How long have you lived in Cincinnati?
The majority of my life
What's your day job?
I'm the owner of Kamaria Productions, an event planning and consulting company specializing in conference and meeting planning as well as marketing and promotions for special/unique events. Kamaria Productions hosts a signature event called Paint By Numbers, an "out of the box" activity for clients to participate in when an off the beaten path social activity is needed for a fundraiser, anniversary, company picnic or team-building exercise. I'm also an on-air talent for 1230AM The Buzz daily talk show "SisterSpeak."
What work or projects do you tackle after the workday ends?
The workday never really seems to come to an end for me, being an entrepreneur! I'm constantly doing something or somewhere negotiating, networking, etc. However, at the end of the day, I'm a mother of a beautiful daughter as well as a YMCA mentor. I'm also constantly working on the designs for KamariaProductions.com and my new blog, AskAmeenah.com.
Where are your favorite places to hang out in the city?
Living downtown, I love being footsteps away from Fountain Square, Yeatman's Cove and the Gateway Quarter. Another favorite place is right across the river in the historical home area of Covington. A warm summer day, watching boats speed by and admiring how beautiful Cincinnati looks is where you can most likely find me.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced here?
One of the biggest challenges I've faced is getting folks to understand Cincinnati truly has a lot to offer its residents. So many times people say "there's nothing to do here" or "it's always the same old things going on." This can't be any further from the truth. Being a Cincinnati native, I've seen a lot of businesses, events and great ideas come and go, mainly due to lack of support. There are so many different museums, festivals, concerts, plays, happy hours, restaurants and networking events to keep you busy, entertained and engaged.
I hear a lot people say they're tired of seeing the same people everywhere they go. To that I say, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Invite a friend to a play and dinner on the West side of town. Or try a new art class on the East side of town; participate in a dance class downtown; go to happy hour in O'Bryonville.
What's the biggest opportunity?
I'd like to think my "big break" came a few years ago, when I attended a woman's health conference that changed my life forever. I met the CEO and founder of the foundation hosting the conference and asked if I could learn more by volunteering or working for the foundation as I was impressed and motivated by all the conference speakers and attendees. Three weeks later, I was blessed to became an employee, a mentee and a friend of Dianne Dunkelman, the CEO and founder of Speaking of Women's Health. She helped open my eyes to what I now call my "ultimate dream job."
What could be done to improve opportunities for young African Americans in Cincinnati?
Awareness of resources available is key to improving opportunities for young African-Americans. There are organizations and nonprofits hosting classes, events, seminars, workshops etc, on a variety of topics that we can benefit from professionally and personally. The issue a lot of the time is we aren't aware of the resources available and the dates/times/locations of the events. So many valuable resources are available to us through the Mayor's office, the various chambers and nonprofits. Awareness is half the battle. Doing something outside of our norm is the other. However, I believe when you know better, you do better. My passion is to inform, enlighten and educate my community on all things GREAT about Cincinnati.