Dayton area business people promoted, honored

Natalie R. Coles

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Natalie R. Coles

Wilberforce University announced Natalie R. Coles, a longtime advocate for Higher Education, as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Chief Development Officer and Dr. Edward Louis Hill Jr. as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives for Wilberforce University.

Coles has spent over seven years as the Area Development Director of UNCF and most recently as the Chief Development Officer for Flying Horse Farms. She earned her undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and holds a Master’s from the Mount Vernon Nazarene University School of Business. She is a Certified Fundraising Professional (CFRE) who has dedicated her life to helping what she considers the world’s most precious resource, children.

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Dr. Hill has a long administrative career in both K-12 and Higher Education. During his career, he has served as an Administrator in both Public and Private Universities, overseeing professional programs and Liberal Arts in environments serving undergraduates, graduates, traditional and non-traditional students. He has served as Chair of AdvancEd school reviews and accreditation evaluator for the National Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). In addition to previously serving as the Dean of the College of Education and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, and Coordinator of a Troops to Teachers Initiative. Hill was appointed to the President’s Diversity Commission for the University Of Georgia System and worked with many universities and colleges within the system to develop diversity programming and policies to support student growth and awareness and faculty professional development.

Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce names cohort

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has named its second Empower cohort of business leaders. In partnership with program sponsor Fifth Third Bank, this group of women began its experience Sept. 13, 2019, with a retreat hosted at Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs.

Over the next nine months, the cohort will engage in leadership workshops combined with day-sessions, business coaching and an extensive network of training support to help participants identify individual leadership strengths, values and goals, develop a personal brand and eliminate barriers to advancement.

Through a strategic partnership with Aileron, the region’s world class leadership and training development center, Empower will provide participants with a unique blend of hands-on business coaching and group support with peers. The experience will culminate with a closing retreat in June 2020.


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Introducing the Power Cohort: Stephanie Balser, CareSource; Britney Bart, Kettering Health Network; Ashley Bethard, Cox Media Group Ohio; Mandy Bingaman, University of Dayton; Stacey Domicone, Verso Corporation; Lindsay Dorsey, Dayton Power & Light; Samantha Elder, Montgomery County; Diane Farrell, Dayton Metro Library; Tami Fourman, LexisNexis; Leslie Goodwin, Nidec Minster Corporation; Christine Haaker, Thompson Hine LLP; Antoinette Hampton, The United Way of the Greater Dayton Area; Jessica Jones, Universal 1 Credit Union; Grace Jones, Dayton Children’s Hospital; Kim Lahman, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission; Jodi Long, Montgomery County ADAMHS; Kristen Marks, Centerville-Washington Parks District; Jacqueline McGuire, Buckingham Advisors; Marya Rutherford Long, Fifth Third Bank; Charlynda Scales, Mutt’s Sauce LLC; Errin Siske, Spark Space Creative LLC; Katina Stone-Jones, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Zdravka Todorova, Wright State University; and Jill Weaver, Wright-Patt Credit Union.

New memer to Rotary

Lisa Holmes joined the Dayton Rotary Club on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Holmes is the Business Development Manager for Holmes Marketing Services and a resident of Springfield.

Massaro promoted to new position

Benjamin Steel Co., Inc., provider of steel products and processing services, announces the promotion of Joe Massaro to Executive Vice President of Administration. In this new role, Joe has primary oversight of the Purchasing, Human Resources, and IT departments, and will guide and lead individual and department development in alignment with company strategy.

Massaro joined Benjamin Steel in January of 1985 and has worked in almost every area of the company over the past 35 years. In his previous role of Vice President of Sales and Marketing Joe was a member of the company’s Executive Team and he will remain on that team.

He graduated from Notre Dame in 1982, is active in his community, and most recently served on the board of Catholic Central Schools.

In addition, Kris Thacker has been promoted to Vice President of Operations. With primary oversight of the warehouse and processing operations for all company locations, Kris will guide the development of policies and standards to ensure each location runs effectively and efficiently.


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Mr. Thacker joined Benjamin Steel in 2008 as the Director of Lima Branch Operations and was promoted to Northern Region Director of Operations in 2014. He attended Findlay College and is an Associate Member of the Society of Engineers.

Visit the company’s website ( for more information.

