Sometimes landing a new business requires a lot of work and other times they come to you.
Jon Cross, president and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, said the latter is the case as of today.
He reported to City Council on Monday night that a man found an available building on U.S. 68 South while searching the Alliance’s website on Friday.
While Cross said he’s not in a position to announce the man’s name or his business plans, he said the man flew to Kenton and surveyed the town on Saturday and Sunday. He visited the Alliance on Monday to wrap up the deal.
Cross said he expects the business to employ 10 people.
There also was discussion of the city needing to do a better job of making water available to businesses on 68 South.
Prosecutor Brad Bailey said he recently learned that Graphic Packaging had to get a huge tank and fill it with water for its own water suppression system.
That’s because the city’s water does not support a high-flow head.
Water Plant Supervisor Dale Albert said the water dead-ends on U.S. 68.
Cross recalled that site consultants who visited the county four years ago said 68 South was “fatally flawed” because of its lack of access to high pressure water.
Chris Richards of Golden Giant said Kenton is in “an excellent spot logistically” for future business growth and he praised the good job being done by Kenton City Schools.
But he said, “In economic development, winners are the folks with access to services.”
Also at the meeting, council:
– Had first reading of legislation to vacate an alley that runs in front of Skinny’s Tavern on Steiner Avenue.
– Received a request to vacate an alley near 330 Grove Street. It was referred to the safety committee.
– Learned firefighters are checking and flushing hydrants on the city’s southwest side.
Residents many want to run the water before using it in case there is some rust in it, said Chief Tim Clark.
– Heard Cody Barker from the street department report city workers used the new road patching machine, the Duropatcher, to patch holes on both North and South Wayne Street. They are now moving on to other streets.
Wes Goldsmith believes he is doing just what he was created to do: graphic design.
Since 2014, Wes has served part-time at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance and is currently the graphic designer and social media marketing coordinator.
His first graphic design project after graduating from Ohio Northern University was designing the logo for the Hardin County motto.
When Wes first went to ONU, he started in marketing but eventually moved on, feeling it wasn’t hands-on enough for him and didn’t offer him the creative freedom he desired, “and I guess I’m a creative guy.”
“I pictured myself doing something with my hands, and I feel like I can do that on my computer – I’m using a computer, but I’m also using my mind and I’m creating stuff, which is something I felt like I needed to do,” he said.
“And I wanted to stay close to Hardin County, because this is where my friends, family and church are; this is where I want to be.”
It’s difficult to find a graphic design job in Hardin County, Wes added, “and I was glad that Jon (Cross, HCCBA president and CEO) picked me up here.”
Wes designs and creates many of the graphics for the chamber’s social media and its emails.
He then sends them to Jesse Purcell, director of chamber and tourism, and Jacqualine Fitzgerald, director of community development, then the three will work together, “because they’re the ones who know their event and they know what they want to say.”
“We’re pretty busy doing other stuff, so I don’t have as much time to get on the social media as I’d like to, so everybody kind of does their own social media, but they work with me on it,” Wes said.
“If they need me to make something, I’ll do it.”
Wes loves working and living in Hardin County, he said, and through his work with the HCCBA, he believes he and his c-oworkers are able to help the community.
“I love the people here,” he said.
“I love that we get a chance to help this community get back on its feet. We’re not starting at the top by all means, but I think it’s cool we get an opportunity to help revitalize it. That’s what I love about working here and living here.”
But his job with the HCCBA is not the only place Wes gets to express his creativity through designing.
He and his brother Zac started their own small business a year ago called Log and Jotter (stylized as Log+Jotter), a pocket notebook subscription business.
“We design a different cover every month and we send it out,” Wes said.
“At this point in our business, we print 1,200 books. We started a year ago, and we’re selling to people all over the world.”
Each month’s notebook, Wes added, is only available to those who are subscribed, meaning certain designs can come to be high in demand.
“There’s people scouring the Internet for them – our first one was a plain one and they want to find that plain one,” Wes said.
Whether it’s through creating designs for the HCCBA, designing new notebooks for Log and Jotter or doing freelance design work – he is currently working on the Hardin County Fair logo with Kolt Buchenroth – Wes said he loves the satisfaction of building something on his computer and then printing it off and actually seeing it.
“There’s a satisfaction of working with your hands,” he said.
“I feel like God created everybody to work, and I feel like that’s what I’m doing when I’m doing graphic design – I’m doing what I was created to do.”
Wes attends church at Abundant Life Assembly of God in Kenton where his father James serves as pastor.
There, he sings and plays guitar on Sunday mornings for the congregation. On Sunday nights, he leads worship and sings and plays for the youth group.
On Wednesday nights, Wes can be found at the church with the youth group Royal Rangers, a class for boys from first to eighth grade.
There, he helps teach anything from how to tie knots, how to fish, how to camp, how to start fires and how to hike.
Thursday nights are spent getting together with the guys from church to play a sport, watch a sports game or go out to eat.
Every two years, that same group goes out west to go hiking.
Their first trip was to Deacon Lake in Wyoming. This year’s eight-day camping and hiking trip will be to Glacier National Park in Montana.
Wes added that during the warm months, he helps mow yards three days a week with Paul Miller.