On Saturday, November 12, 2022, several JLC members joined a training session hosted by the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation preparing them to be Appointed by government leaders to civic boards and commissions in our area. Women attended from across an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Training included “board basics” with a legal review of Sunshine Laws on open meetings and public records. This prepared prospective civic board members to provide transparent communications that are open to the public.
The keynote speaker was Kate Schroder, current President and CEO of Interact for Health, a $250M grantmaking organization that distributes $7-8M annually in a twenty-county region in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. She discussed her leadership journey as a Catholic school Mass server in Pleasant Ridge to Senate Staffer in DC, to Clinton Health Access Initiative Leader in Zambia before making her way home to Cincinnati to start a family and later run for Congress, following a life-altering personal health diagnosis. Schroder encouraged attendees to “see a need and fill it,” while listening first with a reminder that “people closest to problems are closest to the solutions.” This served as useful advice as the JLC has begun a community needs assessment to inform our next Program Development cycle that will begin later this year. Following Kate’s call to action, attendees broke into smaller groups by geography (city, county, etc.) where they reside to further examine board and commission opportunities for which they are interested and qualified based on skills as well as address. Most roles must be filled by residents living in the jurisdiction where the board or commission operates.
The session concluded with a panel discussion with area leaders: West Chester Township Administrator, Larry Burks; Cincinnati City Council member, Meeka Owens; and Tina Macon of Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls Member to discuss their experiences serving on and selecting civic boards and commission members. It was an extremely productive morning with excellent learning and networking opportunities for JLC members in attendance. Interested JLC members can visit www.gcfdn.org/womensfund/engage/appointed to be added to the listserv for upcoming appointment opportunities in our region. JLC trains leaders to share their gifts both internally to the League and externally in our community. As of 2020, there are 381 civic boards and commissions in our region but only 32% of members are female. We can contribute to broader efforts to diversify and bring female voices where key decisions are being made. Please consider being Appointed to a board in your community.