THORNVILLE – On Tuesday, Aug. 31, 72nd District state Rep. Kevin Miller made a stop at The Shelly Company’s Quality Control Laboratory and Human Resources Training Center, located at 8775 Blackbird Lane in Thornville. Six members of The Shelly Company, including Tony Barna, SVP, GM, attended the meeting, along with two Ohio Chamber of Commerce directors, Joe Price of Larr Policy Consulting, and one media person.
Following introductions Shawn White, Quality Manager for Shelly, led the group on a tour of the Quality Control Laboratory. Stopping at each lab station, White explained the purpose of each work area and the processes utilized to create the various pavements of the roads we travel. From state highways primarily used by automobiles and light trucks to interstate highways traveled heavily by semi-trucks, White and Barna described the science behind the materials used to create road surfaces.
Rep. Miller could also qualify as a pavement expert but from a different perspective. The legislator served as an Ohio State Patrol officer for 22-½ years before accepting the appointment to the 72nd District seat following the state legislature’s vote to remove Larry Householder from office.
After the 45-minute tour of the laboratory, Rep. Miller took time to address a few questions from the media. The Swanton, Ohio native graduated from Evergreen High School prior to attending The Ohio State University. Following graduation from OSU, he joined the Ohio State Patrol (OSP). Miller currently resides with his family in Licking County, “just across I-70,” as he described the location of his home.
“I knew after 22-½ years with the Patrol it was time to leave law enforcement,” described Miller. When the 72nd District seat opened, Miller said the timing for him was perfect to seek the position. He says his motive to enter the political realm might “sound a little cheesy,” but was absolutely genuine.
“I discussed it with my wife before applying for the appointment,” says the former law enforcement officer. “I believed it was time for me to step up and make a difference for the people in our district.”
Part of that motivation may have originated from his last years with the OSP. Miller was the legislative liaison for the OSP at the Statehouse in Columbus. His close contacts with legislators during this time had a definite influence on his decision to seek the vacant seat created by Householder’s ouster.
Although Ohio’s newest State representative has yet to be assigned to any committees, he believes he has found the career path he wants to continue following.
“Yes, I will run for this seat in the fall of 2022,” stated Rep. Miller. He recognized that decision hinges on his emergence from any possible challenges in the primary. The only question in Miller’s mind is who he will be representing. With talks about restructuring the districts, the 72nd District may look different by the time the next election season arrives.
Miller was appointed to his new position on June 28th, the same day he retired from the Ohio State Patrol.
“I went from retiree to appointee to immediately voting on budget issues,” described Miller of his whirlwind transition from law officer to lawmaker.
Staff members of The Shelly Company attending the meeting in addition to Barna and White included Paul Cuthbert,VP of sales & Logistics; Peter Morse, VP aggregates; Ben Koehler, VP operations, HMA & construction; and Shannon Webb, safety manager. Representing the Ohio Chamber of Commerce were Kevin Boehner, director of small business & workforce policy, and Anthony Lagunzad, director of political & grassroots programs.
The Sheely Company has become the largest company of its kind in Ohio, according to Tony Barna. “We have three divisions in Ohio, and in our Southern Division we have 600 employees,” he said. “Statewide we have 1,600 employees.”
A member of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce since 1994, The Shelly Company is a CRH Company with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.