Cincinnati Chamber unveils the new five-year strategic framework to foster regional growth

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What We Do

Explore our programming, resources, and membership options that drive growth.

See how we celebrate, enliven, stimulate, and cultivate community in the region.

See how we meaningfully connect leaders and celebrate our business community

Explore the work we’re driving to move the region forward

Explore our talent solutions, including leadership programs and HR consulting

See the stories and legacies that lift our communities and inspire action

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Membership

Explore membership and discover growth opportunities for you and your business

Why Chamber Membership

Join the Chamber

Feature your business with a Member Spotlight in our Weekly Connection Newsletter

These events offer members points of connection, timely insights, and solutions

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Member Benefits 101

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Telent Hub

Explore our full suite of best-in-class leadership development programs

Explore our initiatives focused attracting, retaining, and developing talent

Explore the Workforce Innovation Center’s HR consulting services and resources

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About

Learn more about our mission, vision, and values

Meet the diverse group of leaders passionately supporting our mission

Meet the people serving our region inclusively with passion, Integrity, and fun

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current openings

FAQ

Questions? Here’s a list of things we think you may want to know

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

Metro, City of Cincinnati Partner to Benefit City Employees
Service options, community support drive Metro ridership growth

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Advocacy

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

Metro, City of Cincinnati Partner to Benefit City Employees
Service options, community support drive Metro ridership growth
Teams

Our Team

Meet the people and teams that lead inclusively with passion, integrity, and fun in service of the businesses and people who call the Cincinnati region home.

Leadership Team

Meet the individuals who lead the Cincinnati Chamber’s talented team of visionaries, collaborators, and makers of change.

Brendon Cull

President & CEO
513.579.3125
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LinkedIn

Brendon is our President & CEO, and formerly held the positions of COO, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer. Brendon leads teams that have overhauled public policy…

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Brendon is our President & CEO, and formerly held the positions of COO, EVP, and Chief Strategy Officer. Brendon leads teams that have overhauled public policy, government relations, talent, and marketing efforts. He developed our transportation initiatives strategy, resulting in a successful $2 million ballot initiative and coalition supporting increased transportation funding. He managed the fundraising and Cincinnati Chamber production team for BLINK, a $5 million art and light event that was the largest public event in Cincinnati’s history. He is an accomplished and sought-after speaker, strategist, and ambassador for the organization and the region.

For 10 years, Brendon led Government Affairs for The Kroger Co., where he advised executives and the company’s board on vital policy and political issues. He launched an effort to legalize wine in grocery stores, resulting in millions of new sales in several states. His influence and leadership were evident in Kroger’s successful policy efforts: pension reform, food safety, and corporate social responsibility. From 2000-2005, Brendon was the Legislative Director and Press Secretary for Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken.

Brendon is a board member of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) and is the President of the Board of the Mercantile Library. He currently serves on the boards of ArtsWave, Visit Cincy, Cincinnati Compass, Xavier University’s Williams College of Business, and is an elected member of Clifton Town Meeting.

He has worked with dozens of organizations in advisory and volunteer roles, including the United Way, Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Crown Cincinnati, and Tender Mercies. He graduated from Xavier University with a degree in Organizational Communication and is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Chamber’s Building Cultural Competence program. He is an avid reader, runner, cyclist, and live-music aficionado. He is married and has two daughters.

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Kate Ward

Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer
513.579.3175
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LinkedIn

Kate is our SVP & Chief Business Officer. Kate oversees and provides strategic leadership to the membership sales and engagement department, finance department, marketing and communications department, and fundraising and sponsorship teams…

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Kate is our SVP & Chief Business Officer. Kate oversees and provides strategic leadership to the membership sales and engagement department, finance department, marketing and communications department, and fundraising and sponsorship teams. Kate works closely with Brendon Cull, President & CEO, to lead the Chamber’s strategic planning process focused on growing the region’s economy, population, and cultural vibrancy.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Kate had a twenty-year career with Kroger in rising roles with audit, finance, investor relations, and Kroger Personal Finance (KPF). KPF encompasses several business lines – payment cards, gift cards, lottery, telecom, financial services and money services. KPF is one of Kroger’s largest and most successful business units, and as President, Kate led the marketing, operations, sales, and strategy for the division.

