FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Mideast Region on Wednesday night at a black-tie gala at historic Music Hall.
One of seven regional winners, Berding will now move onto the national ballot for the firm’s National Entrepreneur of the Year award, which will be presented in Palm Springs, Calif., in mid-November.
Lauded for his vision, passion, energy and commitment for ideating the club at his kitchen table and then bringing it all the way to Major League Soccer in four years, Berding was among 31 finalists in the region that included nominations from Ohio, Kentucky and parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Berding’s win was announced to a rousing cheer of “F-C-C! F-C-C! F-C-C!” when his group’s envelope was opened.
In his acceptance remarks, Berding noted the strong regional pride that has helped spur the club’s remarkable success, as well as the team’s dedication and drive to be something different.
Berding was nominated by a member of the business community and then invited to submit a personal nomination and business profile. After the field was narrowed, Berding was selected for the next round and traveled to Cleveland for a day of interviews with the judging panel. A total of 31 finalists – from 29 firms – were profiled on Wednesday night before as the winners were announced from groups of 3-4 finalists.