2021 Award Honorees

Commitment to Connection
Goering Center Family & Private Business Awards honorees share their experiences and challenges in 2020-2021 pandemic-environment:

  • How they maintained connections in a time of social distancing and remote work
  • What the Goering Center means and has meant to them

2021 Business Honorees

"Judging for the Goering Center Family and Private Business Awards is always a challenging and interesting experience. This year was no exception. Great applications, interesting stories, and difficult decisions." Read the full Judges' Letter >>

Our 2021 business honorees in alphabetical order are:

Abstract Displays, Inc. is a distributor of 3D marketing environments for the trade show and event industry.

So what happens when the pandemic causes your industry to come to a screeching and complete stop? Carla Eng (left) and Mike Eng (right) had to figure something out fast – the survival of their business depended on it.

Watch as Carla shares her experience in the video below and read the full story here >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/job7cHtzblI?rel=0

Barnes Dennig is a CPA and consulting firm serving businesses and organizations in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, offering tax, accounting, auditing, business consulting, and business advisory services to help clients make the most of every financial opportunity. 

Jay Rammes, Managing Director, explains how his team, and he himself, adapted to the needs and limitations imposed by the 2020-2021 pandemic and what the Goering Center represents to him.

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/KS4SyymivG8?rel=0

Car-Part.com provides auto recyclers with software & web solutions – including inventory searching & management, web hosting/design, promotions & email services – to help them market and sell to their buyers.

With 215 employees in 26 states, CFO Jeff Dietrich (right) explains how he and Owner Jeff Schroder handled the challenges of the 2020-2021 pandemic, and how the Goering Center has helped this family business with its growth and success.

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/zuJyhBWDfuQ?rel=0

Design Direct Creative Group designs and develops home decor products for brick and mortar and online retailers.

Mitchell Heidrich, Managing Partner, shares how his team stayed connected – with each other, clients, and vendors –  throughout the 2020-2021 pandemic, and how the Goering Center has played a role in the business over time. 

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/_Glfkxkq05g?rel=0

Dooley Social Studio is a full-service social media studio that helps their clients get attention by being thoughtful about how they give it.

This non-member family business was nominated for an award by MACKEY, a long-term Goering Center member. Matthew Dooley, CEO and Co-Owner, shares his pandemic story as well as his surprise and gratitude towards MACKEY and their part in the business' growth.

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/qf2XO9REpuM?rel=0

GMi Companies is a family-owned manufacturer that provides blended solutions in visual communication products, space division, and display solutions to corporate, education, government, and healthcare markets.

Mark Leasure, CEO, shares how GMi was able to grow from the challenges the pandemic threw at them, and how the Goering Center has benefitted his business over time.

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/RMDl1A1aKJA?rel=0

With more than 35 years in the print and packaging industry, JBM Packaging manufactures a broad range of unique packaging that adds value.

Marcus Sheanshang, President and CEO, shares JBM's unique story of rising above, and how staffing difficulties led to a huge paradigm shift. Like most of our members, JBM has enjoyed and benefitted from the Goering Center's programs and community over time. Hear Marcus share his experiences with the Center and broader Cincinnati business community. Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/qVqq3VH6Eh0?rel=0

Necco provides foster care, adoption, independent living, counseling, and residential services to children who are thrust into the child welfare system by no fault of their own.

Beau Necco, Founder & CEO, is a passionate man: passionate about the kids he serves, his cause, and the Goering Center. Hear how it all came together before and during the 2020-2021 pandemic, and how Necco was able to grow from the experience.

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/pG16GGSWSB4?rel=0

Sweets & Meats BBQ specializes in smoked meats, homemade sides, and desserts. They have a carry-out restaurant in Mt. Washington, operate 2 food trucks, and offer catering services.

Kristen Bailey, CEO, shares with candor the challenges and fears that she and Co-Owner Anton Gaffney, 2020 Rising Leader, experienced as a restaurant during the height of the 2020 pandemic, as well as the gratitude she has for the outcome.

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/DB6uPAIDxvk?rel=0

VonLehman is a CPA & business advisory firm that guides closely held businesses, nonprofits, and governmental entities through the rough terrain of an ever-changing landscape.

And the 2020-2021 pandemic took "ever-changing landscape" to a whole new level. In the video below, current VonLehman CEO, Brian Malthouse (left) and incoming CEO, Adam Davey (right), discuss how they maintained connections during this time and what the Goering Center means to them.

Read full story >>

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/STgKQaAYMqw?rel=0

2021 Rising Leader and Volunteer of the Year

Jack Brendamour, CEO and Co-Owner of Junk King, has a leadership story that is unique – or is it?

Young family, thriving and growing business, unexpected loss, and new responsibilities... Jack was drinking from a fire hose on a number of fronts. He will tell you so himself.

His story, like many that involve challenge and adversity, is a great one, told with passion, humor, and humility.

Read his full story, and watch him share just a small part of it below.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/68Hah-CeObw?rel=0

Michael (Mike) Miller, Executive Vice President & Chief Wealth Officer of LCNB Bank, has been involved with the Goering Center for so long he has stopped counting the years. He has served as a judge for the Family and Private Business Awards for about a decade.

So what makes a busy, full-time executive volunteer some of his already limited time to support the Goering Center?

Find out in his Volunteer of the Year profile and listen to his story below.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/yOHaGUNGtbQ?rel=0

Note: the Goering Center team decided to forego the Family and Private Business Hall of Fame induction again this year, because this team and organization celebration cannot be replicated or matched in the virtual space.


Special Thanks

The Goering Center's activities and achievements would not be possible without the financial and technical support of our sponsors and their people. We would like to recognize them and thank them here.

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