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DeWine Names Retired Air Force Colonel To New Cabinet Post On Aerospace And Defense

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Gov. Mike DeWine Wednesday announced a new cabinet-level position with a special focus on Ohio military and aerospace installations.

DeWine made the announcement at the annual Dayton Development Coalition meeting at the Schuster Performing Arts Center.

DeWine told the gathering of mostly business and military officials Retired Col. Joseph E. Zeis Jr. will serve as senior advisor for aerospace and defense.

He’s work to grow economic development opportunities for Ohio’s multibillion dollar defense industries.

“Our military installations in Ohio are just vitally important to us. They're vitally important to our defense. We're very, very proud of what goes on it Wright-Patt each and every day," DeWine says. "But also frankly [they are] very important to our economy and our economic development."

Zeis is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel with nearly three decades of service. He graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law and has been an attorney with the Sebaly, Shillito & Dyer firm in Dayton since 2016.

“Colonel Zeis has a tremendous level of expertise, and I am very pleased he is serving in our administration,” DeWine says. 

The new position will report directly to the Governor.

More about Zeis from the official announcement: 

Zeis is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, with over 26 years of service. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1981, and he holds Master’s Degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is a Master Navigator, a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, and a certified Acquisition Program Manager who has presided over advanced technology contracts of major aircraft systems. In his last active duty position in the Air Force, he commanded the 46th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Following his retirement from the Air Force, Zeis served as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer of the Dayton Development Coalition from 2007 to 2013. In this role, he was responsible for identifying, facilitating, and implementing aerospace and technology-related opportunities to support business development and expansion in the Dayton region, the statement reads.

Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding America initiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.