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Recognize & Celebrate businesses & people

Great Living Cincinnatians: Honorees

Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.

Delores Hargrove-Young

Awarded In 2024

Helping other people is hardwired into Delores Hargrove-Young’s DNA. From the very beginning, the vice chairwoman of d.e. Foxx & Associates, Inc. was modeled an example of offering assistance to those who needed it.

Her beginnings were humble; she grew up in Jacksonville, Florida – “we called it Southeast Georgia,” she said – with her brother and parents. Her mother was a homemaker, her father a blue-collar worker, but she was none the wiser about her economic status until visiting family told her otherwise.

“I thought, ‘How could we be poor when my parents were always helping other people?’” said Hargrove-Young.

Her parents had led by example, teaching that abundance wasn’t necessary for generosity – either of spirit and material – every time they offered a seat at their dinner table or a spot to sleep on their sofa to someone in need.

Eager to take on the world, Hargrove-Young’s first professional role was as an activities director for a geriatric program. It was here she learned even more deeply the value of generosity.

“I absolutely loved [it] because the senior citizens loved you unconditionally,” said Hargrove-Young. “They were always glad to see me. It’s a good feeling when you know that you’re helping people and they’re so glad to see you when you actually show up.”

Hargrove-Young’s next career move was to State Farm.

“I was on such a fast track,” said Hargrove-Young. “I had been there for seven years and had six promotions, and I really had decided what the next step was going to be for me at State Farm. I had some great mentors that were helping me to achieve that.”

But fate intervened. In 1986, her former husband took a job in Cincinnati, and the whole family, Hargrove-Young and her three children, followed suit – however reluctantly.

“Neither me nor our daughters were excited at the time about the move, for different reasons,” said Hargrove-Young. “I had mapped out my career at State Farm, and our daughters did not want to be uprooted from their friends. Our son, our middle child, had been in Cincinnati for two months with his dad before we arrived. He was the only one that was excited.”

Initially, her plan entailed continuing in the insurance business. Upon leaving State Farm as a senior claims representative, the company provided a glowing recommendation, and she was hired over the phone by a local insurance company and told to report to work on Monday.
“I showed up, in my blue suit, white blouse and little tie, because that was the appropriate attire back in the day for women, to find out the job had been filled,” said Hargrove-Young. “Imagine my surprise, since I spoke with the recruiter Friday afternoon. I later realized that no one knew I was Black.”

She didn’t let that dampen her spirits for long.

“What it taught me was that people can set barriers for you,” said Hargrove-Young. “However, God sometimes closes a door because He has something better for you. If I had taken that job, if it had worked out, I would have missed a major blessing.”

A conversation with Dave Foxx, founder of d.e. Foxx & Associates and formerly of Procter & Gamble, led to that blessing. That same year she moved to Cincinnati, she became president and COO of one of d.e. Foxx’s brands, XLC Services, a managed service provider. She started out in a 20,000 sq. foot office on Winton Road.

“I remember calling myself to make sure the phone worked,” said Hargrove-Young.

Over 30 years later, she has helped grow the outfit, now located on W. 9th Street, to its current roster of 1,800 employees. Under her leadership, XLC won a variety of prestigious awards, including the Eli Lilly & Company Supplier of the Year, two-time winner of the P&G Minority Supplier of the Year, Cincinnati USA Supplier Diversity Circle of Excellence, and the African American CHamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

“We have been able to grow our business based on the excellent service that we provide to our customer,” said Hargrove-Young. “We encourage our customers to give us the good, the bad, and the ugly. We provide a service and our motto is, ‘Improving all we touch.’”

She has applied that ethic to her own civic work in the Greater Cincinnati community. She is the immediate past chair of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation board; other past chair roles include with the American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region, Go Red for Women, and the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. She serves on several other boards, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, 7 Principles Foundation, Inc., Lindner Executive Cabinet for the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, and Inspiring Service, and as secretary for the Sister Accord Foundation. She was co-chair of the MLB All Stars Game in 2015, and a past president of Advocates for Youth Education (AYE.) She belongs to the Queen City (OH) Chapter of The Links Incorporated. Awards bestowed upon Hargrove-Young include: the 2003 YWCA Career Woman of Achievement; 2012 United Way of Greater Cincinnati New Century Community Service Award for Strengthening Our Region; 2015 Girls Scouts of Western Ohio Women of Distinction Award; 2018 Boy Scouts of America Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award Honoree; and the 2019 Women’s Alliance Inc. Jewel of the Community and Metropolitan Award. In 2020, Hargrove-Young was named an Enquirer Woman of the Year. In 2022, she received the Northern Kentucky University Lincoln Award.

And her thoughts as she adds Great Living Cincinnatian to that impressive roster?

“It is difficult to articulate what receiving this award means to me,” said Hargrove-Young. “I find that I am still in disbelief. I am both humbled and honored by this award. I never in a million years thought I would be a Great Living Cincinnatian. I stand on the shoulders of current and former recipients.”

Nominate a Great Living Cincinnatian

Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization