Meet the commissioner: David Plesher

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
David Plesher

On Monday, May 3 Commissioner-elect David Plesher will be taking his seat on the Ardmore City Commission representing the city’s Southwest Ward. Plesher and his family have lived in the city for the past two decades, however his roots trace to Pennsylvania.

Originally from the Pittsburgh, Penn., area, Plesher grew up in Monongahela, Penn., until he moved with his family to Sioux City, Iowa when his father accepted a position running the Sioux City Foundry. His father was a second generation foundry worker, and Plesher later became the third. However he took a detour into the restaurant industry before becoming involved in foundries.

“I finished up high school in Sioux City, Iowa,” Plesher said. “After high school I worked up in the restaurant industry for awhile, and ended up moving to Grand Rapids, Mich. to open a restaurant up there. After awhile I decided to go back to school, so I got my associates degree in Grand Rapids, and then I went back to Iowa State University to get my engineering degree.”

After finishing college, Plesher moved to Warsaw, Ind. and spent 12 years working with the Dalton Foundries. In was in Warsaw where Plesher met his wife and began his family. After briefly getting out of the foundry industry for a year, Plesher was offered an opportunity with East Jordan Iron Works to move to Ardmore to begin the foundry.

“They told us there’s a big lake by the town, and there were mountains, and all of that sounded really good,” Plesher said. “We’d never been down here before, and after coming to take a look we decided it’s a place we wanted to be. We had a boat, and we’d spent lots of time at the lake in Indiana, and we thought the lake here looked really good.”

That move took place almost 20 years ago — April 30, 2001 to be exact. In those days the all that existed of the EJ Foundry was poured concrete for the buildings, a sand tower, and the part of the tower used for melting. But the foundry has grown, just like the city.

In addition to his job at East Jordan — from which he will be retiring at the end of the month — Plesher and his wife own Main Street Coffee which they opened in early 2004.

“Part of the deal of getting my wife to move away from Indiana and her home town was that she would get to retire when we came down here,” Plesher said. “After about two years, she wanted something to do, so we came up with the idea of opening a coffee shop.”

After looking around, the couple settled on their current location on Main Street. 

“We papered up the windows and tore the place down to just the walls then built everything back up,” Plesher said. “We were about 80 days from the time we started to the time we opened up. The first couple years were a little tough because people weren’t going downtown as much, but we stuck with it. After about five years things were going much better, and now it’s a thriving business. Downtown has changed a lot since we’ve been here, and we’re so happy to have been a part of that growth.”

In addition to his time on the city commission and helping with Main Street Coffee, Plesher said he plans tospend his upcoming retirement traveling.

“I’ve been planning this retirement for a year and a half now, but some of that’s going to get put on hold now that I’m on the commission,” Plesher said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do to help the community out by being a commissioner.