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree of Spanish and Integrated Strategic Communications in 2008. She went on to receive her MBA from Ohio State University in Strategic Marketing Management. For the past eight years, Hastings been working on P&G brands that now, as a mom of two, she puts to the test in her own home.

Hastings recently began blending her roles of mom and manager to serve as a mentor for working mothers who are juggling responsibilities both at home and in the office.

“The greatest challenge I’ve faced in my career has been in the last couple of years when I became a mom,” she explains. “I’m incredibly blessed that I have had managers who have been amazingly supportive; however, in a promote-from-within company that is ‘up or out’ in my function, it’s an inherent disadvantage to temporarily leave the workforce to have children. It’s hard truth to stomach”. 

Hastings says a work-life balance is a daily work in progress for her. What helps her the most, she says, is maintaining open, continuous communication with her managers. It’s important to set boundaries and manage expectations to avoid overwhelm, she adds, and above all be kind to yourself and others. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind,’” Hastings says, referencing her favorite quote.

As part of her mentoring role at P&G, she helps others – especially women – discover and achieve their objectives. She says identifying an objective is essential so you can navigate your way to it. 

“If your dream job requires a little bit more experience or education, build a plan that gets you there,” she says. “Pursue the job right now that will help you build the skills you need to get where you want to go. I believe having a plan – a very specific plan – helps make the process of interviewing and looking for jobs much easier.” 

Secondly, she says, it’s important to use your network. An introduction from a mutual friend, mention a shared connection you noticed on LinkedIn, or reach out to that family friend who’s an executive at that company you’d love to work for —  are all helpful ways to leverage your network, which Hastings says can fast-track you to where you want to go in your career.

When it comes to interview preparation Hastings says to practice, practice, practice. “When I was interviewing for positions, I wrote out responses to common interview questions in gory detail and practiced aloud,” she recalls. “The watch out with this is to ensure you don’t sound rehearsed when you’re in the interview, but having a plan gives you confidence which is more than half of the battle. If you know what you want to convey, it’s easy to pepper in some authenticity in the moment.”

To learn more about P&G, visit To connect with Hastings on LinkedIn, click here.

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A local photographer is being recognized with a prestigious award. Learn more and to hear about her idea to help pre-teens boost their self-confidence.

Pottinger Photography offers wedding photography aiming to capture a couple’s love story.

Brenda Pottinger always had a love for photography. So, for her, it only made sense to launch her own business.

Today, as the owner of Pottinger Photography, she specializes in wedding photography. Pottinger says she takes pride in following along with her couples throughout the journey leading up to their special day – and even after.

“It is a creative art form that means so much to so many people,” says Pottinger. “I love the end of the night when the couple gives us a hug and says they couldn’t have done it without us. We try to make our job look easy but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. From preparing a custom photo timeline, checking out new locations, and offering a rain plan, we love helping out on the day of the wedding in any way that we can. We want our couples to have fun. We love that our couples have invited us to document their celebration. And when the time comes, we love photographing their newborns for their very first family photo.”

With more than 150 weddings under her photography belt, Pottinger says she still gets emotional as the music starts to play, the doors open, and the bride walks down the aisle.

That experience shooting weddings has also led to Pottinger winning some notable industry awards. In fact, she was named a finalist for the Grand Imaging Award 2018 by the Professional Photographers of America, being named top 10 in the event album category. She was also named a Bronze Medalist for the International Photographic Exhibition and will have her work on display at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta in January. “This is one of the most prestigious competitions, where images are judged based on a standard of artistic excellence,” says Pottinger.

Pottinger says that one of the best compliments she’s received thus far is that her business empowers women. “After a few portraits of the bride on the wedding day I show her how incredible she looks,” Pottinger explains. “And after we hear – oh wow I do look beautiful. It’s almost a surprise. In a world so obsessed with retouching and filters, just showing someone how they truly look from the back of the camera with no editing is pretty powerful. And that next smile is so real! I am truly honored to tell a couple’s love story.”

Her love of sharing a bride’s beauty inspired Pottinger to do something else with her business, a passion project she says – to give away a session to a girl in the community for every four portrait sessions she photographs.

