Kelly Backscheider receiving Rising Leader award, pictured with John Goering and Larry Grypp.

Kelly Backscheider, COO of BGR, Inc., receiving the 2018 Rising Leader Award, pictured with John Goering, Goering Center Founder, Larry Grypp, President Emeritus. Photo/Jay Yocis/UC Creative Services.

Rising Leader Award

Cultivating bench strength is critical to long-term success.

By investing in a rising generation of leaders, we lay a foundation for succession, and by acknowledging the accomplishments of these rising leaders, we create highly engaged and motivated teams. These new leaders shape the future of our companies and collectively grow our regional economy.

To demonstrate its commitment to this region’s future generation of leaders, the Goering Center honors one “Rising Leader” at its annual Family and Private Business Awards event. Nominations submitted by the last business day of every month will be considered for selection on the following month.

Vote today

Help honor the region’s future generation of leaders by casting your vote online.

Voting is open until August 15, end of day.

Nomination process and award criteria

Nominations for 2018-2019 are now closed.
Nominate your Rising Leader for the 2019-2020 season, here.

The third annual nomination process began August 1, 2018, and continued through June 30, 2019. Over these months, an independent panel of judges selected nine semi-finalists from a pool of nominees, one each month from November through July. Semi-finalists are chosen for their demonstrated success advancing one of the 10 Best Practices of Family and Private Business.

A nominee must be on a leadership or succession track of a family or private business. The Goering Center will showcase semi-finalists in our publications and live events. By publicly acknowledging their accomplishments we will help establish them – and the companies they work for – as Rising Leaders in Greater Cincinnati’s business community.

Meet our Rising Leader semi-finalists

July 2019

Headshot of Tim Williams

Tim Williams

Regional Sales Consultant, Batesville Products, Inc.

Best Practice: Business Growth

Tim Williams, Regional Sales Consultant for Batesville Products, Inc., is being recognized as a Rising Leader semi-finalist for his work on the company's business strategy. "Tim has excelled in the business development arena since taking on this role, consistently growing revenue year over year while at the same time providing the company detailed analytical forecasts greatly assisting our operational planning and logistics efforts," says Rock Robinson, VP of Sales at Batesville Products, Inc.

June 2019

Headshot of Eric Arling

Eric Arling

Director of Operations, Integrity Express Logistics

Best Practice: Dynamic Business Strategy

Eric Arling is the Director of Operations at Integrity Express Logistics, and is being recognized for his work on the company's business strategy. "Eric is passionate about envisioning the future and uses every day functionality and opportunity to create and develop strategic plans to move the business model forward in an appropriate, but growth assertive manner," says Matthew Ventura, Founding Partner of Integrity Express Logistics. Eric also worked to enhance the risk management strategy and helps develop all levels of leadership at IEL.

May 2019

Headshot of Heather Vanzant

Heather Vanzant

Design Manager, Office Furniture Source

Best Practice: Giving Back

Heather Vanzant, Design Manager at Office Furniture Source, is being recognized for how she has "given back." President of OFS, Peter Ellington, says of her efforts "Heather has combined her giving nature with her innate leadership skills to push forward a meaningful community involvement for all team members at Office Furniture Source." Heather’s leadership has allowed Office Furniture Source to get involved with several outreach opportunities, which has allowed team members to identify and contribute to causes that are meaningful to them.

April 2019

Headshot of Rachel Fyffe

Rachel Fyffe

Customer Experience Manager, CME Services

Best Practice: Giving Back

Rachel Fyffe serves as Customer Experience Manager at CME Services. She is being recognized for how she has given back to her company and community. "Rachel is our culture champion. She is the one who recognizes the opportunities to demonstrate how much we really do care – through recognition activities for our employees and cards for special family occasions, among other things," says Nicole Menkhaus, COO at CME Services. The company started giving back ten percent of any project done for a religious or non-profit organization to that organization.

March 2019

Headshot of Lori Hallmark

Lori Hallmark

Partner, PwC

Best Practice: Dynamic Business Strategy

Lori Hallmark is a Partner with PwC and recently became a Private Company Services Audit Strategy Driver Leader. Lori is being recognized for contributing to the company's “Dynamic Business Strategy." With Lori’s outstanding leadership, “the firm was able to customize the audit methodology applicable to privately-held and family owned businesses,” says PwC Partner, Joe Walker.

February 2019

Headshot of Rachel Mason-Mendelsohn

Rachel Mason-Mendelsohn

Managing Partner and Secretary-Treasurer, Mason, Schilling and Mason Co., LPA

Best Practice: Business Strategy

Rachel Mason-Mendelsohn is a Managing Partner and Secretary-Treasurer at Mason, Schilling and Mason Co., LPA. Rachel has served as the managing partner for the law firm for more than six years, and is being honored for her work on the company’s business strategy. “She handles a significant client case load and services the needs of the law firm creditor-client base, which has grown by over 30 percent during her tenure,” said Jonathan Mason, MSM’s Senior Counsel. Rachel also handles all management duties at the firm as well as financial reporting, human resources and client development.

January 2019

Headshot of Krista Mahon

Krista Mahon

President, Riverside Electric

Best Practice: Business Charter

Krista Mahon, President at Riverside Electric, is being recognized for developing her company’s business charter. She collaborated with key staff and the rest of the Riverside team to create a set of new core values for the company. Brent Carter, Executive Coach with Leadership Excelleration, said of his peer's performance, “Krista spearheaded the effort to define and adopt a set of core values for Riverside Electric that encompass the culture and desired behaviors of the company." Krista was appointed to President by her CEO father Paul Gangloff this past year.

December 2018

Headshot of Paul Carrier

Paul Carrier

Operations Manager, KC Robotics

Best Practice: Dynamic Business Strategy

Paul Carrier, Operations Manager at KC Robotics, is being recognized for contributing to his company's business strategy. "Paul worked tirelessly to create a business strategy that would improve three major business areas: company culture, customer satisfaction and increased sales," says KC Robotics CFO, Connie Carrier. Paul has helped to improve recruiting, performance reviews, employee development and communication at the company. "KC Robotics' sales has increased by 30 percent over the previous year for the past two years [and] customer satisfaction surveys have been positive."

November 2018

Headshot of Janice Scheid

Janice Scheid

Controller, Melink Corporation

Best Practice: Business Growth

Janice Scheid, Controller at Melink Corporation, was selected as November's Rising Leader for contributing to business growth at her company. Jan's efforts as Controller enabled CEO Steve Melink to sell the company to the employees through an ESOP. "Improved output from our administrative and finance team, through individual performance and improved processes, have enabled the business to grow by double-digits in 2017 and 2018, we project," says Melink President Craig Davis.

For more information about the Rising Leader Award, contact Cathy Decker at or 513-556-7405.