Rita Williams

Rita L. Williams, MBA

Director, Business & Economic Development Incentives (Non-Attorney Professional)

Direct: 614-782-1551
Mobile: 513-315-9001

Rita Williams serves as Director of Business and Economic Development Incentives and assists our clients with identifying, negotiating and implementing business planning opportunities and economic development incentives. With over twenty years of experience in the field, both as an outside consultant and as an internal executive leader of a Fortune 20 company’s economic development department, Rita has garnered national experience across various industries, including retail, manufacturing, supply chain, technology and utilities. With an impressive track record of working with Fortune 100 companies, Rita has successfully implemented strategic tax optimization structures and secured incentives for prominent organizations, such as Altafiber (Cincinnati Bell), Heinz, AES Ohio and The Kroger Co.

Prior to joining the Firm, Rita established and led the economic development department for The Kroger Co., a Fortune 25 company by total revenue, as well as 84.51. She was responsible for negotiating all the location-based incentives for the entire Kroger family of companies, encompassing site selection in over 35 states. Her leadership extended to overseeing 2,700+ new and existing retail operations, as well as providing support to 38 manufacturing locations, 35 major distribution centers, and various technology operations within the enterprise.

Throughout her career, Rita has also served 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) incentives, Renewable Energy Tax Credits (RETCs), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). She has extensive expertise in navigating the complexities of combining multiple subsidiary planning tools to fill financial gaps.

Prior to joining Kroger, Rita played a pivotal role in securing federal, state, and local incentives for various industries nationwide at an economic development consulting firm. Earlier, she gained valuable experience in the Multistate Tax Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, serving as a Senior Manager in PwC’s VISION Group and Multistate Tax Practice. Rita’s experience extends to analyzing, developing, and implementing state and federal planning techniques for companies in diverse sectors, with a particular focus on the retail industry.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Rita actively contributed to the community by serving on the board for the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation and participating in leadership organizations and volunteer initiatives, including Feeding America and United Way.

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.

  • Miami Farmer School of Business, PMBA, Graduate Professional Masters Program
  • Northern Kentucky University, BSBA in Accounting & Finance
  • Ohio Chamber Research Foundation – Assistant Secretary: 2020 to 2023
  • Innovating Commerce Serving Communities – ICSC distinguished speaker 2020 to 2023
  • Women’s Resource Group, Local Leader, The Kroger Co.: 2019 to 2023
  • Worldwide Women’s Association: 2023 to present
  • Cincinnati Women Leaders – active member: 2020 to present
  • Enterprise Organization’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, Volunteer Core: 2018 to 2021
  • Institute for Professionals in Taxation: IPT Annual Conference, Tax Credits & Incentives Committee Member
  • IPT 2016 Instructor of the Year – Credits & Incentives School
  • Included in “Top Women in Grocery” by Progressive Grocer – 2022

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