Northern Kentucky Business Journal

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March/April/May 2016 Volume 35 Number 4

Business Northern


Movers and Shakers Recipe For Success

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In this issue


Business Journal March/April/May 2016

4 From the President, Trey Grayson


From the Chair, David Heidrich


Women’s Initative Spotlight


The House That Hans Built


Advocacy Update


Homeless To Hopeful

16 17 20 2 2

Why Not A Hotel? A Passion For Northern Kentucky Cover Story “Recipe for Success” Member Milestones


Building NKY’s Future


Regional Youth Leadership


Emerging 30 Preview


Upcoming Events


Photo Credit: Charlie Vance, CEO Ergio Employer Solutions


On the cover: Inside Braxton Brewery; Introducing Jake and Evan Rouse. Cover story on page 20 of this issue!

Share Your Good News by Submitting Member Milestones to the Business Journal Promotions, awards, appointments, and new positions are major milestones. All member organizations and their employees are invited to share announcements of their personal achievements in the Milestones column. Send Milestones to

CEO/Publisher Trey Grayson Periodicals Postage Paid at Covington, KY ISSN (0274-757X)

Marketing / Communications Manager Carla Landon Vice President Membership – Sponsorship Sales Lynn Abeln Director, Sponsor Investments Diana McGlade

Periodicals Postage Paid USPS-548630 at Covington, KY.

Chamber Communications Committee Rachel Folz, Emily Gresham Wherle, Bill Powell, David Rhoad, Kelly Rose, Katie Scoville, Meredith Fossett, Shayna Crowley, Amy Wagner

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300 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 330, P.O. Box 17416, Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017. Phone: 859-578-8800. Website: The Business Journal is a benefit of membership and included in membership fees. Annual subscription rate for nonmembers is $24.

Chief Administrative Officer Ruth Eger

Graphic Designer Steve Fine

Northern Kentucky Business Journal is published bi-monthly by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Postmaster: Please send address changes to the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 300 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 330, P.O. Box 17416 , Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017-0416. Subscribers: Please send address changes by e-mail to © 2016, The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and by the individual authors. All rights reserved.

NKY Chamber Business Journal


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Let’s Get To Work Trey Grayson, President & CEO, NKY Chamber of Commerce “Why are we doing this? Because we are proud of Northern Kentucky and believe we have a great story to tell.”

I am writing this on the day that the Kentucky General Assembly began. Wait. How can that be? After all, my computer tells me that today is March 9, and the session began during the first week of January. That’s all true, but until the outcomes of yesterday’s special elections to fill four vacancies in the House were known, not much was going to be finished. It’s frustrating because at the end of every session, good bills die, not based upon their merits, but because time runs out. Several of our Chamber priorities – most importantly, taking action to help shore up our state’s pension system – seem to be in a strong position as I write this. Hopefully, those issues won’t fall victim to an expiring legislative clock. Earlier in the session, the Chamber once again hosted a successful Northern Kentucky Day and Night in Frankfort. Large crowds of Northern Kentuckians met with legislators and members of the new administration, including first-year Governor Matt Bevin. Governor Bevin made his first official visit to Northern Kentucky as Governor in mid-February. The centerpiece of his visit was a Government Forum before a packed house. I really appreciated the Governor’s candor and “telling it like it is” style. Based upon the comments of many attendees, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Our new Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications, Scott Sedmak, and I have been dividing up the calendar to ensure that someone from our team is in Frankfort representing our region and our members. In addition, Scott has been providing our members with insights and analysis through his regular “Dispatches from Frankfort” and a continuation of the Friday update calls that we began last year. Scott’s analysis is perhaps the most insightful being produced by anyone in 4

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Kentucky’s advocacy community. We are lucky to have him on staff.

I’m an Apple guy. I’m writing this on my MacBook Air, while texting someone on my iPhone, with my iPad waiting by my side to be accessed to pull up some notes I made for this column. Apple is an iconic brand with an incredible origins story. Not surprisingly, that famous garage in Los Altos, California, where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple is designated as a historic site and is on my bucket list to visit. Braxton Brewing Company is featured on the cover of this issue of the Business Journal. As you will read, it too got its start in a garage. I’m sure the residents of Braxton Drive in Union wish the Rouse boys well and are proud of what they accomplished in their parents’ garage, but would be happy to keep to a minimum the traffic from those Braxton groupies who wish to see the origins of Storm, Crank Shaft and the other Braxton brews. Aspiring to be like Apple with its iconic brand, the Chamber has spent the past few months working with a local branding firm, BLDG, to develop a new brand that can be used for our organization, as well as for our region as a whole.

the Chamber. Over the past few months, we have retooled our staff and have made a number of additions to our Chamber family. As you meet Lynn Abeln, Rosie Deckert, Ben Gastright, Carmen Grimm, Carla Landon, Tiffany Osborne and Debbie Shipp, you’ll learn more about the exciting new initiatives at the Chamber. We’ve also debuted the new Chamber Champions 100, a variation of the old Taking Care of Business/ Total Resource Campaign / Chamber Fundraising League efforts that engage members in helping to promote and sell the Chamber. During all of this, one thing became clear: the areas of the Chamber that work best and offer the most value to our members, such as advocacy, Leadership Northern Kentucky and the Women’s Initiative, succeed in large part because of a committed group of members. So we have asked our staff – old and new alike – to better engage members throughout our programming. I am happy to report that they are off to a great start. I’m excited about all the changes at the Chamber. I hope you are too. Let’s get to work!

Over the next few months, you will begin to see a new look for the Chamber as we roll out this new brand with a redesigned website, a revamped Business Journal and a new way of talking about the Chamber and our home-town. Why are we doing this? Because we are proud of Northern Kentucky and believe we have a great story to tell. The branding isn’t the only new thing at

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Helping Hands, Giving Hearts The St. Elizabeth Foundation thanks the following organizations for their donations to the St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute. Their generosity will help create a healthier community.


BB&T Duke Energy Fifth Third Foundation Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts Ohio National Financial Services


Anchor Health Properties Anonymous (3) Carespring Health Care Management Central Bank of Northern Kentucky Century Construction


DBL Law HealthSouth Northern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital KLH Engineers, PSC Messer Construction


3M Alpha Imaging American Sound and Electronics Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions Avant Communication & Technology Balluff, Inc. Blue & Co. Bottom Line Systems, Inc. Burlington Pharmacy Health Care Champlin Architecture Charles and Ruth Seligman Family Foundation Cincinnati Bell/Cincinnati Bell Foundation ClearArc Capital Clinical Technology CNA Insurance/Foundation Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers

Power Transmission Solutions R.C. Durr Foundation Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank, Trustee Roeding Insurance Group

Dillard’s Crestview Hills The Maxon Foundation US Bank, Gallagher SKS, Arthur J. N.A. Trustee Turner Construction Company Gallagher & Co. Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. Modern Office Methods Perfusion Consultants Radiology Associates of Northern Kentucky SEI Investments Company

Transamerica Retirement Solutions Young Patrons’ Guild

Cove Federal Credit Union Deskey Associates, Inc. EMC Corporation Emergency Care Physicians of Northern Kentucky Evolution Creative Solutions Florence Park Nursing & Rehab GasMedix Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital GBBN Architects George W. Andrews Charitable Trust Humana Healthcare Huntington Bank Independent Anesthesiologists Len Riegler Blacktop, Inc. MarkCo Plumbing Medtronic Meridian Leasing

Oswald Company, Inc. Owens & Minor Philips Respironics Plante & Moran, PLLC Pulmonary Partners/RSVP Home Care Reiter Dairy Republic Bank Stryker Orthopaedics The Chartis Group Top Consulting Tremco U.S. Bank US Foods WellCare Health Plans Zalla Companies/Barnes Road Development

(859) 301- 3920

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St. Elizabeth Associate Vision Campaign The Cincinnati Foundation for the Aged


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Stop, Look Around David Heidrich, CEO, Zalla Companies, Chair, Northern Kentucky Chamber “Our passion is to look for new ways for our members to take advantage of the economic opportunities Northern Kentucky has to offer.”

Dear Chamber Members, Spring is upon us yet again. With the weather turning and outdoor activities increasing, it’s easy to let the optimism reign. Of course the challenge in business, and in many parts of life, is to find a way to capture and sustain that springtime optimism year-round. This issue of the Business Journal looks at how a group of leaders in our community are harnessing that positive energy to do great things in Northern Kentucky. These movers and shakers have found disruptive, innovative ways of doing business. Others are focusing on new ways to solve the problems and obstacles facing our region each day. There’s a variety of new businesses and ideas burgeoning in a diverse set of industries. From business incubators to essential non-profit work, it is important that the Chamber not only shares these stories to a wider audience, but does all it can to facilitate a region that allows for such enterprises to raise our collective quality of life. Of course, the Chamber has always been the original “incubator” for making business connections. Our passion is to look for new ways for our members to take advantage of the economic opportunities Northern Kentucky has to offer. If you haven’t been to one our events in awhile, I urge you to come to one. We’ve got such a wide variety of programming that you’re sure to find something that’s just right for you – or better yet, something that may surprise you.


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Since the beginning of 2016, we’ve had a lot of exciting developments at the Chamber. A few new staff members have joined us (as Trey details in his letter), record crowds attended recent Government Forum and Women’s Initiative events, and our new Business IMPACT Awards event was a great success and looks to be a winner for years to come. At the same time, we’re continuing to roll up our sleeves and focus on the behind the scenes work of increasing our memberships via our Chamber Champions 100 program, improving our communications platforms, and revitalizing our member-driven committees to be even more attentive to the needs of our members. It’s an exciting time to be engaged at the Chamber. With our busy lives, it’s easy to miss the good work going on around us, not just within our individual organizations, but throughout Northern Kentucky as a whole. It’s Spring after all. Stop, look around, and take in everything our region has to offer. A few of those stories can be found in these pages, but many more can be found around us each day. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do. Let’s keep that optimism and get to work. -Dave

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Getting to Know Renee Lalanne-Wuerdeman By: Laura Kroeger, past chair of the Women’s Initiative; President of Communications Project Partners.

“Once I understood how the Women’s Initiative could benefit me professionally and personally, I became immersed and there was no looking back. ” How has it impacted your career?

Renee Lalanne-Wuerdeman, director of convention services for meetNKY, is the recipient of the 2016 Spirit of Achievement award, presented at the Annual Breakfast to a Women’s Initiative volunteer who has contributed to the Initiative, her career and the community in the past year. It is the third time the award has been presented. What brought you to Northern Kentucky?

Professionally, my experience is in the hospitality/tourism industry, in particular hotel convention sales and service. I had been intrigued by destination marketing companies like meetNKY and the idea of representing an area. When construction began on the Northern Kentucky Convention Center I made the jump from downtown Cincy to NKY. What do you do for meetNKY?

As Director of Convention Services, I lead the charge to ensure the meeting planners receive everything contractually promised and expected – and then some. Then I get out of the way so the team can work their magic. How did you get involved in the Women’s Initiative?

I have always been interested in initiatives that move women forward and after attending the second Annual Breakfast I knew this organization’s mission was for me and I had to get involved. That decision was one of the best I’ve made. 8

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I knew attendance in the Women’s Initiative programs would benefit my community outreach goals; many of our residents and business people don’t know who meetNKY is, or understand our purpose or role in the region’s economic impact. But I did not expect my involvement would propel me into many different channels. Once I understood how the Women’s Initiative could benefit me professionally and personally, I became immersed and there was no looking back. How have you been involved with the Women’s Initiative?

As a Connect Committee member and now chair we help produce events such as the Annual Breakfast, Connect Hours and the Annual Golf Outing. I also co-chaired the initiative for On the Road. I chair the Logistics Committee for the first Women’s Initiative Regional Summit. Can you explain some of your community activities?

My favorite enterprise is called VolunTourism. meetNKY developed the program in response to a growing need for conventions to give back to the communities they visit and engage attendees in a local experience. We developed a list of 15+ philanthropic activities including something rather unusual called a Potato Drop where we organized 150 volunteers to bag 40,000 pounds of sweet potatoes to be distributed to food pantries throughout the region and beyond. Another community initiative that feeds my training and customer service passion is called the Certified Tourism Ambassador program; it’s all about training front line hospitality associates how to make every visitor interaction a positive experience and creating a reason for them to return.

Where would you like to see the Women’s Initiative go in the next five years?

I would like to see us grow our demographic. The Women’s Initiative works to stay up on business trends and respond with new and enhanced programs. With programs like On the Road and the first Regional Summit in June 2016, we have the potential to reach additional demographics that’ve not had the opportunity to experience our programs. What do you do in your spare time?

I caught the race/marathon bug in 2015 and am active with the Queen City Walking Club. We crave the outdoor life and love to motorcycle, camp/RV, boat and walk our spoiled rotten dogs. If you could have dinner with three women from history, who would they be?

Boudicca, because you have to have some moxie to successfully unite multitudes against oppression; Eleanor Roosevelt for spearheading the UN Declaration of Human Rights; and Audrey Hepburn, an interesting, talented woman in her own right and for her work with UNICEF. Favorite leadership book?

Just one? The Art of Business, In the Footsteps of Giants by Raymond T. Yeh. What’s the best career advice ever given to you?

Don’t handle people; seek to bring out the best in every person under your supervision. Parting advice for anyone thinking about becoming involved in the Women’s Initiative?

Your career will thank you. What are you waiting for? March/April/May 2016

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“This speci

The House That Hans Built Division III National Coach of the Year Jeff Hans By: Amy Wagner, Director Of Communications and Public Relations, Thomas More College

“This team is incredibly enjoyable to coach. You can see every time we take the court there’s a special chemistry between these players. That doesn’t just happen.”

Jeff Hans doesn’t see what all of the hype is about. He shows up to the Connor Convocation Center on Thomas More College’s Crestview Hills campus every day with one goal in mind—winning the next game. But as the head coach of the Thomas More College women’s basketball team, Hans has strung together more than 50 consecutive winning games, giving his team the longest winning streak in Greater Cincinnati college basketball history. For perspective, the closest winning streak belongs to the University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team, which won 37 consecutive games from 1962-63. As ESPN 1530’s Lance McAlister puts it, “Thomas More College is the epicenter of a college basketball powerhouse.” That powerhouse has been carefully crafted by Hans over his five seasons at the helm of the TMC women’s team. However, Hans is not one to take the credit for his team’s March/April/May 2016

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extraordinary success. “The success of this program can’t be contributed to one single person as the current student-athletes and coaches work hard every day to build upon the foundation that was laid by the individuals that came through the program before us,” Hans said. Last year, Hans guided the Saints to their first-ever undefeated season (33-0) and first-ever team National Championship in the college’s history. Hans was named the Division III National Coach of the Year by and DIII News. Thomas More led the nation in five statistical categories as it was first in won-lost percentage (100.0), final points (2,821), scoring margin (32.8), assist turnover ratio (1.40) and turnover margin (12.12)

(+41.5), assist/turnover ratio (2.1), assists (488) and assists per game (23.2). Thomas More is second in the nation in scoring offense (93.4) and turnover margin (+13.43). Without question, Hans is coaching a very special group of players. “This team is incredibly enjoyable to coach. You can see every time we take the court there’s a special chemistry between these players. That doesn’t just happen,” he said. When it comes to basketball in Kentucky, most of the attention goes south to a team in Lexington that also happens to wear blue. But if you’re paying close attention to the stats, the real story of a basketball powerhouse is playing out in Northern Kentucky. Coach Hans is modest about his team’s success. He doesn’t need to boast. His team’s record speaks for itself.

