Akron resident Randy Cole has been named president of the powerful Ohio Controlling Board.
Gov. John Kasich announced the appointment Thursday.
The seven-member board, a panel of legislators Cole will lead, signs off on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of spending for state agencies, and state loans and grants for economic development projects.
Republican lawmakers have been critical of the board in the past, accusing agencies of appealing for funding through the panel to avoid budget cuts that lawmakers approved.
Cole, 43, a Republican who also serves as a policy adviser for the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, said he's ''thrilled by the challenge to deal with government reform,'' especially when it comes to shared services and saving money for taxpayers.
The board president acts on behalf of the administration and determines which funding requests are presented.
A University of Akron graduate with a degree in public policy management, Cole previously worked as director of audit services and technology for then-state Auditor Mary Taylor. Before that, he was president of a technology company; was a sales and marketing executive with FirstEnergy Solutions; and worked in the Summit County Engineer's Office as director of intergovernmental affairs and later as chief of staff.
He has run unsuccessfully for the Ohio House, Akron City Council and Summit County Council.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.