Cross hired as new Russell County economic development/tourism director

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By Blenda Copeland

Staff Writer


Just as his employment is ending with one entity, he’s segueing into a new chapter of life working for another.

Victor Cross, whose employment as the president of the Phenix City-Russell County Chamber of Commerce officially ends Dec. 31. Jan. 1 begins his employment as a Russell County employee.

The county commission has voted to hire Cross to be its director of economic development/tourism. Some of his job duties may be similar to those carried out in the county by James McGill, who used to be the director of special projects at the chamber.

County Administrator LeAnn Horne announced at the commission’s last meeting that there was only one candidate to apply for the vacant position after a job posting that apparently stayed open for about a week. Cross had weeks before that publicly announced to the commission his upcoming availability.

In an interview Dec. 13, Cross said when he heard the county’s position was open, he thought, “I have a background in economic development.”

He took a basic course on the topic at Georgia Tech, and also graduated in 1989 from the Economic Development Institute in Norman, Okla., which offers a course that’s comparable to getting a Master’s degree, Cross explained.

His chamber-related job was in Baxley, Ga., working as the chamber director and economic development director there. He also worked in Vidalia, Ga., running the chamber there and economic development for five economic development authorities.

When he arrived in Phenix City in 1991 to work as Chamber president here, he said he saw how operations were separated, and oversaw the tourism duties until Kelli Roberts Poteet took over. (She has since moved on to another position).

As for his new job as a county employee, “I’m excited,” Cross said. He’s interested in researching a few opportunities and their viability a little further.

A few initial project ideas might include finding out more about business sewage needs in Ft. Mitchell; continuing work on a WestRock project’s discussions; and also working on a business project in Ladonia. Regarding the latter, Cross said he hopes a grocery store or fast food – something along that line – might consider establishing business at a particular location in Ladonia.