By Anne Sesler
Hamilton County commissioners have announced the hiring of Robert Bell as director of inclusion. This is a new position for the county, created by commissioners in 2017 to improve inclusion in county procurement and employment practices.
At the January 24 commission meeting, Bell detailed a new county initiative titled BOLD – Building Opportunities by Leveraging Diversity, to ensure inclusion and diversity success in Hamilton County operations as well as in procurement and purchasing practices.
Bell brings significant inclusion experience to the county having served as inclusion coordinator for the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority for seven years. He has extensive experience in program management, service delivery, community development and program compliance from previous positions at United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Beech Acres.
Bell was awarded the “Economic Inclusion Advocate of the Year” in 2016 at the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit.
He has an MBA degree from Xavier University and an undergraduate degree from Edgecliff College.
“The future of our community rests with celebrating our diversity and celebrating it with action to be sure all our doors are open,” said Todd Portune, commission president.
“I am excited to welcome Mr. Bell to the team as we work to include everybody in the growth of our community,” said Commissioner Denise Driehaus.
In July 2017, county commissioners appointed 15 members to the Economic Inclusion Advisory Council to support and assist the Office of Economic Inclusion and other relevant county departments in achieving the County’s goals for economic inclusion.
The Board of County Commissioners are committed to promoting the economic inclusion of all people in Hamilton County regardless of race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identify, said county officials. The Office of Economic Inclusion will help the county reach its goals for economic inclusion and measure the impact of the economic inclusion programs and initiatives in Hamilton County, they said.