Connect. Develop. Lead. These three objectives of the CincinnatiUSA Regional Chamber’s C-Change Emerging Leadership Program align with Schaefer’s core values. Knowing our senior leadership supported the C-Change program and believed in my involvement, I spent the third Wednesday of every month in 2016 with a group of diverse people working towards a common goal: to elevate our city.

While each month’s session focused on leadership techniques and our city’s inner-workings, the entire year revolved around projects in partnership with Cincinnati Chamber. With our connections, promotional abilities and a little ingenuity, we planned a city-wide traveling event welcoming home those who have left Cincinnati to conquer other cities, states and countries – Passport to Cincinnati. In addition to Passport, we helped plan and execute the inaugural Ale! to the Queen City.

C-Change has guided my professional career in many tangible ways including:

  • Connect: As Business Development Manager, my main objective is to create and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. I am changed by the connections, and now meaningful friendships, I made through C-Change. It has been the most influential experience in my professional career. While I came into the program with good relationships within Cincinnati’s built community, the new connections I made have broadened my network to include diverse, driven, purposeful people. I now have a greater understanding of how Cincinnati will and should be positioned for future success.
  • Develop: Each session created an opportunity to develop leadership skills through active dialogue and listening. We were able to talk to executives throughout the city; I took those conversations to Schaefer employees to determine how we can create a more active organization.
  • Lead: The Passport and Ale! To the Queen City projects were executed with a vision created by 55 people all with the intent of moving the needle in Cincinnati, each group leading and supporting in a way that made sense with the movement of our class. Back at Schaefer, while the vast majority of our staff members are involved in some type of industry-related organization, something Schaefer promotes, I stepped outside of the typical A/E/C setting. We have so much to learn from organizations outside of our industry, and it’s a differentiator.

C-Change was one of the most incredible experiences and has made a mark on the way I interact with clients, manage internal projects and plan for Schaefer’s future. I’m empowered to find my own path to continue to evolve and progress myself and my team, and am grateful for the opportunities to meet the people who will continue to evolve and progress our hometown.


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