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Luken named Ohio chair

April 13, 2007
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Ohio Governor Ted Strickland appointed Charlie Luken chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission on April 11. Chairman Luken stated, \"Horse racing in Ohio is at a critical juncture. Surrounding states have slots at their tracks, and we are challenged to find new ways to increase our customer base. We need the help of all interested parties, including the Ohio Legislature, if Ohio is to remain competitive.\"

Luken became a Commission member two years ago. He will serve as Chairman until March 31, 2009. A graduate of Notre Dame University and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Luken worked for the commission in 1974 as a racing inspector at River Downs in Cincinnati. He has twice served as mayor of Cincinnati and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990.

Gov. Strickland reappointed Tom Zaino of Gahanna to the commission. Zaino is currently shareholder-in-charge of the Columbus office of McDonald Hopkins LLC and chairman of its Multistate Tax Practice Group.

Gov. Strickland also appointed two new commission members, Jerry Chabler of Sylvania and Gerald Holland of Cuyahoga Falls.

Chabler has served on the Ohio State Lottery Commission and the Ohio Employment Compensation Board. He has also served as the District 2 deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation. Chabler replaces Norman I. Barron.

Barron, of Cincinnati, served with distinction as chairman twice during 20 years as a commission member. He is a noted expert in racing law and equine medication.

Holland recently retired as Akron’s deputy mayor for labor relations. He also served on the Board of Building Standards as the designee with background in fire prevention and suppression. Holland replaces John Meeks and will begin his term on May 1.

Meeks, of Canton, was appointed to the commission in 2000 and reappointed in 2003. He served as chair of both the Medication Committee and Safety Committee during his seven years with the Commission. Meeks is president of JM & Associates and Urbanistics Inc. (OSRC)
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