Women Supporting Women: Julie Hinebaugh Gribben

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Julie Hinebaugh Gribben

When I started writing about #WomenSupportingWomen, my friend, Jennifer, from high school (John Glenn High School in New Concord, Ohio) reached out and said she knew the perfect gal to be featured.

“Julie Hinebaugh Gribben,” she said. “She has empowered so many women…I can’t think of anyone more deserving than her to be highlighted in such a way.”

Julie, a Realtor in Pickerington, wasn’t in my high school class so I didn’t know her personally, but I always remembered her as being friendly with a pretty smile. But Jennifer said it went much deeper than that.

“She is a true angel,” said Jenn. “And I would not have made it in this life without her.”

Julie, the married mother of two (Joshua, 11, and Jocelyn, 8), has consistently, for at least the last decade, reached out to women in need, particularly single mothers, and helped them in any way she could to get back on their feet. Jennifer said Julie has done nearly all her work anonymously, and without the need for recognition. In fact, her nomination for this blog post came as a complete surprise.

“I’m beyond humbled,” said Julie. “The way I like to help is one-on-one with an individual or completely anonymously.  This is WAY out of my comfort zone!”

What isn’t out of this secret angel’s comfort zone is her love and care for helping women in need. A strong, faith-based woman, she believes God helps direct where her help should go and what it should be.

“There have been car loans, rent payments, Christmas gifts or money for gifts, utility bills, cleaning homes, clothing and other personal items,” said Julie, a graduate of the Realtor Institute and a Realtor for 11 years. You can find her at e-Merge Real estate at this website.

Julie also volunteers on several different platforms from various church teams, the Children’s Hunger Alliance, Columbus Realtor Foundation Committee, and others.

“My heart is for women who need help being the sole supporter for their children or helping the children of sole supporters,” said the woman inspired by her own mother and grandmothers. “I thank the Lord for any way He can help me help others. It’s not me; it truly is His Blessings being directed to others.”

Supporting other women is easy for Julie, especially those with children.

“I am a woman so I understand women’s needs,” said Julie. “I also feel as if helping children does help a mother, because it takes a village! When women get a ‘break’, or are rejuvenated on any level… spiritual, mental, physical, emotional or financial, they have more power and energy to take care of themselves and others.”

Julie believes that being a successful business woman allows her to touch more lives through being active in her community, where she gets first-hand knowledge of what the needs truly are.

“And because of my job, the benefit is being able to financially bless others,” she said. Plus, as a side note, “being successful at business shows little girls and women alike they have the ability to follow their dreams/passions and can become successful as well.”

So why should women continue to support women?

“Because we know each other like no other. We understand good days/ bad days, sleepless nights, bills that need paid and tears that need wiped, heartbreak and all the wonderful little things that melt our hearts,” she said. “We know that, a lot of the time, we have to have on our social smile, while we are crying or extremely frightened inside.”

And Julie doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk by financially backing women and children through some of her favorite organizations: Kiva, Compassion, and Doctors Without Borders.

“I LOVE to loan money to women across the world as they are starting their own business…their stories are amazing,” she said. “Mutual respect for women to women goes beyond race, age, and social status.”

A true woman supporting other women. Thank you, Julie.


Women Supporting Women ~ Dr. Lisa Hinkelman of ROX

Dr. Lisa Hinkelman is changing the world for women one young girl at a time, through her female empowerment nonprofit organization ROX (Ruling Our Experiences). Photo courtesy ROX.

The first thing you need to know about Dr. Lisa Hinkelman is that she’s got an incredible laugh. It’s this big, vivacious, life-affirming laugh that comes straight from her toes, into the air, and moves you to laugh right along with her.

Lisa, often cloaked in black and pink, is not afraid to say what she thinks, laugh at herself, or to make you a part of the joke ~ this gal won’t leave your high-five hanging and, if she does, she’ll apologize with a big, hearty laugh.

“We are stronger, healthier, better adjusted, and more successful when we support one another,” Lisa said.

I was, of course, immediately drawn to her energy the first time I met her and wanted to learn more about how her nonprofit (501c3) organization, ROX (Ruling Our Experiences), came to be.

And that’s the second thing you need to know about this amazing woman: ROX came to be out of a gamble Lisa took. A risk. A desire to change the world, one girl at a time, and in doing so, become a powerhouse of Women Supporting Women.

“I think we do a great job talking about the importance of women supporting women, but we often struggle to actually implement the strategies that we verbalize,” Lisa said. “I don’t think anyone sets out to intentionally screw over other women, but the reality is that many of us can think of one or two experiences in our professional lives when another women was the one judging us, competing with us, undermining us or in some way negatively impacting our productivity, reputation, or happiness.”

