The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance is starting fresh this month. The agency is welcoming its new leader in CEO Jon Cross. It unveiled a new logo and motto for the county at a ceremony Tuesday and then invited the public to see the Alliance’s remodeled offices.
Alliance Chairman Tim Street told the large crowd of business and political leaders from throughout the county that the agency is attempting to “plan forward.” The old motto “Hardin County – A great place to call home” has been replaced with “Hardin County – A great place to live, work and prosper.” “This defines who we are as we market beyond the borders of Hardin County,” Street said.
The motto is part of the new logo for the Alliance, which was designed by Wesley Goldsmith, a graduate of Kenton High School and Ohio Northern University. The circular design also features a field of green stars signifying the 15 townships in the county.
The fresh start at the Alliance, said Cross, will help the board “build a model community in northwestern Ohio.” “That starts today,” Cross said. “Hardin County is a gem of a location.” Not only does it offer prospective developers a hub of transportation opportunities, Cross said Hardin County also provides the business community a variety of shopping experiences, a solid educational system and the work ethics of an agricultural environment.
The Alliance has spent several months working with municipal leaders throughout the county in developing a five-year strategic plan for business development and retention, Cross said. “We are working together to help each community identify their specific goals and needs and help them grow and prosper,” he said. “We are a countywide organization.”
Cross noted more than $100 million has been invested in Hardin County within recent months.
The county has a new elementary school in Kenton and is building a new preK-12 facility in Ridgemont. The new community health center opened and revitalized an older building in Kenton. Hardin Memorial Hospital has expanded and renovated its emergency room facilities. A building is being constructed on the eastern edge of Kenton which will house a new credit union and the Lima Memorial Hospital health care center.
A new farm-to-table business is opening in Ada. Harvest Pride Tortilla and Chips will use grain grown in the county and create a food product from that grain, noted Cross.
International Paper has begun construction on its expansion at the Kenton plant which will provide an additional 200 jobs.
Heritage Cooperative has opened a new fuel station and agronomy expansion. Vancrest Health Care Partners is beginning work on a new $7.5 million facility in Ada.
“Hardin County is open for business,” announced Cross.
“Hardin County is a very exciting place on the move,” said State Rep. Robert Cole Sprague, R-Findlay.
Industry is looking at investing in the county and northwest Ohio, said Sprague “because of our people and their ability to work.” “Nobody in the world can out work us in Ohio,” he said.
Commissioner Brice Beaman thanked the Chamber and Business Alliance for the work it has accomplished in the past and for its commitment to the future of the county. “We are looking forward to seeing Hardin County live, work and prosper,” said Beaman.