Fort Mitchell, KY (June 22, 2021) – The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) announced today that Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore and the Fiscal Court have appointed Dinsmore partner Lewis Diaz to the BE NKY Board of Directors and will nominate City of Florence Mayor Diane Whalen to the Board.

Mayor Whalen’s one-year term will begin July 1, 2021 when City of Fort Mitchell Mayor Jude Hehman’s term on behalf of Kenton County ends. Mayor Whalen was elected to city council in 1997 and she has been elected the Mayor of Florence, one of Kentucky’s fastest growing communities, in consecutive terms since 1999. The city’s economic development strategy focuses on creating a diverse economy that supports long-term sustainability by building stronger relationships and working with the existing start-up and entrepreneurial community.

“We’re grateful for Mayor Hehman’s business acumen and service on the Board over the last year and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tom Banta, BE NKY Board Chair and Managing Director of Corporex Companies, LLC. “We welcome Mayor Whalen and her expertise leading one of our largest cities, featuring a diverse business base of retailers, restaurants and industrial companies, in Northern Kentucky.”

Lewis Diaz, partner in Dinsmore & Shohl LLP’s Covington, Kentucky office, was appointed to fill the seat previously held by John Hawkins, President and CEO of Management Professional International (MPI) Consulting. Diaz is a member of Dinsmore’s nationally ranked public finance practice which closed 243 financings totaling $5.94 billion in 2020. Active in the community, Diaz serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission and Chair of the Board of Regents of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.

“John Hawkins has been a valuable resource on the Board and I want to thank him for his years of service to BE NKY and the Northern Kentucky community,” said Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore. “The legal and public finance expertise and leadership skills Lewis brings to the Board make him an asset to BE NKY. We’re excited to have him join the Board.”

The Boone County Fiscal Court re-appointed Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) CEO Candace McGraw to a new two-year term. McGraw and Diaz’s terms will expire June 30, 2024.

BE NKY is governed by a twenty-three-member board of directors, comprised of business and community leaders, who are unpaid volunteers. The Boone, Campbell and Kenton County Fiscal Courts each appoint four members of the Board of Directors from their respective counties. On an annual rotating basis, one county recommends a mayor from its county to the BE NKY Executive Committee for nomination to a one-year term. The seven additional Board members are approved by the nominating committee, including the Judges/Executive from Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, Board Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, and then considered and appointed by the full Board of Directors.

About BE NKY

BE NKY serves as the primary economic development company for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, providing marketing, business retention and expansion services for the region.

BE NKY’s vision is opportunity and prosperity for all Northern Kentuckians.