And it’s not just grown women. According to Lisa, female competition over support starts much sooner than adulthood.

“In our research at ROX, we have found that more than 80 percent of fifth grade girls report that girls are in competition with one another ~ these are 10-year-old girls!” she said. “This disturbing trend unfortunately continues as girls grow up so that it’s no wonder by the time women are in the workforce, the competition, both personal and professional, is palatable.”

Because of that, ROX goes one step further and tries to tackle the problem at its roots. Lisa and her team of trained facilitators empower the next generation of females through school and community-based programming by teaching them how to handle behaviors such as girl bullying, low self-esteem, unhealthy dating relationships, and sexual violence.

“I believe that we have both the ability and the responsibility to change the conversation and the trajectory for girls,” Lisa said.

And she took her responsibility seriously as a researcher and faculty member in Counselor Education at The Ohio State University in 2006, where she had been running a program that helped girls navigate the challenges of, well, “being a girl.” She, along with her research team, gathered statistics for five years through this program. Lisa then used those facts and figures to develop an evidence-based curriculum for girls in elementary, middle, and high school, that supported them in developing skills to meet the above-mentioned challenges.

ROX uses licensed facilitators to teach the curriculum in schools throughout Central Ohio, and the country, at a cost of approximately $75 per girl ~ which your donations help support. ROX also provides professional development for educators and counselors, as well as parent workshops. Read more about the story behind ROX here.

“When girls have the opportunity to learn from strong and caring female role models who are true champions for one another, their sense of themselves and their options changes,” Lisa said.

My own daughter, Kerrigan, benefited from ROX training. She was one of nearly 1,700 school-age girls in communities across the country last year that were were empowered by Lisa and her team. Kerrigan’s favorite part of the programming was learning how to properly kick and punch an assailant. She left the training feeling truly equipped to deal with the world; and the relationships she built with the girls in attendance proved to be effective when she later encountered issues in school.

In fact, my daughter’s favorite tank top is one she got from ROX, which reads something close to, “Be the doctor they told you to marry.” And she plans on it ~ a veterinarian, to be exact.

This year ROX will be offered for the first time in New Mexico, Guam, Florida, and Hawaii. See where a ROX program is near you, here.

Lisa continues to move forward in her work having just completed The Girls’ Index study. The comprehensive survey of more than 10,000 girls focuses on the perceptions of girls in grades 5-12 on many major social, personal, and academic issues, such as: friendships and relationships, social media, body image pressure, self-esteem and confidence, leadership, and career aspirations. Initial findings tell a “compelling story of the challenges facing girls today.”

Interested in participating in ROX over the spring and summer? You’ve got a few options:

  • A ROX Parent Symposium on April 22, sponsored by the Columbus School for Girls. Learn more here.
  • A summer camp as a part of the Wellington School Summer Camp will be held June 26-30 for girls in grades six through eight. Learn more here.
  • A six-week ROX mini-camp for middle school girls will be held at ROX in Columbus every Wednesday beginning on June 28 and ending on August 1. Learn more here.
  • You can also contact Nancy Willis for other fun events and opportunities to support or learn more about ROX here: nancywillis@rulingourexperiences.com
  • Stay aware of events local by following ROX on Facebook and on Twitter. Sign up for the newsletter here.
  • If you’re looking to do a little more with this organization, ROX is currently hiring a Development/Fundraising Manager who will lead the development work of the organization. Learn more here.

Lisa didn’t have to go out and change the world the way she has for women and their daughters. She could have stayed on at OSU and continued a different research project ~ but helping women and young women become better, become stronger, is an ideal she is absolutely devoted to. And that’s the thing I love most about her ~ she does what she knows to be right for women, using evidence-based research, and empowering women and young girls to go live life without fear that they are “just a girl.”

No, you be the girl you’ve always wanted to be. And if you don’t know how, Lisa will certainly be able to help.

“We can be the women who create the authentic and genuine shift that will allow girls to see the strength and beauty in female relationships,” said Lisa. “And then they can come to invest in and value these relationships for themselves.”


