Tag Archive: Zinaejah Ozier

  1. The Launch of the Z Blog and A Scholarship Too!

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    BLOGPOST#1

    Zinaejah Ozier is returning to Germinder + Associates this summer with the debuts of the “Z Blog” as an extension of last summer’s “Interviews with Zinaejah.”  Her first post coincides with the launch of the Inez Y. Kaiser GKC-PRSA Memorial Scholarship. Details on the scholarship here.

    Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass. Each of these powerful names ring an alarming bell in the heads of many across the country. Now, with the series of events that took a toll on our country in the summer of 2020, many pronounce the name of the victims who have lost their lives to police brutality and injustice with the famous hashtag, #saytheirname.

    So many names spoken, yet so many names unheard of. In my return as an intern here at Germinder + Associates, I was introduced to Inez Y. Kaiser, a Black woman I had never heard of. 

    With my constant presence in the field of writing for almost my whole life, it surprised me that I was never taught about her. What surprised me the most was the number of things we had in common. Both Kaiser and I were part of journalism, PR, and most of all, we are Black, we are women, and we are in America. 

    First introduced to me by Germinder + Associates president and founder, Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow, PRSA with her initiative as Co-Founder and Chair of the Inez Y. Kaiser GKC-PRSA Memorial Scholarship Fund Advisory Committee to create a scholarship under the name of Kaiser, I wanted to be a part of this. Knowing that there was someone like me who took giant leaps in the same field as me gave me hope. 

    I remember reading a piece called, “In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens” by Alice Walker during my freshman year at the University of Dayton (UD). I remember taking a pause after only the first page due to the relatability of the piece. Tears of sadness and joy falling like raindrops onto the bottom of the page provided me with a deeper understanding of why I felt the way I did at times. As a Black woman in America, I am in constant search of the gardens of our ancestors who suffered, mourned, and sang deeply rooted songs to numb their pain. A pain so deep that generations later, I too can feel that pain, especially when a victim of injustice is murdered on camera.

    As my main focus of the previous summer was to listen to Black professionals and get insight on their journeys, I wanted to tell my own story. My journey of entering a classroom filled with white students at a PWI. My journey of taking a leap of faith and sitting on the board of my Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter as the only black student in the organization. My journey of trying to navigate a world so heavily flawed, that my black skin is mistaken as blob of ignorance and anger. 

    Like Inez, I want to pave the road to success for aspiring young black woman after me and change the world of PR for good. I want the world to know her name. With this series I plan to share her story and mine. I want the world to not only read my words, but to feel them, just as Alice Walker and Inez Y. Kaiser did for me. 

  2. A Zinaejah Ozier Interview: Lea-Ann Germinder

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    Lea-Ann Interview
    Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Germinder + Associates

    Getting an internship is one thing. Learning about how you got an internship is another. In an interview with the president of our company, Lea-Ann Germinder, Zinaejah Ozier got the opportunity to get insight on the perspective of her employer.

    From hearing about why she was selected to getting feedback on the ways in which she was able to partake in reverse mentoring, Ozier asked Germinder a series of questions to seal her Power of Pink Internship experience. When asked about the selection process, Germinder explained the significance of reaching out to her alma mater, the University of Dayton.

    “My main goal was to help students during the pandemic,” said Germinder. “I was really troubled that many agencies decided not to have internships during the pandemic, and I thought maybe I could help out. I had wanted to reach back to the University of Dayton for quite some time and PRSA sent out a communication, suggesting that we try to help. So, I reached out to the University of Dayton and we went from there.”

    After reaching out to UD in an effort to grant two lucky students with a chance to gain experience at an agency during hard times, Lea-Ann heavily considered the potential compatibility between the two interns, Abby Crotty and Zinaejah Ozier.

    “Here you had yourself, who was a journalism student that was transferring from journalism to public relations, a great storyteller, and I was very impressed with your writing,” said Germinder. “Then, you had Abby, who is a senior legacy student who wanted to do digital content and I thought, gee, this could be really interesting. It turned out to be really true. You two created magic together.”

    To top the interview off, Ozier was curious to know how Germinder felt about their summer experience overall. Since she and Crotty had conducted their own interview discussing their thoughts on their experience, hearing from Germinder…

    “Learning during the pandemic was a challenge, but we rose to that challenge,” said Lea-Ann.  “The Black Lives Matter movement was so important, and it was so impactful that we ended up not discussing some logistical things that we may have ended up discussing, but there’s always time to discuss that. At the end of the day, I think it’s so important to give back every single day and I’m thrilled with how the internship turned out.”

