October 15, 2013
MBE brokerage firm taps Chamber programs to build connections
Newly established Robert Louis Group, one of the only minority-certified commercial real estate brokerage firms in the country, is employing two Chamber programs - the CEO Roundtable and Table of 8 - to develop connections and foster business.
The commercial real estate brokerage firm, which provides a full complement of corporate real estate services nationally and globally, is the brainchild of native Cincinnatians J.R. Foster and David Louis Hornberger. Both graduates of The Cincinnati Country Day School, the duo hung the proverbial shingle earlier this year.
"I always knew I wanted to be in commercial real estate and start my own company, so after graduating from DePauw University, I went to work at Jones Lang LaSalle, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan," said Foster. "After learning the ropes within those powerhouse companies, I returned to Cincinnati."
Foster spent eleven years with national real estate firms, then decided the time was right to open his own shop. He is a member of the Chamber's CEO Roundtable Program, as well as the recently launched Table of 8. As a new entrepreneur, he's finding both programs beneficial.
"The CEO Roundtable is great for providing up-and-coming entrepreneurs with assistance from those who have 'been there, done that'," said Foster. "It's a diverse group of people and industries…in any given session, you're hearing about challenges ranging from healthcare to operations."
Table of 8, a newer Chamber program, gives African-American business professionals who are new to the region a chance to connect, network, and share insights and resources. In a casual setting, participants explore common personal and professional experiences. Table of 8 is primarily geared toward those new to the region - located here two years or less - but it's also open to those who may have been away from the region and are looking to reconnect.
"The great thing about Table of 8 is that it gives you a chance to network with people outside of your established professional network…people you may have never had a chance to meet," said Foster.