Thursday, January 24, 2002

Regionalism essential to succeed, Cox says




By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — If Greater Cincinnati is to grow and prosper as a region, business leaders must lead the way.

        That was one of the themes Phillip Cox, president and chief executive officer of Cox Financial Corp., struck Wednesday during the inaugural government forum sponsored by the Mason Landen Kings Chamber of Commerce and Sprint.

        Mr. Cox credited the leadership in the business community with moving forward several projects on Cincinnati's riverfront, including the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the new stadiums and The Banks project.

        Regionalism, Mr. Cox said, is key to the Tristate's success. “None of us are separate from each other,” said Mr. Cox, vice chairman of the Cincinnati Business Committee. “The part can never be greater than the whole, and too many people are trying to make it so.” Mr. Cox said the region's growth is directly connected to an educated workforce and having viable employment opportunities for residents.

        Mr. Cox, who is African-American, said too often he fails to see people who look like him on local corporate boards.

        “None of this activity is malicious, it is habitual,” said Mr. Cox, who serves on several boards, including the United Way and Cinergy. “We have to have more than one guy named Phil. We have to have more than one guy named Ross Love.”

        Kathy Carroll, who is in charge of membership development at the Mason Landen Kings Chamber of Commerce, said she felt inspired after hearing Mr. Cox's speech.

        “I feel like I've been empowered,” Ms. Carroll said.

       



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