Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Ohio Valley Goodwill Honors Extraordinary Women on International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day Spotlight

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the inspiring stories of our Ohio Valley Goodwill team members. Please take a moment to enjoy meeting these impressive women.

Kristine Agoston: Kristine has been involved with Goodwill’s award-winning CARE program since graduating from High School. Kristine’s lengthy resume includes: starring as a model in the 2009 “What Matters Most Fashion Show” in support of the Hamilton County DD Services Levy campaign; appearing as a 1950’s era model including poodle skirt in Goodwill’s 100th Anniversary Fashion Show in 2016 MC’d by Sheree Paolello from Channel 5 News; as well as numerous television commercials in support of Goodwill’s Mission and Auto Auction Program. Additionally, as a Brand Ambassador for Goodwill, Kristine has met with dozens of legislators over the years including Senators and State Representatives. Kristine has been a long-time participant in the PigAbilities event sponsored by Ohio Valley Goodwill as part of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon weekend. She is charming, engaging and outgoing and an asset to the Greater Cincinnati community.

Elizabeth Steele: A long time participant in Goodwill’s CARE (Center for Advocacy, Recreation and Educations) program, Elizabeth has been a regular volunteer for all of the community events that the CARE Team supports including the Shared Harvest Food Bank, helping out at retirement communities and related opportunities. Liz is always an enthusiastic model for our seasonal fashion show events on Facebook Live as well as a participant in the PigAbilities event as part of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon weekend. She is kind, thoughtful and supportive of other CARE program participants and our staff team.  

Jan’el Gentry is with our HUD Grants Division at Ohio Valley Goodwill and specifically, serves as a Housing Specialist. In her role, Jan’el works with area landlords to try to help individuals currently challenged with homelessness to find appropriate housing in the Hamilton County community. These are people who are currently residing in local shelters or on the street. Jan’el and her team work with Strategies to End Homelessness and provide person-to-person outreach to identify individuals and their housing needs. Jan’el estimates that she helps at least 25-30 people per year to obtain permanent housing. As a certified housing inspector, Jan’el is responsible for working with each landlord to ensure that the units meet the HUD requirements before individuals can move into the prospective apartments. Jan’el has been with OVGI for more than 8 years and loves what she does- “it’s so rewarding and people are so appreciative when they get a place they can call home.” Jan’el is also on the Employment Engagement Committee helping to plan special events to build employee engagement with the organization. Jan’el is also very involved in the annual Community Homeless Awareness Dinner each year which this year welcomed 300 people.  

LaShonda Brady:

LaShonda has been at Goodwill for 18 years and enjoys her job as a material handler as well as hanging and sorting clothes. When she’s not working, she helps her Mom out at home, goes out with her boyfriend to the park or out to dinner.

LaShonda feels that she is a positive role model for others because she is nice to everyone and says good things about Goodwill. When asked about her interest in getting a job in the larger community, she noted that is unsure about this due to a variety of medical issues which could be unsafe in a work environment where people are not trained in how to support her. “My Mom and I feel that I am safer working at Goodwill,” noted LaShonda.

Susan Esterkamp:

Susan has chosen to work in the community and is successfully employed at McDonald’s and is celebrating five years at her job. She has also chosen to continue to participate in Goodwill’s work opportunities because she has many friends here and enjoys being able to see them on a regular basis. Susan is very social and likes the customer services aspects of her community job.

When she is not working, Susan is very social and enjoys shopping, going for walks, being involved with community events, watching Reds games and hanging out with her best friends, Josh and Lauren. She has a black Labrador named Butch that she likes to hang out and is currently working on updating her bedroom. Susan is always smiling and excited about her life and eager to become even more involved in community events and new experiences.

Crystal Steele:

Crystal is a Housing Case Manager with Goodwill’s HUD Grant program. “I help maintain housing for individuals experiencing homelessness off the street or who are staying in shelters to help them to become more stable in their housing,” explains Crystal. Crystal conducts monthly home visits to ensure that people are following their budget, paying bills on time and generally making sure they maintain their housing and stability to prevent homelessness again. Crystal helps 25-30 individuals annually to maintain their housing situations. Additionally, she assists individuals in accessing Section 8 housing through a more streamlined and expeditious process. Crystal is a Social Worker and has been performing this role for 3 years with Ohio Valley Goodwill. “Helping people to attain stability in their housing helps me to feel fulfilled and that I have completed my mission to serve those individuals who are challenged with homelessness.”

Celebrating Your Success!

Ohio Valley Goodwill is grateful to all of the women who agreed to share their stories in honor of International Women’s Day as well as for their contributions to Ohio Valley Goodwill and its mission of service. We celebrate your personal success!