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January Roundtable presents state of the suburbs

City officials provide updates on select neighborhoods surrounding the Greater Cincinnati region

Join us for the January 2020 Roundtable event, the annual program featuring local community updates by area-wide city leaders.

Featured speakers will provide the latest developments and opportunities for regional neighborhoods surrounding the Greater Cincinnati area to include Geoff Milz, Township Administrator of Colerain Township; Larisa Sims, Assistant City Manager of Newport, Kentucky; Jody Gunderson, Economic Development Director of Hamilton, Ohio; and Kelly Mollaun, Mayor of Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Featured image by Terryfic3D, istock images

Jody T. Gunderson

Jody T. Gunderson has been the economic development director for the City of Hamilton since January of 2012. He has been in the field of economic development for over 30 years, previously serving as an economic development director in the states of Minnesota and Iowa. Jody earned his bachelors and master’s degree from the University of North Dakota with an emphasis in economic development and real estate finance and investment. 

Geoff Milz

Geoff Milz is a navigator and community builder trained in urban planning and economic development.  He is passionate about the development and execution of innovative policies and projects that make places better for people. He currently serves as the Township Administrator for Colerain Township, Hamilton County’s second-largest community.

Prior professional experience includes service to Colerain Township from 2012 to 2015 as the planning director and as the assistant township administrator from 2016 to 2018. He has served the City of Covington as the city’s development manager from 2015 to 2016, and Cayuga County, New York as seniorplanner from 2008 to 2012. He serves on a number of volunteer boards including the Colerain Township Chamber of Commerce, Colerain Township Community Improvement Corporation, OKI Regional Council of Governments, Clippard YMCA, American Planning Association’s Cincinnati Section, Urban Land Institute, Hamilton County Communications Center Board of Advisors and Hamilton County Community Development Advisory Commission.

Kelly Mollaun

Kelly Mollaun is in his second term as Lawrenceburg’s mayor. He took office in January of 2016 and was just reelected to serve an additional four-year term beginning in 2020.

His administration is focused on controlling the city’s finances while promoting responsible budgeting, revitalizing /redeveloping the downtown area including increased use of the riverfront, creating and sustaining jobs, enhancing education collaboratives to retain local talent while promoting new prospects, and supporting a positive quality of life for community members.

Prior to being elected mayor of Lawrenceburg, Kelly was employed for 24 years at Monsanto (currently Ineos) and served on the Lawrenceburg School Board for 14 years.

Larisa Sims

Larisa Sims was appointed in 2016 as assistant city manager for the City of Newport, Kentucky. Previously she spent eight years as the Assistant city manager for development in the City of Covington. Past appointments also include regional planning manager at the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Senior Planner at the planning and development services of Kenton County. 

She has an economic development finance professional certification from the National Development Council and has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2002. Sims received a post graduate degree from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, a master’s degree in community planning at the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor’s degree in geography at Western Kentucky University. 

Larisa is a graduate of the 2018 NKY Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Northern Kentucky Class. She is also an active member of the Northern Kentucky City and County Management Association. She has served as the Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association’s first woman President and has held several positions in the organization. She represented the organization as AICP’s Young Planner representative on the National Planning Accreditation Board and currently sits on the Kentucky League of Cities Board of Directors.