The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

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Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated as a romantic holiday, but to a single woman that’s not necessarily so.

Michelle Kilpatrick, a human resource manager for a local corporation, isn’t dating anyone at the moment, but will still celebrate Valentine’s Day. She plans to see the new movie, “Daddy’s Little Girls.”


As a single, Kilpatrick gets to choose what movie she wants to see, can sit wherever she likes and doesn’t have to share her popcorn.

Sheri Florio, community liaison for Deaconess Home Care from East Walnut Hills, will get lots of lovin’ on Valentine’s Day. But not the traditional hugs and kisses. Her lovin’ will come from the cats at the O’Bryonville Animal Shelter. It will be just like any other day that Florio volunteers at the shelter.


She will be busy cleaning and caring for 70 cats. Not what everyone would call the ideal way to spend Valentines Day, but Florio wouldn’t have it any other way. The only thing that makes her sad is that she can’t take them all home. But maybe you can. If you need a little more love and021207SOCIAL2_intext.jpg affection in your life, check out the O’Bryonville Animal Rescue Web site at:

Having fun with people you care about is what Valentine’s Day means to Mary Beth Maitre, a community relations manager residing in Blue Ash. Maitre will slip into her Valentine’s Day PJs and meet up with her friends at their favorite bar. In fact, all of Maitre’s friends attending this slumber party-esque soirée will be wearing their Valentine’s Day PJs!

Carmen Taylor, a West Chester resident, knows how to budget and plan where her money should go. Taylor, a financial analyst, plans to treat herself to something special on February 14. She’ll be shopping at Tiffany’s for whatever her heart desires. Taylor knows she’s worth it and she already figured it into the budget.

Valentine’s Day can be celebrated with or without romance, but not without love and appreciation. It only comes around once a year so take a moment and reflect on the things you love in your life, and celebrate whatever that may be. Enjoy time with friends, felines or yourself; just do whatever makes you happy. After all, you’re not half a woman just because you’re not half of a couple.

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As the Fine Arts Fund (FAF) campaign director, Dorward managed 10 successful campaigns to raise funds for FAF. Dorward currently manages fundraising at the Cincinnati Art Museum as the deputy director of institutional advancement.

Since Dorward is always trying to raise money, you’d think people would run in the opposite direction when they see her coming; But that’s not so. Dorward balances out her fundraising efforts by giving back as a volunteer.

Dorward served on the board of the College-Conservatory of Music, serves as the advisor to the president on the board of Catholic Women, recently retired from the board at St. Rita School for the Deaf and is on the Leadership Cincinnati Alumni Board. Dorward has also been involved with the community theater group, Footlighter’s Inc., where she served as president, worked behind the scenes in a variety of ways and even starred in a play.

Through Dorward’s fundraising and volunteer efforts, she developed many of treasured friendships. She says her family and friends are priceless to her.

With an exciting job, a myriad of community involvement, great friends and family, the only thing Dorward is short on is time. Go, girl!

Learn about the fun events and exhibits coming to the Cincinnati Art Museum, how you can get involved or just drop Dorward a line at

Cincy Chic: You manage fundraising at the Cincinnati Art Museum today. So, as a kid, did you draw and have lemonade stand?

Dorward: No, I can’t draw, and “no” on the lemonade stand. I learned how to make money from my dad when I was eight years old. He bought my sisters and I a few shares of Brunswick stock. My dad wanted us to learn how to read the stock page. Of course, we quickly learned the point of owning stock is to make money. I can still remember how embarrassed my sisters and I were as we cashed our dividend checks for just three cents each.

Cincy Chic: How did you start your career in fundraising?

Dorward: The first time I raised money was in grade school. I sold chances on a Cadillac for a penny. Shortly after that, I moved on to selling Girl Scout cookies.

I really learned about fundraising and what I like to call “friendraising” when I worked at St. Rita School for the Deaf. I formed many friendships with people based on our common goal. We were all working hard to raise funds to support the school. Growing up in Cincinnati, meeting a variety of people through my career and knowing many generous people made it possible to move from selling penny chances to asking for my first $10,000,000 gift for the Art Museum.

Cincy Chic: Not to be Debbie Downer here, but how do you deal with falling short of your fundraising goal?

Dorward: Fortunately, I haven’t had to face that at the end of a fundraising campaign. In the ten years I have raised funds for the Fine Arts Fund, we have always achieved our goal. It wasn’t always easy, but we would start each campaign with a solid strategy. Our plan included “Plan A” and a solid “Plan B.”

We would build on what we learned the year before, too. We would begin with Plan A, and if the campaign was coming to a close and looked like we weren’t going to reach our goal, we kicked into Plan B. Creative methods for raising the additional funds, along with contacting donors and friends, are examples of what might be included in Plan B. Having an idea of what you should do if you are not hitting the mark reinforces what I learned early in my career at St. Rita’s: the importance of friendraising in fundraising.

Cincy Chic: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Dorward: That’s easy! I was the interim co-director of the Art Museum. Although it was temporary until they found a director for the Art Museum, I never in my life imagined myself in such an honored position at one of our country’s finest museums. In my work at the museum today, I still consider it an honor to work with such a great staff and dedicated group of volunteers.

I had a blast at the museum’s 25-hour day of fun activities in honor of the museum’s 125 anniversary, too. I wore my favorite pajamas to the celebration. That wasn’t quite the same as being interim co-director, but it was grand.

Cincy Chic: What drives you to be so involved in your community?

Dorward: I’m very blessed so it’s important to me to give back to the community. If I can use my background and skill set to better an organization, I find it difficult to say “no” when they ask for help. A t-shirt that my sister gave me says it all: ”Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again.”

