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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

KLH Engineers CEO Bob Heil named recipient of Chamber’s Walter Dunlevy Frontiersman Award


Established in 1968, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Walter R. Dunlevy Frontiersman Award recognizes an individual who has a lifelong history of outstanding service to the Northern Kentucky community, exhibits outstanding service to their profession or industry, and exemplifies the highest standards of personal integrity and family responsibility.

This year’s recipient is Bob Heil, CEO of KLH Engineers.


Heil’s civic engagement has always followed his passions, starting when he was a student at the University of Kentucky and was a founding member of The Students to Save Robinson Forest. He was instrumental as a research asset in preserving the forest. The first engagement in his professional career was serving on the Board of Adjustments for the City of Bellevue.

Through the years, his civic engagement grew, particularly in the city of Ft. Thomas where he lives and works. He served on the Fort Thomas Planning Commission for more than 20 years and has served on numerous visioning committees during the 26 years he has lived there. He served as the first Chairman of the Military Commons Homeowners Association and he and his wife, Mary Beth, have undertaken leadership of the committee to erect a statue in honor of the namesake of Ft. Thomas, Union General George Henry Thomas.

With every organization, he brings his energy, enthusiasm and fearless approach to getting things done.

Within Campbell County, he has been a member of the Campbell Leadership Action Group since 2003, serving its Chairman for two years. At Northern Kentucky University (NKU), he has served on the NKU Foundation Advocacy Committee, the Construction Management Advisory Board, the Haile/US Bank College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board, was an adjunct faculty in the Physics and Geology Department, has been a proud supporter of Norse Athletics, and a strong advocate for NKU in Frankfort.

Within the region, he is a member of the Duke Energy OH/KY Advisory Council and recently served on the Metropolitan Club Board of Governors. He is an alumnus of both Leadership Cincinnati and Leadership Kentucky and has spent countless hours serving on various committees for the Northern Kentucky Chamber, most importantly as a member of its Board of Directors, serving as Chairman from 2016-2017. He is a founding member of the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance and is part of its Executive Committee. He has served on various committees, as well as the Board of Directors for Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and was recently named Chairman during a time in history when Tri-ED is undertaking a significant transformation to help the region grow.

A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Master of Science in Executive Leadership & Organizational Change, Bob leads a firm at KLH Engineers of over 120 employees in five office locations. Leadership roles include serving as both Chief Client Officer and Senior Vice President until June 2015 when he became President and CEO. In April 2019, he was named Chairman and CEO.


As CEO of KLH Engineers, Heil encourages employees to get involved in the community. He formed Keep Lending a Hand, a community service program dedicated to supporting the firm’s employees in their charitable work and improving the regions in which they live, work and play. In 2018,

KLH aided 37 nonprofits by volunteering 468 hours and giving $17,961 in donations.

Heil believes the real value each person has as a leader is in leveraging their strengths. His is in strategy and relationship-building. His leadership style is to create a compelling vision of what can be and then leverage the creative tension between the current reality and the vision as a call to action. His style is to create opportunities others may not see in order to achieve fulfillment.

Via NKY Chamber of Commerce

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