Janet Hartman, executive director of the Oconee Economic Alliance, is leaving the position to move to Valencia, Calif., with her husband Rob, who was promoted by ITT. She is staying with the organization through the transition to a new director.
“I love Oconee County and I love what I do here, but as I’ve told many people, I love my husband more,” Hartman said.
Hartman joined the Oconee Economic Alliance in 2016 as manager of Destination Oconee, the county’s tourism development plan. She has served as executive director for a year.
Year-to-date numbers show Oconee County has had $25.7 million in capital investment with 147 new jobs created. One of the latest announcements was Horton Holding, which is moving into the Oconee Industrial and Technology Park on Highway 11.
“One of the deciding factors for Horton was the fact we have a workforce development campus right there in the park,” Hartman said, referring to Tri-County Technical College’s Oconee County campus. And construction on the Hamilton Career Center inside the park “is coming along,” Hartman said, with completion expected next year.
Hartman said she is looking forward to returning to Oconee County and seeing how things change, especially in the county’s individual downtowns.
“It’s a slow process and it takes a while to change. Walhalla, Westminster and Seneca all have downtown programs for new business. They are taking control of their destiny,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the downtowns and seeing those changes.”
She said there’s a lot of potential in Walhalla with the Palmetto Trail coming in, and that Seneca has developed a master plan for its downtown. Westminster is gaining momentum as business owners are coming together to promote who they are, she added.
“It could be five to 10 years before we see major change, but it’s going to happen,” she said.