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Voting open for Goering Center’s Rising Leader Award

Nine of Cincinnati’s next generation of leaders named semifinalists for Rising Leader Award; finalist to be named at annual Family and Private Business Awards

Good leaders know that cultivating bench strength is critical to long-term success. Being able to pass the torch to another strong leader ensures a business’s longevity and sustainability.

The University of Cincinnati Goering Center for Family and Private Business emphasizes the critical importance of succession planning, which is why it annually recognizes one future leader at its annual Family and Private Business Awards.

An independent panel of judges have selected nine semifinalists for the Rising Leader Award, each of whom will shape the future of their respective companies and collectively grow our regional economy. The Rising Leader Award will be named at the Goering Center’s annual awards banquet, which will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Jack Casino.

Members of the Cincinnati business community are encouraged to help honor our region’s future generation of leaders by electing the recipient of the Rising Leader Award. Ballots can be cast here. Voting is open through Aug. 15. The semifinalists for the Rising Leader Award are:

  • Tim Williams, regional sales consultant for Batesville Products Inc., is being recognized as a Rising Leader Award semifinalist for his work on the company's business strategy. "Tim has excelled in the business development arena since taking on this role, consistently growing revenue year over year while at the same time providing the company detailed analytical forecasts, greatly assisting our operational planning and logistics efforts," says Rock Robinson, VP of sales at Batesville Products.
  • Eric Arling, director of operations at Integrity Express Logistics, is being recognized for his work on the company's business strategy. "Eric is passionate about envisioning the future, and uses everyday functionality and opportunity to create and develop strategic plans to move the business model forward in an appropriate but growth-assertive manner," says Matthew Ventura, founding partner of Integrity Express Logistics. Eric also worked to enhance the company’s risk-management strategy and helps develop all levels of leadership.
  • Heather Vanzant, design manager at Office Furniture Source, is being recognized for how she has "given back." "Heather has combined her giving nature with her innate leadership skills to push forward a meaningful community involvement for all team members at Office Furniture Source," OFS President Peter Ellington says. Heather’s leadership has allowed OFS to get involved with several outreach opportunities, which has allowed team members to identify and contribute to causes that are meaningful to them.
  • Rachel Fyffe serves as customer experience manager at CME Services. She is being recognized for how she has given back to her company and community. "Rachel is our culture champion,” says CME Services COO Nicole Menkhaus. “She is the one who recognizes the opportunities to demonstrate how much we really do care, through recognition activities for our employees and cards for special family occasions, among other things." CME Services now gives 10 percent discounts to religious and nonprofit organizations.
  • Lori Hallmark is a partner with PwC and recently became a private company services audit strategy driver leader. Lori is being recognized for contributing to the company's dynamic business strategy. With Lori’s outstanding leadership, “the firm was able to customize the audit methodology applicable to privately-held and family-owned businesses,” says PwC Partner Joe Walker.
  • Rachel Mason-Mendelsohn is managing partner and secretary-treasurer at Mason, Schilling and Mason Co., LPA. Rachel has served as the managing partner for the law firm for more than six years, and is being honored for her work on the company’s business strategy. “She handles a significant client caseload and services the needs of the law firm creditor-client base, which has grown by over 30 percent during her tenure,” says Jonathan Mason, MSM’s senior counsel. Rachel handles all management duties at the firm, as well as financial reporting, human resources and client development.
  • Krista Mahon, president at Riverside Electric, is being recognized for developing her company’s business charter. She collaborated with key staff and the rest of the Riverside team to create a set of new core values for the company. “Krista spearheaded the effort to define and adopt a set of core values for Riverside Electric that encompass the culture and desired behaviors of the company," says Brent Carter, executive coach with Leadership Excelleration. Krista was appointed president by her father, CEO Paul Gangloff, this past year.
  • Paul Carrier, operations manager at KC Robotics, is being recognized for contributing to his company's business strategy. "Paul worked tirelessly to create a business strategy that would improve three major business areas: Company culture, customer satisfaction and increased sales," says KC Robotics CFO Connie Carrier. "KC Robotics' sales have increased by 30 percent over the previous year for the past two years, [and] customer satisfaction surveys have been positive." Additionally, Paul has helped to improve recruiting, performance reviews, employee development and communication at the company.
  • Janice Scheid, controller at Melink Corporation, was named a Rising Leader Award semifinalist for contributing to business growth at her company. Jan's efforts as controller enabled CEO Steve Melink to sell the company to the employees through an ESOP. "Improved output from our administrative and finance team, through individual performance and improved processes, have enabled the business to grow by double-digits in 2017 and 2018," says Melink President Craig Davis.

To learn more about the 20th Annual Goering Center Family and Private Business Awards, including how to register for the Sept. 10 awards banquet, visit the Goering Center's website.

Featured image at top: Goering Center president, Carol Butler, and president emeritus, Larry Grypp, presenting the 2018 Rising Leader Award to Kelly Backscheider, COO of BGR Inc., at the 2018 awards gala. Photo/Jay Yocis/UC Creative Services

About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business

Established in 1989, the Goering Center for Family & Private Business serves more than 400 members, making it the country’s largest university based educational non-profit for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the University of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business provides access to a vast resource of business programming and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit