ULI Cincinnati: What Success Looks Like


2021-10-28T09:00:00 - 2021-10-28T10:00:00

Choose Your Calendar


    Virtual Online Event
    Across five workshops, participants will learn how to answer today’s call of building equitable workplaces through the inclusion and promotion of female and minority leadership positions in Cincinnati’s real estate industry. Raise awareness of your own biases, gain compassion of racial and gender differences, and learn what action you can take to dismantle inequities in the field.


    Standard Pricing Until October 28 Members Non-Members
    Private FREE $15.00
    Public/Academic/Nonprofit FREE $15.00
    Retired FREE N/A
    Student FREE $15.00
    Under Age 35 FREE $15.00
    Employees of ULI Cincinnati Annual Sponsors with eligible credits can register by emailing cincinnati@uli.org.
    Are you concerned about the current social and racial climate in our community and our nation? Do you wonder if you have a role to play in making things better? Do you ever wonder what steps your organization might take to improve workplace equity (race, gender, etc.)? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, participating in the Rising Together Series will provide insight and resolutions.

    On October 28, What Success Looks Like will take place. How do better hiring practices, building of diversity and equity into your workplace, inspiring and implementing strategies toward inclusion and a positive workplace culture lead to successfully building an equitable workplace? This final session of the Series will bring together everything learned and provide a look into what that success looks like.

    This is the fifth of five workshops in the 2021 series designed to answer today's call of building equitable workplaces in the commercial real estate arena through the inclusion and promotion of female and minority leadership positions in the Cincinnati region. 

    Bring those within your organization who influence your workplace with you.
    • Deborah Gentry Davis, Vice President, Human Resources, Hard Rock Cincinnati
    • Kathy Schwab, Retired Executive Director, LISC of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
    • Mike Smith, Executive Vice President, Business Banking, Fifth Third Bank
    Our moderator will be Peg Moertl, Grovedale Consulting. 


    Date and Time
    Thursday, October 28, 2021
    9:00 AM - 10:00 AM ET via Zoom

    Free for ULI Cincinnati Members
    $15 for Non-Members

    Employees of ULI Cincinnati Annual Sponsors with eligible credits can register without charge by emailing cincinnati@uli.org.

    So that our presenters and workshop participants will feel free to share, this session will not be recorded and interested participants are encouraged to attend "live" and bring others with influence and passion.

    Thank you to our Women's Leadership Initiative sponsor, The Model Group, for their support.



    Kathy Schwab

    Retired, LISC

    Cincinnati real estate development veteran Kathy Laker Schwab was the Executive Director of LISC from 2008-2020. She brought expertise in real estate to LISC, having spent 20 years of her career running her own real estate brokerage, management, and development company. A life-long urban advocate, Schwab helped to establish the first SID (special improvement district), Downtown Cincinnati Inc., where she served as Vice President of Residential Development from 1998 to 2004. There she was responsible for formulating and executing strategies for residential revitalization in the urban core. She has also directed the formation of several CDCs in Cincinnati, and has served as a development consultant to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the University of Cincinnati, 3CDC, and the Uptown Consortium. Schwab is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she serves as a member of the UC Real Estate Executive Advisory Council.


    Michael Smith

    Owner, Ironsmith Development

    With more than 28 years serving in leadership roles within the financial services and community and economic development industries, Mike Smith is a well-rounded development and finance professional with a passion for building business opportunities for African Americans. Mike is currently a Business Banking Market Manager for Fifth Third in Cincinnati, leveraging two decades of success growing business banking sales in the financial services industry. He guides a team of Relationship Managers, dedicated to providing world-class customers service, while offering the best products and services to small to medium sized businesses. Previously, Mike served as VP of Commercial Development for The Port Authority, where he managed a diverse team dedicated to rebuilding neighborhood business districts with minority and locally-owned, community-serving enterprises. He designed a revitalization strategy that embraced community outreach and developed stakeholder relationships with foundations, nonprofits and business accelerators. His special interest in racial equity in real estate led Mike to launch Ironsmith Development LLC, a consulting practice focused on promoting education and building business relationships to advance generational wealth development for African Americans through construction management and real estate development/investing. Mike is a long-time volunteer coach and mentor to young professionals interested in real estate investing and entrepreneurship. He serves as the board Chair of the Over the Rhine Chamber of Commerce as an executive board member and member of its Business Attraction and Retention Committee; Board Member for Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Accelerator Lab (REAL); loan committee member for the Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative; former board member of the Ensemble Theatre; and former chair of the board for The Center for Independent Living Options. Mike devotes time speaking and serving on panel discussions promoting economic equity.


    Deborah Gentry Davis

    Vice President of Human Resourcecs, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati

    Deborah Gentry Davis is Vice President of Human Resources at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati. Davis leads the HR team in supporting the organization’s culture of hiring, developing and retaining top talent who have a passion for delivering “Amplified Service”. She is responsible for the planning, design and execution of robust HR services and programs that promote team member and community engagement, diversity and inclusion and align with the property’s Mission, Mottos and Values. She is also responsible for labor relations and has successfully negotiated two of multi-union CBA’s. Deborah has led the organization through two major transitions and is known as a leader of and for the Team Members. With HR experience encompassing technology, manufacturing, retail, transportation and consulting, Davis has added over six years of gaming to her expertise. Davis has served on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati and the United Way, where she volunteered for over 20 years and was honored in the group of 100 Heros. In 2020, Deborah was recognized as a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement and as a “Wise Woman” by 100 Wise Women. She is a current board member for the American Red Cross, serves as Board Secretary at Kemba Credit Union, and is an active member of The Queen City (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Deborah is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She and her husband, James reside in Madeira and have two adult Children and two miniature Schnauzers.