Chelsi Day Ghiorzi ’07 found passion through bringing together fellow Miamians

By Jesús F. Jiménez, assistant director of digital content

What inspired M.I.A.M.I. WOMEN Giving Circle member and alumna Chelsi Day Ghiorzi ’07 to get involved with the Miami University Alumni Association?

“I want to be around Miamians,” she said. “It was a really cool experience for me to meet people who – even though I didn’t know them in college – also found Miami to be a really special place.”

Heidi Bortel ’99 finds Chelsi to be a very special person, too.

Enthusiastic. Outgoing. Determined. A go-getter.

Chelsi’s work with alumni chapters led to her involvement with the M.I.A.M.I. WOMEN initiative, directed by Heidi.

Now a chair of the Giving Circle’s Grants Review Committee and a member of its Steering Committee, Chelsi is scheduled to lead a panel during the 2021 M.I.A.M.I. WOMEN Leadership Symposium.

On April 27, Chelsi will host a conversation with three young alumnae titled “Award-Winning Women Making a Difference.”

“She has so much energy and passion for this that she immediately dove right in and helped grow the circle,” said Heidi, director of development for women’s initiatives.

Chelsi and Heidi recently joined the alumni association for a Zoom conversation in preparation of the 2021 Virtual Leadership Symposium.

Chelsi’s first involvement came with the Southeast Michigan Chapter of the alumni association when she held an internship at Oakland University in Detroit.

She planned events such as wine tastings, happy hours and an outing at a hockey game when Miami was in town.

“I knew from then, wherever I land, I want to do more,” she said.

Chelsi next landed in Indianapolis, working as a sports psychologist at Indiana University. It was there that she first connected with Heidi, who was working on developing the Giving Circle, a collective giving effort that allows participants to contribute financially – an amount which, by itself may not fund a significant project, but combines to create a pool of money to fund vital projects immediately.

“I knew from meeting Chelsi that she would be awesome with the Giving Circle because she had already done such a good job leading the chapter in Indy,” Heidi said. “She was so passionate about it right from the get-go.”

Since 2018, the Giving Circle has awarded more than $350,000 to fund significant projects that change the lives of women at Miami. Hawk Tank, a fast-pitch event modeled after the hit TV show Shark Tank, invites women at Miami to pitch their projects to Giving Circle members, who then vote on where the funding will go.

“There’s a small group of us who get together and we, with a fine-tooth comb, review all of these applications,” Chelsi said. “We talk about our thoughts about them, our feelings, how it fits, and then we figure out how to decide who will advance.”

To get involved with M.I.A.M.I. WOMEN, you can email Heidi Bortel at at or 513-529-4635.

“I’m meeting amazing women constantly,” Heidi said. “Whether it’s through our regional events and things we do when we go off campus, or we’re bringing in these volunteers like Chelsi to help us run these programs. There’s so much talent, there’s so much passion, there’s so much wisdom and experience in all of these different individuals who I’ve met and that volunteer and are so ready to help.”

Austin Mace

Alumni Profile: Chelsi Day Ghiorzi ’07

Favorite Spot on Campus: It’s a tie between south quad, lying in the grass feet toward the turtles or standing at the opening to Slant Walk just looking down into campus.”

Memorable Moments: Far too many to count. I did meet my husband at Miami. He was a lifeguard and I was a varsity diver. We didn’t get together until after college, but we first ever met on the pool deck.”

Alumnus Achievement: MUAA Gambee Award winner. Served on the MUAA Board.”

Favorite spot uptown: My still-standing favorite has to be Skippers. But I spent a whole lot of time at Stadium (RIP).”

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