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May 500 Circle Spotlight

500 Circle Spotlight

Dr. JoAnna Brown 

Sagamore Institute – Senior Research Fellow & Community Partners in Research – Executive Director

Dr. JoAnna M. Brown is a Senior Research Fellow with Sagamore Institute for Policy Research as well as the Executive Director of Community Partners In Research.  ​ Dr. Brown earned her Bachelor of Urban Planning, Master of Community Planning, and doctoral degree in Regional Development Planning at the University of Cincinnati. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy from Northern Kentucky University’s Department of Political Science.For over fifteen years, she has worked for both non-profit organizations and local and regional governments in housing, community development and planning, and transportation planning. She was employed with Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) and Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission (HCRPC) (in Ohio) under a grant funded by the United Way as a Senior Housing Planner. As a Senior Housing Planner, she collaborated with local jurisdictions, community stakeholders, and non-profit and private housing developers on development workforce housing plans for inner-ring suburban communities in Hamilton County, Ohio.  Dr. Brown also has experience in community development serving as the Community Development Director for the City of Silverton, Ohio.  Prior to her employment with HOME/HCRPC and the City of Silverton, she was employed for approximately eight years with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation and Engineering, four of which were as a Senior Transportation Planner.

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Dr. Rona Howenstein

OneAmerica Financial Partners – Vice President Operational Excellence

Dr. Rona Howenstine currently serves as the Vice President, Operational Excellence and Claims for OneAmerica Financial Partners. She recently authored “Absolutely Achievable: Making Your Desired Future Your Reality” which she describes as 1/3 personal memoir, 1/3 inspiration and 1/3 self-help. Over the previous 17 years, Rona held significant leadership roles in the areas of Operations Management, Quality and Continuous Improvement at Rolls-Royce. Most recently, she was the Global Head of Improvement – Defense Aerospace Sector. In this position, she led a diverse team which was responsible for transforming the culture, developing, and deploying the continuous improvement strategy to achieve committed business performance. Rona received her Lean Sigma Black Belt and Executive Master Black Belt accreditation from Rolls-Royce, and holds a Lean Bronze accreditation though the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Rona has published and lectured widely in her field and has received numerous awards for leadership, achievement and mentoring. In 2012, Rona was awarded 1) the inaugural Institute of Industrial Engineers Middle Career Leadership Award for Industry, 2) Women & Hi Tech Outstanding Achievement in Science, Technology, or Engineering Award, and 3) the Manufacturing Institute Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Award. In addition, she was recognized in 2004 as the recipient of the Women & Hi Tech Outstanding Contribution to Manufacturing Industry Award.

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