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January 20, 2014 - Michele Hawkins, chief compliance officer, Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc., a member of the Western & Southern Financial Group

What are you doing for others?

As we commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of his legacy and Dr. King’s leadership. Dr. King‘s philosophy taught me the importance of not sitting idle when there is work to be done. Dr. King’s charge, his "dream," is the same dream many of us still have today. He remained steadfast in his quest for equality as we have to remain steadfast in all things we desire to achieve. Dr. King exemplified perseverance and boldness and is an example of what it means to Give, Volunteer and Advocate for what you believe in.

One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King is, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." This is one of the reasons I chose to be a part of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Herbert R. Brown Society as the issues that plague our community will not be corrected simply by talking about change. I’m excited about the work that United Way is doing in the areas of Education, Income and Health. These three pillars for maintaining financial independence and maximum health require Bold Goals and Bold People – like me and you – to help reach these goals.

Dr. King once said, "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’"

We can start by working together to impress upon our youth and their parents the importance of education. We can work to prepare the labor force for the vast skill sets needed in order to remain competitive within the workforce. We can work to ensure that everyone has access to quality health care and are living healthy lives.

Like Dr. King, I realize that there will be sacrifices made on this quest for community enhancement and it’s not a job for the faint at heart. Yet it’s a challenge I gladly take on. I am excited for the opportunity to lead the Herbert R. Brown Society as we honor Dr. King’s legacy and I ask that you, community leaders, join me in paying it forward by investing in those striving to become leaders in their own right. This is the best way to commemorate Dr. King’s life and legacy.

As the incoming chairperson for the Herbert R. Brown Society and on behalf of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, I would like to wish our members a prosperous new year. I am truly excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the 2014 chair, and look forward to working with you and the community during the upcoming year.

Hawkins is a native Cincinnatian and brings over 30 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. She is currently the Chief Compliance Officer for Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc. a member of the Western & Southern Financial Group. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Xavier University Cintas Institute for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, is a member of the National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP), and a graduate of the Urban Leagues African American Leadership Development Program.

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