In Community We’re Stronger

The COVID-19 crisis stole many aspects of our lives that are important to our health. Of course, the obvious loss has been our sense of physical health and safety, but what about our mental health? For many of us, COVID stole the things we gather around. It stole our concerts, our wine nights, our dinner parties, our exercise classes and our church services. It stole our community and our connections. As a result, many of us desperately grasped opportunities to meet outside at backyard dinners and outdoor potlucks. But, it turns out establishing and maintaining community no matter where we have to plop down is always going to be a good choice for our health.  

An article last fall from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Health), discussed the importance of community on mental health. We’re social beings, states the article, and we are not meant to live in isolation. Our nervous systems are hardwired to depend on each other, according to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Even species with a primitive brain, such as ants, show this tendency. The journal also stated that given the importance of social interactions for humans, it is not surprising that most psychiatric disorders involve some disruption of normal social behavior, and that in several disorders abnormal social functioning is one of the central symptoms. Community plays a crucial role in our ability to thrive as human beings, especially for those who already struggle with mental health. NAMI identifies three main reasons why this is true…

Community is beneficial because it provides a sense of belonging. When you feel like you are a part of a community that understands you; you can relax, unwind and be your true self. Community also provides support. This idea goes back to our nervous systems; in order to feel stable, we need people we know we could count on if we found ourselves in danger. Lastly, community provides purpose. When we are a part of a community we are given a significant role to play. According to neuroscientist Dr. Jordan Grafman from the National Institutes of Health, humans are actually biologically “wired” for generosity. Generous behavior activates the same neuropathways triggered by sex and food—a correlation that may help to explain why helping and giving to others feels good. 

According to NAMI, those who are looking for community can usually find it using one of three aspects of identity: interests, values and beliefs. No matter where you find community one thing is for sure, you must find it! Whether big or small, community is critical to maintaining good mental health and overall well-being. This September the Sharonville Convention Center held, An Evening on the Patio, events every Saturday to help our community experience the benefits of a safe, outdoor gathering. We loved watching people come together, laugh together and make memories. Everyone seemed to forget their worries for one special night and we aren’t giving up on the fun just yet! Beginning October 18th, join us every Sunday afternoon for Big Sunday Brunch in our spacious Northern Lights ballroom. These events are what make Sharonville Convention Center and the events we hold so special. People get to escape the harshness of reality for a while and unwind doing something they love with people they love. At SCC, we are committed to keeping community happening!

SecureWorld Expo | Are you at risk for a cybersecurity attack?

The threat of cybersecurity is closer than you think. Most likely you are currently on your phone, computer, or tablet, and at this moment youare at risk! Cybersecurity attacks are very real and can have huge repercussions in each of our lives. What used to be thought of as a hacker sitting in their dark basement alone has now escalated into organized crime groups that form all over the world and growing in force every day.

What hope do we have in fighting against cyber criminals?

For over 16 years, SecureWorld has successfully fought back against cybercriminals and has made it their mission to inform, equip and encourage communities of IT Professionals. They host conferences all over the United States with some of the top industry experts, thought leaders, practitioners and solution providers.

The 4th Annual SecureWorld Cincinnati Conference was held at the Sharonville Convention Center on October 17, 2018. Every part of the conference’s agenda is developed in collaboration by local security leaders in the tristate area, which provides critical information on the most relevant topics.

Bruce Sussman, SecureWorld Media Development Director commented that “the location of the Sharonville Convention Center is fantastic. It’s right off I-75 highway, in the heart of so many great companies nearby which makes it perfect for a convention. The food is great and faculty are very nice – it’s a win all around!”

Many industries such as financial, aviation and technology are represented at SecureWorld Conferences. “This conference brings the brightest minds in cybersecurity and allows them to fight back against the hackers. You will have companies that compete against each other in every other way, but come together and are united in cybersecurity,” says Bruce Sussman.

Keynote speaker, Deneen DeFiore, SVP, Global Chief Information & Product Security Officer at GE Aviation said “every 2 seconds, somewhere in the world a plane powered by GE engines takes off. They are all connected computers. Protecting the security of that is about saving lives and protecting all of us in so many different ways. Airplanes are flying computer networks in so many ways.”

Another Keynote speaker, Steve Brown, The Bald Futurist, and CEO of Possibility & Purpose , was a former Futurist for Intel. He provided eye-opening, forward-thinking information from his travels around the world having seen the latest technology. He spoke of the future of AI and how it has already impacted us and “there are things that will occur that haven’t been thought, but somewhere someone is using AI to discover it.”

SecureWorld Cincinnati will be back at the Sharonville Convention Center on May 16, 2019! Until then, feel free to visit and follow on Twitter @secureworld

2018 Ohio Accounting Show | The Ohio Society of CPA’s

Are you up-to-date on all the current regulations, processes and product innovation?

