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In celebration of Northern Kentucky’s heritage of business accomplishments, NKY Magazine, in partnership with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, has created the Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame to recognize the rich tradition of success and civic involvement in the region’s business community. The Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame honors men and women who have made a lasting contribution to the community in economic, cultural and civic endeavors. Inductees will be honored at the sixth annual Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame luncheon event May 2 at the Newport Syndicate. This event is sponsored by Northern Kentucky University’s Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business and St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program and lunch starting at noon. Tickets can be purchased at BY THE EDITORS


Rodney “Biz” Cain FOUNDER, WISEWAY SUPPLY, BANK OF KENTUCKY Rodney Cain—known as “Biz” to many— was instrumental in raising the profile of Kenton County and Northern Kentucky through his decades of work in both the public and private sectors. Coming from humble stock in Independence, Cain established deep roots in Kenton County from his family farm, Caintuckee Acres. He grew up raising livestock, tending to tobacco crops and selling fertilizer, which led to an early career building houses and installing electric, plumbing and septic systems. In 1972, Cain started Wiseway Supply, which still operates today under the leadership of his son, John. “He was always very resourceful and quite the entrepreneur,” recalls John Cain. But Rodney Cain’s roots kept him intimately connected to the people of Northern Kentucky. “Whether he was talking to the governor or the guy digging ditches with him, he was comfortable with everybody. He



cared about people and I think that showed in his business.” Rodney Cain would serve as director of Boone State Bank in the 1970s before founding the Bank of Kentucky in 1990. Even while shepherding these local banks and running Wiseway, Cain found the time and energy to be a faithful public servant of the region. He served as chairman of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, sat on the board of the region’s visitor’s bureau, served as secretary of Kentucky’s Workforce Development Cabinet and also filled in as Kenton County judge-executive when the seat was vacated in 1998. Throughout his life, Cain was selfless and tireless in developing the area he always called home. “One thing that was noteworthy about Dad,” John Cain says, “whenever he made a deal with somebody he enjoyed their success as much as he did his own.” – KEVIN MICHELL

Garren Colvin PRESIDENT & CEO, ST. ELIZABETH HEALTHCARE After starting with St. Elizabeth Healthcare as an accounting clerk over 35 years ago, Garren Colvin has risen through the ranks to become president and CEO of the very hospital he was born in. Under his escalating stewardship over the last few decades, Colvin has elevated St. Elizabeth to the one of the largest employers in Northern Kentucky and a highly respected health care provider in a region full of them. Even with this level of accomplishment, Colvin’s first instinct is to redirect any praise bestowed on him to the employees of St. Elizabeth, highlighting their compassion and hard work. Colvin has shown both qualities in his professional and public life, gaining recognition in the forms of a 2016 Hero Against

Heroin humanitarian award, Northern Kentucky University’s 2016 Distinguished MBA Alumni Award and a 2017 Commonwealth Award from the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative. His presence on the Horizon Community Funds’ Council of Trustees and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce board shows his desire to make Northern Kentucky a vibrant, healthy and prosperous region, driven by a deep love and loyalty for the area. “It’s an opportunity to be a partner with this community that we all love so much and making a difference in lives,” Colvin says. “At the end of the day, I’m just trying to make this the best community you could possibly have.” – KEVIN MICHELL

Lytle Thomas PRESIDENT & CEO, HERITAGE BANK Lytle Thomas has invested in Northern Kentucky’s economic growth through his banking leadership and involvement in the region’s ongoing development. A fter gain ing h i s bachelor ’s deg ree from Transylvania University, Thomas acquired his MBA at Northern Kentucky University and has been rooted in the area ever since. Thomas started with Fifth Third Bank in 1988 before moving to Heritage Bank 20 years later, becoming its president and CEO in 2010. The Ft. Wright resident has been part of many Northern Kentucky organizations, boards and societies focused on regional leadership and commerce, including Leadership Kentucky, the HealthPoint Family Care Foundation Board and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Thomas is helping to usher growth in the region through his positions as a member of t he Amer ican Bankers Association Grassroots Advocacy Committee and Fund for Economic Growth, board member of the Kentucky Bankers Association and member of the board of directors for Junior Achievement of OKI Partners’ Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky chapter, receiv ing a Gold Leadership Award from the organization in 2016. Through his involvement with Junior Achievement, Thomas has nearly doubled the amount of students involved with its programs and increased annual giving to nearly $1.5 million, all helping to lay the foundation for the next generation of Northern Kentucky’s business and cultural leaders. – KEVIN MICHELL


Dan Tobergte ATTORNEY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, GRAYDON During his 28 years with Northern Kentucky Tri-Ed, Dan Tobergte helped Tri-ED grow from a regional startup that specialized in company attraction to a respected organization that helps the region retain businesses, grow operations and foster entrepreneurship in addition to attracting new companies. “I’m a staunch and ardent advocate for our region and it was certainly refreshing each and every day to be able to work for the community in which you were born, raised and reared,” says Tobergte of his years with Tri-Ed. Much of Tobergte’s time has been focused on the economic development of Northern Kentucky. He worked for the city of Covington for four years before joining Tri-Ed, and now is an attorney specializing



in economic development for the law firm Graydon. Tobergte has also been involved with the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Foreign Trade Zone, Northern Kentucky Port Authority, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and REDI Cincinnati in addition to many other organizations. Tobergte, who was born into a large family and now has one of his own, says he’s proud to have served a region that gives so much back. “I’m very much in tune with having a region in which you can not only be entrepreneurial, you can be very productive here in the private sector, but then you can also raise your family and have a good solid allocation of time amongst family, friends and work,” he says. - CORINNE MINARD

PREVIOUS Inductees

William P. Butler - 2017

Wayne Carlisle - 2017

Jerry Carroll - 2015

Helen Carroll - 2015

Judith Clabes - 2015

Gerald “Jerry” Deters - 2015

Ralph A. Drees - 2016

R.C. Durr - 2017

Merwin Grayson - 2014

Ralph Haile - 2016

Candace S. McGraw - 2018

Brian J. Papke - 2018

Wm T. “Bill” Robinson III - 2014

Donna Salyers - 2014

James E. Simpson Jr. - 2018

Matth Toebben - 2014

Paul Verst - 2015

Dr. James C. Vortuba - 2014

John Yeager - 2016


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