“It’s a Great Time to be at City Hall”

Dynamic and inspirational Cincinnati City Manager Sheryl Long spoke to a GSG Connections Lunch in December. Mayor Aftab Pureval appointed Long as City Manager in September 2022. She said it is a “great time” to be at City Hall and feels that she and the Mayor are very aligned on their goals for the city. 

Long manages over 6,000 employees and reminded the audience how hard city employees work and how much happens behind the scenes to make our city run smoothly. She pointed to several accomplishments in her first few months on the job, including:  

  • Fire Training Center – she oversaw the first major overhaul of this facility since FDR was President! The fire training center will consolidate its services to one location where it will be used year-round by Cincinnati Fire Department staff and recruits. The firefighters in the audience applauded her for prioritizing this project.  
  • In what may be a national-first, Long made changes to the City’s racial slurs policy. City employees will be investigated for using racial slurs and face termination for use of the N-word.
  • Long expanded the CincyAlert toolkit to include public safety alerts and encouraged people to sign up. Cincy Alert is a tool used to notify Cincinnati’s residents of emergencies (ex., public safety, severe weather, municipal alerts). Sign up by visiting https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/ecc/alerts/.
  • Rock the Block – This new initiative gets employees and citizens into neighborhoods to get to know the city and its residents. Long selects a neighborhood and city employees conduct a service project or host an event to bring people together.  
  • Long also highlighted that during BLINK weekend, crime in our city was extremely low. The event allowed access to areas of the city that people typically avoid; it was a great opportunity to remove those barriers. 

Looking ahead, Manager Long said there are exciting things to come. Long shared that she is on call 24-7 to help keep our city and its residents safe. Long wrapped up her presentation with a call to action for everyone to take responsibility for promoting our city whether it is at meetings, conferences, during travel, and while working. She also encouraged the audience to look for innovative ideas to implement in our communities, using creative solutions to solve problems.  

Copyright 2021 | Government Strategies LLC

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Anne C. Sesler

Director of Public Affairs

Anne Sesler brings more than twenty years’ experience in public affairs consulting to Government Strategies Group. Anne works with local elected officials, state legislators, reporters and community leaders on behalf of corporate and non-profit clients developing community outreach and engagement strategies, conducts media relations, builds grassroots support for projects, and conducts communication with stakeholders and legislators.

Anne lends her public policy and political communication experience beyond GSG to her role as Vice Chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. Over the years, she’s offered political counsel to both state and local campaigns, including Preschool Promise, Ohio Jobs and Growth (the casino ballot initiative), United for Jobs and Ohio’s Future (Third Frontier), and many others. Anne lives in Mt. Lookout with her husband, Bryan.

Focus areas: 

  • Local government relations
  • Coalition building
  • Media relations and communications
  • Crisis communications

Driven by:

  • Making Cincinnati a better place for all

In the community:

  • Leadership Cincinnati Class 47
  • Cincinnati Planning Commission member
  • Lunken Airport Oversight and Advisory Board Chair
  • Cincinnati Democratic Committee Co-Chair
  • Hamilton County Democratic Party, Vice Chair
  • Mt. Lookout Community Council member

Charles “Chip” Gerhardt

President & CEO

Chip Gerhardt has made government affairs, economic development, and issue advocacy his life’s work. He’s worked for decades in the public and private sectors, and advocated at the local, state, and federal levels of government. In 2007, he used that experience to found Government Strategies Group, a full-service government relations firm. At GSG, he works directly with clients, helping them navigate the complicated intersection of politics, public policy, and business.

In his many years in public policy, Chip has been involved in significant policies including; creation of tax increment financing districts, the Clean Ohio program, Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation, and most importantly, the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. He has also been at the forefront of some of the biggest developments in Greater Cincinnati, including the Horseshoe (now Hard Rock) Casino, TQL Stadium for FC Cincinnati, parking garage structures at The Banks, and the redevelopment of the @580 building. Rarely is there a public policy endeavor in Cincinnati that does not involve GSG.

Chip received his B.B.A in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctor from the St. Louis University School of Law. He lives in Anderson Township with his wife Jane. Son Charlie is a local chef and children Hank and Anne have completed their education and started lives of their own.

Focus areas:

  • State and local government relations
  • Economic development
  • Issue advocacy

Driven by:

  • A lifelong interest in the political system has driven Chip to a career in public policy and politics. As a parent of three, one with Down syndrome, has compelled him to promote public policies designed to help others. Whether it is enabling financial independence for people with disabilities, advancing funding for housing families facing homelessness, or assisting with economic development projects, Chip involves himself in things that make a positive difference. 

In the community:

  • Hamilton County Board of Elections member
  • Current Board Member for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, People Working Cooperatively, Corporation for Findlay Market, goVibrant, and the African American Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Chairman of the Board for the National Down Syndrome Society
  • Former board member of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati Magazine’s 300 of the Region’s Most Powerful Business Leaders, 2021-2022
  • Cincy Magazine Power 100, 2011-2022