The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

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A new report on the growth and development of minority-owned businesses in the city is out. Keep reading for all the details.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has a group dedicated to accelerating and developing minority businesses in the city through its Minority Business Accelerator.

The Minority Business Accelerator has a goal to help expand the minority entrepreneurial community in the region by helping to accelerate the growth and development of sizable African-American and Hispanic owned businesses. 

The Minority Business Accelerator does this by providing individually-tailored advisory support and docaching to help Minority Business Enterprises to obtain what they need to be successful while also acting as an extension of another program to connect them with MBE Portfolio Firms.

Since its inception in 2003, the Minority Business Accelerator has worked to address disparity in the region’s business community to drive economic activity and increase employment in underemployed segments.

Because the Chamber has a goal of growing the aggregate annual revenues of minority businesses in the region by $1 billion and creating 3,500 jobs by the end of 2022, they want to offer a yearly update on its Minority Business Accelerator with an annual report.

“This bold vision and plan have galvanized regional and national stakeholders desiring to partner with us to not only accomplish something transformational for Greater Cincinnati, but something that might truly inform and transform this work across the nation,” says Cynthia Booth, Minority Business Accelerator Board Chair. “Our four key pillars to achieve these bold goals, which are to grow our existing portfolio firms, build a robust pipeline, attract larger-scale minority firms to the region, and create new minority firms via acquisition of mainstream businesses, have each enjoyed major developments over the past year, and have collectively served to further elevate and position the Minority Business Accelerator as a national best practice.”

To learn more about the Minority Business Accelerator at the Chamber, click here

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Years in the real estate industry led one expert to launch her own coaching business for other real estate agents. Read on for more.

Monica Weakley spent years in the world of real estate. After a lot of hard work, she was offered the chance to take a leadership position with one of the largest real estate offices in the Queen City. 

During her tenure, she was the one in charge of coaching and training realtors on a daily basis – and a light bulb went off. “I realized then that this is what I wanted to do,” she says. “Shortly after that, I started my coaching company and began doing one-on-one coaching and group coaching with agents from all over the United States and Canada.”

Today, Weakley is the founder of My Coach, Monica, a coaching company that helps real estate agents grow their business, and income, by showing them how to turn their relationships into referral-generating machines. 

Weakley offers three different types of coaching services through her business: One-on-One Coaching, Referral Revolution, and Referral Blueprint.

The one-on-one coaching is $899 per month, and the Referral Revolution is a membership program that costs $99 per month. Then, there’s the Referral Blueprint, an online digital course that gives participants the system an agent needs to build a lucrative referral business.

Weakley says that what makes her business unique is that she knows what her strengths are when it comes to helping other real estate agents – and she sticks to it. “My strength is helping agents who want to build a business by referral,” says Weakley. “If you were a real estate agent, how would you like the secret referral formula? That’s what I offer so that agents can create a predictable and steady flow of income to their business.”

She’s also known for her ability to ask questions. “When I can ask an agent the right series of questions, I can help them self-discover their challenges, their fears, their excuses, and their path to success,” Weakley adds.

All of the coaching offered by My Coach, Monica, is a system that utilizes the teachings of Hank Avink’s 36 To Life product and expands on it to include even more activities and daily blueprints to follow.

Weakley says that what she doesn’t do is help agents who only want to cold call, knock on doors, or any other form of what she calls transactional business. 

To learn more about My Coach, Monica, visit You can also follow along on her personal Facebook page or her business page.

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Get in on the growing popularity of social media marketing with this upcoming networking and speaker event at Union Hall. 

Dooley Social Studio is gearing up to host its final Social Media Show & Tell of 2019 on December 5 from 3-5:30pm at Union Hall. 

The last even of the year will feature social media experts from Twitter, BallR Media, and BrandTrue.

Social Media Show & Tells have grown as the importance of a social presence among customers and clients grows stronger. 

“What started as a small gathering for social media enthusiasts has grown to a quarterly event series featuring practitioners who share a behind-the-scenes look at how businesses succeed with social,” says Matthew Dooley of Dooley Social Studio. “Since its inception, the event has served as a gathering space for executives, strategists, and consultants to learn the latest and be their best.”

The event this Thursday features Ray Ball, founder and CMO of BallR Media. She’ll be sharing the details about her recent project with Nike, while focusing on best practices for igniting community activism both online and off. “She’ll then moderate a panel of local micro-influencers to discuss the pros and cons of this trend, including how to grow your online influence and what brands should look for when establishing influencer partnerships,” Dooley says.

