If Cincinnati is slow to change, as some say, it's not evident among the young professionals who are enthusiastic about C-Change.
C-Change is the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's leadership-development initiative for young professionals. Jessica Baron, director of the Programs Team for the Chamber, expects C-change to attract more applications for the upcoming year than it did in its first term, when there were more than 70 applications for 47 openings. The yearlong program will start again in January. Applications for the new session are due Sept. 15.

"I expect it to get more competitive as we go along," Baron says. "There was such a need for this, such a wellspring of interest for it."
While participants see benefits such as networking among themselves and meeting "movers and shakers" in the community, Baron says organizers also have an agenda for C-Change: "The whole purpose is to attract and retain young professionals in our community."

The six-hour sessions, held once a month, give young professionals a chance to get individual assessments of their strengths and weaknesses, and to work on projects they choose. It's not easy to hold anyone's attention for several hours, especially young people eager to make the most of their time. "So we work hard to make sure this program is very different," Baron notes.

Class members hear guest speakers such as Charlotte Otto, Global External Relations Officer at Procter & Gamble and the new chair of the Chamber's board. This year's C-Change members also will "shadow" 200 executives on the job for a half-day.

The cost for the 2007 program is $2,400. Baron says employers sometimes pay for their workers to attend, and limited grant money is available to encourage diversity. Beyond corporate Cincinnati, C-change also wants young entrepreneurs and representatives from non-profit organizations.

More information is available at the Chamber's web site: www.gccc.com.

LJB Inc. celebrated its 40th anniversary with an essay contest, asking "What do you hope will be the greatest innovation of the next 40 years?" The winning entry in the high school category, from William Wick, a junior from Urbana, proposed using nuclear technology for water desalinization. "Our contest challenged the creativity of today's youth and rewarded the most innovative ideas," said LJB President Mark Thompson. LJB has offices in Cincinnati, Dayton and Lima, as well as in Michigan and Missouri.

Total Quality Logistics Inc. expects its growth to continue as it builds its new headquarters on Ferguson Drive in Clermont County's Union Township. Having added more than 200 employees in 2006, TQL expects the total to go from about 550 now to 1,000 within three years. A third-party logistics provider of truckload transportation, TQL is building a $15 million, 100,000-square-foot, four-story headquarters in the Ivy Pointe business complex, expanding the company's operations from Edison Drive in Milford. says spokesman Vince Marotta. TQL moves more than 130,000 loads each year for more than 2,200 companies.

The Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open tennis tournaments bring in at least $25 million each year. Phil Smith, director of marketing and communications for Tennis for Charity Inc., which operates the tournaments, says the economic impact estimate is conservative and is based in part on a 2000 study by the University of Cincinnati. The study showed the men's professional tennis tournament, played each August in Mason, has an annual economic impact of $23.3 million, way up from an estimated $10 million in 1989. Smith believes the economic impact of the two tournaments is still growing. "It's definitely gone up," he says. The millions come in the form of spending by tournament organizers, media companies and tournament sponsors, as well as spending by out-of-town tennis fans. The women's July tournament brings in about $2 million, according to internal estimates.

Going green means saving of the green for the Melink Corp., which expects continued savings on utility costs"”and also company growth"”at its new energy-efficient headquarters. The 30,000-square-foot building on River Valley Road in Milford is the first building in Ohio to receive the gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. Melink sells energy-saving heating, ventilation and air-conditioning services and products. It consolidated its three previous locations into the new site in November 2005. The company sees operating costs of about 60 cents per square foot per year, compared to most businesses' costs of $2 per square foot per year, says Melink marketing spokesperson Erin Omland.

Economic development news relevant to the Tristate business community may be e-mailed to Cincy Business at news@cincybusinessmag.com.