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Findlay Market Nonprofit Announces Appointment of President and CEO

For Immediate Release 
Thursday, February 22, 2024

For more information, contact:
Lia Hager, Board Chair

Cincinnati (February 2024) - The Board of Directors of the Corporation for Findlay Market has announced the
appointment of Kelly Lanser as its President and CEO, effective Monday, February 26, 2024.

Lanser brings a decade of experience at CFFM to the post, having served in progressively more responsible roles, including interim CEO for six months in 2022-23. Lia Hager, chair of CFFM’s board, cited Lanser’s tenure, professional growth and commitment to the market’s mission in announcing the decision.

“Kelly deeply understands that Findlay Market is a unique asset in Cincinnati’s landscape that is a primary source of fresh food for shoppers seeking value and quality. She is a champion for the entrepreneurs—long-time and emerging—that make the market so vital. And she is well-respected by market stakeholders for her commitment and capability,” Hager said.

Lanser’s leadership helped put Findlay Market on the map, including its designation as one of the “world’s best” public markets by Newsweek in 2019. She had a pivotal role in the creation of CFFM’s strategic plan and led the organization in becoming “Queen City Certified,” ensuring that its employee benefits and policies promote opportunity and equity. Lanser was key to keeping Findlay Market open and serving the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and developed a grocery relief program to make sure market neighbors had access to fresh food.

“Findlay Market has become a part of me,” Lanser said. “We often talk about the Findlay Market Family, and to me, it’s real. I believe that there is no better place in our city. The market walks the walk when it comes to diversity, authenticity and hard work. It is critical that we hold on to long-time market shoppers while attracting the next generation of shoppers, all the while remaining a true public market that values freshness.”

“The board has seen Kelly demonstrate leadership in so many ways, including when she stepped in as interim CEO, navigating the complex and dynamic environment that is Findlay Market. She is strategic and disciplined and understands the ecosystem that supports the market,” Hager said.

Lanser represents the market to many community organizations, including the board of the Over the Rhine Chamber of Commerce and Cincinnati Police Department’s PIVOT Stakeholder Committee. She has upheld the tradition of the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade and currently serves as co-chair of the parade, working closely with the Cincinnati Reds.

“Our team will continue to find additional ways to support our beloved legacy merchants while simultaneously creating opportunities for BIPOC, women and immigrant owned businesses through the Findlay Kitchen, Findlay Launch and Findlay Learn,” Lanser continued. “I am honored to have made positive contributions to Findlay Market over the last decade, and I look forward to serving the Market and our community in this next chapter.”

Lanser earned her bachelor of arts in communications and public relations and a master’s in communications from the University of Cincinnati. She is a lifelong Cincinnatian who resides on the West Side with her husband and three children.

Lanser follows Cordelia Heaney, who served as president and CEO for the last year, after Heaney left the role to spend more time with her family.

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