Education leaders from around the State come together for a discussion on the education connections necessary to prepare Ohioans in response to Intel’s investment in Ohio.
Kristi serves as the Senior Managing Director, Talent for JobsOhio. She oversees JobsOhio’s commitment to a unique incentive offering tailored to their clients and investments to help strengthen Ohio’s talent pipeline, both with the goal to prepare for the future of work.
Kristi and the team work collaboratively with state, regional and local partners within the workforce ecosystem to identify, define and refine short- and long-term talent strategies to address in-demand skill shortages in JobsOhio’s sectors and work cross collaboratively on implementation.
Kristi has served JobsOhio since it’s inception in 2011 as Executive Director of Operations and Director Project management. Before joining JobsOhio, Kristi held various positions in economic development and workforce development including roles with the Ohio Department of Development’s Strategic Business Investment Division and Allen Economic Development Group in Lima/Allen County Ohio.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and business from Bluffton University
Dr. John Berry boasts nearly thirty years of higher education experience serving in diverse roles and responsibilities within enrollment management, student affairs administration and college advancement. Dr. Berry has demonstrated a deep commitment to and passion for the field of student development and student success.
Prior to his current role as President of Central Ohio Technical College, he served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and College Advancement at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in Charleston, West Virginia. Prior to serving at BridgeValley, Dr. Berry worked in similar roles for Rhodes State College in Lima Ohio, Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington North Carolina, as well as The Ohio State University at Newark, and Central Ohio Technical College as Director of Student Life.
In 2009, he completed his Ph.D. in Educational Administration at The Ohio State University. He received his master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, College Student Personnel emphasis in 1994 from Southern Illinois University and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1985, from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. All of these educational achievements he attributes to Coastal Carolina Community College, where he began his academic journey as a first generation college student.
Dr. Berry believes that although much of his time as a senior college officer is consumed with administrative duties, working with the local community, and fund and friend-raising, he revels in the fact that his major role is to interact with students. As an active subscriber to Student-Centered concepts, he strives to set goals, make decisions, and implement initiatives all with an eye toward student success.
Dr. Berry enjoys the outdoors and is an avid sports enthusiast. He shares his life and love with his wife Susan, sons Ryland, J.K. and Grayson and their two Labrador retrievers.
Upon earning a Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University, Joyce started teaching at the Licking County Joint Vocational School (now C-TEC). Earning her Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Leadership from The Ohio State University in 1988, she became an administrator at LCJVS. In 1999, Joyce was selected to serve the South-Western City Schools as the Director of the district career center and oversaw the opening of the South-Western Career Academy. That same year, Joyce completed her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota. After two years as Director of the South-Western Career Academy, Joyce was promoted to the position of Executive Director of Secondary Education with South Western City Schools, at the time, the sixth largest K-12 district in the State of Ohio. In January 2010, she officially returned “home” to be the Superintendent of the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County (C-TEC). As Superintendent, Dr. Malainy has been very involved in Career Technical Education Leadership and Policy. Joyce served on the ODE Post-Secondary Success Committee, which provided critical feedback to the ODE State Wide Plan. In 2018, she was selected to represent CTE with ODE on an Aspen Institute National Initiative, Coherence Lab, focusing on Equity. Joyce has been a board member of the Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents (OACTS) for 10 years, and served as President of OACTS in 2019. She currently is the OACTS Legislative Liaison and in that role, serves on the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) Executive Committee. She just completed a three-year term as Licking Memorial Hospital Board Chair, and was appointed to the Licking Memorial Health Systems Board in 2021.
Steven A. Ringel is a Distinguished University Professor and holds the Neal Smith Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Ohio State, where he also serves as the Associate Vice President for Research and the Executive Director of Ohio State’s Institute for Materials Research. Steve is internationally recognized for his seminal contributions in the field of electronic materials and devices. His research focuses on photovoltaics, wide bandgap semiconductors used in power and RF electronics, materials characterization methods, epitaxial growth and integration of compound semiconductors with silicon. In these fields, Steve has authored/co-authored > 450 technical articles and conference presentations, given > 200 invited talks, edited several books and contributed many book chapters. Among his honors, Steve is a Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of AAAS, Associate Fellow of AIAA, former NSF National Young Investigator, and with his students have together received 10 best paper/presentation awards. In addition to being an Ohio State Distinguished University Professor, Ohio State’s highest faculty title, Steve has been honored with the Ohio State Distinguished Scholar Award – the university’s highest recognition for scholarly achievement, and the following OSU College of Engineering recognitions: Scott Award, Harrison Award, 4 Lumley research awards, and the College Faculty Mentoring Award. Ringel holds leadership and board positions at several organizations in Singapore, Ireland and India and he is a current distinguished visiting professor at IIT-Bombay. Previously he has held visiting faculty positions in Spain, the UK and Singapore. Steve is deeply committed to global innovation that connects academia with industry.
