Reinforcing Our Community through Advocacy, Education & Compassion

Photography by Wes Battoclette


Communities are continuously evolving. Ideally, that evolution involves growing stronger and enhancing the lives of their inhabitants. Change is inevitable, yet we each have a responsibility to nurture that transformation along the right path. 

U.S. Bank is devoted to Cincinnati and all its promise through enriching business and community relationships. The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank provides investment, trust, banking and planning services for its clients and its advisors serve on numerous boards of community organizations in Greater Cincinnati. 

Those organizations receive donations, grants, scholarships and hands-on volunteer help from U.S. Bank leadership and employees. In 2015, the U.S. Bank Foundation provided $53 million in grants and contributions to nonprofit organizations. Community sponsorships and U.S. Bank employees gave 255,000 hours of volunteer time. 

U.S. Bank provides the monetary means and support for nonprofits to use their expertise, zeroing in on strategic areas to accomplish their goals. 

“U.S. Bank employees rarely go a day without seeing something in our internal communications about our focus on community impact – this is such a core value for us,” says Lisa O’Brien, senior vice president and chief administrative officer CBSS Risk at U.S. Bank. “There are always coordinated volunteer efforts that employees can join and we support employees who give their time, talent and treasure in our communities.” 

The U.S. Bank Foundation distributes grants to nonprofits across the nation and the wealth management teams commit a portion of their local marketing budget to organizations that align with their passion for philanthropy in our community. 

Earlier this year, U.S. Bank announced a new community giving and engagement platform called Community Possible, which focuses on work, home and play. 

“At U.S. Bank, we believe that every person deserves the right to dream, believe and achieve,” says John Posey, senior vice president and investment managing director of The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank. “The building blocks that made our country great – a stable job, a home to call your own and a community connected through culture, recreation and play – continue to be at the heart of possibility for all of us.”

Healthy Smiles Brighten the Community

Pictured from left to right: Cady Short-Thompson, PhD, dean of UC Blue Ash College, Cynthia Stegeman, chair and professor of the Dental Hygiene Department at UC Blue Ash College and Israel Roberts, senior trust relationship manager at The Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank and board member of the Maxwell C. Weaver Foundation.

Oral health is imperative, yet a significant portion of our population can’t afford to receive preventative and restorative dental care. In fact, a report by the Ohio Department of Health shows that 45 percent of adults in the state don’t have dental insurance, while more than half of the children have experienced tooth decay by the time they reach third grade. The University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College is fighting the oral epidemic in Southwest Ohio through their Dental Hygiene Clinic. 

“Cincinnati has a higher poverty rate than many of us would like to think of – young people and families often can’t afford to see the dentist so this opportunity is a big deal for them,” says Cady Short-Thompson, PhD, dean of UC Blue Ash College. 

Students and faculty have provided preventative care to the community since the program’s inception in 1967. The clinic is in its second year of offering restorative services with a facility containing 34 dental units, with equipment and technology generously donated by organizations including the Maxwell C. Weaver Foundation and U.S. Bank. 

“When we at U.S. Bank found out about this opportunity, we thought it was a perfect fit,” says Israel Roberts, senior trust relationship manager at The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank and board member of the Maxwell C. Weaver Foundation. “We’re just happy to be involved and to see UC Blue Ash doing great things for our community.” 

The Dental Hygiene Clinic hosted its inaugural Community Dental Day in February, where each attendee received one free service. 

“For three years, the Maxwell C. Weaver Foundation has generously supported UC Blue Ash’s acclaimed dental hygiene program,” says UC Foundation president Rodney Grabowski. “Thanks to the foundation’s continued investment, the program recently launched the first Community Dental Day, providing free restorative care such as fillings, sealants and extractions to the UC Blue Ash community.”

While Community Dental Day was successful, it also demonstrated the dire need for future care. “Many kids have never had their teeth cleaned by a registered dental hygienist before, but while they’re here it’s about more than just a cleaning,” says Cynthia Stegeman, chair and professor of the Dental Hygiene Department at UC Blue Ash College. “We talk to kids about how it’s possible for them to attend college at UC Blue Ash, we let them know that they have options.” 

The next Community Dental Day will take place March 10, 2017. The college also hosts UC Smiles, a program that partners with local schools to bring underserved children to the campus for free teeth cleanings, information about how to care for their teeth and a chance to learn more about subjects such as biology and chemistry. A restorative component was recently added to some of the UC Smiles events. 

“We noticed an unmet need after providing patients with referrals to other dentists in the area and they weren’t following up for care due to the cost of services,” says Meredith Delaney, senior director of development at UC Blue Ash College. “That’s when we reached out for help from the Maxwell C. Weaver Foundation and U.S. Bank. This is another great way to maximize positive impact in our community and benefit the UC Blue Ash students as well.” 

The two-year dental hygiene program at UC Blue Ash, which is led by nationally recognized faculty, leads to an associate of Applied Science degree. Students are guided in the skills and knowledge needed for the oral care system through a unique blend of laboratory, clinical and classroom experiences. 

“I think it’s a great use of our intellectual capital to be able to share this experience with the community,” says Dr. Short-Thompson. “The generosity of our partners has allowed us to extend our reach and it’s a win for our faculty, our students and of course our community.” 

UC Blue Ash College is located at 9555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, OH 45236. For more information, call 513.745.5600 or visit their website at 

For more information about the University of Cincinnati Foundation, call 513.556.6781 or visit their website at  

UC Blue Ash College Dental Hygiene Clinic –  Upcoming Events 

Community Dental Day 2017, Friday, March 10 

UC Smiles Events 

A program for area schools that
serves grades 2-8. By invitation only. 

Friday, October 14 with Restorative Care

Friday, October 28 

Friday, November 4 with Restorative Care

Friday, January 20 

Friday, January 27 with Restorative Care

Friday, February 10

Friday, February 24 


The State of Black Cincinnati: An Urgent Call for Action 

Donna Jones Baker, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. 

“The State of Black Cincinnati 2015: Two Cities” is a 168-page report by the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. Experts in areas of economics, health, education, housing, criminal justice and inclusion have presented facts that are startling. 

For example, black men on average live exactly 10 years less than white men and African-Americans make up more than 45 percent of the state’s incarcerated people despite being 12.5 percent of Ohio’s population. 

Not with standing progress, African-Americans experience a different Cincinnati instead of the equality that should be every citizen’s right. The Urban League partners with local organizations to shift from the “two cities” existence to a unified front.  

“Our mission is transforming generations by promoting personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency,” says Donna Jones Baker, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. “We help the community look at the issues and then wrap our arms around those issues to find solutions.” 

The Greater Cincinnati Urban League (which is part of the regional organization) provides a dynamic array of programs and services that include workforce development, youth programs, businesses development, entrepreneurship and more. 

U.S. Bank has been a philanthropic partner with the Urban League for several years and has volunteers involved in many areas of the community.  

At U.S. Bank, embracing diversity and fostering inclusion are business imperatives. The company views everything they do through a diversity and inclusion lens to deepen their relationships with stakeholders: employees, customers, shareholders and communities.

“The Urban League knows where the needs are greatest and are a great resource for everyone in the community,” says John Hyatt, executive vice president of Dealer Services at U.S. Bank. “There’s a need in the community and we’re trying to drive results, to continue to see improvement.” 

Every person in Cincinnati has the ability to help create a tipping point for change in the community.

“We have an opportunity to get together and change the dynamic,” says Hyatt. “Small improvements can be life-changing, but it takes everybody’s efforts to attack it.”  

Whether it’s through consistent volunteering, helping on a one-time occasion or donating to organizations like the Urban League in order to continue their work, every action has a positive impact.

