Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — It is onward to adventure, warmer environs, and perhaps a slightly shorter title for William P. (Bill) Murphy, economic development manager and assistant city manager, whose last day will be Jan. 9.
“It’s a big move, sort of one of those opportunities,” said Murphy, who will be leaving for Columbus, Ga., less than 100 miles from Atlanta, to take the position of executive vice president of economic development with the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
OK, maybe not a shorter title but certainly an adventure with the new position to begin Jan. 21 that will see Murphy also working with regional economic development group, The Valley Partnership, that includes counties in both Georgia and Alabama.
Though he had hoped to not make such a move for 10 to 15 years, “the opportunity was too great to pass up,” said Murphy, who discovered the opening through the International Economic Development Council. The position having caught his eye as it focuses exclusively on economic development, and with family in northern Florida and a cousin not far from Columbus, Ga., he already has some familiarity with the region.
Columbus is located on the state line to Alabama and is home to several large employers including Fort Benning, and corporations that includes the Aflac insurance campus.
“From a professional standpoint, it is very exciting,” said Murphy, however, while looking forward to the future and stating he has worked with a lot of great communities and co-workers over the years, the move from Piqua will be difficult.
“Piqua has so many, especially for a community this size, dedicated, invested citizens,” said Murphy, with one of his favorite projects being Industry Products and watching the Fort Piqua Plaza project continue on its incredible journey, while emphasizing he, “made a lot of good friends here.”
Murphy has four and a half years with the city of Piqua, not only holding two positions with the city but also on several boards from executive director of Grow Piqua Now, executive director for Piqua Improvement Corp., to serving on the Piqua Chamber of Commerce board, Mainstreet Piqua, Mid-America Economic Development Council, and United Way.
Someone will have very big shoes to fill given all the work Murphy has done for the community, far more than will fit here, but he does offer a few words to that future individual. “They are going to have a great network of people who are really there to help (them) be successful.”