James Dignan Takes Command at Chamber

Dignan Named President of Recycling Nonprofit CERMR

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – James Dignan, former CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, has been named president of the Center for Environmentally Responsible Materials Recycling

The Center for Environmentally Responsible Materials Recycling, or CERMR, is dedicated to “providing scientific and economical technology solutions to the crisis in recycling of plastics and other wastes.”

Dignan’s responsibilities include managing the center’s activities and working with Ohio state and local governments, universities, corporations and other organizations. 

“We are very excited to have James become a member of our management team. He brings a depth of experience, leadership and relationships having worked with both the public and private sectors,” said the nonprofit’s CEO, Paul Cicio, in a statement. “It is no accident that CERMR plans to build its R&D facility in Youngstown. Ohio is home to the largest plastic industry cluster in America and is recognized as a leader in the industry worldwide. Finding environmentally responsible technology solutions is essential to the economic well-being of Ohio and its workforce.”

The nonprofit has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Youngstown. It plans to build a research and development center here dedicated to studying end-of-life hydrocarbon materials, such as as plastics, electronics scrap, tires and medical and municipal waste, and how they can be reused for commercial purposes. 

“I am excited to join CERMR to help develop an economical yet environmentally responsible materials recycling solution right here in the Mahoning Valley,” Dignan said in a statement. “CERMR’s proposed partnership with YSU will help establish the university and our region as a global technology leader in materials recycling processes and in key research and development efforts with vast potential.”

Dignan was CEO and vice chief financial officer of the Regional Chamber until Dec. 31. His departure was announced in mid-November when the chamber’s executive committee decided not to renew his contract. Prior to that, he was deputy director of global force management and mobilization in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. An Air Force colonel with nearly 30 years of experience, he was also commander of the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.