Seven individuals making Black historical past in Cincinnati to be honored by Chamber


The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber honors seven African Americans during Black History Month as part of their We Are Making Black History campaign.

The campaign, which was launched in 2019, is an attempt to recognize African American leaders whose names or achievements may be less well known.

“These award winners represent a variety of experiences and professions, but they all have one thing in common: each of them is currently redefining the standard in their career and creating a path for all who follow. Their stories are shining examples of how their resilience and leadership help move the Cincinnati area forward, ”Danielle Wilson, vice president of communications for the chamber, told The Enquirer.

The seven winners for 2021 are:

  • Eric Ellis
  • Kala Gibson
  • Gee Horton
  • Sonia Jackson Myles
  • Crystal Kendrick
  • David Kirk
  • Tyran Stallings

More:Black-owned companies generated $ 1.4 billion in economic activity in the region last year, a study shows

You will be honored at a future virtual event. Details will be announced later.

About the winners:

Eric Ellis, President and CEO of Integrity Development Corp.

Eric Ellis, 59, President and CEO at Integrity Development Corp: Ellis has been recognized as one of the country’s foremost advisors and strategists on diversity and inclusion. His company helps build organizational cultures where diversity, inclusion, and respect thrive in order to achieve sustainable, improved business results. He has been described by The Enquirer as “Cincinnati’s Diversity Fixer.” His weekly radio show “Diversity Conversations” can be heard on Saturdays at 9:30 am at or Facebook Live @elliseric. He is a member of the Society’s Expert Panel on Inclusion and Diversity for Personnel Management and the author of the book “Diversity Conversations”, now in its third edition. His firm was named Minority Company of the Year in Ohio and received the NAACP President’s award, along with many other leadership and business awards.

Kala Gibson, executive vice president at Fifth Third Bank

Kala Gibson, 48, Executive Vice President, Head of Business Banking and Chief Corporate Corporate Responsibility Officer at Fifth Third Bank: Gibson oversees strategic planning, operations, sales, loan fulfillment, and product development for Fifth Third customers with annual sales of up to $ 20 million. In December last year he expanded his duties to include overseeing the community and the economic development of the bank. He is also Chairman of Fifth Third’s Executive Diversity Leadership Council. He joined Fifth Third in 2011 as Senior Vice President and Business Banking Executive. He started his career at Comerica Bank in Detroit and has more than 29 years of experience in retail, community and small business banking. He is a board member of the National Urban League and the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

Gee Horton, 37, visual artist and founder of Gee Horton Studios

Gee Horton, 37, visual artist and founder of Gee Horton Studios: Horton describes himself as a “self-trained hyper-realistic visual artist” who recently transitioned from a career in the corporate world to primarily focus on art making and community building. Gee says his graphite and charcoal pencil drawings capture an heightened sense of realism, but it’s important to note that his style is only one facet of understanding his work. He says he often incorporates his education and life experiences into his art in order to “achieve a kind of force that arouses emotional associations for many”. Gee is currently working on a series of works entitled “Coming of Age,” which will be discontinued. The series is autobiographical and features a multilayered conversation about the youth of black men and “their search for identity, acceptance, purpose and love,” says he.

Sonia Jackson Myles, 53, Founder, President and CEO of The Sister Accord and The Accord Group.

Sonia Jackson Myles, 53, Founder, President and CEO of The Sister Accord and The Accord Group: Jackson Myles is the driving force behind The Sister Accord, a “global movement” that aims to educate girls and women, use the “power of sisterhood” to educate them and eliminate bullying and violence against girls and women. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies including Ford Motor, Gillette, and Procter & Gamble for more than 20 years. The former director of global packaging at P&G now has a mission to “teach 1 billion girls and women to love themselves and one another,” she says. She is the author of The Sister Accord: 51 Ways to Love Your Sister, which was nominated for the 2013 NAACP Image Award. Her second book, 51 Ways to Love Your Children, focuses on building strong families. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her mantra is, “There’s always a place at the table for excellence – focus on excellence.” She is also the founder and CEO of the Sister Accord Foundation.

Crystal Kendrick, President of The Voice of Your Customer

Crystal Kendrick, 51, President of The Voice of Your Customer: Kendrick has over 25 years of global and domestic marketing experience specifically targeting hard-to-reach, underserved, international, and niche populations. Her consulting firm specializes in helping clients break into niche markets through reviews, focus groups, media campaigns, mystery observations, and survey research. Your Client’s Voice has been named National Supplier of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Cincinnati Chapter of Small Agency of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America. She was named Enquirer Woman of the Year, the Western Ohio Woman of Distinction Boy Scout, and the Greater Cincinnati Career Woman of Achievement YWCA.

David Kirk, 65, President and CEO of DNK Architects, Inc.

David Kirk, 65, President and CEO at DNK Architects, Inc .: church is a licensed architect based in five states with over 30 years of experience in public and commercial projects. Since 1986 he has been President and CEO at DNK. Under his leadership, the company has completed projects that vary in size and scope. Customers included the Cincinnati and Dayton public school systems. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; and the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati. Working with various private companies and government agencies, he helped develop several projects that support economic development and entrepreneurship. Kirk also worked with the National Organization of Minority Architects to develop programs to introduce architecture as a profession for African American youth across the country. His past and present career affiliations include the African American CEO Roundtable, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Roundtable, and the National Organization of Minority Architects. He is also a member of the Hamilton County Board of Building Standards.

Tyran Stallings, managing director of the DAD initiative

Tyran Stallings, 42, Managing Director of the DAD Initiative: Stallings is a philanthropist, investor, and educator with over 20 years experience as a teacher, consultant, and speaker. In 2014, he founded the non-profit initiative DAD (Directing Adolescent Development). Her mission is to prepare children, especially colored ones, for a prosperous future by engaging students, families and the communities they belong to with quality programs, interactions and activities. and experiences. The organization serves thousands of young men and women in the greater Cincinnati area and offers both during and after school programs that focus on mentoring, cultural awareness and skills development in the 21st century. In addition, Stallings has built several companies that join his passion for creativity and youth advocacy, including Quiet Noise Multimedia and Goal Getters Consulting. With his partners, Tyran also founded Buildwell Development Group in 2018, a black-and-white residential and commercial development company building new and renovated homes across Cincinnati while providing growth opportunities for minority businesses. Stallings has served on numerous executive boards including the Hamilton County Community Action Agency, Children Inc, and currently Learning Grove. His awards and recognitions include Who is Who in Black Cincinnati and Best of Black Cincinnatis Teacher of the Year.