Rash named CEO of WSU Foundation board

The Wright State University Foundation Board of Trustees announced the appointment of R. Scott Rash, CFRE, as president and CEO.

Rash will be charged with reshaping the future of the Wright State University Foundation and leading it to new levels of success. He will advance strategies for growth, build the endowment, work with valued partners while developing new partnerships and relationships, and discover innovative and unique opportunities for revenue generation.

Rash comes to the Wright State University Foundation from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he has served as vice president for university advancement since 2016. He previously served as executive director and chief development officer for the School of Engineering Foundation at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia; vice president for institutional advancement at Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina; associate vice president for development and alumni relations at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia; and director of development for athletics at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.

Rash will be employed by the Wright State University Foundation, not the university, and will report directly to the Wright State University Foundation Board of Trustees. He will assume his new duties on Sept. 30, 2019.

Ruzinsky named DCEO of RTA

The Greater Dayton RTA announced that Bob Ruzinsky has assumed the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) for RTA, effective Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

In his new position, Ruzinsky is responsible for all RTA day-to-day departmental functions, including all actions for the three primary work groups in the agency: Operations, Finance and Customer & Business Development. His primary responsibility as the DCEO will be the implementation of RTA’s mission, goals and policies through daily operations and strategic planning, and he will lead an effort to develop a new strategic plan for the agency in the coming months.

Ruzinsky began his career with RTA in 1987 in the agency’s accounting group and quickly moved up through the department, holding various positions including Senior Accountant, Accounting Supervisor, Human Resources Manager, Controller, and Capital Controller. In 2002, he joined the Butler County Regional Transit Authority as their Chief Financial Officer, started a successful consulting business, and worked with his mentor Carla Lakatos at her firm the Lakatos Group. He specialized in working with numerous transit systems on projects to help them improve finances and operations. In 2009, Ruzinsky returned to Dayton as part of the RTA’s finance team to assist with the agency’s grants management.

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In 2013, Ruzinsky was promoted to be RTA’s first Chief Capital Officer, where for the past six years he has led a team to oversee the management and replacement or rebuilding of RTA’s physical assets, including buses, real estate holdings and leased properties. Under his guidance, RTA is on track to replace the entire bus fleet, renovate all its facilities, and rebuild its extensive electric-bus, power-system infrastructure. This multi-year, more than $200 million project is being funded in part by over $70 million in competitive grants that Ruzinsky’s efforts has secured for RTA over the past ten years.

Ruzinsky has also been a leader in RTA’s four consecutive FTA Triennial Reviews with zero deficiencies found, Donaghy said.

In the spring of 2019, the Ohio Public Transit Association recognized Ruzinsky's accomplishments with the Leonard Ronis Award, naming him the Transit Professional of the Year in Ohio.

Simon named chairman

He succeeds Michael H. Keenan, who served as Chairman since Jan. 1, 2013, and recently was reappointed by Gov. Mike DeWine for another term. Keenan also was elected as Vice-Chairman in the August meeting.

Simon, a resident of Akron, began his term as an Authority Member of OAQDA in 2016. He is a partner at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC and specializes in real estate, public law, regulatory, and business practice on behalf of clients at the local and state levels. He is active in his Northeast Ohio community by serving as a board member of ideastream and Board Chairman of Crown Point Ecology Center. He is Vice-Chairman of the Bennington College Board and serves the Episcopal Church in Ohio and the broader Episcopal Church in a variety of capacities. Simon graduated from Bennington College and The University of Akron School of Law.

Keenan was initially appointed to the Authority in 2011 and served as Chairman for seven years. During this time, the Authority focused on assisting many small businesses in Ohio to comply with federal environmental regulations and adopted industry standards to improve the state agency’s level of service and position to leverage new opportunities. Keenan provided the essential leadership for the Authority, relying on his 40 years of experience as small business owner of The Keenan Agency and 36 years in public service as a Dublin City Council member and township trustee.

In addition to Simon and Keenan, the Authority Members include Thomas E. Niehaus, Ted Celeste, Michael F. Curtin and ex-officio members Amy Acton, M.D., director of the Ohio Department of Health and Laurie A. Stevenson, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The Authority Members are focused on OAQDA’s mission to conserve air as a natural resource through a variety of financing tools to benefit projects consistent with the Ohio Revised Code.

For more information about OAQDA and its services, please visit its web site at

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