“We like to have someone a little engaging and is a little different,” Bates said, and added that after they talked on the phone, “Her personality was terrific, and that drew us in.”
They decided to meet in person, just to make sure she was the right fit for a Hamilton chamber annual meeting speaker at Spooky Nook Champion Mill Conference Center, and Bates said, “That sealed the deal.”
“She’s a great person, she has a great personality,” he said. “She has a personal story beyond food, which drew us in.”
Not to spoil her talk, Bates said Livengood-Shea had some personal experiences in her life ― some positive, some not ― “and that has shaped the person that she is. That’s part of the message for our audience at the meeting.”
Before hearing from Livengood-Shea, the 2022 Hamilton Citizen of the Year will be presented, which this year’s recipient is Neil Cohen, the recently retired executive of the family-owned Cohen Recycling business.
Cohen was nominated for his community work within the city, including the fundraising efforts for the YWCA of Hamilton’s new $11 million facility on Grand Boulevard. YWCA Executive Director Wendy Waters-Connell said, “Neil Cohen wants to do all he can, personally, to make our community better for those who need support, and he holds himself accountable for making change happen.”
Community First Solutions President and Chief Executive Officer Brett Kirkpatrick was one of the nominators of Cohen, and said he’s “passionate about the city of Hamilton, and for more than 40 years, he has played an important role in shaping our community through leadership and philanthropy.”
HOW TO ATTEND
The 2023 Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce annual meeting is set for Friday at Spooky Nook Champion Mill Conference Center on North B Street.
The cost to attend is $85 per person or $800 per table of 10.
5:30 p.m.: Doors open with cocktails and dinner
7 p.m.: Dessert and program
8:30 p.m.: The Annu-ALE After Party at Municipal Brew Works inside Spooky Nook
Reservations need to be made online by noon on Monday at www.hamilton-ohio.com. For more information, call 513-844-1500.