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A local expert, who works with some of the area’s biggest brands, is launching a rebrand and new services that help you communicate, collaborate, and be more productive.


Monica Scalf, Founder of the Work Well Group,

After years of experience as an entrepreneur working with a wide range of different businesses, Monica Scalf learned what works well. So much so, she rebranded her business as The Work Well Group.

Formerly the Playground Group, Scalf’s business offers three subsets of services for clients: customized workshops, live personal branding workshop and personality assessments and goal coaching. 

For its customized workshops, the Work Well Group supplies assistance in communication, presentation skills, personal branding, team building, stress management and more. 

To launch the rebrand and give the business community a glimpse into a Work Well Group Workshop, Scalf is hosting an “Authentic Personal Branding Workshop” on Nov. 16 from 8:30-10:30am. It will take place at the AC Hotel by Marriott Cincinnati at Liberty Center, located at 7505 Gibson Street, Liberty Township, OH 45069. The registration fee is typically $219, but you can use the code CINCYCHIC to save $20 here. 

“The class will be a small group so plenty of one on one interaction takes place,” Scalf says. “We do exercises and activities, look at examples, and each participant leaves with a list of action items they can complete to get started on improving their personal brands right away.”

According to Scalf, the Authentic Personal Branding workshop will equip participants with a roadmap for how to elevate and express their best personal brand. “A clear, focused and authentic personal brand can be key in attracting new clients and career opportunities,” Scalf says. “It’s tough to work on your personal brand in isolation – either there’s never enough time with all of the other tasks you have to do, or it’s overwhelming because you don’t know where to start or how to go about it.  This class will walk participants through a step-by-step process for uncovering their best personal brand and sharing it with the world.”

Prior to starting her business, Scalf was a professor at Xavier University. She also has experience in sales and is the author of “Live in the Little: 52 Ways to Find the Extra in the Ordinary.”

When referring to the personality assessment and goal coaching, Scalf says she utilizes the DISC Assessment, centering on four personality traits: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. Once these results are rendered, the workshops help participants understand the results and work better with co-workers. 

“In general, The Work Well Group provides workshops, consulting, and coaching that helps teams and individuals create positive and productive workplaces,” Scalf explains. “We have worked with clients including eBay, P&G, Great American Insurance, Deloitte, Lexis Nexis and more.  We have a passion for helping people learn how to better communicate and collaborate so that work is less stressful, more productive, and more fun.”

Scalf says the end result of her work is to strengthen the individual, which helps them interact with others at their best, which in turn strengthens a company’s bottom line. “When people learn the skills that help them to work well – how to communicate, collaborate, and be more productive,” she adds, “work becomes more fulfilling and more fun; individuals and teams get better results.”

To learn more, visit

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A local woman recently launched a business called Life Prep, offering just that: a preparatory experience offering lessons in manners, etiquette, and important life skills. Read on for more.

Life Prep offers manners and etiquette workshops for kids and adults in Greater Cincinnati

As a parent and professional, Shannan Combs saw manners and etiquette becoming more rare, but realized that made having those life skills more of an asset than ever before.

Enter, Life Prep, a business featuring Manners and Etiquette Workshops that Combs and husband, Jerry, opened on Sept. 24, 2018, based in Milford. “My background is that I taught for several years at Norcross First Baptist, in Atlanta. and I have raised two children. Cory who is 20, Collette who is 12. I have been a personal trainer, a scheduler at a Pediatric Therapy office, etc. while raising my children.” She knows first-hand the real-life skills needed for these two target demographics, and that’s what the business is based upon.

Shannan Combs, Founder of Life Prep

According to Combs, their team is dedicated to helping both children and adults reach their potential. “Through the fun, affordable, and cutting-edge, Molly Manners curriculum, children are becoming more confident, considerate, and respectful of themselves and others,” their mission statement shares. “Our life preparation services deliver adult workshops that refresh or teach skills to help better prepare for life. Our mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

The services offered range from students to adults. More specifically, the student age groups are broken down into three subsets: Nice is Right (ages 5-8), Kool to be Kind (ages 9-12), and Young Sophisticate (ages 13-17). Life Prep wants to make sure that student demographics are not limited to only one category when problems vary from one set age group to the next.

When it comes to the life skills represented at Life Prep, there are six different categories to choose from when searching for courses: personal finance, resume design, interview skills, basic vehicle maintenance, basic household maintenance and cooking/meal prepping.

