After a nearly seven year span of helping lead the reinvigoration of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation (WHRF), Kevin Wright will step down from his role as Executive Director on April 6th. We're incredibly thankful for Kevin's leadership, and we're excited to continue the important work of revitalizing Walnut Hills in a community-based and equitable manner. The WHRF Board has begun deliberations on the search process for Kevin's replacement that will incorporate the Walnut Hills area community, the WHRF staff and the WHRF Board.
Walnut Hills has long been a neighborhood in the spotlight for its diversity and history. Over the last seven years, the neighborhood has experienced a great deal of new development and growth in stark contrast with the recent history of disinvestment. This growth has been made possible through the collaboration, commitment, and hard work of community members and institutions, including the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. After nearly failing, the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation brought on Executive Director Kevin Wright in 2011, who in turn has curated a team of extremely passionate individuals and has been instrumental in pushing the needle on the change we see today. This includes:
- a variety of new housing, both owner- and renter-occupied units such as Trevarren Flats;
- a strong new business base with graduates from entrepreneurial organizations like MORTAR and nationally recognized bars like Video Archive;
- the creation and adoption of the Walnut Hills Reinvestment Plan;
- resource grant opportunities like THRIVE and Façade Improvement for businesses and residents;
- and the revitalization and new construction on the historic Paramount building, whose first tenant will house Cincinnati's first black-owned brewery.
We are thrilled that the success of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation has translated into a new opportunity for Kevin to help the greater regional community, and while we're sad to see him go, our staff and board are dedicated in our work towards a vibrant, safe, and inclusive Walnut Hills. Our work here at the WHRF will take even more community collaboration in this joint effort towards progressive change, especially in our continued commitment towards equitable development. Our staff will be working twice as hard during this shift to ensure that our work is unhindered in the coming weeks. While Kevin's last day will be April 6th, he will be around and assisting our team with the transition to a new, permanent Executive Director.
In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more details regarding an Interim Director and our search process for a permanent Executive Director. Please direct all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or our office at (513) 593-9473, refer to Board Vice President Jay Shifman.