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Jonas L. Smith, President (School rep)


Mr. Smith graduated from Dayton Jefferson Township High School in 1990 and earned degrees from Wilberforce University and Central State University. He began his career in education in 1990 as the head girls’ basketball coach at Jefferson Township High School, which he held until 2005. His teaching career began in 1995 with Dayton Public Schools at Wilbur Wright Middle School. In 1996, he became Director of Athletics for Jefferson Township Local Schools, which he held until 2005.


In 2005, Mr. Smith became the Director of Athletics for Dayton Public Schools, which he held until 2016. During the 2016-2017 school year, he was Director of Athletics for Bowling Green City Schools. From 2017-2020, he was Director of Athletics for Activities Beyond the Classroom/Athletic Director at Withrow University High School. In 2020, he became Director of Athletics for Trotwood-Madison City Schools.


Mr. Smith is a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA), a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA), Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA), Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association (SWOADA), Minority Athletic Directors Association (MADA) and the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA). He was appointed to the OHSAA’s Southwest District Athletic Board in 2011, was formally elected to the board in 2012, and served until 2016. He served on the OHSAA’s Board of Directors during 2013-2015, serving as President of the OHSAA Board of Directors during the 2014-15 school year. He was appointed back to the OHSAA’s Southwest District Athletic Board in 2019 and was formerly elected to the board in 2020. Mr. Smith held the position of Vice-President of the OHSAA SWDAB during the 2020-2021 school year, and President of the board during the 2021-2022 school year. He is currently President of the OHSAA Foundation Board, an OHSAA Tournament Manager in multiple sports, sits on a few OHSAA committees, and has been a registered OHSAA basketball official since 1995. Mr. Smith is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 



Mr. Smith has dedicated 26 of his 27 years as an Athletic Administrator in urban education trying to make the urban athlete understand that academics come first. His vision is very clear-- he wants student-athletes to have a growth mindset and understand that athletics is an extension of the classroom. I also try to instill in student-athletes how to overcome adversity, teamwork, good sportsmanship, and dedication that will help them become productive citizens in our society. Student-athletes must understand that athletics is a privilege, not a right. Academics and academic eligibility must be their primary focus to enjoy participating in school sports.

I have been married to my wife, LaDonna for 27 years. She is a 1st-grade teacher in Dayton Public Schools. We reside in Dayton and have two (2) sons, Jaren a Teacher/Coach at Trotwood-Madison Middle School, and Jalen a sophomore at Tennessee State University
















Dr. Keith Bell, Vice President (General Member)


Dr. Keith M. Bell, Sr. is a Director of Leadership Services for the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Northeast Ohio. Prior to joining the ESC, Dr. Bell served as Superintendent of the Euclid City School District. Currently, he is assisting with initiatives for the college and transition for underrepresented students to graduate school at Ohio State University.

Prior to that time, Dr. Bell was the Deputy Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer for Columbus City Schools. He also served as the Secondary Director/Academic Affairs and Principal at Westerville City Schools for Westerville City Schools. From 2000-2004, Dr. Bell was Principal of Grovepart Madison Local Schools and from 1993-2000, he was Assistant Principal at Gahanna Jefferson Public School. He began his career in education as a marketing education high school teacher and basketball coach at South-Western City Schools.

Dr. Bell was a presenter at the Marketing Education National Conference on “Successful School Store Management.” He also was a presenter at the Council of Great City Schools, American Education Research Association- Higher Education, AASA Superintendent’s Association, National Jostens Renaissance, and Ohio State University, Graduate School and College of Education and Human Ecology.

Dr. Bell is a member of the American Education Research Association, (AASA) Superintendents Association. He has been inducted into three Hall of Fames–Woodward High School, Defiance College and Jostens Renaissance.

Dr. Bell resides in Gahanna, Ohio, just east of Columbus, and is married to Toni. They have two grown children.








Joe Roberts, Secretary (School rep)


Mr. Roberts is in his fourth year as the Athletics Director at Princeton City Schools. He is a 1993 Graduate of Lexington High School, Lexington, Ohio (Northwest District) and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati, as well as a Masters of Education-Athletic Administration from Xavier University.

This is Mr. Roberts 20th Season in Athletics Administration. While Athletics/Activities Director for Lexington Local Schools (his Alma Mater), he served as a AAA Representative for the Northwest District Athletic Board and a 2-year term on the OHSAA Board of Directors, serving as President of the OHSAA Board the 2017-2018 school year. He is the current Vice President of the Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association & Southwest Representative for the Ohio High School Athletic Administrators Association. He is also Treasurer of the Southwest District Athletic Board and Secretary to the OHSAA Foundation Board.

Joe is married to Kendra (Special Education Coordinator with the Hamilton County Educational Service Center) and has two children--Sophia (Junior @ Princeton High School) and Sammy (Freshman @ Princeton High School).


School Representation Members




Justin Sanford


Mr. Sanford received a Bachelor’s of Science from Kent State University and Master’s of Science of

Administration from Central Michigan University. Has served as an Athletic Administrator for 22

years at Bloom Carroll, Gahanna Jefferson, and currently at Mount Vernon City Schools.

Additionally, has served on a variety of athletic related boards and organizations; OHSAA

Foundation Board, Rotary Club, Big Walnut Lacrosse Board, Central Ohio Chapter of US

Lacrosse, COIAAA Executive Board, and Gridiron Gang Member of Greater Columbus Sports



Justin has been married to his wife Mindy for 23 years and they have two children

Caleb, Senior and Kirill, Sophomore.




General Members














Tom Burton


Mr. Tom Burton, superintendent of Princeton City Schools, is a proven and dynamic school educator, well known and praised for his leadership. He believes that creating a collaborative environment with all stakeholders will help ensure that each child's needs are met. Serving as an educator since 1987 and at Princeton City Schools since 2015, Tom lives out the Princeton mission to empower each student for college, career, and life success. By being flexible, collaborative, and open to new learning, Tom feels we can truly inspire our students to be prepared for the real world and ensure that they make the world better than it is now.


The Northwest Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce recently bestowed Tom the Community Champion Award for 2021.  Tom credits his colleagues and teammates for being recognized as Business Person of the Year by the Sharonville Chamber of Commerce, winner of NASSP/MetLife Ohio Middle School Principal of the Year, Distinguished Young Alumni Award from Slippery Rock University, recipient of the Gordon Vars Lifetime Achievement Award, and Ohio Educator of the Year by the Ohio Middle-Level Association. He was inducted into the Cleveland Heights High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame and John Carroll University Athletic Hall of Fame (coach).


A published author and contributor to educational columns, Tom is currently working on two books. He is a sought-after speaker with recent engagements at the American Association of School Administrators, Institute for Education Innovation, National Superintendent’s Forum, Harvard University, and others. Tom currently serves as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Educational Advisory Council, the Northern Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, and Sharonville Cultural Arts Center boards. 














Dr. David Kelley


Dr. David J. Kelley, CAA is an Associate Professor in the Sport Administration Program within the University of Cincinnati’s School of Human Services and currently serves as the Online Master’s Degree (MSSA) in Sport Administration Program Coordinator. Dr. Kelley spent over a decade as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator in the Vinton County Local Schools in McArthur, Ohio and holds a Ph.D. from Ohio University. Dr. Kelley received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from St. Bonaventure University and his Master’s Degree from Syracuse University where he served as the Graduate Assistant Coach under Naismith Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim.

Dr. Kelley is also a Certified Athletic Administrator with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and has presented multiple workshop presentations on revenue generation strategies relative to grant writing, corporate sponsorships and the merits of licensed merchandise at the interscholastic level at the National Athletic Director’s Conference held annually in December. Dr. Kelley is the innovator of online education specifically designed for aspiring as well as working interscholastic athletic administrators in partnership with the NIAAA Leadership Training Institute Certification Program. Dr. Kelley teaches undergraduate Sport Finance and Development and the Economics of Sport. Dr. Kelley teaches graduate-level Applied Financial Management Strategies in Athletics. He is the author of Sports Fundraising: Dynamic Methods for Schools, Universities and Youth Sport Organizations, published by Routledge in 2012.













Scott A. Norcross


As a member of KJK’s Corporate team, Scott brings 18 years of commercial litigation and transactional experience to the firm. His background allows him to assist corporate clients in financing transactions with respect to origination and workout credits.

Scott also represents entrepreneurs and individuals in the esports industry, facilitating contracts and negotiating deals to capitalize on the explosive growth in the esports ecosystem. Scott further manages, negotiates and drafts vendor, sponsor, media and league agreements. Scott utilizes his business and legal experience to offer assistance beyond the traditional legal role including rebranding and brand management; esport event preparation and management; esports facility and development and day-to-day venture management to add value to each project.

Prior to joining KJK, Scott acted as outsourced “in-house counsel” for public and private companies and partnerships such as ordinary business transactions including contract preparation and review for day-to-day operations, corporate governance and employment matters, as well as mergers and acquisitions, dispositions and private offerings.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Miami University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Toledo College of Law. He is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan and Ohio State Bar Associations and serves on the board for Exit Planning Institute. Additionally, Scott is a trustee for Bay Rockets Athletics Association, assisting with fundraising and athlete support for high school and junior high athletics. He also serves as treasurer on the Board of Directors for West Park Academy and East Academy, both charter schools in Cleveland.

When he’s not practicing law, Scott is an avid runner, cyclist and swimmer who enjoys woodworking and restoration of all things old. He lives in Bay Village with his wife and two daughters.














Kylene Pippin

Kylene Pippin is the Chief Executive Officer of Power Ad Company, a sports marketing company based out of Franklin, Ohio that connects sponsors with high school athletic departments.  A Dayton Flyer, Kylene has enjoyed helping high schools nation-wide for the past 14 years.  Her passion for high school athletics stems from her time at Miamisburg High School as a 4-year letterman and Captain of her volleyball team.  She strives to positively impact people’s lives, including student athletes, so she is very excited for the opportunity to serve on the OHSAAA Foundation Board.  Kylene and her husband, Matthew Pippin, have 3 sons and collectively, they proudly call themselves the “Pippin Pack”.















Dr. Karla Porter      

Karla C. Porter, Ph.D., is a native of Columbus, Ohio, and a Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS) graduate of Columbus City Schools. She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from West Virginia University (WVU). She was a decorated member and full-ride scholarship recipient on WVU’s Women's Gymnastics team. While at WVU, Karla served in various leadership roles for her team and University. She was a three-time team Captain and team representative on the University's student-athlete leadership council. In addition to her athletics, while at WVU, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA). She remains active today in AKA as a life member and serves as a lead official in the local Chapter's community youth mentoring outreach efforts. After undergrad, Karla furthered her education by receiving two Master of Arts degrees and a doctorate. Her Master's degrees are in College Student Personnel from Ball State University and Sport Management from The Ohio State University (OSU). Her doctorate is also in Sport Management from OSU. Professionally, Karla began her career in athletic administration at both the collegiate and interscholastic levels, respectively, serving as a Compliance professional at the collegiate level and a High School Athletic Director for Columbus City Schools at the interscholastic level.


Fifteen years ago, Karla transitioned into the field of Project Management, where today she serves as a Sr. Project Management Consultant with a certification as a project management professional (PMP). Outside of her profession, Karla dedicates her time and efforts to mentoring and working with youth in the community and abroad around college access readiness, leadership development, and civic engagement. She resides in Canal Winchester with her husband, Robert, a City of Columbus Police Officer. They have three children, Jasmin (26), Kaylee (22), and RJ (14). 














Michele Powell


Michele Powell currently serves as VP of Event Development for Haslam Sports Group.  Her responsibilities include booking and event development for FirstEnergy Stadium (Home of the Cleveland Browns), Field (Home of the Columbus Crew) and Historic Crew Stadium.  Powell has been with HSG for almost 2 years and while she primarily focuses on large scale events and concerts, she also puts a great emphasis on NCAA, High School and Community Events.  

Prior to joining HSG, she spent 10 years with Monumental Sports and Entertainment overseeing their Event Bookings and finishing her career as General Manager of Capital One Arena.  In addition, Powell worked at Feld Entertainment for 8 years and was the Director of Marketing for the Washington Wizards.   

Powell is an IAVM Certified Venue Executive (CVE) and was an adjunct professor at The George Washington University for 10 years prior to moving to Cleveland. 












Brian Timm

General Manager, OHSAA Sports Properties

Brian Timm joined the Ohio High School Athletic Association as General Manager, OHSAA Sports Properties in  August of 2021. He handles all sponsorship and partnership related sales, primarily encompassing the OHSAA’s 26   state championship events. Timm joined the OHSAA after a brief stint with m2 marketing.


From 2007 to 2020 he served as Director Corporate Partnerships at the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.   Previously he sold Ohio State football and basketball on radio and television with The Ohio State Buckeyes Radio   Sports Network and the Ohio State Coaches Shows. Timm’s first position out of graduate school in 1984 was Sales Representative with the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club.


He is a 1983 graduate of Wittenberg University where he played football as a freshman and served as the Tigers student manager in football and basketball. The 1982-83 basketball Tigers played in the NCAA DIII Final Four, losing the national championship game to Scranton. Upon graduation from Wittenberg Brian completed his Masters in Sports Administration at Ohio University. He is a proud graduate of Troy High School.


Brian and his wife Ann have two daughters, Caroline (26) and Emily (21), and reside in Bexley.


Ex-Officio Members















Doug Ute was announced as the Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association on September 8, 2020. Ute, a former coach, teacher, athletic administrator, principal and superintendent, is the OHSAA’s 11th leader in its 113-year history.


Ute took over at the OHSAA post after spending the last 20 years as a school superintendent, including nine years at Marion Elgin Local Schools and the last 11 years at Newark City Schools. He also coached and taught at Noble Local Schools in eastern Ohio and Buckeye Central High School, which is near his hometown of Bellville in north central Ohio.


At Newark, Ute helped create the Social, Emotional and Academic Success (SEAS) program that includes counselors, teachers and staff to discuss ways to help students succeed in life. While at Newark, a district of 6,500 students, he expanded the free lunch program, made free breakfast available to all students, and put a strong emphasis on student and family social and emotional health. The school district responded with its highest-ever graduation rate and a renewed sense of pride in the city and school district.

Ute began his career in 1988 as a basketball coach and part-time business teacher at Noble Local Schools (Shenandoah High School) in Sarahsville in eastern Ohio. He then went to Buckeye Central in New Washington as a teacher and coach, while also serving as the athletic administrator. In 1996 he became the principal at Marion Elgin and then took over as superintendent in 2000 at Elgin, a district of 1,500 students. Ute became superintendent in Newark in 2009. He served on the OHSAA’s Central District Athletic Board in 2008-09 and has been the Central District’s secretary since the 2011-12 school year.


Ute was a standout student-athlete at Clear Fork High School, graduating in 1980, and played basketball at Ashland University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. He would later return to Ashland to earn a master’s degree in school administration, a graduate teaching degree in business, a principal’s license and a superintendent’s license.


Ute and his wife, Kory, have four children and eight grandchildren.














Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl, OHSAA COO

Dr. Kiehl is a veteran non-profit executive who joined the OHSAA in 2020 as its new Chief Operating Officer after the OHSAA reorganized its operating structure based on extensive analysis and leadership review. In this key leadership role, Dr. Kiehl is responsible for oversight of day-to-day operations, strategic planning and policy making, and for maintaining organizational effectiveness. The COO collaborates with the Executive Director and the Board to refine and implement the Association’s recently adopted strategic plan while ensuring that the budget, staff and priorities are aligned with the Association’s core mission. The COO handles the Executive Director’s duties in his absence.


Dr. Kiehl, who grew up in Corning, NY, was selected after a thorough nationwide search. Dr. Kiehl is an accomplished non-profit leader and former educator.  She served as Executive Director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center where she led all operations of three early childhood schools located in the Smithsonian museums in the Washington, DC area.  She also served two stints with the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, most recently as Senior Vice President of Experience & Operations and was Director of the Museum of Ohio Project at the Ohio History Connection.  Dr. Kiehl was a tenured faculty member at The Ohio State University for nearly a decade. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University.


Dr. Kiehl has two adult children, both of whom were high school athletes in Ohio, and four grandchildren.  















Laura Vermilya, OHSAA Controller & Foundation Treasurer


Laura Vermilya joined OHSAA as Controller on January 4, 2021.  Laura is a Certified Public Accountant and brings an extensive background in accounting, non-profit leadership, and athletics to this role.  