So far this season, the stats are just as impressive. The Saints lead the nation in field goal percentage (48.2), scoring margin NKY Chamber Business Journal


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Advocacy Update Budget and Special Elections Dominate Session By: Scott Sedmak, Vice President Public Affairs and Communication, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

“The Governor spoke at length about his budget proposal and workforce development needs.” A unique challenge of this article of the Business Journal is that by the time you read it, the 2016 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly will be all but finished. By now, we all will know how the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce policy platform items faied. However, since the author doesn’t know that at press time, let’s look back at the year so far and see how we got to this point. In January, the General Assembly gaveled in for a long 60-day budget session. The House has been full of contention most of session due to the narrow partisan margin in that body, a count that was at 50 Democrats, 46 Republicans, and 4 vacant seats. An interesting development going on in the legislature is the surprise retirements of a number of legislators. While some from both parties and both chambers had announced they weren’t running again before the new year, a few more waited until right before the filing deadline to announce their political retirements. This is to be expected in the life cycle of politics, but it is notable because the Kentucky General Assembly is a place that thrives on institutional knowledge. We don’t have term limits in Kentucky, meaning you have a core group of legislators that stick around for a long time and influence the General Assembly if they choose to be active. No matter which political party controls the House in the months and years to come – it’s going to feel different with the turnover from legislators such as these. Governor Bevin introduced his first state budget proposal in late January. Governor Bevin presented his budget address and the House Appropriations & Revenue

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Committee is now building their own version of the budget. Among the highlights:

• Bevin outlined a path to increase equitable & “Outcomes Based Funding” portion of Higher Education funding for NKU

• A full outside audit to all public pension funds

• Many portions of state government

would face a 9% budget cut once the fiscal year starts this summer, however many areas of government are exempted from these cuts, bringing the true ratio of total cuts to about 2.5%.

In the days after the budget was introduced, pockets of concern have arisen from various quarters. The House had made many changes to the budget to reverse higher education cuts, but leave NKU without equitable funding. The Governor’s plan doesn’t solve the pension crisis over the long term, but it does put pensions on enough solid footing for the next two years in order to come up with the long-term solution after the administration has been in office long enough. In February, the NKY Chamber had two big “public advocacy” events. Northern Kentucky Day/Night in Frankfort featured a number of guests including: Senate President Robert Stivers; Sens. Chris McDaniel, Damon Thayer, John Schickel, & Wil Schroder; Reps. Adam Koenig, Sal Santoro, Joe Fischer, Diane St. Onge, Tom McKee, &

Addia Wuchner, & Attorney General Andy Beshear. The evening reception saw about 250 in attendance. Governor Matt Bevin joined us and made a short speech, also in attendance were Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton, Auditor Mike Harmon, Treasurer Alison Ball, and many legislators. Later in February, Governor Matt Bevin made his first official trip through the region since being sworn into office. The central point of the day was the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Government Forum Luncheon. Our members and the community turned out in force as it was the most attended Government Forum in recent Chamber history, over 220 total attendees! The Governor spoke at length about his budget proposal and workforce development needs. Of course the budget continues to be top of mind for everyone. When talking about his plan to cut several parts of state government by a 9% annual rate, the Governor asked the crowd to raise their hands if any of them have ever had to find 9% in savings in their personal and business lives. Several hands went up in the room and the Governor quipped that the rest of the room who didn’t raise their hands must have jobs working for the government. House special elections finally did happen on March 8th, and it was a big night for the House Democrats. They can feel good that they were able to not only maintain control of the House, but actually pick up a seat in the process. With the Democrats winning 3 of 4 seats, the House will now stand at 53 Democrats to 47 Republicans.

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Homeless To Hopeful Linda Young, Executive Director, Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Inc. By: Kelly Rose, Development Coordinator, Welcome House Of Nothern Kentucky

“Stable housing provides the infrastructure for every child to have the opportunity to go to school and learn. Moving frequently creates barriers to children getting an education.”

situation - people who might be grieving a loss, someone who might be down on his or her luck, an individual who just can’t catch a break - would ever survive without support networks. Linda Young, executive director at Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Inc., a nonprofit organization that operates in Covington, has a single goal: end homelessness. To her, this is not a pie-in-the-sky concept. After serving as executive director of the local nonprofit for over 20 years, Young knows better than anyone what it takes to end homelessness and what the future looks like for Northern Kentucky’s at-risk youth if we help them now by providing stable low-income housing. Although Young’s journey at Welcome House has spanned more than two decades, her path to assist those in need did not begin there. In 1981, Young, the mother of two young children, experienced a great tragedy when her husband was killed in an automobile accident. Although grieving, Young knew she had to move forward because of her children. “I had worked as a nurse but I wanted to explore where my life would go, so I started to question my path - luckily I was blessed with the support of my family and community,” Young explained. That support ultimately left Young questioning how people who might be in her 14

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Eventually, these questions led her to social work, then to Welcome House. Young attended Xavier University for her undergraduate degree and drove to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland a weekend each month while she worked full time to obtain her master’s degree in social work. “I was raised in a small community that invested in me,” Young said. “I was one of the first generations in my town that went to college. Education was, and still is, very important to me.” After graduation, opportunity knocked when Young was offered the executive director position at Welcome House. “I never intended to be on the administrative path - I wanted to help people, be in the trenches - but in my heart, I knew that another opportunity like this might not happen again,” Young said. “So, although I was hesitant, I decided that I could make the biggest impact and still help people in need.” Young uses her experiences at Welcome House to break down many stereotypes surrounding homelessness. “I question everything,” Young extolled. “I

have learned so much over the many years that I have been working in this field from our clients.” To Young, trying to understand what it would be like to be an abused child or struggling with a mental illness are all reasons why she threads herself throughout the community. The drive to learn more and to help more are always on her mind. “I consider myself to have won the lottery of life. It just makes sense to me that those of us who are the lucky and the strong have an obligation to others less fortunate to build a strong compassionate community that embraces diversity.” This past year, Young announced her plan to retire from Welcome House in the summer of 2017. During the remainder of her tenure, she intends to move full steam ahead with affordable housing opportunities for low-income individuals and families, including renovating several historic – but dilapidated - properties the organization purchased in the Mainstrasse neighborhood of Covington last year. “Over the past 20 years, Welcome House has focused on providing services but now I am a strong advocate for affordable housing,” Young explained. “When someone doesn’t have housing stability, it interferes with employment and education, “ explains Young. “Stable housing provides the infrastructure for every child to have the opporMarch/April/May 2016

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tunity to go to school and learn. Moving frequently creates barriers to children getting an education,” continues Young. Young is excited about the Mainstrasse housing rehabilitation project. After Welcome House acquired 14 properties in this neighborhood last year, it partnered with Model Group, a property development and management company known for revitalizing urban neighborhoods, to rehabilitate the properties as affordable housing by using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and state and federal historic tax credits. This project is just the tip of the iceberg, Young believes. She hopes to see regional housing policies change to serve people who are experiencing economic disparity, which could lead to housing issues and other barriers. Young’s excitement over the prospect of ending homelessness comes directly from people she has met - people that society typically steers away from because of a

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lack of understanding. “These are the folks that are very vulnerable,” she explains. These are intimate conversations about the realities and hardships of not having a home - they aren’t asking me for anything, really, but they are dealing with more than what I could ever imagine. We are their hope.” Anyone who knows Young knows that when she speaks about her job and her time at Welcome House with her employees and her clients, she beams with excitement - not necessarily because of the subject matter, but because she deeply believes that a change is on the horizon and she wants to be a part of that.

“Right now we just babble over the Skype,” Young laughed. “But I am looking forward to being with her and my family more and helping out on the sustainable farm and possibly volunteering in the village clinic.” According to Young, it’s also about bringing a fresh perspective to Welcome House. It is time for someone else to lead the next leg of the agency’s journey. “I love what I do and I love where I live; I have been in Northern Kentucky for more than 18 years and I cannot say enough about the generosity of people in this area,” Young explained. “I know that what I have contributed can’t compare to what I have received.”

However, with the passing of time, certain parts of Young’s life are slowly starting to take precedence over others, such as her brand new granddaughter who is currently living in Guatemala with Young’s daughter and son-in-law.

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Why Not A Hotel? Guy Van Rooyen, President Salyers Group By: Carla Landon, Marketing and Communications Manager, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

“Our family firmly believes that...a strong business environment...begins with a strong Chamber of Commerce.”

When Guy van Rooyen first moved to Northern Kentucky he recalls a community that was a little sleepy. At first glance it did not seem to be very dynamic but he soon found that “bubbling underneath, all the elements were there.” He found a community filled with committed and passionate people. Over the past 12 years, a lot has changed. Jim and Donna Salyers started the business over 27 years ago and have always been heavily focused on Covington. Over the years they’ve had the opportunity to purchase and renovate more than 10 historic properties. The pair have started, and continue to operate, four companies (soonto-be five with the hotel) who employ 185 full-time employees. “I guess you can say that we are all-in on Covington!”

Born in South Africa, Guy immigrated to Australia when he was 10. Following school and university he moved to Toronto, Canada for a work opportunity. It was while living in Toronto that he met his wife, Amanda, on a ski trip. They originally moved to Seattle but Amanda’s parents (Jim and Donna Salyers) wanted Amanda to come home to Covington so they offered both Guy and Amanda positions with the company. “Like any baseball trade, I believe I was the player-to-be-named later, while Amanda was the centerpiece of the trade!” explains Guy. Now, 12 years later, the Van Rooyen’s are still happily married with two kids, Reese, 8, and Finn, 5. They both enjoy working in the business and enjoying the opportunities and challenges that come with running a diversified family-owned business. Guy admits that coming to work each day is a pleasure. He shares how their family tries to surround themselves with passionate, smart people both in business and in life. Over the years they have found that it is important to collaborate and empow-

er people, do the right things, and never take yourself to seriously. “Our family firmly believes that strong businesses and a strong regional business environment or ecosystem, begins with a strong Chamber of Commerce,” Guy explains. The Van Rooyen’s are seeing the benefits in having an advocate for the region’s businesses within local, state and federal governments, “we have always found that it helps our business be more visible and is a tremendous networking opportunity.” As a community, Guy thinks it is important to give local businesses an opportunity to earn your business first. In working on the hotel development he utilized as many local/community businesses in the ventures to buy local whenever possible. As Guy explains, “we mandated ‘local first’ where possible, and I think we accomplished that. This will be a community asset and one we can all be proud of.”

This exciting development, expected to make a big impact on our region, is being developed out of a need the Salyers Group discovered. When asked about why he wanted to develop Hotel Covington his answer is simply, “Why not a hotel?” The family currently operates the Madison Event Center, hosting over 400 weddings per year and more than 100 corporate and social events, servicing more than 80,000 guests. What they have found is that their guests need a hotel and the closest property is a half-mile away. The Hotel Covington will now provide 114 rooms, 10 feet from the Madison - a win for the family business and a significant development for Northern Kentucky. 16

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A Passion for NKY Shannan Boyer, Founder Scooter Media By: Katie Scoville, PR Specialist, Scooter Media

“Northern Kentucky is where I live...I want to be a part of making it amazing.”

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It’s hard to find someone who cares about Northern Kentucky, and the City of Covington in particular, as much as Shannan Boyer. When the girl from a small town in Iowa arrived in Northern Kentucky in 1992, she was instantly enthralled.

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“The moment I was ready to strike out on my own, I knew I wanted to be in the city,” said Boyer who lived in Covington during her college years and worked at Covington spots such as Jillian’s, Behle Street Cafe, and Pachinko. “I had never been in an urban environment. I had never seen such architecture, such diversity, and such creativity. I was hooked from day one.”

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Today Shannan runs her public relations agency, Scooter Media, from Covington’s Mother of God neighborhood. Opened in May 2012 as a one-woman shop, the company has grown to seven employees and works with interns from local universities, including Boyer’s alma mater, Northern Kentucky University. Through Boyer’s leadership and obvious passion for Northern Kentucky, her employees have grown to love the region and all it has to offer. One thing Shannan and her team feel strongly about is investing in Covington and Northern Kentucky as a region through client work and volunteer initiatives. The agency’s client roster includes Northern Kentucky cornerstones such as The Carnegie, The Center for Great Neighborhoods, UpTech, and Skyward.

who are part of shaping Northern Kentucky’s future.” In addition to working with several NKY clients, Boyer volunteers her time with groups and organizations such as Prince of Peace Montessori, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky University, and YMCA Camp Ernst. The Scooter team can also be found participating in neighborhood cleanups, supporting COV200 efforts, and even preparing dinner at the Parish Kitchen, just blocks from the office. “A commitment to community was something my parents instilled in me at a young age, and it’s something we focus on both at home and at the Scooter Media office,” said Boyer. Boyer’s passion for Northern Kentucky and her clients is clear to everyone who meets her. It’s that passion that drives Boyer and the team to find success for their clients. “I am doing what I love every day, collaborating with amazing clients and doing it alongside a group of talented people who are just as passionate about the work as I am, said Boyer”

“Northern Kentucky is where I live. This is where my business is, where my children were born and are being raised,” explained Boyer. “I want to be part of making it amazing, helping it grow and evolve. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to work with clients March/April/May 2016

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NKY Chamber Business Journal


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Congratulations Winners! Champion of Diversity Category City of Covington Frost Brown Todd U.S. Bank

Cool Place to Work Category Emerge The Party Source Road ID

International Trade Category Armor USA Beckman Coulter HAHN Automation

Large Business Category LeanCor Supply Chain Group Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell Salyers Group

Small Business Category OMEGA Processing Solutions Plumb Tite, LLC W. Stephens Cabinetry and Design

Startup Spirit Category CitiLogics The Delish Dish/Made by Mavis Greenline Salon

Presented By Small Business Award Sponsor:

Award Sponsor:

Cool Place to Work Award Sponsor:

March 22, 2016

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3/22/2016 11:54:41 AM

We have your small business loan. Chad Watson Vice President / Commercial Lender NMLS 532224


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You can get there from here. All loans subject to approval.


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Recipe For Success Garage of dreams By: Rachel Folz, Digital Marketing Manger, Campbell County Public Library

“There’s renaissance happening here. There’s a lot of redevelopment, there’s a lot projects and community-based things that we could play a vital role in.” The Rouse brothers are very busy guys. Just one year after opening up their taproom in the heart of old Covington, they are bringing their brand of craft brews to Cincinnati Kroger customers. It all started when Evan rode with his family to drop Jake off at Indiana University. After getting Jake settled in his dorm, the family went to lunch at Bloomington’s Upland Brewery. Sixteen-year-old Evan, a lifetime hobbyist and science lover, was fascinated to learn that you could brew your own beer. On the way home, he ordered a home brewing kit and an obsession begun. The boys’ father, 84.51 exec Greg Rouse, encouraged the unconventional hobby and toiled with Evan in the garage of the family’s home on Braxton Drive in Union, Kentucky. Evan says the first few batches weren’t great, but he and Greg kept at it. The pair joined local home brewing clubs for support and feedback. All that hard work paid off when 18-year-old Evan entered and won his first ever competition, the historic Bockfest. Jake says that was the turning point. After that win, Greg and Evan began entering and winning more competitions. Evan has more than 50 home brewing medals in his trophy case.

Jake Rouse Age: 26 Lives in Devou Park Favorite Braxton beer: Trophy


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Evan went to work, spending two years as a brewer for Hofbrauhaus, but he was ready to scale up and he had the perfect family for the job. Jake had studied entrepreneurship at Indiana University and after graduation, spent a few years developing digital strategies for major brands.

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He would serve as Braxton Brewing’s CEO and their father, Greg, would be COO. They worked hard to develop the brewery’s unique and beautiful brand and began touring locations. Evan says they knew from the start that they wanted to be on the Kentucky side of the river, and they set their sights on Covington, “There’s renaissance happening here. There’s a lot of redevelopment, there’s a lot projects and community-based things that we could play a vital role in.” They chose the old Sears building on 7th Street and began work transforming the space into the co-working, highly connected brew-lovers dreamland it is today. Evan says scaling up the brewing was the easy part, thanks to Richard Dubé, Braxton’s Brewmaster and fourth co-founder. Richard brought 35 years of big time brewing experience to Braxton. Braxton was happening but Jake, a self-confessed nerd, was dying to do a Kickstarter. The stylish and clever crusade made a huge splash. The 30-day campaign to raise $30,000 was fully funded in just 30 hours. They went on to raise $71, 000 total during the Kickstarter campaign, earning them the honor of being the highest funded brewery project in the history of the platform. The taproom opened in March of 2015, and its success was instant. Jake says Braxton exceeded the goals of their two year plan in just nine months. Braxton was on tap at Great American Ball Park during the 2015 season and cans of Storm, Braxton’s flagship ale, hit stores on the Kentucky side in November. Braxton Brewing is now 23 employees strong and growing. Eight years after that first batch, the Rouse brothers haven’t forgotten where they came from. The garage on Braxton still belongs to the elder Rouses and for the first time in many moons, they can park in there again. They are working hard to increase their visibility, maintain quality and continue to be a place people love to work.