Women Supporting Women: Elizabeth Blount McCormick

“I have been given an opportunity,” said Elizabeth Blount McCormick. “And it is my duty to reach back and give another woman an opportunity as well. “

Elizabeth Blount McCormick, owner of UNIGLOBE Travel Designers, believes women must pull each other up to continue seeing females in higher ranking positions. (Photo courtesy UNIGLOBE Travel Designers)

It’s a mantra that Elizabeth, owner of UNIGLOBE Travel Designers, located in German Village, lives every single day of her life. She is a rare breed of woman who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

Sure, Elizabeth was awarded the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Columbus Chapter’s 2016 NAWBO Columbus Visionary Award last year, as well as named a 2016 Forty Under 40 Honoree by Columbus Business First, but it’s more personal with this warm-hearted business and community leader. She wins awards because she makes a tangible, personal difference.

How do I know? I was one such woman who benefited from Elizabeth’s belief that women supporting women is the single greatest thing females can do to help us all reach higher, dream bigger, and lead better.

I met Elizabeth when I called to interview her for an article in Columbus CEO about women CEO’s and the challenges they face. Immediately, I was greeted with a warm voice and passionate advocate for helping women become more than even they imagined for themselves.

“Let’s have lunch!” she said at the end of the call.

“Of course!” I said, already excited to make a new friend, who, not only inspired me, but was simply fun to be around.

After a few months, we finally connected and when I told her about starting my company, Eleven One Productions, she immediately said, “How can I help? What can I do?”

She was interested in being helpful, being a mentor, being a supportive business owner, and being a confidant. We’ve since met over several afternoon breaks at Pistacio Vera and I count her as a friend. She is, without a doubt, a woman who will stand by another woman’s side, and help her walk through the trial by fire that is the modern day working woman/business owner/CEO/Manager/Director/Executive. If you’d like to learn her personal thoughts, check out her blog post on supporting business women owners here.

I count both myself, and the city of Columbus, better for her presence within the community.

And true to form, Elizabeth’s company, which helps manage travel plans for businesses large and small, has started a new program called Vitamin D to give back to the community. This month they’ve partnered with the United Way of Central Ohio’s Women’s Leadership Council’s E3 Initiative.

The E3 initiative was created to help low-to moderate-income working women in central Ohio become “educated, empowered and elevated” to a new level of financial stability for themselves and their families. Every vacation booked in March will have a $25 donation go to this initiative.

Though where the Vitamin D donation goes is, ultimately, up to the company who gets its travel services from UNIGLOBE, a woman-owned minority business founded in 1981 by Elizabeth’s mother, Elsie Blount. Read more about how the Vitamin D program works here.

Elizabeth’s dedication to both her personal relationships and her professional community have earned her business from The Ohio State University Athletics Department, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus City Schools, State of Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services, and Vizient’s Supplier Diversity Program.

Under Elizabeth’s leadership, UNIGLOBE Travel Designers, which is part of UNIGLOBE Travel International, the world’s largest single brand retail travel franchise company with more than 750 locations in more than 60 countries, is expanding its local offices beyond Ohio to Michigan, California, Texas, and wherever the road may lead to next.

No matter where Elizabeth goes or how she expands her full-service travel company, she will always lead with a selfless heart that’s focused on bringing other women up.

“I think it is vital for people to come from a selfless position,” said Elizabeth. “Don’t approach your relationships looking for business, but, rather, looking at how you can help another business grow. When we empower each other, our community flourishes.”

Spoken like a true woman who leads by supporting other women.


~ Cheers.



Women Supporting Women: Missy Carvour Gleason

“Strong women lift each other up.”

It’s one of the first lines on Missy Carvour Gleason’s accountability group website, where she’s part of the Beachbody family of coaches.

“I feel strongly about supporting other women because I believe we have been taught to be critical of ourselves and each other – sometimes to the point that we don’t believe we’re capable of the change and future we’d like to build,” said Gleason, known to many as MissyFit, her alter ego focused on helping women find their own personal “fit.” “I once thought I was just destined to feel stressed, run down and not good enough. But that all changed when I found my fitness and then my faith.”

Missy, like many women, found herself facing weight gain after several traumatic life events. She was uncomfortable with her weight, but not sure which step to take next. Through dieting and exercise, and the Beachbody family, she reached her goals in excess of her wildest imagination, being able to now, as she says, “pay the monthly mortgage,” with her earnings from being a Beachbody Coach.

Missy Carvour Gleason is proud of her before and after, and wants to support other women in their journey, too, far beyond just fitness and exercise. (Photo courtesy Missy Gleason)

But Missy, a wife and mother, is so much more than just her fitness.

This kind soul, whom I came to know through the media world when I was a reporter and she was a spokesperson for OhioHealth, has said prayers with me and for me in my darkest hours; and in my brightest, she was always interested in hearing who I was, inside and out. Anytime I need support, have a question, or just want to bounce an idea, Missy, who still works for OhioHealth as the editor of its wellness blog, is one of the first women who will take the call. She is, for all intents and purposes, a “girl’s girl,” the one who will sit at happy hour and have a drink, or she’ll sit with you on your couch, while your nose runs and your eyes swell, with Kleenex and cookies.