Kate was recognized as the “Best IR Professional” in the Food Retail Industry by Institutional Investor in 2017. In 2018, Kate was named one of the “Top Women in Grocery” by Progressive Grocer and one of 10 “Women Who Mean Business” by the Cincinnati Business Courier. In 2020, she participated in Leadership Cincinnati Class 44.

Kate graduated from Xavier University with a degree in Finance. She also obtained a Master of Business Administration from Miami University.

She volunteers her time with the United Way, preparing income taxes for low-income individuals. She serves as treasurer on the board of directors for EPIC House (Elderly Persons in Community). She also serves on the board of executive advisors for Xavier University’s finance department and Miami FSB steering committee for the MBA program. Kate and her husband, Tom, have two children, a lively hound named Phoebe, and reside in Montgomery.

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Justin Brookhart

Senior Vice President, Cultural Economy and Executive Director of BLINK
513.579.3155
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LinkedIn

Justin is our Senior Vice President, Cultural Economy and Executive Director of BLINK®. He moved to Cincinnati from Austin, TX, where he combined his strong business acumen with a passion for supporting the creative arts…

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Justin is our Senior Vice President, Cultural Economy and Executive Director of BLINK®. He moved to Cincinnati from Austin, TX, where he combined his strong business acumen with a passion for supporting the creative arts. As the VP of Operations for Mondo, an e-commerce brand that produces limited-edition collectibles, he partnered with world-class designers and illustrators to grow an international community of collectors. After leaving Mondo, Justin served as the COO for Renegade Craft, a group that works with artistic entrepreneurs to produce a nationwide tour of events that support the creative economy. Most recently, he was employed as the VP of Operations for the Better Business Bureau of Central Texas, where he led the organization’s third-party administration of Covid-19 emergency relief grant funding to small businesses, non-profits, and creative workers inside the city of Austin, TX.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film Arts from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Justin lives in the Clifton neighborhood with his wife, Erin, an Ohio native. He loves exploring Cincinnati and enjoys movies, running, and basketball.

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De-Ajura Bess

Human Resource Director
513.686.2958
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LinkedIn

Dee is our Human Resource Director. Her career spans 25 years with her most recent tenure being at TriHealth in Human Resources. Prior to that, she had a long career with Macy’s Inc. in Management…

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Dee is our Human Resource Director. Her career spans 25 years with her most recent tenure being at TriHealth in Human Resources. Prior to that, she had a long career with Macy’s Inc. in Management, Operations, and Human Resources. She is a graduate of Wilberforce University and obtained her Master’s in Business Administration from Miami University. She enjoys watching movies and traveling to see live concerts, with her favorite being Beyoncé in both Chicago and L.A. during The Formation World Tour. Of course, she also has a soft spot for New Edition, who she sees annually.

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Sean Comer

Vice President, Leadership Center
513.579.3141
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LinkedIn

Sean is our Vice President of the Leadership Center. Sean directs Leadership Cincinnati, our region’s flagship civic leadership program for seasoned leaders, and heads up the Leadership Center team that delivers a full suite…

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Sean is our Vice President of the Leadership Center. Sean directs Leadership Cincinnati, our region’s flagship civic leadership program for seasoned leaders, and heads up the Leadership Center team that delivers a full suite of talent development programs for ongoing education for all stages of careers. Prior to joining our team, he taught in the Philosophy, Politics, and the Public (PPP) program at his alma mater, Xavier University, and spearheaded the campus’ government affairs efforts. Sean believes deeply in the power of words, people, relationships, and democratic institutions. He helped launch and manage efforts aimed at communicating on difficult and charged topics at Xavier, including “Beyond Civility: Communication for Effective Governance.” Throughout his experience, the common thread is supporting the formation of more effective and reflective citizens. Sean loves to seek balance in life, spending time outdoors with his family, traveling to new places, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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Thomas Deere

