Port Authority announces promotions



Gail Paul, Director of Communication Strategy

Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority




CINCINNATI, OhioJanuary 13, 2017 — The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (Port Authority) today announced the promotions of Melissa Johnson and Gail Paul to the position of Vice President; William Basil to Senior Planning Associate; Julie Banner, P.E. to Senior Development Associate; and named Christopher Recht General Counsel.

“I am thrilled to announce these well-deserved promotions, which reflect expanded duties and responsibilities for some key members of our staff,” according to Laura Brunner, Port Authority President & CEO.

Melissa Johnson Promoted to Vice President of Industrial Development & Logistics

Ms. Johnson, who previously has served as Director of Real Estate Development & Logistics and Director of Industrial Development & Logistics, has nearly 20 years of experience in improving land assets for redevelopment and attracting private investment. She joined the Port Authority in 2011.

Her promotion to Vice President reflects her expanded responsibility for setting the direction and ensuring success of the Port Authority’s Industrial Revitalization Strategy, one of the pillars of the Port’s Board-driven Strategic Vision 2022 that calls for transformative investment in Hamilton County. Under the strategic initiative, she directs acquisition and assembly of industrial properties with the goal of increasing the region’s inventory of sites ready for immediate development by advanced manufacturing companies. Melissa also serves as program director for the Greater Cincinnati Foreign Trade Zone (GCFTZ), the federal grantee of zones 46 & 47. She serves on the boards of NAIOP Cincinnati and the European American Chamber of Commerce, and is a Hamilton County Environmental Action Commissioner.

“Melissa brings unmatched depth and experience to her expanded role,” said Ms.  Brunner. “We look forward to her continued leadership as we work to build on the momentum created by our initial industrial sites.”

Gail Paul Promoted to Vice President of Communication Strategy

Ms. Paul joined the Port Authority in 2012 as Director of Communication Strategy and has established the organization’s communication platform around proactive engagement through corporate communications, community engagement, events management, marketing, public relations, online communications, and social media. She oversees a team of marketing and visual communication professionals who regularly work with the Port Authority’s development, finance and operations teams to achieve high-quality, effective communications and create meaningful thought-leadership programs to help further the understanding of the Port Authority’s role in economic development and encourage broad participation in its work.

“Gail has established a high standard for communication and marketing leadership within our organization and on behalf of the entities managed by the Port Authority,” Ms. Brunner said. “We look forward to programs this year that expand relationships with a number of communities, partners and stakeholder groups.”

Ms. Paul’s professional background includes business news editorial leadership, reporting and editing, and commercial real estate marketing & public relations. She serves on the board of the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati and is a member of Communications Alliance, a group of regional communications and marketing professionals who work collaboratively to help shape the perception and image of the Cincinnati region as a progressive destination to live, work and play.

Christopher Recht Named General Counsel

Christopher Recht has been elevated to General Counsel of the Port Authority. Mr. Recht serves as chief legal officer for the Port Authority and as general counsel for outside entities managed by the Port Authority. He provides legal expertise on compliance matters and corporate governance issues, ensuring compliance with all state and federal laws. He prepares contracts and agreements relating to real estate purchases/sales, land bank activities and financing and leasing arrangements. Mr. Recht has served as Port Authority Counsel since 2013. He is a member of the Ohio Bar Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program. Prior to joining the Port Authority, he worked as a litigation attorney for a large Cincinnati law practice. He earned his juris doctor from Northwestern University.

William Basil Promoted to Senior Planning Associate

William Basil has been promoted from Planning Associate to Senior Planning Associate.  Mr. Basil joined the Port Authority in 2012. He supports the Port Authority’s neighborhood revitalization strategy through community and stakeholder engagement, property research, and mapping for small and large-scale redevelopment opportunities. Mr. Basil earned a Bachelor of Urban Planning degree from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the American Planning Association and Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Cincinnati Emerging Leaders Program, and has served as a team mentor for the ULI/Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition.

Julie Banner, P.E.  Promoted to Senior Development Associate

Julie Banner has been promoted to Senior Development Associate from Development Associate. She is a member of the Port Authority’s Industrial Revitalization team, which is currently responsible for redeveloping more than 75 acres located in key industrial corridors in Hamilton County. Among her responsibilities are analyzing and outlining critical paths of real estate projects; project management and analysis; administering contracts; and maintaining relationships with partners, contractors, stakeholders and project investors. Ms. Banner previously worked as a project consultant for a national construction products and services firm. She earned her MBA from University of Cincinnati and Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.


About the Port Authority:

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority was formed in 2000 to stimulate growth of the regional economy. The Port Authority is an independent economic development agency that focuses on initiating projects that will increase jobs and increase productive value of land through collaborative and catalytic investment. For additional information, please visit http://www.cincinnatiport.org.