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Dr. Jacklyn A. Chisholm
President & Chief Executive Officer

Jacklyn A. Chisholm, Ph.D. is President and Chief Executive Officer of Step Forward, the largest Community Action Agency in Ohio with revenues of over $47 million. Step Forward is a private nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives through education, personal and professional development programs, and support services. Dr. Chisholm is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of It’s Worth It Consulting, L.L.C., and the author of the book Leadership Lessons: Notes From and For the Journey.


Throughout her career, Dr. Chisholm has earned the title of “first”: first Vice President of Planning and External Affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum where, as Project Manager, she led the construction of the Museum’s $13 million Library and Archives; and at her alma mater Case Western Reserve University: first Associate Vice President for Community Partnerships, first Director of Community Relations, and the first Coordinator of Recruitment and Placement for the Office of Minority Programs.

Dr. Chisholm is also a committed lifelong learner as a Harvard Business School alumna, and has earned three degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Medical Anthropology, Master of Arts in Psychological Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Psychological Anthropology with an emphasis in Educational Anthropology; as well as several executive education certificates from the Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

She is the recipient of numerous awards including YWCA of Greater Cleveland Woman of Achievement, Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note, YWCA of Greater Cleveland Woman of Professional Excellence, Women of Color Foundation ISIS Award, Council for Opportunity in Education National TRIO Achiever, Cleveland Educators Forum Alumni Achievers Hall of Fame, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Great Lakes Region Community Honoree, City of Cleveland Black History Month Honoree and Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Dr. Chisholm is an alumna of Leadership Cleveland and a past member of The Western Reserve Chapter of Links, Inc.

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