2019 C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy Advisory Council
Assistant Vice President of External Affairs
Ms. Arblaster serves as the Assistant Vice President of External Affairs for the Ohio REALTORS®, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Ohio REALTORS® Government Affairs team. Since joining the association in 2016, she has had the privilege of helping to enhance the grassroots involvement of the association’s members. She also oversees a new global business initiative, a program geared toward both residential and commercial REALTORS®, for the purpose of working to improve local communities.
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
Director Energy, Utility and Local Government Policy
Mr. Arnold started with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as an organization director in 1985. He became Director of Energy, Utility and Local Government Policy in 1995. His work encompasses economic, environmental and social issues related to energy and telecommunications development. He has worked with regulators, government leaders and community stakeholders on telecommunications, utility aggregation, interconnection, biofuels and biomass, wind and solar generation, transmission lines and pipelines, as well as oil and gas exploration. Arnold is a native of Knox County. His family can trace its involvement in Ohio agriculture since the 1820’s, and its involvement accommodating energy and telecommunications infrastructure for nearly a century. His professional and personal experiences serve him well; he helps families and communities explore how projects could generate positive benefits, as well as issues for careful consideration and concern.
Mr. Bell is a farmer from Zanesville where the Bell Family operates a 6th generation farm with swine, row crop, and beef cattle enterprises. He is a retired director of Nationwide Insurance, and a former president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF). Additionally, he was president of OFBF when OFBF led the creation of the Swank Chair.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council
Since 2007, Ms. Crosby has served as the Executive Director of Buckeye Hills Regional Council. She has been with the organization since 1990. Buckeye Hills serves as the local development district for the Appalachian Region Commission and Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia; the economic development district for the federal Economic Development Administration; the District 18 liaison to the Ohio Public Works Commission; the Regional Transportation Planning Organization for ODOT; the Ohio Area Agency on Aging region 8 and the Southeast Ohio Aging & Disability Resource Network. Representing the Midwest Region of the country, Crosby serves as Second Vice President for the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Board of Directors and the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation (NADORF). Representing 13 states and their local development districts, she served as President of the Development District Association of Appalachia and remains Chair of the Training Committee. She serves on the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association Board of Directors, is a member of The Executive Order of the Ohio Commodore and serves as Chair of the Policy Committee for the Ohio Association of Regional Councils. Crosby holds an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Washington State Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management from Ohio Valley University. She resides in Belpre, Ohio.
Roger R. Geiger
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
Vice President/Ohio Executive Director
Roger R. Geiger is a vice president/Ohio executive director for NFIB, managing the public policy, political, member activism and communication programs throughout the state. He also represents NFIB with national policy organizations. Mr. Geiger first joined NFIB in 1989, and has held a variety of leadership positions during his tenure. In recognition of his efforts to build the influence and clout of NFIB in Ohio, he has been consistently ranked in Smart Business Magazine's "Power 100 Most Influential Leaders" in Columbus. He is regularly quoted in the media on issues of importance to small business. NFIB is a national association with chapters in all 50 states, and more than 25,000 members in Ohio – the largest state chapter in the organization. Prior to being named vice president, Mr. Geiger served as the NFIB/Ohio State Director from 1989 – 2003. Mr. Geiger has been appointed, by three Governors, to several state boards and commissions. The most recent appointments have been to the Ohio Commission to Reform Medicaid, the Ohio Sunset Review Committee (a review of all state boards and commissions) and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Nominating Council. He has often testified before committees of the Ohio legislature and the U.S. Congress, and before regulatory agencies. Prior to joining NFIB, Mr. Geiger served as Manager of Governmental Affairs for Browning- Ferris Industries of Ohio. He also served as a Legislative Assistant in the Ohio House of Representatives for almost five years.
Mr. Geiger is a native of Marion, Ohio. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Francis- can University of Steubenville and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History, and has a Master’s degree, in Public Administration, from the Ohio State University. Geiger is active with the Boy Scouts of America, and he is an avid scuba diver and snow skier. He and his wife, Teri, currently reside in Dublin, Ohio.
Policy Matters Ohio
Ms. Halbert is a project director at Policy Matters Ohio. Halbert came to Policy Matters from the Equal Justice Foundation and the Legal Aid Society of Columbus – in both places she represented low-income consumers who had been victimized by predatory lenders of different types. Halbert has both a master’s in nonprofit management and a law degree from Hamline University. Her undergraduate degree is from Transylvania University. She tweets at @HannahHalbert.
Ms. Harrison is the owner/operator of Harrison Farm, a small livestock farm in Franklin County. She is the fifth generation of her family to work this farm, which focuses on animal agriculture, agritourism, and education. The mission of Harrison Farm is to connect people with animals & farming. The farm hosts numerous tours, yoga classes, and events, and also offers an internship program for students seeking on-farm animal handling knowledge. Harrison serves as a trustee for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, representing farmers from Delaware, Franklin, Madison, and Union Counties.
