SIDNEY— Robert Geuy has been employed by the County Engineers Department for 37 years and has been involved in support of the Shelby County Fair for most of them. This year, he was recognized for that support.
“Even before I was county engineer, I’ve worked here 37 plus years now, and when I was chief deputy engineer, I was involved with the fairgrounds and working on various projects. In 1999 I became the county engineer, and I’ve been heavily involved since then,” said Geuy.
Geuy was nominated for the award by Jerry Schaffner, secretary of the Shelby County Agricultural Society (Fair Board). Schaffner oversees nominating a recipient, and this year he thought Geuy and his team were deserving of the honor.
Each year a member of the various fair boards around the state can nominate someone the consider an Outstanding Fair Supporter. These representatives of the board fill out paperwork and send it to the Department of Agriculture, and they are voted on by the Ohio Fair Managers Association.
“I try to do it whenever we feel there’s somebody who deserves it,” said Schaffner.
Geuy was recognized because of his leadership of the County Highway Department and their willingness to assist in keeping the fairgrounds in shape.
“It’s actually the County Highway Department because a lot of times they have people do jobs out here that helps to keep the grounds up. If he (Geuy) doesn’t okay it, it doesn’t happen,” said Schaffner.
“I would not be comfortable taking the credit for this myself because it’s a team effort,” said Geuy, “It’s a team effort with my staff. We do quite a bit of work for the fair board, their grounds, their upkeep, their drainage plan. Basically, if they need something, we try to help them out, take care of it, and again I’ve worked with the fair board, and I have to rely on my staff, and my staff does the same thing. I think that’s where this comes from.”
The Fair Board had a large project to tackle, and they reached out to Geuy and his team to see if they could help them. The fairgrounds was in need of a new grandstand, and the Fair Board recognized that they were going to need help.
“When we were getting quotes for doing our grandstand, we were amateurs looking at building a new grandstand. We had no idea what to do, and he and his assistant helped us through the process,” said Schaffner, “During the pre-bid sessions, he (Geuy) answered all the questions. They were questions, I can tell you now, myself and the president of the board couldn’t have answered. After some changes, it came in well under budget, and that’s the reason we’ve got the new grandstand. I don’t think we would have been able to do what we did without their help.”
“The fair board approached us about whether or not we could help them with the project. I volunteered our services, and my Chief Deputy Nick Miller worked very hard. He put more hours in it than I did on that project. We helped walk them through that process, and we learned quite a bit ourselves because we’d never built a grandstand, so it was an educational process for us, also,” said Geuy.
The relationship between the Fair Board and Geuy and his team has gone both ways over the years.
“They’ve helped us out, too, when we needed storage space. Some of our equipment we get to store out there during the wintertime. So, it’s a give-and-take, but that’s the way we ought to work together,” said Geuy.
The Fair Board is quite grateful for the help over the years and felt the need to recognize Geuy.
“He’s been a great friend to the fair, I can tell you that right now,” said Schaffner.
Geuy appreciates the recognition from the Fair Board, but also knows that his team deserves the recognition, too.
“I’m humbled to be recognized. I wouldn’t be comfortable without looking back and recognizing the staff that works with me because they make me look good,” said Geuy.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.