Featured News Archives for 2014-10

Jon Cross, newly appointed President and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance made a visit to Ada’s Northern On Main on Oct. 24.

Jon Cross, newly appointed President and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance made a visit to Ada’s Northern On Main on Oct. 24.

“A model community” were the words that Cross repeated numerous times as he discussed Ada’s key role in the county.  Cross recently returned to Kenton, his hometown community, from California, where he spent the last 11 years developing experience in political, government and business relations. 

A highlight during that time was an experience he refers to as “once in a lifetime”. Cross managed the Southern California volunteer headquarters for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign and continued to work for Governor Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver after the election.

Now that Cross is home, he has set to work helping Hardin County build business goals and take the first steps towards reaching them. Cross’s primary focus of business development includes generating new growth, jobs and investment opportunities to advance Hardin County’s economy, as well as expanding the county’s market awareness on a regional, national and global scale.

When asked what Ada could do to contribute to the overall efforts of the Chamber and Business Alliance, Cross said that Ada is already leading the way for the county, and he is working to help other towns model themselves after the Ada community.  One way that Cross felt Ada citizens could help is to break down the walls between communities. He referenced the positive way the university and the community have torn down the divide and come together and believes that the changes the county wants to see, starts with today’s youth. The relationship between ONU students and the Ada community is yet another aspect that Cross feels makes Ada truly the model community. 


The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance is starting fresh this month. The agency is welcoming its new leader in CEO Jon Cross.

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.