2021 Northern Ohio Women in Leadership Symposium
March 11, 2021
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM (ET)
Onward & Upward: The Era of the Empowered Woman
With the turn of events in the year 2020, women of all backgrounds have experienced what it means to be resilient, adaptable, and forward-thinking. We observed women taking on challenging situations that affect their personal and professional lives with innovation, flexibility, and strength. This year’s symposium will explore the ways women can empower themselves and one another to conquer new norms throughout the journey of life.
Sue Cuevas was born and raised in Ohio. She majored in accounting at Youngstown State University (Ohio), also attending Grand Valley State University (Michigan) and lived in Mexico while studying Christian Education and Finance. She has over 30 years of financial expertise working in the banking and financial industry. She has taught numerous classes on financial literacy, with a passion to help people understand finances and make savvy decisions. She also develop a bilingual educational program for first time homebuyers in Northwest Ohio. Realizing the need to help Latinos establish credit and build financial wealth she became the first Latina President/CEO and helped start the First Latino Credit Union (Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union) in Toledo, Ohio. This is the first Latino chartered credit union in Ohio and third in the nation. Sue has received the following recognition. 2014 – Recognized as a Latina Community Leader from Latina Style Magazine 2015 – Received the Commercial Excellence Award from the Lucas County Hispanic Latino Democratic Party. 2015 & 2016 – Presenter at Michigan State University for “Dia de la Mujer Latina & Empowerment Conference.” 2016 - Received 1st place in the STATE DIVISION in Ohio for The Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award in the “People Helping People Award.” This award is given to credit unions that have made an impact in the community. 2016 – Received first place in the NATIONAL DIVISION for The Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award in the category of $50 Million and below credit unions, for its extraordinary commitment serving the low-income underserved and unbanked communities. 2018 – Received the “Cesar Chavez” award for community service 2019 – Received the “Nuestra Familia” distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Award. She is a member of the Northwest Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio and The Broadway Coalition Committee. Sue is involved as a community volunteer and serves in teaching financial education to Lucas and surrounding counties.
Myah Moore Irick joined Merrill Private Wealth Management in January 2020. She specializes in providing wealth planning strategies to successful executives, endowments and foundations, individuals and their families, and a growing list of professional athletes. Myah possesses a deep understanding of the psychology of wealth: the challenges that executives, individuals, seasoned professionals and even up-and-coming athletes face when making decisions about their financial futures. With this knowledge, Myah is able to help her clients identify what they really want their money to do for their lives, families and communities - and then create a wealth plan for achieving that. For Myah, being a great advisor means going above and beyond the numbers. It means being a resourceful collaborator and trusted advisor, who digs deep into how their clients approach saving, spending and sustaining wealth. It means coming up with creative solutions to help them achieve their unique ambitions. And it means utilizing the vast resources of her firm to maximize their financial potential, provide for their loved ones and help them give back to their communities. Myah is devoted to giving back in her own life. While she spends much of her free time with her husband and three children, she also sits on a number of boards and committees that promote access to higher education for women and girls. She serves as a strategic partner to UNICEF and Girls, Inc. Her experience as Miss Oregon (with the Miss Universe Organization) in 2003 inspired her ongoing commitment to promoting educational opportunities for women. Previous to joining Merrill, Myah was an Executive Director at JPMorgan Private Bank for 7 years. She has also served as a relationship manager at PNC Wealth Management, and held several senior roles at Columbia University, where she advised families on philanthropy and estate planning solutions. Myah received a B.A. from Lewis & Clark College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a joint international M.B.A. with honors from Brown University and Instituto de Empresa.
Amanda’s unusual path to becoming a labor and employment attorney began with earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in neuroscience at Allegheny College and Kent State University, respectively. After determining that a career in science ultimately was not for her, she took a job as a legal assistant following her graduate studies, and immediately fell in love with law. That first position at a plaintiff’s side labor and employment firm quickly evolved into enrolling in classes at the University of Akron School of Law, where she eventually earned her juris doctor degree, summa cum laude. Her experience to-date as a management-side labor and employment attorney has led to some lively discussions at the dinner table back home with her father (a police chief) and mother (a former union president). Amanda has found the work to be both fascinating and fulfilling. She represents employers in many types of labor and employment matters, including charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ohio Civil Rights Commission and other state fair employment practice agencies. She also counsels employers on litigation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution matters, as well as wage/hour compliance, performance and leave management, discipline, and workplace policies. Amanda is a native of Falconer, N.Y., near Chautauqua Lake. She and her husband, Brian, are enjoying a joyfully chaotic time of life raising two young boys. Amanda likes to stay active and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, friends and rescue dog, particularly in the park systems around the area. The Akron resident and her husband are self-proclaimed foodies who like to sample the fare at various Northeast Ohio dining establishments.
Kendra Smith is Vice President, Community Health with Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH). As an experienced thought and practice leader in community development, affordable housing, urban planning, and social determinants of health, she provides direction and oversight of collaborative efforts to implement community health priorities and address social determinants and health inequities in BSMH markets. Previously, Smith served as the Director, Social Determinants of Health for ProMedica, managing community investment, housing and community programming, including the Ebeid Neighborhood Promise, a 10-year, $50 million place-based community revitalization health improvement program. In earlier roles as Executive Director of Preferred Properties, Inc. and Senior Housing Planner for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Smith helped leverage more than $20 million for affordable housing development in city neighborhoods, co-authored regional policies related to fair housing and engaged more than 3,000 residents in community-based planning and investment decisions. Smith earned a master’s degree in urban studies with a focus on neighborhood and community development from Cleveland State University and has additional degrees and certifications from Ohio University, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and La Universidad Pública de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.Locally, Smith serves on the board of the Rotary Club of Toledo, is a 2017 recipient of the Toledo 20 Under 40 Award, and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Margie Wright-McGowan was appointed senior vice president of the People and Culture Department at the Cleveland Fed in 2017. Her expertise includes aligning human resource strategy with business goals to achieve significant improvements in employee engagement, organizational productivity, and management capability. Prior to her appointment at the Cleveland Fed, Margie was the vice president of human resources, talent, and culture at the Vitamix Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. In this role, she led the Global Human Resources function, overseeing all human resources aspects of the organization, and was a member of the senior leadership team. Before joining Vitamix, she was divisional human resources leader for Siemens Healthcare. She serves as an executive board member of Lakewood Catholic Academy and as a board member of Ohio Excels and Saint Joseph Academy. She is an advocate for autism awareness and the Metro Health Friends of Mothers and Infants. Margie holds a BA in political science from Ohio University, and she attended the strategic management program at Yale University and the human resources development program at the University of Michigan. She currently resides in Lakewood, Ohio, with her family and is an active member of her community.
Clotea was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a single mother who raised her with a passion for education, reading and writing. After becoming a teenage mother at the age of 16, she later pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English from Case Western Reserve University in order to become a Language Arts teacher, which is a calling she still loves today after 25 years. She also received her Master’s degree as a Reading Specialist from Kent State University. As an empowerment coach and the founder and CEO of Lifted in Love, LLC, whose mission is to “Empower women to live their BEST lives NOW!”, Clotea does public speaking engagements in both the religious and secular arenas. In 2018 she was honored with the Lady of Legacy Award for her work with youth, and she established an after school initiative, The Village Vibe, to mentor teen female students in her high school. Other highly sought after workshops that Clotea conducts are on Self Care, Self Love, The Power of Vision and Living an Uncommon Life: Breaking Out of the Box. Being a mom to four amazing children does not stop her from being a part of the Praise Team and Dance ministries and leading small group facilitators at her church. Her goal is to make sure that she leaves the earth having touched and impacted as many lives as possible.
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