Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kasich Appoints Schmenk to Lead Development Transition Efforts, Serve as New Development Director

COLUMBUS—Today Governor John R. Kasich announced that the Ohio Department of Development’s General Counsel Christiane (Chris) Schmenk will lead the Administration’s efforts to reorganize the Department as the state’s economic development efforts are transitioned to the new nonprofit private corporation JobsOhio. As part of this transition, Schmenk will become Director of the Department effective August 1 and replace James Leftwich who plans to return to the private sector.

“Creating jobs is Ohio’s most essential task right now and we’re fortunate to have a dedicated corps of top-notch professionals who are helping us raise our game in this area, something that’s long overdue,” said Kasich. “I’m grateful to Jim for coming to Ohio’s aid when we needed him and for helping shepherd the Department at a critical time. Chris now takes the baton and will help prepare the department for its next phase. I’m confident in her ability to help support the department’s staff during a time of change and prepare the Department for its new role in service to Ohio and its economy.”

The legislation creating JobsOhio requires the Administration to issue a proposal by mid-August that outlines the future organization of the Department. Schmenk will oversee the drafting of that proposal and play a leadership role in its implementation going forward.

Schmenk, 52, has been the chief legal counsel for the Department of Development since March 2011, and before that served as the mayor of Marysville and the Director of External Affairs for the Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company.

Leftwich previously served as Chief Executive Officer at the Dayton Development Coalition.