Table of Contents

The study team met with well over 100 individuals during the course of research between May and September 2018. They included members of Ohio’s congressional delegation in Washington, DC, as well as representatives of interested business and trade associations, organized labor, and Washington, DC-based think tanks. The interviews helped inform the concept for the study. However, because this exercise focused on bringing in voices not often heard within the Washington, DC-based foreign policy establishment, the report’s content relies on the information obtained from interviews in Cleveland, Columbus, Coshocton, Dayton, Lima, and Marion. This is not the full list of interviews conducted in those locations, as some individuals did not wish to be explicitly named.


Jay Foran, senior vice president, TeamNEO

Mindy McLaughlin, director, International Business Development, TeamNEO

Joe Roman, president and chief executive officer, Greater Cleveland Partnership

Randell McShepard, vice president, Public Affairs, and chief talent officer, RPM International; also founder of PolicyBridge, a local minority-focused think tank

Marvin Hayes, vice president, Business Development, Data Genomix, and former director, Communications and Public Affairs, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency

Jason Russell, South Euclid councilman and neighborhood general manager, Van Aken District

Joe Frolik, managing producer, Community Affairs, ideastream, and former Plain Dealer editorial writer

Brent Larkin, former political columnist, Plain Dealer, retired

Mary Anne Sharkey, owner, Sharkey, Dirck & Associates, former politics editor of the Plain Dealer, and former communications director for Ohio Governor Bob Taft

Dominic Coletta, senior vice president, Operations, Tarkett North America

Donald E. Washkewicz, former chairman and chief executive officer, Parker Hannifin, retired

Shilpa Kedar, program director, Economic and Workforce Development, Cleveland Foundation

Luis Carrion, partner, Renner Otto

Amy Hanauer, founding executive director, Policy Matters Ohio

Randy Solganik, owner, City Plating


Alex R. Fischer, president and chief executive officer, Columbus Partnership

 Kenny McDonald, president and chief economic officer, Columbus 2020

Steve Schoeny, director, Department of Development, City of Columbus

Jim Samuel, founder, Capitol Integrity Group, and former staff member of two Republican governors

Tim Burga, president, Ohio AFL-CIO

Michael B. Coleman, former mayor, City of Columbus, and partner and director, Business and Government Strategies, Ice Miller LLP, Legal Counsel

Jack Partridge, former president, Columbia Gas of Ohio, and former chairman of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, retired

John McEwan, managing partner, Deloitte Columbus, and former chairman of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Jack Irvin, senior director, State and National Affairs, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

Beth Hansen, chief of staff, Office of the Governor, State of Ohio (joined by other key staff)

John Minor, president and chief investment officer, JobsOhio

Andrew Deye, managing director, JobsOhio

Ian Sheldon, professor and Andersons chair, Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy, The Ohio State University

Col. Julie Blike (retired), director, Family Readiness and Warrior Support, Ohio National Guard


Steve Mercer, mayor, City of Coshocton

Max Crown, safety service director, City of Coshocton, and former superintendent of Rock Tenn/WestRock Paper Mill (closed 2015)

Tom Scott, safety coordinator, City of Coshocton 

Marion Sutton, chairman, Jones Metal Products; joined by a few managers and employees

Paul Prater, external affairs manager, AEP Ohio, and Coshocton Port Authority Board member

Tiffany Swigert, executive director, Coshocton Port Authority

Amy Stockdale, executive director, Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce

Sherri Gibson, business coordinator, Coshocton County, Ohio Means Jobs

Brenda Stamper, executive assistant, Coshocton Port Authority


Keith Klein, senior development specialist, Department of Economic Development, City of Dayton

Joe Sciabica, president, Universal Technology Corporation

Kim Frazier, director, Growth Initiatives, The Entrepreneurs Center

Jim Masonbrink, director, Small Business Hub, Wright Brothers Institute, and director of operations, Wright Brothers Institute—2nd St

Torey Hollingsworth, senior policy aide, City of Dayton

Carl Kennebrew, president, IUE-CWA, Dayton

Heather Atkinson, policy program manager, IUE-CWA, Dayton

Mike Wiehe, director, Applied Policy Research Institute, Wright State University

Jane Dockery, associate director, Applied Policy Research Institute, Wright State University

Michael Gessel, vice president, Federal Government Programs, Dayton Development Coalition


David Berger, mayor, City of Lima

Jed Metzger, president and chief executive officer, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce

Jeff Sprague, president and chief executive officer, Allen Economic Development Group

Rich Rudolph, president, Rudolph Foods


Dave Claborn, director, Development and Community Relations, The Ohio State University-Marion, and former president, Marion CAN DO! economic development organization

Elizabeth Claborn, elementary school social worker, Marion City Schools

Howard (Howie) Smith, president, Wilson Bohannan Padlock Co.

Lowell Thurston, president, Carroll’s Jewelers

Vaughn Sizemore, community development consultant

Ted Graham, president, Marion Industrial Center/Marion Intermodal

Lois Fisher, president, Lois J. Fisher & Associates

Dean Jacob, president and chief executive officer, and Julie Prettyman, vice president and director, Programs, Marion Community Foundation. Prettyman’s family also grows corn and soybeans on 1,200 acres

Jack and Bea Kellogg, former mayor of City of Marion and former executive secretary of Marion Shovel, respectively, retired

Brad Ridge, president, Holbrook & Manter

Ron Cramer, attorney, Michel, Davis & Cramer