Bailey to be honored at luncheon

CINCINNATI — Cathy Bernardino Bailey, a 1983 graduate of Weir High School, is one of eight women who will be honored on Wednesday as part of the Great Cincinnati YWCA’s 2018 Career Women of Achievement luncheon.

This year’s event, “Women Leading Change,” will be held in the grand ballroom of the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. Actress, feminist and social justice humanitarian Ashley Judd is the keynote speaker.

Bailey is the director of the Greater Cincinnati Water Works. As the first woman and African-American woman to lead the utility since it was formed 200 years ago, Bailey has demonstrated an unrelenting drive, perseverance, consistent goals and perpetual optimism that have led her to the top of her profession, according to officials.

As the GCWW director, she ensures safe drinking water for a regional population of more than 1.1 million citizens, supervises a team of more than 600 full-time employees and oversees a $90 million operating budget, officials said.

Each year the YWCA honors Greater Cincinnati women for their leadership, vision, exceptional community contributions and notable professional success.

Bailey shared a few thoughts about perseverance and offered advice for young professionals.

“I believe my goals have always been worthy of my perseverance. This belief provided me with the drive and motivation to keep going, even when faced with obstacles. My purpose is to serve others, so that is worth me pressing forward for, staying in the race and overcoming roadblocks,” she said.

“I think I have been able to persevere when faced with obstacles by simply taking a step forward. While I would always define the end game, I didn’t rush to get there, particularly when there were already known roadblocks. I persevered by taking steps toward the goal, working over and around obstacles, setting the pace and continuing to move.

“Listen first; talk later. Don’t strive to be the loudest voice in the room; work to deliver a clear message that everyone will listen to and attentively look forward to hearing what you have to say. Then identify your role, set goals and aggressively pursue them.

Others being honored are Stacey Browning, president of Paycor; Tracy Cook, executive director of ProKids; Kimberley Halbauer, senior vice president and managing director for Fifth Third Private Bank; Deborah Hayes, vice president and chief operating officer of the Christ Hospital Health Network; Wijdan Jreisat, shareholder at Katz Teller; Donna Salyers, president and founder of Donna Salyers Fabulous Furs; and Carolyn Wallace, owner of the Perfect Brew.