Cincy Chic
: Is your office setting as lovely as the Art Museum, filled with fabulous pieces of artwork?

Dorward: No, but I am surrounded by photos of my family. I’ll tell you, though, when I leave my office and walk through the galleries every day, I pinch myself. It’s a reminder to take advantage of the opportunity I have to view the wonderful artwork as I pass though the galleries during a regular workday.

Cincy Chic: What’s work to you?

Dorward: Budgeting! The process is just not rewarding to me.

Meeting my goal is hard work, but it’s rewarding. Shaping your team, while allowing them to make their own choices and getting them on the right path to a common goal is hard work, but very rewarding.

Budgeting is just no fun!

Cincy Chic: What’s fun to you?

Dorward: I enjoy many of the special events we have at the museum including Jazz in the Courtyard and bringing my nephews to Family First Saturdays. Other than that, I spend a lot of time with my family. No matter what we do, I always have fun. Friends and family are important to me. I also, enjoy a simple walk down the street with my cocker spaniel, Abby.

Cincy Chic: What’s up next?

Dorward: I don’t know. I’ve never had a plan for my life. I think that’s the best way to live, though. With a plan, I would have limited my ability to consider opportunities outside my comfort zone.

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The Gift

#1: Gift Cards
According to USA Today, consumers purchased $24.8 billion (yes, “illion” with a B) of those little plastic cards. Yes, gift cards or a few Jacksons are great when you asked for them specifically, but are far from thoughtful when your significant other tosses one your way. Sheryl Kurland, a speaker about creating and maintaining healthy relationships and author of Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls of Wisdom from Couples Married 50 Years or More (Noble House, 2004), says that gift cards are good for friends when you know where they shop, but aren’t so certain about what exactly to get. So, if you got a gift card from your friend during Secret Santa, it’s more likely she didn’t want to embarrass you – or herself for that matter – for getting that size small when really you wear a large. Don’t despair, though, if your man gave you one to the mall, he could just be, well, a man. You know they don’t “do” shopping.

#2: Big Ticket Electronics
Score! You got that brand-new, top of the line, laptop under the tree and an iPod in your stocking. Besides being one lucky lady and the envy of the office, you have been blessed by having someone who loves to spend their money on people who matter. In addition to having deep pockets, these gift-givers have even deeper hearts. “Whether you’re a significant other, family member or close friend, the gift-giver wants you to have the latest and best because you really deserve it,” says Kurland.

#3: Jewelry
“Bling bling,” ice, shiny treats, call it what you want, but you are now the rightful owner of a jewelry gift. If you received jewelry this year, you must have been on Santa’s good list! Sterling silver or gold; diamonds or pearls – anything that comes in those telltale boxes is certainly special, just like you. People say you can’t go wrong with jewelry, and boy are they right. Kurland says that jewelry “is very personal” and when you get it from your one and only “it represents that you have a truly special bond with each other”.

#4: Clothing
Getting that top you were eyeing with your friend and getting that sexy lingerie from your man are two different things. Kurland shares many different meanings of receiving clothing as a gift. Get that cute top from your friend? That means: “I like you. You’re a good friend.” What about an entire ensemble from your sister? This costly number means: “I treasure our kinship.” Now let’s not forget that little black something-something your significant other gave you. This says, “You are very, very special to me. Being with you makes me feel great, and I want to reciprocate.”

#5: Personal Meanings
Wondering why you received “The Phantom of the Opera” Soundtrack this year, and you didn’t even ask for it? Well, chances are you got it because you loved the movie and the person who gave you it knows that. Kurland says that gifts with personal meanings say “I want to make your life more fun!” and that they “show ‘endearment’ of the individual.” Lesson on this one? Your grandmother who knitted you that scarf isn’t just trying to keep you warm; she is showing just how much you mean to her.

Ultimate Shopping Championship: Men vs. Women

There’s a reason men don’t have “Born to Shop” signs hanging in their office. So, your man bought you a barely-there nightgown – and it’s two sizes too big. Or maybe he gave you oil change coupons. Before you relegate him to the doghouse, check out these explanations.

“What Kind of Woman Does He Take Me For?!”

The mall is like kryptonite to a man. Have you ever been standing in an aisle of power tools and thought, “Dear God, get me out of here!” Nail guns and drills and saws, oh my! Now picture your guy in Victoria’s Secret, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst 50 gabby women, staring at endless rows of panties as far as the eye can see.

A man would not put himself in that kind of situation unless he thinks you are the hottest thing next to the sun. Your gutsy guy probably felt like a pervert trying to find such an intimate item. So, cut him some slack for his pink-boxed gift and don’t assume he thinks of you as an over-sized adamant object. If you got lingerie or bedroom-appropriate items, he doesn’t look at you as “just sex.” Instead, be thankful that your man thinks of you as the goddess you are!

“Can’t He Just Get It Right?!”

Kate Zabriskie, founder of Business Training Works, Inc. and etiquette expert, says that men are cursed with “selection neglection,” while we women suffer from “analysis paralysis.” We slip into a mode where we have to find the specific item with every possible feature, where men can see a blender and say, “Great! I can scratch that mixing bowl off the list!”

According to Zabriskie, “women analyze, and reanalyze, everything they receive.” So, when we get the mixing bowl, not the blender, we start asking ourselves if Mr. Sensitive thinks we can’t even cook. Your guy probably thinks you are as great in the kitchen as you are in other places, and that you can whip up something tasty no matter what you use.

Next time you rip open the wrapping for any occasion, like it or not, say “Thank You,” and remember: appreciate the fact that someone thought enough about you to get you a gift – even if it’s just mixing bowls.