Jeff Berding, President/General Manager, FC Cincinnati

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Jeff Berding is the President and General Manager of the new local soccer franchise, FC Cincinnati. He is a member of the ownership group led by Carl Lindner III and his family, and joined by Scott Farmer, George Joseph, Jack Wyant and Steve Hightower. FC Cincinnati is one of 29 teams in the United Soccer League, the largest soccer league in the United States and Canada. The USL is one level below Major League Soccer, and team’s long-term goal is to prove that Cincinnati is a big league soccer town and earn the right to be awarded an MLS Franchise. The team plays its home games at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. In one of his first moves, Jeff hired US soccer legend John Harkes as the first Head Coach.

Prior to his August 2015 founding of FC Cincinnati, Jeff served for 19 years as an executive with the Cincinnati Bengals. Jeff led the Sales and Public Affairs efforts of the NFL team. He joined the Bengals in 1996 after managing the successful campaign to win voter approval of public funding for the Reds and Bengals stadiums. In soccer, Jeff served for three years as President of Kings Hammer Soccer Club, the second largest select club in Greater Cincinnati.

Bringing professional soccer to Cincinnati is consistent with Jeff’s track record of working to make his hometown a better place to live, work and raise a family. He was elected to his first term on Cincinnati City Council in November 2005, and was re-elected in 2007 and 2009. He chaired Rules & Government Operations Committee and was vice-chair of the Finance Committee. He was a leading voice for the business community, and with Chris Bortz, worked with Tom Williams and Bob Castellini to create The Banks Working Group that has led to our dynamic new riverfront. 

Jeff is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian, born and raised in Westwood where he attended St. Catharine Elementary School and St. Xavier High School. Jeff played grade school soccer before playing varsity football and track at St. X. He graduated cum laude from Miami University, and in 1999 earned his M.B.A with honors from Xavier University. While serving as a City Council Member, Jeff was a member of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2006. 

Working with friends, Jeff helped form the coalition of Democrats, Republicans and leaders of the NAACP to reform Cincinnati City government. After gathering input from citizens across the city, he led the coalition in 1999 to pass the reform that allowed city voters to directly elect a stronger Mayor. Jeff also chaired various committees and worked with social service agencies and businesses to better direct United Way funding to agencies that make a real difference in Cincinnati neighborhoods. For more than 20 years, Jeff has volunteered with the Chamber of Commerce to study and advance issues that improve the economic environment. 

Jeff is the father of a sixth generation of Cincinnati Berding’s — his three teenagers Allie, Jack and Grace. They live in Mt. Lookout with his wife Lindsay and are members of St. Mary’s Parish in Hyde Park.

LOCATION: Hall of Mirrors
MENU: Baby spinach with golden raisins, ricotta salata, & red wine vinaigrette (GF); pesto crusted cod with roasted fingerling potatoes, haricot verts & beurre blanc (GF); and chocolate walnut brownie.
Alternate Menu: Vegetarian- vegetable croquettes with roasted fingerling potatoes, haricot verts & beurre blanc or Salad- shrimp BLT with romaine hearts, bacon, tomatoes, & herb buttermilk dressing (GF).