Featured News Archives for 2019-11

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.

The Kenton Historical Courthouse District prepares for another year of Window Wonderland and the Lion's Christmas Parade.

A group of volunteers decorated windows of Kenton storefronts Monday in preparation for the annual Window Wonderland displays. The Yuletide scenes will be revealed to
the public during the Kenton Lions Club’s annual Christmas Parade on Nov. 26. Pictured are (from left) Taylor Klinger, Charlotte Hamm, Cindy Martino, Jacqualine Fitzgerald, Judy Cross, Jason Winegardner, Robin Jones and Kenton mayor-elect Lynn Webb.

When the Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, it promises to be the biggest yet.

Times staff writer
When the Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, it promises to be the biggest yet.
Jacqualine Fitzgerald, Director of Community Development at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, said more than 3,000 people are expected to make their way to Kenton for the holiday event.
They won’t be disappointed as the number of floats expected will be more than 40 and additional Disney characters and other attractions have been added to the holiday fun, Fitzgerald said.
The Amazing Giants will return to this year’s parade, she continued, and they will be joined by six Disney princesses and nine Disney characters, plus a special holiday train ride which will be available to children after the parade.
Christmas music will be played from speakers throughout the square starting at about 4:30 p.m., Fitzgerald said. The lighting of the display around the courthouse will take place with State Rep. Jon Cross leading the countdown.
Santa will be available after the parade to hear the wish lists of young people.
People from throughout the area have found the Kenton Christmas Parade to be a holiday destination for the entire family, said Fitzgerald.
After enjoying the parade, many take in the 16 Christmas displays in the storefronts around the square, she said, and then stop by one of the Kenton restaurants for dinner before returning home.
“The parade really helps our local businesses,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s a pretty magical night.”