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Chairman of CORBA
1725 Riverside Dr
Cincinnati, OH 45202
November 19, 2015
Dear Members and Friends of CORBA,
Without you nothing is accomplished!
I am honored to have been named the Chairman of the Board of Directors for CORBA for the next two year term. It is hard to believe that CORBA is already going into its fifth year, and I am delighted to serve as its third Chairman. I wish to again thank Mr. David Hammond for his leadership as Chairman over the last two years. I also wish to express gratitude to the sitting Board of Directors, which includes Mr. Doug Ruschman from McGinnis, serving his second stint on the Board. I also wish to congratulate and thank Mr. Eric Thomas for accepting the newly created role of Executive Director for CORBA. This all-volunteer organization has accomplished much with little, and it is the dedication of its membership that have made it happen.
Wow! What a year 2015 was! We began with the re-dedication of the Harbor from 26 miles to 226 miles of the Ohio and Licking Rivers, and which includes 15 counties in two states. The change of the Port name from the “Port of Cincinnati” to the “Ports of Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky” forever redefines our region, making us the 2nd busiest inland waterway port and the 15th ranking nationally puts our region in a whole new spotlight. This is what can happen when people work together through collaboration and dedication. We dedicated the new “Port” on May 7, 2015 with dignitaries from across the region including representatives from the 15 counties, Congressman Thomas Massie (KY), and received proclamations from Governors Kasich (Ohio) and Beshear (Kentucky). It was a tremendous celebration, and a testament to the vision and the reality of what could be.
And so, “our wheels keep rolling”. The CORBA Regional Maritime Committee has been formed and held its inaugural meeting in June. Participants include OKI, Port of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Judge Executives, University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky Port Authority and many important people that make up this incredible team! They are working together to gather data about all of the shoreline capabilities, river access and anything that will serve as a purposeful resource to our region to better impact our Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky as a “One Stop” destination.
Next, CORBA joined forces with the Greater Cincinnati Port Development Authority to be co-sponsor of the Ohio Conference on Freight held in Cincinnati this past September. CORBA was involved in many aspects of the three day event which included CORBA members participating on discussion panels, CORBA members hosting a harbor tour aboard a BB Riverboat, and a booth at the conference. CORBA also conducted a member meeting at the close of the Conference.
Next up, only a few weeks ago on October 12th, CORBA and the Port of New Orleans entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for Joint Marketing Initiatives. Executive Director Eric Thomas and the Port of New Orleans President and CEO, Gary LaGrange, sealed the 2 years Agreement with their signatures. Mr. LaGrange went on the say, “Today’s agreement solidifies our efforts to work together, to enhance co-operation and foster new generations of business for both parties. It’s a Win, Win for all”!
There is so much more we need to do: through the continued growth of CORBA membership, the vision shared of inland water freight, the ties and collaborations that have been established thus far, the focus on what we can now do, and the belief in what we will be able to accomplish moving forward, CORBA’s future is bright. It is with sincerity and humility that I accept the position of Chairman, and I look forward to leading CORBA through the next levels of opportunities.
Robert W. Carlisle
Chairman of the Board
Central Ohio River Business Association