West Chester • Liberty Chamber Alliance: Lead by Example; Do the Right Thing

West Chester • Liberty Chamber Alliance: Lead by Example; Do the Right Thing

Celebrating a quarter century of outstanding economic leadership

Joe Hinson, President and CEO of the West Chester • Liberty Chamber Alliance, believes that people are only interested in what you know after they understand how much you care. 

If you have had the opportunity to meet Hinson during his 25 years of service with The Chamber Alliance, you know how deeply he cares about the well-being of the community, local businesses and the ongoing economic development of West Chester and Liberty Townships.

In August, The Chamber Alliance honored Hinson for his 25 years of dedicated service to West Chester and Liberty Townships, Butler County and the surrounding tri-state region. Hinson humbly acknowledges that this remarkable milestone was achieved through a team effort rather than individual accomplishments. “It’s never one person. It’s always a team effort,” the affable business and community leader notes.

Since 1998, Hinson has been an integral part of The Chamber Alliance’s success. As the President and CEO, he fully embodies the organization’s mission, vision and core values. Due to his dedication, Hinson has earned the respect of many members, colleagues and leaders in the business and community sectors.

Hinson’s length of tenure at the top of the leadership ladder is atypical in the world of chambers of commerce. Yet it isn’t surprising for such a visionary, considering his “have-a-plan-and-stick-to-it” approach, otherwise known as determination. “In some cases, you may outlast the obstacles that were in your way to achieve your goals,” Hinson shares.

Indeed, his penchant for perseverance and a deep passion for what he does has helped sustain him through leading The Chamber Alliance in tackling many obstacles over the years. 

For example, reflecting on September 11, 2001, Hinson recalls, “We held our monthly Chamber luncheon at Wetherington Golf & Country Club that day. At the time, we were unsure if it was the right thing to do. But in the days and weeks that followed, it proved to be the best thing for all of us. Our members needed that time to console and interact with each other.”

During the Great Recession of 2008, Hinson witnessed a sharp decline in the region’s economic activity. “Our housing and commercial development went from boom to gloom,” he says. “In response, unprecedented fiscal, monetary and regulatory policy was introduced by the federal government, which led to the closing of the corporate office of our landlord, Peoples Community Bank, in July 2009. This left our Chamber without an office for an extended period.”

Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic presented another significant challenge. “We recognized that The Chamber Alliance needed to pivot early, and we did so on March 11, 2020,” Hinson says. “As a suburban chamber of commerce with fewer revenue resources than the metro chambers in Ohio, we were being told that one-third of the chambers in the U.S. would not make it through the pandemic. We needed to make sure we stayed solvent and had access to cash for the duration of the pandemic.  Also, we felt that the West Chester • Liberty Chamber Alliance was an essential business and should stay open to support our business community when many organizations were required to close.  With approval from our state government and permission to be on our roads daily from our West Chester Police Department, we remained open throughout the pandemic to send out informative broadcast emails from the Small Business Administration (SBA), answer phone calls and email requests, and meet with businesspeople who needed our help and advice.”  

Hinson’s strong determination and can-do attitude have inspired The Chamber Alliance to adopt a similar mindset. This has resulted in significant growth and development for the organization, now the region’s third-largest chamber of commerce.

Hinson has taken the lead on several initiatives, such as the Regional Business Expo, Leadership 21, Java with Joe, Chamber Advisors, The Everest Awards, Sustaining Sponsorship, the annual I-75 Growth Corridor video, Women of Excellence, The HUB Business Center, 60-Second Connect, Business After Hours, and The Jingle Mingle.

His valuable contributions to the region have been widely recognized. Hinson was inducted into the Butler and Warren Counties Business Hall of Fame in 2022. The Chamber Alliance was recognized as Best Chamber of Commerce in Ohio by Ohio Business Magazine in 2020 and is one of three finalists for the 2023 award.  Other honors include being named Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio and receiving the Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Image Award. 

Beyond his professional achievements, Hinson has been an active community member, volunteering his time and resources to numerous charitable organizations and causes. 

Hinson is optimistic about the future and highlights exciting initiatives in the works. He is focused on enhancing The HUB Business Center to help support the economic and workforce needs of West Chester and Liberty
Townships and the I-75 Growth Corridor. Additionally, ‘Java with Joe - The Podcast’ will soon be launched, featuring interviews with Chamber Alliance members to learn more about their businesses and how The Chamber Alliance can support their economic growth. Finally, The Jingle Mingle, touted as one of Ohio’s largest suburban after-hours networking events, will return in December.

Over the last 25 years, Hinson has demonstrated exceptional leadership while The Chamber Alliance has shown remarkable resilience, proving that innovation and community growth can be achieved even when faced with challenges. Recently, he shared with Venue Cincinnati some of the other guiding principles that have shaped his leadership style and the values that guide the West Chester • Liberty Chamber Alliance.

On fostering collaboration and communication, Hinson says, “We have created a diversity statement that reads, ‘We believe equal opportunity is extremely important, and every West Chester • Liberty Chamber Alliance Member is unique in their own way.  We strive to create an open, inclusive and equal environment in which every Member has the opportunity for success.’”

Hinson’s leadership skills and qualities are evident in his approach to work. He believes in establishing a “family first” work environment and creating opportunities for open communication channels with customers and staff. “We are in the people business. Our most important asset is our people,” he says.

Hinson also emphasizes the importance of creating a culture of continuous learning, differentiating your organization from the competition and not being afraid to fail. And patience is still a virtue in Hinson’s book.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were West Chester and Liberty Townships,” he often says. Overall, concludes Hinson, “Lead by example. Do the right thing.” 

For more information about the West Chester • Liberty Chamber Alliance, visit www.thechamberalliance.com or call 513-777-3600.

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