PIQUA — This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Doug Smith Memorial Banquet, sponsored by Promoting Recognition of Diversity (PROD). With a theme of “Planting Seeds to Reap the Harvest,” the banquet will be held at 6 p.m. June 5 at Edison Community College.
The event’s namesake, Doug Smith, was a Piqua native who was celebrated as one of the nation’s best educators while teaching at Columbus East High School. Smith was killed in an automobile accident while en route to a family reunion in Piqua in 1999.
Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison will be the speaker at this year’s banquet. A native of western Pennsylvania, Jamison The University of Dayton, graduating with a bachelor of science in criminal justice in 1983. He began his career with the Piqua Police Department in 1986 as an officer. During his career, he also has served as a juvenile officer, detective, evidence room custodian, hostage negotiator, administrative lieutenant, watch commander and bureau commander. He has served as the chief of police since 2008.
He is a proud father and grandfather, having partnered with his wife, Karen, in the raising of three daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys opportunities to serve the church, spending time in nature and developing web-based solutions to challenges faced by non-profit organizations.
PROD has sought to assist the recruitment of minority teacher candidates with enhancing the staffs of educational institutions serving the local Piqua area. The non-profit organization currently is transitioning to a more regional focus encompassing west central Ohio. This year, PROD is expanding its concept in partnering with Troy’s Lincoln Center Community.
PROD welcomes scholarship support in awarding $1,000 dollars in annual assistance to eligible scholars and challenges local individuals, churches, civic organizations and businesses to pledge their donations in the support of future PROD Scholars seeking scholarship assistance. The latest recipient of the PROD scholarship is Imari Witten, the daughter of Bridget and William Witten of Piqua. Witten is an education major attending the University of Cincinnati.
The organization creates a program booklet for the banquet that also is used as a recruiting tool to attract minority teacher candidates to apply at educational institutions serving the Piqua community. Businesses are currently being contacted to support the PROD program booklet. Individuals are also being encouraged to patronize the organization and show their support of PROD goals.
To send contributions or for more information, contact PROD, 1104 Maplewood Drive, Piqua, OH 45356 or call (937) 778-1035.