FOLEY – While Foley’s new executive director of general government and administration is new to the city’s government, she is not new to Foley.
Cian (that’s pronounced “Cayenne”) Caldwell Harrison comes to Foley after serving as Baldwin County clerk treasurer. She will oversee several departments, including revenue, human resources, marketing, municipal complex, financial services, information technology, the city clerk’s office and municipal court.
The new position is one of four executive director posts that oversee portions of municipal government under the direction of City Administrator Mike Thompson.
Since starting with Foley, Harrison has been meeting with members of municipal departments to get to know everyone and also to gain an understanding of what each department oversees at the city. She has been reading through policy and procedure manuals and studying the financial and budget documents to learn more about the finances and operations of the city.
“It is exciting to be a new member of Team Foley and I am grateful to Mayor Hellmich, the council, and Mike for giving me this opportunity. I am happy to be back home and to be able to give back to my community,” Harrison said. “The city has an outstanding group of leaders who really care about Foley. I’ve attended multiple meetings since starting and immediately recognized a level of professionalism, respect, and a team spirit that exists between everyone, elected officials and staff alike.”
Harrison spent more than five years with Baldwin County and before that as a certified public accountant for a CPA firm. She hopes to use her experience as part of the Foley team and to learn as much about the city as possible from her fellow employees.
“My initial focus is to learn as much as I can about the different departments and how each one contributes to meeting the overall goals of the city. This is important for me to understand so I can effectively assist and support each director. The city has great directors who do an outstanding job and I look forward to working with them as part of their team,” Harrison said. “Foley has a lot going on. Think of where Foley was 50-plus years ago and where it is today. It takes good leadership and a dedicated team to deal with all of the growth and change and there is no doubt the city has done a great job all of these years. I am proud to be a small part of it all going forward.”
Harrison’s connections with Foley go back generations. She graduated from Foley High School, as did her three children. Her parents and grandparents also graduated from Foley High.
Her grandfather worked at Crosby Drug Store, which family members owned. The store was located on the corner of Alabama 59 and U.S. 98 for decades.
Her grandmother was the proprietor of the Foley Kiddie Kollege day care center. Thousands of local children attended the school there when it was open between 1957 and 1994.
Harrison has watched Foley grow since her childhood and understands her fellow residents’ concerns and the need to guide that growth.
“I heard great things about working for the city of Foley before accepting this position, but what excited me was knowing I would be going back to my roots to work with a great team to make a difference,” Harrison said. “Being from Foley, it is important to me that growth and change do not overshadow Foley’s heritage. While change is inevitable, it is an opportunity. I am excited to be part of a great organization and to have the opportunity to be part of helping shape the future of Foley.”