GALLIPOLIS — Each year, the organizers of the Hoop Project — scheduled for July 15 and 16 in the Gallipolis City Park — name a Hoop Master to honor those who inspire and support the community. This year, State Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) will be recognized as the 2017 Hoop Master.
“Ryan was an avid supporter of the Gallia County community long before being elected as State Representative,” said co-organizer Meagan Barnes. “He has continued that commitment at the state level, continuously fighting for the betterment of Gallia County and the entire 93rd District. We are honored to have Ryan serve as our 2017 Hoop Master.”
“I consider Ryan to be a friend and it is a tremendous honor to have him serve as our Hoop Master,” said co-organizer Robbie Pugh. “Ryan is an asset for Gallia County. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him and for Gallia County.”
Like other community initiatives, Representative Smith said the Hoop Project helps showcase Gallia County and all it has to offer.
“I am thankful for the volunteers who brought this idea forward and happy the town comes together for such a great event,” said Smith. “It has been a huge success from the very beginning, has brought a lot of excitement and visitors to Gallia County, and is just fantastic for Gallipolis. I think our merchants really benefit from the influx of people into downtown.”
Events like the Hoop Project are important to the economic development of the area, said Smith.
“The Hoop Project is certainly great for our area. Everybody wants to live in a vibrant community. Things like the Hoop Project give people a reason to want to live in that community,” said Smith. “I just think it’s really important to economic development, that the focus is not just on the basic things. It’s about what your community does over and above compared to other communities.”
Currently serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives, Smith also serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee. Prior to being elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, Smith served the Gallia County community as a member and Board president of the Gallipolis City School Board, president of the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce and the Community Improvement Corporation of Gallia County, as well as serving as a board member for Holzer Health Systems.
A graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in finance, Smith began working as a financial advisor upon graduation and joined his current financial advising firm as Vice President and Partner in 2005. He resides in Bidwell with his wife Vicki and four children, and remains active in their local church.
Past Hoop Masters include Ray McKinniss, Marianne Campbell and Jeff and Marsha Smith.