Kate Spickard

Kate Spickard (Christian Kirchen Photography; Dress by Amy Kirchen)

Kate Spickard
What do you do for a living?
I work for Eli Lilly as a pharmaceutical sales representative. I absolutely love what I do, it is challenging and extremely rewarding. Plus I really enjoy the variety each day provides.

How do you spend your spare time?
I absolutely love traveling. I have a serious case of wanderlust. I also enjoy time with family and friends, my boyfriend and my Mini Schnauzer, Lavender. Photography, fashion, & art are also interests – as well as watching sports (especially the Oak Hills boys varsity basketball team and the Cincinnati Reds). I am a total busy body, so most recently I’ve been focused on trying to slow down and relax more (whether it be getting a massage or just sitting on the couch and watching a movie!) Pinterest and Instagram serve as my current guilty pleasures.

What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
Success is such a subjective term and it’s very fluid. At this particular juncture of my life, it’s simple to identify; having a sense of peace in my heart at the end of each day. Knowing I’ve been the best me possible and stayed true to my beliefs.

What’s next on the bucket list to accomplish?
My bucket list is rather lengthy and random (as ones should be!) Traveling to Asia is at the top of my list. Opening my own antique store. Going on a missionary trip. Riding in a hot air balloon. Just to name a few.

What charitable/philanthropic organizations are you involved with?
Two organizations that are near and dear to my heart are Autism Speaks and The PanCan Network. My family has been affected by autism as well as pancreatic cancer (my uncle and my father both lost their lives to it).

Why is it important to you to give back?
I recently came across the quote “we rise by lifting others” and I couldn’t find that to be more true. God has blessed me repeatedly in the 30 years I’ve spent on this earth. Often people think giving back needs to be some grandiose gesture. In my opinion, giving back just isn’t donating or volunteering once in a while, it’s a constant way of life. It’s taking the time to stop and chat when you’re too busy, building in to others and lifting them in praise, going out of my way to help someone without being asked to do so, etc. I really focus hard on staying in tune with promptings placed on my heart by the Lord. Recently, I have experienced the most joy from spontaneous give back verses planned.

What do you love about Cincinnati?
Oh my! Where do I start? I’m very proud of our city and to call it home! Plus, LaRosas is pretty darn good.

What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
Turn ons: I am attracted to someone who is confident, yet quiet about it, disciplined, a leader not a follower, morally sound, and knows just how to make me smile. Height and athleticism are always a plus. (As my boyfriend reads this, yes, honey you have all the qualifiers. Haha)

Turn offs: Negative-pessimist attitudes, not being chivalrous or respectful towards others, and repeated cursing are a few fairly large turns offs.

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Dayna Solomon

Dayna Solomon
What do you do for a living?
I’m a music junkie! haha… just kidding…sort of…I’m a DJ and Event Host for corporate and social events, weddings, retail events, fashion shows, charity fundraisers and cruise ships.

How do you spend your spare time?
I enjoy exercising at the gym, outdoors, or taking dance classes. I like to explore the city and try out new restaurants or attend concerts. But, since my job involves high energy, excitement, and typically in a party environment, I’m also content sometimes with just staying in curled up on the couch with a good book or movie and some Chicka Boom Popcorn.

What does it mean to you to be successful?
My view on success has changed over the years. I used to think when I have this or live here or make X amount of money or DJ that type of event, then I’ll be successful. But, I’ve realized it’s not all about tangible goals. I’ve always set personal and career goals for myself, and that wave of euphoria I feel after accomplishing a goal is success to me. The respect and praise I receive from my peers is success. At the end of the day when I sit to write in my “One-Sentence Happiness Journal” and reflect on my day, whether it was good or bad, being able to find that one moment or thing that made me feel gratitude is a moment of success. The fact that I now make a living doing what I love, I feel I am successful.

Proudest moments thus far?
Just in the past three years, it has been the most challenging, incredible, and rewarding time of my life! So, I’m proud to reflect on how I’ve been able to transition into being a full time DJ within a relatively short amount of time and have had the ability to keep the momentum going. I was also interviewed and featured in two different DJ industry publications last year, which was a huge honor for me to be recognized in my field.

What’s next on the bucket list to accomplish?
Well that long list is what keeps me up at night! haha.. Professionally, I want to keep honing my skills as a DJ/Event Host so I can continue to grow the business and brand myself. I would love travel more, spinning events all over the US and internationally. I also want to share my passion for DJing with the youth by developing a DJ Summer camp! Hopefully, that will happen this year! Personally, I’m ready to become a parent, so I want to rescue a French Bulldog.

What charitable/philanthropic organizations are you involved with?
I’ve been involved with various organizations in the past, including American Cancer Society and Autism Speaks. Currently, I volunteer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the Seacrest Studios. I do a one-hour show in their studio that is broadcasted to the patient’s rooms. I bring my DJ equipment and do Music Trivia games and teach modern line dances. They can also call in to request music or answer the trivia questions to win prizes.

Why is it important to you to give back?
Because giving back is one of the best feelings in the world! I feel very fortunate to have the life that I have and realize that not everyone is in the same position, so if I can do something that makes a positive impact on someone else’s life, it fulfills a purpose to my life.

What do you love about Cincinnati?
I moved here when I was in college and then after college I moved away for a few years and when I came back I was really impressed with how the city has made efforts to reinvent itself. It offers opportunities and a vibe that makes it feel alive and continues to be a thriving city.

What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
Turn-Ons: Honesty, respect, sense of humor, passion, intelligence, family oriented, and humility.

Turn-Offs: Arrogant, lack of old fashioned gentlemen manners, crazy sports fanatic, lazy, no sense of adventure, and overly aggressive.

Tracy Bellman

Tracy Bellman

Tracy Bellman
What do you do for a living?
I own Tres Belle Cakes and Coffee Shop, a wedding cakery and cafe in the Reading Bridal District.

How do you spend your spare time?
What spare time?! Seriously, running a business on my own takes most of my time but I do manage to get out to restaurants (I love having other people doing the cooking for me). There are some amazing chefs in Cincinnati who have created vibrant, energetic spots to meet with my equally amazing friends and colleagues. I love getting out to try new spots in OTR and East Walnut Hills but I’m just as likely to be found binge watching shows on Netflix or playing a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity at a friend’s house.

What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
Being successful has very little to do with a paycheck. I have an absolute passion for baking and decorating and so it doesn’t ever really seem like work. I firmly believe if you love what you do and do it to the best for your ability, the money will follow. Being successful means being happy. It means being honest, doing what you know is right and not caring what other people may think about it. It also means being a good role model for my children and modeling a strong work ethic.

Proudest moments thus far?
My proudest moment so far was moving my business from a home-based operation to a retail location. It’s been a lot of work but an amazing journey to grow.

What’s next on the bucket list to accomplish?
My next hope is to buy a building to move my business into. I have loved having a retail space, but we lease currently and I want to own. On the personal side, I am constantly challenging myself to make more time for friends and family. I would love to figure out a vacation with my girlfriends. We’ve been talking about Italy and Paris for a long time… Must. Happen!

What charitable/philanthropic organizations are you involved with?
We work with the Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati Arts Association, The Junior League, A Cure Starts Now, Wish Upon A Wedding, Ronald McDonald House, Mt. Notre Dame, Moeller and Purcell Marion High Schools, Patty Brisben Foundation, Kindervelt, Reel Abilities and more….

Why is it important to you to give back?
I could never have made it this far without faith and the astounding generosity of others. Because I truly feel blessed, I make it a priority to give back whenever possible.

What do you love about Cincinnati?
I was born and raised here and have seen such an amazing transformation of my city! I’m so excited about the revitalization of downtown and neighborhood business districts all over the city. Cincinnati has such a strong sense of family and community. We are so fortunate to have so many unique and interesting landmarks and events. My very first job in high school was working at my uncle’s fruit and vegetable stand at Findlay Market so I love that Opening Day is a city-wide holiday. I love that we parade goats down Main Street to celebrate Bock Beer. I love that the city packs Washington Park to see Music Hall lit up for Lumenocity. I love that we are 100% Irish in March and 100% German in September for Oktoberfest. I love that we are a quirky, happy city. I LOVE CINCINNATI!

What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
Smart and funny is sexy! Raisins and green peppers are not sexy.

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Kayla Risch

Kayla Risch

What do you do for a living?
Senior designer at Landor Associates and Owner/Art Director of Kayla Risch Design/Midwest Swanky Gals.

