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Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference

Ninth Annual Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference: Infrastructure and Appalachia’s Future

May 11–13, 2021
12:00 – 2:00 P.M.


The annual Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference brings public officials, economic development experts, business and organizational leaders and others to Ohio University each year to discuss different issues related to economic growth in the Appalachian Ohio region. 

The event is part of the Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center project. 




Conference Schedule


Tuesday, May 11 
12 - 2 P.M.

  • U.S. Economic Development Administration: Susan Brehm
  • Ohio University: President M. Duane Nellis


Feasibility and Safety Studies Grants: John Hemmings and Stephanie Gilbert


Construction and Technology Breakout Session:

  • The Youngstown SMART2 Network: Stephen Zubyk
  • The ROADMAP Initiative: Sarah Conley-Ballew
  • Moderator: Jeannette Wierzbicki

Transportation Services Breakout Session:

  • The GoBus: Rudi Beutner
  • Mid-Ohio Mobility Solutions (MOMS): Andrea Dupler
  • Moderator: Sam Wallace


  • InSite Consulting: Tonya Crist
  • East Meigs Industrial Park: Perry Varnadoe
  • Muskingum County Eastpointe Business Park: Matt Abbott
  • Moderator: Donna Hrezo
Wednesday, May 12 
12 - 2 P.M.


Statewide Programs Breakout Session:

  • TechCred Program: Bryn Stepp
  • OhioMeansJobs: Robert Guentter
  • JobsOhio: Kristi Clouse
  • Moderator: Kara Willis

Recovery and Reentry Initiatives Breakout Session:

  • Bellisio Foods: Michelle Scaggs
  • FlyingHIGH Inc: Jeff Magada
  • Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program (SAOP): Jen Seifert
  • Moderator: Kathy Zook


  • Appalachian Drinking Water Initiative: Jen Bowman
  • True Pigments: Paul Patton
  • Ohio EPA H2Ohio: Jerry Rouch
  • City of Coshocton Water Share: Mayor Mark Mills
Thursday, May 13 
12 - 2 P.M.

International Economic Development Council Update: Jeff Finkle, CEO

Rural Broadband

  • Governor’s Office of Appalachia: Director John Carey
  • BroadbandOhio: Peter Voderberg
  • Reid Consulting Group LLC: Tom Reid
  • Moderator: Misty Crosby

A Resilient Region: Stories on Weathering the Pandemic

  • Building Bridges to Careers: Tasha Werry 
  • ITM Marketing: Walt Schick
  • Small Business Development Center: Carleen Dotson
  • Moderator: Terry Bolden


About the EDA University Center

Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service was first established as an U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center in 1996. The Voinovich School University Center is a joint project with Bowling Green State University which collectively serves 59 rural Ohio counties: 32 Appalachian counties and 27 counties in northwestern Ohio.

EDA University Centers are a partnership of the federal government and academia that makes the varied and vast resources of universities available to the economic development community.

The ongoing support received through the EDA assists the Voinovich School in providing direct business assistance services, applied research initiatives and an annual State of the Region Conference. The overall result is the positioning of the region for economic growth.


Local Development Districts

Buckeye Hills Regional Council logo
Omega logo
OVRDC logo
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View All Related Voinovich School Partners