Joy Davis was hired as the new executive director of the Hocking County Community Improvement Corporation in January 2014. She replaced Bill Rinehart, who served in that capacity as well as the executive director of the Logan-Hocking Chamber of Commerce for more than a decade.
“2014 was a year of change for the Hocking County CIC,” said CIC Board President Larry Kienzle. “Kind of like ripping the training wheels off the bicycle, riding, falling, getting back up and riding again.”
The purpose of the CIC is to recruit and retain local manufacturing businesses in an effort to create more jobs in the county, and Davis has taken the extra steps to accomplish this, according to Kienzle.
“I have memories of what we used to be and want that back,” Davis said, referring to the lack of manufacturing companies in Hocking County and retail shops in Downtown Logan.
Kienzle said transforming the board into compliance has provided opportunities for new insights, visions, and perspectives, all of which have set expectations for the work of the CIC staff.
“Hiring Joy as the executive director has added direction and expertise that will move the organization forward and transform it into a catalyst for positive change in our beloved community.”
Kienzle noted that Davis and Carol Martin have completed a lot of groundwork that was relevant and necessary to put the CIC on track to achieve great things including:
• Creating a records retention policy
• Organizing CIC records
• Improving relationships with local businesses and tenants of CIC-owned buildings
• Developing and strengthening bonds with elected officials at all level
• Conducting local market studies
• Meeting with local manufacturers to gain knowledge of operations and issues
• Seeking out opportunities for addition revenues
• Gaining a better understanding of the capabilities of the local service providers
• Learning of plans to increase rail capacity to the region
“I think I’ve done pretty well in the first year,” Davis stated. “I came in with some idea of what I was getting into because when they hired me they told me it might be difficult based on the way things have changed. I think we’ve managed to accomplish some things. I’m proud of the fact we have moved forward and we have accomplished some things.”
Among some of Davis’ accomplishments are:
• Securing space for Logan Coatings Company, which is moving equipment into its new facility
• Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Amanda Manufacturing expansion
• Continuing conversations with prospective new businesses to the area
• Working closely with the regional partner, Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth
In 2015, Davis is hoping to see more manufacturers come to the area; is presently working on America’s Best Community grant; is hopeful for more restaurants and hotels; and has been looking into the possibility of a spec building on Chieftain Drive.
When first hired by the board, Davis said she already had a strategic plan in mind. However, like many, Davis has encountered some struggles along the way, but nothing she can’t conquer.
“One of my biggest struggles is I remember what Logan used to be, I know we can become vibrant once again, so my biggest struggle is actually my own, which is I’m too direct and that steps on many toes,” Davis added.
“There are folks who have the memory of what Logan used to be, but don’t want to embrace the idea that we have to change to make it work to become vibrant again. Their idea is we should just have to be Logan as Logan has always been and be vibrant at the same time, but we can’t.”
A former employee of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield County Economic Development, Davis earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer, a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth in 2009.
She was the Violet Township Economic Development Specialist and had the responsibility of working with public officials, business leaders and community members to create the leadership team needed to build upon and maximize the economic development sector within Violet Township. She also was responsible for promoting the township to expand business opportunities.
Davis’ duties with Hocking County CIC is basically the same and she is responsible and instrumental in marketing Logan and Hocking County as a great place to live and work. She also is working closely with city and county officials to promote economic growth, retention and expansion of current businesses.
Davis is a graduate of the Logan High School Class of 1986.
For more information about the CIC or to speak with Davis, contact 740-380-0446.
Story from Logan Daily News | Written by Debra Tobin | January 20, 2015