Businessman Energized by Memories of Downtown Dayton ― and by Positive Outlook for Its Future
Working in downtown Dayton has been a “dream come true” for Ronald C. Todd II. He grew up downtown and worked as a busboy in 1986 at Elder-Beerman, where his mother, Shirley Todd, was a waitress. Each day, he saw businessmen come into the restaurant and knew he wanted to be just like them in their suits and ties.
“I remember all of the great times I had in downtown Dayton as a young kid, and I am glad that downtown has continued to serve my needs with an affordable office space in a central part of the city,” said Todd, a third-generation entrepreneur.
Todd is the chairman and CEO of SEEP, LLC, a minority-owned, independent insurance brokerage agency that specializes in delivering customized personal, group and business insurance products. His agency is certified with the City of Dayton as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and as a Dayton Local Business Enterprise (DLBE). Todd holds his business accountable for supporting his mission to “empower and educate the community on various aspects of life decisions,” he said.
Todd’s office has been located at the Liberty Tower since 2008. Although he left downtown for a period of time prior to 2008, he did not enjoy his suburban office as much and returned to the core of downtown.
“Downtown is where you can be really creative with your business because of the opportunities that are in the city,” he said.
For example, SEEP has benefitted from opportunities at the Dayton Racquet Club. “I do a lot of networking through the club, and I even set up meetings with my clients there,” he said. “It is a very business-oriented atmosphere, and it is the primary location for business owners to meet over breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have developed many successful relationships through the Dayton Racquet Club.”
Looking toward the future, Todd says he will keep his insurance agency downtown because of the relationships he has built here. He believes many large companies will see the value of working with a minority-owned business, such as SEEP, and he is currently pursuing several partnerships with different organizations.
Todd advises professionals to take advantage of doing business downtown. “Downtown is the central point in every metropolitan city,” he said. “It is convenient and accessible and hosts most business activity.”
Todd also values being involved with the downtown community. He is a member of the Dayton Fund for Housing, as well as a former board member of The African Community Fund, which is part of The Dayton Foundation.
“It is important for business professionals to be conscientious of the whole downtown community, and they should use their leadership qualities to be creative and make improvements,” said Todd. “This is how we can transform downtown into a more thriving business center.”
Todd is confident in downtown’s future and realizes that change does not happen overnight.
“Patience is a virtue,” he said. “Downtown Dayton is energized by people who are optimistic about the city’s future, not those who are dismayed by the tough economic times.”