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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Event: Saturday, Nov 5th: Lean In Ohio Springfield Circle Launch!

The Lean In Springfield Circle (located in Springfield, Ohio) Kick-Off meeting:
Are you located near Springfield, Ohio? This kick-off meeting is all about making connections, planting roots of togetherness and establishing support. Celebrate the founding of Springfield Circle, Lean In Ohio chapter!
Saturday November 5, 2016 10 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
Clark County Public Library Park Branch meeting lounge
1119 North Bechtle Avenue, Springfield, Ohio 45504
Light refreshments served.
Join the Lean In, Springfield, Ohio Circle online at

Monday, October 17, 2016

Event: Saturday, October 29: Establishing Powerful Connections!

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2016
1:00 PM

Location: Curious Styles and Coffee Shop
16 S. Main St. , Miamisburg, OH 

Join Lean In Ohio's Coffee Shop Circle for a powerful meeting. This meeting is all about making connections, planting roots of togetherness and establishing support.
Celebrate this new beginning!

Saturday October 29th, 2016 1 p.m. -2:30 p.m.  
Curious Styles Coffee Shop ( This place is incredible! You will love Curious Styles.) 
16 S Main St, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342 

Join the Lean In, Coffeeshop, Ohio Circle online at

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Christy Veach discusses September 24th Session with Dr. Jo Blondin, President of Clark State

On September 24th, The discussion, "What All Mentors and Mentees Should Know" led by Dr. Jo Blondin, President of Clark State spurred a wealth of encouragement for the women who attended. In a room full of women leaders from various industries, we pledged to keep the momentum going through a new mentorship program being led by Dr. Jo Blondin.

Christy Veach of the Lean In Circle, The Grid, located in Piketon, Ohio shared her thoughts about this past weekend:

"As a 41-year-old mother of three, I have often struggled to make a solid connection with other women in my profession.  Over the years I have been mostly surrounded by male peers and even found myself favoring male superiors.

As I watch my two daughters, ages 10 and 13, start to become young women, I feel a sense of urgency to be part of the change factor to help cultivate an environment where women not only support other women but truly value their ideas and promote each other as we should. 

I was overwhelmed by the energy that was present at the talk on mentorship, where I was able to connect with individuals through the small group discussions and take away ideas to share with our Lean In Circle, The Grid, here in Piketon, Ohio.  I look forward to seeing everyone again at the follow-up session!"

Thursday, September 22, 2016

(26) Interview with Jackie Smith Vice President of CSU at CareSource

"Take time to reflect and intentionally build the kind of leader you want to be"


CareSource University (CSU) is ranked as one of the top training facilities in the country and is unlike most internal education institutions. It provides multiple education and training functions to harness the unique strengths of its talent base to boost workplace morale and performance. Jackie Smith, Vice President of CSU explains in a Lean In Ohio interview, how she leaned into networking, which led to founding one of the most fundamental internal infrastructures at CareSource. 

Lean In Ohio: What led to your role at CareSource University (CSU) at CareSource?

Jackie Smith: Two key pieces that come to mind for me are networking and delivering on promises. This all came about a number of years ago when I was attending a professional meeting, and met CareSource’s human resource director. We were discussing training and leadership development and she stated that CareSource did not have a training function but could benefit from focused training. Consequently, I was brought on as a consultant doing part-time leadership development training, team building and performance management work. While working as a consultant, I demonstrated my skills, built relationships and delivered results. After about six months I thought it might beneficial for both parties to recommend a more in-depth relationship. On the same day that I was going to share a proposal for creating a part-time position with the HR director, she asked me, "Why don't you just work here? You are here a lot already!” I stated, “That’s interesting because I have a proposal on that very thought.”

I came in as part time for about 18 months, and upon demonstrating what I could do for the organization, CEO, Pam Morris, asked me a life-changing question. She explained that she always wanted to have an internal university to focus training resources specifically on what CareSource staff needed and asked if I would be interested in doing something like that. I said that I would absolutely be interested. After creating a vision for what this might look like we agreed to build the university.

Lean In Ohio: CareSource has one of the top training programs in the country according to Training Magazine. Why do you think CSU stands out?

Jackie Smith: CSU has been an actual function for about 12 years, and the thing that really makes us stand out is the breadth of services we offer. We don’t consider ourselves just a training function and we very purposefully do not use the word “training” in the title.
As we moved to a university approach we built four “schools” to address employee needs.

The School of Applications and Systems primarily covers our new hire onboarding and systems training.

The School of Business and Interpersonal Skills that covers things about our industry, interpersonal skills and other forms of communications such as emotional intelligence, feedback, navigating change and assessments such as the Myers-Briggs profile and  StrengthsFinder.

The School of Professional Development is a school that supports about half of our staff, our clinicians and project management team. It provides continuing education resources to employees who have clinical or professional licensure that they need to maintain.

The School of Coaching and Consulting is one of our largest schools. This school includes three full-time, ICF certified coaches that meet with every new leader in the organization for approximately nine months. They support our leaders in getting acclimated in their new leadership position as quickly as possible.

We have 29 staff members that support the work in our schools. This level of organizational commitment is almost unheard of, especially in a nonprofit. This team delivered over 200,000 hours of learning last year. CSU is a hybrid between a human resource function and learning function. We have course facilitators, course designers, eLearning specialists, coaches, performance management consultants, procedural writers, OD consultants and a virtual learning manager. All of these roles work together to provide services to our 2,900 employees.

Lean In Ohio: CareSource is committed to diversity and inclusion. How do you feel CareSource has carried out this mission within its educational programs?

Jackie Smith: The first is our foundational course which is part of a required curriculum. Employees are required to take Dialogue-Effective Communication when they are hired into the organization. In this particular course, there is a piece of content called the “ladder of inference” which really sets the tone for diversity and inclusion as we discuss how people think and interpret things differently based on experiences. It all begins with understanding the diversity of our thinking.

Through other classes, employees are taught various communication styles and learn to use them to work more effectively with their teams.

We also have a program called, “Gotta Have Heart.” This is a cultural program where we talk about not only the diversity of members and consumers we serve, but also diversity within our employee population. As we grow and go into different spaces, you see the differences in the way we deal with health care and the way we each communicate.

Finally, we have a clear focus on identifying and utilizing each employee’s unique strengths and enabling them to make their greatest contribution to the organization.

Lean In Ohio: You have been a Learning and Performance professional for over 20 years. Additionally, you have worked in the for-profit and nonprofit sector. In your opinion, how are the for-profit and nonprofit industries impacting women in areas such as training and development? Is there a difference between the two?

Jackie Smith: Early on in my career, I worked on the for-profit side. The opportunities on the for-profit side were slightly different because there was more funding for program certification and large training functions. As a result, I had the opportunity to receive great training and gain in-depth experience across a multitude of training resources. My experience on the for-profit side helped to set a solid foundation in the content of development work. As I moved into the nonprofit side, I was able to really take that foundation in the mechanics and discipline of training and apply it to areas I’m passionate about.

Jackie Smith: Another nonprofit organization that I'm involved with began to discuss offering business courses in developing countries. What was really appealing to me was that I would get to use not only my teaching and training background, but also integrate my love of traveling and empowering people who would not have these opportunities otherwise. In many of these situations, I have been the only female on the team so I am able to work with business women in developing countries and support them in growing their business and their people. I am able to connect with these women across cultures that face similar obstacles women in our culture face, though some of the details are different by country. I would say the women leaders I have had the privilege to meet in South America, the Middle East, and Africa were all dealing with very similar kinds of business challenges. It's been a great opportunity to connect with and support women around the world and I have learned just as much from them as I hope they have from me.

Lean In Ohio: LEAN IN is promoting a new campaign which celebrates women helping women. In Spite of the myth, women really do support one another. One of the topics the campaign discusses is women advocating for other women in the workplace. How do you think you have been an ally either directly or indirectly for women at work?

Jackie Smith: There is advocacy throughout the work I do and the work that I support. CareSource University has been very focused on working with individuals and helping them develop their strengths. What we are really trying to do is create an environment for employees to identify what their strengths are and create a plan to bring their “best selves” to the table. A statement I have heard from both men and women, but mostly from women in the organization is that “I never thought I could do that” or “I was never told that I could think that way.” I hope my influence is around helping women to think differently about what’s possible for them and letting them know that CareSource facilitates the environment for them to grow.

Lean In Ohio: What class would you deem necessary for a developing leader?

Jackie Smith: The most critical class for a developing leader would be centered on finding out who you are as a person. Leadership development is about developing ourselves. The concept is about being clear about who you are, what you are all about, what your strengths are and certainly what you value. That's the best place for each one of us to lead from. My recommendation would be to take coursework that focuses on being really clear about who you are and taking time to reflect and intentionally build the kind of leader you want to be

Interviewed by Julene Allen

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Immediate Release: Extending an Arm to Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo...

Bhakti Mary, Founder of Lean In's Wright Women Military Circle affiliated with Wright Patterson Air Force Base, also Co Leader of Lean In Ohio.

The Lean In Ohio Chapter was recently launched due to an expansion of the Lean In Dayton Chapter. Lean In Ohio plans to extend an arm to cities in Ohio such as Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo. The chapter is being led by Julene Allen, a LeanIn.Org Regional Leader which there are only approximately fifty in the world, though there are 28,000 circles in 141 countries. Lean In Ohio's mission is to empower women through its educational interview series and Lean In Circles.

Lean In Ohio will expand the Lean In Dayton 100 Women interviews series throughout the state of Ohio, renaming it Lean In Ohio 100 Women. Though the interview series has published its 25th interview with women leaders throughout the Dayton region, it will expand to encompass more cities in Ohio. The interview series will continue its mission to interview women of significance such as legislators, educators, nonprofit and for-profit leaders. These are women who are not only leaning into their careers but their communities as volunteers, mentors and role models.  The Lean In Ohio Chapter is a stakeholder in empowering women for leadership. The state of Ohio is rich with women serving at the top, who influence and inspire those that are aiming to get there. The chapter has devoted itself to bridging the gap between both established and developing leaders.

Lean In Ohio invites members to join or start a circle. Currently, Lean In Ohio funnels a military and veterans circle affiliated with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and a Coffee Shop Circle which travels to trendy coffee shops to hold women’s empowerment discussions. Lean In Ohio plans to incorporate additional circles within its programmings such as a feminist book club,  and a travel and adventure circle for women who are looking to step outside of their comfort zone.

LeanIn.Org Regional Leaders in San Francisco California: Mary Dove of Lean In NYC, Julene Allen of Lean In Ohio, Sarah Joyce of Lean In Boston, Nuala Murphy of Lean In Belfast, Katie Miserany ( Team Marketing), Gina Richards of P and G Leans In

Leaders of an existing circle who are interested in collaboration and support can join the Lean In Ohio Chapter by sending a request to join on LeanIn.Org. Or members who are ready to launch their first circle can visit the chapter’s website to get started. Additionally, members who would like to run a circle but are in need of foundational training to develop strong circles could sign up through Lean In Ohio's website.

Lean In Ohio holds regular meetings with its members. Professionals and leaders who join can locate powerful peer support by participating in chapter activities. Also, the chapter organizes educational events such as film screenings, lectures, and talks. To join the chapter for free, sign up on the web at

For the chapter’s website, visit

Media Contact: Email Julene Allen, Founder of Lean In Ohio and a LeanIn.Org Regional Leader at

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I am thrilled to announce the Lean In Ohio Chapter.

One thing I have learned from Sheryl Sandberg is that movement for women's empowerment, diversity and inclusion is constantly reshaping because we are still learning. Yet collectively we must be diligent and sometimes the work will get hard. But we must keep going and continue to lay the groundwork because our grandmothers (black, white, Asian, Latina and Muslim) got us here. So we have to keep up the good fight for our daughters and the generations of women and girls beyond them. 

 I am thrilled to announce the Lean In Ohio Chapter. I hope and I am joined by my sisters in Ohio who are working to provide resources for women every day in a mission to empower more women for leadership.

Julene Allen
Lean In Ohio


The Lean In Ohio Chapter empowers women to realize their visions and is being operated by a LeanIn.Org regional leader.


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