Jan 11, 2023

Get to know your 2023 EPIC Toledo Chair: Malena Caruso

2023 is shaping up to be EPIC and we are so excited for Malena Caruso to lead us through an awesome year as our Chair in 2023!

Malena has been involved in EPIC since 2017, serving on the advisory council since 2019. She works for ProMedica Physicians Group as a Medical Assistant.

Learn more about Malena and how she got involved in EPIC Toledo through this highlight blog!

How did you get involved in EPIC Toledo? 

While working as a reporter for WTOL 11 News, I was assigned to cover EPIC’s Birthday Bash. I arrived to find people buzzing around setting up for the big party. These young professionals were transforming empty space in the lower level of One Lake Erie Center into a lounge for the party. I was so impressed. I ended up attending the party later that night. After connecting with so many amazing people, I knew I wanted to learn more about this organization. 

Being a Toledo transplant, I never imagined putting down roots in the 419. I often say, “Toledo was my drive-by city.” Toledo was halfway between my hometown near Akron, Ohio and Chicago where I was attending Northwestern University earning my Masters. Being involved with EPIC is one of the reasons why I now call Toledo home. 

What leadership skills have you learned from being involved in EPIC?

Some of the most important things I’ve learned from my experiences with EPIC include; taking intelligent risks, being a change maker and being an effective board member. I’ve learned that Toledo is a place where we can grow, evolve and make a difference. EPIC showed me the power of community. 

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment in the last three years?

One of my greatest accomplishments in the last three years is betting on myself and taking the big step to pursue my career in healthcare. I’m working as a Medical Assistant while I finish the required courses to apply to Physician Assistant programs in the area. The coming year will bring to fruition this goal while also getting married and starting a family. 

What brought you to Toledo and what has kept you here? 

I moved to Toledo to work as a weekend morning reporter for WTVG. I thought I’d be here a year, two at the max. God had other plans for me. Working as a reporter at the local news station gave me the unique opportunity to learn about all of the amazing growth and opportunity happening in Toledo and showed me that I could be a part of the change. Living downtown, I watched firsthand the growth of downtown Toledo. As Toledo grew and evolved, I saw the opportunity that I too could grow evolve and make Toledo my home. 

What is your favorite advice/quote to live by? 

“To love someone is to let them be who they are and do what they need to do.” Krishna Das

“Now, is the time for Yoga.” Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

“Not every day is a good day, but there is good in every day.” My mom, Dr. Carrie Caruso

Remembering to breathe through any challenging situation gives us the power and space to understand what is within our control and what is outside of our control. We may not be able to control what’s happening around us, but we can always control how we respond and allow the situation to impact us. 

What is your vision for EPIC 2023 – if we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating a great twelve months, what does this look like to you?

In January 2024, I want to look back and be proud of the next leaders of EPIC Toledo who are excited and feel prepared to carry on the strategic plan. Knowledge transfer is so important to me. Learning, growing and passing it on is essential for our community to attract, retain and support the future leaders of the Toledo Region. I want to see our EPIC membership grow in diversity of thought, background and work experiences. 

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