RIO GRANDE — State legislator Ryan Smith will soon lead the The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College campus as president.

State Representative Ryan Smith, of Bidwell, will be resigning his position in the Ohio House of Representatives effective Oct. 3, to accept the position of president.

Members of the Ohio House of Representatives are limited to serving four, two-year terms. Smith is in his fourth term, meaning he is “term-limited” from running again for the 93rd District seat in 2020.

Since 2012, Smith has represented the 93rd House District, which includes Jackson and Gallia counties, as well as portions of Lawrence and Vinton counties. During that time, he served two terms as Chairman of the Finance Committee, and he was elected by his colleagues to serve as the 103rd Speaker of the House.

“First, I want to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Ohio’s 93rd House District for the distinct privilege of being able to serve as their state representative during the past seven years,” stated Smith. “This opportunity has been the greatest professional experience of my life, and I am incredibly proud of the work my colleagues and I have been able to accomplish to improve the lives of those in need and to give a voice to those who oftentimes feel voiceless.”

Smith continued, “I have often said education is the pathway out of poverty, and I believe that sentiment is just as true today as it was when I began my career in the legislature. For several years now, I have worked to reform state education policy as a means to address the hurdles that unduly burden students living in Ohio’s urban and rural communities. Now I believe it is time for me to take on the challenge of bringing about meaningful educational reform on a more local, community-based level.”

The Boards of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College moved forward with selecting Smith on Thursday, Sept. 26, after he agreed to take on the position.

“Since 1876, these distinguished institutions have offered critical educational programs to the people of Southeast Ohio and continue to stand as beacons of strength and opportunity for our region,” said Smith. “I look forward to joining them in fulfilling their core mission to provide students the opportunity to attain a high-quality, high-value education while promoting successful lives, careers, and responsible citizenship.”

Smith added, “Once again, I want to offer my sincere thanks to both my colleagues and my constituents. As I like to say, ‘Don’t be sad because it’s over, but be happy because it happened.’”

Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The Ohio State University in 1995. Upon graduation, he began working as a financial advisor and in 2005, joined his current financial advising firm as Vice President and Partner.

Smith was twice elected to the Gallipolis City School Board, where he served as Board President. He has also served as president of both the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce and the Gallia County Community Improvement Corporation. He was also a board member for Holzer Health Systems.

Smith is married to his wife Vicki, and together they have four children, Blake, Grant, Kennedy, and Camryn. They reside in Bidwell, where they are active in their local church and community.

Smith will begin his official duties of president of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College on Monday, Oct. 14.

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