Dream the impossible, inspire the improbable."

That’s Deni Tato’s leadership philosophy: a philosophy she uses not only as the owner of Contract Interiors, one of greater Cincinnati’s largest woman-owned businesses, but also in her 15-hour-a-week commitment to giving back to the community.

"It’s amazing when you get to know the number of causes Deni is involved in," Stacy Sims, founder of the True Body Project, says. "The number itself is impressive. But then, when you understand the depth of her involvement in the things she cares about, that is the true proof of her commitment and energy."

Tato secured the initial funding for the True Body Project, a program that helps teen girls and women connect to their body in a healthy way while fostering creativity, accountability and philanthropy. Tato also chairs the project’s board, one of over a half dozen boards she dedicates her time to.

True Body isn’t the only place Tato uses her experience to give other women a hand up. As the founder of WIN, Women Innovators Network, Tato brings together experienced businesswomen with new entrepreneurs in a peer-mentoring group that meets monthly.

"I came to know Deni through two other female entrepreneurs who recently started their businesses," Angela Morrow, founder of C4Yourself inspirational cards, says, "When she started WIN I was honored to be a part of it. Absolutely, without a doubt, Deni is a valuable mentor to me. She brings a wealth of practical business experience and is able to help get to the root of any problem and then chart a course for action. I really believe she loves to see people soar and that she wants to help motivate and encourage other women. It’s about sharing and giving; not a scarcity mentality."

Others have recognized Tato’s commitment to giving back. The Contemporary Art Center touted her as their Inspiring Arts Volunteer in 2006. She serves on their board as well as that of the Carnegie Arts Center, Dress for Success, Pro Kids, her alma mater St. Ursula Academy, and is involved with too many organizations to list.

Nor has her business prowess gone unrecognized. Ernst and Young named her and then husband, Joe Tato, Entrepreneurs of the Year for wholesale distribution in 1998. When the two divorced in 2000, Deni bought her husband’s share of Contract Interiors, one of the largest commercial furniture dealerships in Cincinnati and an exclusive Knoll distributor. Smart Business featured Tato and her business in 2006 and she says her business’s revenue has doubled this year.

In the midst of it all, Tato found time to raise three children and remarry.

"I take good care of myself," Tato explains, " I hire people who can do the work so I can work on the business, not in the business."

As one of 11 children, Tato knew early on she would have to make her own way.

"I always felt I would have a fabulous life," Tato says, "Not that I haven’t been to hell and back! But we spend too much time worrying about the future and the past when those don’t exist, we only have today. The key is to live in the now and have a grateful heart, then only more good things will come."