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Speaker Panel

Jeanne Schroer is the President & CEO of the Catalytic Fund, a not-for-profit company that raised $22,000,000 in private capital to make quality place-based investments in Northern Kentucky’s River Cities to enhance regional economic development and local community development. The Company’s innovative financing products, development services, and vibrancy initiatives convert community revitalization plans into completed projects that have lasting and measurable impact.

The Catalytic Fund was certified by the US Department of Treasury as a CDFI in 2015. The Company has made direct investments and provided development services that resulted in $400,000,000 in new investment in Northern Kentucky’s River Cities since 2013.

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Urban Planning and Indiana University with a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate, Schroer has 40 years of experience as a real estate professional specializing in real estate finance and real estate development.  She began her real estate career as a Financial Analyst with Urban Investment and Development Company in Chicago, developer of large urban mixed-use projects such as Water Tower Place in Chicago and Copley Place in Boston.  In 1984, she joined Corporex Companies and held positions of Financial Analyst, Manager – Capital Acquisition, Director – Mortgage & Equity Group, and Senior Vice President and Member of Corporex’s Executive Management Board. Prior to joining the Catalytic Fund, Schroer was the Interim Director of the University of Cincinnati Real Estate Center and Field Service Professor of Real Estate. Schroer holds the professional designation Counselor of Real Estate (CRE), a credential signifying professional achievement in the real estate counseling profession.

In addition to her professional work, Schroer is active in many community initiatives and professional organizations and has received several awards for her business accomplishments and community service. Notable awards include the 2011 University of Cincinnati Distinguished Real Estate Professional Award, the 2019 Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce William T. Robinson III Economic Development Award, and 2022 YWCA Career Women of Achievement.


Kim Patton is President of Elevar Design Group. Kim has over 36 years of experience leading and innovating the construction process.  He has worked regionally, nationally, and internationally as both an Architect and Construction Manager.  He is a creative leader and problem solver having worked on multiple firm teams to meet complex owner requirements and needs.  His experience innovating on issues involving teaming, scheduling, process, communications, and technology cover the full range of the design and construction process from programing through design and to construction and post occupancy.  He has worked on a wide range of projects including offices, schools, hospitals, retail, housing, and government.  Kim’s energy and innovation has been a key to his success.

Over an 8 year period, he led the development of his former firm’s office in China, from their first sales lead and contract, to a full Chinese company with 25 employees.  Between 2006 and 2008 he spent half of his work year in in China flying back and forth, during which time he led the effort to set up the WOFE (Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise).

Over the last 10 years he has led the merger and growth of Elevar Design Group (formally SFA, PDT, and Roth Architects).  The firm has had a 250 percent increase in revenue and has expanded in several new building types and geographic regions during his tenure.  As President he leads sales and business operations while retaining a client in every firm market sector.  Elevar is a regional leader in design and is number 1 or 2 in most of its market sectors and is the largest minority owned firm is the southwest Ohio region.


Tom Banta is the Chief Real Estate Officer for Corporex Companies. Tom is a real estate professional with more than 36 years with Corporex Companies.  During his tenure, the company built over 25 million square feet of commercial real estate, including more than 40 hotels, 24 office buildings, two luxury condominium projects and six business parks. With Corporex projects from coast to coast, Tom has been instrumental in changing skylines with projects like RiverCenter and Madison Place in Covington and Ovation in Newport, Kentucky, and an expanding presence in Colorado with unique residential, office and retail projects.

Tom is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Northern Kentucky Tri-Ed, serves as a board member for REDI Cincinnati and the Butler Foundation, and is very active in the Greater Cincinnati business community. He served as a board member for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce and Eagle Hospitality, a NYSE publicly traded hospitality REIT, from the time of inception until August 2007 when the REIT was sold in a market-based transaction. Tom is a graduate of Indiana University with a dual degree in finance and real estate administration.