Cincinnati chamber names class members for BIPOC women leadership program

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has named nine women leaders from a variety of organizations in the Cincinnati region to the second class for WE Ascend, a leadership development program for BIPOC women.

The program focuses on advancing Black, Indigenous and other women of color into higher leadership roles in the community. The program helps address the critical need in our region’s business community to retain diverse talent, specifically women of color, who have high potential by investing in their growth while also being mindful of their unique experiences.

“These women are already leaders in their organizations and communities, and our goal is to provide a platform of empowerment and connection that enables them to take the next step in their careers,” said Devona Stripling, Women Excel program manager at the Leadership Center at the Cincinnati chamber.

Top, left to right: Kristine Walker, Natasha Guerrero, Dejah Gay, Yolanda Sherrer, Valeria Swope
Bottom, left to right: Melinda Chappell, Denica Gilmer, S. Joi Turner, Tiffany Mason

The new class members are:

  • Melinda Chappell – Director of Career Services, Ohio Media School – Cincinnati Campus
  • Dejah Gay – Senior Financial Planning Associate, Truepoint Wealth Counsel
  • Denica Gilmer – Police Lieutenant, Cincinnati Police Department
  • Natasha Guerrero – Director of Global Business Systems, Mammotome
  • Tiffany Mason – Human Resources & Talent Acquisition Partner, Consultant
  • Yolanda Sherrer – Human Resources Director, Hightowers Petroleum Co.
  • Valeria Swope – Development Manager, Department of Economic Inclusion, City of Cincinnati
  • S. Joi Turner – Program Manager, RDI Corporation
  • Kristine Walker – Manager of Guest Relations and Group Sales, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The program consists of professionally facilitated small group coaching sessions led by Ife Bell, co-founder and chief strategy officer at To Be, LLC.

The sessions are focused on: professional and personal development; strengths-based leadership; identifying and addressing opportunities and challenges to professional growth; preparing and positioning for future success; cultivating community and enhancing professional networks; and investing in female talent and leadership pipelines.

A fall cohort will begin accepting applications June 3. More information about the program can be found at

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