The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is honoring seven Black leaders who are making a difference in Cincinnati through its annual We Are Making Black History campaign.
The campaign, introduced in 2019, is an effort to recognize Black leaders whose names or accomplishments may not be widely known. It is sponsored by the chamber and Ohio National Financial Services.
The list of 2022 honorees includes executives, creatives, founders, educators, and community advocates who redefine the standard in their careers.
There will be a special tribute to the honorees at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's 2022 Annual Dinner.
The seven honorees for 2022 are:
- Eddie D. Hawkins.
- J. Phillip Holloman.
- Chanda Monroe-Williams.
- Michael Moore.
- Toilynn O’Neal Turner.
- Barb Smith.
- Ashlee Young.
About the honorees:
Eddie D. Hawkins, 49, Youth Programs Coordinator for the Cincinnati Police Department and founder of No Excuses College Tours & Programs LLC: Hawkins uses his role in the police force to help Cincinnati’s youth reach their full potential. He joined the force in 1999 and has spent the last 19 years of his 22-year career with the Youth Services Unit as a school resource officer, designing several programs to change the outcome of at-risk youth and help them find a successful path in life. In 2014, Hawkins started the No Excuse College Tours & Programs, LLC, which provides an opportunity for 10th to 12th graders to explore post-graduation options by visiting universities during a seven-day trip. He is committed to making Cincinnati better and continues to help by working with organizations like, Keep America Beautiful, the Free Store Foodbank and Black Art Speaks.
J. Phillip Holloman, 66, board chairman at the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, former president and COO of Cintas: Holloman is leading the urban league following a 22-year career with Cintas Corporation. He was known for his leadership skills at Cintas and held many titles while working for the company. As leader of the rental division, Holloman was instrumental in guiding the division through the Great Recession and helping position Cintas' core business for even greater success coming out of the economic downturn. As president and COO, he was accountable for each business unit's top-line and bottom-line results, which generated almost $6.5 billion in revenue in the 2018 fiscal year and grew 21.7% over the prior year. Holloman also oversaw several significant divestiture and merger activities at Cintas, including its exit from its document management business for strategic reasons
Chanda Monroe-Williams, 52, president and CEO of CM-W Consulting, partner at Executive Trendz Beauty & Barber Boutique: Monroe-Williams is a chairperson of the MonWill Family Foundation, the host of "Quarantine Coffee Chats with Chanda" and an adjunct faculty member at the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. She founded CM-W Consulting in 2008, after 18 years of leading and managing strategic teams, programs and initiatives for companies including GE Money and Great American Insurance. In 2019, Monroe-Williams decided she could be more impactful if she leveraged her experience and expertise to coach leaders earlier in their careers and became an adjunct faculty member for the University of Cincinnati's College of Business. In 2020, she launched The MonWill Family Foundation and its vodcast "Quarantine Coffee Chats w/ Chanda" to reduce disparities in the Black community in health, education, digital literacy and economics. The vodcast led to her selection as a 2021 Everyday Hero by The Walnut Hills High School Alumni Foundation.
Michael Moore, 48, founder of Black Achievers, an organization with over 4,000 members in Cincinnati and nearly 30,000 members nationwide: Moore’s mission is to build a network of Black professionals who can work together to make the world a better place for everyone. He is also the author of “Achieve Your Dreams: 9 Principles of African American Success”, which helps inspire others to reach their full potential. At 19, Moore taught himself to write computer code and started designing and programming websites for businesses as a hobby while still in college. He eventually started his own web development business, which he grew into a million-dollar per year business employing more than ten people. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from U.C., has served as an account manager for a Fortune 500 Company, where he managed a $5 million business unit in the engineering field and was an information technology project manager overseeing project teams at Fifth Third Bank.
Toilynn O’Neal Turner, 49, founding director of the Robert O'Neal Multicultural Art Center and the executive director of the Queen City Foundation: The art center is a nonprofit organization based in Cincinnati's West End neighborhood dedicated to celebrating, advancing, and preserving Black culture and achievement. At the foundation, she seeks talented minority students and to help them learn about educational opportunities. Turner is a talented artist, businesswoman, and cultural activist who uses her skills to promote diversity. She has over 25 years of experience working in audience development and community engagement in nonprofit organizations. She served as the visual arts and museum director for the Arts Consortium of Cincinnati for over 11 years. In 2006, Turner established her company, New American Art Gallery II. The company has spearheaded cultural programs in Greater Cincinnati, including festivals at Fountain Square with the goal of offering a venue to help regional artists gain exposure.
Barb Smith, 56, president of Journey Steel, Inc.: Smith has a bachelor's degree in industrial technology with a construction specialty from Eastern Michigan University and more than 25 years of construction experience working with architectural and engineering firms. In 2009, she co-founded Journey Steel with her business partner Tom Garten. Smith is the recipient of the 2016 Journey Award for Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship. She is in the 2017 Class of Women Who Mean Business. In 2021, she was inducted into the African American Chamber of Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Hall of Fame. Smith's company has received awards for community impact, including being named one of the top 100 fastest-growing inner-city businesses by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. Smith has also been invited to the White House to participate in discussions with senior officials on regulations and their effect on small, minority and women-owned businesses.
Ashlee Young, 36, vice president of policy and strategic initiatives at Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio: In this role, she leads the urban league's policy and advocacy framework, which focuses on systemic and equitable policy change. Young also works with partners to further accelerate the growth of the urban league and address emerging community needs. She brings over 10 years of experience in public health, nonprofit, government, and philanthropy. Her commitment to service and passion for people can be seen in her professional career and personal life. She serves her community through various leadership roles. Young is a 2020 recipient of the Cincinnati Business Courier's Forty Under 40 Award. She is a recipient of the Journey Award from the Urban League and the Bright Award from the Cincinnati Herald as well as receiving recognition from the National Society of Public Health Educators. She enjoys volunteering with many organizations in her community, but her favorite thing to do is spend time with her daughter Nila.