CINCINNATI (December 7, 2022) — It’s the question asked of almost every Cincinnati resident, including Tocqueville Society member Jean Lauterbach: Where did you go to school?
Jean soon came to understand that it’s not a question about college, but which Cincinnati-area high school one attended. So, the native of northwest Ohio developed a stock answer: “I’m not from Cincinnati, but I got here as soon as I could!”
In fact, she came to town to study at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she earned a degree in piano. She considered pursuing a music career, “but I had a terrible fear of performing. I couldn’t see myself doing that.”
Instead, she married and raised two daughters with her husband, Chuck. When she was in her 30s, Jean earned a master's degree in health administration from Xavier University, which led to a successful career as an executive in the health care industry.
Since 2000, Jean has been a strategic business adviser. She holds the title of Master Chair at Vistage Worldwide, a professional development and peer advisory organization. The woman who feared performing – and still plays piano – has absolutely no qualms about being on center stage, so to speak, and leading private advisory boards for local business owners and CEOs.
“People have said to me, ‘You really have a hard job.’ But it doesn’t seem hard to me,” Jean says. “Talking to people, listening to people, that’s not hard. I like people, and I’m interested in what’s happening with them.
“The business owners and CEOs I work with are top-notch. They’re wonderful people and they are supporting the livelihoods of thousands of employees. They care very deeply about those people, so my job is to help (these leaders) get better, to become the best version of themselves. It’s uplifting work, and it’s fun.
“I feel that my work in Vistage really makes a difference in the community.”
Indeed, making a difference is a major theme of Jean’s life. It’s why she supports United Way. It’s why she has been a Tocqueville Society member for almost 13 years.
“United Way has a community impact that no other organization of its kind has,” she says.
When she worked in the health care industry, Jean participated in United Way workforce campaigns. But she didn’t know about Tocqueville until one of her Vistage members, Tillie Hidalgo Lima, asked her to become a member.
“She said, ‘Jean, you really have to do this. It’s so important.’ I admired and respected her, as everybody who knows her does. So, I gave it a try. I’ve been there ever since.”
She enjoys participating in Women of Tocqueville’s Compelling Conversations. She regularly attends First Tuesday luncheons. She has supported United Way’s Backpacks for Success events. And she looks forward to meetings of the Tocqueville book club, which she helped start.
“It’s so exciting that we’ve been able to keep (the book club) going through the pandemic,” she says. She hosted the last in-person gathering before virtual meetings became the norm. So, it was only fitting that this past September she hosted the first in-home meeting in more than two years.
“It felt wonderful,” she says. “We celebrated.”
“I learned to bait a hook with a worm when I was 4. When I was 5, I convinced my dad to let me filet a fish. My mother never knew!”
Tocqueville members enjoy meeting other philanthropic leaders at signature events such as cocktail receptions, luncheons and educational forums.
Each exclusive event is designed to give members an engaging, up-close look at how your investment is changing lives.