Here at the Cincinnati Mom Collective, we are huge fans of our city…and the lovely people who also call it home. Our “Faces of Cincinnati” series introduces you to some of these people, as we ask them about Cincinnati traditions, their local profession, and even the biggest rivalry known to man…Skyline vs. Gold Star!
Who are you, and what role do you play in Cincinnati?
“I am a father first. I am also a McDonald’s Owner-Operator with my company, Momentum Restaurants, Inc. In addition, I am the lead pastor and founder of Legacy Pointe Church (LPC) in the Sycamore Township area. LPC has an outreach program called Legacy Love, and I am excited to announce our new partnership with the City of Cincinnati through the
Cincinnati Rec Commission. This partnership will provide career and health fairs along with activities for the whole family in different areas of Cincinnati.”
Paul cares deeply for his family and his community. Everything he does is an investment back into others. His vision for Cincinnati is for it to be a city of equality and economic achievement.
“I am a director on the board of the Freedom Center. I am the newly appointed President of the Collective Empowerment Group, which is a blend of ministry and marketplace. It is a national organization, but just in Cincinnati we have about 40 churches and 50 business involved. That group is the perfect blend of what I love most. My restaurant is in Forest Park, and I am a Commissioner on the Forest Park Economic Development Commission to help keep investing into that community. I am also on the boards of the Queen City Foundation and Cincinnati State’s Hospitality Management Advisory Board. I am on the Human Services Committee as well. I think that’s enough for now! As you can see, I learned from my parents that in order to make a difference in your community, you have to be involved.”
- The Cincinnati Kid
Tell us about being raised in Cincinnati and now raising your daughter in Cincy as well.
“I live in Loveland now, but I spent most of my growing-up years in three neighborhoods around Cincinnati: Mt. Airy/Colerain, Bond Hill, and Amberley Village. I went to school at a Christian academy, and it gave me the foundational principles and leadership skills I needed in other cities I lived in after high school. Cincinnati gave me the tough skin and foundation to thrive anywhere. Now, I get to raise my three-year old daughter, Laila, in Cincinnati as well. We have a strong family support system. Just like it did for me, it will give her a picture of the real world. As an African-American female, she will be able to develop a strong sense of self through the diversity here, and she will know how to function with all types of people. She will get the exposure as a black female that will prepare her to go anywhere, but she will get to go through that in a supportive and nurturing environment. And, the family-friendly aspect of Cincinnati makes it easy for her to and friends all over the city! Some of my favorite places to take her are the Red Balloon in the Pleasant Ridge/Silverton area and Pogo Play in Blue Ash.”
Editor’s Note: The Red Balloon has closed since this interview took place.
- Family Traditions
Reflect on some of your favorite things to do with your family in Cincinnati.
“Taste of Cincinnati is the first family tradition that comes to mind. I love going. My Dad is a foodie, so we have always gone down there and sampled everything! The Black Family Reunion is another tradition since my childhood. My parents used to be heavily involved in the planning of that each year. Having brunch downtown at the Hilton for Mother’s Day and other special occasions is another. My grandfather used to do the opening prayers for Western & Southern’s Live Nativity at Krohn Conservatory, and now the tradition has been passed down to me. I love taking Laila, and she enjoys the live animals. Classical Roots is another tradition. And, taking it way back, one of my favorite traditions as a kid was to go to the Tall Stacks each year. My Dad was on the planning team back then, and it was like a Riverfront festival – it needs to come back! It was really cool to see all the steamboats from the Region down there. And, finally, one of my new favorite traditions I have started with Laila is to do the drive-through lights at Coney Island during Christmas!”
- Fun Fact
Share some reflections/thoughts on something fun that sets you apart from others – a story from your childhood or fun fact about yourself…
“A funny story from my childhood that everyone seems to get a laugh out of is when I was very young, I wanted to be like my Dad and started carrying around a briefcase everywhere I went. I even made my own business cards and would pass them out to everyone, no matter where we were.”
His family has said they could tell he was destined to be a businessman!
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always want to end up in the position you are now?
“I always wanted to be in business. My first dream growing up was to own a bus company. During the time of the briefcase story, I met the then-President of the NAACP and even told him that’s what I wanted! I went into the business world, but at the end of college, I sensed a calling towards ministry. During an internship at Great American Insurance, I had a moment of clarity at my desk that I was supposed to do ministry. As I developed a greater sense of awareness and confidence, I have realized that I don’t have to separate the two paths. I can use both to empower others. Business leaders are looking to create purpose-driven cultures and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) while raising their own Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and leadership skills. I realized that I can use my gifts to relate to and inspire all people, no matter where they are. I am excited I am on a path where both my ministry role and my marketplace role are coming together. No matter what area of life, I want people to show up every day because of the culture they’ll be surrounded in.”
- Local Spotlight
Highlight a local organization, school, or business you are involved in, and why.
“I am very involved in the Winton Woods school system. I am preparing to do a career spotlight where students can interview professionals in the community to give those kids a chance to hear and be inspired/motivated in their academic journey. Being a McDonald’s Operator, I have been able to do sponsorships for Winton Woods schools through McTeacher’s Night fundraisers and donating Happy Meals to kids during their after-school study programs. I also have the honor of speaking at a special Seven Hills ceremony in 2019 for the African-American Parent Association. Another organization I love being involved in is the Queen City Foundation, which supports minority kids going to private schools. I lived that experience myself, so I want to help those kids thrive, excel, do well, and help with the needed support and funding for the Foundation.”
- Cincinnati is for Lovers
Tell us some reasons why you love Cincinnati.
“My favorite thing about growing up here is that Cincinnati is a family city with a family culture. I love the Cincy faves like hometown brands, Graeters and Queen City Hot Wings – there is nothing anywhere in the country like those hot wings! Back to the family focus, I appreciate the roots I got here. Cincinnati has come a long way since I was a kid, and we have so much to celebrate despite some areas of opportunity still existing. We’re at a really good point, but it’s not just about buildings, but culture as well. That’s why I am so involved in the community – to help build the culture Cincinnati needs to set us apart from the rest of the nation. It’s also the right-sized market where you can make an impact easily if you want to. I saw it growing up here, from my parents being so involved my whole childhood.”
- Skyline vs. Gold Star
The ongoing debate… Which one and why?
“Skyline. Absolutely. Gold Star is an acquired taste – even though people outside of Cincinnati say our chili itself is an acquired taste! My favorite thing from Skyline is the Hot Chili Cheese Coney. I get sick, I eat so many of those. Why is it only seasonal?? I want it permanently! Forget the seasonal thing; I want some spice!”
- Hi, Mom!
Tell us why your mom was so amazing growing up and why she still is today.
“The thing I respect most at the end of the day about my mother is that she really loves her family. When she was an executive at a bank fulfilling many different roles there, she still always fulfilled her role as a mom. She would come in from lots of travel and still be present. I’ve seen her manage her career, her family, and her involvement in community. As a professional woman and developing herself, she never neglected her family. So many females are siloed into the ‘woman’s role’, but she never was – I respect and look up to her for that. She always made sure my brother, Martin, and I had a good meal on the table. She was there when it really mattered. At 10, I was in a very serious car accident. She put her career on pause to be present for me, her son. She managed to find a more flexible role in business to still be there for me after such a traumatic event. Those are things that make her so amazing.”