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Success in the Queen City: Rana Schiff

(This is a guest blog post by my fabulous editorial intern Kelly Crotty)

Rana Schiff with her husband, who she says is a huge support of her career and success.
Rana Schiff with her husband, who she says is a huge support of her career and success.

You know what I love more than anything? I love a success story.

Being the bold, empowered and successful women Chic’ers are, I know you’re familiar with how challenging yet rewarding it can be to build a life and career you love.

Which is why I sat down with local corporate talent Rana Schiff who has risen through the ranks at Cincinnati’s favorite grocery retailer, Kroger, and is now the general manager of Kroger’s Center of Recruiting Excellence. She has revamped the candidates hiring experience while managing over 200 employees.

Read on as we discuss work life balance, challenges working women face and the career risk she took to fulfill her passions. 

Rana, from what I understand you had a wonderful childhood but there were challenges as well.

I am proud to have immigrated with my family to the United States in the late 1980’s from Persia. When I moved here I didn’t speak English and had to learn the alphabet in the second grade, which put me at a disadvantage against my peers. With time I picked up the language and learned my way. Since then I am proud to have completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Do you think anything in your youth prepared you for success?

My background helped shape who I am today as an individual as well as a leader in an organization. 

What obstacles have you faced as professional woman navigating career success?

Similar to many others who came before me I have faced obstacles along the way. Some I would relate to being a woman and others just simply being a professional. Overall, my challenges are not any different from others. Work life balance, building my leadership skills and managing my image. The list goes on and on.

Your career started in risk management but that didn’t stop you from taking risk in your own life.

I sure did! After being in Risk Management for over a decade I made the transition to Human Resources. I’m grateful to work for a company who saw potential in me and gave me the chance to make this move. I have loved every minute of it.

My advice to others thinking about making a career change is to GO FOR IT! What do you have to lose?

What advice would you give professional women as they navigate their careers?

  • Do what you love and love what you do!
  • Don’t be afraid to take a chance. It’s good to be uncomfortable with the role you are going to take and challenge yourself.
  • No matter what the feedback is or the source of the feedback, consider it a gift. See what you can take from it.
  • Own your career, no one else will!

What are your thoughts on work life balance? How do you manage it?

Work like balance is an interesting topic. It means something different to everyone and everyone manages it differently. I have found that I am the only person who knows my own balance in life and I need to manage to what is appropriate for my life and circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s not a one size fits all model. I encourage everyone to understand their lives and make the adjustments necessary to be happy at home as well as at work.

It’s not easy to make a name for yourself in a large company especially one that is rich with talent and innovation but Rana saw that Kroger is also full of opportunity and she has established herself as a leader while making a career change. Rana is a bonafide Chic’er, she’s bold, empowered and successful!

 

Glendale Chamber Beer, Wine, Food & Street Fair Coming Up Sept. 23-24

Mark your calendars for The Glendale Craft Beer and Wine Festival at the end of September.

On September 23 and 24, Glendale (one of my favorite neighborhoods in Cincinnati! It’s SO charming!) will bring in the city’s best live music, food trucks, and street vendors for a two-day celebration.

The Glendale Craft Beer and Wine Festival has a unique history of over 50 years rooted in the local community. The Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Dennis, told my gals at Cincy Chic when we ran this article on the event that the festival began in 1965 with merchants providing an annual sidewalk sale. The festival transformed over the years, and in the 1990s, the celebration was known as “The Taste of Glendale.” Then, after merging with the Craft Beer and Wine Festival last year, it now has even more to offer the local community!

The festival has an impressive line-up of vendors and food to offer (spoken like a true preggo… food is always on the mind! haha!) For example, native to the Glendale community, The Bluebird Bakery and Agricola Redesign and Village Gift Shop will be offering AMAZING food and gifts!

“We have more than two dozen vendors that do crafts, art, food trucks, and other activities,” says Kathy Piech-Lukas, event planner for the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. “My personal favorite is Chamodas, who has amazing gummy bears.”

