Our Future

Our FutureIs Female

Meet 25 women driving change throughout Cincinnati, whether in policing, politics, the arts, environmentalism, social justice, business, or the dining scene.

By Emily Chien, Natalie, Clare, Lauren Fisher, Alexandra Frost, Jaclyn Youhana Garver, Judi Ketteler, Aiesha D. Little, Michelle Sikorski, and Elizabeth Miller Wood

Edited by Lauren Fisher

Editor’s Letter, April 2022: Celebrating 25 Women Driving Change in Cincinnati

It takes a village to drive change in any community, and thousands of women are doing their part across Cincinnati.

Ixi Chen Plays a New Melody

Concert:Nova challenges how we experience classical music thanks to Chen.

Renee Mahaffey Harris Improves Health Outcomes

The president and CEO of The Center for Closing the Health Gap wants to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.

Colleen Houston Paints Cincinnati’s Empty Walls

The ArtWorks CEO and artistic director is engaging community and beautifying the city one mural at a time.

Candice Brackeen Builds up Minority Entrepreneurs

Venture capital funds don’t always serve BIPOC-led businesses well. The Lightship Foundation CEO changes that.

Kathy Y. Wilson Speaks Her Truth

A revamped Your Negro Tour Guide—coadapted from Wilson’s former CityBeat column—premiered at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati this month. 

Cal Cullen Makes Waves

Spreading Cullen’s Wave Pool model far and wide could help improve communities through art.

Emily Wolff Builds a Culinary Empire in Covington

The self-described creative entrepreneur uses her restaurant experience, fine arts background, and passion for historical preservation to breathe new life into MainStrasse Village.

All in This Together: Resources for Women

Whether you’re searching for woman-to-woman mentorship or looking for an outfit to help ace your next job interview, these five local organizations have your back.

Rachel DesRochers Bakes in Collaboration

The creator of Grateful Grahams uses her Incubator Kitchen Collective to reshape Cincinnati’s entrepreneurial scene.

Britney Ruby Miller Weathers the Storm

Through industry upheaval, the heir to the Jeff Ruby throne pushed her restaurants to new heights.

Mary Wineberg Runs a Different Race

The Olympic gold medalist turned teacher won a seat on the Cincinnati Public Schools board last fall.

Candace McGraw Watches the Sky

The CVG CEO reshapes Cincinnati into a global hub for passengers and cargo.

Alicia Reece Hits Her Stride

Inspired by the women who came before her, the Hamilton County Commissioner works to open doors for the next generation. 

Tyra Patterson Breaks Down Barriers

Free after two decades of wrongful imprisonment, Patterson drives change at the intersection of art and social justice. 

Kristen Schlotman Brings Hollywood to Cincinnati

With Film Cincinnati, she works to produce Hollywood movies in the Queen City.

Aziza Love Grooves to a New Beat

Hard lessons from the pandemic became fodder for a new album and a promising future in the L.A. music scene.

Colleen Hanycz Opens the Doors to Higher Ed

The first woman and first lay president of Xavier University uses her status to broaden access to education.

Julie Brehm Challenges Health Taboos

Postpartum moms turn to the TriHealth pelvic health physical therapist for help with a sensitive issue. 

Jill Meyer Steers Our Economic Future

With Meyer at the helm of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, businesses have a relentless advocate.

Sarah Weiss Cultivates Empathy

"I’m fortunate that I have some leadership ability and platform to be able to help others become upstanders," says the CEO of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.

Charmaine McGuffey Creates a Lasting Legacy

Elected Hamilton County Sheriff in 2020, McGuffey is one of only three women to hold the title in the state and the first openly gay sheriff in Ohio.

Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney Works for You

The vice mayor wants everyone to feel welcome at City Hall. She carries that ethos into her leadership.

Katie Nzekwu Supports Foster Kids

Once a child of the foster care system herself, the CEO of Found Village helps children and teens in need.

Elizabeth Blackburn Shows Her Stripes

A new generation directs the Bengals’ strategy and engagement. 

Carla Walker Tackles Climate Change

Carla Walker builds strategies to address climate change equitably. 

Elizabeth Pierce Stays Curious

The Cincinnati Museum Center CEO keeps families coming back to Union Terminal.

The Women Who Made Us

Learn about the women who helped shape Cincinnati as we know it today.

Read a digital copy of our April issue!