Local chamber joins global nonprofit

Greater Cincinnati’s largest chamber has joined a global nonprofit pushing a unique business perspective.

The Workforce Innovation Center at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has joined the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, according to a release from the chamber this week.

Tom Williams

The council is a global nonprofit organization launched in 2019 under the leadership of Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a former fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, with backing from Pope Francis and the Vatican. The council is designed to enlist corporations in the advancement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint adopted by the U.N. in 2015 to achieve a poverty-free, sustainable and more equitable planet by 2030.

The theory of inclusive capitalism focuses on reducing growing income and wealth inequality of modern capitalism as seen most acutely following the deep economic recession experience in 2008.

“We’re excited to be an ally with the council and believe that we will be able to have a more significant impact on the Cincinnati region as employers provide win-win solutions for their employees and their businesses,” said Audrey Treasure, executive director of the Workforce Innovation Center.

The center is a consulting group inside the chamber that helps businesses advance practices that empower employees.

“The Cincinnati region has an abundance of businesses that are building their workplaces with a mindset of inclusive capitalism,” said Tom Williams, chairman of Cincinnati-based North American Properties and a member of the center’s advisory board. “I hope that as many Cincinnati area companies as possible will formally commit to becoming stewards with the council and furthering their mission to make a more inclusive economic system in our region.”

The Cincinnati chamber becomes one of about 300 for-profits and nonprofits globally publicly supporting the organization.

“Thanks to the leadership and support of the Workforce Innovation Center, Cincinnati has become a hub for organizations leading the way in adopting inclusive and sustainable business practices,” said the council’s CEO Meredith Sumpter. “I am grateful to the Workforce Innovation Center for joining the Council as an ally and am excited to welcome its network of Cincinnati-based companies to join us as well, sharing their best ideas and innovations to build more inclusive economies and societies.”

Williams is a member of the Commission for Inclusive Capitalism, and as a Cincinnati native is a huge advocate for the region and its health.

After joining the family business in 1986, Williams led the diversification of North American Properties’ portfolio and expansion into the Sunbelt with the opening of offices in Ft. Myers, Dallas and Atlanta. Under his 30 years of leadership, North American Properties has built a strong balance sheet and track record of successful developments in 67 cities and 15 states, providing a stable platform upon which to execute the company’s current pipeline. In the past three years alone, North American has launched 36 projects totaling $1.1 billion in total capitalization. Prior to North American, Williams was an associate with the law firm of Frost & Jacobs.

Williams is vice chairman and one of the principal owners of the Cincinnati Reds. He is a former owner of the St. Louis Cartinals from 1996 to 2006 and, prior to that, was an owner of the Baltimore Orioles. Williams is one of the principal owners and a board member of Skyline Chili Inc. He completed a purchase agreement in December 2020 to assure this iconic Cincinnati brand will remain privately held by local ownership with deep Cincinnati roots, while simultaneously positioning itself for continued success and growth. Williams is a co-founder of Nehemiah Manufacturing Co., an expanding inner-city manufacturer giving workers who typically wouldn’t qualify for jobs a chance for employment. Williams serves on numerous boards, including JobsOhio, the Western and Southern Financial Group, the Cincinnati Equity Fund, the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), Cintrifuse, and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. He is also a member of JobsOhio Executive Committee and Investment Committee. He is a member of Western and Southern’s Executive Committee and Finance Committee and is Chairman of the Western & Southern Foundation. He chairs 3CDC’s Development and Finance Committee, and he is a member of the Cintrifuse Executive Committee. He is a Co-Chair of the Child Poverty Collaborative. He is a member of the RESTART Task Force convened to lead the Cincinnati region through the COVID-19 economic crisis and a member of the RESTART Economic Development Subcommittee. He is a member (past Chair) of REDI (Regional Economic Development Initiative) Cincinnati, and he is Co-Chair of Build Our New Bridge Now Coalition.

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