Dayton Business Journal: Local leaders celebrate Dayton's new statehouse ties

By John Bush

Local government officials and business leaders are celebrating the new Dayton-to-Columbus connection.

Both Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted have Dayton ties, as does J.P. Nauseef, the new leader of JobsOhio. Plus, Joe Zeis has been selected to serve as senior advisor for aerospace and defense, a new cabinet position DeWine created to focus on the state's military and aerospace installations. In addition, Dayton native Ronald Todd II is the cabinet's new minority affairs liaison.

At the very least, the Dayton region will be top of mind for many of these new leaders.

"The advantage that comes into play for the Dayton region is they're from here and they know us, so we don't have to bring them up-to-speed," said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition. "A lot of times when we have a new governor or administration, a lot of them don't know Dayton so we have to spend sometimes the first couple years bringing them up-to-speed. But when you have the governor, lieutenant governor, Joe, Ronald and J.P., they all know us so we can all hit the ground running at the same time."

Though the familiarity with the Dayton region is helpful — especially when it comes to the work Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is doing — Hoagland noted that these officials are going to do what's best for the entire state of Ohio.

"They want to see Ohio grow, and if Ohio is successful then Dayton is going to be successful," he said. "All of them are really good people, and they're going to do what's right for the state."

Of the local officials in DeWine's administration, Nauseef is the latest named to a post.

The businessman and former president of the Dayton Development Coalition was selected last week as president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio, a non-profit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in the state.

“J.P. did a great job at the Dayton Development Coalition for Dayton, and Ohio is lucky to have his talent and passion working on behalf of the whole state," said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman has known Nauseef for about 13 years, when he first began his role at the DDC. Lieberman described Nauseef as a "people person" whose knowledge of economic development, defense and the tech world make him an ideal candidate for the position.

"It's really a win-win for the state," Lieberman said. "I can't imagine anyone else selling Ohio better than J.P."

She added that having someone with local ties is also beneficial to the Dayton region, where Nauseef has been instrumental in driving economic success with events such as the NCAA First Four.

"The work he's done for the Dayton region has been phenomenal," Lieberman said. "We couldn't ask for anybody better to represent the Dayton area and the state of Ohio."

Vishal Soin, president of Beavercreek holding company Soin LLC, has known Nauseef for years, and feels he is an "excellent fit" for the role of president and CIO of JobsOhio.

"It is no surprise to see him named to the post," Soin said. "He will put a career's worth of experience and deep understanding of both the public and private sectors to good work for the state of Ohio. As a member of the Ohio Business Roundtable, I look forward to working closely with J.P. and JobsOhio on economic development activities for our region and our state."

Val Miller Jr., CEO of Heidelberg Distributing Company in Moraine, said he is thrilled for Nauseef, JobsOhio and the Dayton region.

"J.P.’s enthusiasm is contagious," Miller said. "From his early days with the DDC to his leadership with “The Big Hoopla” (events surrounding the NCAA First Four), it has been easy to buy into his vision and never-ending passion for the Dayton region. J.P.’s servant leader mindset will be excellent for this next chapter of JobsOhio and most likely the Dayton region."

Selected by Gov. DeWine and the JobsOhio Board of Directors, Nauseef will begin his new role in March. He replaces the outgoing John Minor.

JobsOhio spent $72.5 million on economic development programs such as loans and grants last year – up from $57 million in 2017 – and purchased $11.6 million in economic development services. Net assets increased by $93 million, building up $497 million in reserves.

A JobsOhio subsidiary now operates the distribution and sale of spirits – $1.19 billion this year – pays interest on the bonds and distributes profits to the parent. The grant to JobsOhio was $195 million in the year ending June 30, according to its audit. Other revenue included $2.2 million interest on its loans to businesses.

Companies receiving JobsOhio grants and loans have created more jobs at higher payroll than promised. An analysis this year by McKinsey & Co. ranked JobsOhio in the top five among 18 state economic development organizations for several performance indicators including deals completed, jobs created and retained, and satisfaction among relocating and expanding companies.

JobsOhio has six regional affiliates including the Dayton Development Coalition, Columbus 2020 and REDI Cincinnati.

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