However, gummy bears aren’t the only thing to be excited about. Live music on both Friday and Saturday are sure to keep a lively atmosphere for festival-goers. The Whammies, an 80’s pop-rock band will be playing at 7pm on Friday night. Saturday at noon, music provided by Elite Signature DJ’s will kick off the festival, followed by the soulful vocalist Dave Ellington at 7pm.

The Glendale Chamber Beer, Wine, Food, and Street Fair is presented by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and to expand and grow, additional support from corporate sponsors in the community have been sought out for an even bigger and better festival. With over 4,000 visitors in years passed, the event continues to grow, offering more vendors and attractions for the local community to enjoy.

“The long history of having a festival in the fall always brings back to the square residence and family and friends,” says Diana Agricola, member of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and owner of Agricola Redesign LLC. “It is truly a remarkable sight to see the square fill up with generations of present and past Glendale residents. The event also allows people outside of this historic town to experience the charm and beauty of the square and the history.”

Vendor accommodations for booth spaces and food trucks can all be found at http://glendalecraftbeerwinefestival.com. Many volunteers are needed as well for the celebration, with positions such as bouncing, bartending, and booth managing. For those who wish to avoid a line and get a jump-start on the celebration, tickets are also available on their website for $5.

Shop for a Cause at A Village Gift Shop

A Village Gift Shop in Glendale lets you give back to your favorite charity while shopping for the things you love.
A Village Gift Shop in Glendale lets you give back to your favorite charity while shopping for the things you love.

Did you know that there’s a local business where you can shop for things you love while giving back to your favorite charity? A Village Gift Shop at The Century House in historic downtown Glendale offers exclusive shopping events where a portion of the proceeds are donated to the organizer’s charity of choice.

Diane Agricola, the owner of A Village Gift Shop, says giving back is an initiative that’s near and dear to her heart. “All of us here at A Village Gift Shop personally have worked and raised funds for organizations that are meaningful to each of us,” she explains. “It was very easy for us to embrace using our boutique as a way to host events for other groups who also feel a calling to help charities important to them.”

A Village Gift Shop is a shop that carries everything from home decor and gift items to fashion accessories and select pieces of clothing. Featured brands include: Alex and Ani, Rookwood Pottery, Hobo and Maruca Design.

Diane Agricola, Owner of A Village Gift Shop and Agricola Redesign.
Diane Agricola, Owner of A Village Gift Shop and Agricola Redesign.

The number of charity shopping events each month varies, although Agricola says they hope to host one to two groups per month. They’re also typically held between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., but morning and afternoon events can also be accommodated.

Agricola says those who have hosted shopping events at the shop are always pleased with the experience. “During a shopping event, we provide guests with light refreshments, the chance to enter a drawing for a gift basket, and a discount for a future visit to A Village Gift Shop,” says Agricola. “A portion of all sales goes directly to the group’s charity during a scheduled shopping event.”

According to Agricola, the shop has worked with several charities to host events, including Autistic Endeaves, which helps children with Autism in a safe learning environment; Karama Connection, a nonprofit organization with an orphanage in Tanzania; William Breidenstein Fund, a local Glendale child with ongoing medical needs; and Shop for a Viking, the Princeton School District’s PTO fundraising group.

To book an event, or to learn more about the shop, visit www.avillagegift.com or call 513-771-3927 and ask for Holly or send an email to teamagricola@fuse.net.

Tips for Home, Child Safety (Video #9)

I love how Facebook reminds you of “On This Day” posts. Today, it showed a picture of Lola learning to crawl. It’s like having a completely different child now that she can walk. Not only is it awesome that she can just hold my hand and walk from place to place instead of me having to carry her everywhere (although I do miss that sometimes) But more mobility also means more… how do you say… curiosity! I’m constantly looking around like  “What can she reach, get into, put in her mouth and stick her finger in?” (most likely all at once) everywhere we go, and especially around the house.

