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MAY – June 2023

May Birthdays

1 Sasha Bowers
2 Kayla Hylton
2 Patricia Murray
3 Pierre Pipkin
6 Tiya Walker
9 Danyel Brown
10 Kathleen Athey
10 Montavious Cowart
11 Nichole Maddux
21 Krystle Holland
21 Laura Miller
22 Bridget Baker
22 Amber Lind
24 Catherine Less
30 Camryn Belcher
31 Nakita Wilson
31 Steven Withers

June Birthdays

4 Anne Cronin
4 Nenneh-Binta Kamara
4 Marie Lundy
5 Angelique Pegram
6 Kate Croteau
6 Cheyenne Lenhart
7 Jenna Swartz
10 Phillip Grissett
11 Nancy Conkel
12 Christine Hickernell
14 Gabriella Caroselli
15 Jacqueline Cherry
16 Paula Eskridge
19 Joseph Glandorf
20 Stacey Hough
20 Christine Loveless
21 Connor Madden
22 Caroline Cruise
25 Cheryl Struble
26 Rolana Kinzer
26 Evelyn Williams


May Anniversaries

Marylyen Jimenez-Ayala
Molly Ryan Kowaleski

Rolana Kinzer

Yvonne McBroom

Tamika Brown
Barbara Freeman

Donna Connelly

Mandi Buchwald

June Anniversaries

Mariama Ba
Christina Walls

Sasha Bowers
Nichole Maddux
Jennifer Roundtree
Sherita Smith
Shannon Thomas

Ryan Kennedy

Jacqueline Cherry
Amber Jacott

Jerry Cobbs

Stacy McLain


Since March, we’ve welcomed the following staff to the team. We’re so thrilled you’re here! 

  • Caprice Coleman – Front Desk Engagement Specialist                             
  • James Jenkins – Custodial Technician                                                                                         
  • Angelique Pegram – Family Support Specialist                            
  • Chrystal Brooks – Site Director 
  • Tamika Pierce – Site Director                                   
  • Tyelisha Butler – Assistant Teacher at Safe & Sound 
  • Makiva McIntosh – Chief Advancement & Engagement Officer 
  • Loryn Bunker – Staff Accountant 
  • Breanna Puckett – Family Support Specialist 
  • Shakira Womack – Education 
  • Fredi Bockover – Education  


Cydni Robertson was promoted from program assistant to site director at United Preparatory Academy – State Street on April 7 and will also serve as the program coordinator for United Schools Network (USN). Dr. Robertson recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and is a major addition to the education team. Please welcome Dr. Cyd if you see her in the office or around town!

Jennifer Roundtree will take on new responsibilities as the finance department accountant, handling deposits, invoicing, bank reconciliations, and all of the other fun things that accountants get to do.  Please congratulate Jennifer on her new role! 


Team Announcements + Updates

More information regarding our medical insurance and open enrollment for dental (delta dental), vision (VSP), short-term disability (Allstate) and whole life insurance (Allstate) will take place in the next month or so. Anyone that needs to change their coverage or add coverage, please keep an eye out for more information on next steps.

Contact Makyla Zimmerman with any questions at 614-627-1225 or mzimmerman@ywcacolumbus.org. 

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, HR would like to take this opportunity to re-share the resources we have available to all employees through New York Life Group Benefits Solutions. We encourage everyone to utilize these resources as needed. A few to highlight:

  • Employee Assistant Program – Provides a maximum of 3 sessions, per issue, per year to speak with a counselor.
  • Well-Being Coaching – Provides 5 session per year (via telephone), to speak with a certified coach to address health and wellbeing issues (burnout, time management, coping with stress).
  • Financial Connect – Speak with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and other financial professionals regarding a financial challenge or financial planning. This provides unlimited access to the experts but if additional help is needed, you can request a referral to a financial professional in your local community.

To access these services:
Phone – (800) 344-9752
Website – guidanceresources.com (Web ID: NYLGBS)

Please contact Makyla Zimmerman for any questions regarding these benefits at 614-627-1225 or mzimmerman@ywcacolumbus.org. 

The YWCA Racial Justice Challenge kicked off in April, dedicating time and space to discover how racial and social injustices impact our community – and how we can take action together to dismantle racism – through daily resources (every weekday for 21 days). It’s not too late to accept the challenge, which wraps up on May 12. ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE HERE! 

YWCA Columbus is offering six $25 Meijer gift cards throughout the challenge for staff who participate! Here is how to enter: 

  1. Register for the Racial Justice Challenge using your work email address and complete the pre-event survey. You can find the pre-event survey on the Challenge homepage after you register. To be eligible for the raffle, you must register with your YWCA email address and designate YWCA Columbus as your associated agency in the pre-survey. 
  2. Participate in a weekly topic wrap-up survey to share a few takeaways you found important or interesting from each week’s topic. Surveys will be distributed via email on the Friday of each week and you will be entered into one raffle for each weekly wrap-up survey you complete (4 total raffles). Completed surveys must be submitted by COB Monday, May 15 to be considered. 
  3. Participate in YWCA Columbus’ virtual culminating conversation on Friday, May 12 at 11:30 a.m. Interested participants must register via Zoom and attend the session to be entered into the final raffle. 

As part of this year’s Racial Justice Challenge, we are also compiling songs for our challenge playlist. Please share your favorite justice, protest, or empowerment songs with us! We will follow up with Apple Music and Spotify playlists to keep you jamming along your justice journey. 

  • YWCA Columbus testified against House Bill 6, the anti-trans sports bill that would prevent transgender students from playing on the sports team that correlates with their gender identity on the grounds that we do not see this bill as “saving women’s sports,” as it describes itself. 
  • We also supported our partners by providing opposition testimony against Senate Bill 83, which would, in part, prevent universities from mandating DEI trainings for students or employees, on the grounds that marginalized students actually desire mandatory DEI trainings, which helps everyone who learns these values treat one another better. 
  • We are watching HB6 this month, as it might get voted out of committee and onto the House floor. We are also watching SB83, and House Bill 68 (the anti-gender-affirming bill, which would ban hospitals and medical care sites from providing gender-affirming care for transgender youth). We are also supporting the Ohio Council of YWCAs’ ask for increasing our TANF funding in the Ohio operating budget, which will be debated until it is passed at the end of June. The increased funding would support our programs across Ohio YWs. 

Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week took place in April, and the education department recognized and appreciated all our staff who work with young people during out-of-school hours, culminating in a celebration on Friday, April 28. 


Save the Date

HR, in partnership with the Justice, Equity, and Belonging team, will be holding two (2) 1-hour Listening Circle sessions on Thursday, May 11 at 11:30 a.m. (downtown) and 1:30 p.m. (Family Center) to create space for you to be heard about how your work impacts your mental health and how YWCA Columbus can better support your wellness.  

We would love to see you all there to engage in an enriching conversation centered around mental health and the resources we have available. This engagement coincides with our Racial Justice Challenge focus for the week. Snacks will be provided. 

To wrap up this year’s Racial Justice Challenge, the Justice, Equity, and Belonging team will be hosting a virtual culminating conversation on Friday, May 12 at 11:30 a.m. Interested participants must register via Zoom. 

Join us on Thursday, May 25 at 5 p.m. to discuss The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama. Obama opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? Join the conversation this month and keep an eye out for future book club meetings! 

Our agency is celebrating Juneteenth and Pride this June and will have several opportunities for you to get involved – stay tuned for more information! 

YWCA Columbus will be marching as a team in this year’s Pride Celebration on Saturday, June 17. If you are interested in joining our contingent, please fill out this survey or email mkowaleski@ywcacolumbus.org. More details will be provided as we get closer! 



Congratulations to the advancement department and all involved with Women of Achievement! The event was a HUGE success, and we way exceeded our fundraising goal! All of the planning that went into it shined through and culminated in a beautiful celebration for the six newest academy members, as well as all those in attendance. You should feel very proud of your hard work!
I would like to do a shout-out to Lee Wombles. Lee has been short-staffed for a long, long time, but he always comes to work with a smile on his face and has a great attitude. As many of you know, he doesn’t say “no” too often. In the last 6 months, he and his team have prepared 13 apartments for new move-ins, many of which were very challenging due to the move-out conditions. Lee and Dwayne have completed 110 work orders since the beginning of the year, not including the numerous work orders that were completed for YWCA staff. Lee does not hesitate to answer a question, call a contractor or even put a table together. On at least one occasion, he set up the ballroom three different times, in three different ways, for three different events in ONE day. On top of all of this, he has to deal with me. He has been pulled, pushed and yanked at a moment’s notice, and, like the rest of us, his plans for the day are wrecked the minute he walks in the door. Here’s a shout out Lee (not a “shout at”). No one else appreciates you as much as I do! Thank you, and thank you, team, for all the great work you do for this entire building and organization.
Michelle Chieffo
Phyl Flanagan and Danielle Boyd, Justice, Equity & Belonging program managers, have been selected to present at the YWCA USA national conference in June! They will be presenting a training called Restorative Practices: Toward a Healthy and Responsive Community and guiding YWCA leaders across the country along the path of creating restorative workplaces that foster trust, empathy, and a healthy community.
Christian Johnson, program manager, created a growing business called ABC Black Iconic Figures where flashcards and handwriting kits feature prominent Black leaders throughout history, helping early learners connect culture, Black history, and education in an enlightening and interactive way, while learning to read and write their ABCs. She just participated in Maroon Arts Group’s Pitch Black Columbus competition and won the whole thing! Congratulations, Christian!
Lalitha Pamidigantam, advocacy manager, has officially accepted an offer to attend the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington this fall where she will be getting her MPA. She received offers of acceptance from all of her top schools, including Columbia, Berkeley, NYU, and more. We are so proud of her, her contributions to YWCA Columbus, and the positive impact we know she will continue to have on this world!

YWCA Columbus In the News

Columbus Business First helped YWCA Columbus welcome a new member to its executive leadership team – Makiva McIntosh – this month, who will serve as our chief advancement & engagement officer. 

Elizabeth Brown appeared on NBC4 to talk about the six amazing women honored at Women of Achievement this year. You can watch the full segment here.