Jenny Watts - December 20, 2016
As I wrote in an earlier blog post, I was selected to participate in the 2016 C-Change class, a year-long leadership development program hosted by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. A large part of my C-Change experience was completing a meaningful community project that impacted the Cincinnati region. The project guidelines were given to us in January and we worked throughout the year to develop our project from brainstorming ideas into reality. Our class project centered around HOME weekend, a new initiative to create a blockbuster weekend of events that amplified the best assets Cincinnati has to offer.
HOME weekend showcased Cincinnati's transformation, vibrancy, and momentum to native Cincinnatians who returned home for Thanksgiving. A collaborative effort of many organizations, HOME was also an opportunity for those who live in Greater Cincinnati to celebrate the city's modern renaissance. Through a variety of events and programs, HOME shined a spotlight on Cincinnati's arts, food, entertainment, shopping, holiday traditions, and rich brewing heritage. Our C-Change class project included two highlights of the weekend, the Passport to Cincinnati and Ale! To the Queen City.
cincyishome.com | #cincyishome
Passport to Cincinnati served as an exploration tool to highlight what's new and attractive about Cincinnati's urban core, particularly along the new streetcar route. By encouraging people to visit local restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment venues in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, participants were reintroduced to the region and discovered all that Cincinnati has to offer and why it's a great place to call "HOME".
facebook.com/passportcincy | #passportcincy
Ale! To the Queen City was a two-day winter festival featuring craft beers from 16 local breweries, live entertainment, and signature Cincinnati food. Built on our region's rich brewing history and capitalizing on the national recognition of Cincinnati's craft beer scene, the festival was a celebration of our region, the holiday season, and the growing craft brewing industry.
aletothequeencity.com | #aletothequeencity
It was very rewarding to see so many individuals and organizations from the business community come together to coordinate HOME weekend. Cincinnati is truly a city that makes things happen. The many months of planning and hard work paid off, as HOME weekend was a huge success! It accomplished what we set out to do -- showcasing everything the Queen City has to offer to residents and visitors. My husband and I had a great time volunteering at the Ale ticket booth, getting my HOME passport stamped, and sampling the many tasty beverages.
Participating in C-Change was a very positive experience for me. I grew personally and professionally. Some of my most memorable sessions include our Venture Out Retreat at Camp Joy, Building Community Relationships with CityLink Center, Regional History Tour with Dan Hurley, and our Civic Engagement Day at City Hall. The greatest takeaway from C-Change is the relationships I made with my 55 classmates. I am truly humbled to be part of such an amazing group and I look forward to continuing this journey as part of the Cincinnati Leadership Alumni Network.