So, I’m posting tips that I learned from an expert at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital because they were SUPER helpful for me, and I think you’ll agree. The biggest thing I learned from the expert as we went through the house is about child-proofing the laundry room. It’s the one I never even thought about when we initially child-proofed the house (I’m the only one who does laundry so I figured no one else would be in there). But it’s a really important room to safeguard — everything from keeping up cords on the blinds, putting the little child-proof plugs in electrical outlets, putting up cleaners (even ones like Windex… those bright colors look like juice!), and keeping your laundry pacs up out of a child’s reach and the container closed to keep your family safe.

Sounds so simple, but now that I made those few little tweaks I feel SO much better! Check back every few days, and I’ll have more helpful tips for you here on the blog! I also encourage you to check out this site to learn more about keeping your home and family safe! Oh, and watch the video below of an “Ask the Experts” segment I did on Star64 with the expert at Children’s — click here to view all of them!

Tips for Home, Child Safety (Video #8)

I’m a planner. So, when we decided to start a family, the first thing I did was buy all the parenting books on Amazon so I could be as prepared as possible when our bundle of joy arrived, and we could live happily ever after. HA! I now know there are so many little things that the books don’t (and can’t) prepare you for. Like when they’re coloring in their cute new coloring book, and in a millisecond being EATING the coloring book (or crayons… or both). Or the moments when they go from a crawling, somewhat mobile but totally manageable baby to a walking, running, whirlwind of a toddler you can barely keep up with. That was the biggest “WOAH” moment for us. We began asking “What can she reach, get into, put in her mouth and stick her finger in?” (most likely all at once) with everything around the house.

So, I’m posting tips that I learned from an expert at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital because they were SUPER helpful for me, and I think you’ll agree. The biggest thing I learned from the expert as we went through the house is about child-proofing the laundry room. It’s the one I never even thought about when we initially child-proofed the house (I’m the only one who does laundry so I figured no one else would be in there). But it’s a really important room to safeguard — everything from keeping up cords on the blinds, putting the little child-proof plugs in electrical outlets, putting up cleaners (even ones like Windex… those bright colors look like juice!), and keeping your laundry pacs up out of a child’s reach and the container closed to keep your family safe.

Sounds so simple, but now that I made those few little tweaks I feel SO much better! Check back every few days, and I’ll have more helpful tips for you here on the blog! I also encourage you to check out this site to learn more about keeping your home and family safe! Oh, and watch the video below of an “Ask the Experts” segment I did on Star64 with the expert at Children’s about how to keep your child safe when they go to a friend/family member’s house.

Tips for Home, Child Safety! (Video #7)

As I shared a couple years ago, it took a while for the hubs and I to get pregnant. The good news is that I had lots of extra time to read every parenting book out there to be as prepared as possible when it did happen. But there are so many little things that the books don’t (and can’t) prepare you for. Like when you turn around to put something away, and somehow in that nanosecond, your ninja – I mean, child – managed to get their shirt off and they’re now drawing on their belly with a marker. Things like that. Or the moments when they go from a crawling, somewhat mobile but totally manageable baby to a walking, running, whirlwind of a toddler you can barely keep up with. Yeah, that was the game-changer for us. We all the sudden looked at our house like “OK. What can she reach, get into, put in her mouth and stick her finger in?” (sometimes all at once as we’ve since learned)

So, I’m posting tips that I learned from an expert at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital because they were SUPER helpful for me, and I think you’ll agree. The biggest thing I learned from the expert as we went through the house is about child-proofing the laundry room. It’s the one I never even thought about when we initially child-proofed the house (I’m the only one who does laundry so I figured no one else would be in there). But it’s a really important room to safeguard — everything from keeping up cords on the blinds, putting the little child-proof plugs in electrical outlets, putting up cleaners (even ones like Windex… those bright colors look like juice!), and keeping your laundry pacs up out of a child’s reach and the container closed to keep your family safe.

