Twenty years ago, Calvin D. Buford returned to Cincinnati with sterling academic credentials. The Walnut Hills High School graduate completed undergraduate work at Northwestern University, then earned his juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School"”in addition to a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

After eight years in the business law department at Frost & Jacobs (now Frost Brown Todd), Buford joined Dinsmore & Shohl in 1993. He built a reputation for representing a range of business clients"”from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies"”with a focus on mergers, acquisitions and related transactions.

"What I like most about practicing law is the counseling aspect...the sense of trust that people place in you, and how they really value your advice," he says. Buford also thrives on creative solutions to getting deals done, to the satisfaction of all parties, rather than looking for reasons to stall or kill a deal.

In recent years, the Greater Cincinnati community has benefited from Buford's experience in problem-solving and bridge-building. There's his work with the Cincinnati Bar Association and the Black Lawyers Association. Then there's his community service resume, which includes Leadership Cincinnati (Class XX), chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati Inc., and service on boards and key committees of the Cincinnati Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (now South Central Ohio Minority Business Council), Cincinnati Minority Business Assistance Corp., Junior Achievement of Greater Cincinnati Inc., and the Walnut Hills High School Alumni Foundation.

In June 2003, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber named him director of Cincinnati's Minority Business Accelerator (MBA). The MBA seeks to accelerate the growth of sizable African-American and other minority-owned companies by a variety of facilitating strategies and services. More recently, Buford was named to the board executive committee of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (known as 3CDC) and to the board of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

"As an African-American professional in particular, there's an absolute obligation to give back to the community," Buford notes. He comes from a family that was active in the civil rights movement and various civic causes. "It's in my blood," Buford says.