News & Updates

Blog Entries - 2015

Think Regional Issue Action Group Working Sessions

Posted on: October 27, 2015
Tags: Issue action group updates, Events
Think Regional Issue Action Group Working Session – September 22, 2015 22 members of the Issue Action Group Working Teams met at the Atrium Medical Center Professional Building in Middletown, OH.  Purpose The purpose of the meeting was to read more …

Issue Action Group Planning Session

Posted on: September 14, 2015
Tags: Event updates, Issue action group updates

Issue Action Group Updates – Aileron Meeting June 26, 2015

Overview --- We had 22 members of the Think Regional Issue Action Group teams come together at the fantastic Aileron conference facility in Tipp City outside of Dayton to work together on refining the definition of our Ideal End States for each issue, and the Initial Action Steps we could begin taking in the next 12 months to begin moving these issues from the current state to the Ideal End State that we believe better supports commercial investments to increase economic development, job growth and quality of life improvements across the region.

The outcomes from each Issue Action Group work session are summarized below:

1. Skilled and Educated Workforce

     (a) Use Think Regional to provide a web-based resource for all educational program opportunities for obtaining skills for the jobs that are available but not fulfilled in the region;  

     (b)Include Soft Skill programs (finance, writing, dressing, work ethics and behavior, etc.). Provide certificate of        completion for educational programs to help in finding jobs.

2. Infrastructure

     (a) Transportation: Expose options for funding options for transportation that are not gas tax – such as high speed electronic toll programs such as used in many other cities;

     (b) Energy: Work with Ohio Fuel Cell Corridor and Millennium Reign Energy to apply for an IMCP grant to designate Ohio as a Renewable/Fuel Cell Energy Innovation and Manufacturing Region.

3. Government Reform

     (a) Develop “Nudge” factors for local Government – emotional vs. economic motivators to drive local government efficiency over maintaining local power;

     (b) Shared permitting and review process across governments for development permits application and approval      process, environmental impact reviews, etc.;

     (c) Develop model forms for shared/standardized permitting;

     (d) Record and report the time required for permitting approval processes by area;

     (e) Establish a local Government “Czar” in the Governor’s office to attend Think Regional Issue Action Group              quarterly sessions and annual conference.

4. Integration of Racial/Ethnic Minorities

     (a) Every ethnic chamber should have a representative on our TR Issue Action Group;

     (b) These groups should help identify key actions for local business and government leaders. Design educational   programs that are measurable for progress on these issues.

5. Quality of Life

     Need actions to advance specific elements, such as education for children, home safety (neighborhoods?), access      to fresh food, access to health care (and use of health care), public transportation for job access.

6. Entrepreneurial Support

     (a) Provide a “one stop shop” clearing house for information on resources for starting and growing a business;  

     (b) File a form with state taxes to request support;

     (c) Earn certification for completing elements of entrepreneurial training/education, to make it easier to obtain loan or investment support, etc.

Next Steps

1. These steps will be shared with Business and Community leaders within the region and the public via the Think Regional website ( to invite comment and input.

2. Issue Action Group members will continue to work on encouraging these actions via their professional roles and personal connections with Business and Community leaders.

3. The Issue Action Group team members will next come together on September 22, 2015, 9:00am-1:00pm at ATRIUM MEDICAL CENTER Professional Office Building, Room 5A. The address is One Medical Center Drive, Middletown, OH  45005. New members who are interested in participating in the Issue Action Group work session or merely hearing the discussions are welcome to attend. To help manage space for all attendees, please RSVP to Michele Abrams at to reserve a spot by September 15, 2015.



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2015 Conference Update

Posted on: August 5, 2015
Tags: Conference updates, Event updates

Think Regional Conference Summary – April 16, 2015

150 leaders from all sectors and regions of Southwest Ohio gathered at the Marriott Cincinnati North Hotel in West Chester on April 16 for a day of working on issues related to “Growth through Collaboration”.

Think Regional is a volunteer, non-profit organization seeking to encourage and facilitate improvements in the growth of the Economy, high-paying Jobs and the Quality of Life across the 15 counties of Southwest Ohio … including the metro areas of Cincinnati and Dayton and the “connecting” counties in between along the I-75 and I-71 corridors. The annual conferences share the successes that have been achieved though collaboration across geographical, political, bureaucratic and organizational boundaries … results that deliver greater benefits for each region and constituent than could be realized by working alone in isolation.

Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton and Vice-Mayor David Mann of Cincinnati shared the stage as the morning’s keynote speakers and shared examples of multiple collaborations in progress that were bringing new economic development and job growth programs to the region.   One example of the benefits of such regional collaboration is the joint designation of the Southwestern Ohio Aeronautical Region (SOAR) Manufacturing Region under the Federal Government’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership program.   Today more than 64 aerospace companies employ almost 12,000 workers in the region.  SOAR is in the top-third nationally across 23 of the 25 industries that make up aerospace supply chains.   Major aerospace manufacturers, like Boeing, now spend more in Ohio than they do in Washington, New York, Texas, and Florida combined. The region’s position at the vanguard of the manufacturing revival has been recognized by Forbes magazine and by the Brookings Institution, which named SOAR a top twenty North American trade metro. Details are at

Two panel discussions followed with key leaders discussing other successful collaboration examples, their value for the region in key areas, and what elements made the collaborations successful. The first panel discussed economic development and infrastructure issues, and included:

  • Councilwoman Amy Murray from Cincinnati;

  • Johnna Reeder, Director of REDI Cincinnati;

  • Martin Russell, Director, Warren County Economic Development;

  • Dr. Kevin Boys, Southern State Community College;

  • Tanya Brownrigg, Senior VP, DTZ Cassidy Turley;

  • Moderator Shashank Saxon, Director of Digital Software Solutions, Kroger

The second panel discussed quality of life, entrepreneurial support. Inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities and cross-government collaboration and reform issues, and included:

  • TJ White, Center 4 Local Government;

  • Joni Fedders, President, Aileron;

  • Chris McWhinney, CEO, Millennium Reign Energy, LLC;

  • Laureece Johnson, J3 Business Consulting, LLC;

  • Moderator Barney Wright, Jr., Chairman, Board of Trustees, Sinclair Community College.

 In the afternoon, attendees heard of additional collaborations regarding government efficiency programs and a community quality of life program targeting heroin addiction, from Gene Krebs, Local Government Innovation Fund, and Vito Peraino, Chief Legal Counsel for Great American and a member of the Crossroads Church Community Program efforts to aid the recovery of heroin addicts.

 Following the panels, attendees broke into smaller Issue Action Groups to work on refining the definitions of the desired end state outcomes for the 6 key issues judged to have the highest impact on greater economic growth, job growth and quality of life improvements across the region, and the initial action steps needed to start moving toward those outcomes, as identified by the attendees at the 2014 Think Regional Conference.   Those 6 key issues are:

  • Infrastructure (Integrated Transportation modes, Energy, and Utilities such as Fiber Optic cable);

  • Skilled and Educated Workforce Development;

  • Entrepreneurial Support;

  • Quality of Life;

  • Inclusion of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Communities and Businesses;

  • Cross-Government Collaboration and Reform to Support Development.

In the feedback we received from the attendees, these were the comments and ratings that stood out:

  • The Issue Action Group work sessions were the highest rated portion of the conference by attendees, and the morning joint keynote session by Mayor Whaley and Vice-Mayor Mann was the second highest rated session;

  • There was strong agreement that these 6 issues are indeed the right issues for us to focus upon in order to help the region achieve greater economic and job growth and improved quality of life results; no other new issues were suggested;

  • Nearly 70% of the evaluations stated that the End State definitions for each issue had been well-defined and had no suggested changes or improvements;

  • Over 60% of the evaluations also stated that the Action Steps for each were also well-defined and had no suggested changes or improvements;

  • Over 50% of the evaluations indicated an interest in continuing to work on the Issue Action Group team throughout the year, to continue to make progress; and finally,

  • Over 90% indicated an intention to attend the 2016 Think Regional Conference.

As next steps, attendees working on these Issues and Action Steps will meet at the Aileron Center in Tipp City on June 26, to continue working on the end state outcomes and initial action steps for these issues with the support of the Aileron strategic planning process and staff.  There will be a separate summary of this session posted as well … hope you will look for it to stay fully current!

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2015 Conference Photos

Posted on: August 5, 2015
Tags: Event updates, Conference updates

Photos from an active day of learning and working for our attendees!

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Think Regional is on TV!

Posted on: March 11, 2015
Tags: Events, Media, In the news

Watch the interview with Think Regional Chairman MIchele Abrams with Lebanon TV Channel 6, talking about the details of the upcoming Conference event on April 16, 2015 at the link below:



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