REDI Cincinnati hosted its seventh annual virtual meeting with more than 200 guests to celebrate the region’s 2020 project wins, present the annual awards, and review what to expect for the region’s economic development efforts in 2021. David Spaulding, Vice President and General Manager of Turner Construction and Chairman of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of REDI Cincinnati opened the meeting by thanking investors for their support and recognizing the REDI Cincinnati team for their 2020 work.
“We are aware that the past year was a special challenge for some of you, and we would like to thank you very much for your support,” said Spaulding. “It is your support that has enabled the REDI Cincinnati team to overcome the barriers of 2020 and grow the region.”
During the event, REDI Cincinnati President and CEO Kimm Lauterbach shared the highlights of 2020, including project wins from regional economic development partners such as Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and One Dearborn, Inc.
2020 Regional Year End Metrics (Southwest Ohio, North Kentucky, Southeast Indiana)
82 project wins
4,027 new jobs created
$ 237.2 million new payroll
$ 1.3 billion in new capital investment
2020 REDI Cincinnati Metrics (Southwest Ohio only)
53 project wins
2,414 new jobs created
$ 121.7 million new payroll
$ 1.0 billion in new capital investment
During the meeting, Lauterbach summarized the historic number of companies that REDI Cincinnati supported and addressed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included more than 250 meetings with local businesses that resulted in 140 referrals to partner organizations that served as a resource for creative business solutions. One of REDI Cincinnati’s key responsibilities in 2020 included helping 25 local businesses with the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant, which provides funding to eligible businesses in designated distressed communities or businesses with underrepresented populations in Ohio.
“In 2020, we reaffirmed the resilience of the Cincinnati area, which has stood the test of time during the pandemic and attracted the attention of publications such as the Wall Street Journal,” Lauterbach said. “A year later, I can feel the optimism and trust of our team and our partners. We see that this region is positioned on the other side more than ever before. “
Lauterbach outlined the region’s economic development priorities for 2021, which aim to position the Cincinnati region for a strong recovery. That includes marketing the Cincinnati Innovation District® as a premier location for businesses to recruit talent and develop their next idea. Other initiatives include the establishment of new centers of excellence focusing on the bio-health industry and logistics technology.
The annual meeting also provided the opportunity to present this year’s James A. Wuenker Growth Awards. The Growth Awards recognize the follow-up projects announced in the previous year that had a significant economic impact on the Cincinnati region. These projects can generate large numbers of new jobs or capital investments, but they are also significant new developments in the local communities that make them possible. The award pays homage to Jim Wuenker, a renowned economic developer who shaped the future of the region and played an important role in major projects such as Fidelity Investments’ Covington campus and Miller Brewing in Butler County. Wuenker is an inspiration to all business developers in the Cincinnati area, and the Growth Awards are real testament to his leadership skills and impact.
This year’s winners are listed below:
Gravity Diagnosis | 365 new jobs | Capital investment of $ 3.7 million
KAO USA Inc. and The William Powell Company | 54 New Jobs | $ 38.7 million capital investment
Nestlé-Purina Petcare | 300 new jobs | Capital investment of $ 550 million
Saica Group | 64 New Jobs | $ 72 million capital investment
That year, David J. Adams, Chief Innovation Officer of the University of Cincinnati, was named the recipient of the William T. “Bill” Robinson III “Upward & Onward!” Award named in honor of the late attorney William T. Robinson, whose contributions to economic development over the past four decades as one of the most respected economic leaders in the area have propelled the Cincinnati business community to this day. In his role at the University of Cincinnati, Adams is responsible for leading the Cincinnati area’s efforts for the Cincinnati Innovation District. He is also an outgoing member of the Executive Committee of REDI Cincinnati and has generously contributed his time, talent, and knowledge to other organizations working to grow the Cincinnati area.
“Thank you to the entire REDI team for your combined efforts to strengthen our region,” said Adams. “This is clearly a collective effort and a team sport. As I said, stay tuned, we’re just getting started.”
The evening ended with the final words from George Vincent, Managing Partner and Chairman of Dinsmore and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of REDI Cincinnati.
“Today the call to action to be resilient, stay strong, remain competitive and invest in our region’s economic development activities is paramount to our recovery efforts,” said Vincent. “The level of commitment and cooperation in our region sets us apart and paves the way for our recovery and our continuous growth.”