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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.
Dec. 29, 1925 – Aug. 1, 2001
James A.D. Geier walked proudly in the footsteps of the Geier family legacy – selfless contributions to Cincinnati, and the outstanding success and growth of Cincinnati Milacron Inc. At the same time, he made his own imprint on each with his uncompromising vision and dedication.
Geier, 70 when he received the award, joined Milacron, which was then the Cincinnati Milling Machine Company, in 1951, as a machinist. Moving up through the ranks, he became vice president in 1964, and president and chief executive in 1970. He guided the company’s diversification and growth in high-technology fields. A strong advocate of research and development, he was known for spurring Milacron into plastics-processing machinery from traditional machine tools. Plastics processing eventually became the company’s largest business.
He is also credited with focusing on markets overseas, including Europe and Asia.
Geier was Milacron’s chairman from 1981 to 1990. He continued on the company’s board as chairman of the executive committee until 1996, when he became director emeritus.
Geier made a significant contribution to the organization of the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences, but perhaps it’s his work for the community that best defines him. Like his father and grandfather, Geier dedicated himself to the Community Chest and, like them, chaired a successful United Way campaign.
“Our attitude has always been the community has been good to the Geiers and we have always tried to reciprocate,” he said.
Geier was president of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, and has served on the advisory committee of the Beech Acres General Protestant Orphan Home.
Geier served on the boards of numerous community organizations, and was the Chamber chairman in 1984. A founding member of the Cincinnati Business Committee, he spearheaded the Cincinnati Progress Committee, which evolved into Downtown Cincinnati Inc.
Geier downplayed his contributions. “Life is fun if you do a lot of things and meet a lot of people,” he said. “I’ve worked with thousands of people in the community. It’s a thrill.”
Geier died at 75 in Portland, Me. on Aug. 1, 2001.
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