Ms. Cross was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Economics. Ms. Cross worked for a bank in Boston for a year before returning to Charlotte to work for Wachovia Bank. Ms. Cross married John Cross and moved to Marion, North Carolina. Over the years, she has worked in real estate, recruited doctors for the hospital, and worked part time for a travel agent. She has served on several boards, including the McDowell Mission Ministry, McDowell Endowment, and McDowell Hospital. She has two children and five grandchildren.