A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Roll out the celebration: Covington Business Council is 50 years old, will hold events throughout the year


Staff report

Roll out the birthday cake and light the 50 candles. It’s a milestone celebration for an advocacy group for Covington that started as CURE in 1972 and has grown into the Covington Business Council, an independent and active nonprofit aimed a building a positive business environment in the city.

The organization has been a strong voice for Covington throughout its 50 years and has big plans to celebrate its successes and talk about its future throughout the current celebratory year.

The Covington Business Council is a membership-based business advocacy group providing access, opportunity and growth to its 400+ members across Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

CBC Executive Director Pat Frew says reaching this milestone has not come without struggles and deserves a yearlong celebration.

“At times over the past five decades, the CBC has faced financial and organizational challenges that might have caused the demise of similar types of organizations,” says Frew. “But the Council has proven over the years that it is a survivor, in the same way the City of Covington has overcome challenges.

“It’s in that persevering spirit that we recognize the Council’s impact on our community and its significant contributions in building on the accomplishments of Northern Kentucky’s largest city.”

The Council will celebrate quarterly with these special events:

March 3 Breakfast Launch, the Radisson, 7:30-9 a.m. Programming will include a special address by Covington Mayor Joe Meyer while businesses and organizations celebrating big birthdays will be honored including Baker Hunt Cultural Arts Center (100) and CVG Airport (75). Register here.

April 14 CBC Monthly luncheon (the actual CBC birthday) where former Executive Directors will share their struggles and triumphs while leading the organization. Capping the program will be — of course — birthday cake and balloons. For that entire week, CBC restaurants and bars will be offering 50% discounts on select dishes and drinks. Register here.

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer

Celebrate Bourbon Heritage in the Cov September 14/15, 5-7 p.m. both nights. Two bourbon tastings at select bars will ‘bookend’ a Kenton County Library historical walking tour of bourbon sites. More details on this Passport/ticketed event to come.

December 1 CBC Annual Dinner capping CBC’s celebration.

Looking back at the genesis of the CBC, it began under a different name — and has continuously responded to the changing needs of the city.

The city’s financial community announced on April 14, 1972, the creation of the Covington Urban Redevelopment Effort (CURE), a bank-driven organization that hoped to “CURE” the city’s downtown business malaise — and improve its reputation in the process.

It started with some special events and a pedestrian mall – “Old Town Plaza” on Pike and Seventh streets — that would capitalize on the city’s history, its historic architecture and its place as the region’s largest city.

Banker and CURE founder Ralph Haile

At the helm of CURE was banker Ralph Haile Jr., the former Army Air Corps fighter pilot whose Peoples Liberty Bank at Sixth and Madison was a major player in the city and the regional economies. Haile was always a champion for Covington and could see a bright future for the city. His bank would ultimately become part of the US Bank and, at his death, the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Foundation continues to support important programs and projects in the region.

The organization was created long before the concept of board “diversity” was in vogue. Then, support for such organizations came from local businesses. In CURE’s case that was Haile who rallied executives from 14 banks and savings and loans and the Covington Mutual Fire Insurance Company to provide funding for CURE.

In 1979, as the city was progressing, the organization became ACT, a successful partnership between the Covington Business Men’s Association, neighborhood residential groups, the City of Covington and interested citizens. ACT focused on redevelopment as well as marketing.

In 1990, the organization officially became the Covington Business Council and is a comprehensive staple of the Covington business community. Today, it has nearly 450 member companies/organizations, hosts more than 100 networking and educational events annually, and provides business people with access, opportunity and growth.

It has seen riverfront development transform the city, urban redevelopment transform housing opportunities, appreciation for the city’s historic buildings spur preservation successes, and new business influx change the business and investment climate throughout the community.

CBC advocates for Covington business interests with local and state officials, keeps members informed of issues and legislative actions, offers workshops and extensive networking opportunities.

The 50th Anniversary celebration sponsors are: Gold Sponsors:The Salyers Group, Munninghoff Lange and Exclusive Media Partner LINK Media; Silver Sponsors: Forcht Bank, Midwest Paylink, Dean Houston, BMW/Cincinnati Mini, TriED, Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation; Bronze Sponsors: Cove Federal Credit Union, Rumpke, VonLehman, Park Place Business Improvement Strategies, IdeaZone Marketing, Madison Design, Orleans Development, AM Titan, atwork Personnel, meetNKY, Horan Assocites, DBL Law, Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Burke & Schindler CPA, The Catalytic Fund, Taylor Oswald, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Frank Wilhelmy Hearn/Wells Fargo Advisors; In-Kind Sponsors: The Think Shop, Red Hot Promotions, Everything Cincy


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One Comment

  1. jitty setters says:

    What restaurants are offering 50% discounts for CBC birthday celebration for week of April 11-18. Or where is list?

Reply to jitty setters Cancel Reply