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The Ohio Oil & Gas Association marked a transition in leadership recently with David Hill of Cambridge stepping down as president and James Aslanides of Coshocton assuming that mantle of leadership.
The Association hosted its annual holiday membership reception at the Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark late in December with 250 members coming out to celebrate the holiday season with colleagues, friends and Association staff.
Prior to the reception, the Association held an annual meeting for the OOGA Executive Committee and Board of Directors to elect a new president, necessary due to term limitations. The Association has been under the leadership of David R. Hill from January 2014 to December 2016. This is an unusual term for the Association’s president to hold, but when the OOGA needed someone to step-up and fulfill an extra year of an unexpired presidential term, Hill stepped right in.
To say Hill faced a difficult term would be an understatement. Over the past 36 months he guided the Association through wildly fluctuating oil and gas prices; he started his term as the industry began to peak and saw prices collapse at the end of 2015 but he is leaving at a time when prices have begun to pick up. In addition, he was here to see the Association through a major transition when Tom Stewart retired as the OOGA’s executive vice president after 21 years in late 2014, and Shawn Bennett, also of Cambridge, took over the position to manage and lead the organization. These events only begin to skim the surface.
The onslaught of legislative and regulatory changes presented from both the state and federal government throughout this time has been unprecedented. Hill has been instrumental in helping to identify possible threats to the industry and guide the OOGA to deal with them accordingly.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t give a proper farewell to our President David R. Hill,” said Bennett, OOGA’s executive vice president. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. David however took the helm during some of the roughest seas our industry has faced in many years. Without his guidance and leadership, our Association would not have been in the position it is today. We thank you for your time, your effort, those years we have unintentionally taken off of your life by being the President of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.”
Hill will continue to stay involved with the OOGA and among the past presidents council.
“Having worked with Jim (Aslanides) over the years, there couldn’t have been a better pick to follow David,” said Bennett. “He is a true leader and as a former legislator, he will be invaluable as we continue to drive oil and gas policy at the Ohio Statehouse.”
Aslanides has a multi-faceted background that will greatly benefit the Association. Jim has served in various capacities during his career, as Chair and a member of OOGA Committees, as a member of the Ohio House of Representative, and now, as the Association’s President.
Aslanides currently serves as president of Media Fuel Company (dba MFC Drilling, Inc.). The company, founded in 1981, is actively involved in the exploration and production of oil and gas in Ohio. The company has also made new field discoveries in the State of Ohio.
Aslanides has been a member of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association since 1981. He has served on the OOGA Board of Trustees twice, with the first run beginning in 1996. He served for six years, ending his first Board of Trustees run in 2001. Jim rejoined the OOGA Board in 2009, where he has served ever since. During this time, he has served as the Chair of the OOGA Meetings Committee and the Governmental Affairs Committee.
When Aslanides was away, he was serving the constituents of the 94th and 95th House Districts. On June 30, 1999, he was elected to replace Rep. Joy Padgett, who had resigned. Aslanides served an additional four terms in this position.
As Aslanides prepares to take over leadership of the Association, he said he is reminded of a saying that he is fond of: “As a family of producers, there is no one of us that is as good as all of us.” Aslanides said he will use this as a mantra for his upcoming presidency.