FRANKFORT, OH – Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Chillicothe, Ohio was awarded for its downtown revitalization efforts by APEG (Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth). APEG represents 26 counties in Eastern and Southern Ohio, and serves as the regional development partner for JobsOhio.
The award for Best Downtown Revitalization Effort was accepted by representatives for GCRCD (Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development); Jeff Graham, CEO Adena Health, and Ross County Commissioner Steve Neal, as well as representatives for Downtown Chillicothe; Tiffany Baldwin and Jim Doersam.
Chillicothe was chosen because of the progress it has made over recent years to develop downtown into an area where businesses can thrive. The Carlisle Building renovation work that was completed in 2015 is believed to be the centerpiece and catalyst for the revitalization movement, according to APEG President and CEO Mike Jacoby. Since then, larger corporations and local companies have moved into the area with new businesses frequently announced.
“I was a part of starting the Carlisle project before I left Adena and came back. It’s incredible to see the impact that building has had on the community,” said Graham, who serves as the vice chairman of the GCRCD board of directors. Adena is interested in building new relationships throughout the region to help Ross County increase its economic vitality, according to Graham.
Baldwin was also excited that the city was being recognized. She says that her organization, Downtown Chillicothe, is currently working on the creation of way-finding signage for public parking lots and street corners to improve mobility downtown.
According to Economic Development Director Tammy Eallonardo, “There are many people responsible for the success of the downtown district – too many to mention. The renovation of the Carlisle building was a difficult project. It took 11 years to bring the Carlisle corner back to viable use, and many individuals and organizations were involved. We are fortunate that our community is one that will work together to get the job done.”
Eallonardo was also recognized as the Ross County representative for JEDISO (Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio) who received the award for Most Creative Project Funding for the Meridian Automotive Remediation project in Jackson, Ohio.
The keynote speaker for the event was John Carey, director in the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, who highlighted the importance of coordinating economic and community development in the Appalachia region. He said by combining resources and knowledge, community leaders are able to provide the best lives for citizens. “We can’t move our communities where they need to be alone,” Carey said. “We have to be our own advocates, united on a plan and working together to move our region forward.”
Appalachian Partnership, Inc. President and CEO John Molinaro and Jacoby also unveiled the organizations’ regional prosperity plan that will work with 20 different associations and have 29 team leads from across the region. Each lead will work in a subcategory of a group dedicated to business voice, talent, competitive assets and economic development to strategize an action plan.
“Congratulations to the City of Chillicothe for receiving the “Best Downtown Revitalization Effort” award from APEG (the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth). Credit should be given to Adena Health System, all of the downtown business owners, Tammy Eallonardo, and of course the consumers who shop local and frequent the downtown. Go Chillicothe!”
~ Tom Spetnagel, Ross County Auditor
“Congratulations to all those who have put the time, effort, & energy into creating the culture of entrepreneurship in our downtown, especially Marvin Jones and Randy Davies (former CEOs, Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce) who really worked to push for accountability in our downtown. But the real kudos belong to the building owners who put the money and sweat equity into their buildings and the business owners who put their livelihood on the line to take the gamble.”
~ Mike Throne, President & CEO, Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce