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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.
Paul Christensen, Jr. was the third generation of his family to head Cincinnati Gear Co., one of the country’s largest manufacturers of custom-built gears. After earning his bachelor’s degree in engineering at Cornell University in 1945, Christensen went to work at Cincinnati Gear, became president of the company in 1958, and chairman in 1978. He also ran Cincinnati Steel Treating Co., a sister company of Cincinnati Gear. He retired in 1987.
He was active in many local business and civic organizations, including the Fine Arts Fund, United Way, Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and Cincinnati Zoo. Since 1980 he was a commissioner of the Hamilton County Park District. Christensen was also a former president of the Ohio Manufacturers Association and the American Gear Manufacturers Association.
He was also a member of the Hamilton County Republican Party’s executive and finance committees and trustee of the Green Acres Foundation and Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund.
His business affiliations have included directorships with Eagle Picher Industries, Ohio National Life Insurance Co., Cincinnati Bell Inc., Central Bancorporation, Potter Shoe Co. and the Cincinnati branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
Christensen and his wife, Sally, were named Cincinnatians of the Year by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in 1986. He also received the University of Cincinnati Award for Excellence and was named an honorary life member of the board for the Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross.
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