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Welcome New President/CEO and Economic Development Director Holli Underwood

Chairman of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance board Brandt Miller (left) introduces Holli Underwood as the organization’s new CEO and Director of Economic Development. Underwood replaces Jon Cross, who is stepping down to devote more time to being a state legislator.

Times staff writer

The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance board announced Friday morning it has named Holli Underwood as its new CEO and Director of Economic Development.

The two positions opened when Jon Cross announced his resignation from them in order to spend more time as a state legislator. Cross will assist Underwood during a transition period.

“This is an exciting time,” Underwood said of her new job.

She said her first job will be to meet with board members and community leaders to develop a better understanding of what their hopes and expectations are from the Alliance.

“I want to uncover what works here and keep things positive in Hardin County so we can look for ways to improve and grow,” Underwood said.

She also plans to begin work on a new five-year strategic plan for the Alliance, she said.

Alliance board president Brandt Miller called Underwood an outstanding individual to step into the CEO and economic development jobs. A life-long resident of the county, Underwood has “expert communication skills and is passionate about Hardin County,” he said.

A graduate of Ridgemont High School and Ohio Northern University, Underwood has spent 13 years as the general manager of Allmax Software and is a partner in Underwood Stock Farms.

Her professional and personal background gives her experience in agriculture, technology, marketing, tourism, sales and leadership, said Miller.

The new Alliance leader is married to Assistant Hardin County Engineer Luke Underwood and they are the parents of two children, Allison and Lane, who are students at Ridgemont High School.

It also was announced Friday that Jacqualine Fitzgerald will continue in her role as community development director and will represent the Alliance on the Kenton Historical Courthouse District as the city continues with its revitalization plans. Jesse Purcell will remain the director of Chamber and Tourism and Chris Barker will continue as the office’s administration assistant.