Danville Main Street director to lead RCov

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Nick Wade is the new executive director of Renaissance Covington.

Wade described as ‘innovative adventurist’
COVINGTON, Ky. - The organization that works full time to energize Covington’s urban core with creative place-making, special events, and community programming has a new executive director for the first time in almost a decade.
Nick Wade, who has held a similar role for the City of Danville in Boyle County for four years, was named this morning as executive director of Renaissance Covington, or RCov. He replaces Katie Meyer, who left in January to take a job with Cincinnati Bell/CBTS.
“We are thrilled to have Nick join Renaissance Covington. His experience and creativity are assets for our organization and our community,” said Rebekah Gensler, president of RCov’s Board of Directors, who previously said that the “rigorous” regional search had produced 13 candidates.
RCov is an independent, non-profit organization funded partially by the City of Covington, which had several administrators involved in the search.
City Economic Development Director Tom West, who helped conduct interviews, said Wade brings an ideal attitude and personality to the organization.
“I was extremely impressed by Nick’s balance of professionalism and what I would call a risk-taking, innovative adventurist approach that I think is going to fit perfectly with Covington’s quirky vibe and identity,” West said.
“Katie Meyer left some big shoes to fill, and I am extremely confident that Nick will build on that foundation and help the board take RCov to new places,” he said.   
Wade is a native Kentuckian and has served as director of the Heart of Danville Main Street Program since 2015.
While in Danville, he helped install the first large-scale mural in the downtown area, developed a monthly concert series, and led the most successful membership drive in the program’s 32-year history. Previously, he was a publicist to country music artists in Nashville. He holds a B.A. in public relations from Eastern Kentucky University.
Wade said he was very familiar with Covington and called the city a “unique Kentucky destination” and the job “a dream come true.”
“For the last three years, my husband and I have been visiting Covington, (and) between attending Renaissance Covington events, enjoying the great restaurants, and the all-around vibe of Covington, we have fallen in love with the community,” Wade said.
He said he and his husband and their three dogs are looking forward to joining Covington in the coming weeks, with his first day at RCov being March 11.
Meyer praised Wade’s selection and said he “has all the right talents, passion, and tenacity to continue the organization's mission and build on the momentum in our downtown.”
Among Wade’s first tasks will be helping to host the 40th Anniversary Conference of the Kentucky Main Street Program, which takes place in Covington on April 23-25. It will bring some 150 officials from cities and towns in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky here to discuss strategies to increase social and economic vitality.
During RCov’s annual report to the Covington City Commission in late January, Meyer and Gensler reviewed some of the organization’s many activities and initiatives in 2018 in Covington’s Central Business District, including: 
  • Working with Cincinnati Bell to bring a free public WiFi network to Covington’s urban core that provides wireless connections in public areas, uses a captive portal to give wayfaring information, and collects data about visitors’ habits for local businesses.
  • Creating a pop-up green space on Scott Boulevard called Madhatter Park.
  • Expanding the Covington Farmers Market to a year-round event.
  • Starting the monthly Pike Street Stroll, which showcased retail shops, restaurants and local musicians.
  • Covington Outdoors Weekend.
  • Small Business Saturday.
  • The Northern Kentucky Pride Parade.
  • Bridge Folk Music & Arts Festival.
For more information about Renaissance Covington or to get involved, visit www.rcov.org.
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