Cincinnati YWCA names 2023 career women, sets event details

Eight Greater Cincinnati-area women have been selected as 2023 YWCA Greater Cincinnati Career Women of Achievement, outstanding role models for their leadership, vision and renowned professional success that also embraces the mission of the YWCA.

The women will be honored through a return to an in-person luncheon at the Duke Energy Convention Center set for May 10.

Due to the pandemic, the honorees had been profiled in an hour-long televised and streamed broadcast for the past three years.

The Career Women of Achievement event continues to be the single largest fundraiser for YWCA Greater Cincinnati, founded in 1868. Proceeds directly support YWCA community-wide programs in the areas of safety, racial justice and inclusion and empowerment and economic advancement.

During 2022 over 24,000 women, men, and children were assisted through direct services including community trainings and the 24/7 domestic violence hotline. Several community programs focus on racial justice and inclusion through direct service, issue education and advocacy.

“We are thrilled to be able to return to the luncheon format for the Career Women of Achievement,” said co-chair Amy Spiller, Ohio and Kentucky State President for Duke Energy. “The event is historically the largest business luncheon in the region, providing attendees and partners with significant networking and visibility.”

Said co-chair Sonia Jackson Myles, founder of The Sister Accord: “The women recognized each year by YWCA have always been catalysts for change in their companies and in the community. Each of these accomplished women has done much toward fulfilling the YWCA’s mission and have embodied the motto of “lift as you climb.””

Both women are past Career Women of Achievement honorees. They are part of 346 former Career Women of Achievement comprising a powerful academy of past winners.

“For 154 years, the YWCA has been a beacon of light that assists the most vulnerable in our community. This event and fundraiser honoring these amazing women further strengthens this work in the community and continues their efforts to best serve the Greater Cincinnati area,” they said jointly.

The 2023 Career Women of Achievement honorees are:

Kelly Beatty, Chief Performance Officer, FIS

As a top executive at fintech giant FIS, Kelly not only serves as the Fortune 500 company’s site leader in Cincinnati but is also responsible for driving strategy, accountability, and cost efficiencies for its more than 65,000 employees around the world.

Her career spans over 20 years in the financial services sector and she has led successful global integrations of two multi-billion-dollar acquisitions, including the $43 billion acquisition of Worldpay by FIS in 2019. Known for being a keen strategist, empathetic leader and problem solver, Kelly is currently leading FIS through an enterprise-wide transformation to positively shift the company’s ways of working and deliver over $500 million of cash savings to prepare FIS for the future.

Prior to leading the company through this transformation, Kelly led a $4 billion payment solutions division consisting of over 10,000 employees located around the globe who are responsible for state-of-the art payment process systems for a variety of clients. Locally, clients include such well-known entities as Kroger, Fifth Third Bank and FC Cincinnati.

Kelly’s drive to support her team and her company is only matched by her dedication to be a champion for empowering women in and outside FIS. Locally, she is a founding member of the Women to Self-Sufficiency Initiative and founder of Cincinnati’s first Blessings in a Backpack program.

She is also a passionate advocate for women in finance and technology as board president of PayTech Women, an international community of women leaders and their allies in fintech. At FIS, she helped start its Women’s Inclusion Network called Empower and currently serves as their executive sponsor.


American Banker’s Most Influential Women in Payments, 2021
Cincinnati Business Courier “Cincinnati’s top 30 New Bosses to watch in 2021”
Markets Media Group Women in Finance “Excellence in Fintech” Award, 2019
Board President, PayTech Women, 2023-present
Board member, Cincinnati American Heart Association, 2021

Catrena Bowman, Executive Director, Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission

An ardent advocate for anti-poverty measures at local, state and federal levels, Catrena has worked with Community Action for 22 years. In her role she develops strategic priorities for the agency’s 20 programs located in 25 counties covering Northern and Central Kentucky. A $26 million budget serves at least 30,000 families annually.

Catrena is deeply committed to ending the cycle of poverty and injustice. In 2020 when a variety of national events erupted around the issues of racial injustice and equality, she facilitated numerous Northern Kentucky conversations about diversity and inclusion in order to promote sustainable change. Additionally, she held sessions to empower women at the agency’s Lincoln Grant Scholar House and at Lincoln Heights, an area in Covington often stricken with poverty and violence.

While she is consumed by her duties with Community Action, she still found time to personally establish Inspired Fashion, a boutique committed to addressing the inner beauty of all women who walk through the doors. As the first downtown Covington boutique owned by a Black woman, Catrena wants all women to “feel beautiful and special.” She is also the first Black woman to be appointed to the following:


Board President, Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies, 2021-present
Board Chair, Community Action Kentucky, 2021-present
Chair, Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee, Workforce Investment Board of Northern Kentucky, 2021-present
Chair, Northern Kentucky Chamber Women’s Initiative Annual Breakfast, 2021 to present
Executive Committee member, Workforce Investment Board of Northern Kentucky, 2021-present

Liz Carter, President and CEO, Scripps Howard Fund

Liz Carter has devoted her career as a servant/leader. She lives by her leadership motto, “Stay committed, curious and courageous…and always keep a sense of humor and a heart full of gratitude.”

