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Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce hires new economic development official
Robert Long
Long

CUMMING — After a three-month search the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce has found its new vice president of economic development.

Robert Long, who currently works as the economic development director for the planning and development department in neighboring Gwinnett County, will start his new position Nov. 16.

Long said he wasn’t originally looking for a new job, but that Forsyth County was appealing.

“I started to do a little investigating,” he said. “And when you look at some of the tremendous things that are happening right now in Forsyth, and some of the things they’re dealing with right now, it is really not too dissimilar from what Gwinnett experienced back in the 1980s.”

James McCoy, president of the chamber, said the organization “conducted an extensive search … to find a seasoned professional who can move our community forward in the areas of job growth and marketing.”

“Robert has the skill set and knowledge to lead our organization to a new level and build upon the solid foundation put in place over the past 10 years,” he said.

Long has also previously worked as the executive director of the Darlington County, S.C., Economic Development Partnership and the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken, S.C.

Long graduated from Florida State University with a master’s of science in demography and is a certified economic developer.

He and his wife, Tara, will be relocating to Forsyth with their two daughters.

The position opened in the summer after Long’s predecessor, Randall Toussaint, relocated to Washington, D.C.

Since then Kelly Campanella, a retired Georgia Power executive, has held the position in the interim.

Long said he believes those before him have left Forsyth in good shape. 

“One thing is I’m coming in to a good situation,” he said. “My predecessors, Randall and the gentleman that was here before him, have laid a good foundation for me to build upon.

“I think hopefully I can take what they have already established and maybe take it to the next level.”