Sounds so simple, but now that I made those few little tweaks I feel SO much better! Check back every few days, and I’ll have more helpful tips for you here on the blog! I also encourage you to check out this site to learn more about keeping your home and family safe! Oh, and watch the video below of an “Ask the Experts” segment I did on Star64 with the expert at Children’s about how to keep your laundry room safe!

Tips for Home, Child Safety! (Video #6)

I feel like I have a completely different baby now that Lola is able to walk. She’s into EVERYTHING. Which, ultimately, is a really good thing because she’s active, curious and wanting to explore the world. But as a mom, that makes me “explore” the world — especially my house — with a different set of eyes. What can she reach? Would she stick her finger in that? Would she put that in her mouth? (answers: more than you think, yes, and yes)

So, I’m posting tips that I learned from an expert at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital because they were SUPER helpful for me, and I think you’ll agree. The biggest thing I learned from the expert as we went through the house is about child-proofing the laundry room. It’s the one I never even thought about when we initially child-proofed the house (I’m the only one who does laundry so I figured no one else would be in there). But it’s a really important room to safeguard — everything from keeping up cords on the blinds, putting the little child-proof plugs in electrical outlets, putting up cleaners (even ones like Windex… those bright colors look like juice!), and keeping your laundry pacs up out of a child’s reach and the container closed to keep your family safe.

Sounds so simple, but now that I made those few little tweaks I feel SO much better! Check back every few days, and I’ll have more helpful tips for you here on the blog! I also encourage you to check out this site to learn more about keeping your home and family safe! Oh, and watch the video below of an “Ask the Experts” segment I did on Star64 with the expert at Children’s about how to keep your child’s room safe!

Tips for Home, Child Safety! (Video #5)

Now that Lola is walking (well, running! haha!), I’m looking at my house with a completely different set of eyes. What can she reach? Would she stick her finger in that? Would she put that in her mouth? (answer to that last one is always yes, by the way)

So, I’m posting tips that I learned from an expert at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital because I found them to be SUPER helpful, and I think you will, too. The biggest thing I learned from the expert as we went through the house is about child-proofing the laundry room. It’s the one I never even thought about when we initially child-proofed the house (I’m the only one who does laundry so I figured no one else would be in there). But it’s a really important room to safeguard — everything from keeping up cords on the blinds, putting the little child-proof plugs in electrical outlets, putting up cleaners (even ones like Windex… those bright colors look like juice!), and keeping your laundry pacs up out of a child’s reach and the container closed to keep your family safe.

Sounds so simple, but now that I made those few little tweaks I feel SO much better! Check back every few days, and I’ll have more helpful tips for you here on the blog! I also encourage you to check out this site to learn more about keeping your home and family safe! Oh, and watch the video below of an “Ask the Experts” segment I did on Star64 with the expert at Children’s about how to keep your bathroom safe!

Check Out Kennedy Heights Arts Center!

So, exciting news, we selected a venue for our annual Night in White event… It’s the Kennedy Heights Art Center! I know what you’re probably thinking, “I’ve never heard of it!” And that’s what’s great about it! It’s definitely a fly-under-the-radar place, but once you step one foot inside you’ll know it won’t be a secret for long. I was SO impressed with this gorgeous space and I can’t wait to pack it with lots of Cincy Chic’ers! Details will be up on our site shortly about the event, so be on the look-out for it soon!

But if you’re curious and want to see if before our event, they’re having an Open House event that’s open for the public to check out the space. That’ll be this Thursday, and you can click here to get all the details about it.

And here are a few pics just to give you a sneak peek of this stylish space! Isn’t it amazing?!

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Review: Ava Gray Direct Wrap

I recently got this beautiful gray faux fur wrap from Ava Gray Direct and I just had to tell you how much I love it! I originally got it as a scarf, but Amy Elberfeld who I bought it from told me that I could also wear it as a shawl (there’s a little button and hoop on each end for it to stay together!) or drape it down the front, belt it (to look like a vest). I tried all of them and they all actually look really fab! Just thought I’d share — especially since it’s only $44! 🙂

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