State of Ohio

Office of the Governor-Elect
77 South High Street, Room 1948
Columbus, OH  43266-0601


For Immediate Release: January 5, 1999
Contact:  Brett Buerck; 614-221-8238

Taft Selects Suhadolnik to Lead Commerce; Will Re-Appoint Director Dailey and Wilkinson

(Columbus) --- Governor-elect Bob Taft announced today that once he officially takes office on January 11, 1999, he will appoint Senator Gary Suhadolnik as director of the Ohio Department of Commerce.  Suhadolnik will primarily be responsible for the safety and soundness of the state's consumer industries.

During his tenure in the state's upper chamber, Suhadolnik chaired the Senate Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committees, and was Vice-Chairman of the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee.

Prior to his election to the General Assembly, Suhadolnik served on the Parma Heights city council while also lecturing at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.  He holds a bachelors degree in industrial engineering from Cleveland State University and a masters in business administration from Cleveland State University.

"I've known Gary Suhadolnik for a number of years, and in that time I've been impressed with his hard work, intelligence, and commitment to public service," said Taft.  "I'm confident the Department of Commerce will thrive under his leadership."

"I'm honored to be selected by Governor-elect Bob Taft to serve in such an important position," Suhadolnik said.   "I'll miss serving in the Ohio Senate but I look forward to utilizing my business experience and training to improve the operations of the Ohio Department of Commerce."

Taft also announced today that three members of former Governor George Voinovich's cabinet--Reginald Wilkinson, Fred Dailey, and Steve Wall--will be re-appointed to his administration next week.

Reginald A. Wilkinson, Director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, has been with the agency since September of 1973.  He has served in a variety of positions including volunteer services coordinator and administrative assistant at the Lebanon Correctional Institution, superintendent of the Corrections Training Academy, warden of the Dayton Correctional Institution, and deputy director of prisons, south region.  Former Governor Voinovich appointed him to the directorship in February of 1991.

Wilkinson holds a bachelors degree in political science and a masters in higher education administration from The Ohio State University.  He also received a doctorate in education from the University of Cincinnati.

Fred Dailey, Director of the Department of Agriculture, was appointed to the post in February of 1991.  As director, Dailey is responsible for providing leadership for Ohio's agriculture community, as well as administering many regulatory and consumer protection programs for the benefit of all Ohioans.

Prior to his appointment, Dailey served as executive vice president of the Ohio Beef Council and executive secretary of the Ohio Cattleman's Association.  He is the Chairman of the Food Regulation and Nutrition Committee of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and is currently a member of the association's board of directors.

Dailey holds a bachelor of arts from Anderson University in Indiana, where he majored in political science and history, and a Masters in public administration from Ball State University.

"I am honored that Fred Dailey and Reggie Wilkinson have agreed to serve in my administration," Taft said.   "They have both done an excellent job in leading their departments and are enthusiastic about accomplishing new goals in the next four years."

- 30 -