At the inaugural Power 100 event presented by Cincy magazine, the University of Cincinnati's Carl H. Lindner's College of Business and the Cincinnati Regional USA Chamber, the Tristate's most successful leaders and decision makers gathered to discuss the future of business and leadership in the area.

Dean of UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business David M. Szymanski was moderator for the leadership forum, held on March 15 at the Kingsgate Marriott.

Panelists included UC President Gregory Williams, CEO of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Candace McGraw, and President & CEO of Cincinnati Bell Jack Cassidy.

The event not only brought the region's most influential business, political and community leaders together in one place, but also helped build the bridge between today's most powerful leaders in the Tristate and those who are being trained to lead the region in the future.

Event sponsors included Fifth Third Bank, Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, T. Mobile and Baker & Daboll.

Strategic Plan

To start the forum, UC President Gregory Williams discussed his hopes for the university's recently announced strategic plan UC2019 to fuel innovation at the university and surrounding community.

"Someone asked me "¢well, why did you select 2019? Well, in 2019, the University of Cincinnati will be 200 years old and so it's a special opportunity for us to not only celebrate that and think about the past, but also think about the future," Williams said.

"One thing I've been thinking about a lot lately in terms of the future, and where we go and what we do at the university and our connection to the city, is our need to be more innovative and entrepreneurial"¢ we do have to stay in touch with the times."

The problem, Williams said, is that compared to other cities, Cincinnati is spending much less. "Cities like Saint Louis, Raleigh and Pittsburgh are outspending Cincinnati by an investment margin by about five to one, so we're way, way behind."

Williams, who is also a member of the Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC) said that they are working to change that.

"When I talk about venture capital, I'm not only talking about money"¢ I'm also talking about how we develop the infrastructure and how we sustain that over a period of time," he said.

"We feel that we're a pretty big player in this. We're doing a lot of things here to drive that."

Some of those things include UC's new research institute, which has partnered with General Electric to offer students more job opportunities. "And we're going to be expanding to other areas as well," Williams said. "Our goal is to help make our region more innovative and collaborative"¢ that's not only a watch word in business these days.

"It's a watch word at the university."

'Crystallizing Genius'

CEO & President of Cincinnati Bell Jack Cassidy also said he expects to see changes to the company in the coming years.

"We have an expression at Cincinnati Bell that conversation crystallizes genius. And you can't have the genius without the conversation.

"And it occurred to me that the genius then results in something called innovation," he said. "You can't have innovation if you don't have diversity"¢ my view is that I care about diversity in terms of what it sounds like.

"We have to have different opinions come together, in order to get towards that innovation."

Cassidy said when he became CEO nearly eight years ago, almost 90 percent of the homes in Cincinnati had a copper voice network. There was no broadband. Now, he said, about 40 percent of the houses in Cincinnati have copper voice networks and 60 percent don't.

Cincinnati Bell's space and presence has also expanded over the past few years.

The company now boasts 27 centers in four different countries and seven different states, but that doesn't mean innovation stops there, Cassidy said.

"Life is going to change. I think in order to have collaboration, the first thing you ought to do is have an agreement," he continued.

"The thing we need to collaborate on, is in order to improve the situation of the individual, the family, the city and the region...I would suggest that business would be a good place to start."

Unfortunately, Cassidy said, resources have been going toward things like football teams, and trolleys.

Instead, he said, resources should be directed at things that drive longterm economic development.

CVG's Master Plan

CEO of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Candace McGraw spoke about the future of the airport.

"I'd like to talk about what the airport is going to look like in 2016," she said. "We have the opportunity to take a look at the old lease agreement, retool how we do our business at CVG and that new lease agreement will be in place no later than December 31 of 2015."

"We are in the midst of a master plan," McGraw continued. "That master plan is looking at our facility needs now through the year of 2035"¢ in that vision, I can tell you that our airfield will likely not be altered in any significant way.

"We have a premier airfield, one of the envies of the nation"¢ we will have a lot more origination traffic than we do now out of this area. We plan to grow the traffic here. We will have a diverse carrier mix."

McGraw said CVG will also look at how to develop their aviation-related land to help grow their core business and continue its excellent customer service, which was recently honored as the best regional airport in customer service. - 


Founded in 1885, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP is a large corporate law firm headquarted in Cincinnati. With eight offices, more than 300 attorneys and more than 600 employees, Taft's major practice areas are in business, finance, bankruptcy, corporate, labor & employment, trusts & estates, and workers' compensation. Thomas T. Terp is Taft's current managing partner and chairman of the executive committee.

Baker & Daboll, a veteran-owned small business run by President/CEO Todd Uterstaedt, is an executive coaching firm that believes in inspiring businesses and professionals by emphasizing and uncovering their strengths, rather than focusing on their defects. Its employees cherish the values of being good listeners, and of being kind and respectful. Baker & Daboll are also supporters of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America and Fisher House Foundation Inc.

Founded in 1858, Fifth Third Bank is a U.S. regional banking corporation, headquartered in Cincinnati. Led by President/CEO Kevin Kabat, Fifth Third is a diversified financial services company with $111 billion in assets, 15 operating affiliates and more than 1,300 full-service banking centers. Third quarter income for the company was up over the previous quarter and over the year before.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a nationwide insurance company known for its continued interest in improving the quality of lives among a broad range of generations and focusing on a number of issues including child obesity, diabetes and prenatal care. President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio, Erin Hoeflinger, recently helped launch an innovative collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs across Ohio called the Triple Play program, encouraging kids to eat healthier and become more physically fit.

Founded in 1990 and currently run by CEO Phillip Humm, the cellphone service T-Mobile thrives as a popular cellphone provider in Cincinnati with the latest smartphones, products and 4G monthly plans, including "Pay As You Go." Recently, T.Mobile was named to Ethisphere's 2012 World's Most Ethical Companies list for the fourth year in a row, as well as Walmart's "Supplier of the Year."