If you’ve ever scrolled through my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, or this website and thought to yourself “what are all these random ass events she’s always at…” your answer will be contained within this blog post.
The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
(See also, “TWFCO” + @womensfundco)
Capacity: Virtual Ambassador, Grant Reader, Keyholder-er?, Volunteer, Friend + Advocate
Mission: You can read, in detail, about what TWFCO is, why they’re important, what they do, etc., on their website. If you’re lazy af, like me, you can take my word for it. The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is an arm of the Women’s Funding Network. This organization provides funds (monies) to organizations that benefit women + girls. When I “Grant Read,” I am reading submissions from said organizations that are asking for funds from TWFCO for help with their particular mission. It’s my job as a Grant Reader to make sure that organization falls in line with the mission of TWFCO, is filling a hole or solving a problem for women + girls, etc., etc.
The Story: Tonnisha English invited me to Keyholder (TWFCO’s annual fundraising event) in 2015 on a total whim. She and I were not working together at the time, but she had received an extra ticket to the event. We sat in the nosebleeds of the Ohio Theater and live-tweeted the entire thing. I saw Nichole Baum-Dunn for the first time at this event. I heard chilling statistics that I felt compelled to change during this event. I became a philanthropist at this event. Tonnisha and I made our minds up to get as involved as possible in the city + networking during this time, and I made a commitment to give as much of myself to this organization as possible.
After the first Keyholder event, I wrote a blog post about my experience. That caught the attention of some of the staff + ambassadors + and even the keynote speaker, Melissa Etheridge. That led to me becoming a true friend of The Women’s Fund in every sense. A year later, at Keyholder 2016, I was volunteering and being featured in a video. My work with this amazing group of social change agents has only begun, I promise you!
Bad Bish Network
Capacity: Friend + Talk-Too-Much-Er + Featured On Website
Mission: I believe Bad Bish’s mission is evolving, currently, but I know it was always intended to bring the smart, diverse, talented women of Central Ohio together. Whether that be in a networking capacity, a social change capacity, or purely empowerment—the outcome has always been me feeling energized and motivated!
The Story: After my first experience with Keyholder + The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio (see above) Tonnisha invited me to a post-event happy hour at a hotel bar, downtown, as a part of our attempt to “attend all the things.” That’s where she and I both met Erin Scott for the first time. We met other professional Columbus women who had attended the event. We shared stories, laughs, and ended up creating quite the bond. Now Erin is a great friend and committed to the whole “Change the World” thing I keep gabbing about. A few weeks (maybe months) later, we were invited to get our headshots taken and be a part of the Bad Bish Netowrk website launch. Since then I’ve attended multiple Bad Bish events and Erin has supported me in my endeavors as well. The ladies I’ve met in the Bad Bish Network have become trusted friends + sisters.
Women in Digital
(See also #CbusWID, @WomenInDigital)
Capacity: Advisory Board Member + Conference Speaker + Advocate + Digital Woman
Mission: My boss (and mentor) founded Women in Digital to connect and unite the women in the very male-dominated digital space. The group has grown, astronomically, since its beginning, with expansions to Cleveland and Cincinnati on the horizon. This group also introduced me to my boss + mentor, and my current job.
The Story: June 2016. I get invited by a colleague (Sam Bush) to attend a morning-networking-thang. (My favorite.) Turns out to be the inaugural Women in Digital event at Vue Columbus. Alaina shares the very personal, very vulnerable story of her career. Stephanie Slagle does as well. I’m a puddle of empathy and motivation. I bumrush Alaina to ask her if she needs any help with this group or what I can do to make myself available. That leads to linkedin messages which lead to lunch which lead to this and this.
And I will say, the future is bright.
(See specifically, “Single & Successful.”)
Mission: Online publication for women in Columbus, OH.
The Story: My girlfriend Dayna is a publisher of this magazine. After linking up with her at a Digital Mixer (we’ll get to those…) I find out that they are hosting this “Single and Successful” event. I ask her what “single” means, and after she gives me a pretty loose/fluid definition, I make Tonnisha nominate me. Before you know it—I’m playing with zoo animals at their first annual event at Copious in downtown Columbus. Not only that, but CbusChic has shouted me out and my blog out on several occasions. Dayna is also a serial networker and in a bunch of these other groups with me. (Hi Dayna!!)
Culture Talk Change Agents
Capacity: Discussion Leader + Community Member + Mannequin Challenger + Promoter
Mission: Guided discussion and community building events to promote networking and problem solving as they relate to the black community. This particular talk: Opportunity + Support.
The Story: Kelsea gets a random invite to be a discussion leader by James Drakeford. Kelsea accepts + promotes + attends. Kelsea is a better Kelsea. (Simple as that, folks.) Read all about it in a post by the Director of The Ohio Diversity Council, here.
Capacity: Babe + Featured on Website
Mission: Creative community for the Babes of Cbus, Oh (my favorite city in the world.)
The Story: Sam Bush invites me to a poetry workshop put on by the Creative Babes + Joy Sullivan called “Pinot + Poems.” My brain + heart + mind explode at how amazing is. I do the thing I do and write a blog about it. (It gets pretty well received.)
I link up with the amazingly talented Megan Leigh Barnard who takes my photo and pops it on the site, homie! Creative Babes continues to do amazingly kick ass stuff while I’m busy being a bum and not attending, but I’ll be at Babesgiving Happy Hour tomorrow night! Very excited to get more involved with the Babes.
Mission: I’d have to ask Alaina but I believe the Digital Mixer was a precursor to Women in Digital and just an attempt to gather all the digital minds of Columbus to learn from other digital minds. (Don’t quote me on that.)
The Story: These go down at the Cement office in downtown Columbus on the third Thursday of every month and are just a dope networking + learning opportunity. I’ve only attending two as a Cement employee, but I am a smarter, more open-minded marketer for having gone to both.
Web Analytics Wednesday
(See also #cbusWAW)
Mission: Analytics nerds unite! (With free beer + food!)
The Story: Back when my title was “Web Analytics Specialist” and I was navigating the world in that realm, I began attending, by word of Sam Bush, Columbus Web Analytics Wednesdays. It’s occasionally been a little high-level for me, but always fun and inspiring. Another great networking opportunity and even better learning opportunity. Oh, and seriously lacking in women attendees, so go check it out.
Honorable Mention: GiveBesa.Org, 1Girl, Girls On The Run, The Ohio Diversity Council, Date 2 Remember, Columbus Young Professionals, and (hopefully) Columbus Women’s Commission!
If you are interested in joining any of these groups, attending any of these events, or telling me about new stuff—please, please, please call me beep me to reach me. (If you wanna page me, it’s okay.) Jk. Email me: Kelsea@kelseagunner.com