The Ohio State University
Professor and former Associate Chairman of the Department of Entomology
Casey Hoy, Professor and former Associate Chairman of the Department of Entomology, has held the Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management and provided leadership to the Agroecosystems Management Program of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center since 2006. Hoy’s past research has included systems analysis and its application to integrated pest management and applied ecology. His current work provides interdisciplinary leadership toward advancements in agroecosystem health and sustainable communities. He is the Faculty Director of the Ohio State University Discovery Themes Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation, InFACT, an investment of more than $100 million over the next 10 years in resilient and sustainable food security, including 30 new faculty hires across the University.
Managing Director, Research and Business Intelligence
Mr. Jung leads the research team for Columbus 2020 in gathering and analyzing information to support the Columbus Region’s economic success. This includes studies of Columbus Region industries, supply chains and workforce, as well as work that supports marketing, lead generation, RFI responses, client requests related to location decisions, and inquiries from media, local governments and other organizations.
Jung has deep content knowledge of standard and non-traditional economic, business and demographic data and information sources, combined with rigorous analytical and communication skills that help Columbus 2020 present findings to team members, clients, community stakeholders and partners.
Jung has been an integral part of the teams that have produced Columbus Global Connect, various Columbus Region industry profiles and content, development and maintenance of unique databases, and analysis of the Columbus 2020 project pipeline, business development activity and overall performance.
Larry L. Long
Ohio Projects Group, LLC
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Long is the CEO of the Ohio Projects Group LLC a small management consulting firm specializing in local government, legislative representation, issue campaigns, and association management. Long retired as Executive Director of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) in 2013 after serving the organization in a number of capacities for nearly 40 years and has been a resident of Bexley for 20 years. Long is a 1968 graduate of The Ohio State University with a BA in Geography. In addition to his consulting work, Long teaches a course on local government at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. He was recently re-appointed by Governor Kasich as chair of the State of Ohio Audit Committee.
Ohio, Director of Planning
Mr. Oliver has served as planning director for nearly 20 years, having worked in the field of planning and economic development. Holmes County is a rapidly developing rural community with nearly 50% of its population identifying as members of the Amish faith. This presents unique challenges from a planning standpoint, within an environment of limited regulations and strong development pressures. Serving on the Swank Advisory Council provides an opportunity to network and participate in discussions that affect Holmes County as well as many other communities across the State of Ohio. He received his BS in Public Administration from George Mason University and his MA in Urban Planning from the University of Akron.
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Department of Extension, The Ohio State University
Field Specialist, Energy Education
Mr. Romich is an Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist for Energy Education. As a statewide Extension Field Specialist, he works closely with private, public, and university partners to conduct research, develop extension programs, and teach in communities throughout the state. Romich’s energy programs are designed to share best practices for energy management strategies in agriculture, as well as engage 4-H youth audiences in energy literacy programming to enhance the overall environmental and economic conditions in Ohio communities.
Ohio Association of School Business Officials
Ms. Shaner currently provides advocacy services for the Ohio Association of School Business Officials. She represents association members to the Governor’s office and the Ohio General Assembly, providing testimony on legislation and working with legislators on pending legislation, particularly in the area of school funding. Her duties also include working with other organizations and state agencies on education issues and working with the organization members to assist with grass roots advocacy efforts. She reports to members about current legislation, regulatory conditions, and other topics of interest to the education community. She also writes articles for association publications and makes presentations on legislative issues and involvement. Shaner began her education advocacy career in 1999 when she joined the Ohio Association of School Business Officials as Director of Legislative Services. She became the Associate Executive Director in 2006, a position she held until April 2017. Currently, as an experienced advocacy specialist, her sole focus is on the association’s Advocacy program. She is a current member of the Healthcare and Pension Advocates group (STRS) and serves as president for the Ohio Education Policy Institute. She served on the state’s advisory committee to the School Employees Health Care Board from 2009-2012. She served on Governor Bob Taft’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Funding Student Success in 2004-2005. Prior to her role as an education advocate, Shaner worked as a consultant and lobbyist for several agriculture related organizations and the Ohio Department of Agriculture in their Office of Farmland Preservation. She resides in Grove City, Ohio with her husband Jim Chappelear. She has two children, (Seth and Jessica) and two grandsons, Joey (age 8) and Owen (age 3).
AICP, Clinton County Regional Planning Commission
Mr. Stuckert serves as the Executive Director of the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission, and leads planning efforts across the County and its eight municipalities. Stuckert’s role involves regularly meeting and engaging with diverse stakeholders in communities throughout Clinton County and at the state and national level on a variety of projects and initiatives related to planning, economic and community development. Through his role at the CCRPC, Stuckert additionally serves as the Executive Director of the Clinton County Land Reutilization Corporation or “land bank.”
Manos, Martin & Pergram Co.
Mr. Wecker practices Business and Real Estate Law in Delaware County. He hails originally from Medina Co. in Northeast Ohio. He is a 4-H dad with 5 children, currently ages 11-21, with his wife Kendra, who is also the Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. In addition to practicing law, he is a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, the board of the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce and the Big Walnut Board of Education, having served as its president in 2017 and 2018. He was also a long-time board member at the state and local levels of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, as well as the president in 2013 of the Central Ohio chapter of NAIOP. linkedin.com/in/andywecker