OneOhio Recovery Foundation names Whittington interim executive director


COLUMBUS – Board members of the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, a private, non-profit corporation charged with distributing funds for drug addiction relief, recovery and prevention efforts, held their seventh public meeting on Dec. 14, 2022. This was the first board meeting to be held in the Foundation’s newly leased office and meeting facilities at 1554 Polaris Parkway, Suite 325, Columbus.

The 29-member Foundation board has been meeting since May 2022 to establish ground rules and operational policies for the organization, as well as create an endowment to fund the Foundation’s future needs. While the board has been holding public meetings on a monthly basis, this year’s November meeting was cancelled as its scheduled date fell one day before the General Election.

While the search for a permanent executive director was formally launched in November, the Foundation has operated nearly eight months without anyone officially serving in that key leadership role. In order to continue the Foundation’s strong forward progress into 2023, and after conducting the proper legal and ethical due diligence, the board elected Kathryn Whittington, current board chair, to serve as the Foundation’s interim executive director. As a result, Whittington resigned from the board of directors and as board chair, effective immediately. Larry Kidd, who previously served as board secretary, was elected to replace Whittington as board chair, and Keith Hochadel was elected to replace Kidd as board secretary.

“We have all felt the urgency to continue to make progress and by appointing an interim executive director that can happen,” said Chairman Kidd. “Kathryn Whittington is steeped in the mission and operations of the Foundation, and her family has been personally impacted by addiction. She is ideally suited to do this work on an interim basis and the board appreciates her willingness to serve in this new role.”

With an interim executive director in place, the executive search committee and outside firm will continue their work to hire a permanent executive director to lead the organization.

Additionally, the board took the following actions during the December meeting:

• Approved an Excess Benefit Transaction Policy, required to comply with Internal Revenue Code regulations for tax-exempt organizations.

• Approved renewal contracts for communications and web services.

• Approved a $1,151,792 provisional operating budget for fiscal year 2023.

• Reviewed a policy to guide the governance of the Expert Panel, which will be made up of nine appointed experts (six appointed by the board) in addiction, pain management, public health, and/or other opioid related fields to make recommendations that will seek to ensure that all nineteen regions can address the opioid epidemic both locally and statewide.

• Reviewed a process for qualified applicants to be considered for one of six board appointments to the Expert Panel.

• Reviewed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy to ensure that the Foundation practices and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in all its work.

• Heard an update on the Foundation’s communications outreach from Connie Luck of ConVista Public Affairs.

• Heard a report on pending litigation from Benesch Law.

• Heard reports from chairs of the Audit & Finance, Grant Oversight, and Executive Search committees.

• Approved Key Bank as an authorized bank for the Foundation.

• Approved $30,000 to contract with a grant writing consultant to support the Grant Oversight Committee in developing the Foundation’s grant policies for board review and approval.

• Discussed board training and issue education opportunities for 2023.

The board’s next public meeting will be held at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at the OneOhio Recovery Foundation offices, 1554 Polaris Parkway, Suite 325, Columbus.

Members of the public and media may access video of all board meetings and related board documents at OneOhioFoundation.com/Meetings.