Shining Knight Award

At the Queen City Classic Simul Reception, CCPF presents the annual Shining Knight Award, which was created in 2010 to recognize deserving individuals for their commitment to their communities.  Over the years, we have recognized a diverse group of people who share a common passion: improving the lives of others and being a positive role model to the children they serve. This year we make the move to continue the tradition of honoring the Shining Knight at the SIMUL reception on Friday, March 22, 2024 at Paycor Stadium.



Jeff Berding is the Co-CEO of FC Cincinnati & he also serves as President of the FCC Enterprise, the professional soccer team he co-founded in the summer of 2015. With its arrival in Major League Soccer for the 2019 season – less than four years after its founding – FC Cincinnati became the benchmark for organic growth and community-driven sports interest.

Now in its sixth year in MLS, the club is focused on growing its place in the Greater Cincinnati region in its new home, a world-class, privately funded $250 million TQL stadium in the West End neighborhood, next to Over-the-Rhine.

Prior to his August 2015 founding of FC Cincinnati, Berding served for more than 19 years as an executive with the Cincinnati Bengals where he led sales and public affairs efforts for the city’s NFL franchise.

The hugely successful launch of FC Cincinnati was consistent with Berding’s track record of working to make his hometown a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Jeff is President of the FCC Foundation, Chairman for Visit Cincy, Co-Chair for Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, has volunteered with the Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years and now serves on the Board in addition to his committed service on Cincinnati City Council. Jeff also serves on the Board of the Cincinnati Art Museum and his alma mater, St. Xavier High School.

He has been awarded numerous civic awards, including a spot among the top 100 leaders in history of the local United Way, the 2006 “40 Under 40” from the Cincinnati Business Courier, was featured at the 2018 Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA’s Annual Gala & was awarded the 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Berding is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian, born and raised in Westwood where he attended St. Xavier High School. He graduated cum laude from Miami University and earned his master’s in business administration with honors from Xavier University in 1999. He has three adult children: Allie, Jack and Grace. With his wife Lindsay, the family resides in the city’s Mt. Lookout neighborhood.

Past Recipients

2023- Chidobe Awuzie, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback
2022- Jerald Times, Chess Instructor
2021 – Irina Krush, International Chess Grandmaster
2020- Tani Adewumi, NY State Primary Champion at 8 years
2019 – Suzy DeYoung, Founder of La Soupe
2018 – Jeff Ruby, Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment
2017 – Carlos Dunlap, Carlos Dunlap Foundation
2016 – Phiona Mutesi and Robert Katende, Ugandan chess players whose story inspired the Disney film Queen of Katwe
2015 – Mike Brown
, Owner of the Cincinnati Bengals
2014 –  Ed Long, Chess Instructor for the Chess in Schools Program
2013 – Rochelle Ballantyne, Chess Player Featured in Brooklyn Castle
2012 – Dr. Phil Lichtenstein, Medical Director of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati
2011 – Dhani Jones, Former Linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals and Founder of BowTie Cause
2010 – Anthony Munoz, Pro Football Hall of Famer (Offensive Tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals) and founder of the Anthony Munoz Foundation