Cincinnati Chamber unveils the new five-year strategic framework to foster regional growth

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Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

Introducing United Way’s 2024 Campaign Co-Chairs
Metro, City of Cincinnati Partner to Benefit City Employees

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Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

Introducing United Way’s 2024 Campaign Co-Chairs
Metro, City of Cincinnati Partner to Benefit City Employees

Dr. Rolanda J. Wilkerson

Title: Senior Director, Fellow Beauty Care
Current / Past Place of Employment: Procter & Gamble
How many years have you been in the region? 20

Leading global scientific communications for P&G’s iconic OLAY skin care brand, Rolanda Wilkerson works with dermatologists, clinicians and fellow scientists to elevate the science behind Olay while advancing its commitment to close the STEM gap for women and women of color around the world. She brings this same expertise to her role with P&G’s North America skin care brands, and guiding consumer engagement for P&G’s growing multicultural hair portfolio.

Rolanda’s 18-year career with P&G spans the Company’s hair, skin and personal care divisions, where her work as a scientist helps brands translate deep understanding of consumer’s hair and skin needs into meaningful, science-led innovation. An expert at helping consumers understand how new beauty technologies and innovations work, she has appeared in product education segments with media outlets like Essence, Ebony, Good Housekeeping, and O magazines as well as nationally-televised shows “The Talk” and “Dr. Oz.”

As part of her previous work in the hair care category, Rolanda helped pioneer advanced research for consumers of African Ancestry hair, harnessing her consumer, influencer and technical insights to create hair care products designed specifically for natural and textured hair, including My Black is Beautiful, Pantene Gold Series and Head & Shoulders Royal Oils – brands that have now been launched in multiple markets around the world spanning the US & UK to Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Rolanda works with all brands across P&G Beauty portfolio to advance inclusive product design and deepen understanding of consumers’ unique needs.

An accomplished inspirational speaker, Rolanda’s personal passion is motivating young girls to pursue careers in STEM, a topic she has advocated for through her brand work as well as through personal appearances at events like TEDx. A member of several professional and service organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Queen City Ohio Chapter of the Links Incorporated, Rolanda has also served on The Nutrition Council of Cincinnati’s Board of Directors. Across her career, she’s been selected as a YWCA Rising Star, YMCA Black and Latino Achiever, and recognized as one of LEAD and Venue Magazine’s “Great Leaders Under 40.”

Rolanda received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Louisiana State University and holds a Chemistry degree from Southern University. A resident of Cincinnati, Rolanda enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband Jason and their three children, Jason, II, Jordan and Ava.

In 30 seconds or less, tell us who YOU are. This is not your professional bio, but rather, your response should reflect how you are uniquely you.
I value relationships, achievement, and I am a competitor at heart. I am energetic. I am goal directed and adaptive. I value logic and intellect. I am fairly objective and tend to look for the good in things.

What is the primary motivation of your leadership?
My motivation as a leader is to always be conscious of how I can help to build and enable others so that they can grow. This can lead to new opportunities and experiences not only for that person but also for me.

What has been the cornerstone of your life journey that influenced your personal mission and purpose?
Lessons over regrets. Learn from all experiences. Stay grounded spiritually and keep GOD, the source of my strength and help first. All else will follow.

Who has had an immense impact on you as a leader? How did this person (or people) impact your life?
My leadership journey has been profoundly shaped by my mother, Rebecca Johnson, who served as my first teacher, champion, role model and mentor. Even in her retirement as a math and science teacher, she continues to embody these roles for me. From fostering my early love for science to exemplifying the strength of a smart woman, she has consistently painted a picture of endless possibilities. Whether leading her family, students, organizations or as a supportive co-worker she has been a guiding force. In times of doubt, she becomes my counselor and encourager, instilling in me the importance of faith – a cornerstone of her character that she has imparted to me.

What piece of advice have you received along the way in your career or life journey that has stuck with you?
Develop a 5-10 year personal and career plan. Seek opportunities for personal and professional growth. Take calculated risks.

What one thing makes you most proud?
Personally: My kids. Their achievements at such a young age keep me in awe.

Professionally: I am most proud of being recognized in the Beauty Industry by receiving a Cosmetics Executive Woman Award.

What’s one thing you do every day (or with consistency) to be a better person?
Incorporating daily affirmations, prayers and scripture readings significantly contributes to my personal/spiritual growth, aiding me in becoming a better person.

What are a few resources or behaviors you would recommend to someone looking to grow into a better leader?
Securing an executive coach proved to be an invaluable professional gift significantly accelerating both my personal and career growth. Through this experience my agile and situational leadership skills saw substantial improvement offering profound learning opportunities. I highly recommend considering an executive coach for individuals aspiring to climb the career ladder and excel personally and professionally. Additionally investing in targeted professional growth development, attending relevant conferences and taking well-deserved vacations are pivotal steps towards holistic professional growth.

How do you define success?
Success to me entails discovering fulfillment, demonstrating resilience in the face of challenges, overcoming obstacles, guiding and uplifting others and setting and achieving personal goals.

Why do you choose to make the Cincinnati region home?
I find fulfillment in the opportunities provided by P&G. Cincinnati, with its robust companies and favorable cost of living has proven to be an excellent place to raise a family over the years. My husband and I have built a network of friends who feel like family. Originally planning to work here for three years, I’ve now been part of this community for two decades.

What do you imagine for the future of the Cincinnati region?
Envisioning the future for the Cincinnati region involves attracting a greater number of talented young adults who are not only drawn to the city but feel compelled to stay. I envision a future that continues to establish Cincinnati as a thriving hub where individuals can fully embrace living, working and enjoying a thriving lifestyle.

Cincinnati as a growing hub for women in STEAM would be (STEAM)AZING TOO!

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
I aspire to create a legacy that stands out for its ability to attract and nurture youth and women in the field of science/STEM. I envision leaving behind a legacy that not only showcases the creative pathways of a scientists but also opens up new possibilities, challenging preconceived notions and inspiring others see the diverse and inclusive face of scientific endeavors.


Nominate an Honoree

Help us elevate, empower, and support our region’s Black leaders today, tomorrow, and all year long by nominating someone for #MakingBlackHistory.