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News Release              
For Immediate Release

Rich Walburg
Communications Director
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
513.579.3194 Direct
513.205.7424 Mobile


Chamber MBA Launches National Leadership Search


CINCINNATI—June 10, 2015 —The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber announced the launch of a national executive search to lead its Minority Business Accelerator (MBA).

Launched in 2003, the MBA provides a wide swath of services, including infrastructure evaluation, opportunity analysis and capital access solutions, to help grow sizable minority-owned businesses – while working with majority-owned firms to diversify spend and get innovative solutions – ultimately creating jobs and wealth among minority-owned business owners.

At the close of 2014, the MBA’s portfolio of 35 companies had collective revenue of nearly $1 billion and employed over 3,500 individuals. For every 50 jobs created, another 39 supporting jobs are created in the region, generating $2 million annually in wages and salaries. This equates to an additional $8 million injected into the local economy this year.

The MBA is the economic inclusion arm of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Led by Crystal German, vice president of the MBA and economic inclusion since 2008, the position is being vacated with Ms. German’s relocation to Bentonville, Arkansas for her upcoming marriage.

“Thanks to Crystal’s leadership, our region now has three times as many African-American and Hispanic-owned businesses with revenues greater than $10 million,” offered Brian Carley, president & CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.  “Under her tutelage, the MBA launched the investor-funded L. Ross Love GrowthBridge Fund, a lending vehicle for minority-owned firms, and sparked the creation of four other accelerators in the U.S. in Dayton, Charlotte, Greenville and Lexington.” 

The MBA’s German offers, “Today, no major economic or community development project is undertaken without discussion on how to include minority, women and small businesses. The work of the MBA has changed the tenor of this conversation and the attitude with which we approach economic inclusion. Minority firms within our portfolio now have a stronger understanding of the competitive advantage they bring to a project – if they’re ready.  Majority firms of the MBA are placing a greater imperative on the existence of an economic inclusion plan, evidenced by a second consecutive year of sourcing demand of over $1 billion from regional minority business enterprises.”

German continues, “While the work of the MBA is far from complete, I’m most proud that we’ve changed the conversation among leaders at both minority- and majority-owned firms from ‘why is this necessary?’ to ‘how do we get started?’ For the business community in Cincinnati USA, economic inclusion has evolved from underutilized to an essential resource.” 

MBA achievements include:

  • Driving over $1 billion in goal setter spend with minority firms for two consecutive years. The MBA works to secure an annual spend goal from local corporations (MBA goal setters) to procure goods and services from minority-owned firms.
    Currently, the MBA has 40 goal setters.
  • Growing the average revenue of portfolio firms from $21 million in 2008 to $34 million in 2014. Through work with portfolio companies, the MBA improves the capacity of local minority-owned businesses to serve as suppliers to corporations. Currently, the MBA has 30 portfolio firms.
  • Helping to create the L. Ross Love GrowthBridge Fund to connect investors and minority businesses to new growth opportunities. In 2014, the MBA underwrote four loans for a total of $575,000 through the fund.

Additional information about the MBA is available at


About the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is one of the nation’s largest chambers, representing the interests of nearly 4,500 member businesses. Its mission is to leverage the potential of the business community to create economic prosperity for our region. The Chamber serves its membership and the Cincinnati USA community through leadership and professional development programs, government advocacy, festivals and events, regional vision and collaboration, money-saving benefit programs, networking opportunities and educational programs. For more information, visit

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