Governor Rhodes of Ohio often spoke to any who would listen that Ohio is "a state that makes things and grows things." During his 16 gubernatorial years, he helped the state to become a leader in education, recreation, transportation and industry. Like Gov. Rhodes, we certainly have those here in the Tristate who are keeping things moving forward "” or at least interesting. Trying to just keep abreast of news and the movers and shakers, and tying this all into a city with such a rich history and roots far deeper than initial inspection — it's never ending. 

We have seen some local articles lately and economic initiatives that speak toward seeking what all regions want — high-growth companies, high return on effort, and investment. One thing which does surprise us, however, is the lack of recognition given to a large core segment of our job foundation: manufacturing. Manufacturing News recently reported that Cincinnati ranks 6th in the United States for manufacturing jobs, Cleveland 10th, and Columbus 19th. With the increased pressure of competition, fueled by increasing technology, some might say that we must look towards the new growth segments to sustain us for the future. Agreed, but as the saying goes, let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. With manufacturing being so much a part of our economic health for the foreseeable future, why lose focus on the real success stories happening right now?

Sentiments like this made us look at how we could develop an event here in the Tristate to give professionals in local manufacturing their proper due. With a few discussions with some of you, the Mannys were born. After launching the nomination campaign "” with this being the first year, we were amazed at the level of input "” we had interest coming from those wanting to recognize companies, several of whom we had no clue that were located here in our own back yard. There were many individuals, companies and economic development organizations that eagerly accepted the challenge of moving the Mannys and its mission from an idea to reality. You can read more about them, along with stories of the award winners, within this issue. You are also invited to attend the event June 7 at the Cincinnati Museum Center to celebrate their success.

Being a part of the Mannys and getting exposed to several of these companies for the first time gives me great confidence in the Tristate business community and our future prospects both in manufacturing and newborn industries. There is a need for us to want more growth, and to want new jobs, and this is understandable. We believe much of our growth will be coming from companies like those getting awards, many transforming their tried and true methods for new opportunities. Another famous quote, this from Shakespeare's character Polonius in Hamlet that could apply here, said, "To thine own self be true." His message, like past Gov. Rhodes, may be old school, but I don't think we as Cincinnatians have a problem with that.