Honorable Kris Jordan - Chair
The Ohio Senate
Senator Kris Jordan is currently serving his second term in the Ohio Senate, representing the 19th District, which encompasses Delaware and Knox counties, as well as portions of Franklin County.
Senator Jordan is a lifelong resident of Delaware County, and at age 25 was elected to his first term as Delaware County Commissioner. He served six years as commissioner before being elected to serve as a State Representative in 2008, representing the 2nd House District. Jordan distinguished himself early when he was elected to House leadership as Assistant Minority Whip - the first freshman in Ohio House history to do so.
Senator Jordan currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Finance General Government Subcommittee and as a member of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, State and Local Government Committee, Education Committee, Ways and Means Committee, and Medicaid Committee.
Throughout his career, Senator Jordan has proven himself to be a strong fiscal conservative. He has consistently fought to reduce government spending and has never voted for a tax increase. As a county commissioner, he led the fight to reduce property taxes for five years in a row.
Senator Jordan is also a strong social conservative, having fought to protect the unborn in both the Ohio Senate and Ohio House. For his efforts, he has twice been awarded the Watchdog of the Treasury award, been named the Ohio Christian Alliance's Local Elected Official of the Year, has received a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union and was the 2012 Ohio Farm Managers Association's Legislator of the Year.
Senator Jordan received a bachelor's degree in political science from The Ohio State University and is an active member of his community. He is an active member of the National Rifle Association, Delaware County Right to Life, and the Delaware County Farm Bureau.
Senator Jordan, his wife, Melissa, and their two children live in Ostrander and attend LifePoint Christian Church.
Honorable Tim Brown - Vice-Chair
The Ohio House of Representatives
Tim Brown is currently serving his second term as State Representative. He Chairs the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, and serves on the Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee, and the Health and Aging Committee.
In 2013, Brown was accepted into the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Executive Education Program. He studied in Boston, and graduated in the summer of 2013. Representative Brown was selected to attend Harvard's program from hundreds of applicants from around the world, and was the recipient of a fellowship through the David Bohnett Fellowship Program.
Prior to being elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, he was elected four terms as Wood County Commissioner and served as Vice President of the Board. He was elected by his colleagues around Ohio to serve as Vice President of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) for 2012. He also served on a number of committees for the CCAO including the General Government (Legislative) Committee, which he chaired for a number of years, the Joint Committee on Administration of Elections, and chaired the Commissioners and Sheriffs Task Force Committee. He is also the past president of the Northwest Ohio Commissioners and Engineers Association.
Before being appointed Commissioner in 1997, he served Wood County for eight years as District Representative for the late U.S. Congressman Paul Gillmor.
Representative Brown is a 1986 graduate of Bowling Green State University's College of Business.
Tim Brown attends Cedar Creek Church and is a member of the Bowling Green Kiwanis, Wood County Historical Society, the Friends of the Parks, the Perrysburg, Bowling Green, and North Baltimore Chambers of Commerce, is a Platinum Society member of WBGU Public Television and is a 13 year member of the Bowling Green Curling Club. He served on BGSU's Engineering Technology Advisory Committee and he served as Chairman of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) Air Quality Task Force and chaired the Roadway Reforestation and Beautification Project. He also served on the county's Investment Advisory Committee, the Agricultural Extension Service Advisory Committee, the Community Improvement Corporation, and the county's Data Processing Board. Additionally, he served as Chairman of the County's Buildings and Grounds Committee. From 1991 until 1996, Mr. Brown served as a member of the Wood County Board of Elections.
The Ohio House of Representatives
State Representative Ron Amstutz serves Wayne County in Northeastern Ohio, a mix of rural agricultural and smaller industrial communities.
He also serves as Speaker Pro Tempore, second to Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville).
Representative Amstutz is a lifelong resident of Wayne County, was raised on a dairy farm and previously served as mayor of the City of Orrville. He also worked for five years in the Orrville office of The Daily Record as a writer, photographer and bureau editor.
