woman speaking at a microphone
Miyah Byrd

Breakout Session 1: From Exploitative to Ethical: Crafting Stories That Stick

Miyah Byrd
Director of Program & Communications, School Board School

Will your nonprofit survive the next few years? One of the most powerful tools in the nonprofit world is storytelling. Stories move people to action, connect our work with others, and drive our funding. They also have a profound impact on whether we attract and retain talent. A recent McKinsey & Co survey showed 39% of job applicants noted that they would turn down a position should the company they’re applying to show a lack of inclusivity and diversity. Nonprofits have to move from exploitative to ethical storytelling to survive and serve. This session will help participants identify the determining factors and contributors to exploitative storytelling in their communications and create a 3-step action plan for developing people first, justice-oriented communications

Miyah Byrd is currently the Director of Program & Communications for School Board School, a nonprofit focused on civic change by empowering communities to be involved in their local education system. She’s a Contributing Writer to Berkeley Now, Soapbox Cincy, and various online publications. She’s also the founder and host of the podcast, “We Don’t Talk About That!,” featuring deep conversations about oft-ignored topics in justice.

formal portraits of two women
Emily Lewis & Kristen Pozzoboni

Breakout Session 2: Merging Vision + Purpose: Focus on an Impact-Driven Strategy to Create a Successful Merger 

Emily Lewis
Chief of Staff, Learning Grove

Kristen Pozzoboni
Senior Impact Advisor, ResultsLab

When organizations come together with different tools, practices, methodologies, people, cultures, etc., there can be confusion and frustration. When teams are stuck, or grappling with differences, it’s often because they focus on what they are going to do or how they are going to do it. There are many strategies to think through when putting a merger together, but the most important first step is starting with why and aligning the two organizations on a shared purpose, together. In this session, you’ll hear from Learning Grove, who completed a merger. Emily will share opportunities and challenges that were faced along the way and share her experience with ResultsLab, an organization that launched an Impact Accelerator focused on meaningful impact and outcomes for all teams. Kristen will share ResultsLab’s ACTTM Model that set Learning Grove up to create a culture of learning that embraces data. 

Emily is Chief of Staff for Learning Grove, the largest community provider of early childhood education in the NKY/Cincinnati region. Learning Grove’s programming encompasses early childhood education, before and after school care, family engagement and family outreach, and college and career prep. Emily has 10+ years’ experience with local community-based early childhood education initiatives, including Cincinnati Preschool Promise. She oversees evaluation and several operational areas, and led Learning Grove’s recent work on the impact accelerator with ResultsLab.

ResultsLab is a woman-owned social enterprise that propels organizations, communities, and networks to the next level of impact through quality design and effective use of data. Kristen specializes in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs and systems in education, community-based, and government settings. With over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, facilitation, teaching, learning design, and research she has led initiatives to elevate youth and community voice, promote health and wellbeing, improve access to quality education, create innovative professional learning, and develop strategies for inclusive and equitable engagement.

formal portraits of two women
Rosie Santos & Leslie Stevenson

Breakout Session 3: Strengths-Based Wellbeing: “Me, We and Us” Interventions

Rosie Santos
Leslie Stevenson
STRONG Workplace Solutions, Mayerson Academy

Activate your character strengths to explore wellbeing factors and evidence-based interventions. The session will introduce the PERMAH wellbeing framework as strategy for nonprofits to set meaningful wellbeing goals, take necessary action towards reaching and measuring progress along the way. Participants will understand the basics of the PERMAH wellbeing framework, create a “me” strengths-based wellbeing plan, and preview “we” team and “us” interventions. The session is designed for nonprofit executives, as well as HR and operations professionals interested in setting strengths-based workplace goals and measuring wellbeing, engagement, and performance as a retention and culture transformation strategy.

Rosie Santos is an expert facilitator and planner with 10+ years of leading organizational strategy, project management, development, and fundraising for some of the most prominent nonprofits and government agencies in Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Her expertise is in fusing the goals of an agency with social and environmental justice principles to create responsive action plans in politically complex environments. She leverages out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem solving that is grounded in data and best practices. This reveals unconventional approaches that challenge the status quo resulting in impact that can be felt, measured, and seen.

Leslie N. Stevenson is an experienced public and private sector leader who loves to create connections so that individuals learn to harness their skills for the greater good. Motivated by increasing the quality of life in our region, Leslie has activated her strengths of prudence and spirituality to address food access in Avondale, early childhood education throughout Hamilton County, and inclusion of Black women’s leadership in historically and predominantly white organizations ranging from higher education to elected leadership in the City of Norwood. She has been acknowledged for her work in grassroots communication, people process, and group facilitation.

formal portraits of two people
Vashti Rutledge & John Scott

Breakout Session 4: Why Building a New Table Was the Right Answer

Vashti Rutledge
Executive Director, Madisonville Education and Assistance Center
Co-Founder, Table Initiative

John Scott
Chief of Engagement, Community Engagement Partners
Co-Founder, Table Initiative

What is the question? There are many but the underlying theme is why, in a community so rich with resources, nonprofits, and good-willed people, do the stark inequities continue to persist and negatively impact Cincinnati’s Black community. This session will explore the opportunity that eight Cincinnati leaders are undertaking to address the systemic issues that continue to vex most of our mission-oriented organizations. Building Transformational Advancement of Black Leadership and Excellence requires a new way of thinking about what is possible and what we can achieve when we forge new partnerships with those closest to the issues. Transformational impact is best achieved when solutions are generated from and led by those with lived experiences or most impact by the issues.

Vashti is Executive Director of MEAC, a small neighborhood-based nonprofit, and co-founder of the Black-led community collaborative Table, which focuses on democratizing power and removing barriers for current and future generations of Cincinnati’s Black leaders. Her experience working with families and nonprofits to provide services, funding, and capacity-building keeps her grounded to the challenges communities face working with inadequate access to social and financial capital. She has previous experience launching innovative community solutions like Cincinnati’s UpTogether work (formerly FII) and has held previous roles as a funder at local and national organizations in Florida and New Jersey, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

John is a native of the Cincinnati, Ohio area where he has 22 years of experience in working alongside community leaders to drive positive change in their communities. He’s held leadership roles at United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Accelerate Great Schools and now as Chief of Engagement with Community Engagement Partners. As a result of John’s work, thousands of families have been impacted and hundreds of organizations have received funding and resources to improve community, racial, educational and economic conditions in Cincinnati. He holds a BS in Urban Affairs from Wright State University and a master's degree in public administration (MPA) from Northern Kentucky University.John is a member of Class 21 of the Urban League’s African American Leadership Development Program and is also recipient of numerous leadership and service awards including the MLK Humanitarian Award, ASPA Public Administrator of the Year, and Cincinnati Business Courier Forty under 40. He serves on several boards including the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, Most Valuable Kids, and was a founding member of the Covington Independent Public Schools Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council. He currently resides in Covington, KY, with his beautiful wife Sophia, who also is a leader in the non-profit community. Together they have three children: Jackson, Joy, and Justus.