We are excited to announce that Rita L. Williams has joined ZHF and will lead as Director of its Business & Economic Development Incentives group. In her new role, Rita will assist clients with site selection, identifying, negotiating and implementing business planning opportunities and economic development and tax incentives. The Firm has established a new Cincinnati office in which Rita will be based.
“Rita brings over twenty years of experience of helping companies leverage federal, state and local economic development incentives to finance expansions of their business located throughout the U.S.,” said ZHF Managing Member Tom Zaino. “The excellent relationships she has developed with economic development officials across the country will be a huge benefit to our business clients.”
Prior to joining the Firm, Rita established and led the economic development department for The Kroger Co., a Fortune 25 company by total revenue. She was responsible for negotiating all the location-based incentives for the entire Kroger family of companies, encompassing site selection in over 35 states resulting in significant value creation for the company. Rita’s leadership extended to overseeing 2,700+ new and existing retail operations, as well as providing support to 38 manufacturing locations, 35 major distribution centers, multiple Health & Wellness facilities and various technology operations within the enterprise.
Rita has also served in private practice, representing clients in real estate finance, renewable energy, and manufacturing industries. She has experience in all areas of business and economic development incentives, including:
- Community Development Area programs (CRAs)
- Tax Increment Financing arrangements (TIFs)
- Opportunity Zone (OZ) and Enterprise Zone (EZ) incentives
- Renewable Energy Tax Credits (RETCs)
- Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
- Bond Financing – Taxable and Tax Exempt
- New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC)
Rita holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Northern Kentucky University, and she earned her Professional MBA, Finance concentration, from the Miami Farmer School of Business. She was Honored as a member of Top Women in Grocery by Progressive Grocer in 2022.
Please join us in welcoming Rita to our experienced team. If you have any questions about economic development incentives matters, please reach out to Rita or any of our ZHF professionals.