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Barrow chamber hires economic development director

WINDER - Linda Moore numbered Barrow County's four assets when interviewing for the position of economic development director - leadership, undeveloped land, central location and a willing labor force. That attention to detail won her the job, Barrow Chamber of Commerce President Tom Jennings and Chairwoman Lisa Maloof announced Friday.

For the past year, chamber officials examined more than 60 applications from as far away as Texas before deciding on Moore to fill the newly created position.

"Linda came in knowing about Barrow County," Jennings said.

The position of economic development director was first mentioned during the 2004 Barrow County summit, in which 80 community leaders met for a two-day discussion of economic, community and educational development. Chamber members and staff have worked since then to create the position.

"The chamber has raised more than $500,000 in just a few months," Maloof said. "It covers the first three years' salary, travel expenses and assistant. The cities and counties contributed less than 30 percent, which shows how interested the business community is in having an economic development director."

The study of the summit's findings will fill Moore's first weeks in her new position, she said.

"I want to review the progress and make certain we are headed in the right direction," Moore said. "The summit is very impressive and it has to continue to be the guiding force."

Moore brings 18 years of experience as an economic developer and chamber of commerce executive. Before her move to Barrow County, she served eight years as vice president of the Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission.

She was instrumental in bringing Hamilton Relay, a technical support center for the speech and hearing impaired, to the area, which she calls her proudest career achievement. Hamilton Relay employs about 100 local workers, Moore said.

Moore, a native of Macon, is a certified economic development finance professional. She began her career in economic development in 1988 as the executive director of the Dooly County Chamber of Commerce.

Her work attracted more than 1,000 jobs to the area, brought the city of Vienna the designation of Governor's Hometown and resulted in Crisp and Dooly counties earning federal designation as an empowerment zone.

In Albany, she helped entice Proctor and Gamble Paper Products, Teleperformance and Albany Bedding to the area. Under Moore's leadership, Dougherty County became the 11th Georgia county achieve "Entrepreneur Friendly" status.

Moore is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Associations, International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, International Council of Shopping Centers, Women in Network and First Baptist Church of Albany.