Economic activity in Northern Kentucky last year can best be described as a mixed bag, says Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corp. (Tri-ED) president and CEO Dan Tobergte.

On the plus side was the amount of capital investment, number of development projects and the number of jobs announced, says Tobergte. “Those were all above our 27-year average,” he says.

“The mixed part comes when we have announcements coming from projects like Toyota and then from Fidelity that caused jobs to be lost in the community,” says Tobergte. Northern Kentucky Tri-ED estimates that 1,550 jobs were lost when Toyota announced it would close its Erlanger, Ky., manufacturing and engineering headquarters, which was opened in 1996, to establish a new North American operations headquarters in Plano, Texas.

About 400 jobs were lost when Fidelity Investments announced it would outsource its printing and mailing services to a third-party provider. “But that’s why we’re here as an economic development organization to address some of those inevitable losses that sometimes occur with a replacement and additional jobs,” says Tobergte.

NKY Magazine, with the help of Tri-ED, has compiled the NKY 200 list of the largest employers in the region. The businesses are divided by category but the rankings represent where each company falls on the total 200. Several companies may have the same ranking because they have the same number of employees. The most recent data available was used. The year of origin for each company’s data is included in the list. This database was compiled by NKY Magazine based on information from Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, and the magazine’s own research. Please address questions to President and Publisher Eric Harmon at 513-297-6205 or We welcome your input.

Individual company profiles:

Arnzen, Molloy, Storm & Turner

With eight lawyers and 20 total employees, the Covington law firm of Arnzen, Molloy, Storm & Turner certainly isn’t the largest law firm in Northern Kentucky.

But Mark Arnzen, who founded the law firm in 1982, isn’t trying to be the biggest law firm, just the best.

“A lot of [law] firms have a certain number of people that they hire every year,” Arnzen says. “But that’s not the nature of our business.”

What is the nature of its business is ensuring that its clients get the very best legal representation.

“We take our responsibilities to our clients very seriously and we have significant expertise in the fields that we practice in,” says Arnzen.

“We have a lot of experience both in and out of the courtroom. And we’ve been recognized by our peers as being substantial members of the legal community.”

Arnzen says the law firm primarily handles litigation, professional work representing doctors and lawyers, real estate and corporate work.

Northern Kentucky is a good fit for the law firm because many of the firm’s employees are native to the area, says Arnzen.

“Many of us in the firm grew up here and have a lot of contacts, people that we’ve known and represented for many years,” says Arnzen. “We have a close relationship with our client base because of long-term relationships.”

Because of those close relationships, the law firm is able to offer its clients a very personal service, he says.

Arnzen, Molloy, Storm & Turner is located at 600 Greenup St. in Covington.

– Eric Spangler

DHL Express

A planned expansion is expected to create more than 100 new jobs in the next five years at the DHL Express Americas hub at the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky International Airport.

DHL Express has proposed a $46 million investment for infrastructure and equipment upgrades in its Americas hub at CVG, including new state-of-the-art automated sorting equipment that’s expected to more than double its hourly volume.

If the project wins all the necessary state and local approvals, the logistics company expects to complete the project in early 2016, says Joanie Arias, the hub’s general manager.

“DHL expects to create approximately 120 new positions over the next five years as a result of the increased capacity created by this improvement project,” says Arias. “Of the total, about 40 percent are full-time positions.”

DHL now employs about 2,000 people at its CVG hub, which includes part-time sort personnel and various administrative staff, says Arias.

The proposed expansion at CVG will allow DHL Express to meet the growing demands of its international shipping customers, she says.

“As the largest hub in the Americas, CVG is an integral part of our worldwide network that spans more than 220 countries,” says Arias.

The airport’s location in Northern Kentucky is a key business factor for the company. “The CVG Hub is strategically placed in the U.S. to hit most of our major markets within three hours,” says Arias. “It is the backbone of our Americas Region and from a world perspective makes up one third of DHL’s big yellow machine.”

– ES

Cengage Learning Distribution Center

When you ship more than 50 million school textbooks every year to educators and students in the United States, it helps to have a building in a good location.

Cengage Learning, a Stamford, Conn.-based business that produces print and digital textbooks and other educational materials, has found that good location in Boone County, Ky.

The Cengage Learning Distribution Center, 10650 Toebben Drive, is an 835,000-square-foot facility that includes 775,000 square feet of warehouse space and 60,000 square feet of office space. About 800 people are employed in the building.

The company built the Boone County facility in 2002 because of its central location and easy access to the highway transportation system, says Joe Steffney, senior vice president, global distribution at Cengage Learning.

Access to highways was one of the key location decisions because most of its textbooks are shipped via ground transportation, says Steffney.

“We can deliver by UPS ground to both sides of the country within three days, so it’s a big savings in transportation,” says Steffney.

It takes a high-tech operation to get more than 50 million textbooks out the door. Steffney says Cengage uses a warehouse management system that tracks the entire inventory while using a voice-directed operation that tells workers what to pick and place on the eight miles of conveyors in the building.

“It’s very state-of-the-art, it’s very high-tech, it’s very clean, very bright, it’s a very energetic place,” Steffney says of the Cengage Learning Distribution Center.

And it’s located in a good place.

– ES

St. Elizabeth Healthcare

After recently opening phase one of its new Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth Edgewood in an effort to reduce the number of cardiovascular-related deaths in Northern Kentucky, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is now taking aim at the region’s growing heroin epidemic.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is creating an outpatient clinic to offer new medical interventions and counseling to people who are dependent on opioids.

The creation of the clinic at St. Elizabeth Healthcare is a partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation’s largest nonprofit alcohol and drug treatment provider.

The program combines medicine-assisted treatment—including the use of drugs to help stabilize addicts—and counseling that follows the 12-step addiction recovery method.

Sarah Giolando, St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, says, “St. Elizabeth is committed to working with our many community partners to combat the heroin epidemic in Northern Kentucky.

“One of our specific goals was to reach out to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which is recognized as a best practice chemical dependency program, and work with them to bring this quality program to Northern Kentucky. It is our intention that bringing such a nationally known program to our area will be one more tool in our arsenal to fight this epidemic.”

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is the top employer in the region, with almost 400 doctors and 7,300 associates at six major facilities throughout Northern Kentucky and more than 100 primary care and specialty office locations in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

– ES

TiER1 Performance Solutions

TiER1 Performance Solutions, headquartered in Covington, has been growing every year since it was founded.

Norm Desmarais, chairman of TiER1 Performance Solutions and one of the co-founders of the company, says, “We have been growing pretty much year over year since the day we started the business, almost 25 to 30 percent every single year. We’ve been on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies list for eight straight years now.”

This year looks to be no different. Desmarais says the company is projecting a 35 percent growth in 2015. “That is going to occur both organically from the investments we’ve made, but we’re also looking potentially to grow some additional markets in other cities,” says Desmarais.

Desmarais co-founded the company in 2002 with Greg Harmeyer and Kevin Moore. “One day, there were three of us in one office with two desks,” says Desmarais.

The company now employs a total of 130 people, with 70 of those located at its headquarters at 100 E. RiverCenter Blvd. in Covington. The company also has offices in Pittsburgh, Chicago and Denver. The company plans to hire 30 new employees in 2015, Desmarais says.

The company crafts and delivers people-centered business solutions, such as leadership development, training, and change management strategies, says Desmarais.

The decision to locate its headquarters in Covington in 2011 has exceeded expectations, adds Desmarais.

“The Riverfront buildings here are just beautiful. We look over downtown Cincinnati, we’ve got a beautiful view of the Roebling Bridge, and so it’s just been a real big benefit for us here,” Desmarais says.

– ES

WILD Flavors

The WILD Flavors campus in Erlanger will soon be manufacturing high-tech jobs in addition to the natural ingredients it supplies to the food and beverage industry.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), which recently bought WILD Flavors, plans to open a new information technology and support center in an unoccupied building on the WILD Flavors Erlanger campus.

The center is expected to open in the second half of 2015 with approximately 100 contractors and ADM employees, says Marty Schoenthaler, ADM’s chief information officer.

The new information technology and support center staff is expected to expand to approximately 200 ADM employees, the majority of the positions newly created as ADM expands its global IT support and infrastructure, says Schoenthaler.

ADM will be looking to fill a wide variety of positions at the Erlanger center, including project managers, business analysts and solution integrators, he says.

“We considered other locations, but in the end, co-locating this facility with our WILD Flavors offices in Erlanger offered us a wealth of advantages,” Schoenthaler says.

“We will also be able to recruit from a strong local talent pool in Northern Kentucky, and we will have quick and easy access to a major airport,” Schoenthaler says.

WILD Flavors, one of the world’s leading suppliers of natural ingredients to the food and beverage industry, has been in operation in Northern Kentucky since 1994 and currently employs about 440 people.

ADM is one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers.

– ES