The Blog

August Changemaker: Tanisha Robinson

August Changemaker: Tanisha Robinson

Tanisha Robinson, Founder + CEO, Print Syndicate //

How did Print Syndicate get started?

I grew up in a small town in Missouri, in a large Mormon family. I didn’t really fit in. In high school, with the launch of AOL chatrooms, I was able to find other odd kids like me and a place to belong. Twenty years later, the Internet is a place where, regardless of geography, people can find belonging among others just like them.

While I was the director of marketing at a company similar to Café Press, I realized that there was an interesting opportunity at the intersection of on-demand printing and creating a timely response to what people talk about on social media.

Print Syndicate’s purpose is to enable self-expression through exceptional design. And, through self-expression, hopefully to enable self-acceptance.

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Believeland. The Secret Sauce of City Success.

Believeland. The Secret Sauce of City Success.

By: Lee Fisher, Senior Advisor, CEOs for Cities   |   @fisher4cities

My father-in-law, the legendary West Side Cleveland City Councilman Michael J. Zone was a prisoner of war in WWII.  Less than 60 days after he and Mary Zone (who served in Cleveland City Council after Mike died) were married, Mike enlisted in the army; and 30 days later he was caught by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge.

Mike never talked about his experience, even to his own family, so everyone wondered how Mike survived as a POW when stronger, healthier, and younger men did not. One day we found the answer.

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July Changemaker: David Ginsburg

July Changemaker: David Ginsburg

From the start of our conversation with David Ginsburg, president & CEO of Downtown Cincinnati Inc., and our July City Changemaker, David explained he believes no one is a changemaker alone. Rather, change occurs through the collaborative, focused and sustained efforts of committed and diverse teams.

How did you get to where you are now?
It was not a direct line. I came to this position through the retail industry. I worked for 20 years for Marshall Fields, first as a stock person, then a sales person, then a buyer, and eventually in store management. I moved to Cincinnati to work for U.S. Shoe Corporation, where I directed merchandising and management support services for more than 300 stores nationwide. During this period, I had the opportunity to visit two to three cities each week. I saw how downtowns and suburbs were changing and how they interacted.  During a time of ownership transition at U.S. Shoe, Downtown Cincinnati Inc (DCI). was being formed and I was hired by the new organization as Vice President of Retail Development.

Was this transition hard?
It seemed that everything I had done in the past was perfect preparation for my role in leading DCI.  This job has taken all of the skills I developed throughout my career – customer service, quick response, a sense of urgency – coupled with my ability to solve problems and my understanding of downtowns.  It has also been an opportunity to implement the many things I have learned from bosses, mentors, and colleagues.

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Summer of Purpose: Daniel Drees

Summer of Purpose: Daniel Drees

Cross-posted from Cleveland Foundation blog. By: Daniel Dress, Cleveland Foundation Summer City Fellow, CEOs for Cities // 

Daniel Burnham, a renowned urban planner associated with the 19th-century City Beautiful movement, once famously stated, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.”

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Change at the Speed of Trust

Change at the Speed of Trust

By: Lee Fisher, Senior Advisor, CEOs for Cities   |   @fisher4cities

 

When teammates trust each other and anticipate each other’s every pass and dribble, they win an NBA championship, reverse a 52-year professional sports losing streak, and help a city believe in itself again. When the public, private, and nonprofit sectors trust each other and leverage their resources, they can transform a tired downtown block into a vibrant public square in the heart of the city.

When legislators in Washington DC can’t agree on whether to prohibit those on the no-fly list created by the U.S. Terrorist Screening Center to buy a gun, we lose trust in our elected officials who too often put allegiance to narrow special interests over common sense. When too many citizens and police instinctively distrust each other, the police shootings of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray tear communities apart.

As we struggle to understand the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in St. Paul, and the murders of Dallas law enforcement officer Brent Thompson and four of his fellow fallen officers, we face a perfect storm of anguish and anger. “We’re hurting,” David Brown, the Dallas police chief, said. Philando Castle’s fiancé, Diamond Reynolds said “this is bigger than all of us.”

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International Students Are U.S. Business’ Best Hope For Growth

International Students Are U.S. Business’ Best Hope For Growth

by Steve Tobocman, Global Detroit // 

This week, as Donald Trump doubles down on anti-immigrant political rhetoric, hundreds of thousands of international students will say goodbye to the U.S. to return, degrees in hand, to their home countries. Far from being a drain on the American economy or threat to U.S. jobs, these talented graduates—disproportionately armed with graduate STEM degrees—could fill a very real need for companies that want to grow and create more jobs.

Ramsoft Systems, a Detroit-based information technology (IT) solutions firm with over 400 employees, is the archetype for America’s economic future. The company hires as many as 100 entry-level workers each year from local Michigan universities, seeking out highly-skilled IT, computer science, engineering, business, and other STEM graduates to retain its competitive edge serving clients like BMW, Hewlett Packard, Miller Brewing Company, and Northrop, among others.

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Seven Planning Principles for Successful Community Design

Seven Planning Principles for Successful Community Design

By: Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP   |   @bialosky_arch

Bialosky ClevelandWe asked Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP, Senior Principal of Bialosky Cleveland to discuss the Seven Planning Principles his firm uses for successful community design. Want to dig deeper? Join us on Wednesday, July 20 at 2 p.m. EST for a free webinar featuring Jack and his colleague David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP. Principal and Director of Design at Bialosky Cleveland.


Bialosky Cleveland follows seven basic planning principles for community design that we believe apply to all types and all sizes of our projects – from residential to institutional – interior to urban planning. These principles, we believe, help stage a safe pedestrian environment that encourages community interaction and create the sense of place that so many spaces are missing.

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Planning Principle #1: The Grid

Planning Principle #1: The Grid

By: Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP   |   @bialosky_arch

We have heard much in recent years about New Urbanism and Traditional Town Planning. On the one hand is nostalgia for what is called Main Street America; that is a well-scaled pedestrian friendly environment with human scaled storefronts and defined architectural character. On the other hand there is an aversion to so called big box retail developments and suburban sprawl- that is relatively unplanned hodge-podge developments with no consistent architectural character or sense of place. If these themes sound familiar, how can we design for the former and avoid the latter?

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Planning Principle # 2: Small Blocks

Planning Principle # 2: Small Blocks

By: Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP   |   @bialosky_arch

Over the last 60 years, the biggest impediments to human scaled urban environments and a sense of place have been the preeminence of the automobile, with a need for vast areas of parking, and large blocks with uninterrupted expanses of blank walls. With the return to the concepts of Traditional Neighborhood Design the automobile is no longer preeminent and pedestrian environments seek to prevail. The second in our series of 7 Planning Principles for Community Design addresses block size. Once the network of streets and pathways is established, how is it best to define the size and scale of the individual blocks?

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