Press

Introduction

This will be a positive source of information for the Village of East Palestine. It is focused on economic recovery – progress, innovation, and renewed growth. The village aims to proactively communicate to the world the good news that it is on the road to recovery with a resource for factual, consistent, and easy-to-understand news and information specifically regarding the clean-up and economic development plans for The Village of East Palestine.

New Logo & Brand Message

Pride. Tradition. Progress.  

Founded in 1875, East Palestine is a close-knit, small-town community of approximately 5,000 residents. We stand at the crossroads of history and the future, guided by our unwavering values of pride, tradition, and progress. Join us in building a vibrant, inclusive community that honors its roots and looks forward to a brighter tomorrow.

Trent Conaway, Mayor

Originally from East Palestine, OH, Mayor Trent Conaway graduated from East Palestine High School in 1998, lived for 10 years nearby in Negley and then moved back to East Palestine in 2004. He ran unopposed for mayor and was sworn in in 2019 and re-elected in 2023.

His past experience includes managing at a refractories plant, which makes materials for the steel industry, and he has volunteered with the East Palestine Fire Department for nearly a decade. Presently Mayor Conaway works as a mine foreman at East Fairfield Stone Co.

Chad Edwards, Village Manager

Originally from Marietta, Ohio, Chad Edwards graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Administration. His previous work experience includes multiple municipal positions across Appalachia. In the field of public management, Edwards believes he can have a direct impact on people and enjoys the progress that comes from that teamwork.

Keith A. Drabick, Fire Chief

Keith A. Drabick serves as the Fire Chief for the Village of East Palestine, Ohio. He has 37 years of experience in the Emergency Services field. Chief Drabick obtained his Associate’s Degree in Emergency Medical Technology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Service Administration, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, along with numerous industry certifications. Chief Drabick is involved in several Emergency Services-related organizations, including, but not limited to, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Ohio Fire Chiefs Association, Columbiana County Fire Chiefs, and the National Fire Academy Alumni Association.

Traci Spratt, Director of Finance

Originally from East Palestine, Ohio, Traci Spratt is a graduate of East Palestine High School, class of 1992. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Finance from Youngstown State University. Traci has worked for the Village of East Palestine since 1991 as the Finance Clerk from 1991- 2006, from 2006 until present has been the Finance Director and has served as Interim Manager on 3 occasions.

Videos

One Year Video and Village of East Palestine video assets can be viewed and downloaded within our video library. Click on the cloud icon to download and select the appropriate video. All music has been removed for broadcast reuse. Note the one year video has two versions, with and without music. If using this for broadcast news purposes, please use the version without music.

New Website

epohio.org

*This site does NOT replace eastpalestine-oh.gov, which remains the place for town government information.

Press Release

East Palestine, Ohio Marks 1st Anniversary of Derailment with Progress Updates and New Brand

January 30, 2024 – EAST PALESTINE, OH – In a testament to pride, tradition, and progress, the Village of East Palestine will announce a progress update video and new brand campaign to show the significant clean-up and revitalization efforts following the unfortunate train derailment that occurred nearly one year ago. Through these efforts and impassioned community engagement, the village is emerging stronger, more united, and more resilient than ever.

The progress update video will be launched on the morning of February 2, 2024, on a new website dedicated to positive progress. The videos are voiced by residents from the Village of East Palestine and will acknowledge the anniversary, provide an update on the positive changes, and look forward to the future. 

The new brand gives the Village of East Palestine an opportunity for a fresh start now that the environmental clean-up is largely done, and the focus is moving to economic recovery.  The new brand pays homage to the town’s history and traditions while setting the stage for its growth and redevelopment initiatives. In addition to the new website, other branding initiatives include a new logo featuring some of the village’s most recognizable buildings, and the tagline, Pride. Tradition. Progress. 

Chad Edwards, Village Manager, shares the idea of the new tagline, “Pride. Tradition. Progress.” represents the community’s strength and resilience, rich heritage and strong roots, and aspirations for creating a better future.” 

Another step that the Village took on the road to economic recovery was the creation of a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), a non-profit corporation authorized under the Ohio Revised Code, which will serve as the agent of the Village in executing many steps in an economic development plan. The plans will include elements of downtown revitalization, small business support, and strategies for retaining, expanding, and attracting businesses.

Residents of East Palestine have voiced that they still want to live, work, go to school, and enjoy their time in the village. The cost of living is low, and the crime rate is even lower. The schools are a source of community pride, and the village park is an exceptional asset that will continue to grow.

Edwards continues, “East Palestine residents care too much about this town to give up, so they are rolling up their sleeves to make it better.”

To this point, one of the main pillars of the Village of East Palestine’s revitalization strategy is community engagement. Through positive community actions and voices, the village is working to foster a renewed sense of pride and unity among its residents. Local entrepreneurs and residents are playing a pivotal role in giving back to the community and shaping the village’s identity, contributing to a strong, resilient culture that is palpable throughout the town. The village extends its heartfelt gratitude to the residents, businesses, and partners who have committed to making the derailment an inflection point and working together to make the Village of East Palestine a more vibrant community than it was in the past.

To keep residents and the wider public informed, in addition to the user-friendly website, the Village of East Palestine has activated new Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages and a monthly printed newsletter that will be mailed to residents and business owners in East Palestine. Positive stories of success and progress have been shared through various media outlets, and collaborations with influencers like JT Miller, Mike McGee, and Annika Sorenstam are bringing East Palestine’s transformation to a global audience.

About the Village of East Palestine

Founded in 1875, the Village of East Palestine is a close-knit community known for its rich history, friendly atmosphere, and commitment to progress. With a population of just under 5,000 residents, the Village of East Palestine offers a unique blend of small-town charm and modern conveniences, making it an ideal place to live, work, and visit. 

Media Contact

Olivia Huntley | ohuntley@wrladv.com | 330-493-8866
Director of Digital Communications
WRL Advertising

Virtual 1-Year Progress Video - Agenda

  • Introduction – Trent Conaway, Mayor
  • Intro Video – Voices of East Palestine
  • Health & Safety – Keith Drabick, Fire Chief 
  • Recent Tactics – Chad Edwards, City Manager  
  • Rebranding and Communications Tools – Traci Spratt, Director of Finance 
  • Closing – Trent Conaway, Mayor 
  • Closing Video