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Meet the Team Behind the Mission: Q&A with Kim Harp

In a past life, Kim Harp was a cheerleader, which might explain her penchant for positivity, teamwork, and mission-driven spirit. Those qualities have never left her, and now she is championing some of the region’s most promising companies as the leader of REDI Cincinnati’s business retention and expansion (BR&E) program and keeping the team organized in her role as an internal project manager.  

But it’s her extraordinary commitment to detail that earned Kim a reputation among REDI Cincinnati business contacts and colleagues as an “organizational guru,” who never fails to follow up with a thorough and thoughtful answer to even the toughest questions.

Kim also leads weekly project update meetings and has managed special projects for REDI Cincinnati. She is a current member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber’s 40th Leadership NKY Class. She enjoys the thrill of networking and hates leaving a work event early.

Outside of work, Kim loves spending time with her family. Her two small children enjoy going to Reds games, visiting the great parks we have in the region, or just hanging out at home.

What made you decide to pursue a career in economic development?

I was working at Thomas More College when I learned about an opportunity at REDI, and knew I had to go for it. I had been on an economic development committee in the City of Fort Wright years prior and really enjoyed being actively involved in community. I don’t want to just go to work; I want to help make our region a great place to live.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The best part is the camaraderie. We’ve seen so many changes and so much growth. It’s brought us closer as a team. Between my family and work life, things can get crazy, but I’ve appreciated having the flexibility and support I need to achieve balance. It’s my goal to give some of that back, so I’m happiest when I can help someone with a tough challenge or problem that makes their life easier. Whether it’s a colleague or one of our contacts in the business community, I feel proudest when I’m making meaningful connections that help our region grow.

What have been the greatest successes thus far?

As an organization, I’m very proud of the leadership REDI has shown in raising the bar with events surrounding the 2015 All-Star Game and the Site Selectors Guild conference earlier this year. We’re demonstrating our region as the place to be for the decision-makers who can help us land a new project win.

Personally, I’m grateful for how REDI has defined my full-time role and allowed me to grow the BR&E program that was introduced in 2015. We are now recognized as a statewide leader, and I’m routinely asked to share best practices with partners in the JobsOhio network.