Business Leadership to Build a Better Ohio

Chairmen Emeritus

Ambassador John D. Ong

John D. Ong was appointed by President George W. Bush Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Kingdom of Norway in 2001. He served in this capacity until November 30, 2005.
Mr. Ong has had a long and distinguished record as a leader in the business community.  Presently Chairman Emeritus of The BFGoodrich Company, he retired as chairman of the Board of Directors in 1997 after more than 36 years of service to the company.  He held a variety of positions during his tenure at BFGoodrich, including vice-president and president of International BFGoodrich and President and Chief Operating Officer.  From 1979 until 1996, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  In 1984, President Reagan appointed Mr. Ong to the President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, where he served as Co-Chair of its International Trade Committee.
Mr. Ong has played a leadership role in a number of key organizations involved with education and business.  He is a life trustee of the University of Chicago, served as a trustee of The Ohio State University from 2006-2010, and is a trustee of the Musical Arts Association of Cleveland, Ohio(Cleveland Orchestra), and the Fort Ligonier Association, and a trustee emeritus of Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.  Mr. Ong is a leading advocate for business involvement in civic and cultural activities, both nationally and in northeast Ohio.  He is a former Chairman of the Business Roundtable, the National Alliance of Business, the Business Committee for the Arts, New American Schools, Inc., and Chairman Emeritus of the Ohio Business Roundtable.  He was a member of The Business Council from 1989 until 2005. He is a member of the Council of Retired Chief Executives and the Council of American Ambassadors.  He has served as a director of seven S & P 500 companies.  Mr. Ong is a recipient of the Humanities Award of Distinction from Ohio State University’s College of Humanities, the Alumni Medal from Ohio State University, and honorary doctorates from Ohio State University, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and South Dakota State University.  He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in November 2005.
A native of Ohio, Mr. Ong received both his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in history from The Ohio State University and his law degree from Harvard University.
Mr. Ong is married to Mary Lee Ong; they have three grown children. 

Ambassador W. R. Timken, Jr.

W. R. Timken, Jr., was nominated by President Bush and was sworn in as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of American to the Federal Republic of Germany on August 15, 2005. After three-and-a-half years in Germany, he returned to the United States in December, 2008. 

Mr. Timken, a native of Canton, Ohio, is a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1960 and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1962.

During his private sector career, he served as chairman of the board of directors of The Timken Company from 1975 until August, 2005.


Under his leadership, The Timken Company experienced significant growth and was transformed from a regional manufacturer of bearings to a worldwide leader in the bearing and alloy steel industries.


Mr. Timken first worked for The Timken Company as a summer associate in 1958. He held a series of assignments, from the factory floor to executive vice president, before becoming chairman. He retired as an executive of the company at the end of 2003, but continued as non-executive chairman of the board until August, 2005, when he became Ambassador to Germany.


Mr. Timken also served a presidential appointment as chairman of the board of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.


Mr. Timken has been active in many professional associations, including terms as chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers and The Manufacturing Institute.He was a member of the Council on Competitiveness and the U.S.-Japan Business Council.


During his career Mr. Timken has served on the Board of Directors of five major public corporations. He was a founding member and Chairman of the Ohio Business Roundtable.


He served 10 years on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and on the Advisory Council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also has served as Chairman of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges and was a founder of the Educational Enhancement Partnership in Stark County.


Mr. Timken has received numerous honors and awards. He is a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor and an honorary citizen of Colmar, France. He has received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, the Adam Smith Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He has received the Ohio Governors Award, been named as Ohio Business Statesman of the Year and enshrined in the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame. He was honored with the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany Silver Award.


Mr. Timken is enshrined in the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a gold medallion recipient.


Today, Mr. Timken serves as Chairman of Strategic Public Partners Group. He is also a Board member of the Cleveland Clinic, The Professional Football Hall of Fame, and serves as Chairman of The Friends of the Atlantik-Bruecke e.V. Foundation, Inc. He is an overseer of the Hoover Institution.


Mr. Timken and his wife Sue have six children and seven grandchildren and reside in Canton, Ohio. 

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