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Covington's Resurgence Leads to Honor for Catalytic Fund's Jeanne Schroer

From the Friends of Covington:

The top executive of an influential non-profit that many people have never heard about will be recognized in May by the Friends of Covington.

Jeanne Schroer, who is president and CEO of the Catalytic Development Fund of Northern Kentucky, will become the 29th person to receive the Covington Award from the Friends of Covington, an organization that was created in 1987 to promote the city and all of its assets.

Schroer, who lives in the city’s Licking-Riverside neighborhood, will be honored May 17 at the Friends of Covington annual dinner at The Madison downtown. Tickets are $55 and may be purchased through the organization’s website: thefriendsofcovington.com. The event will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m.

Over the years the award has recognized some of the people who have helped shape Northern Kentucky in recent decades.

The second winner of the award was William P. Butler, who heads the Corporex Cos., the real estate development firm that built Covington’s skyline as well as major projects elsewhere.

It was through her work with Corporex from 1997 to 2003 that Schroer began to emerge in Northern Kentucky as one of the key executives of a company whose projects have been critical to the growth of the region.

She eventually was named senior vice president of the company and a member of its executive management board.

At the time the company had annual revenues of about $250 million and assets valued at $1 billion.

“The Friends of Covington has been an important part of Covington’s community vitality for over 25 years” said Schroer. “It was there well before the Catalytic Fund, Hotel Covington, Duveneck Square and many other developments and initiatives that are currently giving Covington a lot of regional and national recognition.

“But without the foundation that Friends of Covington’s members laid by their investment of time, talent and capital in our community, these big new things would not be happening.

“The Friends of Covington has certainly made the Catalytic Fund’s work a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable for me personally and professionally.

“I am truly honored to be the 2018 recipient of this award,” Schroer said.

Schroer has headed the Catalytic Fund since it was founded in 2008, when she played a key role in assembling a $10 million loan and investment fund with contributions from banks, businesses and foundations.

Schroer said the not for profit has committed to fund $4,661,800 in 16 projects representing $50,220,000 in total investment in the Catalytic Fund’s investment area and provided development services that resulted in16 additional real estate transactions totaling $101,155,000 in total investment. These 32 projects add $151,375,000 in total investment, an estimated 900 jobs, 500,000 square feet of commercial space, and 423 housing units to the Catalytic Fund investment area, Schroer said.

Although the projects themselves receive far more attention than the people and the organizations that worked behind the scenes to make them a reality, the Catalytic Fund’s website makes it clear that the organization has been deeply involved in some of the city’s splashiest projects in recent years:

Hotel Covington, a $21.5 million boutique-style hotel at the corner of Seventh and Madison.

Duveneck Square Apartments, a $17 million apartment complex that is under construction on Washington Street between 7th and 8th streets. Phase one of the project calls for 110 apartments.

Boone Block Lofts, a $3.3 million project by Orleans Development that created nine high-end townhomes.

Scholar House, Newport, 48 apartments and a day-care facility for nearly $9 million.

Kentucky Career Center, 1324- 1414 Madison, a $4.8 million project that includes offices for the state, the transit authority, Brighton Center and other agencies.

Market Lofts, 209-11 W. Pike St., a $1.1 million project with Orleans Development that created 15 market-rate apartments.

Pike Star, 108-12 W. Pike, another project with Orleans Development that created seven apartments and 4,500 square feet of retail space for about $1.1 million on what was once an important business artery.

Written by Greg Paeth for Friends of Covington