Laura is responsible for overseeing and directing all day-to-day finance, accounting and reporting activities.  She is involved in presentations to the Board finance and audit committees and works closely with the senior leadership team. 


In her 30 years of professional experience, Laura has worked in all aspects of the accounting functions for a variety of different organizations. Her roles have included serving as Senior Auditor with Ernst & Young, Director of Finance for The American Ceramic Society and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and in Financial Planning, Reporting and Analysis positions for Limited Brands, Things Remembered, and Alliance Data.


An Ashland native, Laura earned four varsity letters in softball and was selected to the First Team All-State in softball in 1986 - the first year the OHSAA selected all-state players for girl’s fast pitch softball.  Laura held records for most runs and most home runs. She attended Baldwin-Wallace College and earned three varsity letters and All-American honors in softball and earned two varsity letters in soccer.  While in college, Laura served as a ball girl for the Cleveland Indians. Laura was inducted into the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.


Laura resides in Worthington with her partner, Holly, and their two dogs. In her free time, Laura enjoys cycling, pickleball, book club and rooting on the Cleveland Browns and Guardians.














Gina Franks, OHSAA Board Vice President


Franks is a 1990 graduate of Tuscarawas Valley High School where she played volleyball. Franks competed on the women’s golf team at Alderson-Broaddus College where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Education. She continued her education and earned a master’s degree in Education from Marygrove College in 2002 and a master’s degree Educational Leadership from Salem University in 2014.

Franks began her professional career at Sandy Valley Local Schools as a middle level science teacher. Franks was active in coaching at the youth sports level that served many school districts and also coached at the junior high and high school levels. Franks took a middle level science teacher job in the Dover City School District in 2004 and then moved to Assistant Principal in 2014. Franks became the Director of Student Services at Dover City Schools in 2018.

Franks has served as the Female Representative on the East District Athletic Board for the last seven years. She was the EDAB President during the 2019-2020 school year. Franks has also served as a sport liaison for volleyball, tennis, softball and bowling.

Gina and her husband Steve have been married for 25 years and are the parents of two children. Brenton is a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball team at Muskingum University and Jenna is an intervention specialist, and coach for Dover City Schools.














Harvey Alston, Student Leadership Conference Manager


Considered one of the most dynamic, “high octane” speakers in America, Harvey Alston has been a full-time speaker since 1989. He has spoken to millions of people throughout the United States who have benefited not only from his knowledge, but also from the wisdom that Harvey Alston brings to the finish line. Harvey Alston's unforgettable words of individual responsibility for achievement have improved spirits, spurred growth, and changed lives. His powerful, soul-searching presentations uplift audiences to a higher standard, and to a level where they strive only for the best. Harvey Alston believes in solitary achievement, shared accomplishment, and the dignity of human beings.

Harvey Alston was a starting center on the Undefeated East High School Football Team of Columbus East High.  He started every game and was never substituted or sat out a game. Harvey earned a full scholarship to Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He was the starting center his freshman year and started every game for four years without ever having to sit out a game or spend time on the bench.  He was voted by his teammates Captain of the Football Team his junior and senior year.  His record of starting center and playing 64 consecutive football games with no substitutions is a mark of his grit.

As one of the most in-demand speakers in America, Harvey Alston's career has spanned positions from head football coach of Columbus East High School in Ohio in 1969, to assistant director of student financial aid at the university level.  As an educator he’s taught English, biology, health, life sciences and math curricula.  Over the years, Harvey Alston has received recognition and awards from such diverse groups and organizations as the Ohio House of Representatives as one of Ohio’s Finest Citizens, the City of Columbus declared a Harvey Alston Day, DECA Hall of Fame, Ohio High School Athletic Association, Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award, he was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel, and has received numerous national recognitions and awards. 

Harvey Alston's enterprise, Best Inc., is based on his philosophy and his book titled "Be the Best." He is the Coordinator for the Ohio High School Athletic Association Student Leadership Conferences, serves on the advisory board to the National Federation of High Schools, the Upper Valley Joint Vocational School and many civic boards, panels, and commissions, a contributing writer and photographer for the N2Publishing Magazines, and a member of the National Speakers Association.  Harvey and his wife Toni have three children and six grandchildren, and one great grandchild that keep them busy and provide much joy. 

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