FT. MITCHELL, KY (March 13, 2019) – After an extensive national search, Lee Crume has been selected as the new President and CEO of the BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY). Crume was approved by the BE NKY board earlier this week and will begin his position April 8.

“BE NKY is entering a transformative phase defined by substantial growth and development of jobs, talent and the business environment,” said Crume. “I’m honored to take the reins and lead the community into its thriving future in partnership with the BE NKY Board, the Commonwealth, the region and our many partners.”

Crume steps into this leadership role with more than 25 years of economic development and corporate experience, most recently in the position as Global Director of Business Development for JobsOhio, a Columbus, Ohio-based non-profit organization designed to drive job creation and new capital investment. During his time with JobsOhio, Crume led the initiative to increase the volume and velocity of sales for private sector businesses located in eight Ohio regions.

In addition to Crume’s appointment, the BE NKY Board has approved the election of Bob Heil, CEO of KLH Engineers, as Chairman of the Board, and Candace McGraw, CEO of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, as Vice Chairwoman. The rest of the Executive Committee rounds out with Kimberly Halbauer, Fifth Third Bank; Aaron Bludworth, FERN; and county Judge-Executives Gary Moore, Boone County; Steve Pendery, Campbell County and Kris Knochelmann, Kenton County. The 23-member BE NKY board is comprised of business leaders from both the private and public sectors.

“We are excited to step into our new leadership roles and to welcome Lee to BE NKY and to the Northern Kentucky region. He brings significant experience in business development, along with a proven track record of helping both public and private sector organizations grow and succeed,” said Heil. “He’s a leader who can help us establish a foundation for success for the next 30 years or more.”

BE NKY conducted an extensive mission review in 2018, culminating in the hiring of Crume and the reconstitution of the board. A national consultant was engaged to identify priorities for economic development and growth in Northern Kentucky.

“The announcement of Lee Crume, Bob Heil and Candace McGraw represents a new chapter for BE NKY and a new day for Northern Kentucky,” said BE NKY’s Past Chair and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore.  “These changes position our community for strategic economic development growth as so many areas of our community continue to accelerate and transform. It is an exciting time for our community.”

The process to select a new BE NKY president and CEO began in October 2018. Chaired by McGraw, the seven-member search committee conducted an exhaustive national search before presenting Crume as the top candidate. The BE NKY board approved Crume’s selection at its March board meeting.

“Lee is the ideal business leader for this role.  The search committee conducted an extensive search for potential candidates and we have every confidence that we have found a true professional and collaborator with Lee,” said McGraw.