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Karen Finan to serve as interim head of Tri-ED; Candace McGraw to lead search for Tobergte post

Kenton County Judge/Executive and Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation Board Chair Kris Knochelmann announces that Karen Finan will serve as Interim President & CEO of Tri-ED following Dan Tobergte’s departure.

Finan is currently President & CEO of the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance and will be taking on this added responsibility.

Karen Finan

Judge/Executive Knochelmann also announces that Candace McGraw, CEO of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, will chair the Search Committee to identify the next President & CEO of Tri-ED.
“I’m extremely pleased that Karen Finan and Candace McGraw stepped forward to take on these responsibilities,” said Knockelman. “Our region is at a pivotal point when it comes to economic development, and we need our best leaders to step forward during this transition. Karen and Candace are absolute top choices for the roles they’re taking on and will be instrumental in elevating Tri-ED to even higher levels of performance.”

“Karen Finan is an accomplished leader in our region with extensive experience in talent recruitment, in addition to successful roles in national marketing and business development within the real estate and economic development industry,” said Kay Geiger, regional president for PNC in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and Chair, Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance.

“Karen’s high energy and track record of advancing key initiatives for the betterment of this region have been a key driver of success at the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance. At a time when our region has never needed it more, those qualities, along with her extensive community involvement, will serve Northern Kentucky Tri-ED equally well as Karen takes on an interim leadership role.”

Candace McGraw

“This is a transformational time for Northern Kentucky and one of great opportunity for our region,” Finan said. “As Tri-ED continues its self-evaluation and the search for a new leader begins, our team will continue to create opportunities that make this region stronger economically.”

“The opportunity to lead Tri-ED, with the resources available and the unified support of the community, will make this position very attractive to candidates,” McGraw said. “I believe we will find the right candidate who will position this region for much success in the decades to come.”

Wade Williams, SVP, Business Development and Casey Barach, SVP, Entrepreneurship will continue in their leadership roles within the Tri-ED team.

Williams joined the organization in December 2011 after serving for 10 years at Duke Energy. His responsibilities at Tri-ED include overseeing the marketing/attracting of new companies and industries to the Northern Kentucky area as well as managing the robust business retention & expansion program. 

Casey Barach heads Tri-ED’s High Growth Entrepreneurship program and is the founder of the UpTech Program, UpTech Funds, and Kentucky’s Angel Tax Credit Program. He joined Tri-ED in 2007 with the merger of the ezone, a resource program for businesses ranging from startup entrepreneurs to established companies commercializing a new product, technology or process.


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