Ohio.gov | OAQDA Announces Board Leadership
Press releases posted to OhioAirQuality.ohio.gov
September 19, 2019
OAQDA Announces Board Leadership
Akron attorney James S. Simon elected Chairman and Dublin business owner Michael H. Keenan elected Vice-Chairman
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) today announced new
leadership. James S. Simon was elected as Chairman by the Authority Members during its August
meeting, effective August 13, 2019.
He succeeds Michael H. Keenan, who served as Chairman since January 1, 2013, and recently was
reappointed by Governor Mike DeWine for another term. Keenan also was elected as Vice-Chairman in
the August meeting.
Simon, a resident of Akron, began his term as an Authority Member of OAQDA in 2016. He is a partner
at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC and specializes in real estate, public law, regulatory, and
business practice on behalf of clients at the local and state levels. He is active in his Northeast Ohio
community by serving as a board member of ideastream and Board Chairman of Crown Point Ecology
Center. He is Vice-Chairman of the Bennington College Board and serves the Episcopal Church in Ohio
and the broader Episcopal Church in a variety of capacities. Simon graduated from Bennington College
and The University of Akron School of Law.
“I am honored to be elected as chairman by my OAQDA colleagues and to continue using my experience
to support OAQDA’s work as it assists large and small businesses, as well as local governments and
universities with developing clean energy facilities and preserving the air we breathe,” Simon said.
Keenan was initially appointed to the Authority in 2011 and served as Chairman for seven years. During
this time, the Authority focused on assisting many small businesses in Ohio to comply with federal
environmental regulations and adopted industry standards to improve the state agency’s level of service
and position to leverage new opportunities. Keenan provided the essential leadership for the Authority,
relying on his 40 years of experience as small business owner of The Keenan Agency and 36 years in public
service as a Dublin City Council member and township trustee.
“It has been a great privilege to serve the State of Ohio as a Member and Chairman of the OAQDA
Board. I am delighted to be reappointed by the Governor and to have the opportunity to continue serving
alongside Chairman Simon and the other Members as we work to preserve Ohio’s air quality,” Keenan
In addition to Simon and Keenan, the Authority Members include Thomas E. Niehaus, Ted Celeste,
Michael F. Curtin and ex-officio members Amy Acton, M.D., director of the Ohio Department of Health
and Laurie A. Stevenson, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The Authority Members
are focused on OAQDA’s mission to conserve air as a natural resource through a variety of financing
tools to benefit projects consistent with the Ohio Revised Code.
The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) is a non-regulatory government agency created to help
Ohio businesses comply with clean air regulations. Since its creation in 1970, the Authority has provided technical
and financial help to hundreds of large and small Ohio businesses, awarding more than $8 billion to finance air
quality projects. For more information about OAQDA and its services, please visit its web site at
Read the press release here.