Lee Crume is President & CEO of BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY), the economic development company that works to attract, retain, and grow businesses in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.
Appointed in April 2019, Lee brings extensive private sector business expertise to his role leading the team at BE NKY. Lee and his team have been successful in exceeding the company’s targets for capital investment and jobs announced in 2021 and 2022, despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, BE NKY won 19 projects, representing 2,356 new jobs and $292M in capital investment. The advanced manufacturing sector led project wins and capital investment, and the supply chain management sector led job growth.
With Lee’s leadership, BE NKY launched Build + Elevate NKY, a five-year investor campaign, in February 2022. The plan encompasses four key strategies that include data-informed decision-making, workforce solutions, targeted business growth and activating the Northern Kentucky Port Authority. The pursuit of strategies aligned with these four initiatives will lead to increasing opportunity and prosperity for all Northern Kentuckians.
BE NKY exceeded its $4.5 million Build + Elevate NKY investor campaign goal, and made significant progress on one of the objectives of the initiatives through the launch of the Northern Kentucky Atlas, a data dashboard with more than 200 unique data variables for Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties.
Lee has led the growth of the BE NKY team, with four new positions added in 2022 to support the work of the four initiatives. The company was named a 2021 Best Place to Work finalist by the Cincinnati Business Courier.
Lee is a member of the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2023. He was also named a 2021 NewsMaker by the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Lee’s business development experience in the private sector includes leading domestic and global business development organizations, multi-million-dollar pursuits, and developing the marketing for, and rolling out of, new products and services. His clients included: Fortune 10 to 1,000 organizations, Big 4 and international consulting firms, and various public and private organizations. Lee began his career in leadership roles at UPS, Pitney Bowes, IKON, and DMA.
The economic development industry recognized Lee’s leadership with:
- 2023 Top 50 North America Economic Developer by Consultant Connect
- 2018 Top 50 North America Economic Developer by Consultant Connect
- 2017 Top 50 North America Economic Developer by Consultant Connect
Lee is a member of the Board of Directors for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Greater Cincinnati Foreign Trade Zone, Inc. He has a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from Western Kentucky University.
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