Giants Walk Among Us - Some Roll
Monday, October 28, 2020
The world is made up of all kinds of people… but, very few like 61 year old Kenneth Bussart of Glouster, Ohio. Bussart is a retired aircraft and ground fleet manager for UPS, who currently works as a maintenance man for Unified Bank in Glouster, Amesville and Nelsonville where his infectious positivity puts smiles on the faces of everyone he meets.
Making people smile comes naturally to Bussart as he spent much of his life as a professional photographer. During his time behind the camera, he photographed celebrities including Doc Severinsen, Kenny Chesney, Kathy Mattea and Aretha Franklyn. At a point in his life as a photographer where he decided he was no longer going to shoot weddings, he got pulled back in at the request of someone needing a wedding photographer in just a matter of days. Ken didn’t really want the job, but he couldn’t leave the customer hanging. Little did he know at the time that the groom would turn out to be the rear tire changer for the number one ranked driver in NASCAR.
NASCAR legends attending the wedding reception struck up friendships with Bussart. Thus began a life changing run as a professional NASCAR photographer. Over the years, Ken also covered PBR (Professional Bull Riding), NHRA drag racing, Indy racing and NTPA tractor pulling. In February of 2001, Bussart and his camera were present for Dale Earnhardt’s final race. “Before the race began, I took some of the last photos ever taken of that great man,” said Bussart.
In 2006, Bussart was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that eventually took much of the use of his legs. He fought using a wheelchair as long as he could, but eventually gave in and decided to make the best of it. He quickly found that commercial wheelchairs were not comfortable or practical. So, using his home fabricating shop, he began modifying and even constructing his own chairs. This led Ken to his next love in life… giving his modified wheelchairs to others. On many occasions when Ken sees someone in need of a chair or a better chair, he builds one and gives it to them anonymously. Not only does the recipient of the chair not know Ken; but also, Ken doesn’t necessarily know those he gifts his creations to. “It’s not about the gratitude, it’s about the giving,” said Bussart.
Unified Bank president and CEO, Scott Everson said, “Ken Bussart is a deeply caring and giving individual who embodies the spirit of Unified Bank and lives the Unified Way in his everyday life. We are extremely fortunate to have Ken as a valued member of the Unified Family.” Ken is not the only person in his family that works for Unified Bank. His wife, Crystal, is the customer service supervisor at its Nelsonville banking center.
Ken is currently working on a special custom project for Unified Bank. In his spare time, he is constructing a clear plastic banner… which will stand out with its strobing lights… to be used by the bank in Christmas Parades. “We wanted something quite spectacular to promote our brand in the various parades in which we participate and knew that we would have to find someone to custom build this banner for us. Not surprisingly, and in his usual “can do” way, Ken volunteered for the project,” added Everson.
Unified Bank is a full-service FDIC-insured, state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in Martins Ferry, OH and has nineteen locations that serve the Ohio counties of Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Fairfield, Harrison, Hocking, Jefferson and Tuscarawas and Marshall County in West Virginia. Unified Bank is the sole operating subsidiary of United Bancorp, Inc. (UBCP), a publicly-traded bank holding company, and has been serving the financial needs of the Ohio Valley since 1902 from its headquarters in Martins Ferry, Ohio.