This was evident when she was able to leverage resources at The E.W. Scripps Company to help members of the Scripps community during the height of the pandemic. She launched a Covid relief effort which allocated $1.6 million to two initiatives, The Scripps Covid-19 Employee Relief Fund provided up to $2,000 to Scripps employees with urgent needs. The other program provided local food pantry support up to $12,000 in 61 geographic markets where Scripps operates television stations, newspapers and other national brands, with thousands more raised by television viewers.

As head of the Scripps Howard Fund, Liz oversees an annual budget of $10.5 million and an endowment that exceeds $60 million. But before her current position she was on the non-profit side as the first female executive director of St. Vincent de Paul, Cincinnati. During her tenure she ran the agency of 340 employees, thousands of volunteers and an annual budget of $15 million. She helped change Ohio laws in order to open the first charitable pharmacy in the Buckeye state.


Board member, Media Impact Funders, 2021-present
Board member, St. Vincent de Paul, 2018-present
Board member, Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio, 2018-present
Member, Interact for Health Strategy and Policy Committee, 2020-present
Member, several advisory boards for Scripps Journalism Schools

Julie Holt, VP & Chief Nursing Officer, The Christ Hospital Health Network

Since 2015 Julie has served in her current position overseeing 1,700 nurses and support staff covering 15 counties. Her duties also extend to monitoring performance and resource, management and improvement, goal-driven project leadership, regulatory compliance, strategic planning, lean process design, professional development, and interpersonal communications.

Through her dynamic leadership and ingenuity when it comes to rapid cycle improvement, Christ has achieved nursing magnet status a staggering three consecutive times—a feat only 9% of all U.S. hospitals have been able to attain. Her creativity is also seen in designing transformational programs such as the Care Transformation and Innovation Program which empowers front line staff to conduct research, performance improvement, and team work across the organization. Her work motto is simply, “Work hard and serve others.”

Julie is one of the most knowledgeable nursing administrators in the Tri-State. Her 30-plus year nursing career also included executive roles at Mercy Health/Catholic Health Partners, Mercy Anderson, West Chester Medical Center, The Drake Center, Jewish Hospital and University Hospital.

With a goal of getting more women at the table, she formally mentors several healthcare professionals, often citing Ruth Bader Ginsberg who said, “Women should be at every table where a decision is made.”


Board member, Family Nurturing Center, 2022-present
Board member, PreventionFirst!, 2022-present
Board member, So-Cap Accelerator, Northern Kentucky University Health Innovation Center, 2022-present
Co-Chair, Go Red for Women and American Heart Association’s Circle of Red Executive Leadership Team, 2014-present
Board member (ex-officio) The Christ College of Nursing and Health Services
YWCA Greater Cincinnati Rising Star Honoree and Leadership Program Graduate
Cincinnati Chamber Leadership Cincinnati Class 45 Alumni

Danya Karram, President & Co-Founder, Brilliant Advice

Trailblazer, entrepreneur, collaborator, innovator, outsider. Danya Karram has created her own path as a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. She manages $100 million in client assets. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she volunteers to assist the underserved navigate their financial lives and works within our community to address societal problems by coming together in unity and peace.

Danya, is President and Co-Founder of Brilliant Advice, a boutique wealth management firm that caters to those who don’t always check the usual boxes—young professionals, retirees, the LGBTQ+ community, non-profit endowments, and diverse social, religious and ethnic entities. Only 20% of those in her professional field are women, a statistic she fervently wants to change.

Prior to her current role she used her accounting and financial expertise in various sectors such as business development, investor relations, and at services for women trying to rebuild their wealth after divorce and other hardships. She is a champion of those who need to be heard.

As a Muslim, Danya facilitated healing conversations and inclusivity after 9/11. On many occasions she has been the first Muslim to serve on various boards and community organizations. She takes great pride in mentoring other women achieve success, paying it forward just as others did for her throughout her professional life. Part of that commitment is to offer free financial counseling through the non-profit Savvy Ladies.


Board President, Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, 2019-present
Board of Trustees, UC Economics Center, 2015-present
Founding member, UC College of Education Criminal Justice Dean’s Advisory Board
NKU Business Diversity Award, 2007

Alecia Townsend Kintner, President & CEO, ArtsWave

Alecia heads an organization that funds more than 150 projects and cultural organizations in the Tri-State. Due to her leadership Cincinnati was named a Top 20 “most arts vibrant region” in the country in 2020 and then again in 2022. Funding from ArtsWave made 162,094 arts education experiences possible during the last academic school year.

