The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) will round out its team at 14 members with two employee additions, both in newly created positions.

Kim Spreder started in the role of Workforce Development Manager in November, and Mark Grauwelman joined as Real Estate and Project Manager in December.

Both Spreder and Grauwelman will play pivotal roles working on two Build + Elevate NKY initiatives, Deliver Customized Workforce Solutions and Activate the Northern Kentucky Port Authority (NKPA).

BE NKY raised more than $4.6 million through the Build + Elevate NKY investor campaign, which funds four key initiatives over the next 5 years that are designed to increase prosperity in the Northern Kentucky region.

In her role, Spreder is responsible for leading the Workforce initiative by determining the root causes of Northern Kentucky’s workforce challenges, engaging existing tradable sector employers in ascertaining current workforce needs and gaps, and identifying workforce trends to prepare for future business growth.

Spreder previously worked for Brighton Center, Inc. in multiple capacities, most recently at the Kentucky Career Center as the Regional Workforce Strategies Coordinator.

“We know from our business retention outreach that workforce is the number one challenge employers are facing,” said Vice President of Economic Development Kimberly Rossetti. “Kim’s expertise with the Northern Kentucky workforce ecosystem will help BE NKY connect companies to the resources that can best address their needs.”

Spreder graduated from Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

“Joining BE NKY allows me the opportunity to build on my relationships with Northern Kentucky’s workforce community and explore the root causes of Northern Kentucky’s workforce challenges,” said Spreder.

In the real estate position, Grauwelman will assist in BE NKY’s initiative to “activate the Northern Kentucky Port Authority.”

Activating the Port involves identifying, controlling, preparing, and promoting sites for private commercial and industrial development and redevelopment that exceeds community employment and wage targets. Grauwelman will help develop a fiscal sustainability plan for the Port.

“Grauwelman’s real estate and banking experience will be an enormous asset to our team as we work to increase the industrial land available in Northern Kentucky,” said Vice President of Strategy Christine Russell. “Mark is a great fit for our team and we are excited to have him on board.”

Grauwelman most recently worked for the U.S. Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program as an Operations Analyst, administering phase II research and development contracts.  He is a graduate of the nine-month Real Estate Accelerator Lab (REAL) program, run by ULI Cincinnati, designed to educate and mentor the next generation of Greater Cincinnati real estate professionals. He also previously worked as a senior mortgage loan processor at NVR Mortgage Finance Inc. and a personal banker at Fifth Third Bank.

He has a master’s degree in public administration from NKU and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati.

“The opportunity to help execute the real estate and financial strategy of the Port from the early stages of its activation is very exciting,” said Grauwelman. “Creating opportunities through collaborative efforts, seeing complex projects through to completion and witnessing the positive outcome of those efforts is immensely rewarding and appealing to me.”

BE NKY is on pace to exceed its 2022 targets for projects, jobs and capital investment, building on its accomplishments each of the past two years. The company exceeded its 2021 and 2020 targets. In 2021, BE NKY supported 27 companies with expansions or new location announcements with 1,851 jobs and $255M in capital investment in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.

Since its founding in 1987, BE NKY has led the successful relocation or expansion efforts for 746 business projects, representing more than 71,800 primary industry jobs created with a capital investment of more than $9 billion.

About BE NKY

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

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