The Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley Says Goodbye to a Giant and Hello to a New Beginning

CINCINNATI, OH. (September 22, 2022) – The Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV) is gearing up to say farewell to its illustrious leader, Sheila A. Mixon, at the end of this year when her retirement goes into effect. Mixon has been part of the WBEC ORV team since its inception in 2009 and took on the role of Executive Director in 2015.

During her time with the organization, she provided vision, leadership, and strategic direction for over 70 corporate members and over 1,000 Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). She also elevated the WBENC certification through the launch of The Ohio River Valley Business Development Program (ORVBDP), a program that she created for select high growth WBE’s.

Mixon has always had a strong passion for small businesses and that was felt through her leadership and direction. Her main goal is to help them succeed and thrive.

While her presence will be missed across the organization, her impact will live forever.

As Mixon departs her role this December, WBEC ORV is excited to announce that Lynnise Smith will come on board as the new Executive Director this fall.

Lynnise brings a wealth of knowledge to the organization from her extensive background in Supplier Diversity, Government, and Banking. The organization looks forward to having her on the team as it gears up for a strong 2023 and beyond.

Smith is a graduate of Cleveland State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications and her Master of Arts in Psychology. She has an extensive resume with work experience from Purdue University, Battelle, Case Western Reserve, and most recently, OhioHealth. She is excited to join the WBEC ORV team and continue its mission of being a catalyst for growth and sustainability in the region.

WBEC ORV is an organization for women business owners interested in promoting, developing, and maintaining business relationships with other women business owners, major corporations, and governmental agencies. Our charge is to certify women-owned businesses and to promote the activities directed at the development, expansion and encouragement of businesses owned by women. The organization is one of 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPO) in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council network and serves Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The organization was established as Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council (ORV~WBC) in March 2009 and has now rebranded as Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV) to align with the branding of the national WBENC organization.

WBEC ORV is operated by the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio Business Development and Entrepreneurship Department under the authority of WBENC. The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2009, WBEC ORV began with seven corporate members and 348 certified WBEs. Today, there are over 1,000 certified WBEs and nearly 80 corporate members.