She is the epitome of women supporting women.

And women need that kind of bonding more so than men. In fact, according to a blog post on Mind, Body, Green, not only do female relationships help us ladies live longer, but a UCLA study said that women, and women alone, have a unique “tend and befriend” response to stress. In fact, when women are stressed, the study said, they don’t have a typical fight or flight response, instead they release the hormone oxytocin, which triggers them to soothe their stress by finding and bonding with someone ~ typically another woman. This is why girlfriends are so important.

It’s also why having ladies like Missy out there, willing to be that girlfriend, is so very encouraging, especially when you’re faced with change, like losing weight and starting a whole new lifestyle. If you know Missy, I hope you’ll take a moment to remind her just how great an example she sets for us ladies when it comes to supporting other women. If you don’t know Missy, get to know her on her MissyFit Facebook page, where she posts inspirational tidbits daily.

If you need a boost, Missy’s your girl. I promise you that.

“I know there are women like the old me out there,” said Missy. “I want to help them see the beauty and strength that’s already inside of them.”

Spoken like a true woman supporting other women.


Women Supporting Women: Sasha Levinson walking the walk

My friend Jami Cullen, a Columbus-based actress, recently sent me an article on IndieWire that was posted in our Columbus Women’s Filmmaker group, which I greatly appreciated.

The article, by Kate Erbland, pointed out, yet again, that women in film continue to be sorely misrepresented in positions of power. Only eight percent of films currently set for release by major studios in 2017 and 2018 will be directed by women, as initially reported by The Wrap. A sad, and disappointing, statistic at this point in history, as women continue to battle hurdles for equality in the film industry.

One answer to the inequality is to have more women in decision-making positions, where they can reach down and pull other women up through the glass ceiling. And they can’t just talk the talk, they have to walk the walk. Which is why I like to highlight such women any chance I get. Once such woman is Sasha Levinson.

Sasha Levinson, l, directing “Welcome to Grandville” in Granville, Ohio, in 2016, with D.P. Kate Arizmendi. Photo courtesy http://www.sashalevinson.com.

I met Sasha, who co-wrote the feature film “The Bad Penny,” (which won The Golden Palm Award at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival and Best Feature Film at the Soho International Film Festival) at one of the Columbus Film Summit meetings and we instantly clicked. She was asking good questions about tax incentives for filming, as she commutes between Columbus, Ohio, and New York City. I, at the time, was starting my very first film project, Olsky, and was looking for a director. She was interested in the possibility but, ultimately, another project came along for her. We both agreed, I would make my debut behind-the-camera and she would support me in that role.

While I was excited and confident to direct, I was also nervous. It was my first time at the helm and I knew I was going to make mistakes. A lot of mistakes. I wanted to minimize them as much as humanly possible, so Sasha took time to mentor me, to walk me through my decisions, to help me understand the lingo and what it would be like. We had lunch at North Market and by the time we were done, I felt good about stepping on that set and putting my vision into action.

A short time later, Sasha, who wrote and directed one of four short films that comprise, A Force For Good, to support the Dalai Lama’s vision for the world, was making her own short film here in Granville, Ohio. I got a surprise call from her that they needed a production company to shoot the behind-the-scenes footage for her short, interactive film, Welcome to Grandville, and would my company, Eleven One Productions, be interested? It was a paid opportunity and it was more experience for me ~ someone who was still new to the field and learning. So, of course, I said yes, and expressed how grateful I was that she remembered me and provided me the opportunity.

And I needed every opportunity I could get, so I could learn. I was desperate for knowledge.

And what Sasha did ~ remembering, reaching back out, pulling me up, helping me along, using her experience to help me find a way, is humbling, inspiring, and an example of how women need to help and support other women. As individuals, we stay at eight percent of women in charge; but when we come together, who knows how high we can push that percentage?

Sasha is currently working on two short films for Bai and Tribeca Content Studio about people who go against the grain to follow their dreams. She also just finished a great spot for Boom Chica Pop Popcorn, which you can see here.

Oh, and that interactive film that she gave me a chance to do the behind-the-scenes work? The one that had multiple women working the set, from the D.P. to P.A.’s ~ it’s almost done. Sasha says she expects Grandville, a “story of three generations of women struggling to gain their footing in the wake of tragedy and the imprint they make on a small town,” to be completed next week.

See more of her work here.