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Evan Rouse Age: 23 Lives in Covington Favorite Braxton beer – Storm

NKY Chamber Business Journal


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Member Milestones Boxcar, a Louisville-headquartered, full-service boutique agency has opened a new office serving the Lexington area. Located at 300 East Main Street in downtown Lexington, Boxcar’s new location will be directed by Geoffrey (Geoff) Dunn who recently joined the firm. Boxcar also has an office in downtown Cincinnati, OH that opened in 2015. Dunn brings more than 20 years of private and public sector leadership experience to his role as the “Ambassador” at Boxcar (the agency uses non-traditional titles for its team). He most recently served as Director of Boards and Commissions and was Senior Advisor to Governor Steven L. Beshear. In these capacities, Geoff was responsible for oversight of the appointment process of thousands of gubernatorial appointees to hundreds of both local and state-level public boards. At Boxcar, Dunn will use his political-savvy and experience for current clients while expanding the Lexington office and its client-base. Along with the new office comes a new look and branding for the agencyBoxcar [more than PR]. “Geoff brings incredible experience and a wealth of political expertise to Boxcar, and we are excited to have him as a part of the team,” said Elizabeth Post, Boxcar-Cincinnati’s Office Lead. “Our new brand better represents the vast capabilities we offer to our clients.” Christopher Kogelnik, CT Consultants

The Shareholders and Directors of CT Consultants, Inc. take pleasure in announcing the addition of Christopher M. Kogelnik, P. E. as a new shareholder. Christopher serves as Regional Manager for the firm’s Youngstown, OH and Her22

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mitage, PA offices. He has 20 years of experience in the areas of design, project management, staff management and business development in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He is experienced with a wide variety of improvement projects including water and wastewater systems, treatment facilities, stormwater management plans and stormwater facilities, comprehensive facility planning, roadways, pedestrian access, utility relocations, and neighborhood investment program projects. He is responsible for project quality control review and he has considerable experience coordinating with local, state and federal regulatory and funding agencies in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Youngstown State University and is registered in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Medicine at the University of North Carolina. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Schertzinger also serves as adjunct professor for The Ohio State University, offering training to fourth-year medical students, and he serves as Team Physician for The Summit Country Day High School. Dr. Schertzinger will continue to work with athletes, yet welcomes older patients affected by osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis. “Often there is an unmet need in the orthopaedic community for treating bone fragility fractures. My passion for bone health addresses both men and women with screening and treatment.” He will also assist Commonwealth Orthopaedic physicians with pain management strategies and restrictions.

Tammi Riddell, Rudler PSC Howard J. Schertzinger, Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers

Howard J. Schertzinger, Jr., M.D., has joined Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers. His first day with the practice was January 4th. Dr. Schertzinger has directed Advanced Pain Solutions in West Chester for the past 13 years, providing musculoskeletal care with a focus on sports injuries, arthritis, spine disorders and osteoporosis. With a total of 22 years of experience, his expertise and background will help expand the scope of musculoskeletal care offered by Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers by filling the need for nonsurgical spine care for many patients, the need to closely monitor osteoporosis and osteopenia in both genders, and the fact that pain management requires specialized knowledge. Dr. Schertzinger attended the University of Cincinnati and then went on to receive his M.D. from The Ohio State University. Post-graduate training in internal medicine and pediatrics at Duke University was followed by a fellowship in Sports

Rudler PSC is pleased to welcome new team member, Tammi Riddell who has joined the Firm as Staff Accountant. Tammi’s public accounting experience includes accounting, tax and management advisory services for a wide variety of business owners, individuals and families as well as not-for-profit organizations. As a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, she is especially skilled in monthly, quarterly, and annual compilations. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University with degrees in Accounting and History, Tammi currently resides with her family in Northern Kentucky.

Gary A. Hammons, BCG

Bluegrass Commercial Group L.L.C. is pleased to announce the addition of Gary A. Hammons as a Partner and Vice President of Field Operations. Gary has been with the Company since it began in March/April/May 2016

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spectrum, acting as a financial analyst for a publicly-held company.

Gary has over 20 years of Field Operations and Superintendant experience in both the Commercial and Residential fields. He will be responsible for Construction Operations and Methods, Project Schedules and Safety. Gary holds a Bachelor of Construction Management degree from Northern Kentucky University and resides in Independence Kentucky. Bradley S. Ramey, BCG

Bluegrass Commercial Group L.L.C. is pleased to announce the addition of Bradley S. Ramey as a Partner and Vice President of Business Development and Estimating in the firms’ main office. Brad has over 20 years of Construction and Business Development experience in both the Commercial and Residential fields. He will be responsible for developing new business strategies, project management and estimating. Brad holds a Bachelor of Construction Management degree from Northern Kentucky University and resides in Ft. Mitchell Kentucky. Tim Moellering, LGI CFO

Tim Moellering of Lakeside Park, Ky., has joined LGI CFO as an outsourced chief financial officer. LGI CFO of downtown Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky is an outsourced CFO firm serving privately-held and family-owned businesses and nonprofits over the past 25 years.

In 2002, Moellering started a business broker firm to help people buy and sell businesses. He has worked with hundreds of business owners in retail, service, distribution and manufacturing. He serves as the executive director of the Ohio Business Brokers Association’s Cincinnati chapter. “The importance of having clean financial statements showing a positive cash flow and strong margins is never more apparent than when a business owner is trying to sell,” he said. “Poor financial record keeping is the number one reason why businesses do not sell.” Moellering has experience negotiating and working with banks; landlords; health, property and casualty insurance companies; IT providers; suppliers; customers; CPAs; attorneys; third party logistics providers; retirement plan providers; utility companies; recruiters; and other entities that have an effect on a company’s cash flow. “I joined LGI CFO because a majority of small business owners need someone they can trust to provide accurate and timely financial information to help them make strategic decisions about the direction of their business,” said Moellering. “Most of these business owners do not need a full time CFO, but instead a trusted advisor who is available when needed. I can provide the financial tools to increase a firm’s cash flow, which also increases the value of a business.” Moellering is a native Cincinnatian and graduated from St. Xavier High School and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from Xavier University. He and his wife have two sons.

in service for the Greater Cincinnati region. Lula’s for Lunch…and More! earned the 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award, the only caterer in this region to receive this award, and was recommended by the local marketplace and consumer-review site for an exemplary year of service reflected by its “A” ratings. Celebrating her 10th year in service, Chef Lori has been a local pioneer in the seasonal, farm-to-table food movement and believes in “Scratch, Local, Seasonal” preparation coming from sustainable supplies. Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering specializes in Unique, Boutique Cuisine serving 10 to 100 guests. Chef Lori takes pride in providing menus custom-designed for client preferences. She works with an array of clients from large multi-national corporations to non-profit organizations and individuals, making their events one to remember. To win an Angie’s List Super Service Award, a business must meet strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. “Lula’s is truly honored to be recognized by our clients in this way,” remarked Chef Lori Pierce, owner of Lula’s for Lunch. “We know that every event is special for a different reason, and at Lula’s, we strive to find what is unique for each and bring that flavor to life with boutique cuisine that is fresh, healthy and seasonal. Love truly IS our first ingredient, and it means the world to me that we are loved back!”

