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Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.


Today we celebrate a man of courage, wisdom and vision. In his lifetime, Martin Luther King Jr. devoted himself to bringing people together in harmony. He was about giving people wings to soar above inequality and find their inner strength and passion. He was about giving people eyes to see beyond colors of skin and religion and recognize others for inner beauty. He was about giving people legs to stand up for equality for all. King’s indelible words and actions helped transform a nation. It is up to all of us to keep his legacy alive. It is within our power to create positive change in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our world.

quote by Martin Luther King Jr


Cincinnati’s Kelly Richey Talks About Her Inspiration


I’d like to introduce you to Kelly Richey. Kelly is a Cincinnati based musician, writer and educator who has been described as  “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out”. Having shared the stage with many legends, she has been listed as among the top 100 gifted guitarists by the Truefire Community in 2011, and frequently draws comparisons to blues guitar icons Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Kelly has been teaching guitar almost as long as she’s been playing; with over three decades of teaching experience under her belt, she is a deeply dedicated and inspirational guitar instructor who has taught well over 1,000 students to date.

Cincinnati musician Kelly Richey talks about having dyslexia and ADHD, and how it has impacted her success and passion for teaching othersAdditionally, in 2009, Kelly founded Powered By Intention, a Coaching Consultancy designed to educate, motivate, and inspire people to identify their life’s true purpose and achieve the life of their dreams. And, she is president of Music4Change, Inc. a Cincinnati nonprofit organization committed to music education in today’s schools as a vehicle for human expression, cultural understanding, and academic achievement. Three specifically aligned programs offer live performance, lecture, interactive participation and facilitate learning opportunities for youth.

As if all of that weren’t enough, Kelly is a gifted writer and shares her talent as a facilitator for another nonprofit called Women Writing for a Change.

On Kelly’s website, she candidly shares her own, very personal story – her journey as a person who has dyslexia and ADHD, and how they impacted her determination and success, and desire to help others succeed.

“Having a reading disability has caused two dynamics for me:  1) I have an insatiable appetite now for learning and 2) I have a passion for teaching and helping others learn.  Nothing excites me more than to work with my students and clients… teaching, coaching, consulting,” she wrote.

“Had I not gravitated towards music and discovered books in audio form, I honestly don’t  know what I would have done.  My life would have turned out much differently, I’m sure.  What I know now is that there is no cookie cutter mold to learning.  I’m proof that even someone with severe dyslexia can learn to play a musical instrument….For many years having dyslexia negatively affected my self-esteem.  It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I began to realize I might actually be rather intelligent.”

Please continue reading to learn more about Cincinnati’s music legend.

GTGA: What is something people may not know about you?
Kelly: People mainly know me as a guitarist, singer/songwriter, recording artist, performer and guitar instructor, but there is an entire “other” side to my life.  I am a life coach and hold certifications as a Dream Coach and True Purpose Coach; I’m trained in Voice Dialog; and I recently became certified as a facilitator for Women Writing for a Change.  It is my deepest desire for my life’s work to weave together elements of musical performance and recording by teaching one-on-one and workshops, and life coaching and facilitating writing workshops for personal growth and community building.

GTGATell us about a challenge that you overcame in life and how it impacted you.
Kelly: I am dyslexic, so learning to read has presented me with a series of challenges throughout all stages of my life.  My dyslexia left me unable to succeed in school, as much of the understanding and support provided in schools today simply did not exist when I was in grade school.  Thanks to books in audio format, I’ve managed to work my way through hundreds of books over a lifetime committed to learning and self-education.

Here is an article on my blog, How Dyslexia Made Me a Better Teacher,  that addresses this in more depth.

GTGA: What are some of your simple pleasures?
Kelly: A great cup of coffee, conversation with a good friend, healthy places to eat out, and a good power-nap.

GTGA: What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
Kelly: One of my favorite childhood memories is listening to my grandmother tell me stories.

GTGA: Name three things on your Gratititude List.
Kelly: If I had to list three things I was most grateful for, they would be: all the great friends I’ve collected throughout my life, many of whom have been profound teachers; good health and strong constitution; and the ability make a living doing what I love.

GTGA: What is an accomplishment you achieved of which you are proud?
Kelly: Overcoming learning disabilities and finding a way to build a successful and sustainable career doing what I love.

GTGA: Tell us about someone who has been a positive influence on your life and why.
Kelly: My Uncle, Rev. Bob Brown, was one of my biggest influences. He was the preacher for the church where I grew up.  My uncle was a passionate preacher, teacher, storyteller and community builder.  Our church was the first church to integrate, and it was burned to the ground when I was 5 years old.  He was a leader in civil rights; he believed in separation of church and state; and he felt the church should be relevant if it was to serve in meeting the needs of people in their individual communities.

GTGA: What is a motto you live by?
We must first be in integrity with ourselves in order to be in integrity with others.


