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Meet the Seven Women Chosen for WE Ascend Class 4

Seven women leaders from a variety of organizations in the Cincinnati region have been accepted for Class 4 of WE Ascend, a leadership development program produced by the Leadership Center at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and presented by PNC Bank.

WE Ascend is a leadership development program for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) women focused on advancement with the goal of empowering, preparing, and positioning them to move into higher leadership roles. 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.

“I am extremely excited for this next class of WE Ascend leaders,” says Devona Stripling, Women Excel Program Manager at the Leadership Center at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “These women have already been leaders and trailblazers in their communities. Through WE Ascend, we aim to empower them and foster connections that enable them to expand their impact on our region as they take the next steps in their careers.”

Here are the members of WE Ascend Class 4:

  • Arielle Betts, Program Coordinator, University of Cincinnati
  • Kelsi Goins, Executive Director of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement, UC College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Kimberly Hamilton, Owner, of Legacy Tax Services
  • Monica Haywood, Principal Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation
  • Maria Jones, Executive Assistant, SORTA/Metro
  • Camille Knox, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Greater Cincinnati Water Works
  • Stephanie Thomas, Chief Communications Officer, Hightowers Petroleum Co.

The program consists of professionally facilitated small group coaching sessions led by Ife Bell, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at To Be, LLC. These 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
  • Investing in female talent and leadership pipelines

Anyone with questions or referrals for the next WE Ascend class can contact Devona Stripling at

More information about the program can be found at

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