Sylvia Buxton, Perfetti Van Melle Lula’s for Lunch

Moellering, 45, has 20 years of experience owning, managing, serving as CFO and selling small businesses in greater Cincinnati. He was the CFO of a successful, $20 million, family-run manufacturing and distribution business and negotiated its later sale when approached by a buyer. He has also seen the other end of the business March/April/May 2016

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Customers have spoken—rating Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering, a Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky catering service run by Chef Lori Pierce, as the top NKY Chamber Business Journal

Perfetti Van Melle USA, the world’s third largest global confectionery and leader in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry, has hired Sylvia Buxton as its new Vice President of Market23

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MEMBER MILESTONES ing. Sylvia is a strategic global marketing executive bringing more than 25 years of dedicated experience in fast moving consumer goods to the maker of Mentos and Airheads. Most recently, Sylvia led a team of marketers in the strategy and marketing of Hershey’s chocolate brands in Canada, Latin America and World Travel Retail. Sylvia also has extensive innovation experience, successfully launching new brands and line extensions for both Hershey and Reckitt Benckiser. “Sylvia’s collaborative leadership style, innovative strategic thinking, and understanding of the unique nuances of fast-moving, confectioner marketing will be valuable as our brands continue to grow in North America,” states Mehmet Yuksek, President and CEO of Perfetti Van Melle, North America. “Since Sylvia’s global marketing experience spans several fast moving consumer good categories, she will be able to share insights with our team that will further enhance our relationships with our consumers.” Talent strategy and executive search firm Centennial conducted Perfetti Van Melle’s search for the position. “Sylvia’s passion for the industry, her accomplishments within it, and her reputation for building team synergy aligns well with the chemistry of Perfetti’s executive team, making her the right fit for the role,” states Mike Sipple Jr., Centennial President. “Sylvia’s experience-fueled energy and enthusiasm for innovation will not only enhance Perfetti’s corporate culture, but their industry momentum as well.” Amsterdam-based Perfetti Van Melle is the third largest manufacturer and distributer of candies and chewing gum. Perfetti Van Melle creates imaginative products and brands that are enjoyed in more than 150 countries. Its North American offices are headquartered in Erlanger, KY.

Bridget Kochersperger, Scooter Media

Scooter Media is pleased to announce the promotion of Bridget Kochersperger to Senior Account Executive. Bridget joined the team in the role of Public Relations Man24

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ager in May 2014, and serves clients in the dining, legal and non-profit categories. Since joining Scooter Media, Bridget has successfully led media relations and social media campaigns at local and regional levels for clients including Tom+Chee, Dream Dinners, People Working Cooperatively, Bouquet Restaurant, and Vision One Eye Care. Bridget is a graduate of Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism, and is a resident of Fort Thomas, KY. She currently serves as the Membership Director for Cincinnati PRSA.

Nolan Calhoun, Wood Hudson’s Undergraduate Research Education Program

Nolan Calhoun, a 2015 student in Wood Hudson’s Undergraduate Research Education Program presented his research findings on February 25 at the 15th Annual Posters-at-the-Capitol program in Frankfort, KY. Posters-at-the-Capitol is a celebration of the research and scholarly achievements of undergraduates across Kentucky. Calhoun, a senior at Gatton Academy (Western Kentucky University) presented his research findings from when he did a summer research internship at Wood Hudson. His presentation to state legislatures, policy makers, members of the Executive Branch, as well as Commonwealth policy makers, focused on incidences of the *6A variant on exon 1 and the single nucleotide polymorphism on exon 7 of the transforming growth factor-beta receptor type 1 gene in colorectal cancer patients with more than one tumor. This study investigated the incidence of two germline variants in patients with multiple forms of cancer. The study found that variant patients were older, female, and had a shorter lifespan. “I was so excited to be a part of this extraordinary event,” said Nolan. He went to say, “It is very important to show that funding drives research, and in turn, research drives toward the cure.” Nolan’s presentation reminded legislators why funding for science education is so vital for students

pursuing scientific and medical fields. Wood Hudson’s Undergraduate Research Education Program (UREP) offers college students the opportunity to work alongside scientists and physicians doing handson biomedical cancer research and the chance to learn basic research techniques. To date, over 280 students have taken advantage of this internship. To learn more about the program visit Wood Hudson is a not-for-profit, publicly supported, research institute dedicated to the discovery of new knowledge regarding the cases, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. Because the Laboratory is a not-for-profit enterprise, no organization or individual profits financially from it operation, and all discoveries resulting from ongoing research are freely given to the scientific and medical communities through promptly reported, peer-reviewed publications.

Jim Huff Given Prestigious Achievement Award from KREC

Governor John Y. Brown originally appointed Jim Huff to Kentucky’s Real Estate Commission (KREC) in 1981. Although Jim has not served continuously, he has been a member of the Commission for a total of 26 years. He received appointments from seven Kentucky Governors, including John Y. Brown, Jr.; Martha Layne Collins; Wallace G. Wilkinson; Brereton C. Jones; Paul E. Patton; Ernie Fletcher and Steve Beshear. Jim Huff’s service as Commissioner has been one of achievement and tireless commitment. His vast experience has been instrumental in the success KREC has achieved in meeting its statutory responsibilities. In addition, his service to the Commission has garnered respect for his leadership, not only from the governors that appointed him to the Commission, but also from licensees and commissioners across the Commonwealth. Jim’s advice and perspective have been an integral part of every Commission meeting, and his colleagues on the Commission March/April/May 2016

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MEMBER MILESTONES have valued his experience and knowledge of the industry. They demonstrated their confidence by electing him chairman five times. In recognition of his service Jim’s colleagues on the Commission presented him with the “Kentucky Real Estate Commissioner’s Community Service Award.” This award is given as an expression of appreciation of noteworthy service and for the time and effort given in endeavors of importance to the Kentucky Real Estate Commission and to real estate professionals and consumers.

Bethany Miller, Senior Account Executive, SCOOTER Media

Scooter Media is pleased to announce the hiring of Bethany Miller. Bethany joins the team in the role of Senior Account Executive and will serve clients in the technology and lifestyle categories.

This is the second year the Chick-fil-A Foundation has awarded the True Inspiration Awards, which were inspired by the generosity of Chick-fil-A’s late founder S. Truett Cathy. The grants range from $15,000 to $100,000. Organizations either applied or were nominated by a local Chick-fil-A restaurant franchisee based on the group’s local work to inspire children to become future leaders. The 22 winning organizations range from Our Neighborhood Homework House near Los Angeles, which partners with parents of at-risk children to provide the tools for them to thrive socially and academically, to New York Cares in New York City, which designs volunteer programs and provides meals to help disadvantaged youth and families to break the cycle of poverty.

of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. He added, “Our founder, S. Truett Cathy, dedicated his life to serving his community by helping young people, and we are able to honor his legacy through the True Inspiration Awards.” The True Inspiration Awards are one way the Chick-fil-A Foundation is fulfilling its commitment to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A. The 22 award winners will be honored at a celebratory event in Atlanta this spring. To learn more about the True Inspiration Awards and view a complete list of recipients, visit Inside.chick-fil-a. com/2016-true-inspiration-awards.

“From feeding children a healthy breakfast to helping students start their own business, these organizations are doing remarkable work in education, leadership development and youth entrepreneurship. They inspire young people to dream big, and we want to support that,” said Rodney Bullard, vice president of community affairs for Chick-fil-A and executive director

Prior to joining Scooter Media, Bethany worked for public relations and integrated marketing agencies in Cincinnati where she served clients in a variety of industries including professional services, technology, food products and non-profits. She specializes in media relations, content development and public relations strategy. Bethany earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Miami University. She currently resides in Oakley.

The Chick-fil-A® Foundation Honors Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

The Chick-fil-A® Foundation is honored to announce that the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is on of the recipients of the organization’s 2016 True Inspiration Awards. The 22 deserving not-forprofits, which represent 17 states across the country, are receiving a combined $1.26 million in grants to further their work fostering leadership and entrepreneurial spirit in children. March/April/May 2016

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NKY Chamber Business Journal


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Building NKY’s Future Katie Brass “What drew me...was a lot of momentum, and it was in the community where I love to live.”

Katie Brass came to The Carnegie seeking less responsibility and ended up with more. It’s good for her and Northern Kentucky that she’s passionate about the arts and doesn’t fret over challenges. Brass joined the Covington nonprofit in July 2007 as development director, the same role she held at Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center. When she left the CAC, Brass craved family time, but in November 2008 The Carnegie asked her to become executive director. “It’s no secret, it was not a good time at The Carnegie,” Brass remembers. There had been layoffs six months before she arrived. The gallery had established a reputation for showcasing local art, but that’s about all The Carnegie was known for. The Eva G. Farris Education Center was three years old and still trying to make an impact and the Otto M. Budig Theatre opened in March 2006 without a complete vision for programming. Then the recession hit. Nevertheless, Brass believed in The Carnegie’s potential. “What drew me was there was a lot of momentum, and it was in the community where I love to live,” she says Looking back, Brass realizes that she could have become known as the director who closed The Carnegie. Instead, the operat26

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ing budget has grown from $750,000 to $1.6 million during her tenure. The Carnegie didn’t need a shakeup as much as it needed organization and communication. Her first step was instituting three-year strategic plans to put The Carnegie’s departments on the same path. Any new program would have to tie to the organization’s mission to be Northern Kentucky’s arts leader. The staff’s mindset would shift from reacting to crisis to being proactive. Brass asked her education director what she wanted to do. “She looked at me like I had two heads and said, ‘No one ever asked me that.’ I think that made a big difference,” Brass says. She’s proud The Carnegie is helping to build Northern Kentucky’s future by using arts education to raise children’s self-confidence and shape the next generation of leaders. Since 2007-2008, the education program has grown from serving 5,000 children annually to teaching 51,000, and it is part of the Kennedy Center’s national Partners in Education initiative. As our region lays out a fresh vision for vibrancy and inclusion through the myNKY plan, Brass sees more examples of the arts are leading the way in recreating

nities. She points across the river to the reborn Washington Park. In Covington, the culinary artists at Otto’s led the effort to fix up Goebel Park. Brass is excited about her organization’s role in two more transformations coming to Covington. This summer, The Carnegie’s set-building woodshop will anchor the new creative space in the former Hellmann Lumber Building on Martin Luther King Boulevard. And once the old Lincoln-Grant School is converted into a Scholar House for single parents, The Carnegie will operate a second theater in the restored auditorium. Though energetic about the arts, Brass says she doesn’t consider herself a mover and shaker. She gets down to basics when asked what her generation can do to grow a creative, connected community. “Get involved in giving, start early, even if it’s only $10. You don’t have to be a millionaire to give.” She also suggests engaging with your neighborhood. “Support your local restaurants. They bring the economy back. Go to galleries. Buy art.” “Art inspires conversation,” Brass says. “It’s that simple.” March/April/May 2016

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For nearly 50 years, students have found their spark at NKU. With 15,000 students in graduate and undergraduate programs, online classes, more than 200 student organizations, and hands-on research experiences, we’re proud to be the fastest growing university – with the best value – in Kentucky. Find your spark at NKU. Burn brighter than you’ve ever imagined.

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3/22/2016 11:55:31 AM 12/3/15 11:36 AM


Regional Youth Leadership Local Government and Economic Development Reflection by Vishnu Paranandi, RYL Class of 2016 “I gained an increased understanding of the role of local governments and the types of projects they work on.” On January 21, 2016, the Regional Youth Leadership Class of 2016 kicked off the new year by attending the Local Government and Economic Development Session, held at the Campbell County Fiscal Court. I was very excited for this session as I have a personal interest in government and economics and I wanted to see how these themes affect my city and region, which I care deeply about. To summarize the day, we began by playing a quiz game to help educate ourselves


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on the workings of various local governments. Then we heard from a member of the Cincinnati Police Department as well as a representative from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful who discussed the correlation between urban blight and crime, emphasizing the need to make beautification of our communities a priority to reduce crime and increase quality of life. We then did an activity in groups where we were given a limited amount of taxpayer dollars and a list of potential proj-

ects and were asked to figure out how we were going to allocate the funds. Then, a representative from myNKY, which is an initiative designed to involve the residents of Northern Kentucky in the future of the region, spoke to us, and we set off on a tour of the urban cores of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, led by Eric Avner, the CEO of People’s Liberty. On this tour, we learned about People’s Liberty and the Haile Foundation, who both do philanthropic work for the local community. We visited People’s Liberty’s Globe Gallery,

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IMPACT to see the creative work they do there, as well as various local developments such as Washington Park and Music Hall, Fort Washington Way, Smale Riverfront Park and Carol Ann’s Carousel. After we returned, we participated in a more lengthy activity, where teams represented either companies or communities. Companies were trying to find the best community to relocate their operations to, while communities were trying to lure companies in for economic benefits. Throughout the session, I learned about the wide variety of work that is being done to develop the Cincinnati region. Each activity focused on a different method. These methods include beautifying derelict buildings, deciding how tax dollars will be spent, creating forums for community members to voice their opinions, doing direct philanthropic work, and attracting businesses to the area. Each of these methods has the support of hardworking people who devote themselves to bettering the region, which was a very positive thing for me to learn about and witness. I gained an

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increased understanding of the role of local governments and the types of projects they work on. These range from building new sewer systems to installing body cameras on police uniforms. I learned that every project has its own positive and negative consequences, and that these must be discussed in a political forum for progress to be made. As far as economic development, I gained an understanding of how philanthropic work impacts our region by seeing some of its physical results, such as landmarks that have revitalized the city like Smale Riverfront Park, and by having my eye opened to the process behind such work by seeing it happen in front of my eyes at the Globe Gallery. In general, this session helped my personal leadership goals by reinforcing the idea that work should be impactful. I have always believed this, but have generally tended to think of this on a much more global scale, such as with Model United Nations, a program that I work very hard on. It was exciting to see this concept in action on a local scale, where a positive im-

NKY Chamber Business Journal

pact is clearly being felt. As a result of this session, I have made a goal for myself to get involved with local philanthropic projects and other efforts that help better the city and region. In fact, since the session, I have become communicated with Eric Avner, of People’s Liberty, and hope to work with him or the group in the future. The greatest joy of this session for me was to see people caring for the Cincinnati area. I often hear from people who live here, especially young people, about how this area offers little opportunity or how excited they are to leave the area. I always resented these views and have defended my home region, because I truly love it. That’s why it was so refreshing to see so much work being invested into injecting life into the region. I cherish being part of this region, and am thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn about what makes it so full of life. I hope to share what I‘ve learned with others and open their eyes to the effort being put into making the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky region a great place to live.


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RECOGNIZING 2015 DESIGNEES: Emerging 30 is comprised of local

businesses making a significant economic impact on the community based on annual revenue growth. Winners receive public acknowledgement of their achievements and are encouraged to offer their guidance and advice to help other small businesses grow during special networking and training opportunities tailored specifically to Emerging 30 designees.

possible while teaching his employees to focus on the quality work and to join a BNI chapter. Phil’s key to success is to understand and relate to his employees. He believes in treating them like family. Submitted by: Jennifer Vories, The Vories Team at Keller Wiliams In 2015, Outer Image was honored to receive the Emerging 30 designation, thanks to owner, Phillip Felty’s dedication to customer service, not only to his own customers, but to his team. Outer Image was founded by Phillip in 1997, changing names a few times as his growing company developed and purchased other companies, expanding in the areas of landscape, hardscape, concrete work, and also interior finishes. Outer Image is headquartered in Burlington, Kentucky. In addition to his initial business, and due to the superior job his team offers on the interior part of homes, Phil has created a second division called Inside Images. They concentrate on remodels, drywall, cabinetry, etc. Phil started out solo 19 years ago and has since created a 23 employee company, with over 1000 clients, operating in Northern Kentucky and several areas in Southern Ohio. Phil’s biggest challenge has been finding quality employees, who have the same work ethic, drive, and customer service skills as he and his current team do. He credits his success to his father, Ken. He grew up watching his entrepreneurial dad start up and run a convenience store and driving range in Eastern Kentucky, both of which continue to successfully function. He also states that BNI, Business Networking International, has helped him in many aspects. He has been a BNI member since the start of his business and the platform of BNI has helped him embrace and become at ease with public speaking and forming lifelong relationships. The most important lesson Phil has learned throughout his journey is the significance in keeping the employee count as low as 30

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Concerning advice for starting a business, Charlie offers: “Starting a business is, for most people, really, really difficult. There are definitely going to be failures, mishaps, and unforeseen consequences along the way. Know that going into it and mentally prepare yourself for it because it is going to take some will and determination to get through those difficulties.” Charlie is an admirer of fellow Eastern Kentucky University and Chase College of Law alumni Mr. Dustan McCoy, CEO of Brunswick Corporation, for guiding the public recreational manufacturing company through the recession while moving its stock price from approximately $2.00 to $53.00.

Founded in 2011, Erigo Employer Solutions was chartered to help create a competitive advantage for its clients by offering cost-effective solutions to their challenging human resources management efforts, including:

Submitted by: Larry Nitardy, ComAssist & Scott Malof, Malof & Associates CPAs

• Employer compliance assistance in• • • •

cluding Affordable Care Act, Human resources management, Workers’ compensation, Payroll and tax administration, and Employee benefits administration.

