Union Leaders – Vanessa Enoch

Dr. Vanessa Enoch

This month Dr. Vanessa Enoch is featured. Vanessa is the Founder and CEO of Cultural Impact, LLC, a Business Management consulting firm, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a 2017 UI&U graduate of the Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and Social Change, with a specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. studies.

She has been heavily engaged in social justice and human rights advocacy in the Greater Cincinnati community for over 20 years, leading local efforts to drive change in the criminal justice system and on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and issues facing children within the juvenile justice system.

Below are Dr. Enoch’s insights on leadership.

Q. How do you define leadership?

A. I believe that a leader is someone who provides positive influence and helps others acquire the tools that they need to be successful.

Q. Share an example of how you’ve put leadership in action.

A. I am a leader to my two beautiful daughters. I am also a leader in my faith community, as the first female Deacon in my over 125-year old church.  My passion for education and for disadvantaged children drives my leadership in my community, advocating for social justice causes such as ending mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline. As the board member for several non-profit organizations, I have been actively engaged in promoting positive race relations and in community organizing to encourage civic engagement.

Q. What leader do you admire most and why?

A. The three leaders I admire most are former U.S. President Barack Obama, former South African President Nelson Mandela, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I admire these three men because of the grace they exhibited in the midst of upheaval, resistance, and turmoil. I also admire the charismatic way each of them handled the difficulties that they faced. Although each of these men is heralded as world leaders and heroes today, they faced tremendous public scrutiny and were reviled by many as they struggled to change oppressive systems.

Q. What is your favorite inspiring leadership quote?

A. My favorite leadership quote is derived from words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Q. When did you first feel that you were a leader? What was the experience?

A. I first believed that I was a leader when I became the first of my grandparents’ children and grandchildren to attend and graduate from college. The experience carried and still carries an immeasurable amount of pressure, because I understand that people are relying on me to make good decisions and live a model life. Sometimes leadership requires making unpopular decisions and standing even when there is no one standing with you.

About Dr. Vanessa Enoch

Vanessa Enoch is the Founder and CEO of Cultural Impact, LLC, a Business Management consulting firm, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She completed her Ph.D. at Union Institute & University in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and Social Change, with a specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. studies. She also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management Information Systems from Xavier University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University. She has over 16 years teaching experience at the college level. She has been heavily engaged in Social Justice and Human Rights advocacy in the Greater Cincinnati community for over 20 years, leading local efforts to drive change in the criminal justice system and on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and issues facing children within the juvenile justice system.

Dr. Enoch has held leadership roles on boards such as the Juvenile Justice Taskforce, the local chapter of the National Black MBA Association, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, and was one of the youngest to ever hold a board position on The Greater Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce.  She has received many awards including academic scholarships for her Ph.D. studies, 2011 Educator of the Year, one of 15 Women in Business to Watch 2006, The Cincinnati Business Couriers 2004 Forty Under 40 award, C-Change Leadership Class 2006, and awarded 2004 Chapter of the Year during her Leadership as President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Black MBA Association.

She has two daughters, Mikela (23) and Christian (16).

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