Regional Business Association Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary
The Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA) celebrated its 10-year anniversary Thursday afternoon with reflections on what the organization has accomplished over the past decade.
The celebration took place on the Purple People Bridge which Eric Thomas, CORBA's executive director, said was fitting because it connects both banks of the Ohio River. Scott James, CORBA's current chairman, spoke after Thomas and reiterated the association's purpose, value, and accomplishments by giving each previous chairman recognition for what happened under their directions.
"It's important to recognize where you've been and celebrate it," James said. "We all have a foot or toe in the water somewhere up and down the river here."
After James concluded his remarks, Robyn Bancroft, strategic initiatives manager at OKI Regional Council of Governments, took the podium to talk about how important CORBA is to the area.
"On behalf of everyone at OKI, I want to extend a heartfelt congratulations on CORBA's first ten years," Bancroft said. "We don't want to imagine a region without CORBA."
The event was attended by various CORBA members and Congressman Thomas Massie, who took the podium last.
"When I was first elected nine-years ago I thought [CORBA] had been around for 50 years," Massie said. "I thought 'man, I better take this meeting, these guys sound important.' Little did I know you had only been around for one."
Massie spoke about the importance of infrastructure and the federal government's role in its creation and maintenance while interjecting anecdotes from his life in government.
One anecdote shared by Massie came from his days as judge/executive in Lewis County and involved a boat ramp covered in six-inches of mud. Massie said he was unsure if he was legally allowed to spend county resources on clearing the ramp, but considered it important in case emergency services needed to use it as an access point. Therefore, he took his own backhoe to the ramp and cleared it himself by scooping it and depositing it into nearby woods - adding that he did take one scoop home for his wife's garden.
"I sure hope the statute of limitations has expired on that one," he said with a chuckle.
Another story involved Massie steering a fully-loaded barge down the river for a photo-op that was to be shot by a photographer on one of the bridges. Massie said that while he was steering the thought crossed his mind to run it into a pylon supporting the Brent Spence Bridge at full speed.
"I thought, I might not live through it and I might go to jail if I did," he said. "But I would always be remembered as the guy that got a new Brent Spence Bridge."
The event concluded with the unveiling of a three-foot-by-three-foot plaque placed at the middle of the Purple People Bridge that gives information about CORBA and the water below.
The event was frequently marked by blaring horns as the many barges passed directly under the bridge causing speakers to start and stop while the boats bellowed.
-Connor Wall, associate editor