XENIA — A Greene County Park District commissioner was honored Dec. 16 for 40 years of service to the board.
People from all around the community gathered to recognize John A. Finlay of Xenia.
“There were a lot of opportunities to do things and I just did it,” he said, humbled by the surprise. “I did it because you’d see some area where there needed to be something, somebody needed to do something.”
According to his friends and colleagues, he has done — and continues to do — a lot.
“I’m on a quest,” Greene County Commissioner Tom Koogler said. “I want to find one board in this county that you’re not on.”
Finlay was a founding partner at Finlay, Johnson & Beard in Xenia and has also served with the Xenia Foundry, Greene, Inc., the Greene Medical Foundation, Greene County Port Authority, Xenia City Board of Education, among other boards and organizations.
Added State Rep. Rick Perales: “John has been about service — service to community. What you contribute and will continue to contribute means a lot to us.”
Finlay was credited with bringing insight to meetings and making numerous projects successful over the four decades, which included the passage of levies and many changes that came with them.
“It’s been an inspiration for me to work alongside of you … The meetings that we’ve had, the things that we have accomplished as a result of your leadership are so significant to this county,” said Tony Sculimbrene, who is also on the park board. “People who live in this county have a great parks system because of you.”
Others thanked Finlay for his humor and calming influence, wisdom and vision.
Said Ken Bish, a long-time volunteer at Russ Nature Reserve: “If John hadn’t had the vision back in the late 60’s or 70’s to get that property, we wouldn’t have that crown jewel.”
Perales and Greene County Parks & Trails Chief Ranger Brady Smith presented challenge coins to Finlay, before a long line formed to congratulate him.
Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.