It’s hard to keep up with all the constant changes when you have limited time and resources to get ahead. At the 2018 Ohio Accounting Show on September 26–27, you can learn about new efficiencies and technologies that will help you stay proactive and relevant. Sessions led by experts in specialized content areas will help inspire you on today’s hottest topics. Hands-on learning opportunities and workshops will grow your knowledge and skills.


Topics include: (sessions may vary)

  • Data Analytics Workshop (Day 1 firm, Day 2 corporate)
  • Organizational Culture Change
  • Thriving in the Times of Transformation
  • Finishing Your Business So it Can Work Without You
  • Hidden Financial Metrics Crucial to Business
  • Strategic Planning
  • Workplace Management (includes discussion on harassment, tolerance/inclusiveness, war for talent, coaching skills)
  • Futuristic Audit Trends (focus on AI and auditing changes)
  • Blockchain
  • Artificial Intelligence in Finance
  • Sustainability
  • Tax Reform Updates
  • Revenue Recognition and Lease Deep-Dives

Learning is done best when you discover fun ways to interact on different levels with other participants. The mission of the Ohio Society of CPA’s is simple, “to create a learning opportunity where accounting professionals can come together to learn, explore, and find solutions that prepare you for today’s – and tomorrow’s – top challenges.”

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with peers and colleagues as well as event sponsors and solutions providers! Bring your business cards to pass along as you’re checking out the latest technologies, products and services that are available.

Visit to reserve your spot today!

Chester’s Gourmet Blend by Rooted Grounds

But First, Coffee.

We’ve got some Ground-breaking news: Rooted Grounds Coffee Co.’s delicious, custom, and locally roasted Chester’s Gourmet Blend made specially for the SCC has made its way into our coffee roasters this year! If you’re unfamiliar with Rooted Grounds, allow us to give an introduction. About two and a half years ago, Kris Chari seized the opportunity to start a coffee company that could introduce craft coffee to a commercial setting. He wanted convention centers, office buildings, big corporations, and meeting places to be able to buy top quality, locally roasted coffee in bulk that was much more affordable. Rooted Grounds Coffee was born from his idea, and today, Kris and his team introduce expertly crafted (and tasty!) coffee to corporate settings across our region.

The Rooted Grounds coffee beans are grown in Columbia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. “Coffee is like wine,” says Chari, meaning that coffee beans will adapt the properties of the place where they are raised. The custom-made roast for the SCC is crafted directly in the Rooted Grounds state-of-the-art roasting facility in West Chester and is a French roasted Columbian coffee. A cup of this coffee is smooth and bold; a bit darker, stronger and more of a European flavor. So next time you’re at the SCC for a meeting or event and need a pick me up, we’ll have some very satisfying coffee waiting for you.

Why Rooted Grounds? We were looking to improve our coffee, but we wanted something more than just a good tasting cup of joe. Rooted Grounds is rooted in our community, both in that it is a local company, and in that it is very dedicated to giving back to the community where it operates. Proceeds from Rooted Grounds sales are donated to the Marvin Lewis Community Fund to inspire youth education. “We’re for-profit, but we try to do good in the communities we serve so people can feel good about buying our coffee,” says Chari.

At the SCC, we’re always focusing on elements of your experience here that we can make better. This new coffee is just one example of that—but there are many things we’re looking to improve. We believe that improvement should be constant, and we’re working to identify improvements and make them happen. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them.

We hope to share a cup of our new craft coffee with you soon.

If you’d like to learn more about Rooted Grounds Coffee Co. or schedule a tour, please visit or call 513.549.5425.

Thank you, Ohio Travel Association

The Ohio Travel Association awarded its 20th annual RUBY Award to Ohio businesses and organizations that “found the most innovative ways to market their destination, experiences, or services.” The 2017 Ohio Conference on Travel, sponsored by Ohio Magazine, lasted for three days and included great breakout sessions, seminars, board meetings, and even yoga to kick off the day. On this 20th anniversary, the awards were distributed on November 1st, 2017 and “recognized and rewarded outstanding artistry in the diverse field of travel and tourism marketing and advertising.”  

Sharonville Convention Center is very honored to have been recognized for our “Get Inspired” campaign we launched this year—but we’d also like to extend a sincere congratulations to the organizations that were recognized across our great state:

 Mohican-Loudonville Visitors Bureau

 Greater Springfield CVB

 Athens County CVB

 The Springfield Museum of Art

 Akron/Summit CVB

 Little Buckeye Children’s Museum 

 National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

 Jet Express

 Explore Licking County

 Warren County CVB

 Moeller Brew Barn

 Lake Erie Shores & Islands

 Visit Gahanna

 Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

 Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

We’re looking forward to competing for the 2018 RUBY Awards. Stay tuned to see what we come up with! I hope to see you around Sharonville.

Best Regards,
Jim Downton

Ohio Valley Goodwill Hosts 16th Annual Homeless Awareness Dinner

Thank you, Ohio Valley Goodwill, for hosting yet another fun, warm, and joyous holiday dinner for families in need. The 16th annual “Homeless Awareness Dinner” was held at the Sharonville Convention Center on Thursday, December 14th and brought together over 300 individuals and families in the Cincinnati area struggling with homelessness. The staff at Sharonville Convention Center and Spectra Food Services were happy to volunteer their time to help organize this special evening.

The event offered a holiday meal, a visit from Santa for the kids, a DJ and dance floor. Queen City Transportation and Goodwill’s Special Projects team also coordinated transportation to help families and their loved ones travel from nine homeless shelters in the area to the event. “A special part of this wonderful evening is always the numerous volunteers who help to serve the dinner and make participants feel welcomed…and join in the festivities,” Ohio Valley Goodwill wrote in its newsletter. “This year, Ohio Valley Goodwill is especially thankful that Santa Pat was able to be part of the event as well as very appreciative of the support provided by True Light Church.” The full story about the event can be viewed at

Ohio Valley Goodwill is very grateful to the Sharonville Convention Center and Spectra Food Services and Hospitality along with the many wonderful volunteers who helped make this important holiday and community outreach event possible each year,” said Sharon Hannon, the Marketing Manager of the Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries. The Sharonville Convention Center team and our partners will always be happy to help our local community, regardless of what needs to be done or who needs to be helped. If your organization is interested in hosting a charitable event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to start a conversation.   

If you are interested in getting involved with helping your local community in 2018, we encourage you to check out Goodwill’s programs and services geared towards helping our homeless community at

Thanks for attending VMUG!

The Cincinnati VMUG UserCon on November 2nd was a great success! Cincinnati executives were able to mix, mingle, and learn from top IT industry experts and hundreds of fellow professionals in our region.

In case you missed it, VMUG UserCon is a traveling conference that teaches information technology professionals about cloud infrastructure and business mobility and delivers in-depth information to help solve complex business challenges. The conference is dedicated to helping area professionals excel and thrive in the ever-changing and highly competitive IT industry. Key speakers were focused on helping IT professionals recognize key issues and how to solve them with innovative, real-world solutions. Information was also delivered on how professionals can evolve and excel in their career paths.

Educational sessions started after an initial welcome breakfast from the VMUG conference hosts. These sessions featured the latest industry trends and topics, gave an exclusive look to VMware, and offered product demonstrations. The event welcomed industry experts Cameron Haight, Rawlinson Rivera, and an expert panel that closed up the seminar with an in-depth Q&A session.

We were especially pleased to welcome VMUG UserCon as a resource for our region’s professionals to keep up with industry changes, trends, and learn new ways to excel their career and succeed in day-to-day projects. The Sharonville Convention Center is eager to host educational seminars for area executives as a resource to better their education and sharpen professional skills.

Follow us on Facebook to stay in the know about important events at the Sharonville Convention Center!

Improvement is a Work in Progress | A Word from the Director | October 2017

“We’re done with improving.” Do you know anyone who has ever voiced that statement? At the Sharonville Convention Center, that’s certainly not our mindset.

For our team, improvement is an ongoing development that needs to be addressed on a regular basis. That’s why we’re invested in quarterly staff training sessions. Our goal is to keep our services operating at an optimal level because we believe this not only adds value to our Convention Center guests but to each one of our employee’s professional development.

At the beginning of this year, with the Hyatt Place opening imminent, we wanted to give our team the tools they needed to be prepared for increased attendance volume and events. We contacted Fred Pryor Seminars and invested all of our staff to have 4 training sessions during the course of 2017.

These staff trainings focus on customer service, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and top traits of highly successful teams. Each training program begins with a team assessment, which gives the team a current understanding of where it stands and identifies some areas for improvement. Our team was eager to work as a group to complete the training with a goal of creating a clear understanding of our organization’s purpose and each employee’s role in the mission and vision of the Sharonville Convention Center.

The key outcome of our staff training is a major confidence booster and recognizable improved guest satisfaction. Confidence was a key element that gave our staff more knowledge of their tasks and their roles in our organization. We believe training is a long-term commitment and a way to improve the benefit, not only to our guests but to our staff members as well.

If your organization is looking for ways to improve staff morale and teamwork, Fred Pryor Seminars is a great option for quality team building sessions and workshops to improve for the better. Check out his website at

I hope to see you soon in Sharonville.

