James J. McGraw, Jr. is the President and Chief Executive Officer of KMK Consulting. Jim is also a Corporate Partner of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL, the parent of KMK Consulting. His background is centered in business development, public utilities, insurance, and not-for-profit organizations. Jim’s law firm clients include national and international firms in the areas of real estate, financial services, manufacturing, energy, and technology. He has been actively involved in business and related client consulting for over 35 years.
Jim is a nationally recognized consultant in the area of economic development. He has worked in more than 100 cities and regions across the U.S., helping community and business leaders design and build some of the country’s leading economic development initiatives. He has been instrumental in the growth of these projects in such markets as Akron, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Buffalo, Charlotte, Charleston, Cincinnati, Daytona Beach, Honolulu, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Worth, Irvine (CA), Jacksonville, Kansas City, Lafayette (LA), Los Angeles, Memphis, Naples, Omaha, Orlando, Phoenix, Rochester (NY), San Diego, San Francisco, Scottsdale, St. Louis, Tampa, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. Jim is an active member of the International Economic Development Council, the Urban Land Institute, and related regional associations.
Jim focuses on a variety of strategic work for clients, which includes organizational design, leadership development, capital structuring, public/private partnerships, performance benchmarking, infrastructure development, strategic planning, and negotiation of initiatives to attract, retain, and develop business. Jim has met with more than 3,000 CEOs and senior executives in the course of his work and also has directed funding initiatives for clients totaling in excess of $600 million.
Currently, Jim is leading site selection incentive negotiation projects for various public and private national and international companies, which encompass 6,500 jobs in 7 states and more than $650 million of capital investment. Over the past three years, Jim and his team led the three largest job creation tax credit deals in Ohio and the largest deal in Kentucky.
Previously, he led a major strategic planning effort for the City of Cincinnati called GO Cincinnati. His team included The Brookings Institution and Robert Charles Lesser and Company. He also formed and served on the Governing Board of the Cincinnati USA Partnership (now REDI), the Cincinnati region’s 15-county economic development organization. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. He was a founding Board member of BIO/START, the Cincinnati region’s first biotechnology business incubator. He also served as an advisor to CincyTech USA, that region’s accelerator for technology businesses. Jim has been a member of the Aviation Committee of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Jim served as Co-Chair for Economic Competitiveness for Agenda 360 for the Cincinnati USA region. Jim also served on the National Advisory Board for Executive Education at Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business, which oversees its internationally ranked EMBA program. He is a member of the International Who’s Who of Professionals, the Empire State Who’s Who, and serves on the boards of numerous privately held businesses, civic, and charitable organizations. Currently, Jim is Chairman of the Board of Mercy Health, the largest healthcare system in Cincinnati. He is also immediate past Chairman of the Board of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau and served on the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Regional Tourism Network.
Jim was recognized in 2018 by the Business Journals among the top 100 attorneys in the country who are having an impact in communities across the nation.
He was also selected into Best Lawyers is America for Economic Development and for Corporate Law, and has been recognized by his peers by Ohio Super Lawyers, representing the top 5% of Ohio attorneys.
Previously, Jim was regulatory trial counsel for the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. (now Duke Energy) and served on active duty with Air Force J.A.G. at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Jim holds an accounting degree from The University of Notre Dame and a law degree from The University of Akron. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Naples, Florida, with his wife Anne. They have four daughters and nine grandchildren.
What Clients Say
"KMK Consulting was not only mission critical to the relocation of our corporate headquarters, their lead consultant was, without question, the key cog. . . Jim's relationships opened doors to our company that otherwise would not have been there, and his expert and artful handling of negotiations helped secure a deal that is unique for the region and will be critical to the company’s success over the next 15 years . . . He made us feel like we were his most important client, if not his only client. He was truly masterful and we are forever grateful for his involvement.” --Tim Schroeder, CEO, CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting.