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UC Political Science Alumna Sows Seeds of Success as College Volunteer

As she has built her own professional successes, University of Cincinnati alumna Lori Hudson takes care to give back.

Date: 1/10/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Elissa Yancey
Phone: (513) 556-4350
Photos By: Provided

UC ingot  
Lori Hudson knows what a difference an opportunity to attend college can make. The successful first-generation college graduate credits her time at the University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences for lessons that continue to serve her every day in her work as a vice president and principal at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel in downtown Cincinnati.

The view from her 27th floor office overlooks an impressive swath of Cincinnati’s riverfront. Its height mirrors Hudson’s impressive career trajectory. The Dayton, Ohio, native who once thought she would end up a lawyer has overcome an array of obstacles on her path to managing hundreds of millions of dollars of clients’ wealth. She enjoyed a 23-year career at Fifth Third Bank before joining Bahl & Gaynor.
Lori Hudson
Lori Hudson, Political Science '81, serves on the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board

Hudson’s journey to her sleekly designed perch included a one-year stint at a small college. She enjoyed the experience, but felt confined to a single course of study. The Princeton High School graduate transferred to the University of Cincinnati because she wanted to take a wider range of classes, including both liberal arts and business in her schedule. She found that flexibility, and a wealth of liberal arts lessons, in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“People should understand what an integral part the college plays in the university,” said Hudson.

In her time at the Uptown campus, Hudson gained a wide breath of experience that put her on par with banking executive peers whose resumes boasted advanced degrees. She spent time listening to people with opinions different from her own. She shared distinct perspectives gleaned from her studies of international history and politics.

That versatility, and curiosity, propelled her into her first post-graduation job in a management training program with Fifth Third Bank. Through the program, she rotated through different departments, including time in the trust department. 

In daily meetings, she tapped into her political science and history background to add to conversations about world events that could impact business development and stock prices. She enjoyed working alongside more numbers-driven analysts and developing her own expertise in the consumer products industry. 

“Every day there is something new that happens,” she said of the work. “It’s constant learning.”

After more than two decades working for the financial powerhouse of a bank, Hudson was responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of investments. She was such a valuable asset to the company that when she tried to resign to stay at home with her two young sons, her supervisor convinced her to stay on — part-time — until they were grown. 

Then one of her former supervisors recruited her to work for his firm, Bahl & Gaynor. Hudson decided she was ready to expand her work horizons once again. Since the move, she’s filled a variety of roles, from leading compliance efforts to human resources, all while continuing to serve as a trusted investment advisor.

“In an entrepreneurial firm you have to wear many hats,” said Hudson, a natural team-builder who takes pride in grooming newer employees to fill management roles.

She still takes part in the daily meetings about world events that could impact stocks and companies, though, and her insights into Russia and North Korea can be traced, in part, to classes she took as an undergraduate.

Her respect for the liberal arts degree and understanding of its impact inspired Hudson to join the College of Arts and Sciences’ alumni advisory board. 

She said it’s the board’s responsibility to listen to college leadership, then offer advice and support. She enjoys serving as an ambassador for the college among her peers and in the broader community. 

In particular, she has taken an interest in expanding opportunities for current students to help them succeed, from growing internship programs to supporting scholarships. 

“It’s all about the students,” she said.