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Eric Kearney Named CEO of African American Chamber


CEO Sean Rugless is leaving the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce to start his own consulting firm and former state Sen. Eric Kearney will replace him, the group announced Thursday.

Eric KearneyKearney, an attorney, was the Democratic leader in the Ohio Senate and before entering politics Kearney co-owned owned Sesh Communications with his wife, Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, which publishes the Cincinnati Herald, the Northern Kentucky Herald and the Dayton Defender newspapers.

“I am humbled and excited to work in this role,” Eric Kearney said. “I look forward to working with our stakeholders and membership to connect opportunities that drive positive business outcomes.”

Kearney was selected by Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald to be his running mate in 2013, but later left the ticket after news reports about back taxes owed by Sesh Communications. The company disputed some of the taxes it was said to owe.

Rugless will launch the Katalyst Group, a strategic consulting and branding firm.

The African American chamber “has grown to be an important economic partner and is perfectly positioned to ensure success for its members,” Rugless said. “The same entrepreneurial spirit that ignites our members has fueled my dream of working with clients to enhance business models, connect with consumers and provide business solutions to their specific marketing challenges.”

As published on Cincinnati Business Courier on March 24, 2016