“Because I want to show more women and girls how truly beautiful they are inside and out our next adventure is something I am really excited about,” says Pottinger. “The goal is to show pre-teen girls what their family and friends see. It is time to stop listening to that inner mean girl! That age can be rough with so many changes. I remember being teased about having bad skin and glasses (before glasses were fashionable). But it is time to change the narrative. I want to give girls (of any age) the confidence to know their beauty! And if they can see themselves from the eyes of a loved one – well then just maybe they can have the courage to face any bully.”

To learn more about Pottinger Photography, visit You can also follow along with her blog. You can book a portrait session and nominate a girl who deserves a fun photo session that will boost her confidence by emailing

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One local nonprofit is on a mission to keep Cincinnati’s youth moving. Read on for more about how a recent grant will help expand their mission and reach even more students.

Mission2Move helps to improve social and emotional wellbeing, as well as physical health, for students in Cincinnati schools.

Based in Cincinnati, Mission2Move is a nonprofit that strives to improve not just the academic performance of students in the city, but also their social and emotional behavior as well. To achieve this goal, Mission2Move uses movement and mindfulness in in-school and after-school programming through aerobic exercises, neural drills, and mindfulness practices.

“All of this teaches students how a healthy brain begins with a healthy body,” says Mission2Move Founder Sarah Habib.

According to Habib, the inspiration behind Mission2Move came from the expanding movement gap and how less people are getting in recommended exercise amounts.

“Only about one in three students receive the federally recommended 60 minutes of movement per day,” she says. “On average, students only get 15 minutes per week. We aim to close the movement gap and provide an engaging way for students to stay active.”

Mission2Move began its initiative back in 2016, and provided 10,000 minutes of movement to students in that first year. In 2018, Mission2Move is on track to provide more than 100,000 minutes of movement to students and they hope to expand even more in the 2019-2020 school year.

The programs offered by Mission2Move fall into two categories – movement and mindfulness. These two programs show students how they can create both a healthy brain and a healthy body.

“We start our programs by getting students excited about movement, and leading them through a series of aerobic and anaerobic exercises that improve cardiovascular health, balance, and motor skills,” explains Habib. “After students have moved and become active, Mission2Move switches to mindfulness drills, these activities make students aware of how their body is connected to their brain, and how they can use their bodies to manage their emotions.”

Mission2Move ends each program with a Feelings Circle to help students become more comfortable talking about their emotions, and meditation to show students how to be introspective. “These drills come together to keep even Cincinnati’s youngest learners happy and healthy,” adds Habib.

So that her organization can continue to provide to Cincinnati’s youth, Mission2Move was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Advocare Foundation to help expand programming and reach more students. “The Advocare Foundation helps students across the country gain access to movement, we are grateful to be a part of their community and bring their mission to students in Cincinnati,” says Habib.

To learn more about Mission2Move, visit You can also “like” them on Facebook or follow along on Instagram.

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From teacher to golf course owner to life coach and blogger, learn about a local woman who is helping clients go from stuck to unstoppable, drawing on her personal experiences.

Melissa Kirkpatrick, Fonder of Find Your Own DRIVE.

When Melissa Kirkpatrick turned 30, she knew she loved teaching others but was unsure how to apply it. She decided to continue her studies and become a teacher. After a few years of teaching, her family got the opportunity to buy and own a golf course, and they jumped at the chance.

Talk about teaching, Kirkpatrick laughs, “I thought my next step should be to learn golf!”

As the owner of two Cincinnati golf courses, Kirkpatrick continued to progress her skills in golf, and started to teach others how to play. While she enjoyed this work, she was facing downward spiral in her personal life. “My addiction to food (up and down in size) and large consumption of alcohol along with smoking, all became increasingly out of control.  My need to go unconscious and numb out had become the normal,” Kirkpatrick says. “Golf was only the outlet I could turn to. That’s when I, yet again, taught myself something new to get back on course: how to find my own DRIVE.”   

Today, Kirkpatrick is a published author, motivational speaker, blogger, blogger and coach. “What I knew to be true for me was my desire to be a healthy, vibrant, powerful woman without all the excuses and coverups,” Kirkpatrick says. “I realized my life is not just who I am being but who I am being for others. I’m now a private and personal mentor/coach who has been on the training ground and is ready to support you, mentor you, and be your accountability partner.”

