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Celebrating 4 More Greats

The new class of Great Living Cincinnatians recommends dreaming big and sharing credit.

by Elizabeth Miller Wood

On February 29, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber hosted its annual dinner honoring the newest class of Great Living Cincinnatians. Recipients have been selected since 1967 on the criteria of community service, business and civic attainment, leadership, awareness of others’ needs, and distinctive accomplishments that garnered attention to their community, institution, or organization. Meet the 2024 honorees, with selected remarks from the dinner event.

John Barrett comes from a long legacy of Cincinnati advocates, with family roots here dating back to 1853. He graduated from St. Xavier High School and the University of Cincinnati, then spent 16 years honing financial skills on the east coast before returning to Cincinnati. He was named CEO of Western & Southern in 1994 and chairman in 2002, leading the company from $3.6 billion in assets to over $100 billion. “I feel blessed to be part of this and very blessed to be a Cincinnatian,” Barrett said. “I want to ask all of you to keep on dreaming, and dreaming big, because I think we’re just getting started.”

Sister Sally Duffy, a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati since 1977, stands at the intersection of faith and social justice, dedicating her life and ministry to causes such as immigration reform, equity, and anti-poverty policies. Her many leadership positions include president and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Ministry Foundation from 2004 to 2017, a founding board member of Price Hill Will, and TriHealth board corporate secretary. “My hope and prayer is that this award represents the impact of the right relationships of the Sisters of Charity to our region,” Duffy said. “Right relationship means ensuring the God-given dignity of every person, their shared membership in our society, and having what they need to maximize their potential and to contribute back to the common good.”

Delores Hargrove-Young moved to Cincinnati in 1986 and became president and COO of managed service provider XLC Services. Her many board memberships include the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Lindner Executive Cabinet. She’s been recognized for her civic contributions by the YWCA, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Girls Scouts of Western Ohio, and Boy Scouts of America, among others. “There was a saying my grandmother used often: ‘Many hands makes the work light,’ ” Hargrove-Young said. “I continue her saying and add that everyone takes credit for the finished project because everyone was a part of getting it done.”

Donna Salyers, a Northern Kentucky native, launched her business empire as a sewing hobby that evolved into a syndicated sewing column, then a nationally aired television show, and, eventually, the launch of a faux-fur fashion line. Today, Fabulous-Furs is the world’s largest faux-fur retailer, with products featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things, The Miss Universe Pageant, and the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. “Thank you to everyone who ever bought or thought about buying a Fabulous-Fur,” Salyers said. “I accept this honor on behalf of all the dreamers. Dreams are free. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you can dream a big dream and build something fabulous.”