Jeff has spent over two decades at Columbus State Community College, working with Central Ohio employers to plan, develop, and manage hundreds of strategic initiatives, workforce, and economic development projects. In addition to his work with industry, Jeff serves as an adjunct instructor at the College, where his research and practice have focused on applied customer service, leadership, and personal productivity training.
As the Director of the MEP at Columbus State, Jeff focuses on enhancing the productivity, sales, and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing. His team’s mantra is “One partner, multiple service solutions.”
Dr. Jack Thomas is the ninth president of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He brings a long history of success and insights from a broad range of experiences in higher education.
From 2011 through 2019, Dr. Thomas served as president of Western Illinois University. As president, he successfully managed an annual budget of nearly $224 million during a period of unprecedented state fiscal challenges.
Prior to becoming a president, Dr. Thomas also held a broad range of senior leadership and academic positions at Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, (interim president), South Carolina State University, and Johnson C. Smith University.
Upon arriving at Central State, Dr. Thomas established a Blue Ribbon Taskforce charged with conducting an exhaustive review of University operations and structure and providing recommendations for improvement rooted in University best practices. Dr. Thomas introduced his nine (9) strategic priorities for the University – 1. Continue to meet and enhance the 1890 Land-Grant mission; 2. Increase enrollment (globally and in diversity); 3. Improve retention and graduation rates; 4. Develop a marketing and rebranding campaign; 5. Launch a multimillion-dollar capital campaign; 6. Develop an Honors College to recruit high-achieving students; 7. Increase degree offerings, offer graduate studies, and provide flexibility in course delivery; 8. Build a new learning and living environment; and 9. Update the University’s strategic and master plans.
In partnership with the University Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community stakeholders, he has worked to develop the next university strategic plan under the University mantra, “Innovation is in our DNA.” In a short period, Dr. Thomas’ energy, leadership, and focus have resulted in the development of a campus-wide mentoring program, the launch of a University Honors College, record-breaking fundraising results, and an increase in overall student enrollment
Nationally, Dr. Thomas graduated from the Harvard Leadership Program, served as an American Council on Education Fellow, was a National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) Kellogg Fellow, participated in the Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, and participated in Leadership Middle Tennessee. He also served as the chair of the NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program Selection Committee. In addition, Dr. Thomas served as the chairperson of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Christa McAuliffe Award Presidential Selection and as a committee member of the Middle States Visitation Team.
Dr. Thomas’ influence on the academic community extends to his service on several distinguished boards, including the Marguerite Casey Foundation Board of Directors; Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Equity and Inclusion Council); Dayton Area Chamber of Congress; Dayton Daily News Community Advisory; Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education Board; the Illinois Board of Higher Education; the Stillman College Board of Trustees; the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education Board; the American Council on Education Council of Fellows; the NCAA Presidential Forum; the Illinois Campus Compact Board; the Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross Board; and the Rutherford County YMCA Board.
Dr. Thomas is a published researcher, and his research focus has been on Black males in literature. Additionally, he is the author of numerous publications and professional presentations, including his most recent book titled “Within These Gates: Academic Work, Academic Leadership, University Life, and the Presidency.” Dr. Thomas has been a committed advocate for diversity and inclusion. He has been recognized by Minority Access, Inc. and others for his work helping to provide meaningful and transformative opportunities for minorities through mentorship and access at various universities. Dr. Thomas’ current body of work includes research on public institutions that have had to make transformative programmatic and human capital decisions due to decreased federal and state financial support and declining enrollment. He is a noted scholar and lecturer, as well as a highly sought-after keynote speaker presenting his research and inspirational messages locally, nationally, and internationally.
Dr. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in English from Alabama A&M University, a master’s degree in English Education from Virginia State University, and a doctorate degree in English Literature and Criticism from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he has done further graduate work in theological studies at Liberty University. Dr. Thomas is an ordained Baptist Minister.
He is a native of Lowndes County, Alabama. Dr. Thomas and the First Lady Dr. Linda Thomas have two adult sons, Patrick and Darius Thomas, and a grandson, Patrick Micah “Eli” Thomas.
John Trott is the Executive Director of the Greater Ohio Workforce Board (also known as Area 7 Workforce Board) supporting 43 member counties. The Board oversees the investment of federal workforce dollars in businesses and job seekers, operating a network of OhioMeansJobs Centers in one of the nation’s largest workforce regions with an average annual budget of $35 million. He is also a charter member and past president of the Ohio Workforce Association – an organization dedicated to advocating the importance of locally designed and operated workforce programs.
John has spent nearly 30 years working in federal, state and local workforce programs. He started his career in Ohio state government as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives. As head of Local Operations at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services he oversaw the complete restructuring of unemployment insurance delivery in Ohio, by closing the state’s 60+ unemployment offices and shifting services exclusively to Internet and call centers.
He has a Business Degree in Economics and International Business from the Ohio State University.