Susan Booth, a Northern Kentucky realtor with Coldwell Banker West Shell, shares a random act of kindness story from her neighbor after a debilitating accident.

A Neighbor Who Cares

Something to give you thought:  If your neighbor had an accident that caused her to be immobile, would you step up to help her out? Janet Nieheisel is a neighbor who did. Facebook has given me the great pleasure of getting to know Susan Booth, a Northern Kentucky realtor with ... Read More
Kriss and Dan Barr wrote The Fido Factor - How To Get A Let Up At Work on leadership, that was inspired by their dogs

Leadership Inspired...Inspired By Dogs

Being a dog (and animal) lover and business professional, I was particularly interested when Krissi Barr (founder and CEO of Barr Corporate Success) and her husband, Dan Barr (a sales and marketing professional) shared with me at a holiday party that they were working on a book about business leadership ... Read More
Robin Nichole and her daughter Sydnee Tubbs at an anniversary celebration for Cincinnati nonprofit Rosemary's Babies

From Teen Parenthood To Blossom

It was before the holidays last year when I was in a room filled with men and women – some of whom began their journey toward adulthood as teenage parents. We were there to celebrate a momentous occasion – the one year anniversary for a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting ... Read More
Jeff Blevins, Ph.D., head of the Department of Journalism at University of Cincinnati talks about his inspiration as a teacher

An Educator's Inspiration

How wonderful it is when you have a career that gives you passion and purpose, that allows you to impact yourself and others in positive ways.  I asked Dr. Jeffrey Blevins to share what gives him reason to look forward to his days. This is what he shared...a teacher's inspiration. ... Read More

Reflecting on Good People from 2017

I want to thank so many special people in Greater Cincinnati who are making our community better, stronger. I so enjoy having this platform for sharing some of those around me who have touched and inspired me. Thank you to them, and thank you to all of you for reading, ... Read More
A special homecoming for a killed marine's dogs. Michele Witte, a dog rescue transport driver, shares why she and her husband helped drive these dogs to their grandmother.

Killed Marine's Dogs Make It Home

I have heard the stories of volunteers who give of their time, their vehicles (and airplanes), and travel expenses to transport dogs who, for all kinds of reasons, have been displaced. One recent story especially touched me. This photo taken of homecoming of the marine's dogs titled, ‘The Boys Are ... Read More
quote about courage by Maya Angelou

The Importance Of Courage

Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. - Maya Angelou Read More
Mike Scheele was a shy child who had dyslexia. It was his disability that inspired him to be an admired teacher as an adult.

From Shy Child To Teacher Of The Year

One of the gifts that Facebook has given me is the opportunity to get to know how truly special some people are from my past, to learn about a side of them that I never saw when we were growing up. One of those people is Mike Scheele. His father ... Read More
Jenny Durbin shared how she was the recipient of a random act of kindness when someone she barely knew took in Jenny's chickens.

An Act Of Kindness For The Birds

If you are someone who is very attached to your non-human animals, you will appreciate Jenny Durbin’s story. I had asked her to recall a time when she was on the receiving end of kindness. This is what she shared… Jenny Durbin: in her own words... After researching the care ... Read More
Lisa Jones, My Furry Valentine event manager, shares lessons from her mission trip to South Africa

Lessons From A Mission Trip To South Africa

In her own words… Lisa Jones, My Furry Valentine event manager, revisits a long journal entry written after returning from a mission trip to South Africa   Our last night in Mamelodi I’m asked at dinner “so Lisa did South Africa live up to the expectations you had before you ... Read More
KellyAnn Nelson shares how her work with the Cincinnati Boychoir inspires her

Cincinnati Boychoir Inspires Values

“No matter where you come from and where you start, singing brings you together in life,” KellyAnn Nelson told me. Those words are KellyAnn’s passion and her driving force behind her career and her impact. Founder and Artistic Director of the Young Professionals Choral Collective of Cincinnati (with a roster ... Read More
Lucy May, a Cincinnati reporter at WCPO, talks about how her teacher was her inspiration for her path toward journalism.

Lucy May: Inspired By Her Teacher

Lucy May of WCPO tells the poignant stories of poverty, courage, determination, love, passion, diversity, and kindness. Every day people who collectively make up this place we call Greater Cincinnati. This week I am asking people to talk about an experience that has changed their life. Lucy told me about ... Read More
Beth Cremshaw with the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati shares her definition of kindness.

