This week on the Women STaRs Podcast, we have the pleasure of talking with Jenice Contreras, the Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development. Jenice was born in Puerto Rico, is bilingual, bicultural and is proud of her heritage. Through her key involvement in CentroVilla25, an adaptive reuse of a vacant warehouse and office building, Jenice is a driving force around the neighborhood redevelopment efforts in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood, the most densely populated Hispanic enclave in the state of Ohio. She has many achievements to commend her, such as features from prominent publications like Crain’s, other awards and community involvements, as well as her advocacy for others and dedication to helping her community.
Listen to this fantastic episode and glean some stunning advice, great stories, and the inspiration you just might be missing in your life. Jenice shares with us the experience of being a young mother and raising children while building a career; how she learned to give herself grace; finding people in her she-tribe who fill her cup; and meaning it when she says “no.” You’ll not want to miss hearing about her greatest success that she’s currently going through: helping to strengthen the neighborhood she grew up in and making it more equitable.
If you’d like to contact Jenice, you can visit her profile on hbcenter.org.
Thank you to our sponsor, On Technology Partners for their support, guidance, and ongoing encouragement.
“Oftentimes women feel like they have to choose one or the other: if you want the career, you can’t have the family, if you want the family, you can’t have the career. And I think there are many stubborn women who refuse to believe that that is the case. And so, I challenged myself to do it all. It wasn’t perfect and it was very messy most days, but I’m happy I was able to get through it.”
“Plan, but also give yourself the flexibility to know that life happens. Give yourself the grace to say, ‘Hey, that didn’t happen today, it’s okay and we will manage.’”
“Just to have the opportunity to play a leading role into creating something that’s transformational in a community, that’s going to live for generations to come, it’s pretty wild and pretty invigorating to me.”
“I spent a lot of time on things that are not important. I would go to evening meetings or weekend events. In retrospect, now that I don’t have a lot of time and I’m super busy, I would analyze how a meeting or event fulfills my personal or professional goals. And if I couldn’t answer that clearly, I would tell people to walk out of that meeting.”