Cincinnati, OH — Yesterday, REDI Cincinnati hosted its seventh annual meeting virtually with more than 200 guests to celebrate the region’s 2020 project wins, present its annual awards, and look at what to expect for the region’s economic development efforts in 2021. David Spaulding, vice president and general manager of Turner Construction, and chairman of REDI Cincinnati’s executive committee and board, opened the meeting by thanking investors for their support and recognizing the REDI Cincinnati team for its work in 2020.
“We recognize that this past year was especially challenging for some of you and we’d like to extend our sincere gratitude for your support,” said Spaulding. “It’s your support that made it possible for the REDI Cincinnati team to overcome the obstacles of 2020 and grow the region.”
During the event, REDI Cincinnati’s President and CEO Kimm Lauterbach shared highlights of 2020, including project wins from regional economic development partners like Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and One Dearborn, Inc.
2020 Regional Year-End Metrics (Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, Southeast Indiana)
- 82 Project Wins
- 4,027 New Jobs Created
- $237.2 Million New Payroll
- $1.3 Billion New Capital Investment
2020 REDI Cincinnati Metrics (Southwest Ohio only)
- 53 Project Wins
- 2,414 New Jobs Created
- $121.7 Million New Payroll
- $1.0 Billion New Capital Investment
During the meeting, Lauterbach recapped the historic number of companies that REDI Cincinnati supported and engaged with in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included more than 250 meetings with local companies resulting in 140 referrals to partner organizations serving as a resource for creative business solutions. REDI Cincinnati’s key work in 2020 included supporting 25 local companies with the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant, which provides financial support to eligible businesses in designated distressed communities or businesses owned by underrepresented populations in Ohio.
“In 2020, we reaffirmed the resilience of the Cincinnati region, which has proven itself throughout the pandemic and gained the attention of publications like the Wall Street Journal,” said Lauterbach. “A year later, I can feel the optimism and confidence from our team and our partners. We see that this region is positioned to come out on the other side stronger than ever.”
Lauterbach outlined the region’s economic development priorities for 2021 aimed at positioning the Cincinnati region for a strong recovery, which include marketing the Cincinnati Innovation District® as a prime location for businesses to recruit talent and develop their next idea. Other initiatives will involve establishing new centers of excellence centered around the biohealth industry and logistics technology.
The Annual Meeting also served as an opportunity to present this year’s James A. Wuenker Growth Awards. The Growth Awards recognize the most consequential projects announced in the previous year that have made a significant economic impact on the Cincinnati region. These projects may entail large numbers of new jobs or capital investment, but they also are meaningful new developments in the local communities that make them possible. The award pays tribute to Jim Wuenker, a renowned economic developer who shaped the future of the region and played a critical role in major projects such as Fidelity Investments’ Covington campus and Miller Brewing in Butler County. Jim is an inspiration to all economic developers in the Cincinnati region and the Growth Awards are a true testament to his leadership and impact. Below are this year’s winners:
- Gravity Diagnostics | 365 New Jobs | $3.7 Million Capital Investment
- KAO USA Inc. and The William Powell Company | 54 New Jobs | $38.7 Million Capital Investment
- Nestlé-Purina Petcare | 300 New Jobs | $550 Million Capital Investment
- Saica Group | 64 New Jobs | $72 Million Capital Investment
This year, David J. Adams, chief innovation officer for the University of Cincinnati, was honored as the recipient of the William T. “Bill” Robinson III “Upward & Onward!” award, named in honor of the late attorney William T. Robinson, whose contributions to economic development throughout the last four decades as one of the region’s most respected business leaders continues to drive the Cincinnati business community today. In his role at the University of Cincinnati, Adams is responsible for leading the Cincinnati region’s efforts for the Cincinnati Innovation District. He is also an outgoing member of REDI Cincinnati’s executive committee and has generously given his time, talent and knowledge to other organizations working to grow the Cincinnati region.
“ Thanks to the entire REDI team for your collective efforts to strengthen our region,” said Adams. “This is clearly a collective effort and it’s a team sport, and as I say, stay tuned, we’re just getting started.”
Before concluding the meeting, Lauterbach honored JobsOhio for its ten-year anniversary. JobsOhio was a founding supporter of REDI Cincinnati when it was formed in 2014. J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO, shared remarks during the meeting to commemorate the occasion.
“As our regional partner, REDI Cincinnati plays an essential role in moving Ohio’s economic development efforts forward and ensuring future opportunities to bring jobs and investment to the region,” said Nauseef. “I’d like to offer my congratulations to the 14 Growth Award finalists and the four winners. While many would rather forget 2020, we saw great collaboration to ensure that the Cincinnati region has a path forward.”
The evening ended with final words from George Vincent, managing partner and chairman of Dinsmore and vice chairman of REDI Cincinnati’s executive committee and board.
“Today, the call to action to be resilient, to stay strong, to remain competitive, and to invest in our region’s economic development activities is paramount with our recovery efforts,” said Vincent. “The level of engagement and collaboration across our region is what sets us apart, and it creates the path forward for our recovery and continued growth.”
About REDI Cincinnati
The Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati is the first point-of-contact for companies locating or growing in the 16-county region at the heart of southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana. REDI Cincinnati is supported by top business leaders and community partners and staffed by a team of economic development experts who are uniting the Cincinnati region to compete globally.
The future is bright, and we’re building it, right now. Join us at REDICincinnati.com. #REDIPathForward
Contact: Jake Hesseling