When Bill Scheyer was named president of the Northern Kentucky group Vision 2015 in early August, many on the south side of the Ohio River breathed a notable sigh of relief.

Scheyer is widely seen as the person exactly right for this position at this precise moment in time: As president of Southbank Partners Inc., Scheyer proved his commitment to promoting economic and community development along the Ohio riverfront. As city administrator for Erlanger for nearly two decades, he managed a massive budget and 120 employees. As assistant vice president at Bethesda Hospital for two decades before that, he cut his teeth in the nonprofit world.

The Northern Kentucky native and Northern Kentucky University graduate has shown unwavering skill in moving agendas and building consensus in both the public and private sectors, especially in matters of urban renaissance. We asked Scheyer to elaborate on his agency’s mission, and his own:



Wha
t is the overall mission of Vision 2015?
“Vision 2015 is a 10-year strategic plan developed by the citizens of Northern Kentucky, aimed at unlocking Northern Kentucky’s full potential for growth, opportunity, culture and prosperity.”

As the newly appointed president, what will be your role?
“To guide the overall operation, which is primarily made up of volunteers, and ensure that we accomplish the goals laid out in the strategic plan. This will involve building awareness of the existence and value of the plan throughout the community, and enlisting more and more citizens to help accomplish the goals. The most important role will be to make sure we stay focused.”

Which goals do you personally want to reach during your tenure?
"There are many worthy goals within the Vision 2015 plan, but I am most personally committed to documenting results in working with our educators to help make sure all of our students from kindergarten through adulthood are prepared to be successful in 21st-century jobs; increasing the number of high school and post-secondary graduates; helping existing businesses in creating new jobs and attracting new businesses as methods for achieving our job creation goal; building a strong partnership with our urban cities, Southbank Partners, and the Catalytic Development Funding Corp. to continually increase and publicize the vitality of our urban core; and to help to complete a significant portion of the proposed Riverfront Commons & Licking River Greenway riverfront development.”

How will your experience in your most recent positions as president of Southbank Partners and city administrator of Erlanger contribute to the organization?
“I’ve been fortunate in working with excellent people and learning a lot throughout my career. My time at Southbank Partners has given me a fuller understanding of the strengths and the needs of our urban cities, and has allowed me to develop relationships with people throughout our river cities. Prior to that, my years at the City of Erlanger allowed me to not only learn city management, but to understand regional issues and meet people throughout our region who are instrumental in helping the region to grow. The most important thing I learned throughout those years was how important it is for people to work together to accomplish common goals.”

You’re president of the Cincinnatus Society as well. Tell us about that group.
“The Cincinnatus Association was founded in 1920 for the purpose of improving the performance of Cincinnati city government. One of the many positive outcomes was that Cincinnati was the first city in the country to adopt the city manager form of government. Through the years, Cincinnatus has continued to be active in efforts to improve the quality of life in our region, especially in the areas of government and education. Our area of interest now goes beyond the City of Cincinnati and includes surrounding counties, including Northern Kentucky.”

Where do you see Northern Kentucky and the region in the year 2015?
“I believe that both Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati region will have experienced positive growth in the key areas of educational achievement, job creation and urban revitalization. Our riverfront on both the Kentucky and Ohio sides will have seen progress in building our riverfront park systems and in coordinating our riverfront activities. One of the ways that we will accomplish these improvements will be through increased use of collaborative projects and resource sharing between local governments, school systems and nonprofit organizations. As a result of this activity, our regional reputation around the world will continue to grow, and we will attract even more people who want to visit, live here, and bring their businesses to our region.”