SPRINGFIELD — Effingham County’s economic development team has been a player short for nearly six months.
Fortunately, that disadvantage will end Monday when Andrew Cripps officially starts as CEO of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.
Effingham County Industrial Development Authority CEO is happy the position has been filled. It has been open since Brad Carr — his title was executive director — resigned last summer.
“I think he is the right person for the job,” Herndon said during a Jan. 8 meeting IDA meeting. “He is excited about the opportunity.”
Herndon served as the search committee that picked Cripps.
“As I told him during the interview, we work very closely with the chamber and, you know, we have to back one another up,” Herndon said.
The IDA and chamber share offices at 520 W. 3rd St.
“He understands economic development,” Herndon said. “In his work history, he has worked with economic development agencies. He is excited and ready to hit the ground running.”
Cripps’ experience includes tenures as chief executive officer of chambers of commerce in his hometown of Wildwood, N.J., in central Florida, and, most recently, in Isle of Wight County, Va., where he built strong alliances in the business community
Prior to moving to Virginia for family needs, Cripps led a chamber in Florida’s fastest-growing county. Under his leadership, the Sumter County chamber reached record membership levels and saw new events and publications.
The Greater Wildwood Chamber’s membership doubled during his tenure and he oversaw the purchase and renovation of the Chamber’s first permanent headquarters. He received the State of New Jersey’s “Tourism Excellence Award” in 2006 for creating the Wildwood’s Fabulous ‘50s Weekend, a music festival that attracts thousands of classic Rock and Roll fans each fall.
He holds a Master of Arts degree in public relations and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management.
Cripps will relocate to Effingham County with his wife, Diane, a history museum curator, and their son, Matthew.
An open-house meet and greet at the Chamber office to welcome Cripps to Effingham will be announced shortly.