COLUMBUS — On Sept. 1, Governor Mike DeWine reappointed Darryl Mehaffie of Greenville, Dr. Farid Naffah of Cortland, and Neal Zimmers of Granville to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board for terms ending July 1, 2028.
“Darryl, Farid, and Neal work tirelessly to make Ohio’s arts and culture sector as robust as it is today. Their in-depth knowledge of their communities, combined with their statewide perspectives, help to achieve our shared mission to strengthen Ohio culturally, educationally, and economically,” said OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins. “I am excited that their service to Ohioans will continue.”
Mehaffie is a retired school teacher who taught fifth and sixth grades at Northmont City Schools in Englewood from 1966 to 1996. Former Gov. John Kasich first appointed him to the OAC board in 2013 and later named him an Ohio Commodore in 2016. In addition, Mehaffie continues to serve the Greenville community as chair of the Darke County Center for the Arts board, as an emeritus director of the Garst Museum and the Darke County Historical Society, as a commissioner of the Darke County Parks District board, and as a member of the Greenville Mural Committee. He also serves on the Edison State Community College Board of Trustees and on the board of the Piqua Arts Council. He has previously served on the State Board of Education as an appointed member-at-large and as chairman of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges from 2009 to 2011.
Dr. Naffah is a gastroenterologist in private practice at Avamar Gastroenterology, Inc., in Warren. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, he graduated from Columbia University as a Phi Beta Kappa member and remained in New York City to earn his M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He then completed a residency at the Mayo Clinic and a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. While at Johns Hopkins, he earned a master’s degree with honors in computer science from the university’s School of Engineering. Dr. Naffah joined the staff of the Cleveland Clinic in 1988 before entering private practice. He has published several articles and book chapters, lectured in the United States and abroad, and appeared in The Best Doctors in America, in addition to his contributions as a local arts philanthropist and as board president emeritus of Foundation Medici in Warren, Ohio. Dr. Naffah was first appointed to the OAC board by former Gov. Kasich in 2015.
Zimmers is a practicing attorney. He graduated from Denison University and The George Washington University Law School. He previously served 23 years on the OAC board, as a legislative appointee from 1983 to 1991; as an appointee of former Gov. Bob Taft from 2004 to 2009; and as an appointee of former Gov. Kasich beginning in 2013. A former two-term Montgomery County court judge, he also served 20 years as a state senator representing Greater Dayton and the Miami Valley, serving a term as president pro tempore. After retiring from public office in 1994, Mr. Zimmers was Ohio Vice-President of CSX Railroad for 10 years. A strong supporter of the arts and an advocate of their value to society, he serves as a member of the Granville Arts Collaborative and served as a past member of the Granville Arts Commission. He is a director emeritus of the Eichelberger Foundation in Dayton, which provided millions to Dayton-area arts and cultural organizations. He is also currently vicechair of the Granville Board of Building and Zoning Appeals.
The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook or visit our website at oac.ohio.gov.