The primary research group for Chattanooga nonprofit agencies is taking on a new name to reflect its efforts to showcase Chattanooga on the national stage.
Effective today, the Community Research Council has become the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies. David Eichenthal, a former city finance director who has headed the research group for nearly four years, said council directors decided to adopt the new name as part of the agency’s increased focus on looking at local issues from a broader perspective.
“Our mission remains the same, but our agency is serving more of a regional and even national role on local issues,” Mr. Eichenthal said. “There was a sense both among staff and board members that we wanted a name that spoke more toward how we are looking at issues from a metropolitan perspective and telling that story to a more national audience. In doing that, we thought there is no better name than the Ochs family name that is rooted in Chattanooga but also shows how Chattanooga can influence the rest of the nation.”
The Ochs name was added in recognition of the late newspaper publisher Adolph Ochs, who bought and build up both The Chattanooga Times and The New York Times more than a century ago; his brother George, who served as Chattanooga mayor from 1894 to 1898; and the Ochs’ family heirs, including former Times Publisher Ruth Holmberg. In the late 19th century, Adolph Ochs took his Chattanooga publishing success to New York to turn The New York Times into one of the largest and most respected newspapers in the world.
On the web
“The Ochs name represents both the finest in civic leadership in Chattanooga, as well as a model for how good ideas from Chattanooga can have an impact nationally,” the center proclaims in its new Web site (www.ochscenter.org).
The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies began in 1962 as the Metropolitan Council for the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and previously changed its name to the Community Research Council in 2000. The agency’s has a half-dozen full-time research employees and has an annual budget of about $700,000, funded by local foundations, United Way and government agencies that use and publish its research.