In 2015, Erigo was a first-time Emerging 30 honoree. CEO, Charlie Vance, says that the most important lesson he’s learned is that employees are the face of a business and, as such, they can make or break a fledgling operation. Making the right hiring decisions can be very hard for small businesses, but it is absolutely crucial. One of the biggest challenges that Erigo has faced was establishing a health insurance plan that would allow its clients to pool their employees for risk assessment purposes. Establishing that plan, putting the necessary measures in place to ensure compliance, and convincing a major carrier to fully insure the plan took several years. But accomplishing the objective has paid major dividends to Erigo’s clients, as well as to the company itself.

Founded in late 2010 by Jeff Loy and Todd Strottman, DSCS’s goal is to have the happiest expedited “less than truckload” shipping customers in the region. This is the second straight year DSCS has been recognized as an E30 designee. Jeff Loy, Development Director, says “Our major growth is always increased service to current clients. We attribute this to the service we deliver; our team makes our clients happy. Our generic growth has come from gaining influence through networking. We refuse to allow ourselves to be seen or valued as a commodity. So we assess all opportunities critically to make sure when we commit to it we will make the client happy.”

• Superior Operations and Communications Technology

March/April/May 2016

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• To ensure customer satisfaction, DSCS • •

depends on its strengths to separate it from competition: Customer Service driven by allowing employees to make judgments Expedited Freight Services competitive with the largest companies in the world

Asked to provide some advice to others struggling to attain the growth they desire, Jeff offers, “Step back and look at your business plan. You have to have a solid plan, a good product or service to sell, and a great process to deliver it. Then bank on integrity, it will pay off over time; refuse to allow yourself to let people down.” To help clients depend more heavily on DSCS, they are assessing offering selective Truckload services to a select audience in the region in late 2016;

Legion Logistics was the beneficiary of its 3rd consecutive Emerging 30 award in 2015. This is especially remarkable because the company was only founded in 2009. Over the past seven years it has experienced tremendous growth in a highly competitive industry. I’ve asked the founders how they do it. From their answers, one thing was clear: Lacy Starling and Tony Coutsoftides approach their business with a razor-like focus and constantly lean on a very simple set of principles:

• Take care of your customers • Recruit the best people to do this • Retain top talent within the organization.

As for mentors, Jeff points to Ms. Nickie Gibbs, then of Kerry Rockford, who taught him to build relationships base on integrity, and how to sell solutions; both being the foundation of a good business.

When you go to the company’s website, the tagline, “We’ll move just about anything, within reason. OK, anything,” says all that a curious customer really needs to know—“We can’t help you” simply isn’t in

the vocabulary at Legion. Additionally, talented individuals exploring opportunities with the company should look no further than the litany of exciting ‘perks’ and other avenues for career growth that Legion offers to see that the company shines in relation to other logistics providers. Tony and Lacy are cognizant that, in order to continue to grow, they can’t be static. Instead, they must continually identify opportunities for improvement. For example, 2015 marked the first time in company history that they offered international shipping by air and sea, a much-needed service. Also, in response to the competitive nature of recruiting, the company established a Sales Development program that allows interns to serve a vital role during their tenure and also potentially develop into future employees and brand ambassadors. As a company with 55 employees that started from scratch several years ago, Legion Logistics is the epitome of an Emerging 30 company. Submitted by: Keith Carlson, Silverstone Capital Advisors, LLC

Todd hapships the ecog-

“Our rvice his to makes h has h netes to o we make make


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3/22/2016 11:55:41 AM

Thank You to our NEW MEMBER ENGAGEMENT Title Sponsor!

ZoneCG for support of: • Getting the Most From Your Chamber Membership • Your Chamber is a Goldmine

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4/7 ALICE (Active Shooter Response)Training 4/9 LEGACY YP Day at Keenland 4/14 Getting the Most from Your Chamber

6/3 LNK 2017 Application Due 6/8 Employer Solutions: HR & Labor Law Webinar


4/14 Employer Solutions Series: HR & Labor Law Webinar Series – Eliminating Workplace Harassment

4/14 Employer Solutions: 2016 Wellness Challenge Awards Culminating Event

4/15 Government Forum with Attorney General Andy Beshear

4/19 Eggs ‘N Issues: The Cincinnati Reds 4/21 LEGACY Cincinnati Zoo Tour 4/25 Women’s Initiative CONNECT Hour- Fort Thomas Antiques & Design Center

Series: Conducting Lawful & Effective Workplace Investigations

6/14 Women’s Initiative Golf Outing 6/16 Getting the Most from Your Chamber Membership

6/20 Employer Solutions: Cyber Security, Lunch ‘N Learn

6/21 Eggs ‘N Issues 6/21 Thought Leadership Series, Lunch ‘N Learn with NKU’s ELOC program

6/29 Women’s Initiative Regional Summit: It’s Time to Take the Lead

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4/28 Women’s Initiative GROW Gathering

May: 5/5 Women’s Initiative Professional Series; Strategic Networking

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5/12 NKY Chamber Board of Director’s Retreat 5/13 LNK 2016 Commencement 5/17 Eggs ‘N Issues 5/18 LEGACY Coffee & Conversation 5/19 2016 Employment Extravaganza Job Fair 5/20 Sporting Clay Shoot 5/23 Women’s Initiative CONNECT Hour Mellow Mushroom

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Business After Hours @ Mellow Mushroom NKY Chamber Business Journal


3/22/2016 11:56:03 AM


Hampton Inn - Newport

Hampton Inn: JDL Construction: Jim Mehringer, Park National Bank: Jay Hanson, Hampton NKY Hospitality: Shaun Pan, President and Owner, Scarlet- Rae Marshall, Steve Chen, Owner | NKY Chamber: Trey Grayson | Hampton NKY Hospitality: Lee Pan, Owner | 222 York Street, Newport, KY 41071| 859.652.8730 |

The Point/ARC Coffee Shop (Point Perks) - Covington

The Point / ARC Coffee Shop: The Covington community gathered for a festive celebration to commemorate the opening of Point Perks. W. Pike Street, Covington, KY 41011 | 859.491.919 |

Raising Cane’s - Florence

Raising Cane’s: Matt Ryder, Eva Wheately, Jacob Evers, Jeff Shermer, Scott Brandenburg, Chris Wade | Ribbon Cutting Sponsor L & N Federal Credit Union: Ellen Barnett | Northern Kentucky Chamber: Trey Grayson, Rosie Deckert | 8020 Burlington Pike Florence, KY 41041 | 859.757.4443 |


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March/April/May 2016

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Home Instead Senior Care - Fort Mitchell

Home Instead Senior Care: Patty Campbell, Amy Sipple, Molley Neace, Katie High, Katarina Marsh, Eric Schuermann, Arli Schuermann | City of Fort Mitchell: Mayor Jude Hehman, Mike Stoeckle, and Sharmili Reddy | Ambassador: Brian Ruschman | Ribbon Cutting Sponsor L & N Federal Credit Union: Ellen Barnett | 224 Grandview Drive, Suite 100 Fort Mitchell, KY 41017 | 859.282.8682 |

Pet Supply Plus - Fort Mitchell

Pet Supply Plus: Angie Finke, Ken Schmahl, Lauren Roderick, Victoria Austin and Patches is the PSP mascot dog in costume Bentley is the German shorthaired pointer | City of Fort Mitchell: Mayor Jude Hehman, Mike Stoeckel, Kim Nachazel, and Sharmili Reddy | Ambassadors: Brian Ruschman, Scarlet Rae Marshall, and Steve Brunson | Ribbon Cutting Sponsor: L & N Federal Credit Union: Valerie Johnson | 2180 Dixie Hwy. Fort Mitchell, KY| 859. 331.0111 |

Ribbon Cutting Sponsored By: We want to help you promote and celebrate your ribbon cutting ceremony for your new facility, expansion, anniversary celebration or open house! We’ll bring our trademark giant blue scissors, a group of Chamber ambassadors, and a camera to capture the excitement of your special day. Call Lynn Abeln at 859-578-6390 to schedule your FREE ribbon cutting today!

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NKY Chamber Business Journal


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