Jenell Walton is the Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Key Initiatives at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio (ULGSO), with responsibility for the development of the organization’s brand awareness, marketing, public relations, community partnerships, community engagement, social media and communications to stakeholders including board of trustees, volunteers, the media, public, bloggers and members of the business community. Walton has garnered extensive media coverage, produced visually appealing marketing collateral, coordinated special events, and a host of other communications activities. She guides strategy and execution of high-profile marketing to support fundraising events and initiatives. In this role, Walton also serves as a key advisor to the president & CEO of the ULGSO.
Walton was part of the Cincinnati Metro team that marketed the launch of the Cincinnati Streetcar in 2016. As external affairs specialist, she served as the website administrator for the Cincinnati Bell Connector, managed the streetcar’s social media accounts, wrote monthly newsletters and delivered engaging presentations during public hearings and at community council meetings. She also assisted senior executives with the implementation of the communications plan during several crises leading up to and after the launch of the streetcar.
Her background in television and radio brings a well-rounded perspective to her work with ULGSO stakeholders and participants. Walton is a seasoned communications leader and former journalist with 17 years’ experience covering the issues in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. Her time as an anchor at WCPO-TV 9 and reporter at WLWT News 5 and WDTN-TV 2 in Dayton allowed her to see firsthand the successes and struggles of the region.
As a native Cincinnatian, she understands many of the nuisances that make the Queen City what it is today. She has interviewed people from all across the region, from the poor to the wealthy, to county, city and business leaders. As a journalist, Walton says she always wanted to do “something more” after sharing people’s pain, heartache, and joy with television viewers. Her new role at the Urban League allows her the opportunity to give back.
Walton holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and a Minor in Political Science from Miami University. She is a member of the WCPO Community Advisory Board, Cincinnati Public Schools Local School Decision Making Committee and the ArtsWave Big Idea Sub-Committee. Walton is also an award-winning journalist earning an Emmy for her coverage of the 2005 Shelbyville, Indiana hostage standoff and an Emmy nomination for her impromptu live interview with NAACP President Kweisi Mfume during the 2001 civil unrest in Cincinnati. She has served on several community boards including The Catholic Telegraph and Cincinnati Union Bethel.
Walton loves to read books and is the co-founder of the Seba Girls Book Club with her daughter, Layla. She enjoys jogging and trying out new vegetarian and vegan recipes.