“We need to recognize as a community that we’re all in this together,” says Baker. “If one person hurts then we’re all hurting in some kind of way. The sooner we understand that, we’ll do something about it to make a difference.” 

Although the report’s statistics paint an uneasy picture of our city, the Urban League urges the community to push through bleak feelings and instead act with optimism. 

“The State of Black Cincinnati report gives unrefuted facts,” says Baker. “It’s a complex network of issues that we as a community need to take a closer look at and understand the underlying reasons for these issues.”

The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio is located at 3458 Reading Road, Cincinnati OH 45229. For more information, call 513.281.9955 or visit 

To download “The State of Black Cincinnati 2015: Two Cities,” visit 


Bold Goals, Strong Foundation, Accelerate Community Change

United Way of Greater Cincinnati has more than a 100-year legacy of consistently inviting individuals and organizations to help improve our community. Bold Goals for Our Region, one of United Way’s major community initiatives, has the year 2020 as a deadline to make certain dreams become realities in Greater Cincinnati.

“Support for the Bold Goals is strong: we’ve engaged 260 organizations, including more than 100 businesses across the community,” says Rob Reifsnyder, president of United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “U.S. Bank is among those who endorsed the Bold Goals, but beyond these financial contributions, U.S. Bank and its employees are heavily involved as volunteers and advocates for programs and initiatives that lead to a better community for all.” 

U.S. Bank’s donations to United Way are being used to help children prepare for kindergarten, to be reading at a third-grade level at that time and to graduate from high school and beyond. 

“Right now, more than one-in-five children are living in poverty across our region – this is the challenge of our generation,” says Lyn Engle, senior director of marketing and communications at United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “It’s going to take all of us pulling together over the long haul to change the trajectory.” 

In addition to the Bold Goals, U.S. Bank also supports the United Way of Greater Cincinnati Foundation, who collaboratively partners with community thought leaders to inspire a better future for all in our region. 

“The foundation is like a philanthropic 401k,” says Mary Ann Remke, director of planned giving/retiree initiative at United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “Investments to the endowment help to ensure our ability to respond to the changing landscape of our region. It builds capacity for both present and future needs of generations to come, achieving lasting community impact beyond what an annual campaign can accomplish.” 

In 2015, U.S. Bank supported United Way of Greater Cincinnati with more than $14 million through employee giving, Foundation grants and corporate contributions.

United Way encourages everyone to give, advocate and volunteer – all of which can be done in a variety of ways. “Advocating could be as simple as educating your friends, family or co-workers about creating lasting change in our region, or engaging with United Way on social media,” says Brett Jager, public relations and media strategist of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “More direct advocacy could be reaching out to government leaders to show support for our community’s shared goals.” 

Simply becoming educated about United Way’s reach is a great way to begin helping the organization, and there are numerous options for engagement. “Find stories of United Way’s impact, scan our social media accounts, go to a United Way event, talk to a staff member or take the Make Your Moment quiz on our website,” says Ross Meyer, vice president of community impact of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “There are a number of entry-level ways to learn about the great work we do in the community.” 

Lisa O’Brien, senior vice president and chief administrative officer CBSS Risk at U.S. Bank, serves as current Chair of the United Way Foundation board and helps lead efforts around planned giving. 

“United Way has proven they have the expertise to pull together the right people to address serious issues in our community in a way that is measurable and effective,” says O’Brien. “We support their expertise in allocating funds to the organizations having an impact, thereby allowing U.S. Bank to focus on meeting and exceeding our customer expectations as their financial services partner.” 

For John Posey, senior vice president and investment managing director of The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, becoming a member of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati Foundation board was an easy decision.  

“I joined the Foundation in 2013 because of United Way’s unparalleled involvement in Greater Cincinnati,” says Posey. “United Way embodies selflessness and helping those in need – two important lessons I want my children to learn. It’s an organization that I’m proud to tell my family about.” 

United Way of Greater Cincinnati is located at 2400 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 513.762.7100 or visit their website