Johnna Reeder Leaving REDI Cincinnati

Sep 4, 2018
Originally published on September 4, 2018 3:56 pm

The head of REDI Cincinnati is stepping down. President and CEO Johnna Reeder has led the Regional Economic Development Initiative since its inception in 2014.

Reeder says now feels like the right time to move on, though she'll stay on as a consultant through the end of 2018.

"When we set up REDI Cincinnati four-and-a-half years ago, I discussed with the executive committee then that I would give three to five years," Reeder says. "Four-and-a-half years in, I feel like I've accomplished my personal and professional goals and it's time for new leadership, new energy and new ideas."

Under her leadership, the organization says it has "celebrated, to date, 215 project wins while fostering the creation of more than 22,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in new capital investment."

In a statement, founding Board Chairman Tom Williams says, "REDI Cincinnati could not have been launched and achieved such success without Johnna charting our course. Her intelligence, attitude and energy have been the perfect combination for this very challenging work. Our community will miss her in this role."

Reeder tells WVXU she feels she's leaving REDI well positioned on an upward trajectory. She's proud of the staff the organization has brought together and the work they have accomplished since 2014 for the 15-county, Tri-State region REDI serves.

"I'm probably most proud of their efforts and growth, along with the partnerships we've built through a multitude of organizations throughout the region," she says. "I said that we don't have to be the experts on everything, we just need to know the experts."

The group has done that, Reeder says, by pulling together port authorities, local economic developers, governments, business leaders and chamber organizations.

Reeder's last day is September 17. She'll be succeeded by Kimm Coyner Lauterbach, vice president of business development and project management.

Reeder says Lauterbach is the right choice to take the helm. Looking ahead, Lauterbach faces a new governor in Ohio as well as new leadership at JobsOhio.

"Deciding who the governor will be will help the trajectory of how important growing economic development, growing jobs, capital investment in the state of Ohio will be in the future," Reeder says. "It is always a challenge and something exciting to have the three states work together. Kentucky has an extremely strong governor, Indiana is very competitive in economic development, and I think that that will continue to be something that she'll want to cultivate because we're stronger as one region marketing as one and then selling locally when we have a prospect."

Other than sleeping in for the first time in a long time, Reeder isn't talking about her future plans.

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