CINspirational People: Lauren Ulmer


CINspirational People is a new feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. Know someone for us to consider? Please submit your idea.

GTGA Intern Liza Hartke interviewed Lauren Ulmer as this CINspirational People feature.

CINspirational People: Lauren UlmerGTGA Intern Liza: What is a motto you live by and why?
Lauren: Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody. I strongly believe in the first and foremost fundamental truth that every person you cross paths with has dignity and worth – and they should be treated that way! I like to make people happy and show people they are important, simply because they are. People are special, they are gifts, so I try to always remember that in my day to day life. If everyone lived with a little more love and kindness towards others, just think what our world would look like!

GTGA Intern Liza: What are you looking forward to this summer?
Lauren: Very soon I am leaving for a mission trip in Chimaltenango, Guatemala to do service work at Agua Viva Children’s Home, an orphanage of dozens of children. This will be my second year going and I couldn’t be more excited! Working at Agua Viva has impacted my life more than I could have ever imagined. The work we do is important and appreciated, such as building roads and chicken coups, painting, and landscaping, but the time we have to spend with the kids is so much more valuable to me. Despite what they’ve been through, these kids are the happiest, most loving children I’ve ever laid eyes on. Spending time with them playing on recess, eating meals, and doing crafts together are the simple things that mean so much to these kids, and in turn, me. The little things are the most valuable and are often the things we take for granted every day. They have taught me more appreciation, humility, friendship, and love in the short span of a mission trip than I have learned during most of my life. A few of the girls and I write letters back and forth, and it’s an amazing feeling knowing they remember me and can’t wait to see me again – Agua Viva has groups come consistently throughout the year to do service work. My heart is absolutely full when I am at Agua Viva and I can’t help but count down the days until I am in that beautiful country with the most beautiful kids ever!

GTGA Intern Liza: How can others get more information about Agua Viva?
Lauren: For anyone who is interested in Agua Viva, sponsoring a child, or donating, please visit

GTGA Intern Liza: Where do you see yourself within the next few years?
Lauren: In the next year, I plan to graduate from Xavier University in the Spring of 2016 with a double major in Communication Studies and Public Relations and a double minor in Advertising and Theology. I will definitely celebrate and enjoy my accomplishments by going on some sort of traveling vacation, and hopefully my third trip to Agua Viva. I also hope to settle into a full time job and begin my career in anything along the lines of event planning, nonprofit work, or communications/public relations. The best is yet to come!

GTGA Intern Liza: What advice would you give to people who are in need or some inspiration and motivation in their lives?
Lauren: First, I would challenge others to choose to see the good. Often, I think our minds are so clouded with negativity towards others and the world because of all the bad that is thrown in our faces. But if you make the conscience choice to see the good in people and in every situation, I think you’ll be much more likely to fill the world with more good yourselves. I would also say it’s important to step out of your comfort zone. Normally I get very homesick, which is why a mission trip to Guatemala didn’t seem very realistic to me at first. But once I threw myself out there, I didn’t want to come home. I think if you step outside your own box of comfort, you will surprise yourself with opportunities and experiences you might never have imagined for yourself. If you never try, you’ll never know. So take a chance. Life’s too short to sit back and watch it go by!

GTGA Intern Liza: Who has been a positive influence in your life?
Lauren: I am very lucky to say my mom is one of my best friends. She is the definition of a hardworking, caring, and loving mother. She is involved in the community, her work, and at home, and sometimes I wonder how she balances it all! She has a zest for fun in life while walking humbly, doing whatever needs to be done without a second guess. This has rubbed off on me and I have my mom to thank for being such a good example to my brothers and I. For all you do, for all you say, for all you are – I lovquote about love and kindness by Lauren Ulmere you mom!!

GTGA Intern Liza: What is your biggest motivator?
Lauren: I have this mindset that “good enough” is not okay with me. I want my life, the people in it, and the experiences shaping it to be above and beyond amazing. Living an “okay” life is not appealing to me. This motivates me to live a life both myself and God are proud of. I try to go the extra mile, talk to more people, take chances, and experience every opportunity possible in life while I am able, and I hope in the process I can lift others up and glorify God.

GTGA Intern Liza: Thank you, Lauren! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Lauren: I’ll leave you with Colossians 3:14: “Most of all, let love guide your life. “


CINspirational People: Sherry Hopkins


CINspirational People is a new feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. Know someone for us to consider? Please submit your idea.


Sherry Hopkins

GTGA: What is an accomplishment you achieved that you are proud of?
Sherry: Overcoming my fear of public speaking!

