Vol. 5, Issue 1 | Spring 2016

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Jennifer Ekey Jennifer Ekey
Economic Development
Matt Eisenbraun Matt Eisenbraun
Economic Development
Assistant Director
Alexis Fitzsimmons Alexis Fitzsimmons
Economic Development
Assistant Director

Larry Mulligan Jr., Mayor
Dora Bronston, Council Member
Steve Bohannon, Council Member
Talbott Moon, Council Member
Daniel Picard, Council Member
Amy Schenck, Clerk of Council
Doug Adkins, City Manager

City of Middletown
One Donham Plaza
Middletown, OH 45042
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Introducing Middletown’s New Economic Development Director

Jennifer Ekey a Well-Known Regional Development Leader

Jennifer Ekey

Jennifer Ekey has been named the City of Middletown’s new Economic Development Director. Her appointment was approved by Middletown’s City Council at its January 19 meeting, and she began her work with the City in February.

Ekey brings experience, expertise and enthusiasm to her new position. Her familiarity with the region and her reputation for being a collaborator who brings people together, someone who understands both the public and private sectors, were viewed as some of her strongest attributes by Middletown business leaders involved in the candidate review and interviews.

What especially attracted you to this position, to working for the City of Middletown?

Ekey: Middletown is very attractive from an economic development standpoint. There is a lot of opportunity for new development out by the highway. The mall revitalization is of great interest as is Middletown’s downtown. There is a very stable industrial base that is growing, and new companies are attracted to Middletown because of its superior location. Middletown has all the key components for successful development in terms of “mix” of businesses and opportunities available. It’s also a really exciting time for the City with the visioning and planning that is taking place, and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.

What were some of the projects on which you worked in your previous positions?

Ekey: Working as Harrison’s first Economic Development Director was a unique experience in that I got to create the department from scratch. One of my pet projects was launching the Greater Harrison Chamber of Commerce and laying the groundwork for a Community Improvement Corporation to further expand Harrison’s development capabilities. Prior to that, I worked in Hamilton for 12 years, for the City and the Chamber. The $8 million revitalization of Hamilton’s historic Mercantile Block is one of many projects I worked on during that time.

Of the strengths and experience you “bring to the table,” which do you think will be most helpful to you as you move into this position?

Ekey: With more than 20 years of Economic Development experience in the Tristate—the majority of that in Butler County—I bring longtime relationships with development and real estate professionals, business owners and elected officials.

I believe my strength is my diverse skill set—including planning, marketing and project management—and a track record of leveraging resources to accomplish much with minimal budgets. My work with dozens of companies on expansion and relocation projects resulted in the creation of more than 750 jobs and $70 million in capital investment in my seven and a half years in Harrison.

Do you serve on any pertinent boards or associations?

Ekey: I am a current board member and past Chairperson of the Ohio Economic Development Association, and I previously served on the board of the Hamilton County Development Corporation and Cincinnati State Workforce Advisory Committee. Through these experiences, I have had the opportunity to work closely with the regional development community.

What do you anticipate being your initial areas of focus here in Middletown?

Ekey: There are so many components that I’m familiar with and excited about working on. My focus, initially, will be on the Renaissance area, changing the perception of Middletown in the region and getting some plans in place for future growth and development. There is an excellent team in place who has been working on many of these and other items, such as Downtown Middletown, Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field, retail development and the retention and expansion of our existing businesses. I’m confident that we will continue to move Middletown forward with our efforts.

Middletown, Ohio—A Vibrant Downtown District

Middletown’s downtown business community is rapidly growing as City, business and community leaders work together to create new economic opportunities to attract new investment.

Download our brochure to learn more.

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