Media Center


Strategy, Governance and Influence: Views From The Oswald Women’s Leadership Forum 2016

Christina Schmitz October 5, 2016

CLEVELAND – Oct. 5, 2016 – In its third year, the Oswald Women’s Leadership Council welcomed an esteemed group of speakers, clients, and partners to join its 2016 Leadership Forum, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, at Oswald Centre in downtown Cleveland.

The objective: take on the challenge to view business strategy from a different lens, and gain insights and ideas from leaders in the government, education, non-profit and corporate sectors.

The event was opened by keynote speaker Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, who spoke to a variety of business and leadership topics including her career path, and translation of experience from the private sector into public service. She also touched on key issues within the state, critical to families and employers alike, such as infrastructure and sustainability, workforce training and development, and the heroin epidemic.

“Be the best prepared…and also be willing to accept the unexpected opportunity when it arrives,” shared Taylor as advice to emerging leaders seeking to advance in their careers and communities.

Following Taylor’s keynote was an exclusive panel, featuring:

    • Sharon Sobol Jordan, Chief-of-Staff Cuyahoga County
    • Dr. Para Jones, President Stark State College
    • Maria Heege, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Stark County
    • Catherine Kosin, Senior VP and Detroit Market Leader, Oswald Companies
    • and moderator Jessica Jung, Senior VP and Director, Property & Casualty, Oswald Companies

Here panelists shared their leadership stories and fielded questions on the topics of talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, evolving organizational culture, breaking through biases, and giving definition to the term “strategy” in their leadership and organizations.

Sharon Sobol Jordan reminded the group that organizations are led by people, and leaders are there to influence and engage, and thus relationships need to be at the core of any strategic plan or initiative. Through “leading with humanity,” Sobol Jordan shared that it is the relationships forged throughout one’s career, and the cultivation of these two-way roads, that make the difference between putting plans together and getting things done.

Dr. Jones touched on the importance of reaching future talent – and offering immersive experiences in a variety of fields – from a young age, and that our future workforce needs to come from a variety of diverse backgrounds, competencies and interests.

Maria Heege highlighted the important of service leadership both in the seasons of her career and throughout her organization, as well as the clear message that “paying it forward” is a daily goal that professionals at any stage of their career can exercise.

Catherine Kosin shared insight into the differences, and benefits, of sponsorship and mentorship in the workplace, in addition to the critical leadership support and formality needed to make it happen, and make it meaningful.

“Think of your career path less as a ladder, and more as a lattice,” said moderator Jessica Jung as is applies to the view that emerging leaders should take toward their opportunities and landscape

View more of the conversation in the Storify feature below. Learn more about the Oswald Women’s Leadership Council at