Design is a lifestyle and I thrive in the idea, storytelling, lifestyle, fashion/art spaces. I have a keen niche in fashion illustration and limited edition as well.

How do you spend your spare time?
In my spare time I am usually creating new ideas, blogging and working on my art line. I’m an old curious soul – so I usually pop around to up and coming things in the city like galleries, restaurants and music venues – keep em’ coming Cincy! I get cabin fever sometimes though and need to be enriched in traveling for inspiration and culture. I love to be around smart fearless people that are living their passion and creating their business and cultivating a life of possibilities. I collaborate with a lot of friends and recently designed Cincinnati’s first Juice Bar – Off The Vine. I engage in the creative hub here in Cincy – like City Flea and The Red Door Gallery. And if anyone cares – I have an athletic side- I like to move it – move it!

What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
Being successful is someone who has courage in their convictions, living the life you’ve imagined for yourself. I’ve learned over the years that work matters – but great relationships, friends/family and pursuing commitment to your goals are a much higher award to self. The world is changing – how can you be a good person in the mix of things and exude spunk and class while you’re at it. Don’t be afraid to fail, things will always go wrong or right – be brave and stick to your journey.

Proudest moments thus far? 
I have gumption and grit. I walk to the beat of my own drum and work really hard for what I have. I’m proud of that. As a creative, pushing the unexpected is our jobs and I love seeing my endeavors in real time. Creativity is my gift is and I’ve used it forever. My passion project Midwest Swanky Gals (art collection) is something I’m proud of because it’s an expression of who I am and I own it. It’s just getting started and has inspired other women like me, the gumptious few – who showcase self belief and rock it. They don’t let society make up their minds – they do. I don’t have to work a day at all. Because I do what I love.

What’s next on the bucket list to accomplish?
Cultivating a life full of adventure, spontaneity and curiosity are the moments I live for. I’ve checked off quite a few like scuba diving in the world’s second largest coral reef or pursuing one of my dreams – the lists keeps going like BALI. One day. It.Will.Happen. Yet, Having the nicest cars, clothes whatever doesn’t define who you truly are as a person. When you just let the universe do its thing on you – you can accomplish, experience and meet some of life’s greatest gifts – things you didn’t even know were on a list. Listen to that voice. Yes – sounds cheesy but intuition doesn’t lie.

What charitable/philanthropic organizations are you involved with?
Big Brother Big Sister and The American Heart Association “Heart Mini” Race.

I have been a volunteer and big sister through the Big Brother Big Sister Program for about five years now – I love being a part of my little sister Cara’s life and paying it forward. I also designed this year’s Heart Mini’s identity ‘RunWalk’ and do pro-bono work when I have free time.

Why is it important to you to give back? 
I use my talents and open minded personality to help others as much as possible. Life is too short and everyone needs a friend, someone who can relate to and YES dance to Beyonce with! Midwest Swanky Gals is my catalyst to giving art/culture back to the community – I also strive to use my talents to help enrich others businesses/dreams and lives. Putting long hours into hard work always is worth it when you see tons of people inspired by your work, making them smile or change their point of view to something new. I have a motto I live by – What are you doing in this life to be a better person? I can’t underestimate mentorship. I only have a few by choice- I truly love to help women younger than me – we are all trying to figure this shit out! 😉

What do you love about Cincinnati?
I’d never thought I’d end up here and surprise. I still am. I live in OTR and love it – the community here is dedicated to changing the future. What has kept me here is the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve had. Cincinnati keeps surprising me. It’s like a volcano – we are just waiting for the lava to explode!

What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
I’m very attracted to visionaries, go getters and genuine people. I surround myself with versatile people who strive for greatness and make me better. We only have one life to live – we should make it extraordinary and do good while were at it. There’s nothing more refreshing than an underdog or someone persevering through life’s challenges with drive and courage. That’s originality. Spoiled brats, egos and dream killers are a drag. There’s a difference between confidence and ego. No one cares about hierarchy or a list of awards. People will follow you for what you stand for. Giving people the freedom to be who they truly are and appreciating them for it – things will only go up from there. Let people show you what they got! Self-discipline and passion go a long way.

Margo Rose

Margo Rose

Margo Rose

What do you do for a living?
I am a social media strategist. My company is called HRSocial Strategy, and I’ve been involved professionally in the social media/HR and Recruiting Industry since 2009.

