#HomeGrownStories – June Drieling

June Drieling moved to Miami County from Shelby County over thirty years ago. She became acquainted with Brukner Nature Center when her children were young. She took them to PEEP, Brukner’s Preschool Environmental Education Program. June volunteered with the PEEP program before she started teaching in 1995. Today, June is the Director of Education at Brukner. She still teaches the PEEP classes. Some of her students are the children of her first PEEPers. They bring their kids back to Brukner to grow up around nature as they did years ago. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Jordan Knepper

Jordan Knepper, a Shelby County resident, grew up surrounded by art. He is still surrounded by art as an adult, which he shares with the Piqua community and beyond. Jordan is the director of the Piqua Arts Council. Jordan brings the arts to Piqua through a variety of events. Some of the most popular include the Rock Piqua concerts, Dancing with the Piqua Stars and the Piqua Art Show. The Piqua Art Show is the largest art show in the Miami Valley! Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Sarah Porto

Sarah Porto, a Troy native, has recently moved back to Miami County. She and her husband, Tom, a Tipp City native, lived in Columbus for thirteen years. Sarah and Tom are happy to be raising their young family in the community they grew up in. Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She enjoys incorporating faith and spirituality into sessions for interested clients. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – The Goon Brothers

The GOON Brothers are known for their adventurous scavenger hunts. These giveaways have kids and adults searching Miami County for clues and fun prizes. They also encourage their followers to give back to their community. During July, the GOON Brothers are asking their fans on social media to creatively give back. They have 31 ideas for their #WAYLF (What Are You Looking For) challenge, one for every day of the month! Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Sarah Swisher, #homegrownintern

Sarah Swisher is a lifelong resident of Miami County and recent graduate of Bethel High School. She is currently spending part of her summer as the intern for the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau. You can find all her social media posts under the hashtag #HomeGrownIntern. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Jenny Zapadka

Growing roses runs in Jenny Zapadka’s family. Jenny’s grandfather, James Weeks, taught her about nature and gardening when she was young. When her grandfather passed away, Jenny began planting roses as a way to remember him. Three years ago, she started Rose Girl, selling her English roses. Her customers are florists in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton. The business is a family venture. Jenny’s husband, Michael, built a small greenhouse and cold room from recycled materials. Their sons, Alex and Sam, help weed the rose beds. Even Jenny’s apron has a family touch: it was made from her grandmother’s’ handkerchiefs. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Ken Siler

Ken Siler grew up in Troy and has lived here almost his entire life. For the past 14 years, Ken has served as the Director of Recreation and Manager of Hobart Arena for the city of Troy. The arena recently underwent a major renovation. Improvements will assist the arena in offering recreational opportunities for the community. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Leslie Trimbach & Dawn Spoltman

Local artists Leslie Trimbach and Dawn Spoltman opened Studio 14 Creative Arts Center in downtown Troy. It is the sister studio to Studio 14 Gallery & Fine Arts Center, located in Tipp City. Both studios offer art classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels. Professional instructors teach classes in painting, drawing, photography, jewelry, glass, and more. They offer Tippsy Art Parties for adults, Studio 4-Teens Art Parties, and Arty Parties for Kids. The community is at the heart of Studio 14. Leslie and Dawn want the studios to share art with their communities and their communities to share with their studios. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Cindy Dobo

Cindy Dobo has wanted to own a bakery since she was very young. She moved to Piqua in 1998 when she took ownership of Daniel’s Bakery and created Dobo’s Delights. Cindy kept many of the original recipes from the 100+-year-old bakery and added many of her own. She bakes many traditional Hungarian treats as well as cakes for any occasion. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – R. Scott Miller

Scott Miller, a Piqua native, has worked in Miami County his entire career. Most jobs he has had have been at nonprofit organizations, starting with the Miami County YMCA. He also worked as the Executive Director of the American Red Cross for Miami and Shelby County for 23 years. November 2017 will mark Scott’s third year as President of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber works with local businesses to promote economic development and hosts community events to bolster local Piqua pride. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Shane Carter

The Lincoln Community Center has provided education and hope to children in Troy for 150+ years. The center started as a one-room schoolhouse for African American children. Today, it is a full-service community center for all people. Troy native, Shane Carter, grew up going to the Lincoln Community Center. He attended preschool, learned to swim, and played basketball. Today he is the director of the center. Since taking the position in 2011, he has made aesthetic improvements to the center and added new programs for the community. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Cody Long

Cody Long and his father, Rod, started Tuscarora Wood MidWest in 2006 in Covington, Ohio. They salvage wood from old barns and other structures in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The wood is then milled and repurposed into unique, one-of-a-kind products. They work on local projects as well as supply wood for projects across the country.  Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson shares his love of our local rivers through Adventures on the Great Miami. He started his business in 2007 as a canoe and kayak livery. Along with canoeing and kayaking, Chris now offers river activities like river rafting and stand up paddle boarding. He also hosts outdoor events like primitive camping, concerts and food truck festivals. Adventures on the Great Miami plans to hold more community outdoor events and activities in the coming years. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Scott Myers

Scott Myers has served as the Director of the Miami County Parks District for the past five years. Growing up in rural Hancock County, Scott never aspired to work in agriculture or on a farm. Today he goes to work every day at the Historic Knoop Homestead. His office sits in the Knoop’s Victorian Era farmhouse. While he never expected to work on a farm, he enjoys every minute of it. Scott has called Troy home for half of his life and loves the sense of community in Miami County. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Kelsea Wiggins

Kelsea Wiggins has lived in Ohio for her entire life. She is a lifestyle blogger and a social media strategist for an ad agency in downtown Columbus.  So what ties her to Miami County?
“Everything and nothing,” she says.
“My first encounter with Miami County was for a soccer tournament for my older brother when I was six or seven. The Troy Strawberry Festival, I believe. When I found myself back here to visit my ex-boyfriend’s family, I immediately remembered exactly where I was. Miami County has a strange way of always feeling like home.” Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Melissa Cairns

Melissa Cairns, an Ohio native who has called Tipp City home for over 30 years, has created a unique specialty toy shop for all ages in downtown Tipp City. Cairns began as Cairns Collectibles in the early 1980s and included a mix of vintage items, antiques and specialty dolls and bears. Today Melissa hand selects dolls, books, games, puzzles and other toys which she sells out of her blue tiled downtown store. Cairns Toys has been in its present location on Main Street in historic downtown Tipp City since 1998. Melissa was recently interviewed for our #HomeGrownStories campaign. Continue reading