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September – October 2020


September Birthdays

3    Darius Stevens
5    Otto Edwards
6    Elaine Colna
8    Judy Peterson
10  Kaitlyn Conkel
11  Lenice Briggs
12  Joan Ward
13  Regina McCoy
14  Nichelle Harris
14  Jessica Crowe
14  Tamika Brown
14  Kia Woodward
19  Belen de Leon
21  Kate Anderson
29  Marlis Johnson
30  Alexandra Mah

October Birthdays

5      Edward Ford
8      Portia Li
13   Jennifer Hannah
13   Linda Damron
16   Jamez Murray-Earliwine
21   Alicia Dickinson
22   Lauren James
26   Torya Ross
17  Diana Johnson
18  Jerome Burger
19  Lisa Buie-Collard

November Birthdays

2   Madeline Frechette
2   Amber Jacott
3   Debbie Delzell
3   Lalitha Pamidigantam
3   Valerie Henthorn
4   Kenneth Yahnke
6   Josh Westling
6   Tracy Tartt
7   Kimberly Trimmer
12  Laura Carpenter
14  Christina Phalen
15  Dwayne Meadows
16  Betsy Kile
16  Donna Connelly
18  Deborah Schipper
20  Jessica Wichtman-Will
23  Patricia Hunley
23  Caroline Woliver
26  Beverly Gyure
30  Tierra Lee

December Birthdays

3   Michelle Hameed
5   Frederick Mills
14 Samanta Devkota
17 Dionne Murray
17 Ontayya Zachary
17 Milita Wyche
17 Alaina Marie Ciminillo
21 Breona Cunningham
24 Barbara Freeman
27 Monica Harris
30 Stevi Chiles
31 Clyde Watson
31 Vanessa Green


September Anniversaries

Naomi Merino
Kaitlyn Conkel
Meredith Chauvin
Damaria Jefferson
Lu Kramer
Dacia Rivera
Marjorie Buie-Collard
Rebecca Meacham
Amina Yerrow

Regina McCoy
Amy Brake

Zachary Ontayya
Eric Haefner
Deborah Huth

Patricia Murray
Kathleen Moro

Betty Rickabaugh
Warapat Long

Sierra Derenburger
Vanessa Green

Diana Johnson
Phells Fredrick
Rene Call
Torya Ross

Kathleen Athey

October Anniversaries

Lenice Briggs
Lisa Skelly
Lillian Haddox
Fawn Hill

Marylin Holmes
Yamuna Dahal
Elizabeth Kittner

Kate Manofsky Anderson

Tracy Tartt

Christina Phalen
Monica Harris
Otto Edwards
Christine Loveless
Milita Wyche

Linda Cox
Walter Stevens

Betsy Kile

Michelle Chieffo

Portia Li

Dwayne Meadows


November Anniversaries

Lisa Buie-Collard
Edward Ford

Stacey Hough

Angela Walls
Tierra Lee
Alexandra Maher

Darius Stevens
Danny Hook
Bryan Williams

Laura Carpenter

Danyel Brown

Linda Damron

Helen Widman

December Anniversaries

Desiree Hutson
Madeline Marusek
Madeline Frechette

Jennifer Odiri
Sonya Todd

Christie Angel
Debbie Locklear-Oglesby


September New Hires

Laura Stover
Safety and Security Assistant

Ashley Li
Kids Place Program Assistant


October New Hires

Safe & Sound Teachers:
Iyanna Cooke
Regina Davidson

Program Assistants:
Celine Roulet
Kylene Davis
Chadae Braswell

Steve Stevenson
Managing Director of Housing

Jerry Valentine
Family Support Specialist

Rachel Greene
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Trainer

Please welcome our new DE&I Trainer, Rachel Greene, as she joins the Leadership & Social Justice Department!

Rachel is a higher education and student affairs educator with experience in program management, training, and facilitation. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago in Advocacy and Social Change and a master’s degree from the University of Vermont in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Her social justice praxis engages theoretical frameworks on race and gender, while also valuing the lived experience knowledge of the communities she serves.

