Chanda Monroe-Williams

Title: 
President & CEO, CM-W Consulting
Partner, Executive Trendz Beauty & Barber Boutique
Chairperson, MonWill Family Foundation
Host, Quarantine Coffee Chats w/ Chanda
Adjunct Faculty, University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business, Operations, Business Analytics, and Information Systems (OBAIS) Department

Current / Past Place of Employment:  Prior to founding CM-W Consulting in 2008, I lead strategic initiatives and project management office for the Collections & Recovery divisions of GE (i.e., GE Capital, GE Retail Financial Services, and GE Money)

Where are you originally from? I was born in Detroit, Michigan, but I have lived in Cincinnati for 51 of 52 years of my life. I grew up in the community of Avondale, was the former President of Avondale Community Council, and have spent most of my adult life in Mt. Airy. I’m a proud product of Cincinnati Public Schools, having attended the former Burton Elementary School and Walnut Hills High School. I am also a second-generation graduate from the University of Cincinnati. 

Age: 52

Chanda Monroe-Williams founded CM-W Consulting in 2008, after 18 years of leading and managing strategic teams, programs, and initiatives for Fortune 500 & 100 companies, including GE Money and Great American Insurance. With an unstable economy, she believes there is continued opportunity to leverage her Six Sigma, Project/Program Management (PMP), and Lean Manufacturing expertise to build strategic partnerships with corporate and private executive teams.  Her niche is: Refining business strategies to achieve desired goals. CM-W provides strategic planning, project management, process improvement, software development, and executive coaching services within 18 industries. In 2019, Chanda decided she could be more impactful if she leveraged her experience and expertise to coach leaders earlier in their careers, so she became an Adjunct Faculty member for the University of Cincinnati’s College of Business.

Chanda is also the Co-Owner of Executive Trendz Beauty & Barber Boutique and was featured on The Cincinnati African American Chamber's Black History Month Inspirations Tribute in 2016. In addition, she was awarded the 2020 Woman of Distinction for STEM by the Girls Scouts of Western Ohio. In January 2020, she launched The MonWill Family Foundation and its vodcast “Quarantine Coffee Chats w/ Chanda” to direct her philanthropic efforts to reduce disparities in the African American community in the areas of health, education, digital literacy, and economics. The vodcast has conducted interviews touching on a wide range of topics and hosted community town halls on “How to Manage a Safe Return to School” and “COVID-19 Vaccinations and Our Dilemma”, which led to her selection as a 2021 Everyday Hero by The Walnut Hills High School Alumni Foundation. Chanda earned her BA in Psychology with minors in Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Development from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is the mother of two amazing kids, Xavier a student at the University of Cincinnati and Nya who is the owner of Nya’s Bathbombs.com.

 

What are your personal core values? My family elders taught me early on that you must believe in something higher than you to center yourself around the mindset of your higher purpose.  I have spent my life trying to be open to what that purpose is, knowing that it will unveil itself and continue to evolve over time.  As parts of the puzzle come together, I am very intentional in aligning myself to its definition, plan, and execution. My motto is, "Know God, Work Smart, Love Soft, and Play Hard." That simply means to Know God so that you can know his purpose for you, to Work Smart versus hard as efficiency saves time, to Love Soft as you never know who in your circle needs your intervention and play hard as we must take advantage of all the wonders this world has to offer us to reduce the stresses in our path.  

In what ways are you involved in the Cincinnati community outside of your professional endeavors? As a servant leader, I spend my time volunteering in spaces where my voice, expertise, and network can add value.  I was President of Avondale Community Council when we developed one of the fist community vision plans in the nation and leveraged that plan to give land to the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, which I have served for over 30 years.  In addition, I partnered with Allstate Insurance Company, the late Jerry Pryor and Karla Irvine of Housing Opportunities Made Equal (H.O.M.E) to co-found the Cincinnati Empowerment Zone that brought over $200 million of investment into the region. I also created the concept of establishing social innovation centers into inner cities to help bridge the digital literacy gap.   Quarantine Coffee Chats w/ Chanda continues to highlight and advocate for issues that need to be improved by procuring resources, disseminating information, or providing pro bono services.  In 2019 alone, I provided over $500k in community pro bono services and encouraged others to do the same. 

Looking at your professional career, outside of family and friends, where have you garnered your support?  Everyone should have a personal board of directors. I believe it’s important to manage the business of YOU before you can be successful in any other arena. My board is made up of a group of men and women in every industry and different parts of the world that hold me accountable to my vision for my life. These amazing people are highly accomplished leaving them to be transparent in where they believe I have opportunity for improvement.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind? Having lost my father, an entrepreneur, professor, and attorney at the end of 2021, I have spent a considerable amount of time deconstructing and transitioning over 74 years of his servant leadership. His legacy became more evident as his peers reached out to tell impressive and consistent stories of how he served his community and profession. I also know that he was as proud of the legacy that I was building as I was of the one he left. As a mother, it’s imperative that I stay the course and continue to foster a sense of self and community in my own family. My hope is that my children will continue to leverage and share their knowledge with their network as a best practice to improve conditions for our families.

How do you define success? Success is relative.  My definition is based on continuously improving myself so that I’m better positioned to achieve my purpose than I was the day before.  That also includes providing support to others to ensure they are positioned to do the same.  If we interact with people with the idea of creating win/win strategies and outcomes, our communities will thrive.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? Besides constantly revamping my personal board, I read, and pray at least 2 hours every morning.  I pray for wisdom, patience, courage, and serenity so that I may hold myself accountable to being a catalyst of positive change in the lives of others.

What piece of advice have you received along the way in your career or life journey that has stuck with you? To know the difference between being strong and a pillar of strength.  While we may have broad shoulders, we can’t burn ourselves out to the point that we have nothing left to give to the next generation. And to trust that people are who they present themselves to be and act accordingly, void of judgement.

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