TROY — Local business leaders, elected officials and representatives of Southwest Ohio Frontier Communications gathered Wednesday evening to celebrate the city being one of the quarterfinalists in the America’s Best Communities competition.
After dinner, which was sponsored by Frontier, Mayor Michael Beamish thanked everyone for coming and took the time to introduce all members of city council, elected officials, current members and alumni of Leadership Troy, local businesses present, the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, the Troy Development Council, Troy Main Street and the various clubs and nonprofit organizations present.
“Our vision has always been to create a community where residents are gainfully employed. They experience a lifestyle which is inclusive, safe, productive and provides a sense of belonging, which comes from being a connected community, individually, collectively and in partnership with one another,” he said.
General Manager of Southwest Ohio Frontier Communications Bethany Yost shared that over 130 communities participated in the competition, but only 50 made it to be quarterfinalists.
For the first round, the applications were judged by a panel of outside economic development experts who looked for factors such as the ability to articulate the opportunities and challenges of the community and to provide a clear vision for the future.
“Ultimately, we know that great communities don’t happen by accident,” she said. “They are the result of people working together for the common good and forming linkages that improve the local economy and contribute to the health, safety and viability of a community. Troy has a strong history of working together to build, strengthen and grow and I’m very excited to watch the Troy team grow.”
Some of the initiatives of the Troy Revitalization Steering Committee include comprehensive riverfront development, connectivity in the community, increasing downtown occupancy, and coordinating a recreation/entertainment initiative.
Frontier Communications Area President Mid-Atlantic Region Michael Flynn praised the community for the strong sense of coming together and for being proud of its history, which contributed to the work the city was doing to become one of America’s Best Communities.
Troy Revitalization Steering Committee Co-Chair Ed Westmeyer expressed his gratitude to Frontier Communications and to Melissa Kleptz and The Troy Foundation for gifting $25,000 a year for the next five years to create a community connector platform.
He invited Western Ohio Regional Liaison for Governor John Kasich’s Office Sandra Brasington up to the podium, who presented an official congratulations to Westmeyer and Beamish on behalf of the governor.
President of Troy Development Council JC Wallace talked about the changes Troy has seen and what it took for the community to continue striving for and reaching excellence in the future.
“As our cities know, new technologies and new demographics are changing everything,” he said. “Our whole world is changing and the business community is changing with it.”
After the program, the dignitaries and guests gathered for a ribbon-cutting at the Coleman-Allen-Saidleman building, which is the new Community Connection Center.
Reach Allison C. Gallagher at email@example.com or on Twitter@Troydailynews.