By Josh Shepherd, News writer
The Cynthiana-Harrison County Economic Development Authority (EDA) announced Tuesday that Garnett Furnish will be its new executive director.
Furnish accepted the position soon after EDA Board Chair Frazer LeBus made him the offer.
“I’m looking forward to this chance to enhance and help Cynthiana and Harrison County move forward economically,” Furnish said after accepting the new position. “It’s a great opportunity.”
The vote to make the offer to Furnish was unanimous. Board members included Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett and Cynthiana Mayor Steve Moses.
The EDA has operated without an executive director for almost a year, LeBus said.
“Garnett [Furnish] brings valuable experience in real estate acquisition, procurement and a track record of successful business management to the post,” LeBus said.
LeBus noted that Furnish has demonstrated that he can work within the constraints of a tight budget.
“He’s also a very quick study, so we’re confident that he will become an excellent economic development leader for this community,” LeBus said.
Furnish has over 35 years in retail and operations management. Until recently, he was director of operations for Global Fitness Holdings that ran the Urban Active brand in the gym and fitness industry.
He is owner of the Movie Warehouse in Cynthiana, which is celebrating its 25th year in business, and a partner in the local Papa John’s franchise.
From 1988 - 1993, he was also director of motor carriers with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
He earned degrees in business administration and economics from the University of Kentucky.
A key factor in the EDA’s decision was Furnish’s personal connection to Cynthiana and Harrison County.
“He grew up here, graduated from Harrison County High School and has invested successfully in this community. He has Cynthiana and Harrison County’s best interests at heart,” LeBus said.
In other business, the EDA:
•Treasurer Wayland Quisenberry reported that the EDA’s debt service for the Cynthiana-Harrison County Business Park was under $200,000. He commented favorably on the EDA’s aggressive focus on paying down its debt.
•LeBus reported that David Case, Harrison County Schools Assistant Superintendent, was working out the bureaucratic details of the operating agreement for the Welding Technical Center. Because the center will be shared among local businesses, the Harrison County School Systems and the Licking Valley Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College, there is some paperwork that needs to pushed through the Kentucky Department of Education.
Renovation work will soon follow, LeBus was told.