PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission welcomed James “Chris” Grissom, the new 4th Ward commissioner, to the table this month, bringing forward a long-time Piqua resident looking “to make positive changes” and help Piqua grow, because for Grissom, Piqua is family.
“I was born and raised in Piqua with deep roots here,” Grissom wrote in his letter of interest for the position. “My grandfather, Jim Grissom, was a long standing member of the Piqua Chamber of Commerce with the Grissom’s grocery stores. My father and uncle have a business on Main Street, and I feel I have finally reached a point in my career that I can help give back and support the town that has given me so much.”
Grissom, a graduate of Piqua City Schools, has an associate of science degree from Edison State Community College, a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences from Wright State University, and a master’s in business administration from Franklin University. Grissom also has a number of certifications from Wright State University.
Grissom has also been a member of a number of committees at Wilson Health and the Upper Valley Medical Center. He has also had past positions at the Upper Valley Medical Center, Dayton Children’s Hospital, and Wilson Memorial Hospital, and he has also been an adjunct professor at Wright State University and Ohio University. Grissom currently works at Wilson Health, overseeing the Laboratory, Respiratory, and Sleep Lab. Grissom and his wife Cristy also have a 1-year-old son, Hudson.
Grissom said he sought to fill the 4th Ward commission seat, previously vacated by former commissioner Dave Short, because he wants “to see Piqua grow and would love to make positive changes that my family and I can enjoy as we grow in the community.”
“I want to be very involved and do the best I can to make positive changes for our community and residents,” Grissom said about his goals in office. “I understand that economies change and in order to be successful we need to look to the future and build the best foundation that will afford us ample opportunities for growth and development. However, this isn’t achievable without the help of our residents and coming together as a community to support the place we live in.”
When asked what he saw as the greatest need to be addressed, he said the “growth of the city,” as well as “bringing amenities that people can enjoy and make people want to live in Piqua, and developers to invest in the city.”
“We need to get more people involved and engaged to bring about positive change,” Grissom said. “This also means tackling issues such as drugs, housing, and supporting our schools. I really hope to see more people join committees and help develop the city into a place that people want to come to and enjoy living in.”
Grissom said he felt like he could relate to the different families and middle class workers living in his ward, having grown up in a low-income family and now raising a family of his own with a modest lifestyle and a successful career. He also credits the support of the Piqua community in helping him achieve the level of success he has found in life.
“I feel like I can relate to many of the residents of this ward to bring a new and diverse perspective that is growing in today’s culture. But I didn’t get to where I am today by myself. I had a lot of love and support by some amazing people within this community and that has given me a large drive to do the same for current and future generations,” Grissom said.
Looking ahead, Grissom said he believes in the direction the city of Piqua is headed in and hopes to help with that vision.
”I know this city has taken massive steps towards progress, and I would love to be a part of it and help in any way I can,” Grissom said.
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