Cast Your VoteAJ Kessler


Week 3: Casually Cool

What do you like to do for fun?

I create. I advocate. I play. I explore.
I create art and help to advance the performing arts in the Dayton area by serving on the Board of Trustees of the Human Race Theatre Company.
I advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community as a member of the Equitas Health Dayton Associate Board.
I play while working with the Entertainment Team of the Dayton Dragons.
I explore the world with my husband. We love discovering the hidden gems of the Gem City, camping with our best friends (hopefully at least one weekend a month), and traveling the world.
I’m the luckiest man on the planet.

Week 2: Workplace Image

Picture by Steve Paul Photography

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

So many facets of my job are rewarding; it’s hard to choose one that stands out as the most rewarding! I’m inspired to work for a forward-thinking, game-changing company like CareSource, leading the charge in providing 360-degree care for underserved populations. I have affirming, supportive leaders who are invested in my growth and my potential. And my team of Life Coaches is comprised of the most inspiring, hardworking, and high achieving individuals on the planet.

But I keep coming back to the success stories of our members. My team share success stories from the field on a weekly basis, and I look forward to receiving them every Friday. They are a manifestation of the good that can be accomplished by simply believing in people. Our department is called JobConnect, and we quite literally do that; moreover, we connect our members with the idea that they are capable and deserving of finding meaningful, sustaining employment, regardless of their background or resources. It’s an honor to witness the transformation that can be achieved when you connect a member’s needs, desires, and abilities to resources and opportunities that are already present within our community. Clothes That Work has helped so many of our members to finish that transformation and to see their potential as a professional, and I am thrilled to be able to raise awareness for this wonderful organization.

Week 1: First Impressions

Picture by Steve Paul Photography

What made you decide to pursue your current career or vocation?

I credit my degree in theatre with teaching me how to be a team player; to know my audience and to use that knowledge to determine the best method of communicating with them; to never take action without purpose; and to understand the importance and power of preparation, appearance, and presentation. Each job I have taken since college fulfilled the need to have a job and pay the bills, and each taught me how to take the skills I had cultivated in school and apply them as professional behaviors. Moving from the for-profit to the non-profit world in 2014 was a huge step toward being the “good person” I had envisioned. I am extremely fortunate to work for CareSource, a company focused on holistically improving our members’ lives, and in turn, improving the communities we serve. I learned of Life Services when it was created in 2015 and was excited about the realm of possibilities offered by a department created to assist members as they work toward self-sufficiency. After that, I started intentionally working to expand my matrix and my skillset in preparation for the right opportunity in Life Services. I found that opportunity last year when a Team Lead position opened in Life Services JobConnect, and I knew that was my job. Fortunately, the right people agreed, and here I am.

*A word about the clothes: Before the start of each school year, my dad would repeat the same mantra as the year prior: “First impressions are lasting.” By design, that has always stuck with me. A first impression outfit should embody you: the talents you possess, the confidence you permeate, the creativity you spark. It should fit like a glove. It should be memorable. It should reflect respect for the interviewers and the company for which you wish to work.

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