Friday Ombudsman -- Regina Carswell Russo

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If the Friday Ombudsman looks familiar you may recognize her from 15 years as an anchor and reporter for the local Cincinnati FOX affiliate, before working for several arts institutions. She is currently inspiring people with her business, RRight Now Communications. Her services include message and content development, media relations, public speaking/media coaching and diversity outreach. She is also available as a moderator and inspirational keynote speaker.  

Name: Regina Carswell Russo

Residential neighborhood: Hyde Park

Tell us about a small or brief problem/issue you solved with a government agency. How did you do it? What was the key to breaking through the problem? OR – Share one of your favorite Cincinnati-area hacks, i.e. a trick, shortcut or skill that helps you get things done faster &/or better.: 

Every place and industry I've worked, there's always an intentional conversation about diversity and inclusion but lack of intentional effort. People generally don't know where to start. I've helped organizations open the door wider allowing a broader audience to access them. You start by just building real relationships. Connecting with diverse communities because they matter not because you need them. Invite a variety of thought, lens and perspective to the table with board leadership and committees. Look at your external messaging, what shows up in marketing, social media, website. Are the images all the same, or do they represent your core values? Look around, get real, build true connection and you'll get the diversity and inclusion you intentionally work for.

Friday Ombudsman questionnaire:

Your favorite Cincinnati places?: Too many to list but these top places always bring me joy every single time I experience them.
21c Museum Hotel
Pho Lang Thang 
HBDC DANCEFIX @Cincinnati Ballet 
The Eagle 
Everybody's Records
The Hilton Netherland/Palm Court

What is an “unwritten public etiquette rule” of Cincinnati-area life? 1.) When you want to immediately bond with someone, get to know them or size them up, ask them what High School they went to.
2.) When driving, wave as a show of thank you, when someone lets you merge in front of them. (That show of courtesy never gets old).

Who is your favorite Cincinnatian? Why?: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, William "Bootsy" Collins of course.
He is iconic in so many ways. His music was the soundtrack of my adolescence, teenage and young adult life.
He's an artist's artist. He takes his God-given talents seriously. A true professional, unparalleled work ethic, creativity, vision and musical mastery.
And he's a tireless champion and ambassador for this city. He and his wife Patti. Always giving and elevating the good here.
And if that isn't enough, you know the true mark of a man when you see how he's loved not just by the public but by his family. 
I've seen it. And it's truly extraordinary.

Defunct place or institution you would bring back?: The Promontory in Mt. Adams
Cody's in Clifton 
Fun Factory in Norwood

New place or institution you would bring to Cincinnati?: A National Basketball Association team.

What place do we need in the Cincinnati area?: We need Pho Lang Thang to open another EXACT Pho Lang Thang in Hyde Park! LOL!
Their PHO GA is addicting, delicious, soothing and medicinal all in one.

If they would just make me mayor for a day, I would "__________.": Close every school and business on Reds Opening Day. 
It would be an OFFICIAL Cincinnati holiday. And you could ride the bus for free, so everyone could get downtown and have fun and then get back home with ease.

You should have asked me, "__________.": "What is one place in Cincinnati that people IN the city don't visit enough or make the most out of year round?"
Findlay Market hands down.
It should be on your list to visit, regularly for so many reasons.
Check out their website for events and see why. Or just go down and buy some pasta, oranges or bread. You will not be disappointed.

Shameless Plug – use this space to plug a local Cincinnati-area event/organization/website/business/place/product that is special to you. Why should we know about it? What makes it singular?: The Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP.
Still doing the work to be a voice for the people. Championing the issues that matter, and always, always, always reminding us of the importance of being educated about the candidates and the issues. They also are relentless in their efforts to inform the public on how they can vote, where and when they can vote and reminding them of their OBLIGATION TO VOTE. It's just as necessary now than ever.
Their Annual Freedom Fund Dinner in October reminds us of the true Freedom Fighters all around us, and the capacity we all have to join and serve in that fight. #DefeatHate #Vote

Learn more about Regina and her work at