He earned a bachelor's degree in government communications from Capital University and is a graduate of Central Christian High School. He and his wife have two grown children and live in Wooster.
Representative Amstutz has extensive experience in the legislature, having served more than 35 years, including eight in the Ohio Senate, where his primary assignment was Chair of the Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee. In the House some of his leadership posts included Chair of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, Assistant Majority Whip and Chair of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.
The Ohio House of Representatives
State Rep. Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D-Parma) returns to the Ohio House for a second term, where he will serve his Democratic colleages as Assistant House Democratic Leader.
During his time in the legislature, Celebrezze has been an outspoken advocate for government that works for all Ohioans. After serving six years as a Parma City Councilman, Celebrezze brings to the Statehouse a passion and dedication for increasing the quality of life for all Ohioans.
Because Celebrezze was a former Cuyahoga County Adult Probation Officer and Assistant County Prosecutor he recognizes the importance of keeping our streets safe. While on council, he sponsored legislation that was critical in ensuring that Parma remained one of the "safest cities in the nation", he also authored the legislation that made parents financially responsible for the criminal actions of their minor children. Additionally during his tenure on Council, the City was able to build two-state of the art fire stations that will serve its residents far into the future.
Nick was born November 22, 1977 at Parma Community Hospital, the youngest of three children. His mother, Daria Y. Celebrezze, a former school teacher, grew up in Parma where her family owned a business and were active in St. Joseph's parish. His father, Judge James P. Celebrezze, a lifelong resident of Cuyahoga County, has been in public service for six decades, and has had the opportunity to be elected to every branch of government. His older sister Leslie Ann is currently serving as a Judge on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, and his older brother Jim is a Physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
Nick is a graduate of the University of Akron, where he received a Bachelor's Degree with Honors from the Bliss Institute of American Politics, and Cleveland Marshall College of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctorate. He was admitted into the practice of law in May of 2004 and presently owns and operates a small Family-owned law firm in Parma.
Celebrezze is also active throughout the community as a member of the Parma Jaycees, the Parma Bar Association, the Ohio Bar Association, the North East Ohio City Council Association, the Justinian Forum, and is the elected Chairman of Partisan Ohio Sports Club, which encourages sportsmanship and public service throughout North East Ohio. He was elected by the citizens of Parma to serve on the Parma City Charter Commission in 2003 and has proudly donated his time every year for the Parma Animal Shelter adopt-a-thon. In September of 2011, Nick was named the official color commentator for local television high school soccer matches for PACTV.
The Ohio Senate
Senator Bill Coley is serving his first full term in the Ohio Senate, representing the majority of Butler County as the Senator for the 4th Ohio Senate District. Prior to his appointment to the Senate, Senator Coley was elected to four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives where his background in finance matters led him to be named Chairman of the House Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee.
Currently in the Senate, he is the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Government Oversight and Reform as well as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. He is also a member of the Constitutional Modernization Commission.
In addition to his legislative duties, Senator Coley works as a commercial litigation attorney with the firm Strauss and Troy and is licensed to practice in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. An active member of his community, Coley is involved in the Butler County Republican Party, St. John's Catholic Church, Sons of the American Legion and the Boy Scouts of America.
Coley's legislative efforts have garnered him a number of awards. He has been named a Watchdog of the Treasury by the United Conservatives of Ohio and received the Robert R. Cupp Legislative Award from the eTech Ohio Commission.
Coley received his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Dayton and his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. A licensed pilot, he and his wife Carolyn live in Liberty Township.
Director, Boards & Commissions
Office of the Governor
Megan Fitzmartin serves as Director of Boards and Commissions for Governor John R. Kasich. In this role, Fitzmartin oversees the appointment process and advises the governor on appointments to policy-making and regulatory boards and judicial vacancies. Previously, she served as Deputy Director. She has a bachelor's degree in political science from The Ohio State University and lives in Columbus.
Assistant Vice President, State Relations
The Ohio State University Office of Government Affairs
Brian Perera is the Assistant vice-president for state relations, in The Ohio State University Office of Government Affairs, being a 1992 graduate of OSU.
He served in the Ohio Senate from 1994-2014 as Director of Finance, Deputy Chief of Staff, Senior Fiscal Analyst and other key roles.
Brian's career in the Ohio Legislature began in 1991 when he served State Senator Roy Ray as a Legislative Aide.
He has worked with Senate Ways & Means Committee, the Lottery Profits Review Commission, the Joint Select Committee on Volume Cap, the Medicaid Managed Care Study Committee, and the Joint Committee on Federal Funds.
Brian is currently a member of the Upper Arlington Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Steering Committee,
He has received awards from The Ohio State University and the Public Children's Services Agencies of Ohio.
Brian is married to Ellen Fuller Perera They have two teenage children.
The Ohio Senate
Senator Cecil Thomas was elected in November 2014 to serve Ohio's 9th Senate district, which includes parts of Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Elmwood Place, Norwood, Gold Manor, Hollydale, Columbia Township, Silverton and Springfield Township.
A product of a working class family, Senator Thomas was born in rural Alabama in 1952. At the age of eight, his family moved to Cincinnati settling into the West End community where he attended St. Anthony Catholic School. After graduating from Withrow High School, he took a job as a public service worker. However, with the desire to attend college he joined the Cincinnati Police Cadet Program, which offered free college tuition.
Upon graduation from the University of Cincinnati, Senator Thomas joined the Cincinnati Police Department where he spent twenty-seven years working throughout all 52 neighborhoods. In 1976, while on the force, Senator Thomas recognized that there was a lack of minority representation, especially in policy-making decisions. He decided to take action to ensure that both African Americans and women received an equal opportunity to serve and protect their community. As a result of his actions, the Cincinnati Police Department increased the percentage of African Americans and women on the force to 40% under two federal consent decrees.
Senator Thomas retired for the police force after a successful career in 2000 to assume the Executive Directorship of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC). During the civil unrest in 2001, he emerged as a leader utilizing his experience as a police officer and community leader to quell the violence. Under his leadership, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission soared to new heights as he assisted city leaders with restoring community trust while also building a cohesive community and police relations program. Today the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission recognized nationally as one of the premier human relations organizations in the country.
In 2005, Senator Thomas stepped down from his position with the commission to serve as a member of Cincinnati City Council. He made the choice to run for Cincinnati City Council after a request for additional funding for a successful program to assist young African Americans males was rejected. While on Cincinnati City Council, he served as President Pro Temp and Chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee where he was successful in convincing City Council to provide funding for several community projects.
His most notable success is the Cincinnati Youth Streetworker Program, which evolved into the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV). This program provided direct resources and outreach services to at risk youth/young adults in Cincinnati's most troubled neighborhoods addressing the critical problem of violence and crime. The implementation of the CIRV program resulted in a significant reduction of crime and improved community and police relations to which is now being modeled nationally and internationally.
Senator Thomas is a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Sentinel Police Association, member of the Masonic Gothic Lodge 121, and serves as the Vice President of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the National Action Network.
Senator Cecil Thomas has been appointed to serve as Ranking Member of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and State and Local Committee for the 131st General Assembly. In addition to his leadership roles, Senator Thomas will also serve on the following committees: Education, Civil Justice, Insurance, Financial Institutions, Finance Subcommittee on Education (K-12) and Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education.
He has been married to Pam Thomas for over thirty years. They have four adult children and four grandchildren. They have resided in the community of North Avondale for the past thirty years.
Ohio Citizens for the Arts
Linda Woggon is Executive Director of Ohio Citizens for the Arts, a state-wide advocacy group for arts and culture.
Prior to joining Ohio Citizens for the Arts, she served for 18 years as Vice President of Government Affairs with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier in her career, Linda practiced law with a large Toledo firm, was Director of Public Affairs with the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, and served as the Executive Director of a unique consortium of public organizations that worked together to secure federal and state grant funding.
Linda holds a Juris Doctor degree from the College of Law at the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics. She also received a certificate in non-profit management from Villanova University.