SOPA works to educate officials

The Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) plays a unique role in the community when it comes to economic development.

The SOPA Board of Directors is made up of various community leaders that sometimes have to make complex and hard decisions.

Making some of those complex and hard decisions can sometimes be easier, if the board is equipped with the necessary training and knowledge.

For some time members of the SOPA Board and staff have been attending training and educational seminars on various topics. What they are learning, they are bringing back to the SOPA Board Meetings.

Earlier this spring, SOPA Board Members and New Boston Councilman Mike Payton and Adam Phillips, SOPA Asset Manager attended the Ohio Economic Development Association – Economic Development Basic Course.

Jason Kester, Executive Director of SOPA said, “once Mike (Payton) completes the course all of our government entities (Scioto County, city of Portsmouth and the village of New Boston) will have attended some type of economic development coursework,” Kester said. “The (Scioto County) commissioners take economic development intro and courses as part of their new commissioner training.”

Kester said Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen completed the Ohio Economic Development Association – Economic Development Basic Course last year.

“I think that’s a first – the county, city, and village will all have high-level officials that have completed some type of economic development course work. It also shows our various elected and government officials’ commitment to economic development. It also shows we’re building our economic development capacity/knowledge base,” Kester said.

During the first week of May, Kester will graduate from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

Kester said Allen is intending to enroll in first year courses of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, with the first course in San Antonio, Texas.

For more about the programs and activities of the Southern Ohio Port Authority visit,

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT


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