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The Leadership Center at the Cincinnati Chamber Welcomes 55 Leaders to Leadership Cincinnati Class 47 

Fifth Third’s Stephanie Smith and Bricker Graydon’s Kent Wellington to join list of Nelson Schwab Distinguished Alumni

CINCINNATI – August 14, 2023 – 55 leaders, representing a wide variety of industries and businesses in the region, have been chosen to participate in Class 47 of Leadership Cincinnati USA®, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s premier leadership development program presented by First Financial Bank.

“The dedication of this group of leaders – and those who have come before them – to personal growth and community betterment is a hallmark of what distinguishes this program and our region from others,” it serves a critical role in strengthening the civic fabric and connectivity of our communities,” said Sean Comer, Vice President of the Leadership Center at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “This program is not just a learning experience – it’s a catalyst for change and a platform for collaboration. Leadership Cincinnati asks leaders to elevate their commitment to this region and to embrace the challenges and opportunities that will lead the way toward a more vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous future.”

Leadership Cincinnati kicks off the afternoon of Thursday, September 7, 2023. The kick-off is followed by the Nelson Schwab, Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner from 5-8 p.m. at the Hard Rock Casino. The dinner includes a presentation of the Nelson Schwab, Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award to Stephanie Smith, Chief Inclusion Officer, Fifth Third Bank (Class 43) and Kent Wellington, Attorney, Bricker Graydon (Class 39). The Nelson Schwab, Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award honors outstanding Leadership Cincinnati alumni whose contributions to the betterment of the Cincinnati region distinguish them as leaders amongst leaders.

Leadership Cincinnati alumni can register for the event here.

More than 2,000 participants have graduated from Leadership Cincinnati since the first class in 1977. Throughout the year, alumni engage in significant ways to help curate meaningful experiences for Class 47.

Leadership Cincinnati Class 47:
Tianay Amat, President & CEO, Cincinnati Works
Bill Baker, Vice President, Managing Partner, MSA Design
LaNae Barnes, Senior Vice President, Local Market Executive, Bank of America
Lyndsey Barnett, Attorney, Partner, Bricker Graydon LLP
Matthew Barney, Vice President, Accounting, Messer Construction Co.
Becky Blank, CEO, Ample
Luke Blocher, Chief Strategy Officer & General Counsel, Cincinnati Development Fund, Inc.
Kelly Bonnell, Chief Operations Officer, Constellation Wealth Advisors
Justin Brookhart, Executive Director, BLINK, & SVP of Cultural Economy, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Jonathan Brown, President, City Gospel Mission
Rasheda Cromwell, Vice President, Community Strategies, Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Roger David, President & CEO, Gold Star Chili, Inc. / Tom & Chee
Tom Demeropolis, Editor-in-Chief, Cincinnati Business Courier
Stephanie Ebken, SVP, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Cincinnati Childrens Hospital
Annie Efkeman, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Distribution, First Financial Bank
Tonia Elrod, Vice President, Communications & Sustainability, Procter & Gamble
Keizayla Fambro, Chief of Staff, The City of Cincinnati, Office of Mayor Aftab Pureval
Ted Fitz, SVP, R&D and Operations, Gorilla Glue
Karen Forgus, SVP, Business Operations, Cincinnati Reds
Ben Fotsch, VP, Digital Customer Acquisition, Western & Southern Financial Group
Jenny Franta, SVP Managing Director of Personal Trust, Fifth Third Bank
Katie Frey, COO, TIER1 Performance
Ray Gargano, VP, Community Investments, ArtsWave
Andrew Garth, EVP & General Counsel, The Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati
Whitney Gaskins, Associate Dean & Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati
Lindzie Gunnels, Commercial Leasing Manager / Managing Broker, Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC)
Emily Hartmann, Senior Director, Brand Marketing, The Kroger Co.
Jeremy Hayden, Partner, Taft Law
Damian Hoskins, Executive Director, Elementz Hip Hop Cultural Art Center
Danielle Johnson, Chief Medical Officer, Lindner Center of HOPE
Eric Landen, Partner, Frost Brown Todd LLP
David Linnenberg, Chief Administrative Officer, Cincinnati Art Museum
Carolyn MacDonald, Vice President, Commercial Operations, Cincinnati Insurance Company
Mike McCullough, Owner & CEO, Trak Group
Kristie McKillip, Managing Director, Midwest Large Business, Duke Energy
Brett Meager, EVP, Service & Loyalty, Paycor
Keith Moran, Managing Director, Strategy and Transactions, Ernst & Young
Chad Munitz, Chief Development Officer, FC Cincinnati
Michele Plessinger, Partner, Gilman Partners LLC
Gina Rittinger, Vice President, Strategic Growth, REDI Cincinnati
Carey Sanders, Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Bank
Steve Saunders, Police Captain, Criminal Investigations Section Commander, Cincinnati Police Department
Robert Saurber, Senior Estimator, Structural Systems Repair Group
Chris Schildmeyer, Vice President of Operations, TriVersity Construction
Kate Schroder, President & CEO, Interact for Health
Scott Schuster, Vice President, Philanthropy, Cincinnati Museum Center
John Scott, Chief of Engagement, Community Engagement Partners
Anne Sesler, Director of Public Affairs, Government Strategies Group
Chris Shimala, Senior Vice President, Huntington Bank
Matt Shuler, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, The Christ Hospital
Siobhan Taylor, President & CEO, DePaul Cristo Rey
Scott Thompson, Founder, RESLV
Jennifer Walke, Vice President of Development, The Model Group
Faith Whittaker, Partner, Employment Practices Group Chair, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Chad Williams, Managing Director, GBQ Partners LLC

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