Through facilitating social justice topics such as intersectionality, racial equity, and LGBTQ+ inclusion, Rachel values instruction, learning, and development as it means to eliminate systems of oppression. A dog lover and vegetarian, Rachel recently relocated to Columbus with her puppy Tofu. She spends most of her time outside meditating or cooking.


Kristyn Manchester was promoted from an Engagement Specialist to a Service Coordinator. Kristyn is an amazing team player and is great with our residents! Congratulations on your promotion, Kristyn!


YWCA Columbus Kids Place Teams Celebrate Lights on Afterschool Day

Lights on Afterschool Day (10/22) was celebrated the entire week of October 19 by the YWCA Education Team. Lights On Afterschool is the national celebration of quality After School programs – like the ones hosted by our YWCA – and what they do to keep kids safe, help working families, and inspire kids to learn! You can read more about Lights On Afterschool HERE.



YWCA Columbus’ First Virtual Activists and Agitators was a Success

On October 14, our Leadership and Social Justice team led our community through a racial equity training and grounding conversation with Austin Channing Brown at this year’s Activists and Agitators. More than 1,000 individuals listened, learned, and reflected with us during the program, and we sincerely thank everyone who attended the show and offered their support throughout the planning process. YWCA Columbus created Activists and Agitators with the belief that anyone and everyone can be an agent for social change, and we highly recommend you take a moment to review the training. You can watch the full show here, and download this interactive resource guide that was sent as a follow up to the community.

A special thanks to Christie and the Leadership and Social Justice, Development and Marketing and Communications team for coordinating an amazing event!


Our Newest Alumni Engagement Program – YWCAllies on a Mission

Starting late October, the Leadership and Social Justice, Marketing and Communications and Development teams have partnered on a new alumni engagement program called YWCAllies on a Mission. The purpose of this new initiative is to champion the voices of our allies and community partners—to share resources, to educate and activate our community, and engage new audiences with YWCA Columbus. We’ll be asking YWCA Columbus alumni, board and committee members, and allies of the organization, including YOU—YWCA Columbus employees—to submit written works on topics related to our advocacy agenda.

Our first submitted piece titled “Your Vote Can Change Our Criminal Justice System” will launch this new initiative. It was submitted by YWCA Columbus Board Alumni Member Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt. We pitched Laurel’s op-ed to the Dispatch and it chosen to be featured on Monday, October 26. Please read it here on our newly updated website that will continue to provide a home for these timely written works.

If you’d like to submit a thought-piece, please fill out the online form here.


Shout out to the team at the Family Center – Sonya, Dan, Adrienne, Deb – for helping get kids living in shelter with their families at the Family Center connected to resources they need to achieve distance learning requirements during COVID. The Family Center team has made sure that Family Center parents get logged into the school district’s parent portal so parents can access information. The Family Center team has also worked to make sure kids have chrome books to do their school work. What a great team effort!

Thanks to Paula Neal and her team at Safe & Sound for stepping up to meet the needs of children in the child care programs. Lots of changes and new PPE policies, but the team has adjusted and been vigilant. Alaina and Megan – two of the newest team members – teach in the school age room and have also had to help kids the program navigate their online classwork during the day. Thank you to all of you!

Another big thank you goes out to the YKP teams who have been continuing to help kids programs during this COVID crisis. YKP typically serves families in Westerville and Gahanna with high quality After School Programs. Right now to respond to the blended learning model, the YKP Westerville team just started offering After School Programs and a simultaneous full day program, all the while adhering to the health and safety requirements of each individual elementary school building. Meanwhile in Gahanna, the last minute teacher’s strike has put a hold on YKP Gahanna’ s roll out of After School Programs in schools, causing the staff to pivot to a full day program at Mifflin Presbyterian Church. The YKP teams continue to take it day by day, but need to be recognized for their resiliency, creativity and grace under pressure. Your work is noticed, appreciated, and making all the difference in the lives of the kids you serve.





Name: Mackenzee Burton [AKA: Data Maestro]
Formal Title: Development and Foundation Grants Manager

Q: What do you do?
MB: I spend 80% of my time working for Development which is focused on fundraising for the agency. My role in the team is the management of our donor database, Raiser’s Edge and properly stewarding and thanking our donors. The remaining time is spent working on grant applications for the Family Center or more recently our Leadership for Social Justice programming. I love being able to take an idea for a grant and translate that into a request and work with the funder on realizing that idea or project.

