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News & Events

News & Event

A family’s legacy of ‘corporate good citizenship’ continues

Continuing his father’s legacy of “corporate good citizenship” was important to William Olin Mashburn Jr. (1906 – 1971), when he took over Coca-Cola Bottling Works with his brother John Cromer Mashburn in 1930, following their father’s sudden death.

W.O. and Ruth MashburnContinuing his father’s legacy of “corporate good citizenship” was important to William Olin Mashburn Jr. (1906 – 1971), when he took over Coca-Cola Bottling Works with his brother John Cromer Mashburn in 1930, following their father’s sudden death.

Under the brothers’ leadership, the business became famous for its civic activities in Cincinnati. W.O. had a life-long passion for sports, and his company sponsored youth trips to training camps of the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, where he often accompanied the children. He also sponsored golf tournaments, knothole baseball teams and amateur swimming, baseball, softball, basketball teams.

The family moved to Norwood from Georgia in 1915 when they purchased the local Coca-Cola franchise. By 1930, it had grown to three plants in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Springfield, Ohio.

W.O. married Ruth Allonier (1911-1985) and had two sons. The couple gave generously to many local nonprofits including Beech Acres Parenting Center and the former Bob Hope House. The Mashburns were members of the Seventh Presbyterian Church in Walnut Hills. Mr. Mashburn was a member of Cincinnati Country Club, the Camargo Club, the Commonwealth Club, a former owner of Cincinnati’s Coney Island, and a past president of the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

In 2011, the family of Ruth and W.O. wished to honor the legacy of the couple by providing a gift to build a conference facility for nonprofits at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The W.O. and Ruth A. Mashburn Impact Center at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation opened in 2012.

The Mashburn Impact Center is available for use at no charge by IRS-designated nonprofit organizations in GCF’s eight-county service area of Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn County, Indiana.

The facility can seat up to 40 people, and its amenities include a projector with screens in front and back of room, video conferencing capabilities, and wireless internet. GCF thanks the Ruth A. & W.O. Mashburn Jr. Foundation for ensuring local nonprofit organizations will benefit from this space for years to come.

Below is a line from Ruth’s favorite poem, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, which was displayed in the couple’s home.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

July 2012


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