Vice President, Sales & Engagement
513.383.4008
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LinkedIn

Thomas is our Vice President of Sales & Engagement. He has over 28 years of experience as a senior leader in sales, marketing, operations, and business development. For 15 years, he served on the Executive Roundtable for…

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Thomas is our Vice President of Sales & Engagement. He has over 28 years of experience as a senior leader in sales, marketing, operations, and business development. For 15 years, he served on the Executive Roundtable for the Corporex Companies, as well as various executive roles at Five Seasons, including Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He brings a deep-seated passion for delivering upon outstanding customer experiences and has an impressive understanding of the critical integration of operations, marketing, and sales. Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota. Affectionately known as “Buck,” he currently resides in Northern Kentucky with his wife, Karen, and their three children, TJ, Jacob, and Bella.

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Laurette Erhardt

Executive Assistant to President & CEO Liaison to Chamber Board of Directors
513.579.3171
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LinkedIn

Laurette supports Brendon J. Cull, President & CEO, as our Executive Assistant. Laurette’s focal point is a successful, smooth-flowing office and keeping Brendon happy. Laurette works closely with all members of…

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Laurette supports Brendon J. Cull, President & CEO, as our Executive Assistant. Laurette’s focal point is a successful, smooth-flowing office and keeping Brendon happy. Laurette works closely with all members of the team, the Board of Directors, and the business community. She continuously builds relationships with her peers and fosters them with those she meets with a mission to help all succeed. With over 30 years of experience, she has been with the Cincinnati Chamber for 18 and has supported five CEOs. Her previous longest stint was with Provident Travel for 10 years supporting her second favorite CEO, Greg Waddell. The others can fight over who is first on the list, but “she” knows who “she” is.

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Amy Fitzgibbons

Vice President, Marketing & Communications
513.579.3106
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LinkedIn

Amy is our Vice President of Marketing & Communications. She brings over 20 years of experience working in digital, growth-focused roles at both startups and well-established brands. Although she’s a native Ohioan from “up north,”…

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Amy is our Vice President of Marketing & Communications. She brings over 20 years of experience working in digital, growth-focused roles at both startups and well-established brands. Although she’s a native Ohioan from “up north,” she moved to Cincinnati from Brooklyn, NY where she most recently worked as VP of Audience Growth at SiriusXM. Prior to that, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of Stitcher (then owned by EW Scripps), a media company that specialized in the creation, distribution, and monetization of podcasts. There she served on the leadership team that helped sell the company to Sirius in 2020. After getting her MBA at the University of Michigan, Amy worked for several years at American Express where she launched OPENforum.com, a small business resource platform, and led strategic partnerships with business-focused organizations including NAWBO, SCORE, and the Make Mine a Million initiative for women and minority-owned businesses. Fun fact: Amy also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua from 2001-2003. She lives in East Hyde Park with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of pets.

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Liz Keating

Vice President, Government Affairs & Advocacy
513.579.3120
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LinkedIn

Liz Keating is the VP of Government Affairs & Advocacy where she will build coalitions to help advocate for more investment and growth throughout our region. Liz previously served on Cincinnati City Council…

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Liz Keating is the VP of Government Affairs & Advocacy where she will build coalitions to help advocate for more investment and growth throughout our region. Liz previously served on Cincinnati City Council where she was a proponent for housing, fiscal discipline, and innovation in government. Liz also served as Marketing Director for The Jim Stengel Company, a consultancy and think tank, and the team behind The CMO Podcast. Liz has a degree in Political Science – International Relations from UCLA, where she competed on the swim team and served as team captain.

Liz has also served her hometown of Cincinnati in numerous roles, including as a board member of OKI Regional Council of Governments, Talbert House, Downtown Cincinnati Improvement District, UC Lindner College of Business Advisory Board, Honor Flight Tri-State and Cincinnati Para-Swim Open.

Liz is a graduate of C-Change Class 6 and Leadership Cincinnati Class 46. She was honored as a 2016 Business Courier Forty Under 40 and the 2023 Senators Taft & Schuler Elected Official of the Year. Liz and her husband Jonathan Bennie live in Hyde Park with their two young kids and two fish – Princess Sparkle and Donut Donut Apple Juice Apple Juice.

 

 

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Pete Metz

Vice President, Civic & Regional Partnerships
513.579.3167
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LinkedIn

Pete is our Vice President of Civic & Regional Partnerships. He is responsible for connecting the Cincinnati Chamber and its members to the region’s most pressing…

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Pete is our Vice President of Civic & Regional Partnerships. He is responsible for connecting the Cincinnati Chamber and its members to the region’s most pressing civic and regional initiatives. Pete leads the team working on existing Chamber initiatives such as the Connected Region, work focused on Embracing Growth and housing, the Cincinnati Futures Commission, and the Center for Research & Data.

As part of this work, Pete led the business community’s efforts to expand investments in transportation that connects people to jobs, education healthcare and all that the Cincinnati region has to offer. Pete has successfully advocated for local, state, and federal policies that have driven hundreds of millions of dollars into transportation projects across the Cincinnati region, including dedicated funding for Cincinnati Metro, the Brent Spence Bridge, Western Hills Viaduct, record state funding for public transit, investments in the CROWN trail network, and more.

In the community, Pete serves on the board of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), the Corporation for Findlay Market, OKI Regional Council of Governments and as the Board President for NEST, Northside’s community development corporation. He lives in Clifton with his wife, Becca, and two daughters.

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Audrey Treasure

Vice President & Executive Director, Workforce Innovation Center
513.686.2946
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LinkedIn

Audrey is our VP and Executive Director of the Workforce Innovation Center. In her role, she has established the Center as a central place to support companies in solving challenges, recruiting new sources of talent, and…

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Audrey is our VP and Executive Director of the Workforce Innovation Center. In her role, she has established the Center as a central place to support companies in solving challenges, recruiting new sources of talent, and implementing inclusive capitalism practices within businesses to benefit their organizations and to support the people that they employ. Audrey previously served as Senior Director at the Cincinnati Business Committee and the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, membership organizations comprised of the Cincinnati Region’s top CEOs. In earlier roles, Audrey worked as the Advancement and Strategic Partnerships Officer at Antioch University Midwest, the Senior Director at Junior Achievement of Georgia, and as a Teach for America Corps Member in Chicago and Atlanta. Audrey serves on the board of 4C for Children, on the Selection Advisory Committee for GreenLight Fund Cincinnati, as a member of the Center for Employment Opportunities Cincinnati advisory committee, and is the treasurer and founding board member of School Board School. Audrey completed her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University in Spanish and Nonprofit Management and has a Master of Arts in Management and Change Leadership from Antioch University.

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Chelsea York

Vice President, Events & Experiences
513.579.3193
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LinkedIn

Chelsea is our Vice President of Events and Experiences. She oversees some of the most prominent community events in the region and the country, such as Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Taste of Cincinnati, and Asian Food Fest…

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Chelsea is our Vice President of Events and Experiences. She oversees some of the most prominent community events in the region and the country, such as Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Taste of Cincinnati, and Asian Food Fest. Additionally, she will manage the operational aspects of BLINK for its highly anticipated return in 2024. Chelsea and her team also organize and execute a range of Cincinnati Chamber business events, including Legacy & Promise: A Celebration of Leadership and the Fifth Third Bank Diversity Leadership Symposium. Chelsea is on the Board of Directors for Melanoma Know More. She currently lives in downtown Cincinnati with her husband Riley. When there isn’t any work to be done, you can find her in the crowd at a concert or planning her next trip.

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Connect With Us

Whether you’re a business leader, community leader, or just seeking to get more engaged in the region, we want to connect with you. Get in touch to learn more.