Welcome to The Breeding Ground!
We’re a new social network of parents advocating for family supportive workplace policies, laws, and values in the United States. Moms and dads, no matter whether straight or LGBTQ, taking action.
Created by passionate parents for passionate parents, The Breeding Ground provides community and resources for parents who want to make a difference for families. Think gender-neutral paid leave. Think affordable and quality early childhood education. Think flexible workplace policies. Think equality at home and at work.
Sounds great, right? Here’s the thing. Nothing will change unless each of us takes it upon ourselves to act. So get involved!
At The Breeding Ground, you will find an interactive platform where registered members connect by location and interests. There are well-researched and concise guides you can use to educate your peers, employers, and legislatures. We have topical discussion forums, and a blog, where parents share their successes and discuss their setbacks in order to teach and encourage others to act.
(Oh, and our name is a bit of a double entendre. It references both that we are a collaborative hub, and is a playful reference to having children. Because we’re hilarious).
Our goal is to harness the collective power of parents—and at 35 million American families with children under 18 we are a powerful group—to make a difference for families. Join us!
Rachel Loftspring, Founder and CEO
Rachel is a Cincinnati native who boomeranged back to the great Queen City from Chicago along with her endlessly patient husband, Dan, and their sweet-and-opinionated toddler, Mila. A fertility attorney and social entrepreneur, Rachel believes everyday parents like herself have the power to #DeliverChange for families. It’s why she created The Breeding Ground. Rachel’s happy place is sitting by a lake, book in one hand, wine in the other, and temperature at 68 degrees. She has a chef’s degree from Argentina and dreams of one day owning a Tesla.
Matt Berning, Creative Visionary
Matt is Owner and Creative Director of Uplift Studio. As an entrepreneurial brand innovator, Matt has over 15 years tending to brands such as P&G, Adidas, and Kellogg’s. Matt’s new focus is on making great ideas flourish by helping startups and small businesses realize their dreams. Matt lives in Mason with his wife Leah and children; Amelie, Bennett, and Kenzo.
Ashia Ray, Photographer
Ashia Ray is a Boston-based storytelling photographer specializing in young families and spirited kids for over 15 years. When she became a mother in 2012, she decided the best way to raise kind and compassionate sons was to be the change she wished to see and light a path for them to follow. When she’s not do-gooding, Ashia creates day-in-the-life documentaries for families, teaches photography workshops for parents, and innovates ways to trick her boys into eating vegetables. You can learn more about her work and collaborate in the family photography revolution with her at www.ashiaray.com.
Gary De Jesus, Brand Strategist
Originally from New York City, Gary somehow ended up in Cincinnati 22 years ago and has been here since. A big picture guy, he’s built and launched a diverse array of brands for over 30 years, 18 years of which were at P&G. He’s currently Managing Partner of YBG Ventures, CMO of CycleBar, and a Professor at NKU. Gary and his wife Patti are parents of two: Matt and Jess. If you can’t find him anywhere else, chances are he’s on the sidelines of a soccer field kickin’ back and working on his fan tan.
In 1984, Stew Friedman joined Wharton, where he is the Practice Professor of Management. In 1991, he founded both the Wharton Leadership Program and the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project. In 2001, he concluded a two-year assignment (while on academic leave) at Ford Motor, as the senior executive for leadership development. He has been recognized twice as one of HR’s Most Influential International Thinkers and as one of the “world’s top 50 business thinkers” thrice by Thinkers50. In 2015, he won Thinkers50’s Distinguished Achievement Award in the talent management field. He’s published 50+ digital articles for HBR.org, including one listed first among Harvard Business Review’s Ideas that Shaped Management in 2013. He was chosen by Working Mother as one of America’s 25 most influential men to have made things better for working parents, and was recently honored by the Families and Work Institute with the Work Life Legacy Award.
His most recent book, Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life (Harvard Business, 2014), was a Wall Street Journal bestseller. And his earlier book, Total Leadership: Better Leader, Richer Life (Harvard Business, 2008), also a bestseller, is now in eight languages.
An award-winning teacher, he appears regularly in business media (The New York Times cited the “rock star adoration” he inspires in his students). His Total Leadership program is used worldwide, including by the 140K students in his MOOC. Follow on LinkedIn and Twitter @StewFriedman and tune in to Stew’s show Work and Life, on SiriusXM 111, Business Radio Powered by Wharton, Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
Sandra R. Hughes
Sandra R. Hughes is CEO/President of Sandra Hughes Strategies, Ltd. partnering with clients on custom solutions to increase business, leadership and/or personal development. Sandy has more than 35 years experience in business transformation and leadership within Procter & Gamble and across other organizations and industry sectors. In her last decade with P&G, Sandy served as Global Privacy Executive, in addition to leading global programs in Ethics & Compliance, Information Governance, Social Media Policy and Competitive Intelligence. In 2012 the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) recognized her with the Vanguard Award for best Corporate Practitioner and the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF) with a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Woman of Influence.
Since her ‘reWirement’ in 2012, a portfolio career adds leadership roles in philanthropy as well as private and non-profit boards as a means to ‘give back’ to those professions and causes that fuel her passion. Sandy serves as Secretary on the corporate board for the Future of Privacy Forum, VP Finance & Administration for the International Coach Federation Ohio Valley, and the advisory boards for International Privacy Day and Executive Women’s forum. She is also the Chairman of Social Venture Partners Cincinnati, an engaged philanthropy organization elevating the success of innovative charities within the community. Most recently Venue Magazine recognized Sandy as a 2014 Cincinnati Woman of Influence.
Added to these qualifications is continuing education and certification as a professional leadership and executive coach with the International Coach Federation as well as techniques and tools from organizations such as the Center for Creative Leadership. Sandy draws from these experiences and resources, to customize an approach for each client to meet their wants and needs, both real and yet to be discovered.
Michael Kroeger is a results-driven professional with over 20 years of experience, excelling in dynamic business and technology environments. After graduating from the University of Dayton, Michael began his career at Accenture building custom solutions and managing large complex projects for the Insurance and Financial Services Industry for over six years. After three years with another local firm specializing in operational improvements, Michael joined Centric Consulting’s Cincinnati office focusing on leading major IT and business transformation projects.
In 2011, he Co-Founded Ingage Partners, a certified B corp providing Management and IT Consulting Services with Kelly Dolan. IngagePartners has been recognized as a Best Place to Work in Cincinnati for 4 years by the Cincinnati Business Courier and Ohio Business Magazine and as Best For the World for 2 years by B Labs, a non-profit that certifies social businesses. Looking to expand their impact in the community, they Co-Founded an IT Impact Sourcing organization called Thrive training and hiring formerly unemployed and underemployed people and helping to launch their careers in IT.
Michael lives in northwest Cincinnati with his wife Viktoria and two young boys. They enjoy traveling and giving of their time to worthy social causes.
Brittany is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) at Ducks in a Row. She brings several years of combined experience working in Big 4 Public Accounting, Financial Planning and Analysis, as well as Operational Risk and Compliance management. Her core competencies include establishing and streamlining processes, procedures and controls for businesses, conducting advanced data analysis and developing strategic marketing and financial plans. Brittany holds both a Bachelors degree in Accounting, as well as a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Dayton.
Noah is originally from Albany, New York, but finally saw the light, and moved to Cincinnati in 1999 (for which his wife, a Cincinnati native, is grateful). Noah is a recovering mathematician and a partner at the law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl, where he works in the health care and tax arenas. Noah not only represents tax exempt organizations throughout the Midwest, he also serves on boards and committees of numerous non-profits serving needs as far flung as children’s health on the one hand and Jewish community engagement on the other. Noah holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (math), Indiana University (more math) and New York University (law). Far more importantly, he is the husband of Brett and the father to Shoshana and Leora.