November 16, 2018 – The Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corp. (Tri-ED) has enlisted executive search firm Waverly Partners to lead its search for a new president and chief executive officer. Eric Peterson, managing director and principal in Waverly Partners’ Cleveland office, and Harrison Turnbull, managing director and principal in the Charlottesville, VA office, are heading the search.
Tri-ED, based in Ft. Mitchell, KY, wants a dynamic leader who will help to build a world-class economy in Northern Kentucky through the expansion of existing businesses and creation and attraction of high quality employers, said Waverly Partners. The new CEO will be expected to bring a sense of business urgency to the role and elevate the visibility and functioning of a well-funded, growth organization.
The new CEO will be charged with overseeing and managing all aspects of the organization, said the search firm. This leader will be expected to focus on enhancing awareness of the region’s well developed and supportive ecosystem for established companies and growth-stage organizations, development of plans to enhance the infrastructure and networks needed for companies to flourish, and increasing national awareness of the region’s vibrancy and vitality for business endeavors.
The selected candidate will function as Tri-ED’s chief strategist, innovative thinker and collaborative team leader, said the search firm. The individual will lead overall program development, fund-raising and messaging. The CEO will also have the opportunity and responsibility to bring his or her vision to the organization and then implement necessary structural and organizational changes and reshape and fine-tune the development corporation’s mission, as appropriate.
As part of an ongoing strategic planning process, the CEO will also be responsible for putting into motion economic development initiatives to enhance business creation, expansion, retention and attraction. The new leader will also be expected to deliver the message that Northern Kentucky is an exceptionally attractive place for businesses to grow and prosper.
Candidates for the role should have a bachelor’s degree, but an advanced degree in business, law, public administration or a related discipline is preferred. If a candidate is currently in an economic development leadership role, a demonstrated commitment to continued professional development would be valued, said Waverly Partners.
A Complex Market
The ideal candidate will have experience in a broad leadership role focused on economic development in a complex market, said the search firm. Prospects could come from a variety of business leadership roles, such as the top executive of an economic development-focused organization, a No. 2 or other senior-level executive within such an organization, or a leader from a private sector business or a public sector organization such as a growing municipality or county.
The successful candidate will have the ability to quickly gain credibility with and the confidence of the Northern Kentucky and regional business, political, education and community leadership. A successful track record of progressively responsible career growth and specific experience working with both the public and private sectors is important, said Waverly Partners.
Tri-ED prefers that candidates have economic development experience, including having coordinated with public sector delivery systems and private sector resources to promote the economic development of a community, county or region. Also helpful would be experience in redevelopment, public/private relationships, board relationships, leadership and programmatic success in serving start-up enterprises and small business and working with entrepreneurs, among other qualifications.
Tri-ED was created as a non-profit corporation in 1987. As the first regional economic development organization formed in Kentucky, the organization serves as the primary economic development and marketing agency for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. Tri-ED’s $2 million-plus annual budget is in large part generated through a unique arrangement via fees from rental car customers of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Formed in 2001, Waverly Partners serves Fortune 500 service and manufacturing corporations, chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, non-profit organizations, professional service firms, private equity firms, hospitals and healthcare systems and colleges and universities nationwide.
The firm has a national reputation of serving chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. The American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the national organization for chamber leaders, has designated Waverly Partners as the preferred provider of executive search services. It is the only firm in the country to have earned this distinction.
Mr. Peterson has 25 years of executive search consulting experience with a successful track record of recruiting top and senior leaders to executive management, finance, information systems, sales and marketing, operations and human resources positions. He has served Fortune 1000 corporations, hospitals and healthcare systems, privately held businesses and non-profit organizations. His clients include: the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Tucson Metro Chamber, Ohio Hospital Association, Greater Waco Chamber, United Way, Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Greater Raleigh Chamber, among others.
Mr. Turnbull, who has over 30 years of business, legal and executive search experience, has completed major consulting and executive search assignments for Fortune 500 and private companies in general manufacturing, financial services, industrial, energy, commercial service sectors, and professional services. He has also assisted non-profit clients (chambers of commerce, economic development, and academic institutions) recruit new senior leaders. His clients include: Michelin NA, Nucor Corp., BB&T Capital Markets and the Greenville (SC) Chamber of Commerce, among many others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media