Also speaking at the event is Rebeca Arbona, president and chief-truth teller at BrandTrue. Arbona will speak using her knowledge of brand strategy and consumer behavior. “Rebeca will teach us how to build a brand that connects,” says Dooley. “You’ll come away with an understanding of your brand’s underlying truths so you can connect with people in a powerful way that’s real, sincere, and sustainably differentiating.”

Mindy Brack, lead product specialist at Twitter will share whether you’re a brand or individual and how you can use Twitter to create meaningful connections to the people and audiences that matter to you.

These Social Media Show & Tell events are ideal for CMOs/Directors of Marketing, Digital Media Managers, Social Media Strategists, Agency and In-house Creatives, Marketing Consultants, Internet Marketers, Public Relations Professionals, Brand Strategists, Small Business Owners, and Nonprofit Leaders.

Since the events have become so popular among social media and marketing pros in the region, there is limited seating available. “In order to keep the event intimate and maximize learning opportunities, we’re limiting the ticket quantity,” says Dooley. “Get in on this event early, as it will sell out.” 

To learn more about the event or to purchase tickets, click here

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From reduced anxiety, aches and pains to better sleep, mood and energy, a local OBGYN explains the benefits of CBD and why she now offers it at her practice.

Dr. Amy Brenner is a board-certified OB/GYN, but she most recently underwent training to obtain another certification in functional and antiaging medicine. It was there that she learned a lot of information about CBD and the many health conditions with which it can potentially help. 

The new information about CBD and how it’s changed lives only just became legal in the state of Ohio this past summer. That’s when Dr. Brenner began taking CBD for herself to treat chronic sleep issues from delivering babies for the last 15 years.

“As we know, babies come all hours of the day and night so I think that really messed up my sleep,” says Brenner. “I have taken so many things to help me sleep over the years and none of them really gave me restful sleep.”

That’s when Brenner was introduced to CBD. “After just one month of taking it it was life changing for me,” she says. “I no longer have to take the majority of the things I was taking for sleep. CBD has helped my mood and I’m also taking it for some things that are occurring on a cellular level that I’ve researched including regenerating neurons in my brain, which is important to me because I have a family history of dementia. CBD has been so life changing for me that I had to bring it to as many people as I could.”

That’s when Brenner decided to bring CBD to her patients. Not only does Brenner educate her patients on the benefits of using CBD and began offering the Zilis line in her office, but she also teaches them how to find a good, quality CBD product.

Brenner found that CBD was working for her, and that’s when she took it upon herself to learn more about the potential health benefits of CBD. “There are so many health benefits of CBD but the main reasons why people are choosing to use these products are for mood, sleep, aches and pains, and bowel issues,” says Brenner. “Some patients are losing weight taking these products. It also decreases inflammation, which is the root cause of so many diseases.”

CBD products offered by Brenner at her practice are unique in that about 90% of the product can be absorbed by the body. “These products are absorbed at 90% whereas other products are only getting absorbed at around 4-6%,” she adds.

Brenner says that when choosing a hemp product like CBD, you should always make sure that it’s organically sourced. The Zilis products she carries are organically sourced and every bottle comes with a QR code on it so each batch has a certificate of analysis that can be pulled up from scanning the QR code – letting you know exactly what’s in the product.

“This means there are no unwanted, unhealthy ingredients such as pesticides or heavy metals that have been found in other hemp-based products on the market,” says Brenner. 

To learn more about CBD and CBG, visit or

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Many beginning entrepreneurs and future people in business believe that they do not need education, because a large number of well-known billionaires dropped out, and despite this, became incredibly successful. They prefer to use services like WriteMyEssayOnline which promise to write an essay for you and save the time. Let’s have a look at who these people are and how it happened that they have no degree.

I know one guy…

Yes, we all heard about them too. Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple and the former CEO of the company, dropped out of university, which did not prevent him from creating one of the largest and most successful corporations in the world. Mark Zuckerberg studied at Harvard, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, but left it to develop his project, which is now the largest social network in the world. Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group corporation and the owner of a vast number of companies of various profiles, also does not have a higher education. Even Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the richest man in the world for 13 years, quit Harvard to develop his idea.

But all these people are geniuses who from very early childhood had many ideas and worked on their implementation, studying entrepreneurial business through hard work and a large number of failures, which gave them valuable experience and became the reason for success. Besides, I am sure that you can recall just a few other names of famous business people who have the same achievements and do not have a degree because the above people are exceptions to the rules. If you are over 20 years old, you have not yet implemented a single project, you do not even have a garage that you converted into a workspace, and you are reading this article, then most likely you are not one of these people.

And I know even more of them!

