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Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

Service options, community support drive Metro ridership growth
Enneagram Gave Me the Power to Overcome Fear

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Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

Service options, community support drive Metro ridership growth
Enneagram Gave Me the Power to Overcome Fear

Robert Sanders

Title: Principal & Founder
Current / Past Place of Employment: Sanders Development Group (SDG)
How many years have you been in the region? Lifetime

Robert Sanders founded Sanders Development Group (SDG) in 2019 based on a strong foundation in commercial development and financial services – industries that, when combined, have a direct impact on expanding access to economic opportunity and fostering neighborhoods that are healthy and vibrant. SDG focuses on commercial, mixed-use, and large scale residential real estate and investment and development projects. SDG’s mission is “Build With Stronger Clay,” which comes from Robert’s belief that through strategic collaboration, projects and expectations can far exceed anything that is attempted individually.

Sanders Development Group most recently completed a $4 million relocation of Triversity Construction’s Headquarters in the community of Walnut Hills in Cincinnati, Ohio. The project involved completely rehabilitating a vacant blighted industrial building and bringing jobs to the urban core. SDG is a consultant to several community development corporations and private clients throughout Cincinnati and is responsible for redevelopment throughout several historically disinvested communities. SDG is also currently a development partner on the proposed $300 million mixed-use development north of FC Cincinnati’s stadium in the West End community of Cincinnati.

Sanders serves on the board of NAIOP, Talbert Services, and was a founding board member of Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Accelerator Lab, a program that boosts minority participation in real estate development, equity investment, ownership.

Robert is a Cincinnati native and grew up in Over-the-Rhine. He achieved a Bachelor of Science from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and is a graduate of Taft High School.

In 30 seconds or less, tell us who YOU are. This is not your professional bio, but rather, your response should reflect how you are uniquely you.
I enjoy traveling, watching college football, running, and finding new music from all different genres. I love to learn about new things and ideas. I still dabble in music production and song writing from time to time. I’m a father of four and have been married for 23 years. I must find passion in anything I do, or I get turned off pretty quickly. I get bored very easily. I also love pranking my family/friends and being an absolute goofball.

What is the primary motivation of your leadership?
I lead by challenging conventional wisdom and thinking outside the box. Change does not happen by repeating the status quo. It’s gotten me in some tight spots but overall, it’s afforded me trust, respect, and an incredible career.

What has been the cornerstone of your life journey that influenced your personal mission and purpose?
I was raised by my grandmother, and she was really big on education. Turns out she was spot on; education changed my life. So, it is a personal mission to share knowledge and experience with others, make connections and open as many doors for others as I can.

Who has had an immense impact on you as a leader? How did this person (or people) impact your life?
My wife has always been my biggest supporter. Leading requires you to step outside of your comfort zone a lot. The constant encouragement and support to venture out and try new roles, jobs and opportunities (regardless of the outcomes) afforded me the ability to learn from many experiences and become a better leader over the years.

What pieces of advice have you received along the way in your career or life journey that has stuck with you?
Lead by example. It doesn’t matter what you say, it’s about what you do.

What one thing makes you most proud?
I’m very proud to be a father and example for my children and family. Additionally, my grandmother sacrificed everything to ensure I focused on education. To this day, nothing makes me prouder than listening to her guidance and her being able to see me walk across the stage and be the first in our family to receive my college degree.

What’s one thing you do every day (or with consistency) to be a better person?
Repeat my affirmations and constantly learn new things.

What are a few resources or behaviors you would recommend to someone looking to grow into a better leader?
Focus on being authentic. In my experience people appreciate when you are willing to give unfiltered genuine feedback. I also recommend putting yourself in very uncomfortable situations on a regular basis. It builds character and a diverse mindset which helps you better connect with people.

How do you define success?
The freedom of choice.

Why do you choose to make the Cincinnati region home?
I grew up in Cincinnati and saw lots of opportunity to positively impact communities I spent time in as a kid.

What do you imagine for the future of the Cincinnati region?
I would love a Cincinnati where neighborhoods are more diverse and access to opportunities are more balanced.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
I would love for various communities to be better off due to the development work I’ve done in their communities.


Nominate an Honoree

Help us elevate, empower, and support our region’s Black leaders today, tomorrow, and all year long by nominating someone for #MakingBlackHistory.