Two years ago when Teach For America, a nonprofit attracting college graduates to inner city schools, was looking to expand into Cincinnati, the new Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC) stepped up with the largest commitment, $300,000 over three years.

Build Our New Bridge Now, the business coalition supporting the Brent Spence Bridge Project, is co-chaired by three CRBC members: Tom Williams, president of North American Properties; Bobby Fisher, president of Washing Systems Inc.; and Mike Michaels, Fifth Third Bank’s regional president.

Economic development initiatives from REDI Cincinnati to the new Martin Luther King Jr. interchange have all had heavy support from CRBC members. Last month the CRBC was a major contributor to the new GreenLight Fund to spur social entrepreneurship.

Quietly over the last couple years, the CRBC, a new vehicle to get more of the region’s mid-cap company CEOs and executives to invest their talent and treasure into community issues, has stepped up and is having impact.

Williams—past chair of the Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC), composed of the city’s top 20 corporate CEOs—couldn’t be happier. He pushed to get more mid-level CEOs involved in community leadership.

“It’s real simple: We wanted their talent and treasure, and we needed more shoulders to the wheel,” says Williams, who now serves as CRBC chair. “I can’t tell you how many people would come up to me and say, ‘How can I get involved?’ We didn’t have a platform like CBC and that’s what this provides.”

Modeled after a similar regional business committee in St. Louis, the CRBC, which shares staff and office space with the CBC at the Greater Cincinnati Regional Chamber offices, has grown to about 80 key local executives focusing on three areas: economic development, education reform and government affairs.

J. Scott Robertson, partner in RCF Group and CRBC president since its formation, says the organization isn’t designed to impose its will in the community. Each CRBC member is a voting member, and consensus is built through discussion and research within group subcommittees.

“We’re here to help. We don’t come in with all the answers. We’re there to be collaborative,” he says, filling the gaps with other organizations such as the United Way, the chamber and the CBC.

There’s a lot of cross-pollination with other organizations, says Melvin J. Gravely II, TriVersity Construction CEO and member of the CRBC economic development subcommittee.

“There’s not a board of any influence the city that doesn’t have CRBC members on it,” he says.

Julia W. Poston—managing partner of Ernst & Young, who succeeded Gravely as chamber chair and also co-chairs the CRBC education subcommittee, —says the group uses its business expertise in a lot of ways. For example, it helped Cincinnati Public Schools recruit top teaching talent sooner and improve its hiring practices.

Fisher, who co-chairs the CRBC’s government affairs subcommittee, says Robertson’s leadership, the shared CBC staff and the fact many in the group have grown up and built their businesses here have all fueled the organization.

While it collaborates with the CBC, it doesn’t just provide the older group bench strength.

“What Cincinnati has is this incredibly strong middle market economy,” says Steve Shifman, Michelman Co. CEO and CRBC education subcommittee co-chair.

“So in addition to the CEOs of these large corporations, we have 80 CEOs of this middle-market group. That’s an amazing multiplier.”