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

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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

Tracey Artis

Title: CEO
Current / Past Place of Employment: I Hear Music, Inc.
How many years have you been in the region? Tracey was born in the region, left for 15 years for college, and lived in Atlanta for 10 of the years she was away. She returned to the region in 1997.

Tracey Artis is a renowned CEO, music executive, speaker, philanthropist, and published author. Tracey is known as a “heavy hitter” in the gospel music industry specializing in marketing, brand consulting, and radio promotions since 1996. She served as the Vice President of Gospo Centric Records and Vice President of Sony Gospel before launching her promotions and marketing firm, I Hear Music, Inc. that produces the signature annual event “The I Hear Music in the Air Conference” that has been in operation for over 23 years here in Cincinnati, OH. Her work has been vital to the power and success of some of contemporary Gospel music’s biggest names which has led to over 50 Billboard #1 Singles, and many Gold and Platinum Certifications.

She passionately serves multiple organizations and boards including the Cincinnati Chapter of The Links, Inc. (Arts Facet Chair) LHOI (Board Member) and she tirelessly works on community projects including organizing the annual Midwest Black Family Reunion as the Executive Director. She is a voting member with the Recording Academy and is a Mentor for Grammy U and many other national and local organizations. Tracey is also a sought-after speaker and contributing expert to many publications and media outlets. She is the daughter of former Woodlawn, Ohio Mayor, the late Ms. Susan Upton-Farley, and is one of seven children. She is now a published author as she recently wrote a book titled “Susan’s Story” about the life and career of her mother and the impact it made within their community. She is a devoted wife to Bobby G. Artis and the mother of two children, Jazmyn and Jordan.

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.
Entrepreneur. Overachiever. Community Builder. Encourager.

I am uniquely me because I am an entrepreneur. I was always determined to be successful. I felt like I started from the bottom up, and I had to achieve. So, I seek to encourage others and to build new things and concepts that did not exist. I think inclusion is important which is why I am always open to meeting new people, taking on new projects, and to learning new skills.

What is the primary motivation of your leadership?
The primary motivation for my leadership is to make a difference in my community. I want to ensure I do my part to encourage everyone to uplift, strengthen, and encourage each other and to include others who want to make a difference. We’re better together, and communities, families, and organizations are important.

What has been the cornerstone of your life journey that influenced your personal mission and purpose?
I would say it was my mother. She was driven and passionate about her family and her community and that made me determined and confident that I could do anything.

Who has had an immense impact on you as a leader? How did this person (or people) impact your life?
I attribute my leadership skills to my late mother. She was a single mother that raised six children. To watch her care for us, keep our home organized and show that each of us could make a difference in the world was a master class daily. She worked hard, became the mayor of the town we grew up in (Woodlawn, Ohio), and was always giving back to our community. I learned by example.

What piece of advice have you received along the way in your career or life journey that has stuck with you?
To not give up. Stay the course. Equip yourself along the way with knowledge because this will provide you with options.

What one thing makes you most proud?
I’m most proud to have made a difference in the lives of my children and husband. I’m proud that God is my source, and I haven’t waivered. God and family are everything.

What’s one thing you do every day (or with consistency) to be a better person?
Prayer is key for me daily. I also frequently connect with family and friends and do my best to show up to the events in their lives. I self-reflect often and try to help and encourage others.

What are a few resources or behaviors you would recommend to someone looking to grow into a better leader?
Being consistent has helped propel me in every facet of my life. Having a mentor is essential. Anything you plan to be a part of, study those leaders. I also feel that the Bible is a great tool to examine leadership. I read an assortment of resources online and I study the lives and paths of influential people and it helps me constantly improve my style of leadership. Create strong teams so you can move forward. Don’t be afraid to get involved. I encourage all leaders to write out their vision and make it plain.

How do you define success?
Having something you started and finished. By setting goals and completing them. Success to me is doing meaningful work that uses my skills and talents to achieve goals, and that allows me to help others make progress and build up other leaders.

Why do you choose to make the Cincinnati region home?
Because I was born and raised here. Even though I moved away, God brought me back through my marriage. I am a proud native.

What do you imagine for the future of the Cincinnati region?
I imagine a city that works together daily so that Cincinnati is stronger and better, and one where the inequities are erased. All of our communities should have the same resources and be provided with the resources that they need to not just survive but thrive.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
I hope to leave behind a legacy of giving and service, and being part of initiatives that were impactful.


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.