Q: What impact do you think your job has on the organization?
MB: Data is at the heart of everything we do. Many people see that on the program side as it relates to our clients, but it’s also very important for our donors. In order to retain our current donors and acquire new prospects we have to have good, solid data to work with. It’s my job to make sure we are entering all the appropriate information in the database in a way that we can eventually pull it out and use it to inform strategy for fundraising campaigns, marketing and communications and our community as a whole.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
MB: I really like to problem solve and try to think outside of the box. I also love being able to work on grants to be connected more to the mission and raise money for our essential services and programs.

cp and br

Name: Christina Phalen & Betty Rickabaugh

Formal Titles: Grants & Compliance Manager and Coordinator, Data & Quality Assurance

Q: What do you do?
CP: We help our Women’s Residency and Family Center teams collect data necessary for us to keep funding and improve services through our database or in client files. Community Shelter Board communicates with our team regularly to tell us when we need to start collecting new information for our housing programs. We work with the staff in the housing programs on how to make these changes. Quarterly, the housing managers and data team meet to look at our data at the Quality Improvement Committee meeting.  When we look back at the quarter, we celebrate staff’s hard work and get ideas for how to improve.

Q: What impact do you think your job has on the organization?
CP: Much of our data is required for funding and accreditation purposes. When we share our stats, we can make the case to funders and policy makers that they need to do more to address housing inequities.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
CP: I love that my job touches on so many different parts of the agency. I am continually amazed at how talented YWCA staff are. With Covid, so many of us had to adapt and change the way we work. I get to see what big hearts are brought to our work. It isn’t for the timid or complacent but the bold and brave that want to make a collective change in the world.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
CP: I work as part of an incredible team. Betty hold downs the Family Center data operations, providing regular communication through the roster twice a day. (Yes, TWICE a day. That’s a big deal.) While she manages the day-to-day information, she is also staying on top of reporting. There is a lot of reporting for the Family Center. She works with the Family Advocate team to make sure we have every required document for each family member that enters shelter.

While Betty is super detail oriented and loves to learn, she is most motivated by improving our process so we can respect the dignity of clients. She takes client confidentiality and client rights seriously.

– YWCA Columbus in the News –


NEW! 10TV Anchor, Molly Brewer interviewed Michael Corey, executive director of the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County and one of our women residents about the importance of giving this holiday season. Watch the segment here. (November 12)

NEW! Nichelle Harris, managing director of education and Elizabeth Kittner, Mifflin Presbyterian site director were interviewed by ThisWeek Community News about how YWCA Kids Place is complementing learning models in the Gahanna-Jefferson and Westerville school districts as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Read the article here. (October 29)

Christie Angel spoke with The Columbus Dispatch about new legislation that would prohibit landlords from denying housing to potential tenants because of their source of income, such as federal housing vouchers. Read it here. (October 27)

Spectrum News 1 interviewed Nichelle Harris about YWCA Kids Place Programs. The segment titled, “YWCA Kids Place Program Gains Footing To Help Families After Teacher Strike” was posted online and broadcast on TV. You can watch it here. (October 26)

YWCA Columbus submitted an op-ed to The Columbus Dispatch for consideration written by YWCA Columbus Board Alumni Member Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt. Read it here. (October 26)

Columbus Dispatch interviewed Jillian Olinger and Activists and Agitators headliners, Austin Channing Brown and Barbara Fant. Read the article here. (October 13)

Columbus Navigator interviewed Jillian Olinger about Activists and Agitators. Read the article here. (October 7)

Columbus Business First Interviewed Jillian Olinger about the expansion of our leadership and social justice team, new DE&I offerings, and Activists and Agitators. Read the article here. (October 6)

Columbus Parent Magazine interviewed Paula Neal and Jillian Olinger about our work, what they do for YWCA Columbus, and why teaching diversity to children is important (article was featured in the October issue)

Buckeye Lifestyle Magazine mentioned featured to Women of Achievement and published photos from our event mentioning YWCA Columbus. (October Issue)

