World Class Sports in our Backyard

“Both the Cincinnati Reds and FC Cincinnati proudly represent our hometown on the national stage, and both teams give their fans countless reasons to celebrate,” Chip Gerhardt, President & CEO of Government Strategies Group (GSG) recently stated in his remarks to GSG’s clients, associates, and community leaders at a lunch earlier this week. The event featured guest speakers Jeff Berding, Co-CEO of FC Cincinnati and Aaron Eisel, Senior Vice President of Revenue for the Cincinnati Reds. Berding and Eisel each offered a sneak preview of his respective team and what’s in store for fans this season.

Jeff Berding reviewed FC Cincinnati’s record-setting success and rapid growth from a USL team in 2015, to an MLS team in 2019, to the opening of TQL stadium in 2021. The most recent season ended with the team receiving the prestigious Supporters Shield, which awards the regular season’s top-finishing club across both conferences. Berding said that his vision for FC Cincinnati, one he shared with Club owner Carl Lindner III, was to “promote Cincinnati to the world and the world to Cincinnati.” When FC Cincinnati recently earned a spot to play in Jamaica’s Concacaf Champions Cup, Berding said he felt like the team had “grown up” as they played on the world stage for the first time. As far as what to expect this season, he highlighted the Club’s continuing priority of winning games and ensuring that FC Cincinnati remains a family-friendly, inclusive club. Berding also encouraged guests to check out the award-winning documentary streaming on Apple called “Nonstop Flight: The Untold Story of FC Cincinnati.”

Aaron Eisel opened his remarks by emphasizing that the “future is bright” for the Cincinnati Reds. Despite some disappointing news about injuries among players, there is a “tremendous amount of enthusiasm” about the upcoming season, including watching rising star Elly De La Cruz in action. He also shared some exciting additions for fans to look forward to, including a renovated Diamond Club, more grab and go” food selections, a fantastic lineup of post-game concerts, and activities for everyone. He shared that the new pitch clock implemented last season has been a huge hit with fans and that attendance has gone up significantly. Eisel ended by reminding guests that for over a century the Cincinnati Reds have been committed to providing a family friendly experience, and this season will be better than ever.

One thing is for certain – there will be no lack of excitement at TQL Stadium and Great American Ballpark this summer!

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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