The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is honoring seven people in its We Are Making Black History campaign for Black History Month. They are, front, from left, Verna Williams, Esq., Morgan Owens and Ray Ball. In back, from left, are David Singleton, Esq., Nerissa Morris, Dora Anim and Eugene Partridge III. Photo by Michael Millay, Rooted Media House. Photo by Michael Millay, Rooted Media House
By Danielle Wilson
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is proud to announce the 2020 We Are Making Black History honorees presented by Frost Brown Todd, Ohio National Financial Services and US Bank. Throughout February, the Chamber will recognize Black leaders living and working in our region, making Black history and creating legacies today. The tribute will culminate at the Cincinnati Chamber annual dinner on February 27.
Danielle Wilson, vice president of marketing and communications of the Cincinnati Chamber, said,
“During all times of the year, but particularly during Black History Month, it is important for us to recognize and show appreciation for the contributions of African American leaders and their impact on our region. The growth our community is experiencing today has been greatly influenced by these leaders and many others. It is our hope that by sharing these stories of Black achievement all people will be inspired by their ambition and perseverance,” said
The 2020 class of “We are Making Black History” honorees:
Dora Anim She is the chief operating officer at Greater Cincinnati Foundation. In partnership with the CEO, she provides day-to-day leadership and vision for GCF. She is responsible for developing a high performing culture and shifting the organizational mindset to drive growth, transformation and results. Prior to GCF, Dora was the senior vice president of the Health Collaborative, where she managed large-scale healthcare improvement initiatives for diverse groups of stakeholders working together toward defined common goals. She serves on several boards, including the Council on Aging, Episcopal Retirement Services, Springer School and OneSource.
Ray Ball She has been a champion of marketing for over 6.5 years, starting out as a blogger, then transitioning to a career in marketing at an agency where she managed over 40 social accounts including elite clients. Since launching BallR Media in 2015 as the Creative Brandpreneur, she has worked with a variety of clients locally and nationally to develop creative and results–driven campaigns. Ball is also the creator of The Neighborhood Rose Project, which is meant to empower people to be more active in their communities. She started the project when she launched her shoe, The Neighborhood Rose Air Max 1 with Nike. This initiative has led to the #MyHoodTaughtMe tour, traveling around the state doing: youth creator workshops, a pollinate–your–hood program and a marijuana expungement clinic.
Nerissa Morris She serves as the senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, having held this role since April 2018. Leading the human resources and community relations functions for one of the largest private employers in the area, she oversees enterprise-wide people functions and is the first African American to hold a C-suite role at the Medical Center. With experiences in multiple industries, toys (Kenner Products, Cincinnati, Ohio), automotive (Ford Motor Company, Volvo Car Corporation), financial services (Ford Motor Credit Corporation), higher education and academic medicine (University of Miami, Florida), Morris has demonstrated human resources and business proficiency through success in leadership roles at all levels.
Morgan Angelique Owens She is an entrepreneurial firebrand who has immersed herself in the art of helping women reach their highest levels of growth, profit and success. A native of Cincinnati and graduate of Miami University, she has masterfully integrated her savvy as an executive, entrepreneur and motivation expert to inspire excellence in girl bosses all over the globe. A consummate speaker at heart, she has lent her voice as a speaker on numerous platforms, including the 110th NAACP convention. Morgan was invited to share her entrepreneurial journey on Proctor & Gamble’s “My Black is Beautiful” panel discussion and served as Dr. Miracle’s Influencer during the 25th Essence Festival during Essence Fest Weekend. Morgan released her first book “Finding My Sparkle”, an inspirational narrative about the journey to self-love and draws thousands of monthly readers through her shared viewpoints and experiences as a contributing writer for the National Black Press.
Eugene Partridge III He is director and head of procurement operations at Paycor Inc., a TEDx speaker, an author and a music producer. His business talents have enabled him to hold leadership roles with several global Fortune 500 and rapid growth companies, helping them to transform their procurement operations and save millions of dollars. He is a regular speaker at leadership programs within the city and at several international conferences across the country. He gave his first TED Talk, “Giving Life Saved My Life,” at TEDx Cincinnati in 2019. He has authored two books, “Career Fertilizer” and “Daughters & Daddies,” and has written music for Dorinda Clark-Cole, Grammy award-winning Gospel artist, among others. He is a musician at his local church and a leader in the community.
David A. Singleton He is executive director of the Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice & Policy Center and a tenured Professor of Law at NKU Chase College of Law. He received his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991, and his A.B. in economics and public policy cum laude from Duke University in 1987. Upon graduation from law school, he received a Skadden Fellowship to work at the Legal Action Center for the Homeless in New York City, where he practiced for three years. He then worked as a public defender for seven years, first with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and then with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. After moving to Cincinnati in 2001, he practiced at Thompson Hine until 2002, when he joined OJPC.
Verna Williams She is dean of Cincinnati Law’s faculty since 2001 after practicing many years in the areas of civil and women’s rights. Prior to being appointed dean, she taught in the areas of family law, gender discrimination and constitutional law. She co-founded and co-directed the Nathaniel Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice. Her research examines the intersection of race, gender and class in law and policy. Prior to joining Cincinnati Law, she was vice president and director of educational opportunities at the National Women’s Law Center, where she focused on issues of gender equity in education. During her time at the center, she was lead counsel and successfully argued Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court. It established that educational institutions have a duty under federal law to respond to and address complaints of student-to-student sexual harassment.
Featured stories and videos of each honoree will be published weekly throughout February at cincinnatichamber.com/makingblackhistory