ST. HENRY — The spotlight was on a longtime public servant as friends, families colleagues and constituents roasted and toasted the career of Rep. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, 84th District,Wednesday night.
Approximately 250 people assembled in a festive atmosphere for “A Tribute and Roast of Jim Buchy” at Romer’s Catering to pay tribute, note the success of a very distinguished career and recognize the end of an era for one of Ohio’s most beloved and respected politicians. President of the Ohio Senate Keith Faber, Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberg, and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and other public figures were among those who gathered to honor Buchy, who will retire upon completion of his current term in office.
In September 2015, Buchy announced he would retire from the Ohio House of Representatives after being in public service for more than 30 years. He is not seeking re-election citing “At this time it is important that I am able to enjoy retirement with my family.” He will remain in Greenville with his wife Sharon spending time with their two grown children and eight grandchildren.
Buchy, 76, is a graduate of Wittenberg University and former president and CEO of Buchy Food Service in Greenville, Ohio, Prior to his time in the Ohio House, Buchy served on the Greenville Board of Education. He served in the Ohio House from 1983-2000 in the 84th House District, which currently encompasses Mercer County as well as portions of Auglaize, Darke, and Shelby counties. From 2000-2010 Buchy left the House and served as assistant director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture and later was a member of the leadership council and a policy director at the National Federation of Independent Business.
In 2011 Buchy was appointed to a seat in the Ohio house filling the expired term of Jim Zehringer, who was asked to serve in Gov. John Kasich’s cabinet. Buchy was then re-elected in 2012 and has since served in that position.
The festivities opened with prayer, the singing of the National Anthem and The Pledge of Allegiance. Dinner was served and shortly afterward Faber took the podium and welcomed the honored guest and thanked all those in attendance for coming. Faber set the tone with kind words of appreciation for Buchy creating an atmosphere of respect and admiration for the steadfast commitment Buchy maintained while in office.
“It has been said that politicians take, and public servants give, Jim Buchy exemplifies what a public servant should be,” said Faber, “Jim is considered a fixture of the State House, and has been a faith-driven example for others to follow concerning his zeal to serve the people of his state, we will really miss his presence!”
Rosenberger was moved to tears reflecting on the impact Buchy has had on his life and career over the years noting Buchy was not just a co-worker but a genuine friend always willing to lend a hand where needed.
“Jim is an extremely hard working individual, up at 3 a.m. every morning every morning, making the long drive from Greenville to Columbus was all in a day’s work. Jim is a man of character, a mentor, and it has be a privilege to walk in the shadow of this giant of a man, I am thankful to have served with him, he is a great person and will leave a big pair of shoes to fill … he epitomizes what great leadership in the legislature should be and will be sorely missed!”
As part of the “roast” portion of the event Rosenberger acknowledged Buchy’s 30-plus years of service and presented him with a framed picture of the signing of the Greenville Treaty in 1795 which included Buchy’s image in the illustration indicating he was one of the original signers of the document.
“As we can clearly see Jim Buchy has been around for a long, long time,” Rosenberger said.
The evening continued with Taylor and a host of others paying homage to Buchy for his many accomplishments and dedication to public service while in office. Though all who spoke took turns telling stories and poking at Buchy, their prodding paled in comparison to the praise for his loyalty to his constituents.
In closing Buchy thanked the hosts all those in attendance for sharing this most special evening and acknowledged his appreciation for the privilege to serve his country. Buchy will be remembered as “a man of the people” and a faithful servant to his local community and the state of Ohio, said those present.
Sponsors for the event were Andy Herf – Shumaker Advisors; Ginn Ragan; Ohio Trucking Association – TRUPAK; Wholesale Beer and Wine Association – PAC; Ohio Horseman’s Association – PACER; NFIB SAFE Trust; and Ohio Farm Bureau – PAC.