Soapbox tells the new Cincinnati region story: a narrative of creative people and businesses, development, cool places to live and the best places to work and play. Get Soapbox free in your inbox each week by signing up and clicking on "Subscribe" above. We'll let you know, via email, when new stories are available.
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Soapbox is published by Issue Media Group, whose publications are supported, in part, by underwriting and partnerships with local businesses, institutions, nonprofits and foundations that support and expand our coverage of community and economic development, social innovation, city building and place making. Learn more about our underwriting policy here.
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A brief overview of the Soapbox
Publisher: Patrice Watson
Patrice embarked on a quest to assist businesses and nonprofits with digital and social media by launching consulting firm Raise Your Share
in 2010. Her offline career includes a decade at Cincinnati Magazine
as Publisher; radio account management for Clear Channel 700WLW plus 8 professional and college sports networks; audience development for radio and television stations and radio station general sales management. The immediacy of radio plus publishing’s ability to tell stories combined into Soapbox
’s weekly online reach and engagement is a serendipitous merger of the media Patrice loves best. She joined Issue Media Group in February 2016 and lives in North Avondale. Follow her on Twitter @patricewatson10
Soapbox Managing Editor: Jessica Esemplare
Jessica Esemplare is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Shortly after completing her degree in magazine journalism, she began covering local and regional topics at The Cincinnati Herald
and, later, as an editor at Ohio Magazine
. Her Ohio-based writing has also been featured in U.S. News and World Report
. No one is more surprised by this than her family and friends, who watched her reluctantly leave her hometown in New Jersey more than 20 years ago. Much to their surprise (and hers), she has found her village in Pleasant Ridge, where she resides with her husband, two daughters, and a community of awesome neighbors.
Soapdish Columnist: Casey Coston
Inveterate Cincinnati kool-aid drinker and resident Soapdish scribbler Casey Coston is a man about town. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, Casey was with the Detroit office of Pepper Hamilton LLP, a Philadelphia-based firm, and was also a regular contributor to Metro Times
, a popular weekly newspaper in metropolitan Detroit. He also launched the popular Rubble Rouser
series, in which he raised the profile of Detroit's architectural gems while addressing issues related to urban renewal and historic preservation, business development and just about anything else that popped into his head at the moment. A native of Michigan, Casey can also be found DJ-ing around town and modeling his vintage fez collection on rare occasions. His primary goal in life is to eliminate the words "Mapplethorpe" and "chili" from the vocabulary of any out-of-town friends who have never been to Cincinnati.
Chief Advocate & Instigator: Eric Avner
During the day, Eric oversees community development grantmaking for the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation as well as People's Liberty. Prior to that, he was associate director of the Cincinnati Business Committee, that venerable group of CEOs representing Cincinnati's 30 largest employers. And prior to that, while guiding Newport's downtown revitalization, he led the effort to create the Purple People Bridge. Most importantly, Eric spent 16 months meeting, discussing, planning and plotting to get Soapbox Media
launched back in 2008. Now, when he and his bowtie aren't out instigating for some way to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Eric keeps busy serving on boards for the Cincinnati Development Fund
and People's Liberty
. A boomerang Cincinnatian (he lived here in the late '70s, left, and returned to town in 1996), Eric also takes pride in his dual US/Canadian citizenship ... eh. Eric and his wife reside in bucolic Walnut Hills after several years in a downtown loft.
Soapbox is published by Detroit-based Issue Media Group
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