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An Open Letter to Women in Toledo

by Jonelle Massey on April 21st, 2020

Open Letter delivered by Jonelle Massey on her birthday, April 21, 2019 during our Virtual Power Hour Session IX - Collaborating versus Competing.

Dear Toledo,

We met 6 years ago and it seems like we’ve known each other much longer.  Because you treated me like family from day one.  You are a city that believes in LOYALTY & hard work. You have some powerful and passionate, confident, & supportive women.  And even if the women in Toledo don’t want to admit it, they are competitive and they want to win. And it was their competitiveness that pushed me to step up my game in entrepreneurship and their supportiveness that gave me the courage to compete.  

Now listen, there are some women here who are loyal to a fault and don’t welcome everybody to compete.  “But if you let them play!” You can create a dynamic culture of unprecedented collaboration in the city of Toledo.  It’s only when women are not welcomed to play, that they are constantly in the mindset and mode of competing…. with their personal agenda of being heard, being recognized, being considered….and as a result, that competitive mindset dominates partnerships in social & professional settings.  

Ladies, It’s our responsibility to step up our collaboration game beyond our comfort zones, our same familiar circles, & zip codes.  It’s our responsibility to create a culture of compromise, and an incubator of new ideas and innovation.  

No more meetings starting off with “this is how we do it”, and “who’s all invited”.  What new thing can we find out together? Which problem can we solve together? What competitive women, who want to win, can we unite together!  All-Star teams are made up of players from different teams, different leagues, different schools of thoughts, and different philosophies & perspectives of the game.  

Toledo!  We are ahead of the game!  We are right in the midst of developing an online diverse hub of  women organizations and businesses called HERHUB  to network, collaborate, and  inspire all of us to step up our game and do the work.  

Indira Gandhi, the first female prime minister of India said, “There are 2 kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take credit.  Try to be in the first group, there is less competition.”..........And I bet there’s more collaborating too!    

- Jonelle Massey                        

BIO: Jonelle Massey, MA, LPCC, LPSC knows that successful people are typically exposed to diverse experiences, challenges, and people.This is her 20th year as an educator and Nationally Certified Licensed Mental Health Therapist, receiving her bachelor and Master’s degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.Her diverse service in education as a school counselor and therapist includes both public & private, primary & secondary educational settings, as well as hospital psychiatric care and private practice. Jonelle was the 2013 Advisor/Faculty of the Year at St. Bonaventure University her first year on staff.Married to a Division I College Basketball coach, she adjusts well to relocation and makes an immediate impact with each professional move. As a former Division I athletic scholarship recipient with Xavier University’s Women’s Basketball program, Jonelle shares her passion for teaching effective teamwork, work-ethic, and resilience through coaching club, middle school & high school basketball, and Track & Field.While playing collegiate basketball, she received All-Academic honors all four years and defensive player of the year her senior year.Her strength in leadership is also evident in her professional development lectures as a school counselor & crisis counselor, community service involvement, and entrepreneur successes in the Greater Toledo area.She volunteers as an advisor of two chapters of Young Women of Excellence student leadership group, a small-business mentor, advocate for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, STEMinist with the Imagination Station, and Consulting Life Coach with Women of Toledo.She is a founding member of Her Hub, a Toledo organization that connects women, resources, businesses &organizations through an online Hub.A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she currently resides in Old Orchard with husband, Jeff, and their two daughters Aubrey and Kayla.

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