Meet McKenna Brooks & Katie Holocher
MCKENNA L BROOKS
McKenna has been fortunate to live in many of the best cities across the U.S. and abroad, which has sparked her interest in supporting local. She grew up in Denver, and her education and career took her to San Francisco, Austin, and Minneapolis before she settled in Cincinnati. For the past 12 years, she has called Cincy her home, and during this time she has fallen head-over-heels for the city.
After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, McKenna pursued roles in consulting and sales and then received an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she learned how to build brands and marketing strategies. She has spent the last 16 years doing just that for some of the biggest and most loved brands in the U.S., from Pillsbury to Totino’s, to Jergens and O’Keeffe’s, and ultimately to Simple Truth, a Kroger exclusive brand. On her career journey, McKenna has learned that she is most passionate about fueling the growth of smaller, entrepreneurial brands and businesses, and helping passionate business owners build their brands into those their customers fall in love with and can’t live without.
McKenna resides in Mariemont on the East Side of Cincinnati with her wonderful husband, John Brooks Jr., and four beautiful children, Jack, Adaline, Austin& Minne (her furry Golden Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog babies), and S’mores (her adventurous cat). She loves to explore all things Cincinnati, meet amazing entrepreneurs, and share her findings with the rest of the world.
McKenna is also an avid runner and loves hitting the pavement and trails throughout the city and running the Flying Pig Marathon. On most weekends in the fall, you can find her watching college and NFL football as well! She is extremely excited to share her favorite finds in the rapidly growing Cincinnati region with others, and show the world the gems that exist in the Queen City!
Katie was born and raised on the Kentucky side of the river, spending all of her child and teenhood in Northern Kentucky. She then settled on the Cincinnati side post-college and has loved living and planting her family’s roots on the east side since then. With community and family on each side of the neighboring states, Katie truly gets to live and love the best of both worlds.
Katie comes by way of education, having majored in English at the University of Kentucky and earning a Masters in the Arts of Teaching from Miami University. She built a career as a high school English teacher, spending thirteen years in the classroom. She specialized in writing, teaching high-level advanced placement courses in rhetoric and composition, as well as multiple levels of creative writing. It was during all that time where Katie fine-tuned her understanding and appreciation for form and function in writing, helping herself and others establish clarity and creativity in storytelling.
Over a decade ago and alongside her tenure as a teacher, Katie also built, maintained, and grew a blogging website and social media account devoted to showcasing and supporting all things Cincinnati local. Her purview was focused on where to go out and what to wear, as ever the lover of personal style and fashion. Her prolific Instagram account, which she still maintains to this day, stands as a testament to her passion and commitment to sharing and celebrating all that this area has to offer.
Katie, her husband Kenny, and their two children, Harry and Louise, reside in Terrace Park and love the lifestyle they get to live there. From being able to walk to and from schools, community events, and local establishments, to being a stone’s throw from both the Little Miami River and the Loveland Bike Trail, both she and her family love to invest in where they live, know and support the people who surround them, and feel appreciation and energy for all that they’re lucky to do.
McKenna & Katie's Favorite Reasons to Visit
The food scene. “Cincinnati has one of the most exciting commitments to culinary talents and establishments. It’s a city that is both uniquely eclectic, being home to a wide range of cultural cuisines, while also having its own signature style when it comes to takes on a table. Whether it is the whipped feta from Emery, a sushi roll from E + O, the bolognese from Forno, or even a plate of “sloppy” chili over spaghetti noodles from Skyline, it’s all delicious here. There are places we love to turn to time and time again, and yet we’re always down to check out the newest and greatest, no matter the menu!”
The running community. “You won’t believe the number of runners out hitting the pavement throughout the year until you see it. Thinking “I’m not a runner” isn’t an option in Cincinnati—there’s a group, trail, route, and water for everyone out there! Not to mention the best, most beautiful (and possibly most difficult) marathon in the country, The Flying Pig, which takes place the first weekend in May.”
All the pocket neighborhoods and their own squares. “Cincinnati is sprinkled with neighborhoods rich in culture and history that all have their own small-town epicenters—Columbia Tusculum, East Walnut Hills, Hyde Park, Mariemont, Old Milford, Ft Thomas, and Covington just to name a few! And each neighborhood has its own “downtown” business district that is absolutely awesome to frequent and recommend!”