Best Regards,

Jim Downton



4 Remarkable Tech Tools to Spice Up Your Presentations


The way we present doesn’t always have to be so familiar. With constantly evolving technology, we have an overabundance of options to choose from when presenting our information. So why are so many of us still sticking to PowerPoint slides?

“To be fair, there’s no doubting the effectiveness of slides as a presentation tool––the format’s longevity is a testament to this. But there are a plethora of unique, dynamic methods out there that can make your presentation even more impactful.” – Meetings Imagined

Check out 4 awesome tech tools from Meetings Imagined to enhance your presentations, wow your attendees, and grab their attention this fall.

Google Jamboard

Google created Jamboard to rid brain-stormers the hassle of having to snap a picture of a whiteboard after each meeting and brainstorming session. Jamboard is essentially a digital whiteboard that allows you to come to your presentation with your ideas already mapped out, and as your meeting progresses, you and your colleagues can make notes directly on the board (as you would with a regular whiteboard.) Every note jotted onto the Jamboard is saved in real time, so you don’t have to worry about backing up your ideas with a photo on your cell phone. This is a great option for collaborative teams and meetings that encourage participation.

Myo Armband

“Myo reads gestures and motion to let you seamlessly control presentation software, touch-free.” The makers of Myo created this simple, responsive tool to let you control your presentation by directing your audience’s focus to what you want them to see—zoom in on various points, skip to the next slide, go back, and more with just a few different gestures. The tool is compatible with major presentation software like PowerPoint, Prezi, Google Slides, and Keynote.


Keep your audience’s attention in a new and exciting way: animated videos. PowToon is an easy to use software tool that allows everyone (not just coders and designers) to create animated, professional videos in place of basic presentation slides. It’s a fantastic option for presenters who want to have fun making their presentation and have fun capturing their audience’s attention.


“With SlideDog you can combine almost any media into one seamless multimedia presentation.” The makers of SlideDog wanted to create a tool that would allow presenters to use multiple mediums to create a stunning, dynamic presentation. With this platform, you can combine your PDF files, Prezis, multimedia like videos or audio files, and PowerPoint slides into one big, seamless presentation. This is a great option if you have a lot of data but don’t want the hassle of switching between multiple platforms to share it.

Curious to read more about how these tools could improve your meetings? Read the full article on

What Can You Learn At SecureWorld 2017?


In short, business executives can expect to learn the latest and greatest in cybersecurity and data protection.

On October 24th, SecureWorld will be bringing skilled and knowledgeable keynote speakers and members of its Advisory Council to Cincinnati to deliver the highest level of security and education material surrounding the cybersecurity space. “The recent Equifax breach is everyone’s worst nightmare,” said Erik Skoog, SecureWorld Event Director. “Unfortunately, the bad guys are pretty good at what they do. So as soon as an enterprise catches up to [solving a security] challenge, there’s another one that needs attention.” SecureWorld will focus on teaching executives a more proactive approach to cybersecurity.

The SecureWorld conference is entering its third year and showing significant growth. The company has been in business for 16 years and specializes in hosting cybersecurity events, presenting more than 15 events across North America annually. The unique aspect of the conference is that it features content driven from an executive group of chief information security officers. All this information comes from recognizable brands in the region, as well, and the conference has had excellent support from the enterprise in terms of the regional community coming together to show support.

The annual SecureWorld Cincinnati conference will be attended by many of the biggest brand names in our region, including US Bank, Cincinnati Bell, Paycor, Western & Southern, Fifth Third Bank and the University of Cincinnati, to name a few. There will be a significant exhibitor floor featuring the latest security technologies and vendor solutions, two distinguished keynote speakers, breakout sessions, intensive courses on information security, and educational credits that can be used towards certifications and training.

The opening keynote will feature Dr. Larry Poneman, Chairman, and Founder of Poneman Institute, a pioneer in privacy auditing and the Responsible Information Management, or RIM framework. He will be providing valuable information geared towards all professionals in information technology industry, from C-level executives to overall teams. The second speaker, William J. Malik, VP of Infrastructure Strategies at Trend Micro. He will be focusing on the constantly evolving threat landscape, global ransomware, cyber espionage, and inform attendees about increasing knowledge in the enterprise network of data and users. “This is an important event for businesses to consider bringing their team members to,” said Skoog. “Much of the community sees it as an integral part of information security.”

For executives in the IT field, SecureWorld Cincinnati offers a wealth of timely information and opportunities to network with cybersecurity professionals. This one-day conference will host top-level speakers, provide continuing education and training, and feature an Exhibitor Floor with over 25 solution vendors. If you are interested in learning more about the latest in information security, data protection, and compliance at an affordable price, be sure to attend the event on October 24th.

Register now: