Meet Billy Russo. He's the Director of Operations for the Smith River Sports Complex and has been a resident of Martinsville-Henry County for the past seven years. In that time, he has overseen growth of the complex, recruited new events to the area and was also named Young Professional of the Year in 2012.
On most weekends, the complex is a flurry of activity when hosting traveling teams, local youth sports and specialty camps. This past week, the complex played host to three former Olympians who taught world championship soccer skills to young players.
Billy noted that the Smith River Sports Complex serves a vital need for the community, providing recreational opportunities and economic impact to the local tourism industry. The positive impact of the complex "is important to me as well as bringing some meaning to what I do and what we do at the Smith River Sports Complex."
Billy and his wife have a young son, so living in a small close-nit community is important to him. Affordable cost of living and easy access to important resources make the Martinsville area a desirable place to live.
A pleasant surprise to Billy has been the area's arts scene. "When I first moved here, I immediately noticed the arts, music and museums. Over the last several years, I have been amazed by the community's involvement and resources being pooled in the right direction like the Rives Theatre, Rooster Walk, and other programs and events. For a small community of this size, its very rare to see that commitment."
Festivals are a big part of the community culture in MHC, and Billy's personal favorites are Rooster Walk, Oktoberfest, Smith River Fest, and Brewsterwalk. Billy noted that he is usually working during a lot of the events but tries to take them in, when possible.
Stop by the Smith River Sports Complex soon and say hi to Billy. While there, you can check out the brand new driving range, walk the Paw Path dog trail and see a glimpse of The Big Dipper waterslide that is opening soon. Just a few highlights to be proud of as this high quality complex continues to grow and serve our community.