Meet Juanita McGowan! | Cleveland East Side Moms

Meet Juanita McGowan!

by | Dec 17, 2018 | Meet A Mom


This week’s meet-a-mom is an almost ex-pat with a very cool history.  Born and raised in Ohio, Juanita moved to England to pursure a freelance rock journalism career.  Her territory?  United Kingdom’s Midlands, where she lived for the better part of a decade.  She met her husband on the job – she was the rock journalist, he was the band front man.  Their union was interesting enough to capture the interest of a pretty big deal paper when the Washington Post covered their unusual nuptuals at the Lincoln Memorial in 2014.  Juanita and her family moved back to the US and to Cleveland in 2016, where she and her husband Guy moonlight as podcasters for Cool Cleveland.  To learn more about this awesome mama, check out our interview with her below.


Where are you originally from?

I grew up and went to school in North West Ohio, in a town called Montpelier.


What’s your current profession?

Currently, I work in marketing at Parker Hannifin during the day and moonlight by creating a podcast with my husband for


Where do you live today and how long have you lived in this area?

In 2016, I relocated back to Ohio, to Cleveland Heights, after living and working in England for 15 years. My daughter was born in England and now has dual citizenship. My husband is also English.


How many children do you have & what are their ages?

Juanita McGowan

I have one daughter who is three years old.


What’s your favorite things about Northeast Ohio?

When I was a teenager, I loved visiting Cleveland.  I worked for a radio station and it was a Cleveland Indians affiliate.  I often got the chance to travel to Cleveland and loved downtown with the stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I adored WMMS and considered going to school for broadcasting in Cleveland but my life took a different path.  I find it funny that fate has brought me back to the city. It was important to me to give my family a chance at a better quality of life and Cleveland certainly gives us that – low cost of living, huge array of amenities, good schools and a never-ending list of cultural and artistic events are just some of the bonuses of living in Cleveland.


What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

In my professional life, co-workers are always surprised to learn that I have a rock-n-roll side to my life.  Day to day, I am relied upon for my analytical and strategic skills and to learn that I have met and interviewed rock icons like Billy Duffy of The Cult, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, Alice Cooper, David Crosby and Donnie Van Zant of .38 Special tends to shock people.

Also, people seem to be very interested in the fact that I have lived a third of my life outside of the US.
Shortly after graduating high school, I moved to Canada and then after that, I moved to England.  While living in Europe, I had the wonderful opportunity to become fully immersed in a different culture.  It also gave me the opportunity to work and travel in other countries like Spain, Portugal, Germany and France.  Although a risky move as a young woman, I am so thankful for the experience and I feel it made me a better, well-rounded person.  I definitely have different perspectives and opinions on politics, education, healthcare, immigration and history than my friends and family because of seeing how things are done in other countries.


Tell us a little about your community involvement – a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or business – how do you rely on the women of NE Ohio?

Parker Hannifin has given me so many opportunities to serve the community. We regularly participate in events like the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in Cleveland and I volunteer for Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland by going and teaching at local schools about career and financial skills.  I also serve on Peer W, an internal Parker Hannifin business resource group that cultivates the professional development of women by creating awareness, education and visibility.

Most recently, I have been creating and hosting a podcast that highlights talent, businesses and events in Cleveland and North East Ohio in partnership with  I often feature female musicians, women empowerment events, women entrepreneurs and charities on the show.  I find the women I have met through the show have been very supportive of what I am trying to do.


What’s your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment has to be my daughter.  Every day, I am amazed at her confidence and gregarious nature. When she does or learns something new, I just well up with love and pride.


What was your biggest failure?

I don’t really like to think of the failures in my life as I’ve had plenty – victim of domestic violence, failed marriage, not completing my college degree, missed career opportunities.  Rather, I just think of these as things that had I not experienced wouldn’t have brought me to the happy and satisfying place I am today. No regrets!


Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?

I have just stopped watching the news. There is just so much negativity. I interviewed a pastor at a local church recently and I am going to shamelessly steal his pearl of wisdom – let’s just be nice. We’re all in control of the space around us and if we are just nice to people then it surely will spread.  My faith as a Buddhist also teaches me to treat every sentient being as if they were my mother. It’s hard sometimes, but that is what I strive to do and would hope others do as well.


Is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?

The one person I am thankful for in parenthood is my husband. He selflessly gave up his job to become a full-time parent. Switching those cultural norms works for us but he has often faced criticism and prejudice.  But he has persevered and been instrumental in successfully raising our daughter and that was so important for me to provide a good father figure. I couldn’t have done it without him.


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