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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.
1946 – 2010
Ross Love began his business career with a 28-year stint at Procter & Gamble, becoming vice president of advertising in 1987, overseeing the marketing organization of the world’s leading advertiser.
In 1995, he was part of a team that bought the region’s only African-American-owned radio station out of bankruptcy and found himself owning a broadcaster. Within weeks, he decided to expand into more cities, buying stations in Columbus and Louisville. That was the beginning of Blue Chip Broadcasting, which in six years went from one station to a 20-station group across six Midwest cities. Blue Chip became the second-largest African-American-owned radio broadcasting company in the country.
The company not only became a voice for the African-American community, it became a platform for community service. In Cincinnati, Blue Chip put on the annual Black Family Reunion Celebration, owned the Jazz Festival for several years, promoted student achievement and launched the market’s first African-American talk radio station, WDBZ, “The Buzz.”
After Cincinnati’s 2001 riots, Love initiated and co-chaired Cincinnati Community Action Now (CAN) to address racial issues believed to be underlying the violence. This led to initiating the Minority Business Accelerator to help minority-owned small businesses, the Community/Police Partnering Center to help refocus police on the community, and Success By Six, which promotes development of at-risk children from birth through age 5.
Love was the CEO and owner of Blue Chip Enterprises, which invests in and provides guidance to African-American-owned start-ups, and was an active member of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Board of Directors for seven years.
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