GTGA: Tell us about someone who has been a positive influence in your life.
Sherry: My Grandfather, William Symons, who lived to be 100 years old, embodied the spirit of living life to the fullest, and believed that five words applied to CINspirational People: Sherry Hopkins  is a Greater Cincinnati photographeranything worth doing: knowledge, education, curiosity, imagination, and perseverance.  His strong work ethics began as a 10-year-old boy working 20-hour days for a grocery store, during the summer.  With a boy scout’s handbook, he made his first ham-radio receiver using a “coherer” and 2 electric doorbells.  After taking violin lessons, he played in the high school orchestra, and went on to become a Concert Master for Symphonies in Indiana, Illinois, California, Florida, and Cincinnati.  Working as a Radio Engineer for WLW in Cincinnati, he witnessed the Flood of 1937.  He held a variety of engineering positions for Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, in Munich, Berlin, and other Cities across Germany.  He designed and built the first portable sound projector and portable public address system.  We have so much to learn from this generation of individuals!

GTGA: What is a motto you live by and why or how has it impacted you?
Sherry: I have quite a few…here are two of them:  “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take” and “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching.”  These resonate with me, because too often people make fear based choices, and if you follow your passions, you’ll be successful!

GTGA:  What is your biggest motivator?
Sherry: The passing of time.

GTGA: Tell us about an act of kindness you have done, witnessed or been the recipient of and how that made you feel.
Sherry: A few years ago, I made “care bags” for homeless people, filled with deodorant, toothpaste, razor, crackers, fruit snacks, pudding, etc., and gave some of them to friends and family to keep in their cars for the opportunity to give to the needy.

GTGA: Tell us about what you do and what are some of the reasons why you enjoy it.
Sherry: Having served in the U.S. Army following High School to take advantage of the G.I. Bill for college, and working in the corporate world for 30 years, I’ve been fortunate to follow my passions and have my own company, “Sherry Lachelle Photography”, and am a freelance photographer for Local 12’s online magazine, “Cincinnati Refined”.  I also take people on trips around the world as a Tour Director through my “Travel Spirit Meetup”, and help elderly people organize their homes.  These are all things I love to do and did them for free before they turned into money-making ventures.  If you haven’t heard, Scientists have identified a “travel” gene and I’m sure I was born with it!

CINspirational People: Amy Scalia


We are eager to share our first CINspirational People feature focusing on Amy Scalia, publisher of Cincy Chic. CINspirational People will spotlight a broad range of people in Greater Cincinnati and some of what inspires them.  Please read what Amy shared with us.

Amy Scalia - publisher of Cincy Chic

GTGA:  What is an accomplishment you achieved that you are proud of?
Amy: Being a mom is hands-down my greatest accomplishment. Not just because bringing a child into the world is a miracle (which it is and it’s amazing!), but we experienced many issues getting pregnant. I wrote more about that here — but in short, after years of thinking I might not ever be a mom, I was able to and she’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.

Second to that achievement is starting my business, being the proud owner for eight years, and the impact we have on the community. We provide weekly content to 25,000 subscribers, help hundreds of local businesses grow through our services, and we donate nearly $20,000 annually to local charities through our events.

Mabel Storer was one of the first female newspaper reporters in Ohio

Mabel Storer

GTGA: Tell us about someone who has been a positive influence in your life.
Amy: My grandma, Mabel Storer, was one of the first female newspaper reporters in Ohio. She had so many amazing stories, and it sparked a life-long fascination with media. She had such a giving heart, too, and that inspired me to add the philanthropy arm of our business where all our event proceeds are donated to select local charities.

GTGA: What is a motto you live by and why or how has it impact you? 
Amy: “Go to sleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.” This is my motto because I think it’s important to not just dream, but also figure out a way to bring those dreams into reality.

GTGA: What is your biggest motivator?
Amy: Life is short. What more motivation do you need?

GTGA: Tell us about an act of kindness you have done, witnessed or been the recipient of and how that made you feel.
Amy: My husband has a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis and it’s gotten much worse over the past few years. In fact, he got double hip replacements last year and double knee replacements a few months ago. All of this while I was pregnant and then with a newborn. I’d be writing this from the looney bin if it wasn’t for the kindness of others. They came out of the woodwork for us. Bringing us food, helping us bring in and put together baby furniture, do yard work, you name it. Even just recently, we were at a restaurant after Pete got his new knees and we had the baby with us. The restaurant had a 45 minute wait and someone who already had a seat gave us theirs so we didn’t need to wait and they sat there and waited again for a table. I couldn’t believe it. These past few years have been my most challenging by far, but I’m humbled by and so thankful for all the acts of kindness that got us through it.

GTGA: Tell us about what you do and what are some of the reasons why you enjoy it.
Oh gosh. What don’t I do?! haha! My main responsibility is running Cincy Chic, an online publication in Greater Cincinnati. I also oversee its sister publication in Columbus, which is called Cbus Chic, and its “brother” publication called Cincinnati Profile. In addition to that, I blog for and am on-air talent for Star64. What I love is that every day is different, but what remains constant is that everything I do tells the stories of local business owners and helps them grow.


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