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Covington’s Kohlhepp one of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber 2018 Great Living Cincinnatians

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber announced the 2018 class of Great Living Cincinnatians and a Covington native and resident is on the list.

Robert J. Kohlhepp a longtime Cintas executive, is among the select group of Greater Cincinnatians recognized annually for their lasting impact in the region.


Kohlhepp is one of the initial board members of The Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky. The newly established community-wide foundation focuses on helping break the cycle of poverty, supporting the arts, sparking development and innovation, enriching education, and improving the health and wellness of Northern Kentucky.

He has also served his community through the Talbert House Guardian Circle, the Sunflower Revolution which combats Parkinson’s Disease, Mayfield Clinic, Artswave Chair’s Circle, St. Vincent de Paul of Greater Cincinnati, Christ Hospital Foundation, Dress for Success; Hamilton County Economic Development Task Force, Cleveland Clinic Stewards Society and much more.

Kohlhepp’s service has been recognized with the Beacon of Light Award from Lighthouse Youth Services and the 2000 People of Vision Award from Prevent Blindness Ohio.

If you attend a Xavier University basketball game, you’ll run across Robert J. Kohlhepp’s name. The players will be running across it, too – as the Cintas Center hardwood is now named “Kohlhepp Family Court.”

Kohlhepp already resides in the Xavier University Hall of Fame for his work to create the Sr. Rose Fleming endowment for Student-Athlete Academic Advising. The endowment is named in honor of Fleming, who for nearly three decades has served as the academic advisor for Xavier student-athletes and has guided Xavier to national recognition and success in student-athlete graduation.

The 2018 class of Great Living Cincinnatians includes, left to right, Kohlhepp, Chester C. Pryor II, M.D., Judith B. VanGinkel, Ph.D and
John F. Steele, Sr. (provided photo).

Kohlhepp is a Xavier alumnus and former longtime Cintas executive. He first joined Cintas as controller in 1967. In 1979, he was appointed executive vice president and in 1984, became president and chief operating officer. In 1995, he became chief executive officer, the position he held until becoming vice chairman in 2003. He became Chairman of the Board in 2009, a position he held until his retirement in 2016.

As Kohlhepp served Cintas, he was also serving Xavier University, including nearly 30 years on Xavier’s board of trustees. He chaired the University board from 2009 to 2014 and continues to chair the Xavier Athletics Leadership Advisory Committee.

In addition to Xavier, Kohlhepp’s board service includes Cincinnati Association for the Blind, United Way of Greater Cincinnati; Parker Hannifin Corporation, Eagle Hospitality Properties Trust and Mead Paper.

He and his wife, Linda, live in Covington.

Kohlhepp enjoys singing as a hobby and he performed the National Anthem at the first Xavier University basketball game at the Cintas Center. All three of his children and two of their spouses attended Xavier University.

Other members of the 2018 class of Great Living Cincinnatians include Chester C. Pryor II, M.D.;
John F. Steele, Sr., and Judith B. VanGinkel, Ph.D.

“Since 1967, the Cincinnati Chamber has been honoring greater Cincinnati leaders who dreamed and made lasting impact for our community,” said Jill P. Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “We’re proud to welcome Mr. Kohlhepp, Dr. Pryor, Mr. Steele and Dr. VanGinkel to this prestigious group.”

The 2018 Great Living Cincinnatians join 151 previous awardees chosen for this preeminent honor by the Chamber’s Senior Council. Honorees are recognized for service to the community; business and civic attainment on a local, state, national or international level; leadership; awareness of the needs of others; and distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization.

The 2018 honorees will be installed as Great Living Cincinnatians at the 2018 Cincinnati Chamber Annual Dinner at the Duke Energy Center Grand Ballroom, Thursday, February 22. Those wishing to attend are advised to reserve early: a capacity audience of 1,200 community and business leaders attends this preeminent honor event annually.

Table and individual reservations available now via cincinnatichamber.com/annualdinner or phone 513.579.3111.

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

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