Chances are you don't know the name Kathryn Merchant.
And that's too bad because she has spent the past 17 years as CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation figuring out how to spend other people's money to make the region a better place.
With Merchant at the helm, the downtown-based foundation has tackled everything from racial unrest to poverty to educational attainment and job readiness.
She and the foundation's board created the "Weathering the Economic Storm Fund" in 2009 to help the region cope with its worst economic crisis in 60 years, bringing other funders together to help address Greater Cincinnati's desperate, immediate needs.
Just this year, the foundation served as "co-convener" of the Cultural Facilities Task Force, the group that's working to preserve Union Terminal and Music Hall.
After all that, Merchant is planning to retire in June 2015. By that point, she'll have had the job for 18 years and will be 63 years old.
"I've done what I set out to do," Merchant told me during a recent interview at her office. "I've had fun making change and making this community better. I'm proud of it."
When I got the announcement June 9 that Merchant was retiring, I was a little stunned. It's not exactly that I thought she would be the foundation's CEO forever. It just felt a little like she had always been there.
See, I grew up in Northern Kentucky. I left to go to college and worked in a few different cities before I moved back about 18 years ago. So it felt like for just about as long as I had been a reporter back in my hometown, Kathy Merchant had been here at GCF.
She helped redefine what a community foundation should be here and made GCF something of a model for the nation as a result.
Insiders can read more about how Merchant did that and what she plans to do after she retires from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation next year.
The witty and eclectic novelist who reimagined the American West in the historical yarn "Little Big Man" has died in New York.…
People in Winton Hills are putting up a stink about an awful smell coming from a compost site.
A mother charged in the drowning death of her 5-month-old son is scheduled to appear in a Campbell County courtroom Tuesday for sentencing.
A lone-gunman scenario is the top security concern for public safety officials here the MLB All-Star Game comes to Cincinnati next year.
Milwaukee scored three runs on two misjudged balls in the outfield by Chris Heisey, and Wily Peralta pitched seven strong innings in the…
One person was hospitalized Monday night after being shot in Colerain Township.
A debate between Rumpke and Colerain Township has lasted eight years and the two sides reached no decision Monday, meaning the issue is…
Jenny Durbin raised her family of 11 chickens in her backyard. Now the city has ordered them out, so she's leaving, too.
A Cincinnati charter school threatened by a lack of funding may close after all.
Two vehicles collided in Walnut Hills Monday evening, shortly before police arrested a man they say plowed into a minivan carrying two adults…