Title: President & CEO
Current / Past Place of Employment: Integrity Development Corporation
Eric Ellis is President and CEO of Integrity Development Corp., a firm that helps to build organizational cultures where diversity, inclusion, and respect flourish, which drives sustainable, improved business results. He is recognized as one of our nation’s leading consultants and strategists on matters related to diversity and inclusion. He is viewed as a thought leader who effectively collaborates with internal diversity practitioners and HR Leaders to develop and implement innovative D&I solutions. Eric serves as a member of the SHRM Inclusion & Diversity Expert Panel and a subject matter expert for the HR Inclusion Credential.
Eric is author of the book, “Diversity Conversations, 3rd edition.” Recognized as the Minority Business of the Year in Ohio and the recipient of the NAACP President’s award, in addition to many other leadership and business awards. He has been described by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “Cincinnati’s Diversity Fixer”. His weekly radio broadcast entitled Diversity Conversations, can be heard through www.1320thevoice.com or Facebook Live every Saturday, 9:30 am EST
What do you love most about the Cincinnati region?
We have so much diversity and so many major metropolitan areas that are accessible from this location. You can get two major cities quickly, while remaining in what can feel like a small community. We have major corporations and sports teams, while being a city of neighborhoods.
After a long week, what energizes you?
I am energized by my family, my music, and my work. It’s been said that when you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s been true for me for 30 years. I also love music. I’ve written over 300 songs. Whenever the world around me seems crazy, I’ll write a song. Finally, I wanted to have a family when I was a kid and so I’ve enjoyed every single day with my wife and four children. Cincinnati’s a great place to raise a family.
What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
My father was a pioneer in the field of diversity and inclusion and my mother was a preacher. I feel as though my work and style embodies many of the lessons they taught me. I believe my purpose on earth is to reconcile diverse people. This has been my life’s work. I hope that my legacy includes a major entry on how I respected all people. It’s important to me that I offer far more grace than judgement. If my life has shined any light, I hope it is reflected in the contributions of my children and diverse people who have crossed my path.
How do you define success?
Success is all about finding your purpose and applying it each day. Success is found in living each moment to its fullest. Success is finding the things that put smiles on the faces of people you love the most and doing that as often as possible.
What does Cincinnati as a future city mean to you?
Cincinnati as a future city is one willing to overcome the fear of sharing its greatest gifts and most valued prizes with a wider range of humanity. As a future city, Cincinnati will take its unique ability to envision and build extraordinary physical structures and apply those skills to diverse relationships and equitable power sharing. A successful future Cincinnati will achieve a level of fairness that goes beyond positive words printed in brochures and magazines. As a truly inclusive city, our transformation will be enthusiastically celebrated by those historically left behind.