BE NKY Growth Partnership CEO Lee Crume was named one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers of 2023 by Consultant Connect. He is the only recipient from the Greater Cincinnati region.

This is the third time Crume has been recognized with this honor, having been previously named to this list in 2018 and 2017. Crume recently joined the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2023, received an Excellence in Economic Development Award from Site Selectors Guild in 2015, and was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel in 1992 by Gov. Brereton Jones.

Crume has led BE NKY since April 2019. The company won 19 projects in 2022, representing 2,356 new jobs and $292M in capital investment.

With Crume’s leadership, BE NKY launched Build + Elevate NKY, a five-year investor campaign, in 2022. The plan encompasses four key initiatives that will lead to increasing opportunity and prosperity for all Northern Kentuckians: data-informed community decision-making, activate the Northern Kentucky Port Authority, deliver customized workforce solutions, and targeted business growth.

The campaign has raised more than $4.6 million, exceeding the $4.5 million goal. Crume has also led the growth of the BE NKY team, with new positions added in 2022 to support the work of the four initiatives.

“I am honored to be recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers,” said Crume. “Since 2019, our team has seen tremendous success and I am proud to lead BE NKY and help build it into the company it is today.”

About BE NKY Growth Partnership

BE NKY Growth Partnership, the economic development company for Northern Kentucky, provides businesses with the expertise they need to build opportunity in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties. We attract new business and elevate what’s already here to create innovative, forward-thinking, and attractive environments for companies and community success. We serve Northern Kentucky so that our community thrives through the creation of good jobs and a growing and diverse economy. We believe in Opportunity and Prosperity for All Northern Kentuckians. Visit for more information.