Northern Kentucky: "What We Have Here is Special"
Young professionals share why they chose Northern Kentucky to grow their careers.
A robust economy, affordable housing, friendly residents and plenty to do after clocking out are just a few reasons young professionals are drawn to Northern Kentucky.
People age 18 to 35 make up nearly a quarter of the region’s population, and the area is brimming with opportunity for those in their 20s and 30s who want to advance their careers.
Plus, they have access to networking groups like the Northern Kentucky Young Professionals program, which provides those under the age of 40 with professional development and community involvement opportunities.
Three young professionals in Northern Kentucky opened up about why they’ve chosen the region to grow their careers.
Wealth Adviser, Bartlett Wealth Management
"I grew up in Northern Kentucky, moved away for college, but returned to raise my kids."
Holly Mazzocca, 33, grew up in Villa Hills, Kentucky, graduated from high school and spun the globe. Her first stop was Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, with study abroad stints in Mexico and Spain. She then moved to Chicago, where she worked for financial service companies and earned an MBA from Northwestern University.
“During my time away, I realized what we have here is special,” Mazzocca says.
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She moved back to Northern Kentucky in 2015, and now lives in Fort Thomas with her husband and two sons. She has another baby on the way.
With a renewed view, she’s taken note that the region has arts and culture, beautiful outdoor spaces, a burgeoning economy and top-notch schools, yet retains a humble vibe and a reasonable cost of living.
She’s found her niche working for Bartlett Wealth Management.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to work with someone to set a vision for the future and build a path to help that vision become a reality,” she says.
Strategic Relationship Manager, Gilman Partners
"I grew up in Louisville but developed a deep affinity for Northern Kentucky during my days as a student-athlete at Thomas More University."
Garry Horton, 35, grew up in Louisville but became well-acquainted with the region as a student-athlete playing basketball at Thomas More and earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He went on to earn his master’s degree from the University of Louisville, but he came back to the area to fill a women’s basketball coaching job at Xavier University.
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Horton, who now works for an executive search firm, has grown roots in the area with his wife and their two children.
The Northern Kentucky region can compete with big cities, he says, and he’s taken note of a booming tech industry and a thriving startup market.
“We have professional sports, a very prestigious, vibrant arts community, and an impressive resume of Fortune 500 companies,” he says. “Yet the small-town comfort is appealing to families and young professionals. We’ve found a community of friends who offer support and love, which has been a major game changer for us.”
Owner/CEO, Jolly Enterprises
"I grew up in Northern Kentucky and love the hometown vibe."
Brady Jolly, 27, has lived in the region his entire life, growing up in Alexandria and attending Northern Kentucky University, where he majored in entrepreneurship.
“I have always loved how it blends the country and the city so perfectly,” he says. “It’s one of the few places in the country you can live affordably and still be very close to a major metropolitan area.”
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Jolly is the owner and CEO of Jolly Enterprises, which is made up of five businesses, including Jolly Plumbing, Jolly Cleaning and Restoration, Jolly Property Maintenance, Jolly Event Center and Jolly Real Estate Ventures.
“I love watching my business grow and develop people,” he says. “It’s rewarding to hire people in entry-level positions and watch them grow into more.”
Jolly also favors Northern Kentucky’s welcoming community.
“The people here are down to earth and will give you the shirt off their backs, yet are still in touch with the trends of today,” he says.