Gina and Larry Collinsworth
Member since 2017.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a lifelong member of the community, who has traveled outside of the area for many years, while working in a previous career. I have been working in my hometown and back for the last 8 – 10 years and feel there is a lot of momentum building from young-minded and progressive community leaders and non profits to improve the quality of life in our area. The missing piece is economic development to support retention of our young people who have been born here, as well as those who come here for SSU and wish to stay. This is a great place to live . I know we face some challenges, but the biggest I believe is the desire to work together and support community initiatives that challenge the old way of doing things, Working together and coordinating dollars, message, political leadership and community leadership from churches, civic groups and citizens working together is what will bring lasting change and impact the future of our community.I am happy to give to the initiative and hope it will help make a difference.
What brought you to Scioto County? I came back to my hometown to support my family with aging loved ones. I stay for the same reasons, but honestly, it gets more difficult to justify based on economic conditions and lack of opportunity.
What is your favorite Scioto County memory? When I was a little girl, the River Days Festival brought amazing spectacle to our area. The boat races where fun, the music and all the midway rides. I believe it has morphed in to a liability for our town at this point. If I attend anything, it is the parade which is still an amazing celebration of Americana and community, but the rest of the weekend only makes me sad to see how far we have sunk. I rarely see friends and neighbors I know attending, and most conversation is that they avoid it like the plague. It is sad, because there are many hard working committee members doing their best, but it is just not the engine for economic and tourism growth that improves our image or moral.
Things you hope to see in Scioto County in 10 years?
In the coming 10 years, I hope to see economic growth that does not alter our community spirit or historic personality. I believe there is a unique spirit of artistic and educational entrepreneurship that is valuable to our culture. I hope to see a focus on the technology upgrades that would position the community to take advantage of our assets like this, and give us the platform to connect with a global marketplace via the internet. We have intellectual property assets like software development, online services, etc. that are already competing, but a focus and support for these initiatives will help that sector grow. I hope to see political leaders working together in a bi partisan way to make us competitive in tourism, education, small business services and health factors that show reflected gains.