The Gift Of Kindness Received

I have been sharing different perspectives on Kindness this week. Today I want to share the story of someone on the receiving end of kindness. Beth Crenshaw is vice chair of the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati, Inc., and she wants to remind us that kindness can have a great impact. In ... Read More
Cincinnati's Local 12 News Anchor John Lomax talks about what kindness means to him

John Lomax Talks About Kindness

LOCAL 12, WKRC-TV's John R. Lomax is loved my Greater Cincinnati. He has such a benevolent heart. He is as genuine as they come. John shared with me his thoughts on #kindness. "I believe kindness is knowing someone is in pain or distress, taking time to figure out what that pain or distress ... Read More
What kindness means to Robin Klaene

What Kindness Means To Robin

What does #kindness mean to you? To Robin Klaene, "Kindness to me is always being there, in good times and in bad. My friend Eydie Bookman is the kindest person I know. She is always giving of herself and her time. We have been friends for over 25 years and ... Read More
Celebrating World Kindness Day, Kristin Harmeyer shares what kindness means to her.

What Kindness Means To Kristin

Celebrating World Kindness Day all week this week, I am asking people the question, "What does kindness mean to you?" This is what it means to Kristin Harmeyer, health & wellness coordinator for LADD, Inc. (Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled),: "Being kind is about treating everyone with respect regardless of their ... Read More
Earl Edmonds was named to the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame for his coaching at Cincinnati area schools.

The Making Of A Good Coach

I first met Earl Edmonds at the Healthy Kids Triathlon Race of the Countryside YMCA (a public relations client of mine) and there was something about him that just stood out to me. I could tell he really enjoyed being among the young athletes. Later I got to talking with ... Read More

Respect And Value Kathleen

Today I’d like to introduce you to a friend who holds a very special place in my heart. Kathleen Sheil is an incredible example for all the qualities that I look up to another person. She is confident, yet humble. She is open and honest and genuine, and most definitely ... Read More
Judy Albert volunteers for the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati

How Her Family Drives Her Passion For Volunteering

It has been nearly four decades since Judy (and her husband, Dave) Albert first became one of the Spina Bifida Coalition of Cincinnati’s earliest volunteers. Back in the 1980s, when the Coalition was still very much a ‘grass roots’ organization, its address was her home and the phone rang in ... Read More
Lori Cook, marketing specialist at Countryside YMCA, shares how her inspiration comes from her sons.

Kindness Learned From Her Sons

Beyond an orientation meeting to introduce me to the Countryside YMCA, I was getting ready for our first official public relations planning meeting. I chose a sleeveless fuchsia colored shirt with white pants because that color combination just makes me smile. When I arrived, and walked through her office door, ... Read More
quote from Richard Branson on taking risks

Taking Risks...Is Worth The Risk

I love this quote. It speaks to me on so many levels beyond work. If we aren't willing to take risks, we may miss out on so much of what gives us purpose and fulfillment in life. We may miss out on relationships. We may miss out on incredible experiences. ... Read More

This Dog Rescue Run Is Her Passion

I met Lori Gerring several years back through her work on the Paw Joggers Rescue Run. Billie Mendoza, founder and owner of Paw Joggers, whom I have known for many years had expanded her capacity to help pets by forming a nonprofit organization to organize an annual race that would ... Read More
Rachael Moore of Cincinnati Art Underground talks about how art is discovery

Rachael Moore Sees Art As Discovery

Rachael Moore will tell you, she is not an artist but she is a huge fan of the arts. She used to be what she calls ‘that typical visitor’ who would pop into museums during her trips to admire art, but really, not giving it much more thought than whether ... Read More
Thomas Courtney talks about inspiration through possivity

The Best Version Of Who We Are

The other day, Thomas Courtney and I met for coffee and he shared a story with me that I thought everyone could benefit from hearing, so I asked him to write about it as a guest post, which is below.  Thomas has created and is in the process of bringing ... Read More

Portraying Souls Through Art

Jing was 16 months old, just weeks ahead of playing make believe, running, jumping, and exploring. Only those developmental milestones she was on target for reaching, had to be delayed. The course of her life was about to make a detour that would alter her journey for a very long ... Read More

Anita's Gift Saved Howard's Life

For many years Local 12’s Troubleshooter Howard Ain was the problem solver for thousands – those he assisted first hand and many more who benefited from his advocacy through watching his television segments. And, as it goes in life, you never know when your role will change from the giver ... Read More
Margo Hess shared these words of wisdom at our Toast of the Town Toastmasters Club in Cincinnati about transitions

Lessons From Transitions

Before Labor Day, my Toast of the Town Toastmasters Club lost one of our dearest members. Several years after her first meeting, after having served as our Club's VP of Education (the most time intensive of our Board positions), inspiring and uplifting us with her humorous and thoughtful speeches, critiques, and ... Read More
Lisa Desatnik gave a speech at her Cincinnati Toastmasters Club about why she does not like the phrase, 'Good Luck', and what she suggests to use instead.

Instead of Good Luck, Say This

NOTE:  This is a speech that I just gave at my Toast of the Town Toastmasters Club in Kenwood. We meet every Tuesday at Noon and would love to have you join us as a guest or member. Please contact me to learn more!!   Darrell Royal once said, “Luck ... Read More
Of this photo, WLWT News Anchor Megan Mitchell says, "beautiful scenes like this remind me how we are all connected to our planet and each other. "

Megan Raises Voices Of Unheard

I met Megan Mitchell for the first time one morning when I had stopped by their newsroom earlier this year to talk about the 2017 ReelAbilities Film Festival. I had asked for suggestions of news staff who may be interested in helping to emcee our screenings, and was pointed in ... Read More

These Adults Explore And Give

You may find them dancing, sightseeing, hiking, tending to vegetables in a garden, or volunteering their time. One day they may be exploring Fort Ancient, the next they may be touring one of the local waterways on a pontoon boat. One day they may be sorting items at Matthew 25: ... Read More
At 3, Eva Brandstetter is a little girl who learns an important lesson in kindness.

At 3, Eva Learns A Lesson In Kindness

There is something so uplifting about seeing the beautiful heart of a little child who already at a very young age knows and appreciates what it means to be kind to others. And behind that child is very likely adult role models from whom those values have been instilled. Eva ... Read More
Amy Tobin dwells in possibility

Amy Tobin Dwells In Possibility

I love this quote by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” It reminds me a lot of Amy Tobin. When I think about Amy, I smile. She ... Read More
a quote by Lisa Desatnik of appreciation

Today Is A Gift

Some morning reflection. It is so easy to get caught up in our day that we forget to notice and appreciate all the simple pleasures that surround us. Someone is in our thoughts but we don't reach out, or we are afraid of speaking our feelings. But the truth is, ... Read More
Fox 19 Morning News Anchor Charisse Gibson talks about her love for Cincinnati, her volunteer work, and her inspiration.

Charisse Shares Cincinnati Love

It was very hot and humid day in downtown Cincinnati. Traffic was heavy. Pedestrians hurriedly walked along the sidewalks. The sun’s reflection bounced from windows and caused deep shadows among those in its path. Hours later there would be loud music reverberating from the stage at Fountain Square. Families and ... Read More

A Mom's View On Beauty

You may not recognize the name Perry Elliott aka Scott Perry, but, I have no doubt you would recognize his deep, polished, dramatic at times and sometimes whispy voice that has promoted Steve Harvey, NBC's hit America's Got Talent, the Oscars, sports broadcasts, big screen movies, and other television shows. ... Read More
Cheryl Beardslee of Cincinnati says Courttney Cooper, an artist at Visionaries and Voices, taught her about making the most of the gifts you were born with.

An Army Officer's Lesson Passed On

Facebook has so dramatically altered the way we communicate, and sometimes meet.. It has introduced me to people I would never have come in contact with. It is a source of support, of sharing good news and bad, of laughing at each other’s stories, of connecting, really connecting. It was ... Read More
The Freestore Foodbank’s The Giving Fields is a community farm that provides produce for Northern Kentucky food pantries with the help of over 2,400 volunteers.

The Giving Fields Gives Produce

Just along the southern bank of the Ohio River sits the small rural town of Melbourne, Kentucky, spotted with rustic farms and quaint resting spots. The 2010 Census counted 401 people residing in its neighborhoods. It is also the home of the Freestore Foodbank’s The Giving Fields, an expansive 10 ... Read More
Carol Stevie, recently retired director of Cincinnati nonprofit Catholic Inner-City Schools Education (CISE), said the reason she was drawn to CISE is that we are all connected through our humanity.

Carol's Work Inspired By Humanity

I have often said I am so fortunate that my work has introduced me to some pretty incredible people. Carol Stevie is among them. We came to know each other through my work on the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council’s Voices of Giving Awards. A committee member, Carol had been ... Read More

Foster Parents To Adoptee Parents

It was over six years ago when Don and Cindy Reilly’s lives changed forever. Tears swelled in their eyes as the credits rolled to the movie, the Blind Side. And, the next thing they knew, they signed up for CPR and first aid classes and began talking about fostering. Their ... Read More
Last summer, Kathleen Cail and Nestor Melnyk were awarded a grant by People’s Liberty from the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Foundation to create Access Cincinnati, an online resource providing accessibility information on restaurants and bars to families with strollers, veterans, seniors and other individuals with mobility issues.

Access Cincinnati Launches

Last summer, Kathleen Cail and Nestor Melnyk were awarded a grant by People’s Liberty from the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Foundation to create Access Cincinnati, an online resource providing accessibility information on restaurants and bars to families with strollers, veterans, seniors and other individuals with mobility issues. After ... Read More
At 90 years old, Dr. Aurora Lira, is still winning medals in dance competitions. She and her partner just won a gold medal at the Millennium Dancesport Championships in Orlando, Florida.

90 Year Old Dancer Inspires

A note from my friend, Magno Relojo… A 90 yr old lady who happens to love dancing and dressing up, inspires us with her enthusiasm for learning and memorizing her dance routines. At this age these can be difficult tasks to do but it is so amazing to see her ... Read More
Danielle and Chris Jones of Cincinnati wrote a book about their journey through tragedy and finding joy.

How Their Loss Is Helping Them Do Good

Danielle Jones was working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center when we first met.  I remember us walking through the hallways, into the waiting rooms, and even further into the patient rooms where young, innocent girls and boys were resting nervously with their families before or after procedures. One thing ... Read More
Be proud of what makes you uniquely different, beautiful and YOU!

Be Proud Of You

Just a reminder... Be proud of what makes you uniquely different, beautiful, and YOU! ~ Lisa Desatnik Read More
Jennifer Okoniewski, a Cincinnati nurse, reflects on the meaning of her job.

A Nurse's Reflection

"Thoughts from my quiet time before work.... Although I don't deal with physical life-threatening issues, I work with mentally life-threatening issues. Being a Psych nurse... Patients here are suicidal, homicidal, schizophrenic, psychotic, bipolar, and so many other illnesses. Just because someone is not physically ill does not mean they are ... Read More
Jenny and Bill McCloy of Cincinnati are philanthropists who give of their time to Melodic Connections, Ken Anderson Alliance, and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, among other causes. They hope their example inspires others to give back too.

They Hope To Inspire Others To Give

Today I want to introduce you to a couple I got to know through my work on the ReelAbilities Film Festival. Jenny McCloy co-chaired the 2017 ReelAbilities, and the more I get to know about her and her husband, Bill, the more impressed I become. Jenny and Bill were recently ... Read More

Cincinnati World Affairs Council

When I first heard about the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council, it brought me back to my earliest experience of learning about people whose cultures are different from my own. (You can read about it here.) What an important cause, now more than ever. As an adult, if you are ... Read More
How cultural diversity and international exchange programs make us better people and a better world.

Cultural Diversity Helps Us Grow

In life, we learn so much from our experiences. They shape and teach us, how to see our world and those who share it with us. When we get to know one other, we break down stereotypes, open communication, bridge understanding and come to appreciate the unique gift each person ... Read More
United Pet Fund, which supports Cincinnati dog rescue organizations and shelters that do dog adoptions, is holding a fundraiser.

United Pet Fund Garage Sale

I remember so well that day when United Pet Fund held its grand opening of its then new 8,500 sq ft Blue Ash Resource Center. In a warehouse building that would come to be stocked with pet food and supplies, dozens of people who shared a common interest in the ... Read More
Tish Hevel founded the Brain Donor Project in memory of her father, Gene Armentrout. The Cincinnati nonprofit organization has registered almost 500 brains for donation from 46 states.

Brain Donor Project Is A Father's Legacy

Gene Armentrout and his daughter, Tish Hevel Gene Armentrout was surrounded by family when his heart beat its last pulse March 10, 2015. He was an avid tennis player, an amateur bridge partner, sometimes golfer and passionate runner for 25+ years. He was the guy running in Eden Park or ... Read More

DJ Brings Out The Happy In People

It is funny that Dona Jean Gatwood, director of community inclusion programs at Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD, Inc.) told me one of the perks of her job is that it gives her the opportunity to laugh a lot, as, it is because of people like her that ... Read More

People Who Inspire Me: Ann Lightfoot


It’s been awhile since I’ve written a ‘People Who Inspire Me’ post but you’re going to start seeing more of them as I make it a regular feature. I have been so blessed to have had so many truly wonderful people come into my life and I’d like to share some of their stories.

I can’t even remember how long ago it has been since Ann and I first met, but one thing that has always meant a lot to me is how welcoming she has always made me feel. Her smile is absolute genuine. She loves life and gives with all of her heart. Sadly I don’t get to see Ann very much (except online through Facebook and Twitter). I look forward to every opportunity to get together.

Below is a little bit about Ann’s story.

What you do professionally?

I’m a human resources/payroll/social media/risk manager for Harper Oil Products, Inc. and Harper Properties, Inc. dba HOP Shops and DQ Grill & Chill of Walton.

I’m also the assistant/photographer/partner (APP) with Christiaan Todd Photography. We capture a variety of images: Art, Weddings, Reunions, Graduations, Posed Shots, Action Shots, Performances, Tournaments, Organizations, Portraits, Head Shots, Pets, People, Commercial Photos, Product Photos, Ads, Reports, Brochures, Magazines, Exhibits, Newsletters, Presentations, Events, etc.  By the way, you can find their Facebook link here.

What are your simple pleasures in life?

I love to be with people I care about, as well as meeting new people. One of my favorite things to do is listen. I enjoy listening to the sounds of the country like birds chirping, raindrops, creeks trickling, owls hooting, cows mooing, trees rustling, cicada sounds, and big bull frogs croaking.

Who is your role model and what have you learned from him/her?

I have learned the most about leadership from John Maxwell who has written more than 50 books on the subject.
I also learned a lot about physical strength, emotional strength and strength of purpose from the United States Army.

What inspires you to be who you are?

People that come into my life that are having a hard time but are still being positive. They inspire me.

What is one of your life lessons you’d like to share?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

What about this day has made it a good day?

This day is good because the people I love are doing well. We have family excited about having a baby and some are excited about getting married soon. I’m putting people to work which is always a great feeling. I enjoyed smiles and laughter with my fiancé Christiaan, and my two daughters TODAY.  “Enjoying every moment”

The Good Things Going Around Pledge Is Spreading


A couple months ago I created the Good Things Pledge as an outlet to brighten people’s days and inspire others to live for every moment, and to see and appreciate the good that is all around. All of us have within ourselves the power to make a positive contribution. Cultivating that good through a sincere respect, caring and appreciation is one of the most important gifts we can give.

What is the Good Things Pledge? It is a simple promise to remind yourself every day of what is positive. The Pledge is a personal vow that involves appreciation, being kind and being aware that every small act has the potential for a huge impact.

Take a look at some of the people who have recently taken the Pledge.


Jill Dunne, Stephanie Johnson, and Brandy Jones of the Cincinnati Metro
marketing team

Melissa Currence with the
Greater Cincinnati Foundation

“Working at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, I know Cincinnati has a lot to give. I have the Good Things Pledge hanging up in my workspace and it reminds me to do my best every day to help our community. Cincinnati has wonderful neighborhoods and causes to support. Let’s keep the good things going around!”

Taking the Pledge is simple. Just visit the Good Things Pledge page and fill in your information in the white box. I’ll send you your certificate.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati Honor Youth Of The Year


Congratulations to Javele Jackson, a senior at Western Hills University High School who also spends after school time at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati’s (BGCGC) US Bank Club.

Javele Jackson, was a senior at Western Hills University High School when he was honored by the Girls and Boys Clubs of Greater Cincinnati. He stands with Nick Lachey.Javele found out at the BGCGC’s annual Achievement Luncheon that he was selected as Youth of the Year for his contributions to his family, school, the community and the organization. And what an extra thrill it was for him to have received his award from Nick Lachey!

The youngest of five children, Javele is someone to whom his cousins look up. He speaks to them about having a positive self-image, the negatives of drug use, and taking care of oneself by eating right and exercising. Javele is not just a kind person in the Club, but also at Lee Chapel A.M.E Church where he serves as a Junior Usher and fundraiser. He played basketball at the Club and school until he hurt his knee, but uses his leadership ability to help the younger kids with their basketball fundamentals. Javele said that the BCGCG is “a place where the staff cares about your well being and where there are resources and opportunities that you can’t get off the streets.” He plans on attending Mt. St. Joseph College to pursue a career as an athletic trainer and nutritionist.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati provide FREE daily meal and afterschool and summer programming for 10,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18 at ten locations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The organization provides a safe, positive environment focused on enrichment activities that support high school graduation, fitness-for-life and community service.

Caught Being Good


I love this.  What a fun and creative way of encouraging positive values in children. When I visited the R.C. Durr YMCA preschool last week this caught my eye. Teachers there are on high alert every day…to catch good behavior. And from the looks of it, there is a lot of good behavior to recognize. It’s amazing how when you reinforce the behaviors you want to see more of, that’s exactly what you end up seeing.

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