SIDNEY — Cheri Drinkwine, who served as the director of the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) since April 30, 2013, retired at the end of 2021.
“It has been a tremendous opportunity for me to lead the Shelby County EMA for the past eight and a half years. I’ve had the privilege to get to know and work with so many wonderful people, departments and agencies. To be a part of building emergency preparedness together in our communities has been a blessing and I am truly grateful for everything I’ve learned here. Kristy Fryman will do a wonderful job as the next Shelby County EMA director. We had three months to work together making the transition. She is ready to jump in and get started with training, exercises, and building community resilience,” wrote Drinkwine in an email.
In honor of her service, Dec. 28, 2021, the date of her retirement party, was declared Cheryl L. Drinkwine Day by Mayor Mardie Milligan. Vice Mayor Steve Wagner presented Cheri with the proclamation.
“Cheri’s vision and dedication toward our emergency management program was second to none,” said Bruce Metz, EMA Board president and Jackson Center administrator. “Cheri helped secure funds for a new Hazmat vehicle, she also helped facilitate the Memorandum of Understanding between Miami and Shelby Hazmat teams to work together. Cheri also oversaw the remodel of the EMA meeting rooms so an Emergency Operations Center could run out of the EMA building.”
“As the EMA Director Cheri always worked with passion, dedication and enthusiasm. Her ability to remain positive and look for solutions helped bring calm to a normal stressful environment. It was a privilege to work with her,” said William Balling, Sidney’s chief of police.
“I appreciate Cheri’s dedication and all her hard work to the Shelby County Community and the people she served. She has always been very helpful and a great person to work with. She’s going to be missed,” said Roberta Mangen, emergency preparedness / public health sanitarian at the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department.
“Director Drinkwine was instrumental in ensuring county emergency operations plans aligned with the most current FEMA guidelines. In addition, Director Drinkwine always had a progressive emergency management program, by conducting workshops, trainings, and exercises that test the Shelby County EOP in disaster scenarios. She will be missed not only in Shelby County, but for the entirety of the Southwest portion of Ohio,” said Sam Reed, emergency specialist at the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.
“I had the honor to train with Cheri for three months before she retired. Through those months, I was able to see how much passion and dedication she had for the emergency management field. She truly cared about serving the citizens of Shelby County,” said Kristy Fryman,
Fryman succeeded Drinkwine as the new director of the Shelby County EMA.