When growing up, your parents probably told you not to show-off or flaunt what you achieved if it was detrimental to those around you. I myself needed some reminders occasionally, although who didn’t feel pride when you got your first trophy, or took home first place?

In high school, I think it took me two full weeks to take off my letter jacket after I got that varsity letter. It was more the warm weather, I recall, than feeling self-conscious that made me finally hang it up. Thinking back, I was proud — not about the varsity letter, but because I knew how much time and energy it had taken to achieve a goal I had been trying to reach for years.

Recently the Greater Cincinnati area took first place in new population estimates as compared to Columbus and Cleveland, making us the largest metropolitan area in Ohio. I consider myself a Cincinnatian and I take great pride in this achievement. True to form, whether it’s positive or not, I have a desire to actually make sure the two other C’s in Ohio know they just got beat. I know this because, after reading this news, I found myself calling some of my old friends who live in Cleveland, ensuring they were up to date!

Of course, any good braggart has to be able to back up his claims, and my conversations with them gave me the opportunity to come up with reasons why our growth continues at this steady rate. After a couple of phone calls, it seemed the point that resonated most was that being a Tristate area is truly a major benefit.

Behind the details of becoming the No. 1 metro area in Ohio (as my Cleveland friends make a point of contending) is how much of our metro area lies north of I-275, and in Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. (See Cincy Agenda on page 11.) We don’t have a lake on our borders, but to the north and across the Ohio River to the south lays many businesses in action which, together as a Tristate region, gives us the ability to create more jobs and opportunity.

We have some of the best companies in the world right here — as this issue of Cincy demonstrates with the 2008 Manny Award winners — along with some first-class schools, museums, arts, entertainment and health care. Getting to where we are now took hard work, and I think great credit should be given to you, the business professionals who are striving to make the best out of life and your business. It may be that sense of wanting to whip those doubters, and a little adolescent on my part. But we have all put in the effort. So, heck, go ahead and brag a little!