Looking to be creatively inspired? Look no further than our own backyard. Meet five Agents of Invention – these ladies are behind the smartest, most creative and innovative products/services to come out of Cincinnati. Join us for a Q+A panel discussion to learn how these women found the courage and motivation to manifest their unique ideas to fill gaps they noticed in the marketplace. And, don’t miss your opportunity to speak with them one-on-one during the informal mix + mingle immediately following the panel discussion. Food and drinks will be provided at the event.
The five Agents of Invention are:
- Nicole Armstrong, Founder + CEO, Queen City Certified
- Yelitsa Jean-Charles, Founder + CEO, Healthy Root Dolls
- Tamia Stinson, Founder, Tether
- Chelsie Walter, Creative Director + CEO + Cofounder, Women of Cincy
- Jenny White, Founder, Boost!
$10 for AIGA members
$15 for non-members
$10 CASH at JACK Casino Self Park Garage (located immediately across the street). Limited street parking in the immediate area.
About the Speakers
Nicole Armstrong, Founder + CEO, Queen City Certified
Nicole is the Founder and CEO of Queen City Certified (QCC), the first employer certification and leadership program for gender equity in the US workplace. Before launching QCC as a 2018 People’s Liberty Haile Fellow, she developed and implemented design and brand strategy for mission-driven organizations around the globe, including Franciscans International and Partners In Health. In 2015, Nicole joined Design Impact as a Social Innovation Specialist, leading change-makers through the human-centered design process. She now leverages her experience as a problem solver to facilitate systems change within the workplace. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Arts from Suffolk University.
Yelitsa Jean-Charles, Founder + CEO, Healthy Root Dolls
Yelitsa never had a doll that looked like her growing up. The one time her parents gave her a black doll, she burst into tears because it wasn’t the “pretty one.” Since then, she has made it her goal to make sure that no other children feel the way she did about her own appearance growing up.
While studying Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, Yelitsa redesigned the fairy tale character Rapunzel as a brown girl with beautiful kinky hair. In the process, she discovered an untapped opportunity to create more diverse toys and representation in children’s publishing---and Healthy Roots was born.
Since starting Healthy Roots in 2015, Yelitsa has graduated from RISD with a BFA in Illustration and a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. She was on Essence’s 2017 50 Founders to watch list, won the Startup Stampede, New Voices Fund Pitch competition, participated in the VFA Accelerator program and was awarded the first Main Street Ventures Wendy S. Lea Female Founders Grant. This year she was accepted to the Backstage Accelerator program in Detroit. Most recently, she won People’s Choice and First Place at the 2019 Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day.
Tamia Stinson, Founder, Tether
Tamia Stinson is a Creative Director, Stylist, and Producer for commercial and editorial photo and video projects. In 2017, she won a People's Liberty Haile Fellowship to create Tether, a community and platform that connects Cincinnati image-makers to community and opportunity. She's also the host of the Creative City podcast, the culprit behind long-running blog The Style Sample, and a slumber party dance-off champion.
Chelsie Walter, Creative Director + CEO + Cofounder, Women of Cincy
Chelsie Walter is the Creative Director, CEO, and Co-founder of Women of Cincy, a collective built to awaken and amplify change-makers. Chelsie is a graphic designer by trade with a passion for photography, a love for people, and an obsession with all things Harry Potter.
Jenny White, Founder, Boost!
Jenny White is from Cincinnati and received her B.S. in Graphic Design from The College of Mount St. Joseph. She worked as a Designer for four years then followed her interest in the hospitality industry.
She was hired at P&G where she handled all meeting logistics and budgets for over 900 local and out-of-state meetings. She later served as Assistant Banquet Manager at The Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, and later as Facility Management at P&G, where her love of logistics, customer service and space management flourished. She noticed the positive impact innovative spaces had on visitors. It was then that she envisioned combining her love and skills, by one day creating a “unique meeting space.” She took the leap from corporate America to entrepreneurship in 2008 when BOOST opened its doors in downtown Cincinnati.
Eleven years later, and she’s had the pleasure of being an industry leader. Jenny has been the recipient of such awards as the Over The Rhine Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year and a fellow Honoree of the "Women of Over-The-Rhine Success Stories.” In addition, BOOST was voted “Best Place to have a Non-Boring Meeting” by City Beat and “Best Out-of-the-Ordinary Meeting Venue” by Cincy Magazine