John Jay Fossett is a founding partner of Strategic Advisers, LLC, an attorney licensed in Kentucky and Ohio, the former City Solicitor and City Manager or the City of Covington, and is a former newspaper reporter and magazine editor.
Fossett is a 1977 graduate of Holmes High School, 1981 graduate of the University of Kentucky, 1987 graduate of Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, and 2010 graduate of the Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business at NKU, where he obtained a master’s degree in Executive Leadership and Organizational Change (ELOC).
Fossett obtained his B.A. degree (journalism and political science) from the University of Kentucky, where he served as summer editor and managing editor of The Kentucky Kernel, the independent daily newspaper. Fossett worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for seven years with The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Louisville Courier-Journal, and The Kentucky Post before leaving to attend law school. He also was editor-in-chief of Star magazine in Lexington, Ky. while attending UK.
During law school, Fossett served as editor-in-chief of the Northern Kentucky Law Review and was founding editor-in-chief of The Paper Chase, the law school newspaper. Immediately after law school, he worked as law clerk to Ohio Supreme Court Justice Craig Wright, before joining the Cincinnati law firm of Strauss & Troy as an associate.
In 1992, Fossett founded Fossett & Ogle and six months later became a founding partner in Fossett, Howe, Wessels & Ogle, PSC, a six-lawyer law firm in Northern Kentucky. In 1998, his firm merged with the Cincinnati law firm of Cors & Bassett, where he became a partner. His legal practice was focused primarily in the area of civil litigation, with an emphasis on municipal law and commercial and zoning litigation. He is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of both Kentucky and Ohio.
In 2001, Fossett left Cors & Bassett to become the first full-time city solicitor in Covington, Kentucky, his hometown. Four years later, he was appointed City Manager and served in that position until 2009, when he left the city to start Strategic Advisers.
Fossett served as an adjunct faculty member at Chase Law School for 10 years, where he taught trial advocacy. As a lawyer, he served four terms on the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys (“KATA”) Board of Governors and also served as the editor-in-chief of KATA’s bi-monthly magazine, The Advocate. He is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and a past member of the Salmon P. Chase Inn of Court and Northern Kentucky Bar Association. He has published articles in three law reviews, wrote several articles for The Advocate, and wrote the “Legally Speaking” monthly column for The Kentucky Post.
He served one term on the Fort Thomas City Council from 2012-2014. He was appointed to the to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance by Gov. Paul Patton in 2003 and to the Board of the Kentucky Local Distribution Fund Oversight Committee by Gov. Ernie Fletcher in 2006.
Fossett is a board member of the Covington Business Council and the Tom Ellis Athletic Memorial Foundation at Covington Independent Public Schools.
In 2007, he received the “Great Neighbor Award” from the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington in recognition of “his visionary leadership and efforts to mobilize residents and stakeholders for Covington’s future” in developing the city’s citizen-driven strategic plan.
He also has served on the boards of number other charitable and civic organizations in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, including The Hillside Trust, Literacy in Northern Kentucky, and Salmon P. Chase College of Law Alumni Association, where he served as a past president; Vision 2015 Urban Renaissance Committee; Quest: A Vision for Northern Kentucky, where he served as co-chair of the Citizenship Task Force; Covington City Hall Task Force Committee; Northern Kentucky Volunteer Lawyers Association; American Heart Association, Northern Kentucky Division; and the Woodson Bend Property Owner’s Association.
Fossett and his wife, Barbara Arnzen, live in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Daughter, Meredith, a 2012 graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, works as a government affairs manager at Axcess Financial. Another daughter, Alyson, is a 2015 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and works as a manager of the Single Barrel Program Manager at The New Riff Distillery in Newport, Ky. A son, Jack, is a 2018 graduate of University of Louisville, where he studied business and finance; he currently works in the accounting department at SD1.