Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Making Black History

Eugene Partridge, III

;

Title:

Director, Head of Procurement Operations | TEDx Speaker | Author | Music Producer

Current / Past Place of Employment:

Paycor, Inc. 

Years in the Region:

35 years

Originally From:

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. 

Age:

35 years old

His Story:

Eugene Partridge, III is the Director, 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. Eugene 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. Eugene has authored two books, Career Fertilizer and Daughters & Daddies, and has written music for Grammy award winning gospel artist, Dorinda Clark-Cole, among others.

Eugene currently serves on the Regional Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation and serves as a Facilitator for the Building Cultural Competence leadership program developed by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. He is a musician at his local church and a leader in the community. None of Eugene’s endeavors or accomplishments would matter without the inspiration from his lovely wife, Keisha, and his three beautiful daughters, Sanei, Audrey, and Tori – affectionately called the Keishites.

What makes you uniquely YOU?

My name is Eugene Partridge, III. I am the Director and Head of Procurement Operations at Paycor, a TEDx Speaker, author, and music producer. I use my business talents and negotiation skills to help companies save millions of dollars. 

I like to say I am outnumbered 4-to-1 at home by my amazing wife and three beautiful daughters, affectionately called the “Keishites”. I feel it is my life’s purpose to inspire people around me to maximize ALL of their talents and live to their full potential.

What made you decide to make Cincinnati home?

As a child, I had big dreams of being an executive in a big city like Chicago or New York. But as I matured, I realized that Cincinnati was also a major city of commerce. There’s so much opportunity here with all of the Fortune 500 presence and the thriving companies. I decided that I wanted to be one of the talented professionals who stayed in Cincinnati to help grow the city. 

What do you love most about the Cincinnati Region?

I love that Cincinnati is big enough to be a major metropolitan city but small enough to be a close knit, family city. This is a great place to live if you want to grow a family, build a career, and acquire wealth. This city is also rich with history that can help us foster productive conversations surrounding change. 

After a long week of work, what energizes you?

On the weekends, I spend a considerable amount of time at my daughter’s basketball games. We have been blessed with some athletic daughters. Their sporting events serve as moments of recharge. Music is also my great escape. I can be found spending a considerable amount of time producing new music in my man cave. I am also active in my local church so I can be found participating in events at the church. 

Looking at your professional career, outside of family and friends, where have you garnered your support?

I am a firm believer in what I call vision partners. Vision partners are 2-3 people in your close-knit circle who have a vested interest in your success. I share my visions, goals, and ideas with these select individuals because they support me and want to see me succeed. This is also my circle of accountability because my vision partners have a similar drive to mine. It’s hard to be held accountable by people that don’t move like you move. 

What is your most proud moment in recent history?

I would have to say delivering my first TED Talk at TEDx Cincinnati is my proudest moment to date. Not only was it an honor to be chosen, but I was able to tell the story of giving my father a kidney when I was 20 years old while bringing awareness to chronic kidney disease. The standing ovation at the end of the talk is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The name of the talk is “Giving Life Saved My Life”. I share a personal concept I’ve coined called Intentional Vibrancy, which encourages people to live their lives full of energy and life despite the challenges and tragedies we may face in everyday life.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?

I want to leave behind a legacy that I left here empty. Life is a gift and I believe we should treat it as such. I believe in maximizing every single talent and gifting that we have in order to make an indelible impact on the world. I want my family to be able to say that I gave this life every ounce of effort that I could. And as a result, I hope to leave behind a prestigious name and an endowment of wealth. 

How do you define success?

I define success as the optimal maximization of one’s gifts and talents. If you notice, the most successful people in the world are not defined by how much money they make, but how much value they bring to the world. When we bring maximum value, wealth and honor find us. Success to me is discovering what you were born to do, then doing it to the highest possible level for as long as possible. That to me is success.  

What is your advice for emerging African American leaders?

My advice to emerging African American leaders is two words; just finish. I think I may write another book about this. It’s not that we lack ideas. It’s not that we lack resources. It’s not that we lack opportunity. Many of us don’t achieve to our highest level because we simply lack the discipline, patience, and mental fortitude to finish what we start. Excellence is born out of the habit of finishing. I tell people all the time: Start what you will finish. Finish what you started.

What does Cincinnati as a “future city” mean to you?

Cincinnati as a future city to me means a city full of diverse innovation. When a city can adopt diversity of thought, it transforms into an incubator of innovation. Growing up in this city, I can vouch for the major changes we are making. We are becoming a different city. I can see Cincinnati developing into a melting pot of diverse talent and innovation. It all starts with fostering an environment of community. 

What piece of advice have you received along the way in your career or life journey that has stuck with you?

I’m not sure where this thought came from, but there is one phrase that always encouraged me throughout my career. That phrase is, “The only difference between them and me is time”. As a minority in corporate America, sometimes you can get discouraged by not seeing more people that look like you in leadership roles. When those feelings would arise, I would often remind myself that with consistent hard work and time, I could reach the levels of achievement I saw. Time is the great equalizer if we’re patient enough to let it work. 

Tell us about something that most people do not know about you.

I shared this is a recent TED Talk, but I gave a kidney to my father when I was 20 years old. Unfortunately, he passed away 42 days later from an unrelated condition. Although this was a traumatic loss for me, it is the main reason why I am so driven today. My father was a totally different man for those 42 days following the surgery which inspired me to live with intentional vibrancy: living each day full of energy and life. It’s not too often that you run into a 20 year old kidney donor.

In what ways are you involved in the Cincinnati community outside of your professional endeavors?

I serve on the Regional Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation. I serve as a Facilitator for the Building Cultural Competence leadership program developed by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. I speak at several business conferences and church related events around the city. I am also a musician at my local church and a voice of inspiration in the community. 
 

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