Hamilton Chamber honors woman’s community involvement

A woman who said she spends as much time as she can giving back to the community was honored Tuesday by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Cindy Dingeldein received the chamber’s Hamilton Heritage Award for Outstanding Community Involvement.

“Cindy Dingeldein is involved in so many things and she brings her talents to the table and her resources and herself, which is really pretty cool,” said Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “It’s not just about the job, it’s about she really invests her own personal self into each of the projects that she works on.”

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A list of her past and present community involvement is lengthy and includes volunteer activities like being a member of the Key Communicators Committee with Hamilton schools, Operation Pumpkin Planning Committee, City of Character Committee, Historic Hamilton Board, and Leadership Hamilton Class 17 Co-Leader.

She’s also a member of the Downtown Holiday Lighting and the One City, One Book committees, as well as a board member for the Miami Valley Ballet Theatre. She is a current Board member and Past President/Chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, Rossville Historic District and The Presbyterian Church. She is also a member and past president of the Hamilton Garden Club.

Dingeldein has many other miscellaneous volunteer activities in support of YMCA Camp Fitch, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, CORE Fund Progressive Dinners, Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, Downtown Holiday Window Decorating, and the Realtor Tour of Hamilton.

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She has also been generous with pro bono design services, according to Hamilton City Councilman Tim Naab, the recipient of last year’s award.

“The reason that (her community involvement) is important is because she just makes things come together,” Bates said. “When we’re doing an event and there’s a gap or something needs to be taken care of, Cindy jumps in and does it.”

Bates said Dingeldein does so without taking credit for it.

“Half the time you don’t even know that she is involved because she stays behind the scenes,” he said. “She just pulls the pieces together and that’s, to me, a great volunteer who just wants to see the final outcome be positive.”

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The recipient of the Hamilton Heritage Award for Outstanding Community Involvement is selected by past recipients of the award, who meet each year and choose the winner.

In accepting her award Tuesday at the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton, Cindy Dingeldein quoted the saying that “it takes a village.”

“My village is a whole group of people who help me, whenever I ask, to raise money to support worthwhile causes, brainstorm new ideas, make things beautiful — all while having fun and building relationships with each other,” she said. “This village of people is a talented, hard-working and generous group and we all believe that Hamilton is a great place to call home.”

Dingeldein said it was “wonderful” to be honored with the award.

“I spend as much time as I can giving back to our community,” she said. “It is rewarding not only to the recipients of our volunteer efforts, but to me, personally, I find great value in building relationships with people and helping our community rise and be the very best that it can be.”

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Dingeldein was raised in Boardman, a community just outside of Youngstown, and came to Cincinnati in 1976 to attend school at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

She started working part time in Hamilton in 1984, when she was hired by Steed Hammond Paul Architects, splitting her time between their offices in Hamilton and in Cincinnati. It was there that she met Mike Dingeldein, her husband of 20 years.

The couple moved to Hamilton in 1995.

After 28 years, Dingeldein retired as owner, principal partner and vice president of interior design at SHP Leading Design. Her work with SHP included a variety of public and private sector projects, including the new elementary schools for the Hamilton City School District, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Partners in Prime, and Ryan’s Tavern.

In 2012, Cindy and Mike Dingeldein co-founded Community Design Alliance with the goal of continuing a community-based architecture, design and planning firm in a downtown Hamilton storefront.

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