At the same time, I can give examples of a vast number of people who are successful businessmen with a degree. Elon Musk, your personal favorite, the founder of PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, and the future conqueror of Mars, has a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire founder and owner of Bloomberg L.P., the former mayor of New York, and the 13th richest man in the world, has an MBA at Harvard Business School. Jeff Bezos, founder, and owner of Amazon, and also the richest man in the world graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with a degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. This list can be much longer, and since I do not want to waste your time, you can recall any well-known entrepreneur, open their Wikipedia page, and you will most likely find out that this person has a degree.

Diploma or knowledge

Moreover, the huge advantage of higher education is not the diploma you get after graduation, but the structuring of knowledge, which is very important in any business. Any field of activity has an almost unlimited amount of knowledge that you can absorb, but you cannot be sure what information is vital and in what order should it be studied. Developers of educational programs base them on their experience and the characteristics of students’ perception of information, so they know exactly what information and in what order is needed for you to learn the materials most effectively.

In general, higher education is not a necessity to become an effective manager and create a business that will make you a billionaire. But I can assure you that without self-education, your business will not be able to survive even one year, because if you do not develop, then your business will struggle as well. People like Elon Musk work on themselves every day and strive to become better; they continuously absorb new information, even which is indirectly related to their business, but it allows them to expand their worldview, which is essential to see the wide picture. If you do not develop your thinking, you will not be able to come up with a project that will benefit people, so it will not interest them, and your business will be a failure.

Every day you should become better than you were the day before, because if you do not develop, then how can you grow a business? I can say without exaggeration that your business is your reflection, so work on yourself, as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did before, in the process, and after creating their businesses. If you want to increase your chances in business significantly – start getting higher education right now. Colleges develop the curriculum in such a way that students absorb the studied information as efficiently as possible, which is very important for structuring knowledge in your mind. Consider higher education as your first investment, which now may not seem to you the most rational, but in the future will save you a massive amount of time, effort, and finance.

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This fine dining mecca is celebrating 20 years and is opening its doors for lunch this holiday season. Click for the delicious details.

A Cincinnati tradition, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse has been filling bellies and offering a delicious date night location for 20 years. 

The history behind the restaurant goes back 49 years when restaurateur Jeff Ruby left New Jersey for Cincinnati to begin his career in the hospitality industry. Now, that brand has expanded to other cities including Louisville, Nashville, Columbus, and Lexington.

Jeff Ruby’s children have worked their way up the ranks of the restaurant and in the last few years have joined the company’s leadership team. Currently, Britney Ruby Miller serves as the President of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment while Dillon Ruby and Brandon Ruby serve as managers on the corporate team. 

With the holidays quickly approaching, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is now opening its doors for lunch, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience during the day.

“Traditional favorites from Jeff Ruby’s such as the restaurant’s great steaks will be on the menu as well as seafood items and holiday-inspired desserts,” says Ben Stallard from Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment. 

In addition to being open for lunch, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is also taking bookings for business lunches and holiday parties, for which reservations can be made by clicking here.

Drinks at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse include an extensive wine list, plus cocktails, craft beer selections from many Cincinnati-based breweries, whiskey, scotch, tequila, and much more. A complete drink menu can be found here

When asked why a visit to Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is a must during the holiday season, or any time, Stallard says that there is no better place to celebrate than Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse for lunch or dinner. 

“Enjoy one of their award-winning steaks, a glass of wine to toast and enjoy the ambience and terrific service to share time with colleagues or family during the holidays,” he adds.

Learn more at

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The Cincinnati Chamber is preparing to honor local businesses for their contributions to the growth and development of Greater Cincinnati. Read on for more details. 

The Cincinnati Chamber is hosting its annual Ignite Action awards on Tuesday, November 12 from 5-7pm at Memorial Hall.

The event recognizes outstanding regional Cincinnati businesses, ranging from start-ups to seasoned veterans, and the contributions they make to the economic development and expansion of Greater Cincinnati.

“Ignite Action is an evening filled with fun and energy as we recognize businesses in the region doing big things that will make a lasting impact and put Cincinnati on the map in unique ways,” said Jill P. Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

There are three categories that the finalists are placed into, and from where winners are chosen:

  • Leading With a Bold Voice for Business
  • Expanding the Talent Base
  • Harnessing the Power of the Region’s Unique Offerings

A total of five businesses for each category were selected as finalists. 

The meaning behind “Leading with a Bold Voice for Business” means that the companies and organizations have helped to lead a bold change in the community whether through public advocacy, new major investments, or significant strategic and innovative change. 

For this category, finalists include: the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Messer Construction Co., Sunrise Treatment Center, and TiER1 Performance Solutions.

When selecting finalists for the “Expanding the Talent Base” category, the Chamber was in search of businesses and organizations who are passionate about developing and/or attracting talent with the Cincinnati region, or are finding new ways to connect skilled workers to potential employers. These finalists include: CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, Inc., Cincinnati Music Accelerator, Frisch’s Big Boy, Gilman Partners, and Jostin Construction, Inc. 

Then there are companies and organizations that are drawing positive attention to Cincinnati through new products, unique experiences, and inventive business models to comprise the “Harnessing the Power of the Region’s Unique Offerings” category. These finalists include: AGAR, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Cares, LPK, and Revel OTR Urban Winery.

While Ignite Action is the production of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, other investors include Humana, Gallagher, Spectrum Reach Ad Portal, Meier’s Wine Cellars, Inc., and the Cincinnati Business Courier.

The event will be an evening filled with networking, light bites, drinks, and entertainment from local artist Mark Robinson. To learn more and to register, click here.  

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Local real estate gurus teamed up to launch a new tool to help buyers build their dream home without the typical nightmares of custom builds.


When one thinks about building a house, the word “easy” does not usually come to mind, but the idea behind WhiteBox is to make the process of building a home much easier. 

WhiteBox, a tool for people considering building a home, leverages an online platform created by builders, agents, new home buyers and construction experts to ease each pain point where buyers may struggle. With WhiteBox, the building process is simplified and less intimidating.

For the past two years, founders Michael Hines and Matt Stanley have helped families build their forever homes. With Hine’s background with Build Collective, a local real estate team with Coldwell Banker West Shell focusing on new construction and Stanley’s background with a local high-end builder, the two make up quite the dynamic duo. “We know that one of the most difficult parts in getting started and understanding what the home of your dreams could cost. Our goal is to put the Buyers in the driver’s seat by giving them necessary information to make good decisions when considering building a home to save them time, money, and a LOT of headache,” says co-founder, Matt Stanley.

“We have been compiling necessary new home data within our proprietary database so that Buyers can accurately price out a house by answering key questions,” says Hines. The best part? The service is absolutely free!

How does the process work to use WhiteBox?

  1. Visit WhiteBox’s website.
  2. Answer the New Home Quiz questionnaire, a new feature to the site.
  3. Explore the price range for your house, lot cost averages, home price range based on recent new home averages, top builders in the area, top lenders, and even your Pinterest board.
  4. Create profile to share with builders so they can know exactly what you are looking for. 
  5. Connect with a Building Coach for follow-up questions and additional guidance.

According to the co-founders, their clients have been the inspiration behind launching this new tool. Since the website has the consumer’s experience as an end goal, Buyers also have access to a Build Coach. “A Build Coach is a building expert that are local, custom home experts that can answer any questions on builders, building costs, the process and pretty much anything you can think of,” says Hines, “Our partnership with various professionals as your Build Coach allows you to obtain non-biased information and even land, lot, or new home opportunities since the search process can be quite a bit different than the search for a typical home.” 

In the future, Hines sees WhiteBox becoming a “Go-To” community for custom home buyers across the country. “Building, just like real estate in general, is local and our goal is to compile hyper-local building information by leveraging Build Coaches in areas across the US that will help Buyers make the best decisions and realize the potential in building a new home. “We plan to expand with podcasts, blogs, and articles published by our very own Build Coaches across the country.

“Getting started on the right foot by using WhiteBox will allow buyers to avoid the rabbit hole of misinformation that flies around when it comes to home building. The potential with WhiteBox is limitless and we are excited to see where it goes,” says Hines and Stanley.

You can see WhiteBox in-person at the Ferguson on December 12th.

For more information, visit WhiteBox’s website or email them at

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Women now own and run almost  13 million businesses in the US. As well as becoming successful sole proprietors, many have grown their business and are now also responsible for supporting over 9 million jobs. Ohio features in the top ten of best states for women to  set up a successful business, and it is becoming easier to create a startup or launch a new enterprise. However, as your company prospers, you will be looking beyond simply sustaining the initial success and will, in addition, be thinking about taking on new staff and moving to larger premises. This can take time and effort but the rewards are well worth it. 
Investing in Employees
As your business becomes more successful, there will come a time when you need to start sharing the workload.  Taking on staff is a major responsibility, and it is estimated that hiring an employee can require up to £4,000 in recruitment and training costs. Of course, by taking the time to properly prepare and integrate suitable new staff to your business, these costs will be recovered through increased revenue. Another added responsibility that must not be overlooked is  workers comp insurance. As well as giving you and your employees peace of mind, like any business insurance, this could save you money in the long run.
Making Room for Success
Finding premises for your expanding business can be daunting. If you’ve been working alone at home and don’t feel that you are ready to take on the responsibility of your own office, start by  sharing a co-working space where you can network, meet potential new employees, and continue to grow your business until you are ready to move. The eventual location of your new premises will depend not only on your budget but the nature of your business. A  prominent and credible address with parking nearby is preferable if you expect clients to visit you at your office. If the premises are just for the use of your employees, you will still need to ensure that the location is convenient and safe for them, and will not be off putting for potential new recruits in the future. 
After the initial excitement of setting up a successful new business, ensuring that it is not only sustainable but ready for expansion takes time and effort. However by being prepared to take on extra responsibilities and invest in well-trained staff and premises suited to your needs, you will soon reap the rewards of a flourishing business. 

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The Cincinnati Chamber is teaming up with local businesses to host a diversity leadership symposium. Click here to learn more! 

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, alongside Fifth Third Bank, is hosting the upcoming Diversity Leadership Symposium on November 1 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. 

“Fifth Third Bank presents this informative and inspiring event every year to celebrate the importance of inclusion in our workplaces,” the Chamber says. “This singular event brings together business and community executives for best practices in inclusion, an inspiring keynote, and an update on how we are making our region Diverse by Design and inclusive by intention.”

The two keynote speakers for the event are Bryant T. Marks and Khalil Smith. Marks will speak on the Hidden Biases of Good People and Smith will speak on Diversity, Inclusion, and Bias: Using Neuroscience to Make Change. 

In addition to the keynote speakers, attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from different panels at the event. 

One of the panels is called “Engaging Executives and Manages in Effective Diversity and Inclusion Programs” presented by Scott Carroll and Weldon Latham of Jackson Lewis P.C.

“Successful D&I programs depend on engagement and active implementation by the managers who make most hiring and promotion decisions, and are principally charged with identifying and developing talent,” the Chamber states. 

Those who attend the session will see the evidence of the value of active engagement in and implementation of diversity and inclusion programs, reinforce the obligations of managers to develop all employees through training, feedback, mentoring, sponsorship, and other actions, and provide practice advice and tools for successfully managing and developing a workforce composed of diverse employees.

Another panel session from the event is “Taking Diversity and Inclusion Beyond Numbers and Driving Belonging” by James Biro, Vice President of Supply Chain; Perfetti van Melle Sylvia Buxton, President & CEO, North American; Perfetti van Melle Dave Dombrowski, Sr. Program Leader, GE Aviation; Dr. Bleuzette Marshall, VP for Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact, University of Cincinnati; Karl Preissner, HR Global Diversity & Inclusion Leader, Procter & Gamble; and Jenny Williams, Sr. Organization & Talent Development Leader, GE.

“Organizations often get overly focused on inclusion activities and diversity numbers,” according to the Chamber. “While setting goals and having metrics are important, diversity and inclusion challenges are not solved statistically. Creating a culture of belonging is the key. This open and honest discussion will explore the power of creating a culture where everyone feels valued and accepted, including best practices and strategies on creating a culture of belonging; and the regional benefits of this approach.”

The third session of the day will be “Queer Eye for the Workplace Ally: Understading Complexities of LGBTQ Identity & Interactions at Work” by Brian Fanelli, Liz Pawley, and Nadia Ibrahim-Taney of Lindner Career Services. 

The goal of this workshop is to summarize the evolving, complex landscape of LGBTQ professional’s perceptions and experiences navigating workplace environments, and the significant of allyship in creating and sustaining diverse workplaces. 

“Presenters will guide participants through practical strategies to owning the journey of inclusion in the workplace, including a review of the current limitations of laws protecting LGBTQ employees; a summary of the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 LGBTQ Workplace Climate Survey; methods of facilitating a positive, welcoming workplace environment for LGBTQ individuals; and the tools and knowledge to authentically promote both effective self-efficacy and allyship,” the Chamber says.

Finally, “Leading with Inclusive Practices” with Robin Shabazz of The Eastledge Group, LLC and Calista H. Smith, Scale of Strategic Solutions will help an organization move from intention to action. 

“By exploring examples from education, healthcare, retail, and corporate environments, this session will present the strategic ways executives and managers can integrate specific behaviors, practices, and tactics into their management routines to increase inclusion and achieve more equitable results,” according to the Chamber. “Walk away with a start on next steps for you and your organization.”

The Diversity Leadership Symposium will be held from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm. To learn more, click here.