Alliance Names New President & CEO

Written by on November 15, 2019

KENTON, OH – Today, the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance makes a major leadership announcement, as the board of directors has appointed Hardin County native Holli Underwood to serve as its new president/CEO and economic development director.

(left to right above: Brandt Miller and Holli Underwood)

Board Chairman, Brandt Miller, stated, “we are very excited to welcome Holli with her vast local knowledge, outstanding leadership abilities, exceptional communication experience and the passion for our community to the Alliance. Holli’s experience in human resources, bookkeeping, marketing and corporate communications will allow her to continue to advance the mission of the Alliance, for many years to come.”

Underwood will focus her efforts on economic development in working to create and maintain a pro-business climate by expanding business opportunities, cultivating entrepreneurship opportunities, and supporting and implementing workforce development programs and initiatives. She will also be working with the board of directors to develop a new five-year strategic plan starting in 2020.

Underwood will continue to work with various local, state and national businesses, educational and agricultural leaders, government officials and economic development associations, as well as site selectors, real estate professionals and industry experts to help generate new growth, jobs and investment opportunities to advance Hardin County’s economy and regional footprint.

Underwood, a graduate of Ridgemont Local Schools and the Ohio Northern University, brings an extensive background in agriculture, technology, marketing, tourism, sales and leadership. She spent the last 13 years at Allmax Software, the General Manager and is a partner in Underwood Stock Farms.
Holli is married to Luke Underwood, Deputy County Engineer and they have two children, Allison and Lane.

Underwood stated, “I am honored to have been selected to fill these leadership positions within in the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance. I appreciate the foundation and precedent set by previous leaders, and I am excited to use my professional skills and experience to further the mission, vision, and values of this great organization.”

Today’s announcement also includes a positive transition for State Representative Jon Cross, as he passes along the leadership responsibilities he previously held since joining the organization in 2014.

Representative Cross stated, “It’s been a great honor to have led this fantastic, member-driven organization and proud of the work accomplished to keep Hardin County competitive to attract and retain small businesses and larger industries to promoting our talented and skillful workforce. I’m leaving the organization in excellent hands under Holli’s leadership and look forward the many successes she will develop for the Alliance and greater Hardin County community.”

During Cross’ tenure at the Alliance, he helped to make the organization a stronger, more professional organization focused on its members. He helped develop a strategic plan to improve the vision, mission and organizational structure that helped expand to over 300 members and increase funding for member programs and community events. In addition, he led the economic and workforce development efforts that help create over 1,000 new jobs and over $500 million of new capital investment into Hardin County’s economy, as well as working to better align business and education initiatives that created student internship programs and student job and career fairs.

Jacqualine Fitzgerald will continue as the community development director and representing the Kenton Historical Courthouse District as the City of Kenton moves forward with the downtown revitalization project. Jesse Purcell will maintain as the Chamber & Tourism Director and Chris Barker will support the team continuing as the Administrative Assistant.

The Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance is a non-profit organization that encompasses four divisions in one – Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development, Tourism, and Community Development. For more information regarding the Alliance, contact or 419-673-4131.

Current track