Chamber Honors Jamie Hunt – 2019 Citizen of the Year

The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Jamie Hunt, the mayor of Emlenton, as the 2019 Citizen of the Year.  Jamie grew up outside of Venango County in nearby Slippery Rock. He served as an Avionics Electrician in the U.S. Navy, earned his bachelor’s degree at Slippery Rock and his master’s from New Mexico University. In 2013, Jamie and his wife Jaci, living in the state of Washington, decided to move closer to home to raise their son Lucas, two years old at the time.

It was the great fortune of the Borough of Emlenton that an interesting property caught the eye of this young couple.  They purchased a blighted, decommissioned church on Hill Street and began the project of making it their home. Many young families would have chosen suburbia and the easier route to start a life and raise a family. Jamie’s choices have created a synergy and symbol of hope and positive progress that ripples across our region.

In his nomination, Jamie is described as a mayor, citizen, volunteer, board member, educator and friend. The author of the nominations says: “Jamie’s selfless devotion has spanned all of the six years he has resided in our county and his footprints are evident across our rural small towns and cities.”

As mayor and citizen, Jamie works directly with Emlenton Borough Council and the Emlenton Police Force to create a safer and healthier place to live. His devotion to developing relationships with Red Cross, Ameri Corps, Greenway and Trail Council Alliance, Venango Planning, Be Here Initiative, young professionals, Boys and Girls Club Along the Allegheny, Blueprint Initiative, Chicken Coop, Emlenton Volunteer Fire Department, Civic Club of Emlenton, Venango County Democratic Committee, AC Valley School District, Allegheny Valley Trail Association, and countless others has provided a platform for citizens to get involved at all levels.

Jamie was instrumental in bringing the Red Cross into Emlenton for the “Sound the Alarm” event to install smoke detectors in over 100 homes of residents throughout the AC-Valley School District communities.

As a member of the Blueprint Core Team, Jamie brings the refreshing perspective of a professional photographer—the ability to calmly observe and process information and find the underlying message in a situation. He is also willing to use his photography skills for the good of the community to document local festivals or projects.

Jamie doesn’t stop at simply lending his professional skill; he jumps in and takes an active role wherever he sees a need, such as with the creation of a citizens’ group dedicated to solving the local feral cat problem, or when providing a local perspective to historic property reuse planning.

Jamie, concerned with the blight throughout the borough and county, supported efforts to fight the blight. He personally purchased a blighted property and remediated the property, doing this with his own resources.

Jamie continually demonstrates his commitment to Emlenton, the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley, and Venango County.

Jamie Hunt consistently advocates for bipartisan positive approaches (practical, creative, and innovative for our rural setting) to municipal management, county level matters, and regional Greenways/Trails events, policies, and projects.

He is always polite when asking questions or providing explanations and he takes the time and effort to listen and engage people of all ages, backgrounds, and philosophies to join him in caring for and developing outdoor recreation, art, and civic life.

Jamie’s commitment to the community in which he serves is not only as a leader. He is a person who models his leadership style by truly engaging himself as a volunteer in projects and community building through his example of action to “get things done.”

Jamie will be recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner on Wednesday, February 19, at Cross Creek Resort in Titusville, along with our Business of the Year, Webco Industries, and Partner in Business of the Year, the Oil City Main Street Program. Learn more about the Annual Dinner here.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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