A banner outside the Monarch Building on Fourth Street, the future home of Northern Kentucky’s law firm, DBL Law.
Don’t listen to us, let the business executives explain
COVINGTON, Ky. - With about 1,000 jobs announced in Covington since March 1 and a seemingly unending plethora of unique and high-profile economic development headlines recently, clearly something is catching the attention of big-time decision-makers and convincing them to invest in LoveTheCov.
What is it, exactly?
Four leading executives of high-profile companies that recently made the decision to relocate to or expand in the city were featured guests on a virtual panel discussion Thursday for the Covington Business Council’s July meeting.
They explained Covington’s appeal using phrases and words like “cool vibe” ... “welcoming attitude” ... “freshness” ... “vibrancy” ... “walkability” ... “support for businesses” ... “totally responsive” ... and “community.”
To Covington Economic Development Director Tom West, those words were the proverbial music to his ears.
“My department can promote the heck out of all the great reasons why Covington is a great place to do business, but I think when you hear the CEOs of companies that have actually made the move, invested the money, and put down roots here talk about why it was a great decision, that has more street cred and means way more to those considering a move here,” West said.
As the City prepares to make several more high-profile announcements in the coming weeks and continues to take steps to improve its business climate - including tweaking its package of incentives, expanding Wi-Fi access, and adopting a radically more user friendly approach to zoning - leaders in Covington want to amplify the voices of those executives.
Northern Kentucky’s largest law firm is moving close to 80 employees from a suburban location to the Monarch Building on Fourth Street in Covington once the $11.3 million renovation and expansion of that historic structure is finished. See release, HERE
Said Bob Hoffer, managing partner: “When we look at the vibrancy in Covington right now ... it’s kind of an avalanche of everyone wants to be there, and we do too. ... All of our employees are excited by the opportunity, the freshness ... We’re all in (on Covington). ... (The 26 partners made the decision based on) what’s going to be best for our clients, short and long term, and what’s going to help us attract talent.”
Hilltop Basic Resources
The Tristate’s leading supplier of construction materials is moving its corporate headquarters from Cincinnati to RiverCenter I, including its C-suite executives, accounting, finance, human resources and IT departments, likely by the end of August. See release, HERE
Said Kevin Sheehan, president: “We were met with nothing but open arms by everyone we dealt with in Covington and Northern Kentucky. ... Our employees are very excited about going across the river ... There’s a vibrancy over in Covington with all the development there. ... I’ve spent a lot of time running through, walking through, and eating in establishments in Covington. ... The biggest difference was the extent to which we actually felt very welcomed over in Covington. I mean that across the board with everybody we dealt with.”
The company - which employs innovative assessment, management, and communications technologies to help clients hire high-profile talent - moved its corporate headquarters from Pennsylvania to RiverCenter I, arriving June 1. For a release about Gentis and others, see HERE
Said Tom Flessor, COO: “From day 1, it’s been hectic - everyone’s been so welcoming, it’s just turned our business into an accelerated mode we did not expect so quickly. ... Covington’s got a more open, welcoming feel. We’ve got everything pretty much within walking distance of our office. I just can’t see how we could have done better anywhere else. It’s just been a great move for us. Wish we’d done it even sooner.”
The fast-growing technology engineering firm decided to stay in Covington but relocate to a bigger space in RiverCenter I as it prepares to triple its workforce. For a release about STEP CG and others, see HERE
Said Ed Walton, CEO: “We looked upriver, downriver and across the river, met with a lot of folks, toured a lot of properties. ... At the end of the day, we chose Covington for a number of reasons and I really think it was the people ... the willingness to work with and support small businesses. We just felt a certain vibe. It’s a cool vibe. ... the overall community, the business climate, what’s happening - we just felt like Covington was the right fit, the right vibe. Quite honestly, it’s moving fast. They’re making things happen. ... When you get to meet the people, I think that’s what sets it apart. ... We’re big believers in community, and we’re big believers in where Covington is going.”
Courtesy of the Covington Business Council’s YouTube channel, the full video can be seen HERE
. Note that West gives a short summary of recent news in Covington starting at the 6:30 mark. The first business executive starts talking about Covington at 16:36.
The business council’s executive director, Pat Frew, said about 100 people watched the virtual discussion live and others have checked in since then. The CBC, which has over 400 members, holds monthly meetings (which used to be luncheons, before the pandemic).
He said this panel and its discussion was particularly important because it featured the business executives themselves.
“These guys are not getting paid to say nice things about their experiences in Covington,” Frew said. “Their enthusiasm about moving here speaks volumes about why they’re here. ... It’s amazing what’s going on in the city.”
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