    With a goal of giving the girls a taste of the world of public relations and helping them to follow their passion, the internship has shown itself to serve that exact purpose.

    To watch the full interview, click here!

    To hear what interns Abby Crotty and Zinaejah Ozier had to say about their internship experience, click here!

  3. A Zinaejah Ozier Interview: Jahzeel Campbell

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    Jahzeel Campbell
    Jahzeel Campbell

    For her final interview here at the Germinder + Associates internship, Zinaejah Ozier decided to speak with another former intern and longtime friend of Founder Lea Ann Germinder, Jahzeel Campbell. He is currently serving as a dance coach in Australia and Campbell shared his experiences of being in the world of PR, and then transferring into the world of dance.

    Throughout their conversation, the two discussed how much they’ve learned from Germinder and the many talks they’ve had with her regarding their passions and future endeavors. Specifically, Germinder helped Campbell to figure out what it was he really loved to do both within and outside of PR.

    “She knew that I danced at a young age,” said Campbell. “She saw that as much as I did love PR, there was always that desire to teach as well. So, we would have conversations about making sure that you’re doing what you love and filling your purpose.”

    As a black man in America, Campbell spoke on his experience as a teacher and the importance of being a trailblazer for the young black children that he taught. As it was an all-girls institution filled with mostly black and brown girls, Campbell felt obligated to guide them in the right direction and create those long-lasting relationships in order to make an impact in their lives.

    “Being raised in a household with beautiful, strong, educated women,” said Jahzeel, “I knew that I had a responsibility to not only teach my students in terms of the area of dance, but also be an example of a positive role model in their lives.”

    He then went on to explain the importance of communicating effectively when put in a high position. As an aspiring leader herself, Ozier was curious to know what values were important to hold within those settings as an African American. He expressed the importance of remaining humble and admitting your mistakes even as a teacher to his students.

    “Seeing that healthy level of communication from somebody who’s their teacher gives them a foundation to go out into the world and know what standard and expectations separate themselves as it relates to communicating and relating with people,” said Campbell.

    Ending her final interview, Ozier and Campbell discussed how important their relationship with Lea-Ann had been both as a supervisor and as a mentor and how they planned to stay in touch in the future.

    “The conversations I’ve had with Lea-Ann has allowed for stigmas to really be shot down or they’re proven not true as to how we relate to each other from whatever background we’re from,” Jahzeel said.

    With a racial injustice movement still intact, the relationship that the two hold with Germinder remains a significant and powerful one. With her help, racial barriers and stereotypes of what a mentor and mentee relationship should look like has been broken.

    To watch the full interview, click here!

    To see Jahzeel Campbell’s written piece on his experience at Germinder + Associates, click here!

    For more on the series, click here.

    Follow us on Instagram @GerminderPR

  4. A Zinaejah Ozier Interview: Nathalie Godwin, APR

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    Nathalie Godwin
    Nathalie Godwin, APR, and Assistant Vice President of External Communications at Unum

    Nearing the end of her series, Zinaejah took on Nathalie Godwin, APR, and Assistant Vice President of External Communication at Unum, a global insurance company. Like herself, Zinaejah found connection when she saw that Godwin had had a background in journalism as well, along with the fact that she was a successful black woman, which Zinaejah aspired to be.

    Starting off with her first position in communications at NASA and working on the Mars rover mission, Nathalie Godwin, saw many more positions at big companies following this experience. Later, she even worked for companies like UPS and Hilton. As each of these companies are large corporate organizations, Zinaejah was interested to know what it was like being in leadership positions as a woman of color.

    “I find that I’m always working much harder,” said Nathalie Godwin. “Your white colleagues are labeled as passionate while I’m labeled as the angry black woman, and that’s really tough. After George Floyd’s murder, I was reading all about different experiences on LinkedIn from other black females and I was reading about me! I think if anything, it taught me that I wasn’t alone in my experiences.”

    With those shared experiences, Ozier found it important to also receive advice, seeing that she may one day be in that position as well. Nathalie broke it down into three pieces of advices that she found was helpful to mention to young black women in the past.

    Don’t work for a brand that you don’t believe in their ideals,” said Godwin. “Be who you want to be, not who they want you to be. If it’s not you, then who? So, why not you? Growth and comfort never co-exist, so never stop growing.”

    Since this interview series has been based off of mentorship and what it means to have a mentor as an African-American, Zinaejah was curious to know what role mentors and mentees played in Godwin’s life.

    “My mentor and my mentee both teach me so much. I was struggling with a colleague [once] and I told my VP that I needed a mentor and they had to look like me so that they understood what I was going through. It was very nice because I was able to have those closed-door conversations that were very honest and tough, but it definitely helped me to navigate corporate culture.”

    Godwin ended with a few takeaways that she felt were very important to know while entering into the professional world as a future leader.

    “Now is the time to listen, have those uncomfortable conversations, take action, and make a difference. Representative John Lewis once said that he had an executive session with himself and he said, ‘We’ve still got a lot of work to do. We can’t have silence right now. It’s time to be courageous and have those uncomfortable conversations. We have to take the first step and believe in the possibility that we can be better.’”

    To watch the full interview for yourself, click here!

    For more on the series, click here.

    Follow us on Instagram @GerminderPR

  5. A Zinaejah Ozier Interview: Byron Calamese

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    Byron Calamese
    Managing Director (NYC & DC) at Zeno Group

    Four interviews in and Zinaejah Ozier spoke with a black leader that has a lot of inspirational advice and a very unique journey. Byron Calamese, Managing Director (NYC & DC) at Zeno Group, a global, integrated communications agency, born from PR.

    Calamese expressed that in many ways, his career has been challenging due to his tendency to be an introvert and his experience as a black man in such a high position. The question of leadership brought up for Calamese a very special person in his life, his niece, who he sees as one person he’s responsible for guiding on her path to success.

    “It is partly my responsibility to ensure that her journey to getting to where she wants to go is easier,” said Calamese. “It’s not that she’s not going to work hard, but I want to ensure that she has the confidence and that we instill those values in her as well as other black men and women.”

    After speaking about confidence, Zinaejah was curious to hear about mentorship and learning from people, as advice seeking is usually where one gets the motivation to push forward with careers and desires. Calamese shared how he himself had more than just black mentors in the past that ultimately helped him to see and understand different perspectives and ways of looking at the world.

    “If I were to advise someone that’s in college now or at a junior level of their career, I would say yes, mentors are super important, and I think that that is invaluable. But I would say that you can learn a lot by just being curious with a number of different people,” said Byron Calamese. 

    As Zinaejah is interning for Lea-Ann Germinder, who as a red-headed white woman is decidedly not Black, she heavily related to the idea of learning from more than just people who look like herself. Germinder has been very influential in Ozier’s life thus far during the Power of Pink initiative and is bound to mentor her for years to come. 

    To listen to the full interview, click here!

  6. A Zinaejah Ozier Interview: Cheryl Proctor-Rogers, APR, PCC, Fellow, MBA, MA

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    Cheryl Proctor-Rogers Interview
    PR and Business Strategist, Executive Coach, A Step Ahead Consulting and Coaching


    This interview is the first in a series of interviews from University of Dayton junior and summer Digital Associate Zinaejah Ozier. As an aspiring leader Zinaejah made an effort to contact Proctor-Rogers as she is an executive coach with many years of mentorship under her belt. As Ozier’s series of interviews is also an attempt to grow a connection and listen to the words of the wise, this candidate was a definite fit.

    THE KEY TO SUCCESS: MENTORS PLUS

    The interview consisted of insights on how Proctor-Rogers made her way through the professional world over time and her emphasis on the importance of having a mentor. As explained in the video, we get to hear about the many mentors that Cheryl has had growing up including her parents and peers within the organizations that she took part in. 

    “Having mentor as part of your personal cabinet is critical to your success,” said Proctor-Rogers. “I can’t imagine how I would have been able to achieve everything I could.”

    To watch the full interview and gain insight on Cheryl Proctor-Rogers for yourself, check out the link to the video here: https://youtu.be/DBxytGLg0dw

  7. The Power of Pink: Leadership Interviews With Zinaejah Ozier

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    Interviews with Zinaejah Logo

    As a next step in our Power of Pink Initiative and in light of recent events, we’re introducing a series of interviews with black leaders across the country conducted by Zinaejah Ozier, a junior at the University of Dayton and incoming treasurer of the PRSSA chapter at Dayton. The goal of the series is to join in the current conversation through the eyes of a young leader speaking with black leaders – and learn!

    Zinaejah is already a budding storyteller, a journalism turned public relations major. Coming into the internship, Zinaejah expressed her desire to learn about the stories of the people whose footsteps she planned to follow. Using her own journalist approach, she’ll conduct video interviews and ask unique questions of each interviewee in an attempt to grow her understanding of how each person achieved success and how she can do the same.

    “I’m excited to have this opportunity to conduct these interviews at Germinder + Associates,” said Zinaejah. “It allows me to gain a broader understanding of the public relations profession and the opportunity to connect and network while I am gaining experience on the job.”



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