New Leadership Local Connection

The buzz these days is all about Trey Grayson’s return home to take the helm of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. The former secretary of state and most recently director of the Harvard Institute of Politics was ready to bring his family—wife, Nancy, and two daughters—back to Kentucky where the family still owns a home.

Taking charge of the region’s most influential business organization seems to be a great move—for Grayson and the Chamber.

He replaces long-time Chamber President Steve Stevens, who moved to a chamber position in Spokane. Local businessman Brent Cooper of C-Forward served as interim president during the search for Stevens’ successor.

Grayson has deep roots in Northern Kentucky, as he’s the son of prominent banker Mer Grayson and Susan, and is a graduate of Dixie Heights High School.

 “The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has been the most important organization in the region,” Grayson says. “It is an honor to lead an organization with a mission to strengthen business and improve our quality of life.

 “This is the perfect job to come home to. I am confident that I have the track record of consensus building and organizational leadership necessary for the Chamber.

“I have bipartisan respect in Frankfort, and I am known for consensus building and modernizing organizations.”
 Chamber Chairwoman Debbie Simpson, president of Multi-Craft, agrees, saying, “Grayson brings exceptional experience and qualifications to help the Chamber achieve its major goals.”

Grayson started the job July 1.

Changing Times

The Economy Meat Market in downtown Covington, owned by Ed Bessler and his wife, Maureen, has been a mainstay for more then 50 years. Times change, of course, even for family businesses, and the market has been sold to an as-yet undisclosed buyer. Everyone’s hoping the new owner will continue the market—it is the last of its kind in downtown Covington.

Surprising Dining

Three downtown establishments have been rated by the website Impulcity as among the 15 most underrated places to eat and/or drink in the Cincinnati area: Dee Felice, Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar and Main Bite (which is featured in this issue), all in Covington’s Mainstrasse Village. Have you tried them?

Clear Skies Ahead

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport CEO Candace McGraw has plenty to be happy about these days. The airport will be the first in the U.S. to implement technology created by Lockheed Martin that will improve the passenger experience through a passenger management technology system, which monitors travelers’ mobile device signals to identify congested areas and help reduce wait times. CVG will also have new discounted air service through the low-cost Frontier Airlines starting with flights to DC in September. This is the third expansion for Frontier at CVG since it launched in May 2013.

Cool Winnings

How cool is this? NKU Student Douglas Gautraud of California (Ky.) made a short film, My Mom’s Motorcycle, based on his feelings after his grandfathers died. He was inspired by his elders to buy a motorcycle—which his mom didn’t much like. He entered the film into a film competition sponsored by the Australian company Rode Microphones and had 1.53 million views, winning the People’s Choice award—and $20,000 of film gear. He’s more inspired than ever to produce videos that “will resonate with others.”

A Sense of Place

Congrats are in order for the Center for Great Neighborhoods and executive director Tom DiBello and his team for landing a $1.45 million grant from the Kresge Foundation for “creative place making” at its Shotgun Row project on the city’s West Side. The project will include redevelopment of the vacant historic Hellmann Lumber Building on Martin Luther King Blvd., which the center bought at auction last fall.

Home at Last

Finally, a final resting place for Crittenden’s Paul Gordon, a Korean War POW who disappeared in 1951. He was the third unknown soldier from Kentucky to be identified through a Department of Defense DNA program. He was laid to rest with full military honors in Veterans Cemetery near Williamstown June 19.