Business Leadership to Build a Better Ohio

The BRT: A 20-Year Retrospective

In November 2012, the BRT celebrated its 20-year anniversary. The event provided an opportunity to reflect on our activities and achievements from two decades of collaborating with Ohio’s public-sector leaders, on a nonpartisan basis, to create a robust climate for growth and prosperity in Ohio. 


At the BRT's 20-Year Anniversary event, the organization conferred upon Ambassador John D. Ong and Ambassador W.R. Timken, Jr., the honorary title of BRT Chairman Emeritus in recognition of the vital role each played in creating the Roundtable and the inspired leadership they provided in the organization's early years. 

(Left to Right): Current Co-Chairman Phillip R. Cox, Chairman Emeritus W. R. Timken, Jr., Chairman Emeritus John D. Ong, Current Co-Chairman Michael H. Thaman (Nov. 13, 2012)


Additionally, the four CEOs who have been BRT members for its entire first 20 years received "Founders Awards" in gratitude for their sustained leadership over two decades and tireless efforts to partner with public leaders to improve Ohio's overall economic and social vitality:

  • John F. Barrett, Western  & Southern Financial Group
  • Wm. Brian Burgett, Kokosing Construction Company
  • Timothy P. Smucker, The J. M. Smucker Company
  • Leslie H. Wexner, Limited Brands 


Former Sprint CEO J. Darrell Kelley also received a "Founders Award" in recognition of the leadership he provided as the BRT's first Chairman,


The 20-Year Anniversary event concluded with a candid conversation with former Ohio Governors George Voinovich and Bob Taft, facilitated by Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee and retired editor of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Brent Larkin.  


Download or view PDF files for sections of the BRT's 20-Year Retrospective publication: 

BRT Video Tribute to The Honorable George V. Voinovich

The Ohio Business Roundtable owes a special debt of gratitude to former Mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio and U.S. Senator George Voinovich, who was the inspiration for creating our organization in 1992. Below is the BRT's video tribute to Senator Voinovich upon his retirement from public office. Appropriately, the video tribute features testimonials by a number of our members and is narrated by BRT Chairman Emeritus Ambassador John D. Ong.

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