“Anyone that could teach a specialized class for children or adults could work at Life Prep,” adds Combs. “We would just need to be able to fill the class. We look so forward to offering a wide variety of education options.”

“I really want to make the world a kinder place and we are starting here teaching manners, since manners are basically putting others before yourself and making sure that you are treating others with respect,” Combs says. “The best part of having a local business is we are in the Best Hometown In Ohio as ranked by Ohio Magazine. The local support has been amazing and we love the community feel.”

Life Prep is located at 1034 Main Street in Milford, Ohio. To learn more, visit, or call their office at 513-248-1034. 

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This local business is not your typical job placement or life coaching destination. Keep reading to find out why.

JoAnne Kennard and Molly Edmondson, co-owners of MoJo Advantage

Feeling stuck in your current job or feel like your career lost its mojo? That’s exactly why JoAnne Kennard and Molly Edmondson created MoJo Advantage. 

Prior to launching in February of 2017, they spent 18 months testing and tweaking this business idea with local professionals and businesses to maximize the effectiveness of their service offerings. They also used that time to get certified as career coaches, and in the DISC assessment as well. “We built a methodology around those skills,” Kennard says.

The DISC assessment is used as a building blocks with clients to understand their personal strengths and gain insight into their personal style and specific talents. This process helps them understand what type of environment will provide the highest odds of success for a client. 

Aside from this assessment, MoJo Advantage offers services that help clients decipher what they value in a career and their own personal lives. They help target certain skill sets clients may need further help with and discuss networking opportunities to help apply these new ideas into practice. 

“The profile of our client is someone who wants to take that next step but are not sure what they want to do. MoJo Advantage uses our assessment and coaching skills to help define that next step for a client and put a plan in place to make it happen. If you are someone just looking to get any job quickly, you are probably better served with a traditional job placement agency. We have received all of our clients through references,” Kennard explains.

According to Edmondson and Kennard, there is no set formula to help their clients, since they work with completely different people every single day. They like to help moms and students, especially, they share.

MoJo Advantage offers the following deliverables for their clientele: a relevant resume, an individualized “elevator pitch,” a LinkedIn profile and interview preparation. 

They structured the business to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. “Molly and I are equal partners and are currently the only employees of MoJo Advantage. We contract with our resume writer, and we also decided to outsource non-core business services such as accounting, tax preparation, marketing and social media to keep our focus on our clients,” Kennard explains. “As we grow, we would add people in the core business of coaching and consulting. We actually have previous clients that are interested in that role.”

MoJo Advantage is located at 9415 Montgomery Road (Suite C). To learn more, visit or contact

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The Cincinnati Chapter of Business and Career Women is hosting its annual event this weekend to connect and elevate local women. Read on for more!

Dr. Monique Johnson will speak with attendees at the Mission I’m Possible event on October 26.

To celebrate National Business Women’s Week, the Cincinnati Chapter of Business and Career Women Inc. is hosting Mission I’m Possible on October 26 at the Taft Center at Fountain Square.

“The combination workshop and light dinner will feature Dr. Monique Johnson, local Life Coach and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant,” explains Linda Wright, Publicity Coordinator for Mission I’m Possible. “Her talk will focus on helping women thrive and advance in business, while helping to obtain equality in the workplace – doing their P.A.R.T. through Promoting, Acceptance, Respect, and Teamwork.”

The event, says Wright, will also include Cincinnati’s BPW’s recognition of Cincinnati Councilman Christopher Smitherman for his part in drafting and supporting a motion to strengthen the city’s policy on sexual harassment.

With an evening of networking and dinner by the bite, Mission I’m Possible arose out of a desire to help women get ahead in business and break through the “glass ceiling” as well as fighting for equal pay and a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment for all women.

The Cincinnati chapter of Business and Professional Women is led by Ursula Bess, who wants to help bring women together through the event.

“This annual event offers a valuable opportunity to call attention to the ongoing needs of women in the workplace, facilitate discussions on the challenges working women face and how to create viable solutions, share information about successful workplace policies and draw attention to employers that are engaged in practices that support working women,” says Bess.

The event will be held on October 26 at the Taft Center at Fountain Square from 6:30-8:30 pm. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

To learn more about Mission I’m Possible, click here. You can also call 513-829-5121.

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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.