Jon Kinsey

During the past three decades, KPH president Jon Kinsey has worked in every aspect of development - commercial, mixed-use, residential and public space - in both large markets and small. He has a reputation for understanding the dynamics of a deal and then getting it done.

Mr. Kinsey's resume includes service as the treasurer for Johnston Southern, a holding company for Coca-Cola Bottling franchises that eventually merged with Coca-Cola Enterprise. In 1984 he co-founded Leonard Kinsey Company, which was responsible for many of the projects referred to in this catalogue. In addition to those projects, he has served as co-developer on four convention hotels in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis. 

Mr. Kinsey served as Mayor of Chattanooga from 1997-2001. During his term, the city embarked on $150 million worth of new downtown projects, including the construction of a conference center and the sorely-needed expansion of the convention center. He won national acclaim for leading an innovative effort to redesign a deteriorating inner-ring suburban shopping center and turn it into a bustling town center. And in 2000, he chaired the National Conference of Mayors' Sustainability Committee. 

Mr. Kinsey serves on the board of the Tennessee Aquarium, RiverCity Company, Baylor School, Siskin Hospital and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. He is past chairman of the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Mr. Kinsey studied mathematics and economics at Boston University and at Schiller College at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

Ben Probasco

Mr. Probasco’s development resume covers over twenty years of experience ranging from office and commercial to retail and residential as he possesses a  knowledge of nearly every process, phase and service involved in development projects, including site selection, market analysis, finance, construction, design, leasing, and sales as well as legal and transactional experience.

As a partner in the Chattanooga based real estate development firms of Leonard, Kinsey and Assoc, Kinsey Probasco and Assoc. and currently Kinsey Probasco Hays, Mr. Probasco has been one of three principals in companies which have combined to create over $500 million in development.  He has served as project manager for many undertakings critical to Chattanooga’s revitalization, including the mixed use River Pier Landing, Trolley Car Barns (home of  Blue Water and Big River)
 and the CraftWorks Building on Main Street. He also posses extensive medical office development expertise having overseen several new projects in the Chattanooga market.

Additionally, Mr. Probasco has been integrally involved with several projects, leading to downtown Knoxville’s resurgence. Such works includes serving as the Coordinating Developer for Market Square’s redevelopment and developing several new residential projects.

Mr. Probasco’s significant experience also includes four years as Vice President of Real Estate for Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group. While with Gordon Biersch, he directed all aspects of site evaluation, selection and lease negotiations and helped the company grow from nine restaurants operating in three southeastern markets to 26 units across the U.S. from Honolulu to Miami. Prior to joining Gordon Biersch, Mr. Probasco owned his own brokerage firm, Probasco & Company, which served as the exclusive broker for the Chattanooga-based firm of Leonard Kinsey & Associates.

He is a dedicated community volunteer, having served as a board member of the Tennessee Aquarium, United Way of Greater Chattanooga, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and Baylor School. As Chairman of the Tennessee Aquarium board, he was the guiding force behind that institution’s $30 million expansion, a cornerstone of Chattanooga’s $120 million riverfront development. He was a charter board member of the Creative Discovery Museum and chaired the museum's $16 million development campaign. Mr. Probasco also chaired the Walnut Street Bridge Resolution Committee, a community group that saved Chattanooga's most historic bridge from the wrecking ball and funded its restoration.

Mr. Probasco also served as a Board member of the Krystal Company, the southern iconic quick service restaurant company from 1997-2012.  Mr. Probasco and a small investor group took the company private in 1997 before selling their interest in March of 2012.

Additionally, Mr. Probasco worked for Johnston Coca Cola Bottling Company of Chattanooga and Minneapolis for five years after graduating from the University of Virginia in 1982.

Ken Hays

Ken Hays’ professional career is a unique mix of real estate development and public affairs, beginning with four years as Assistant Chief of Protocol for the White House and the U. S. State Department, and leading most recently to his position as president of the RiverCity Company. As protocol chief, Mr. Hays coordinated visits by foreign leaders to the United States during the Carter administration. He then moved to the Democratic National Committee, where he served as Finance Director. Mr. Hays returned to Tennessee in 1983 to accept a position as Executive Vice President for Solomon Development in Nashville. 

In 1984, Mr. Hays moved back to his native Chattanooga to become a partner in the development firm of Leonard, Kinsey & Associates. When Jon Kinsey was elected Mayor of Chattanooga in 1997, Mr. Hays joined him at City Hall, serving as Chief of Staff.  In 2000, Mr. Hays was named President of the RiverCity Company, Chattanooga’s downtown development company. During his four-year tenure, Mr. Hays helped revive the downtown residential market, and he was instrumental in the design and development of Chattanooga’s $120 million 21st Century Waterfront Plan. 

Mr. Hays serves on the boards of the Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise and the Fannie Mae Tennessee Advisory Council. He is a past member of the Hamilton County Industrial Development Board, and has served on the boards of the African-American Chamber of Commerce, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority and on the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board. Mr. Hays attended Auburn University and George Washington University, majoring in Public Affairs.