Ohio History Connection Announces New Board Members June 2018

Ohio History Connection Announces New Board Members Thomas V. Chema of Westlake Elected Board President

(COLUMBUS, OH)-The Ohio History Connection announces new board members and officers for 2018-2019:

Thomas V. Chema of Westlake, President
Tom Chema began his career with the Cleveland-based law firm of Arter & Hadden. He served as Executive Director of the Ohio Lottery Commission; Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio; and as Executive Director of the Gateway Economic Development Corporation.  He also served the past 11 years as President of Hiram College, in Hiram, Ohio. He is currently the Chairman of Gateway Consultants Group, Inc., providing consultation services across the country on sports and entertainment-related economic development projects.

Tom is recognized as an expert on energy and telecommunications economics and regulation, infrastructure planning and developing public/private partnerships.
He is or has been a trustee of civic and charitable boards including The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC); the Portage County Port Authority; Historic Gateway Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation; and NOPEC, Inc.  In the past he has been a trustee of Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System, St. Ignatius High School, Ohio Hunger Task Force, Historic Gateway Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation and Chair of the Board of UHHS/CSAHS-Cuyahoga and Kids Voting Program.

James F. Dicke II of New Bremen, Vice President
Jim Dicke is the Chairman/CEO of Crown Equipment Corporation in New Bremen, Ohio. The Crown Equipment Corporation is a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of electric forklift trucks and material handling equipment.  Mr. Dicke is a member of the Republican National Committee, founder of the Dicke Family Foundation, and the New Bremen Foundation. He also served as Assistant to Congressman William M. McCulloch.

Mr. Dicke has served as the International President of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Chairman of the Air Force Museum Foundation Board, National Trustee of the San Antonio Museum of Art, Founding Chairman of the Ocean Reef Community Foundation and as a member of the Dayton Power and Light Foundation.

Mr. Dicke is also an artist, photographer and art collector. He is a Chairman Emeritus at the Dayton Art Institute and currently serves as a member of the Ohio Arts Council Board. Mr. Dicke is a Former Advisory Board member for the National Academy of Design, a member of the Smithsonian National Board and a Chairman of Commissioners for the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

James A. Wilson of Bexley, Vice President
Jim Wilson is a partner in the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease in Columbus, where his practice focuses on antitrust and other business litigation. He represents clients in a wide variety of antitrust matters, including criminal investigations and trials, civil actions, and merger investigations.

He is a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law, and also teaches antitrust as an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. He became interested in antitrust law as an undergraduate, when he took a course on American economic history from Reconstruction through the Great Depression.

Richard F. Hillis of Powell, Secretary
Mr. Hillis’ professional profile includes extensive political, legislative and business accomplishments in Ohio, Indiana, and Washington D.C., including his service under a U.S. Presidential Administration. He utilizes his political expertise and knowledge of marketing, corporate and governmental relations, and fundraising to provide his clients with the best possible service.

Previously, Mr. Hillis served as the Director of Political Affairs for the Mayor of Columbus. In that capacity, he directed the political activities as senior political advisor, finance director and liaison between the Mayor and corporate communities. Mr. Hillis developed a broad political and business network.

The following people have been elected or reelected as officers of the board of trustees:

Suhas Kakde of Dayton, Treasurer
Mr. Kakde was recently elected to serve a second three-year term. He is the founder and CEO of US Aeroteam in Dayton, a manufacturer of ground support equipment and aircraft engine parts for the aviation and national defense industry. He is recognized as a leader in his field, with nearly 40 years of aviation experience. He also founded Infoglobe, an international software service company.

Robert W. Lucas of Pemberville, Immediate Past President
Bob Lucas was recently elected to serve a third three-year term. He is former (retired) president of United Way of Greater Toledo and former president and CEO of DeNovo, Inc. From 1971 through 1999, he was a senior executive with Huntington National Bank, including president & CEO of Huntington Mortgage Company and the Huntington Leasing Company in Columbus as well as president of Huntington National Bank of Northwest Ohio.
During his career in business, Mr. Lucas served in the U.S. Army Special Forces Airborne (Reserve) for 29 years and retired with the rank of Command Sergeant Major. He is a current member of the Toledo Rotary, and the Memorial Chapter 45 of the Special Forces Association.

The following people have joined the Ohio History Connection’s board of trustees:

Alex Hastie of Grandview Heights, elected for a three-year term
Alex Hastie is the managing partner in the law firm of Hastie Legal in Columbus. He practices business law, focusing on restaurants, taverns, breweries and wineries as well as criminal defense. Alex is the host and producer of “Ohio v. the World”, an Ohio history podcast. Alex has served as a trustee for Cornerstone of Hope, the Dick & Jane Project, the Columbus Italian Club and Independents Day. Alex also serves on the advisory board for the Ohio History Connection’s Echoes magazine and as a judge at the organization’s annual Ohio History Day event.

Trustees leaving the board:

  • Joseph M. Patchen–years of service 2015–2018
  • Ronald J. Ungvarsky–years of service 2009–2018

Additional members of the board of trustees include:

  • C. Ellen Connally*
  • Loann W. Crane
  • Jon T. Elsasser*
  • George M. Ironstrack
  • Charles R. Moses*
  • Michael G. Rapp*
  • Robert M. Roach*
  • Elizabeth A. Weibel*

The Ohio History Connection board of trustees meets four times a year. Meetings are open to the public. For more information, visit ohiohistory.org/about-us/board-of-trustees.

*Indicates governor-appointed members.

Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, local history office and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio. For information on programs and events, visit ohiohistory.org.


Posted June 29, 2018

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