Board of Directors and President of the Finance Authority - Biographies

Darci Congrove, Chair

Darci Congrove is the Managing Director of GBQ Partners, Columbus’ largest local public accounting firm with approximately 110 associates. She is responsible for firm resource planning, financial performance, and strategic planning and implementation. She is an active champion of the firm in the market and the community.

Darci has a Bachelor of Science in Business, and a Master of Accountancy with an emphasis in Taxation from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Today she performs a wide range of tax planning and compliance services, as well as general business consulting for closely-held businesses and their owners, and is a frequent speaker in the community on topics of tax and wealth planning.

Darci currently sits on the Board of the Women's Fund of Central Ohio, and is currently chairing the Development Committee. She serves on the German Village Society Board of Trustees, a community organization dedicated to historic preservation. Darci is also a charter member of the United Way of Central Ohio's Women's Leadership Council, and has been a member of the United Way Young Leadership Group for more than 10 years, serving as a YLG co-chair in 2004. She is a long-standing Advisory Board member for the Conway Center for Family Business. Darci previously served as a board member for CAPA Network, the Somali Community Center, the Capital Club Young Executive Board and the J. Ashburn Youth Center.

Darci is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Columbus, was recognized on the Business First 40 Under 40 list in 2002, and was named as one of the twelve Women You Should Know in 2010 by Women for Economic Leadership & Development.

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  Dr. Joseph A. Alutto, Vice Chair

Dr. Joseph A. Alutto, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. Dr. Alutto has served as Ohio State University’s Interim President for the 2013-2014 period. Prior to that he served as Executive Vice President and Provost from 2007-2013. He is currently teaching and writing about leadership processes and addressing special university projects. Prior to his appointment as executive vice president and provost, he held the John W. Berry Sr. Chair in Business in the Fisher College of Business, where he served as dean for the 16 years. Dr. Alutto earned his bachelor's degree from Manhattan College, a Master's degree from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He was dean of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management for 14 years before his arrival at Ohio State in 1991. A leading authority on managerial behavior, Dr. Alutto specializes in corporate performance, leadership, and Sino-U.S. joint venture activity. He is the author of a book and more than 65 articles in these areas. He has been a consultant to banks, manufacturing firms, aerospace companies, health care agencies, and educational institutions. In addition, he is a member of a number of corporate boards and has served in leadership capacities for a wide variety of volunteer organizations.

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Greta Russell, Secretary-Treasurer

Ms. Russell retired from The Ohio State University as Controller of the University’s Accounting, Cost Allocation, Tax, Financial Training and Documentation, Systems Development, Accounts Payable, Asset Management and Equipment Surplus departments, with oversight authority for the payroll. She was the former Comptroller for the Ohio State Treasurer’s Office and was an Assistant Vice President for nine years with Buckeye Federal Savings and Loan. Ms. Russell serves the following organizations: The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute Board, Columbus Community Shelter Board, Transportation Research Center Board, Columbus Medical Association Foundation, YWCA Housing Board and Columbus Public Schools’ Audit and Accountability Committee. In December 2006, the Governor appointed her to the Accountancy Board of Ohio. Ms. Russell is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Government Financial Manager. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Ohio Dominican University in 1976 and received a Masters of Taxation Degree from the Capital University Law Center in 1993.

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  Evelyn Sullen Smith

Ms. Smith is the Associate General Counsel for Exel Inc. in Westerville, Ohio. As counsel, she manages the legal affairs for the Consumer, Life Sciences & Healthcare, and Power Packaging business sectors. Ms. Smith was also legal counsel with Mettler-Toledo, Volkswagen of America, Inc., Clark Hill PLC, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan for The Honorable Denise Page Hood. Ms. Smith has a B.A. from Michigan State University and her J.D. from the Michigan State University College of Law. Ms. Smith is a board member of the Neighborhood School Development Partnership for the Columbus Public Schools. Ms. Smith is also a member of the Columbus Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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Richard Barnhart

Richard Barnhart is a Managing Partner of Ice Miller LLP. He focuses his practice on general business transactions, business acquisitions, banking transactions and international business transactions. He has extensive experience counseling clients on an array of legal, financial and practical issues. Mr. Barnhart graduated from Youngstown State University (B.S.B.A. 1976, cum laude) and received his Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University College of Law (1978, with honors).

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Dr. Joseph A. Alutto

Dr. Joseph A. Alutto, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. Dr. Alutto has served as Ohio State University’s Interim President for the 2013-2014 period. Prior to that he served as Executive Vice President and Provost from 2007-2013. He is currently teaching and writing about leadership processes and addressing special university projects. Prior to his appointment as executive vice president and provost, he held the John W. Berry Sr. Chair in Business in the Fisher College of Business, where he served as dean for the 16 years. Dr. Alutto earned his bachelor's degree from Manhattan College, a Master's degree from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He was dean of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management for 14 years before his arrival at Ohio State in 1991. A leading authority on managerial behavior, Dr. Alutto specializes in corporate performance, leadership, and Sino-U.S. joint venture activity. He is the author of a book and more than 65 articles in these areas. He has been a consultant to banks, manufacturing firms, aerospace companies, health care agencies, and educational institutions. In addition, he is a member of a number of corporate boards and has served in leadership capacities for a wide variety of volunteer organizations.

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     Ralph Abbott

Ralph Abbott is the manager and owner of the Fund will be Prospera Advisory Group, LLC (“PAG”), a Delaware limited liability company. Ralph Abbott is the president of Premiere Commercial Group, Inc. (“PCG”) and an experienced senior lending officer. PCG was named a top 25 mortgage banker in Columbus, OH in Business First.

Ralph is a graduate of Albion College with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. He received a second Bachelor’s in Accounting from Franklin University and also graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (GSB). GSB is the industry leader in providing advanced management education for banking professionals.

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    Frank J. Capella

Frank Capella, Principal and Founding Partner of Oxer Capital, Inc., was formerly a Senior Vice President at Huntington Capital Investment Company and Executive Vice President at Huntington National Bank. Huntington Capital is a subsidiary of the bank that originated subordinate/mezzanine debt transactions in the Midwest. His responsibility as an officer of Huntington Capital consisted of initiating mezzanine investment opportunities, structuring the debt instruments, coordinating/performing due diligence, negotiating the transaction terms, and managing/monitoring the investments. Mr. Capella initiated 39 separate transactions representing over $140 million in investments. Mr. Capella also has over 25 years of commercial banking experience at both National Bank of Detroit and Huntington National Bank.

Mr. Capella holds an undergraduate degree from the College of Arts and Sciences from The Ohio State University and a MBA from The Ohio State University School of Business. He has previously served as a board member of several Columbus community organizations in the past.

  Jean Carter Ryan, Asst. Secretary/Treasurer and President

Jean Carter Ryan joined the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority in January of 2007 as its first employee. Prior to joining the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Ms. Ryan served as the Deputy Director of the Economic Development Division within the Ohio Department of Development for over 11 years. As Deputy Director, Ms. Ryan oversaw the Offices of Financial Incentives, Business Development, Tax Incentives, Workforce Development, Loan and Grant Servicing, and Small Business. The Economic Development Division had a budget of $275 million and a loan/bond portfolio of $500 million. Under Ms. Ryan’s leadership, the division’s Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund enhanced its bond rating from A- to AA-. Ms. Ryan had been with the Department since April of 1989. She has a B.A. in American Studies from Smith College, Northampton, MA and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Contact Information

Jean Carter Ryan, President

Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority

350 E. First Avenue - Suite 120

Columbus, Ohio 43201

(614) 429-0177

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