By Melanie Yingst
MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Public Health’s new commissioner Dennis Propes has served both his country and his community in a variety of ways.
Propes began his service on Aug. 4.
Propes, a resident of Xenia, most recently served as the public health commissioner in the city of Sharonville. Propes said he was looking for a new career opportunity closer to his home in Greene County when the Miami County Public health position was vacated by Chris Cook earlier this year.
“I’ve always had a desire to serve the community,” said Propes at an open house at the health department on Friday. Dozens of local elected officials and community members welcomed Propes at the open house.
Propes shared how he served the country as a member of the National Guard and the U.S. Army. Propes also served as a city of Xenia council member and as council president.
Propes said his military service “fueled my desire to lead and to serve.”
Propes said he has been defining goals for the department and meeting with employees during his first few weeks in office. Propes said one of the department’s goals is to revamp the department’s social media campaign and providing electronic public records online “to try to make information a little more accessible.”
Propes is a graduate of Wright State University with bachelor’s degree in environmental science and a master’s degree in public administration.
Propes said his first job was working in a lab for Proctor and Gamble. He later found an opportunity as a sanitarian and said he enjoyed working in the public sector and proving a public service.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity and I am looking forward to many years of service,” Propes said.
Propes said he enjoys spending time hunting, hiking and other outdoor activities. Propes shared that he hiked the Shenandoah portion of the Appalachian Trail in the states of West Virginia and Virginia with his 15 year-old daughter this summer.
Propes said he will spend the coming weeks meeting with local officials and sharing the mission of the health department.
Propes resides in the city of Xenia and is married with three daughters.
For more information about the Miami County Public Health, visit www.miamicountyhealth.net.
Melanie Yingst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews