MPA alumni lead NKY economic development program to international award

For immediate release…
Monday – Oct. 14, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University Master of Public Administration alumni Wade Williams and Dustin Lester have led a northern Kentucky business retention and expansion program to an international economic development award.

The NKY Boost Program, created and managed within the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Northern Kentucky Tri-ED), has been selected by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award. Northern Kentucky Tri-ED was honored at last week’s IEDC Annual Conference in Philadelphia.

NKY Boost is the enhanced Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) program of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, representing Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. The program coordinates a systematic and extensive business visitation program with local communities utilizing customized software solutions. Intelligence gained from these coordinated visits helps identify expansion opportunities, troubleshoot problems, provide resources, expand market reach and engender new capital investment and job growth.

“NKY Boost provides a business in our region with a single point of contact for a wide range of assistance opportunities for expansion and immediate operations, identifying potential tax incentives and workforce grants, recruiting workforce and making connections with regional partners,” said Williams, vice president of BR&E at Northern Kentucky Tri-ED.

Last year, when Northern Kentucky Tri-ED re-launched and re-branded its BR&E program as NKY Boost, Williams and Lester, a BR&E manager, visited 47 primary industry businesses that represented 16,702 employees, or 34 percent or the primary industry workforce. So far in 2013, NKY Boost has met with more than 100 businesses and expects to meet with nearly 100 more to reach an ambitious annual goal of 200 business visits per year.

The IEDC honors organizations and individuals that are dedicated to making a positive change in their communities, according to IEDC chair Paul Krutko.

“The Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize Northern Kentucky Tri-ED as being one of the leading organizations in the industry for innovation, creativity and successful strategies,” he said. “This organization uses creative solutions and inventive ideas, and offers other regions a wonderful example to learn and benefit from. The award represents an acknowledgment and appreciation for Northern Kentucky Tri-ED’s dedication to continuous growth within itself, as well as improving the industry overall.”

Dan Tobergate, president and CEO of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, commended Williams, Lester and Tri-ED’s BR&E Committee. “I want to congratulate them on this award and thank them,” he said. “They set aggressive goals and are making northern Kentucky a better place to do business. The majority of new jobs created in our region are from our existing companies, we’re doing everything we can to smooth the way for their growth and success.”

About Northern Kentucky Tri-ED
Founded in 1987, the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) serves as the primary economic development marketing agency for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky. Since 1987, 575 companies have located or expanded in Northern Kentucky accounting for the creation of 48,391 new primary jobs for a total of 115,285 jobs created. These jobs have generated an economic impact of $25B. New and expanding companies have accounted for $6.6B in capital investment. Tri-ED is a key partner in Vision 2015, a 10-year strategic plan for growth in the region. For more information, visit Northern Kentucky Tri-ED can also be followed through social media channels via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. To sign up for NKY Thrives e-newsletter, please visit

About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions.

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