Anthropology — the study of human history, culture, and interaction — usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think of economic development. But in her role as Director of International Business Development, Hollie Hinton leans on heavily on the dual training in anthropology and women’s studies she received from the University of Cincinnati.
A diverse worldview is critical in Hollie’s efforts to engage key stakeholders on an international stage. Her experiences, both abroad as an Americorps volunteer and here at home as Director of Ohio’s Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach, contributed to her acute understanding of the unique issues affecting women in the workplace.
“I was raised in Chillicothe, Ohio, by a very strong Appalachian mother who always emphasized the importance of making your own money as a woman and being a leader,” says Hollie. “Strong female leadership was of course what initially attracted me to REDI Cincinnati.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about your role at REDI Cincinnati?
A: I’ve had a lifelong love affair with travel and learning about new cultures, and when I studied at UC, I fell in love with the Greater Cincinnati region. So, I really can’t imagine a better opportunity than getting to visit places like Israel, Japan, India, and Europe, and talking to people about why it’s smart to invest in this region. It’s really a dream come true.
Q: Tell us what you’re currently reading.
A: I have a habit of reading multiple books at once, so I think right now I’m working on a biography about Cleopatra and another about the history of Wonder Woman and the evolution of that character. I make an effort to read as much as possible by women authors who, famously, have more trouble networking and making connections than their male counterparts.
Q: What is the number one piece of business advice?
A: Never underestimate the value of networking, even when you don’t feel like you have anything to gain from it. I’m always exploring new, fresh relationships and I think that’s been the key to feeling satisfied in my profession.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the Greater Cincinnati region?
A: I’ve lived a lot of places — Puerto Rico, Washington DC, the Caribbean — but life keeps bringing me back to this area. I believe that’s because it’s truly special. We have unbelievable history, major businesses, arts, entertainment, infrastructure, higher education — so many things that large markets have. But at the same time, it’s this manageable size, where you can really stand out and be known for your talents and accomplishments. In my travels for REDI Cincinnati, I always know that if I can get investors to visit, they’ll never want to leave Greater Cincinnati.