Kirkpatrick says she has a set of questions she asks perspective clients to help gage their needs. These questions include: “Are you ready to take control of your life and transform your current circumstances? Are you tired of numbing out and going unconscious to all the chaos around you? Are you tired of using food, alcohol, smoking, or other addictions to disconnect?”  These questions allow Kirkpatrick to ensure she will accurately and effectively assist everyone who requests her help.

Kirkpatrick’s offerings range from her Blog, which she updates weekly, her Ebook, and a 21-day email created to help with support. “I discovered many self-sabotaging patterns that kept me jumping in and out of my place of joy and fulfillment. I knew it was time for change. These beliefs are often running in the background and unconsciously controlling our thoughts, actions, and choices.”

In addition, Kirkpatrick has an upcoming workshop that’s available to the public at Aloha Yoga Center.

To learn more, visit

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The Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce is launching a new event to help professional women succeed at all stages of their career. 

The Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce will host its Women of Distinction event on Oct. 4.

The Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce is launching a quarterly Women in Business Roundtable. These discussion groups will be focused on empowering women in the Tri-State, at all stages of their careers. 

According to Eric Kranz, President/ CEO of the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce, the aim with this series is to provide relevant programming to professional women, encourage networking with other professional women and also offer a venue to share ideas, success stories and best practices.

The Women in Business Roundtable presented by Comcast is a quarterly event aimed at giving female professionals in the SE Indiana region a place for likeminded individuals to share experiences, resources, and opportunities,” Kranz adds. “Each quarter, the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a luncheon featuring programs, discussions and speakers aimed at helping women navigate and thrive as leaders in the regional economy.” 

The first meeting will be on Thursday, September 27 at the Levee Bar and Grill inside the Lawrenceburg Doubletree Hotel starting at 11:30 a.m. 

Kranz says this is a free event that’s open to the public and all professional women — not just those doing business in Southeast Indiana — are encouraged to attend.

While this is a first-time event, Kranz says a lot of excitement is building around it, for attendees and sponsorship support alike. “The roundtable is being sponsored by Comcast and organized by the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce,” Kranz adds. “Come be a part of the first ever Dearborn County Women in Business Roundtable and help shape the direction of this group, and your community as a whole, moving forward!”

To learn more about this event, or other events hosted by the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce, such as their Women of Distinction event on Oct. 4, visit or call 812-537-0814.  

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Learn about this Cincinnati-based doggy daycare business that uses outdoor and indoor play training to make sure you come home to a happy (and tired) pup.

Tailwaggers owners Lynn, Derrick and Denali, their dog.

Tailwaggers is a doggy daycare business that launched in Wisconsin, and moved to Cincinnati in 2014.

“We established a solid foundation of customers at our new location regardless of the fact that we were far from home,” says owner Lynn Burroughs. 

Much of that success, Burroughs explains, comes from what makes them different. For example, she adds, the professionals at Tailwaggers uniquely use both outdoor and indoor play training methods 

Tailwaggers also offers grooming services. Burroughs says Tailwaggers is different from other doggy daycare places because, “We use positive reenforcement with our dogs and we love our Packleaders to give lots of hugs and kisses throughout the day. Our boarding dogs rest in their own private suites at night. There are no added or hidden costs for special diets, medications, rest times, or hugs and kisses.”

Tailwaggers charges by the day and has rates for the half day. A full day of daycare starts at $25 and a half day, which is five hours of play or less, is $15. There is a $15 fee added for every additional pet brought in. Tailwaggers also provides daycare packages that helps customers save money since they would pay for more than one service at time. They also offer overnight boarding packages.

Burroughs recalls when her family decided to get a new puppy in 2008 and how stubborn the dog was. She knew she had to do something, so she visited the Tailwaggers branch in Wisconsin with her partner Derrick Ayers. Their pup made immediate and continued improvements. Burroughs and Ayers tried to find a place similar to this in Cincinnati to now avail, so they decided to open up their Cincinnati location. 

Tailwaggers is located at 4528 Summerside Road, Cincinnati, OH 45245. You can also “like” them on Facebook.

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When resume building and other tasks seem too daunting, this local career expert can help.

Coach Ericka Foley of Moving Forward, Shaping Your Reality, LLC is helping you down your professional path.

Feel stuck in your career? Need help finding your dream job? Not living your best professional life? Moving Forward, Shaping Your Reality, LLC may be able to help. 

Owner Ericka Foley says Moving Forward offers a variety of services such as career coaching, resume writing, LinkedIn profile writing, and various other training and development offerings. 

Foley was certified by the International Coach Federation to engage in career coaching. She says she enjoys helping clients out of their professional rut, hence the name Move Forward. Foley says she works with clients to develop action plans that actively help to reach their goals, which in turn, shapes their reality.

Coach Ericka Foley of Moving Forward, Shaping Your Reality, LLC

Foley says, “I have 20 years’ experience in career coaching. Since most individuals spend a large portion of their day at work, I believe it is important to work in a setting that is aligned with an individual’s values, mission, and vision. That alignment allows candid discussion with respect to career satisfaction, progress, and performance. If that alignment does not exist, it is imperative for individuals to learn to navigate the work place or development an action plan to find a better fit”.  

Foley says she works primarily as an executive career coach for women, but she’s also passionate about giving back to the community through her services. “I am a pro bono coach for veterans and have recently decided to reach out to college graduates who are struggling to find their first job or career fit.”

She says college graduates often times are not equipped with the proper skills to help them make proper usage of their degrees. On the collegiate level, there are resume building resources on campus, but no mandatory class offered to undergraduate, according to Foley, so Moving Forward helps to bridge that gap.

For more information about Moving Forward, Shaping Your Reality LLC, click hereYou can also connect on LinkedIn or via email.

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See how a local creative agency turns stories into success stories for businesses large and small.

Rebel Pilgrim Creative Agency uses creative storytelling to tell the stories of other businesses.

At Rebel Pilgrim Creative Agency, it’s all about telling a good story. This locally-based creative agency helps businesses large and small shape a narrative — for their customers and employees — about what makes the company special.

The mission of Rebel Pilgrim is simple, according to Content Developer Laura Buffington, “Rebel Pilgrim is a creative agency committed to helping organizations and companies tell their story. Our primary is video production, but we also offer consulting and training for storytelling and creating story-driven work cultures.”

Buffington says Rebel Pilgrim believes that helping others is not a one-size-fits-all formula, and stories are the best way to get a product or an idea from one place to another. 

We offer Story Dives for companies who are trying to zero in on the story they’re telling and how it shapes their branding,” Buffington explains. “We also create story-driven events for companies that want to get better at talking to each other and to their customers. We lead people through company-wide events that educate, entertain and inspire people. Employees become better engaged in the mission and vision of a company and they gain tools to work better together.

Buffington says video content production is an increasingly important medium for companies to leverage when fulfilling the fundamental needs of their customers. She adds that Rebel Pilgrim’s recent work includes “Rookwood and the Cincinnati Zoo to produce a local Super Bowl commercial celebrating the story of Fiona and vulnerable heroes everywhere. We have produced a series of Connection videos for Cincinnati Bell. We have an ongoing partnership with 84.51 to train all of their employees in our storytelling methodology. We’re also finishing production on a documentary about the opioid crisis in southwest Ohio and the creative ways people are helping each other and their communities through this crisis.” 

CEO Joe Boyd has a background in improv comedy and Buffington says he finds ways to use that in his work and training. He started Rebel Pilgrim six years ago along with Chief Creative Officer, Brad Wise, and Chief Operations Officer, Isaac Stambaugh. 

Rebel Pilgrim Creative Agency is located at 708 Walnut Street, #750 in Cincinnati. To learn more, visit their website, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Learn about a new program that doesn’t require an application or any pre-qualifications to get help with launching your dream business.

Aviatra Accelerators offers an Explore program for female business owners or women who have an idea for a business.

Have a great business idea or want to explore entrepreneurship? Does it all seem like a daunting task? Aviatra’s Explore program may be for you.

“Explore is designed for first-time entrepreneurs, early-stage business owners, or anyone with a great idea for a business but needs guidance,” explains Public Relations Specialist Shayna Nevermann. “Women who can sign-up for Explore work with Aviatra Accelerators and their advisors to validate their business ideas and create business plans.”

In the program, participants complete a business model canvas and receive support and guidance from professional experts.

Aviatra Accelerators, which was inspired by the idea of empowering female entrepreneurs, is behind the program and is a 501(c)3 organization that was founded in 2010 under its previous name Bad Girl ventures.

“Aviatra enables women to start and sustain businesses by giving them resources they need to be successful,” adds Nevermann. “They provide expertise and guidance from mentors and coaches, and provide access to capital. They continually encourage their members to move forward with their businesses.”

Explore is unique in that it welcomes any woman with a business or a business idea. There is no application process or pre-qualifications.

“We also work to connect you to a wide variety of resources around the community to support and mentor the women not only throughout the program but creating ongoing relationships after the program ends,” says Nevermann. “Once you are alumnae of Aviatra, you will always be part of our journey.”

To sign up to attend Explore, click here. The cost for the Explore class is $325 per person and the classes are held every Monday from 6-9 pm, beginning September 10 and running through November 19. Run by director Tori Schoettmer, Explore is held at the Northern KY Innovation Network at 1 Innovation Alley in Covington.

To learn more about Aviatra and its Explore program, click here. You can also “like” them on Facebook.

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A new, locally-based, two-person content production company offers a fresh perspective on branding. Read on for more.


Common People Creative brings the community to life with creative storytelling ideas.

Entrepreneurs are rarely short on ideas and creativity, but it’s common for them to be short on time and the ability to effectively market with limited resources. That’s where Common People Creative can help.

Launched about a year ago by a husband and wife team, Common People Creative is a content production company that uses media production such as writing, videography, photography, and social media to tell unique stories. They create content for large companies, small nonprofit groups, tradespeople, community agents, elected officials, and even artists. Common People Creative clients all share a common characteristic: they are common people doing uncommon things. 

My husband and I both left corporate jobs to start working independently and this is something we’ve both wanted to do for the longest time,” says Hannah Purnell, co-owner of Common People Creative, who launched the business alongside her husband Josh Purnell. 

Their services include writing, posted on a personal blog, where you can find attention-getting articles, scripts or even on-voice copies for a range of people and respected media outlets. To both creators of this company, compelling storytelling is all about tying visual elements to an idea and to edit this to create a story that perfectly displays the authenticity that people want to watch or read about. This is what you can see in their videography section of the business.

“I actually took one of Bad Girl Ventures’ exploratory classes where I got to meet a bunch of entrepreneurs. I took it on a whim and after that I was convinced that I wanted to start my own business,” Hannah says. 

Bad Girl Ventures is an incubator program based in Covington, and has since rebranded to Aviatra Accelerators. It is a place for women to meet other entrepreneurs in the area, and take a variety of business classes. 

“It’s a huge resource here in Cincinnati, and after taking those classes along with the knowledge that my husband’s company was downsizing, I started designing the framework for this business. Once my husband became unemployed, we decided to make a go of it and it has been successful so far,” explains Hannah.

Common People Creative has created content all the way from larger scale community development organizations to storytelling about local business owners. It is designed to emphasize the fast-paced growth Cincinnati is currently experiencing.

Emphasizing this growthHannah adds, “It is exciting, and it underscores that there are a lot of people out there like us who are trying to work for themselves. We knew there was a community out there and through this experience it is just that much more prevalent to us that it exists.”

Common People Creative also co-works with other companies to especially capitalize on what makes Cincinnati so special. They’ve partnered with a few businesses including Playground Coworks where they’ve utilized the available physical space and formed a partnership with the creators involved.

“We’ve been working with them for a few months now but it’s going great and it’s giving us a great insight into what it’s really like to operate in different spaces that we’re used to,” adds Hannah. 

The key to this company is truly engaging with local businesses and entrepreneurs, and to ensure exposure for their ideas to prosper. With their creative knowledge and expertise, these videos and articles are helping to reach the community and to get these people’s messages out there. 

“We’re letting people know what these creatives do, how they do it, and why they should be the topic of interest. There is a lot of this in our video offerings, and we want to give local businesses the opportunity to really engage with the community and other like-minded individuals in order to get their ideas out there,” Josh says.

Common People Creative is designed to help Cincinnati natives and transplants alike to learn about people and businesses that you wouldn’t have known existed. They use affordable and approachable branding strategies in order to capitalize on the diverse nature of the city of Cincinnati, showing the general public all the different ways that you can connect with each other. 

“Your company does not have to have a million dollars, or even a huge following in order to have savvy and sharable story that people can latch on to. We occupy a different space than other agencies, and having our background in media production, we offer a story that companies used to only be able to get through a learned media,” Josh explains. “Nowadays, you need people who are agile, fun, and who are truly interested in telling your story.”

To learn more about Common People Creative, or to read their blog, visit