January 17, 2017
Celebration of legacy and leadership Feb 16
The 2017 Annual Dinner, our premier business event of the year, is highlighted by the induction of the newest class of Great Living Cincinnatians: William P. Butler, Victor F. Garcia, MD, Charlene Ventura, and John P. Williams, Jr.,and marks the changing-of-the-guard of the Chamber’s key volunteer leaders.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first class of Great Living Cincinnatians, we are fortunate to honor a distinguished group at the Chamber’s 2017 Annual Dinner,” offered Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “The leadership and accomplishments of the 2017 Great Living Cincinnatians has grown the equity, economy, well-being and vibrancy of our region.”
Since 1967, the Great Living Cincinnatian Award has been presented annually by the Chamber. The 2017 honorees join 147 previous awardees chosen by the Chamber’s Senior Council for service to the community; business and civic attainment on a local, state, national or international level; leadership; awareness of the needs of others; and distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization.
The 2017 honorees will be installed as Great Living Cincinnatians at the 2017 Chamber Annual Dinner, presented by PNC Bank, at the Duke Energy Center Grand Ballroom on Thursday, February 16, 2017 from 5-8:30 pm. Former longtime TV news anchor, Clyde Gray, will return as emcee. Learn more about each leader below, and reserve early: a capacity audience of 1,200 community and business leaders attends this preeminent honor event annually.
William P. Butler
Mr. Butler is chairman of the board and CEO of Corporex Companies, which he founded in 1965. Under Mr. Butler’s leadership, Corporex has evolved into a diverse real estate and investment company with over $1.5 billion in assets in seventeen states. “I entered business at age 22, driven by a dream to build and succeed,” said Butler. “I formed American Structural Systems, W.P. Butler Company and others, all of which merged into Corporex. I’ve had the same job now for 51 years.” Read full Bill Butler bio
Victor F. Garcia
Dr. Garcia is currently a full-time pediatric surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. “I am able help the most vulnerable,” said Garcia. “Injuries are the number one cause of death among children and we have the resources to save lives.” Read full Victor Garcia M.D. bio
In 1976, Ms. Ventura initiated the first community-wide forum on domestic abuse, which led to the funding and establishment of the YWCA Alice Paul House, the first shelter for survivors of domestic violence in the Greater Cincinnati area and one of the first seven in the nation. In 1980, she founded AMEND, a unique program to counsel male abusers, and instituted transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence and their children. Read full Charlene Ventura bio
John P. Williams, Jr.
John P. Williams, Jr. took a three year leave from his law practice to run the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce in 1984. His love for the region saw Mr. Williams leave Taft, Stettinius & Hollister and remain at the Chamber for 17 years. One of his proudest Chamber undertakings was working collaboratively behind-the-scenes, bringing people together, to develop broad civic support for a sales tax levy that would keep Cincinnati as a Major League community by building Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park, and creating a beautiful new riverfront in the process. “Cincinnati is a big little city,” said Williams. “Big enough to have big city amenities and small enough that people work together to address our challenges, get things done and make a difference.” Read full John Williams bio