How do you spend your spare time?
In my spare time, I go to the gym, which is every spare moment. I’m a passionate fitness freak, and I’m proud of it. I’ve worked very hard to get into strong, fit condition. I work at it every day with kosher organic-chemical free clean eating, exercise, and a daily pursuit of positive thinking, specifically reframing the thoughts and words that I use. This has changed my thoughts, deeds, and actions, and I am a better person because of it. I am a Shih Tzu obsessed dog momma. My dog is known as #MonkeyTheShihTzu on social networks. I also enjoy bible studies, and spending time with true friends, and family.

What does it mean to you to be “successful?”
To be successful is measured in the quality of life I have, not by my financial portfolio. I know I’m hitting the mark when I feel joyful during life’s simplest moments. I know I am successful when I am meeting my fitness goals. I know I am being successful when people tell me that they are inspired by my journey. I know I am successful when someone tells me that I really helped them a lot. I am fortunate that throughout my career, I have appeared on numerous online influencer lists, I have been interviewed by national media outlets about opinions in areas of my professional expertise. I have achieved a certain amount of notoriety, and even infamy in some circles. Like all high profile social media personalities, I am loved and loathed by many. At the end of the day, none of that matters. Materialism does not matter. I am a woman of a certain age. I spent so much time scratching and clawing at the glass ceiling, and that’s meaningless too in retrospect. You may ask, what is meaningful? What is valuable? Making meaning out of our lives, and finding value in our past, even in our most painful moments. My personal definition of success is measured by how you bounce back from failure, how you get back up, and how you move onward. Nobody gets to be my age without skinning a knee, or bruising an elbow. The kicker is how do you bandage your wounds, how do you heal them? Therein lies the magic of life.

Proudest moments thus far?
Number one: my amazing son Noah Waspe. Number two I was the founder of a world-wide passionate social media movement known as #HireFriday which launched on Twitter in 2010, and went viral around he world within the first few months. My goal was simple. It was the height of the recession, my friends and colleagues were losing jobs left and right. The tweet that rocked the world, and became a trending topic was so simple. “Instead of #FollowFriday, Let’s Launch #HireFriday and put America back to work”. During a 2 year period we literally helped millions of displaced workers get connected with thought leaders, companies, and people who were in a position to hire. It was powerful. It was gratifying. It was picked up, and championed by some of my favorite social media stars, namely, Chris Brogan. Yes, that was my proudest moment. Not because of the fame, but because I made a real, life-changing difference in the lives of unemployed Americans who continue to thank me today!

What’s next on the bucket list to accomplish?
Do you promise you won’t laugh? I want to get married, and find my Beshert, my destiny, and the complement of my soul. sounds hokey but it’s true. Hey, I’m 57 years old, I don’t have forever.

Why is it important to you to give back?
Because the planet needs people who are committed to changing the world for the good. The internet needs people who are committed to working toward using social / digital media for social good. I believe in giving back because it is an honor, a duty, and it is the right thing to do. Most importantly, I give back because I am grateful. Gratitude is what fuels my service, because every time I am generous in spirit, it fuels my happiness, and revisits me in miraculous ways.

What do you love about Cincinnati?
Cincinnati, Ohio is my hometown. I love everything about it. I’ll take that one step further. I lived in Nashville for two long years. I pinned for Cincinnati daily. I missed my friends from high school. I missed my son, and his darling wife. I missed Graeters (even though you can get it shipped, it’s not the same as waiting in line on Hyde Park Square, and running into the neighborhood chums). I missed Awakenings Coffee Shop and my friends, “the regulars who hang out there”. I don’t eat Chili or Ribs anymore (due to my ongoing fitness challenge) but I missed Montgomery Inn, and Skyline. I missed Riverbend, and The Aronoff. I missed Cincinnati Nature Center, the parks, the museums, and our Zoo. Truth be told, you have to live away from Cincinnati in order to value what a truly special place it is. I love being back home. I love having my feet planted in Cincinnati’s terra firma. Yes, Virginia…I love Cincinnati.

What are your biggest turn-ons/turn-offs?
My turn-ons: Kindness. Charitable, compassionate, kind people who are filled with integrity, respect, and goodness turn me on!

My turn-offs: Cruelty. Hideous, cruel bullies turn me off. Hatred turns me off. Love turns me on, and the rest is commentary.