New members bring diverse experience to EDC

May. 16, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

The two new members of the Henderson-Vance Economic Development Commission will bring business and real estate experience to the board of directors.

Jim Crawford III, son of the retired state legislator, said he wanted to join the board of directors for the same reason he ran for a seat in the state House of Representatives.

“I felt I needed to get business back in Vance County and grow the community,” he said. “I’ve been in numerous businesses myself, and I have many personal connections around the state.”

Crawford, who was born in Maryland, grew up in Oxford and has lived in Vance County since 1991.

“Vance County is an ideal location for distribution centers for the entire East Coast,” Crawford said. “Interstate 95 is going to be rebuilt so this will cause Interstate 85 to become the main corridor for travel for the next 10 years. This positions Vance County in great shape as we have an available workforce and a great community college in Vance-Granville Community College to help train our workforce. We could also better exploit the resources of Kerr Lake to attract industry and more recreation.”

Crawford helped in developing the Cross Roads Shopping Center on East Andrews Avenue in Henderson, which employs more than 500 workers.

In 1991, he started the Home Credit Corp Inc. in Henderson, which provides home and auto loans.

Al Rivers said he applied to be part of the board because he wanted to make Vance County a better place.

“I really think I can do things to make a difference,” he said. “I don’t like where we are headed right now. It feels like other communities like us are growing, and we aren’t. As long as we keep doing what we are doing, we are going to keep getting what we are getting, and I think things need to change. Unless we change something, we are not going to get anywhere.”

Rivers, who grew up in Warrenton, worked in human resources at a company in Pittsburgh and at Harriet & Henderson Yarns before the mill closed.

He moved back to Vance County in 1979 and earned his real estate license in 1985.

Rivers first worked at J.M. Foster Real Estate and went on to own a real estate company, First Properties, that merged with another firm to become Prudential Select, which is no longer existence.

Now, he sells real estate on Kerr Lake for Coldwell Banker Advantage in Henderson.


Contact the writer at