Her route to heading Cincinnati’s major arts organization traces back to taking a giant leap from grad school to Russia where she wrote about dance for the Moscow Times. Then she was off to the East Coast to take a turn as development director for New York City’s Dance Theatre Workshop and then as deputy director for the Greater Hartford Arts Council in Connecticut until Cincinnati beckoned.

She wasted no time making an impact with ArtsWave. Through her vision ArtsWave is now Ellequate certified. Additionally she developed programs promoting justice and eliminating racism and bigotry. Alecia called upon the region’s 30 largest arts organizations to develop and track their own board-approved DEIA plans, providing assistance as needed for board training. Since launching the 2021 Lifting as We Learn plan, ArtsWave’s grant funding has enabled the commissioning of dozens of works by Black and Brown artists and funding for inspirational arts projects that help youth deal with the devastating problems of gun violence and inadequate nourishment.


Cincinnati Business Courier “Women Who Mean Business” Honoree, 2020
Board member, Visit Cincy, 2020 – present
Board member, Cincinnati Experience, 2016 – present
Chair, Private Sector Network Council, Americans for the Arts, 2015, 2016
Honorary Chair, National Philanthropy Day, 2015
Americans for the Arts award for innovation in united arts fundraising, 2014

Charmaine McGuffey, Sheriff, Hamilton County

A 36-year veteran of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Charmaine McGuffey is the first female Hamilton County Sheriff, and just the third female sheriff to serve in Ohio. She is the Buckeye state’s first LGBTQ+ sheriff to be elected. Sheriff McGuffey presides over a staff of 900 with the third largest jail in Ohio. Upon election Sheriff McGuffey wasted no time in creating a division of community affairs. The division has a call center that received 36,000 calls for help in its first seven months of operation. She established a community advisory board with a diverse cross-section of community members to enhance transparency and communication. Sheriff McGuffey also added diversity to top leadership and ensured that signage and business cards boasted the Sheriff’s Office mission: protecting and serving Hamilton County with accountability, transparency, dignity and respect,

She credits her rise in a historically male-dominated profession to her single mom Berte who instilled in her the belief that success stems from hard work, endurance and adversity that are best faced with fearless resolve. Consequently, Sheriff McGuffey is a leader who provides honest feedback and sincere assistance by helping to tailor a plan for her employees’ success. They know she has their backs, keeps her word and admittedly, will never back down.

After graduating in criminal justice from UC, she was in the first wave of women to work in uniformed law enforcement. That led to a variety of positions such as the first female hostage negotiator, first woman to be promoted to the rank of major and the first woman to serve as a uniformed member of the command staff.


First Step Home Community Award, 2022
Cincinnati Business Courier “Women Who Mean Business” Honoree, 2021
Women Helping Women Community Champion Award, 2021
National Association of Social Workers Cincinnati Chapter Public Citizen of the Year, 2016
Named Law Officer of the Year by several Ohio organizations

Ndidi Unaka, M.D., Medical Director Quality Improvement & Analytics, Health Vine, Cincinnati Children’s

“Dr. Unaka’s commitment to serving marginalized populations and closing health equity gaps is unparalleled,” says Steve Davis, M.D., President/CEO of Cincinnati Children’s.

The author of over 50 articles and other publications, Dr. Unaka is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Hospital Medicine. She has trained many of Cincinnati’s pediatricians through her role as associate program director of the Pediatric Residency Training Program from 2011-2021. That is just one of many hats she has worn at Cincinnati’s prestigious pediatric hospital.

She is currently Co-Lead for the Health Equity Network (HEN) which supports 10 clinical teams seeking to eliminate disparities in child health outcomes by race, and or socioeconomic status. At the same time Dr. Unaka is medical director of a 48-bed pediatric unit with 100 staff members, the majority being nurses.

Dr. Unaka is the oldest of five children and the daughter of Nigerian Immigrants. Her background gives her a unique understanding of hard work and vocational dedication. Internally she co-leads the hospital’s Black Faculty and Staff Alliance. Externally she is a national mentor to Black women trainers through the Academic Pediatric Association’s New Century Scholars Program and the Association of Pediatric Program Directors Advancing Inclusiveness in Medical Education (AIMS).


Pediatric Hospital Medicine Diversity Equity and Inclusion Award, 2022
Cincinnati Magazine “Top Doctors” ,2021
Cincinnati Children’s Junior Educational Achievement Award, 2018
UCCOM Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, 2018
Cincinnati Children’s Patient Education Advocacy Award 2016
Venue Magazine Rising Star 2016
Cincinnati Children’s All Star Attending 2015, 2016

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