614 Magazine interviewed Jillian Olinger and Activists and Agitators headliner, Austin Channing Brown. Read the article here. (September 29)

Laura Miller was interviewed by ABC 6 about our distance learning program in Westerville. Watch the segment here. (aired on September 11 and posted online September 14)

Columbus Alive featured Christie Angel as part of The Edge Sisters, a powerful group of women pushing for change. Read the article here. (August 19, 2020)

Columbus Underground featured our voter registration phone banking event here. (August 18, 2020)

Columbus Underground wrote a roundup piece about Olentangy River Brewing’s Black is Beautiful beer collaboration with proceeds benefiting YWCA Columbus. (August 10, 2020)

Spectrum News 1 Ohio interviewed Christie Angel for their Voices for Change series, where activists, leaders, and community members share what has brought them to action and how addressing racial discrimination will create a better world for everyone. Watch the segment here. (July 1, 2020)

Christie Angel pens a piece dedicated to giving voice to the community around the BLM movement, the protests that occurred, and the way forward for the July edition of 614 Magazine.

Christie Angel discusses summer camp for children staying at our Family Center in the Columbus Dispatch. Read it here. (June 30, 3030)

Columbus Navigator interviewed Caroline Woliver on how to fight systemic racism and be anti-racist. Read it here. (June 29, 2020)

Columbus Business First featured YWCA Columbus within an article about Homage. Read it here. (June 16, 2020)

Forbes.com covered that Franklin County declared racism to be a public health crisis, and featured YWCA Columbus and Christie Angel, alongside other community leaders, throughout the article. You can read the full piece here. (June 12, 2020)

FOX28 Good Day Marketplace featured Christie Angel as part of The Big Give. Watch the segment here. (June 8, 2020)

The Columbus Dispatch covered how YWCA Columbus is working on action steps toward racial equity change alongside other organizations in Columbus. Read the full article here. (June 7, 2020)

Columbus Business First covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. Watch as nonprofit and religious leaders announce their initial agenda to reform practices that create and protect a culture of systemic racism in Central Ohio, and read the Columbus Business First coverage here. (June 2, 2020)

FOX28 covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. View their online piece here. (June 2, 2020)

ABC6 covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. Read their news release here. (June 2, 2020)

The Columbus covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. Read the article here. (June 2, 2020)

Caroline Woliver, our Director of Leadership and Social Justice participated in an interactive conversation on race and solidarity featuring several local community leaders. You can watch it here. (June 2, 2020)

10TV covered the press conference hosted by Columbus City Council to bring together community leaders to share their thoughts on the protests in downtown Columbus. Caroline Woliver, our Director of Leadership and Social Justice participated in the presser. Watch the presser here, and the news coverage here.  (May 29, 2020).

Spectrum News1 Interviewed YWCA Columbus, Chief Mission Officer, Jillian Olinger about declaring racism a public health crisis. Watch the segment here. (May 17, 2020).

Grange Insurance Announces Additional $1 Million Donation to Nonprofits for COVID-19 Pandemic Support. Read the announcement here. (May 19, 2020)

NBC4 Anchor, Colleen Marshall interviewed Paula Johnson Neal, our Safe & Sound Childcare Program Administrator at our Family Center about the struggles homeless children are facing during this pandemic. Watch the segment here. (April 23, 2020)

Christie was featured as a guest on Columbus Business First’s Crisis Management Podcast. She discusses racial disparities in public health among the pandemic. Read and watch the interview here. (April 23, 2020)

Columbus Business First also covered our Women of Achievement Online Celebration. Read the article here. (April 22, 2020)

Columbus CEO published Jillian Olinger’s op-ed titled: “COVID-19: ‘The equalizer’ highlights our inequities and racism should be declared a public health crisis.” The piece highlights how coronavirus is hitting black communities harder, and it includes action items to address the specific needs of communities of color as we fight to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can read it by clicking here. (April 14, 2020)

The Columbus Dispatch included YWCA Columbus in a roundup story for supporting a bond issue that will raise $300 million for capital improvements to Columbus State Community College’s campus. You can read the full article here.