Melissa Kendrick has been hired to lead Rome and Floyd County efforts to bring new jobs to the community.
“Rome and Floyd County have already been successful in economic development and there is a proven track record here,” Kendrick said after the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority voted unanimously to bring her on board as president of economic development. “I’d like to be able to continue the success Rome and Floyd County has already had.”
She comes to Rome after serving nearly three years as president of the Development Authority of Polk County and will assume her new post in Rome on Aug. 1.
Kendrick said she has a track record of success in economic development and hopes to capitalize on her strengths as a collaborator.
Prior to moving to Polk County in September 2016, she served as executive director of the Barnesville-Lamar County Industrial Development Authority for 11 years, and was executive director of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority for almost four years.
Also, she served as chair of the Georgia Economic Developers Association in 2018.
“She is well respected within the state,” Jimmy Byars, chairman of the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority said. “She has a track record of innovative ideas and strong initiatives ... I think this is a home run hire.”
Her experience in the industry while working for a chamber of commerce and independent of a chamber was one of the factors that attracted Byars to her resume.
Rome City Manager Sammy Rich called Kendrick “a genuinely enjoyable person to work with.”
Her previous positions in Lamar and Pike counties involved communities not directly served by I-75, and she said Rome can be successful in luring companies away from the interstate by “shining a spotlight on what our strengths are here and convincing folks that not being on an interstate is not a weakness.”
During the last 35 months in Polk County, Kendrick has overseen the location or expansion of 15 industries representing over $92 million in capital investment and 391 new jobs for the community.
The board also announced Heather Seckman, the director of economic development for Rome-Floyd Chamber, will slide over to take the project manager position in the new office of economic development and will work hand-in-hand with Kendrick.
“I am truly excited to have this opportunity to work with Missy. We have known each other for about 3 years, and I have a great deal of respect for her,” Seckman said. “I am looking forward to serving my community under the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority.”