The Covington Business Council is very proud of the dedication, leadership and support from our board of directors. Throughout the year, we will publish Q&A interviews with our board members in a series titled, “Getting to Know…” Let’s meet our 2019 CBC Board Chair, Eric Summe, President and CEO of meetNKY.
Q. Eric, tell me about your childhood.
A. I was born in Covington on 20th street. Our family was in the dairy business until the early 60’s. Besides Covington, I grew up in Ft. Mitchell and Lakeside Park and I’m a proud to be a UK grad.
Q. You’ve been the President and CEO of meetNKY/Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau since 2011. Why is tourism so important to the region?
A. Tourism is a significant economic engine, and having a vibrant destination with great experiences as we have generates significant revenues for businesses, particularly small businesses such as restaurants and other retail, and provides an enhanced quality of life to residents, much of which wouldn’t be possible without a strong visitor economy.
Q. You are very active in the NKY community and have served on numerous boards. In January 2019, you will become the Board Chair of the Covington Business Council. What excites you most about the CBC?
A. First and foremost, being from Covington gives me a sense of pride, and its very gratifying being able to contribute to the significant progress taking place through my involvement in the CBC. I enjoy working with Pat Frew and the CBC board, a team of committed professionals who devote their time and talents to our city and CBC members.
From a tourism perspective, being engaged in Covington is a key strategy for meetNKY. As many know, we have undertaken a study to expand our Convention Center, and having the backing of our community is a important part of getting this done. We have been very fortunate to have a tremendous amount of support for this endeavor from the City of Covington, as well as our partners in Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties.
Q. What books, movies, television shows have you watched/read in the past week?
A. Besides watching sports, particularly college football, I enjoy reading to relax. I’m a big history nut and I am currently reading Jon Meacham’s biography of Andrew Jackson, which is excellent.
Q. What is next on your “to do” list?
A. With regards to CBC, I would like to continue to contribute to elevating the value of CBC membership. I’ve chaired CBC’s Advocacy committee the last couple of years which has been a great experience, and during that time, have seen the influence of our work increase within the Covington community and with our public officials We have a number of key projects we’re focused on, which we believe will enhance the progress Covington has experienced recently, and most importantly, benefit our member businesses. In short, delivering on a solid value proposition will sustain and grow our membership, and I believe that’s already happening.
Q. Tell us something about you that few people know.
A. A few people may remember, but before joining meetNKY, I was Director of Government & Public Affairs for Delta, during their days having a hub at CVG. Also, I was a meetNKY board member and advisor for 8 years before joining the staff.