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Northern Kentucky Area Development District announces appointment of new executive director

The Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) has announced the appointment of Tara Johnson-Noem as its new executive eirector, starting August 1, 2022.

Since late 2019, Tara Johnson-Noem has served as associate director for workforce development at the NKADD, managing a team of 30 direct staff and contractors that implement workforce programs across the 8-county region. In this role, she served as the liaison between the eight judges/executive, the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (NKWIB), state officials, employers and nonprofit partners. During her tenure, NKWIB became the interim backbone entity for GROW NKY, a regional workforce development collaborative.

Tara Johnson-Noem

“It’s exciting to welcome Tara Johnson-Noem to lead NKADD,” said Kris Knochelmann, NKADD Board Chair and Kenton County Judge/Executive. “Tara is uniquely qualified to take on this role and has big shoes to fill. Tara’s breadth of experience in workforce, economic development and community service will be invaluable as she begins her leadership of our ADD encompassing urban, rural, agricultural and suburban communities.”

Prior to rejoining NKADD, Johnson-Noem was the Director of Government Relations for United Way of Greater Cincinnati. She has also served in community and economic development roles for the Catalytic Fund, Vision 2015, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and the NKADD’s public administration division. Johnson-Noem’s career began in corporate communications and government affairs.

Ms. Johnson-Noem is an active volunteer in scouting in the Dan Beard Council, and received the Trailblazer District Award of Merit in 2022. She was recognized in 2018 by the Cincinnati Business Courier with a Forty under 40 award. She holds a Masters in Community Planning (MCP) from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor’s degree from Centre College in International Relations and Spanish. She lives in Fort Mitchell with her husband Shane and their three children.

Lisa Cooper

Tara Johnson-Noem replaces Lisa Cooper, who will retire from NKADD as Executive Director on August 1st. Cooper announced her plans to retire in January and will be working with Johnson-Noem over the next few months during the transition period.

“I congratulate Lisa on her well-deserved retirement and thank her for decades of selfless service to Northern Kentucky, Knochelmann said. “Lisa has led with a steady hand and the region is forever stronger because of it.”

Cooper began her career at NKADD in 1996 as a Public Administration Specialist and served as the Associate Director for Community Development before becoming Executive Director in 2011. She led the agency for over a decade, focusing on meeting the ever-changing needs of the NKADD cities, counties and residents while expanding and adapting services and programs to better serve the region.

Cooper also represented NKADD in leadership roles in regional, state and national organizations. She said she is so grateful for the honor of working with the Board, staff, elected officials and community leaders in NKY, and is looking forward to her next adventure.

From Northern Kentucky Area Development District

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