Cullison, the city's economic development recruitment and retention manager since 2011, will move to her new position of economic development director, and receive a pay increase, when the changes take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Cullison's promotion was one of two staff advancements announced recently by City Manager Dave Martin. The other was Fort Scott Police Department Lt. Travis Shelton, who has been moved up to interim police chief.
Cullison said she had previously been serving in more of an assistant role and now she will be part of the city's administrative team in her new director position. She will continue to help city officials get information and resources and negotiate with potential employers, and she will now have some extra responsibilities. One of her added duties is that she will now be able to make some financial decisions.
"I'm excited about it," she said. "I work in an environment where good, big things are happening." She added she has spent the last year watching "great things happen in the city. We've added more than 100 jobs to the economy since April."
Martin said he has been pleased with Cullison's job performance and feels she will do well in an area that is important to him.
"I like economic development; it's my passion," he said. "We needed someone to get us to the table ... Macy's done a wonderful job on everything. We needed to have a director position and someone in an authoritative role ... She loves Fort Scott so well and the people, and has the heart for making everyone satisfied."
Martin said Cullison will have extra administrative duties and one staff member under her supervision.
Martin said he is pleased with progress on economic development and that the city's unemployment rate -- 5.4 percent for the month of October -- has stayed down recently.
"I'm proud of that number," Cullison said, adding she only played a small part in helping achieve that result.
"Everything our employees are doing is working," she said. "We're climbing out of a recession ... There has been measurable improvement. I think companies are gaining confidence back in the economy on a national scale."
Cullison said a big part of her job is selling and promoting Fort Scott and attracting businesses to town.
She said Fort Scott played a big part in her decision to move here and join the city's staff last year to work in economic development.
"Fort Scott had a pretty big influence," she said. "I've always wanted to live here since I was young ... I knew about the depressed economy Fort Scott had. The opportunity presented itself and I was excited to get to come here."
Cullison, who is from Lancaster, Pa., has local ties as her parents were born and raised in Fort Scott. They currently live in Minnesota.
Cullison has a bachelor's degree in economics and sociology from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. She previously worked for a nonprofit economic development loan fund called the Community First Fund. She has lived in several states throughout her life, but now calls Fort Scott home.
A story on Shelton's promotion will appear in a future edition of the Tribune.