Impact Ohio Coming to Southeast Ohio Friday

Impact Ohio will hold an in-person regional conference in Southeast Ohio on Friday, November 19 in The Grand Lobby at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The 2021 Impact Ohio Southeast Regional Conference is a partnership effort with the Success Group, The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service at Ohio University, and WOUB Public Media.

The conference will offer a special opportunity to explore policy and politics important to the Southeast region.

“We expect to have an engaging dialogue on a variety of topics, and we look forward to having business and community leaders from the Southeast region gather at the conference to network and gain new insight into policy issues facing the community,” said Jennifer Flatter, CEO of Impact Ohio.

The conference agenda includes policy discussions featuring government and business leaders, as well as policy experts.

This can’t-miss conference will also feature an address from Auditor of State Keith Faber which will take place at 10:00 a.m., and an address from Secretary of State Frank LaRose directly after. Both Representative Jason Stephens and Representative Jay Edwards of the Ohio House of Representatives are also confirmed to speak.

The conference will hold three panels:

Enhancing the Region’s Workforce Ecosystem

Developing and supporting existing industries and businesses is important to their success and that of the region. Many businesses need financing or technical assistance to grow. During this panel, experts will explore how Southeast Ohio can invest in small businesses and entrepreneurship to enhance business development.

Leveraging Ohio’s Natural Assets as a Strategy for Economic Development

Southeast Ohio is rich in natural resources, including the Ohio River, Wayne National Forest, and the Hocking Hills Region. During this session, panelists will discuss how Southeast Ohio can harness its natural assets to increase outdoor recreation while supporting long-term economic growth and preserving natural resources and vibrant downtowns.

Enhancing the Region’s Workforce Ecosystem

Before the pandemic, there were discussions about redefining workforces and workplaces. These conversations about Ohio’s workforce ecosystem, however, have shifted in a new direction. In this session, panelists will discuss how the region’s workforce is evolving and the systems that must be strengthened in order ensure an excelling workforce in Southeast Ohio.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • The Honorable Keith Faber, Ohio Auditor of State
  • The Honorable Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State
  • The Honorable Jay Edwards, Ohio House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Jason Stephens, Ohio House of Representatives
  • John Carey, Director, Governor’s Office of Appalachia
  • Dr. Hugh Sherman, President, Ohio University
  • Rachel Johanson, Deputy Director, Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation
  • Glen Cobb, Chief of the Division of Parks and Watercraft, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Tom Hodson, Director Emeritus of WOUB Public Media and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University
  • Kara Willis, Regional Talent Manager, Ohio Southeast Economic Development
  • Dr. John McCarthy, Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professions at Ohio University
  • Dr. Mark Weinberg, Founding Dean, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
  • Sam Miller, Development Director, Buckeye Hills Regional Council
  • Jessie Powers, Executive Director, Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia
  • Dr. Glenda Bumgarner, CEO, Appalachian Partnership, Inc.
  • Steve Evans, Founder, Steve Evans Country Sausage
  • Scott Frank, City Manager, Nelsonville
  • Amista Lipot, Director of External Relations and Strategic Partnerships at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service and Executive Director of the Mayors’ Partnership for Progress
  • Larry Kidd, Founder, Principal, and CEO, :hire
  • Kristi Tanner, Senior Managing Director, JobsOhio

The Success Group, the presenting conference sponsor, launched Impact Ohio in 1984 with the first Post Election Conference in Columbus, which is held every two years immediately following the general election. Interest has grown over the last 30 years, which led Impact Ohio to expand in 2017.

“After each conference we hear how much value our attendees gain from our expert-led panels and the opportunity to network with other attendees. Because of this enthusiasm, we had the desire to share Impact Ohio with other communities,” Flatter said.

The Southeast conference is cosponsored by the Ohio Democratic and Republican Parties, allowing for a bipartisan look into the future of policy making.

Registration is still available and details on conference panelists can be found at

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