By Frank Lewis
Francesca Hartop, CEO of YEI (Yost Engineering Incorporated) in Portsmouth, learned Wednesday that she was being appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees for a term beginning Wednesday and ending June 30, 2022. Already she will be diving head-first into the position today.
“I’m actually down there tomorrow (Friday),” Hartop said. “Not a wasted day. I believe the first meetings are tomorrow, so I will be down on campus tomorrow and there’s some follow up stuff next week.”
The Daily Times was informed by Kasich’s office on Thursday morning that Hartop had been appointed to the post.
“I am so excited about it,” Hartop told the Daily Times. “I have worked closely with the university for a long time - everything from experiences on the campus to working with interns and various community programs they had going on - and, of course, so many of our employees and staff have come through the university. So to have a chance to maybe help foster that and their good programs and the growth of the university, it’s very exciting and very important to me personally.”
In addition to being CEO of YEI, Hartop operates several enterprises — from The Garage restaurant on Second Street to Port City Pub on Chillicothe Street, and overseeing the expansion of YEI’s manufacturing facilities at the former Lewis Furniture building on Chillicothe Street, and other ventures.
Hartop elaborated on the relationship her company has with the university.
“We get wonderful interns and students from the programs over at Shawnee,” Hartop said. “Both their gaming and their arts side, and, of course, the students that come through the medical programs, that has been very typical to our success.”
Hartop said there are a lot of reasons why she has invested in the community with her business creations.
“I’ve lived in a lot of different places around the United States, and there are so many great things that are here, and I know it has had its ups and downs, communities have those,” Hartop said. “And I’ve seen communities with far less or similar backgrounds to what we have, pull out of that. So I know it’s entirely possible. And having the university here; Having a few large key employers in the area plus the geography we have, everybody just needs to dig in and do it. There’s nothing magical and there’s no easy shortcut. But I know there is nothing that will prevent us from doing that if everybody pulls together and works toward that goal.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.