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Build Our New Bridge Now Coalition Adds Three New Leaders

The Build Our New Bridge Now Coalition that exists to build a new Brent Spence Bridge as quickly and cost-effectively as possible with the most benefit to the community, announced on Dec. 18, that it has selected three new dynamic business leaders as co-chairmen. Tom Williams, president and CEO of North American Properties, Mike Michael, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and Bobby Fisher, CEO of Loveland-based Washing Systems, will co-chair the Coalition.

“We’re excited with the combined strength of our three new co-chairs. We truly won the trifecta for this project with this team of seasoned leaders,” said Johnna Reeder, chair of the Coalition’s working group, and vice president of community relations and economic development for Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.

“There are still major challenges ahead of us. We need to secure enabling legislation in Kentucky to use innovative project financing methods to keep the price tag as low as possible, and we must have a draft of a fair, reasonable and realistic finance plan by the end of 2013 for Kentucky legislators to review and approve. These chairmen have the professional and political experience to help us achieve these goals,” Reeder added.

The 125 member Coalition is advocating for an expedited design and construction process that would begin construction in early 2015 and complete in 2018, which could put the bridge decades ahead of schedule. With the price tag of the project increasing in excess of $100 million yearly, this accelerated schedule would save taxpayers and users at least $500 million in construction costs and $3.75 billion in fuel and time costs.


The Coalition was founded and had previously been chaired by Julie Janson, former president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. Janson was promoted to executive vice president and chief legal officer for Duke Energy in December and relocated to Charlotte, NC.

In addition to his role at North American Properties, Tom Williams is vice-chairman of the Cincinnati Reds and serves on numerous boards including The Western and Southern Financial Group, The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, The Cincinnati Equity Fund and The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC). He chairs the Cincinnati Business Committee, is vice-president of the Commercial Club of Cincinnati and is past president of the Commonwealth Club of Cincinnati.

Mike Michael has spent the majority of his career in the financial services industry, holding executive positions at Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, PNC Financial Services Group and U.S. Bank. He is a member of the board of directors at AK Steel Corporation, Arlington Asset Investment Corp., FBR Capital Markets Corporation and Key Energy Services, Inc. Michael also serves on the boards of 3CDC, the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce, Xavier University, the Cincinnati Red Cross and the Cincinnati Bengals. He was the 2012 chair of the ArtsWave Cincinnati campaign and past vice chairman of the Cincinnati Business Committee.

Bobby Fisher is a founding member of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee in addition to being chairman and CEO of Washing Systems LLC and CEO of Advanced Textile Systems. He currently serves as a board member of West Chester Holdings LLC and Friends of the Jewish Chapel at United States Naval Academy. Fisher is a past chairman of the National Leadership Cabinet of United Jewish Appeal, and has been a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization since 1988.

Source: Build Our New Bridge Now