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85 broads

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Learn about the local chapter of a global organization that’s helping women empower themselves personally and professionally.


Female-focused elevation is the name of the game for Ellevate Cincinnati. Formerly known as “85 Broads,” this Cincinnati-based chapter for the global Ellevate Network is headed by a board of nine powerful local women.

The group has been doing work in Cincinnati for more than five years, but rebranded as Ellevate Cincinnati in 2014. According to Communications Chair Christa Wessels, the women involved in Ellevate are a collection of ambitious, intelligent women who are committed to encouraging and inspiring each other to blaze new trails, scale to new heights and achieve a life of true significance as well as success.

060115SOCIAL2Wessels says one of the things she loves most about the Ellevate Cincinnati group is that everyone involved comes from various backgrounds and professions. “We are marketers, sales team members, entrepreneurs, financial advisors, lawyers, HR team members and more,” says Wessels. “We aim to elect a board that reflects the face of our membership so we can work to offer what our members want.”

The inspiration behind Ellevate, globally and locally, came from the 85 Broads. Its name originates from the address of Goldman Sachs (85 Broad Street), where founder Janet Hanson was the first woman promoted into sales management.

“Our early members wanted to provide support for fellow women who were climbing the ranks,” explains Wessel. “They had a goal to provide a safe space to discuss challenges and to ultimately empower each other to succeed.”

Since then, Ellevate Network chapters have been popping up across the U.S. supporting women in all industries and backgrounds — personally and professionally. “Investing in yourself is one of the smartest things you can do as a professional woman,” Wessel says. “By joining Ellevate, members have access to career-building opportunities like leadership training, interactive online Jam Sessions and great networking events, where members meet like-minded women on the move.”

Wessel says the goal of the Ellevate Cincinnati chapter is to be the premiere networking group for Tri-State women. The chapter also wants to help women achieve their personal and professional goals through educational events and programs as well as through the connections they make with each other.

Ellevate Network success stories are Wessel’s favorite part of being involved in the organization. “We’ve had members who have been promoted, gained new contacts and who have been placed in new positions all due to connections from Ellevate Cincinnati,” she says. “We can’t wait to help more members connect, invest and grow.”

Several events are on the horizon for Ellevate Cincinnati, such as the Empowerment Circle set for June 18, which will feature Cincinnati businesswoman Wendy Vonderhaar.

Wessel says that women in the area are encouraged to attend Ellevate Cincinnati events to see what the group has to offer. She adds that Ellevate Cincinnati’s member book club has been a big hit. To register for events, click here. “Additionally, we are looking for local entrepreneurs, sales women and business owners who are looking to make more connections,” says Wessel.

The Spark Syndicate is a group that’s designed for women who want to build their business on referrals. The next meeting for Spark Syndicate is June 9.

There’s also their much-anticipated Amateur Chocolate Competition, which Wessel says the group hosts annually in September.

To learn more about Ellevate Cincinnati, click here. You can also check out the MeetUp Group for upcoming events and programs. Wessels says that they’d also like to talk to any prospective members who would like to chat one-on-one. To set up a time for this, email