Dan Tobergte’s focus is on three primary areas – faith, family and community.
Dan’s wife, Wendy, comes from a large Northern Kentucky family, the Tepes. Wendy’s side of the family has 45 nieces and nephews, and Dan’s side counts another 20. He says they have to rent the Knights of Columbus Hall at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Burlington to accommodate the Tepe Christmas party. Loneliness is not an issue.
Wendy and Dan have added their seven children to the mix, including a 28-year-old daughter, Mary, who contracted an illness as an infant that left her wheelchair-bound and the cognitive abilities of a toddler. Dan and Wendy will never be empty nesters. He says they’re fine with that. He also says Mary exudes happiness and wakes up every morning smiling. They have a goal of one day taking Mary to the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in France.
He has fond memories of working with his parents helping to fund and build a new St. Barbara Church in Independence in the 1960s. Later, when Dan was starting his own family, he played a similar big-picture role in the development of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Burlington. Later still, he was involved in raising funds to build the new St. Henry District High School in Erlanger.
“I like helping to create new things for our church and school communities,” he says. “I remember the joy of walking into the brand new church at St. Barbara, which at the time had a very different, very non-traditional design.”
Professionally, Dan was engaged in developing a regional presence for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties for some 28 years through Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, short for the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation. He was Tri-ED’s President & CEO from 2004 to 2018.
During Dan’s tenure, Tri-ED enacted a rental car fee that generates $2.2 million a year to fund Tri-ED’s economic development efforts. The organization exists to attract, grow and retain businesses that export products or services outside of Northern Kentucky. He cites Fidelity Investments, CTI and Safran Landing Systems as examples of Tri-ED’s wins.
Dan is a hometown boy and proud of it. “Northern Kentucky is a great place. Southern hospitality starts here. Then there’s our superior location, with easy access to all the arts, professional sports and varied higher education opportunities. On top of all that, Northern Kentucky offers a great opportunity to raise a family – something Wendy and I are taking advantage of.”
In his role at Graydon, Dan will lead a new economic development service team that works to help grow private businesses while working with communities to enhance their economic development offerings.
“I’ve always been impressed with Graydon’s openness and professionalism. Now that I’m here, I’m also impressed with the camaraderie that I’ve experienced from all the attorneys and staff members. I always suspected as much from the outside. I’m convinced of it now.”
Dan is a veteran in the economic development community with a proven track record of driving business growth. Coupling over 30 years of experience with an extensive network of working relationships with business and community leaders, Dan is able to craft development solutions that work for all stakeholders.
Dan coordinates the efforts of a team of eight attorneys at Graydon that offers extensive economic development services from site selection to organization planning to financing to incentives, all designed to enhance negotiation leverage, minimize business costs and offer compliance management for incentives.
Prior to leading Graydon's Economic Development Services team, Dan was President & CEO of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, the primary economic development agency for Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties. During his tenure, more than 660 primary industry projects located, started or expanded in Northern Kentucky, creating more than 64,000 new jobs and investing more than $8.2 billion in the region. His leadership was integral to the attraction or expansion of many high-profile businesses to the region, including Fidelity Investments, Safran Landing Systems, Amazon Prime Air, Ashland, CTI Clinical Trials & Consulting Services, Citi, Mazak, DHL, FedEx Ground, General Cable, Toyota, AquiSense Technologies, LaFarge and Bexion Parmaceuticals, among others. In 2017, Dan's final year as CEO of Tri-ED, the organization landed more capital investment than any other year in its 30-year history.
Dan's contributions to regional development have not gone unnoticed. He’s received various awards throughout his career and most recently in 2019 was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame.