MARIETTA, OH — Trusting in your career path can be challenging, whether in your very first job or while navigating through college. For Misty Casto Crosby, a 1997 graduate of Washington State Community College (WSCC), trusting her path to stay local led to a life-long career she never expected.
Crosby originally hails from Bellaire, OH, but grew up living in Reno, Ohio within a close family of five. Throughout her life, Crosby learned many valuable lessons from her parents that led her to where she is today, including the importance of maintaining a steady work ethic. “Growing up, I watched my dad go to work on the afternoon shift at BF Goodrich/RJF,” she recalled. “He was up every day by 7am, keeping his yard nice and the car on the road for my mom, and providing a good life for all five of us.” Her mother, likewise, worked hard to provide for the family. In summary, she credits her parents with teaching her to “appreciate what you have, work hard for what you want, and don’t expect it to be handed to you.”
It was during her senior year at Marietta High School that she also learned the value of time management with a busy schedule. Already loaded with classes to finish out high school, she also took on courses for early college credit at Washington State. After school, she was an active Color guard member of the band. “There were so many things I had to be responsible for and I always tried to meet my obligations and follow through,” Crosby shared.
In addition to juggling this full-load of school work and activities, she also worked as a part-time secretary at Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District, now known as Buckeye Hills Regional Council. She only made $3.35 an hour. Though only her first professional position, she was already taking a giant step toward her future—even if she didn’t know it yet.
After Crosby graduated from high school, Buckeye Hills offered to continue her employment. Crosby says she credits this as one of the factors that solidified her decision to stay local for college, along with words of wisdom from her father, who also encouraged her to keep working. “The cost of college was on my shoulders at the time,” she noted. “It ended up being a rewarding decision to continue my education at Washington State, as it provided me the opportunity to obtain my education affordably while still earning an income.” Crosby took a combination of evening and day-time classes at WSCC to accommodate her work schedule at the time.
In 1997, Crosby earned an Associate of Applied Business in Accounting Technology from WSCC. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from Ohio Valley University.
With two degrees in hand, she could have chosen to start a new career anywhere. However, Crosby remained loyal to Buckeye Hills where she continued to excel, eventually becoming the organization’s Executive Director in 2007. Today as the organization’s leader, Crosby oversees the activities of an 8-county regional development organization, specializing in providing aging, economic development, community development, and planning services to the region.
Her time at Washington State came full-circle in 2017 when she was named a Distinguished Alumni award recipient by the Washington State Community College Foundation. “I was honored and humbled to be recognized,” she said. “It was a very validating experience that I must be doing something right.”
Her leadership and authority in her field are respected not just locally but on the state and national levels as well. She is the current president of the National Association of Development Organizations and has also served as the former Training Chair and president of the Development District Association of Appalachia. Most recently, Crosby has taken on appointed positions such as the Ohio Advisory Council on Aging and the Ohio University Board of Trustees, where she will serve as their very first regional representative. Amongst all of these honorable titles, Crosby thoroughly enjoys serving locally on the Board of Peoples Bank Theatre, to feed her passion of historic preservation.
After a successful 32-year run, Crosby plans to retire from Buckeye Hills this August, but her community involvement surely won’t come to an end. “I haven’t quite figured out what is next for me, but I will certainly stay active in using my voice for the good of the region.”
Misty, with her level of excellence, professionalism, and compassion in her work, serves as a role model for all who seek to provide service to our community.