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Interview with Jenny Michael, VP of Marketing and Corporate Communications at CareSource

"I would have been paralyzed by the criticism if I had not learned to embrace it."

Jenny Michael is vice president of marketing and corporate communications, leading CareSource’s branding nationally. Having served at the company for six years, she’s part of a large growing team of women in  leadership at Caresource. In a Lean In Dayton Interview, Michael discusses why the company has adopted the philosophy of promoting women and diversity not only in the workplace but at the very top of the organization.

Lean In Dayton:  Ms. Michael you lead the marketing, branding, corporate communications and media relations division for CareSource. How did this position come about?

Jenny Michael: I joined this growing company six years ago as the Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations. In 2015, I moved into the role of vice president of Marketing and Corporate Communications to lead a division of talented individuals who manage our brand, promote our extensive products and build awareness about our company and its mission.

Six years ago, I was the first person in the role as Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations. That position was developed based on our incredible growth and the need to provide a strategic effort to managing our external messages locally, regionally and nationally. The CareSource name was reverberating locally; we were starting to get media attention; our employee base was growing and there was also a need to focus on how we communicate internally.

Lean In Dayton:  CareSource has a high percentage of women in leadership and focuses on diversity and inclusion. In your opinion, how do you feel this has impacted business?

Jenny Michael: CareSource does have a high percentage of women in leadership positions. Our founder, President, and CEO Pamela Morris is a role model and a nationally recognized leader in the healthcare industry.  One of the philosophies that CareSource has incorporated is that our employee base is reflective of those we serve.

We serve a predominantly Medicaid population which is mostly made up of moms and children.  Plus, we know that women make many of the health care decisions for their families, so our business is reflective of our market. In addition, at CareSource, we have a large number of women in management, director and vice president positions.

Lean In Dayton:  As an expert in marketing communications, what are some of the common fails of branding among women leaders, if any?

Jenny Michael: It's just really imperative that women learn to stand their ground, because we are often tested, maybe even pushed harder than our male colleagues in certain areas. It's critical that we approach each situation with confidence and prepare well-thought-out ideas and responses...

Interviewed by Julene Allen

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Julene Allen